• Druann Bauer

Weighing your RV is part of the 'learning curve'


All RVs should be weighed before you take your first voyage

Here’s a fun idea! Take a beautiful weekend day…the first one in say 4 months…and take your RV to the truck scale. It’s even more fun for first-time RVers! I mean who wouldn’t love a day in the sun – breaking camp, hooking up to the truck, navigating the interstate to the trucking mecca (Pilot/Flying J), then heading back to set up

camp again.


With practice I’m told we should get this down to something under 8 hours…which will be handy when we’re actually traveling for 4 -5 hours between campsites, instead of our 20-minute commute this past weekend.


After all, what’s so hard about breaking camp? Let’s see, top to bottom and outside to in:

Take down the flagpole; stow the “wing” and wifi-ranger antennae; disconnect the sewer, fresh water and electrical connections; shut off the propane tanks; switch the refrigerator over to the inverter so the food won’t spoil; disassemble the 10’ x 10’ dog fencing; pack up the folding chairs, grill, etc.; fold up the 2 decks and lock them into place; tie-down or otherwise secure everything that can fall, break, move or become a projectile during the drive; retract the slide rooms; entice Eli and Angel into the back seat of the truck; then back it up to secure the 5th wheel hitch and electrical connections; then retract the landing gear and leveling supports. Oh yeah, you’ll make better progress if you pull out the wheel chocks (which means unlocking the undercarriage storage AGAIN to stow them away.)


The truck stop experience was interesting as well. The scales I’m familiar with, at the county landfill, weigh truck and trailer together--both before and after the dump--to determine the weight of the load. So I was completely amazed to find the truck scale to consist of 4 scales arranged end to end so that each axle could simultaneously record its own weight.


Still, after the first weighing, we had to park, drop the RV landing gear, disconnect, and re-weigh just the truck (to see how much of the trailer weight was actually resting in the truck bed). That doesn’t seem to be such a hassle.


Did I mention that it was busy at the Pilot that day? A suitable parking spot (that is, one that I could maneuver into without ticking off a burly trucker) was 100 yards from the Pilot counter. So, after unhooking, I jaunted in to pay for the first weighing and to explain that I’d need a “re-weigh” without the RV. No problem.


I skipped back to the truck and drove over to the scales, gave her the appropriate code, got her “ok” to pull off the scale and reconnect to the RV. After carefully reconnecting the RV, I headed back to the counter…only to hear that the computer had malfunctioned and I’d have to do the reweigh AGAIN.


So, now we’re faced with another disconnect, another reweigh, another reconnect, and another 200-yard round trip dash to the counter. An hour or so later, we were trying to back into our campsite without adding to the maze of muddy ruts that I created the first time we set up camp here. Couple of tries with the assistance of our new back up camera and wireless dashboard monitor and we’re neatly parked back in the site…and NO NEW RUTS!


Whew, what a day.


But actually, it wasn’t the end of the day – we still had to set up camp (see paragraph 3…in reverse).


Why would first-timers subject themselves to such an inspiring and exhilarating event? Well, of course, it’s to make sure they haven’t overloaded the RV with everything you can imagine from their previous life. Down-sizing from 4500 s.f. to less than 400 s.f. is more of a challenge than you would think.


Bad enough to be trying to lose 20 lbs. of personal “spare tire”. How’d you like to figure out how to lose 400 lbs. of excessive “bloat” in your RV? There aren’t enough crunches and stair-steppers in the world to tackle that kind of weight problem.


Last weekend was not exactly how we planned our new adventure (we were thinking more feet up, mimosa, and good book). Well, here’s to Druann’s retirement on May 3 when every day becomes a weekend day and I won’t have to lament having lost one to “the learning curve.”

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About Us

My husband, John, and I have quit our day jobs to go find the true meaning of peace and happiness, for ourselves and others.  We bought an RV and have set out across America to explore the country and find new challenges.  We hope you'll come along for the ride.

 

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