Every new RVer or anyone driving a motorhome hitting the road eventually asks, do RVs have to stop at weigh stations?
The answer is Yes and No, depending on which state you are driving in, and its particular weigh station laws.
However, after research, there is a leaning toward no, yet you shouldn’t take this as the defining answer. Some states are setting a weight limit of over 10,000 pounds or over 26,000 lbs.
Thus, the chances are you’ll see signs specifically stating RVs have to pull over. In many cases, you’ll discover there isn’t a need to pull over at truck weigh stations unless stated otherwise.
However, sound judgment always prevails, so knowing state laws beforehand can make travels far less complicated. In our guide, you can learn all you need about your gross vehicle weight and how it can affect your travels.
What States Require RVS to Stop at Weigh Stations?
When driving in a state that requests RVs pass through weigh stations, always remain calm. You’ll find many reasons for being waved over. However, if you are new to driving an RV, you could worry.
Weigh station staff is only doing their job and understand that most individuals in RV’s are typically easy to get on with. Here you can find many of the states where things could be different.
Many states have their own laws, and while some are the same as others, there are a few that have separate characteristics. (Find the Best Wheel Bearing Grease For Travel Trailers)
Here you can find the key areas of states and the weigh station laws they have. It is up to you whether to stop, but you should understand the laws or risk breaking them by not stopping.
Here are states police can direct any vehicle, so it is required to stop at a weigh station:
- Alaska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Maine, Mississippi, and Texas
You can cross states where commercial vehicles must stop no matter what their weight:
- California, Connecticut, Kansas, and Texas
Besides this, other state laws say any commercial, agricultural, and large cross-country trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must stop.
- Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, and Maryland. Arizona requires commercially used RVs to stop at all weigh stations.
You could ask, do travel trailers have to stop at weigh stations? If you are driving a private RV, or any travel trailer is being towed by a passenger or specialty vehicles, or vehicles with a GVWR weight that exceeds 10,000 pounds, you are required to stop.
Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington (State), and Wisconsin
States that have unique laws can be found here.
Any agricultural vehicles that use public highways or passenger and specialty vehicles that are towing trailers, large RVs, and trucks are required to pull over subject to inspection and weigh station examinations regardless of size when requested by officials.
Drivers have to receive clearance from a weigh station when a said vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or they have a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) totaling over 26,000 pounds.
Delaware only has one weigh station, yet there are further plans for another. Specialty vehicles and any commercial trucks that weigh over 22,000 pounds must stop. The only RVs required to stop are large recreational vehicles reaching 46 feet in length or over.
You will find there are mandatory highway weigh stations for commercial trucks weighing over 18,000 pounds.
Any agricultural vehicles weighing 8,000 pounds GVWR or business-owned RVs need to get weighed at state weigh stations.
Any trucks weighing over one ton are subject to stop. A Pickup truck towing trailers don’t need to stop at weigh stations.
No matter the category, any vehicle must stop at a weigh station if the weight is 10,001 pounds or over.
Any truck with a total weight of 26,001 pounds or over has to pull into a weigh station.
When a vehicle or the combined weight reaches more than 26,000 pounds, it must stop at the weigh station.
Agricultural vehicles, large trucks, or drive-away operations with a gross combined weight of 8,000 lbs. have to pass through weigh stations. Any vehicle, which is towing a horse trailer, doesn’t have to stop at weigh stations.
(If you are confused by “drive-away operation,” you’ll find this legal term means any motor vehicle carrying cargo in a drivable manner or being towed.)
Any vehicle involved in transporting people or property and weighing over 10,000 pounds has to stop at weigh stations.
Virginia weigh station laws state trucks over 7,500 pounds must stop at any open weigh stations.
What Happens if You Don’t Stop at Weigh Stations?
You may be pulled over should you not stop at a designated weigh station. If law enforcement stops you, they’ll take your details and instruct you to pull off at any available exit and return to the weigh station.
It is possible you’ll have a fine for their trouble, and you could face a vehicle inspection where you will receive more fines should you have any violations.
It is advisable to stop at the weigh station even if you are not one of the vehicles to stop by default.
You’ll never be fined for stopping, but passing by accident and you could be. If in doubt, remember that you will never be fined for stopping at a weigh station, but you may be fined if you do not stop at a weigh station by accident.
If you need to ask, do motorhomes have to stop at weigh stations? For ease of reference, here are states that force motorhomes to stop at weigh stations.
- Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Maine, Mississippi, Texas
Can I Weigh My RV at a Weigh Station?
You can pull over to your nearest RV weigh station if you are heading off camping and wish to know your vehicle’s weight.
It is advisable to know the weight of your vehicle as well as the law in each state you’ll pass. You face the same with a motorhome, and you’ll find the weigh station the best place you need to stop to get an accurate reading. (Learn How Much Does It Cost To Ship An RV Overseas)
Using a process called “wheel position weighing” (which you can only find at an RV weigh station, you’ll quickly find your vehicle’s weight and if it is under or overweight.
Here are the steps to weigh your RV the right way.
- Make an appointment with your nearest RV weighing specialist. Besides a weight station, you can get the same services from the RVSEF or Escapees RV Club and their Smart Weigh Program.
- Fill out all the forms required and include any tow vehicles you’ll have also.
- The RV weigh master will advise the correct way you should load vehicles for weighing.
- If you are about to go camping, then this is the logical way to load your rig. For example, if you travel with a full water tank, fill them up.
- Head to the scales and do as instructed. There will be a scale on either side of your vehicle. A vehicle towing or any vehicle being towed will be weighed separately. You can find the cost for such a service is around $55, yet the resulting peace of mind is priceless.
Do RVs Have to Stop at Port of Entry?
Some of the above regulations we saw earlier regarding RV’s and weight stations apply to the Port of Entry weight stations you find on state borders.
Even if you are not in a group of recreational vehicles subject to stop in one state, it could be advisable to make an effort to enter a new state.
The question of, do RVs have to stop at weigh stations differs when dealing with borders of one state to another.
While these stations are primarily there for commercial vehicles, you don’t want to find yourself halfway across the state before you are told you are in the group of vehicles are subject to stop at Port of Entry weigh stations.
It could ruin your vacation or camping trip if you were told to turn around and drive to where you had come from to get your vehicle weighed.
It is far better to spend a few minutes entering a state and knowing you are within the weight limits than finding somewhere to empty your tanks because you are too heavy.
Read more: Must Have RV Camping Accessories