The weight of your RV is a very important thing to keep in mind in consideration to towing, as it can have a very big impact on your trailer hitch and towing vehicle. An even weight distribution will ensure that you’ll have a smooth ride with evenly placed weight throughout your tow vehicle and RV. If this becomes uneven, it can cause dangerous problems during towing. To prevent this, here are some good tips on how to determine RV weight distribution!
How To Determine Weight Distribution
The key to weight distribution is just that- evenly distributing weight throughout your RV so that there isn't too much pressure where it shouldn’t be therefore creating unsafe handling conditions! It is very important to think big picture when distributing weight, as front-to-back and side-to-side weight distribution are equally as important, as well as the distribution between your RV and tow vehicle.
RVs are designed with weight distribution in mind, with items installed in certain places to keep the rig balanced, meaning that it is up to you to maintain proper weight distribution while loading up for a trip. It is important to know the weight limitations of your RV, including the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is the maximum weight that your RV can carry when fully-loaded. It is also important to know the gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCVWR), which is the maximum weight of both your tow vehicle and RV combined. It is imperative to stay within these limits in order to avoid overloading your RV and tow vehicle, which can have a negative effect on wheels, axles, and tires.
Be sure to weigh your RV to ensure that you are properly loading up and distributing your RV’s weight. Although it is always best to check your manufacturer’s manual, generally manufacturer’s recommend that you place 60 percent of your total weight in front of the center of gravity of your RV, that way your RV does not get too heavy in the rear. Truck stops and weigh stations can weigh your RV to give you an idea of how much weight you will generally be traveling with. The scale can also ensure that you are within the 60 percent needed in the front portion. So let’s say that you are towing a total of 6,500 pounds, 3,900 of those pounds would need to sit before your RV’s center of gravity.
Signs Of Uneven Weight Distribution
Uneven weight distribution will be visible when looking at your RV and tow vehicle. If you notice the front of your RV and the rear of your tow vehicle sagging downwards toward each other, there is too much weight in the front of your RV. If you notice that the rear of your RV sags down toward the ground, and the tongue and rear of your tow vehicle are raised higher than level, there is too much weight in the rear of your RV. Correcting these issues will help to reinstate balance, and prevent adverse handling while driving.
You can also detect uneven weight distribution when driving. If you feel that your steering is unstable and difficult to execute, you probably have a distribution issue. Likewise, if you don’t distribute the weight evenly across the width of your RV, you could experience some shaking while driving, which is very dangerous and could cause steering issues and even lead to a rollover accident.
Weight Distribution Systems
Weight distribution systems operate with spring bars which help to correct weight distribution issues using leverage to even out both your tow vehicle and RV. This results in a smoother, safer ride, and will allow you to tow the maximum capacity of your trailer hitch. But when should you seek the help of a weight distribution system? You should consider installing one if:
-Your trailer’s weight is more than 50 percent of your tow vehicle’s weight
-Your tow vehicle’s rear sags when your RV is hooked up to it
-You notice that your vehicle is harder to steer and stop
-You notice that your RV sways while driving
-You want to tow to your hitch’s highest capacity
Now that you know what to look for, you can successfully determine RV weight distribution and hit the road knowing that you’re doing so safely! Have any other tips for weight distribution? Share them in the comments!