Friday, September 23, 2011

Putting the RV on the Scales

We spent the last several days at Rainbow's End, the Escapees RV park in Livingston, Texas. Rainbow's End is home to the national headquarters of Escapees -- a large organization of people enjoying living and traveling in their RV.

The Escapee RV Club offers many services for RVers, including their mail forwarding service that we find so helpful.
But this time we were wanting to take advantage of another of their services, SmartWeigh, which weights each individual wheel position of the RV and tow vehicle to ensure that no one wheel position is overloaded and that all wheels and axles are within their safe limits.
Unlike automobiles, by design, most RVs run close to their maximum load limits. Many RV owners add more stuff until they are dangerously overloaded. Tires, brakes, and suspension systems can fail under such circumstances. We have been faithful to check our weights on truck scales at least once a year. But truck scales can give weights only by axle and this time we wanted our individual wheel positions to be weighed.
We had been at Rainbow's End in May as we were traveling northward and we had our fifth-wheel weighed at that time. Since then we added the Bigfoot automatic leveling system which added some significant pounds to our trailer. To compensate we got rid of a heavy hide-a-bed which we replaced with two very comfortable and lightweight glider chairs.
We had hoped that getting rid of the heavy hide-a-bed would offset the additional weight of the Bigfoot system and not change the weight distribution side-to-side. So today we went for our re-weigh and discovered -- very pleasantly -- that there was no significant change to our weights.
Now we can travel on with confidence that we are doing everything possible to be safe.