I recently read this great article with definitions for calculating the weight of your RV, and since all those terms are so confusing I thought you might like to see the actual definitions and what they stand for.
When we only vacationed in our rig, I never had any concern whatsoever about what it weighed. After all, we were only taking a couple weeks worth of food and clothes, and a few miscellaneous items. There was probably no need to be concerned.
Now that we are living full time in our fifth wheel, and everything we own in the entire world is rolling down the road with us, I find myself being a little more concerned about what we are carrying.
Of course we still have food and clothes with us, but now we also have shoes, and books... computers and games, TV's and stereo equipment... not to mention tools, and various other items we may need in case of a project, or heaven forbid, a break down. So yes, I work diligently to keep our stashes paired down.
Just as having an overweight body causes my knees, and sometimes my feet to hurt... in my imagination, and perhaps in reality... having an overweight coach causes problems with tires and suspension, underpinnings, floorboards and joists.
Add to that, the additional weight of the fresh water tank, (at eight pounds per gallon,) and you really start to rack up the score.
Consider that not only are they straining under the load, but they are also bouncing, jolting, and flexing as they are pulled down the highway at 60 mph. Now keeping in mind that our rig is eight years old, we once pulled into an RV park for an overnight stay, and discovered we had a tire leaking.
Only, it wasn't actually the tire that was leaking... the rim had cracked. Thankfully, we were able to pull it right around the corner to a great tire shop where the owner really knew his business. He told us that he specializes in race car trailers, and that he often sees cracked rims on them, because when you get that much weight on that small of a circumference, and then you are cranking it around to get it parked, you are really, really torquing that tire. I could definitely see his point.
With all of this said, I would strongly encourage you to be brave, and take your rig to a weigh station. If you are within your GVWR limits, you will be relieved. If you are over those limits, you will know there is work to be done to prevent issues in the future.
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