When we got our new Lifestyle fifth wheel in February of 2015 we noticed the official cargo carrying capacity listed on the sticker on the unit was about 1000 pounds less than listed on the brochure. This got Bob worried so we decided to get our new RV weighed. We went with the Escapees SmartWeigh program at North Ranch in Congress Arizona.
Under any circumstances getting your RV weighed is a good idea. From the Escapees website, SmartWeigh program administrator Neil LeKander indicates, "There are many reasons why you should not overload your RV, but four stand out as being of greatest concern:"
- First, the reliability and durability of the RV will be greatly diminished as a direct result of our demanding that it do more work than it was designed for.
- Second, the personal safety of the RVers, their passengers, as well as others on the road, will be in jeopardy.
- Third, any warranty coverage for what is likely the second largest purchase ever by the RVer may be lost.
- Finally, and probably most importantly, the legal and financial liability of operating the RV beyond the federal and manufacturer's limitations is more than most RVers are willing to accept.
We have to agree that it is pretty simple. We setup an appointment and met George in parking lot on the way in. We chose SmartWeigh because it is comprehensive by weighing all the axles, first with the RV and truck tethered and then the truck separately. We wish we would have taken our own photos, we borrowed this one from the web.
You could go to a truck scales but that would just be the total weight. By doing each axle we found that the weight is shifted to one side. This is mostly due to the all the heavy stuff (refrigerator, stove, cabinets, etc.) being on one side. Predictably that was the side we were overweight 30 pounds on one axle and 50 pounds on the other. The good news is that we were a couple hundred pounds light on the other side so all we have to do is shift some things in the Lifestyle and we are good.
The truck was a little bit overweight too but we had all of our books to read, miscellaneous stuff and a full auxiliary fuel tank. All that means it will be easy to shed the pounds from the truck too. Not only did we get that weight info we also got the tongue weight which was within safe limits too. Additionally we got information on the correct pressure for all the tires with the weight. Bob had them set correctly and monitored with the TST 507 TPMS system that we got from our friends Dutch and Di at PlugItRight.com. Finally the true overall height of the Lifestyle was measured. George recommended that we set our GPS' to a height of 13'8" which is 6" higher than was measured.
With factual data we now know that we won't need the expensive axle upgrades that Bob feared that we would need. This makes us very happy.
We think that every RV should be weighed at least once so add that to our list of tips for those considering RV'ng.
Till next time,
Bob and Jo