As you venture into the world of traveling in your RV, fifth wheel, or motorhome you may be wondering if you will be required to pull over to weight stations positioned around the country.
RVs do not need to pull over at weigh stations! RVs are not commercial vehicles and thus are exempt from weighing requirements. Weigh stations are used by commercial vehicles to ensure their weights per axle do not exceed regulations and to ensure they have permits for the weight they are carrying.
In this article, we will dive into the often controversial matter focusing on whether or not RVers need to pull into weigh stations in the United States.
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Do RVs Have to Stop at Weigh Stations
There is a lot of buzz on forums, Facebook, and other blogs about certain states requiring RVs to weigh in at a weigh station. Most of this is completely untrue. To date, I have not seen any state regulations that require RV drivers to weigh in unless they are transporting an RV for a business.
That’s the key distinction. If you are driving or transporting an RV for commercial purposes, then you need a CDL and you need to weigh in at weigh stations. Otherwise, there is no need to pull into a weigh station while driving an RV.
Why Do Some RVs Have to Stop at Weigh Stations
It’s technically possible that an officer could ask a driver to go to a weigh station if they think that the vehicle is unsafe for any reason. Many roads have general weight limitations (for example, North Dakota has a 40,000lb weight limit for 2 axle vehicles) for any type of vehicle (commercial or non-commercial). These situations are very rare as most RVs are not in that weight category.
Even then, these weight limitations are not usually scrutinized for RVs. (Although I have heard of someone getting pulled over to check in at a weigh station in Florida. I double checked Florida’s regulations and weigh stations are only for commercial vehicles, there, too).
Which States Require you to Stop at Weigh Stations?
I haven’t seen evidence of a single state with laws requiring RVs to stop at weigh stations or for their drivers to use a CDL.
I’ll tell you WHY people are confused about this:
Here is a quote from Georgia’s weight limit policy:
If the vehicle or combination is 10,001 lbs. GVWR or actual gross weight or over, you must pull into all open weight and inspection stations. Signs, lighted arrows, or enforcement personnel will guide you.Georgia DPS
However, this is out of context. If you read carefully above, you will see that the 10,001lbs weight is only applicable for vehicles that are used for commercial purposes and are subject to safety regulations:
Vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more used as part of a business (including a non-profit organization) are considered commercial motor vehicles for purposes of most of the safety regulations.Georgia DPS
Because of confusing documents like this, many people think that states require you to check in at weigh stations. The truth is, you don’t.
All that being said, if there is any signage or officer requesting RVs to weigh in, these should be followed.
When it comes to whether or not your rig needs to be weighed, every state seems to be different. Most likely, you will not need to pull over your rig to be weighed unless your RV is over 40,000lbs with only 2 axles or you are towing in excess of 80,000 lbs (very unlikely) or you have been told you should do so by local authorities.
No matter where you travel in the United States, you want to be confident that while you are traveling you are obeying laws and restrictions. If you are driving a larger rig and you are unsure if you should pull over, research the state you are traveling to on a site such as Triple-A, AAA. You can also be more confident in the weight of your rig and truck by taking the time to weigh your rig at a truck stop before you take off on the road.
Most RVers go through their years of travel, never once pulling over to be weighed so most likely you will not need to, it is just wiser to be safe than sorry.