We’ve all heard about them, and some of us might have even used them. I’m talking about the CAT Scales you see at truck stops and other places along the road. It’s fast and easy to get up on there, get your axels weighed, and move on.
Unfortunately, this system of weighing is only telling you a small part of the weighting process. You see, CAT scales are designed for trucks. And trucks are built differently than RVs. Trucks are empty, and when they get loaded with cargo, they load according to weight balance. Front to back, side to side, they start with a blank slate.
With RVs, the frame and chassis might start with a blank slate, but as they are built, and sent to us as the end-user, they are no longer balanced. A full wall slide on one side will instantly make one side of your rig heavier than the other. Add furniture, a generator, a residential fridge, misbalanced fuel, and water tanks and you can be off-weight right out of the gate. And that’s before you add your food, pots and pans, fire pits, chairs, pop-up tents and tables, and all of the other fun stuff we carry.
With a CAT Scale, you will never know if your left side or right side, or a single axle or pressure point is being maxed out or over the limit. You just know that your total weight, and possible front and back axles are good, which can give you a false sense of security.
Your back axle may say a weight limit of 15,000lbs, and your total weight might be 13,000lbs, so you’re all good, right? Unfortunately not. You might have 8,000lbs on the driver side and 5,000lbs on the passenger side. That’s a 3,000lb weight variance on one end of your rig, and that type of variance could put you over a tire rating, cause uneven wear and tear, or other issues that can be short-term or long-term.
So what do you do? Use the SmartWeight syste. Smart Weigh is a system where they will weight each of your wheels and axles, so you know exactly how much weight is being put onto each of your tires. You will be able to know if you are heavy on one side of the rig or the other. What does that mean? It means you can balance your RV by strategically placing your cargo. It means you can travel safely down the road with peace of mind, and if you happen to hit that sharp corner or turn, you can keep in mind your weight if you are heavy on one side or the other. You can also be sure your tires are properly inflated and you aren’t overburdening one side of your rig.
Smart Weigh is available by Escapees and you can get more information on locations by clicking here. In addition to these permanent locations, they also do Smart Weight at the annual Escapades Rallies.
Watch the video for the entire process, and see how my 2021 Entegra Super C faired when I take my rig through the process.
Have you tried both the CAT scales and Smart Weigh? Or just one? LEt me know what you think about each in the comments below. Thanks for watching Claim The Vision.