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Escapees SmartWeigh: Get Corner Weights For RV Tire Safety

Escapees SmartWeigh: Get Corner Weights For RV Tire Safety

If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time, you know we’re big on RV safety. Driving a home-on-wheels down the road comes with a lot of responsibility, after all.

We’re responsible not only for the safety of everyone on board our rig but also for the safety of everyone traveling around us. So, what does Escapees SmartWeigh have to do with safety on the road? Read on for the important details.

What Is Escapees Smartweigh?

SmartWeigh is a service offered by the Escapees RV Club that includes corner weights to accurately weigh your RV. Corner weights are the individual position weights that are needed to identify and resolve overall balance and tire loading issues.

It’s important to obtain corner weights to be sure you aren’t overweight on your tires and/or axles. You also need fully loaded corner weights to be sure you’re inflating your tires correctly. (For more on this, see our post on RV tire pressure.)

Photo of our RV backing onto corner (position) weights

Taking advantage of the SmartWeigh program offered by the Escapees RV Club at various RV parks and events can improve RV handling, avoid a blowout, and prolong the life of your tires. Properly weighing your RV allows you to know the correct tire inflation pressures all around your RV.

If you’ve attended an Escapees rally or stayed at certain Escapees RV parks, you may have seen the SmartWeigh program in action.

How Is Escapees SmartWeigh Different From Common Truck Scales?

Truckstops typically feature platform scales, which provide the weight of an entire vehicle (or at best, axle weights). That means weighing your rig at a truck scale won’t provide the corner weights needed to properly inflate tires to their correct pressures. They also won’t help with side-to-side loading issues.

Truck platform scales can provide a false sense of safety, causing a driver to travel down the road with one or more tires overloaded. We hope it goes without saying how dangerous that can be.

What Do You Get With Escapees SmartWeigh?

In addition to the important information about individual corner/position weights, SmartWeigh provides one-on-one consultation. They’ll help you determine how to get your rig to a safe weight, including guidance with weight redistribution in your RV to level out imbalances. SmartWeigh will also help you determine the tongue weight of your towable rig.

With SmartWeigh, you can weigh your tow vehicle and trailer in a single appointment. If you’re a motorhome owner, your RV will be weighed, as well as your toad/tow vehicle. Most importantly, you’ll be getting corner weights (individual position weights) that are so important for your safety on the road.

SmartWeigh, Escapees RV weighing service, also gives you personal attention throughout the appointment as well as the individual consultation we mentioned earlier. Your weighmaster will discuss the results with you and will offer suggestions for correcting any imbalance, tire pressure, or overweight issues.

Here’s a video of SmartWeigh at work:

What Can Happen If My RV Is Overweight or Unbalanced?

An unbalanced or overloaded RV can create a number of issues.

Compromised Safety

Most importantly, your safety and that of everyone with you and around you may be compromised. If a tire is overloaded or inflated incorrectly, you could have a blowout. If your rig is unbalanced or overloaded, a component could fail.

RV Reliability/Durability Issues

The reliability and durability of your RV could be reduced because your rig and some of its components are being asked to work harder than they were designed to work. An overweight condition can tax your transmission or cause brake or tire failures. A component failure could leave you stranded on the roadside or cause an accident.

Legal Issues

Even though RVs aren’t mandated to go through highway weight scales, most RV weight limits are legally enforceable. If you were to be involved in an accident and your RV was overweight or badly unbalanced, that could be determined as a contributing factor to the accident, possibly making you liable.

Warranty Issues

Overloading any vehicle or RV can void a warranty because you’ve exceeded the manufacturer’s operational limitations and/or violated laws that limit vehicle or axle weights.

How to Avoid RV Weight Issues

Once you’ve had your rig weighed by the Escapees SmartWeigh program, you can use the info provided about your corner weights to determine your total axle weights, gross vehicle weight, tongue load, GCWR, and more. These will be provided for your motorhome (and toad if you have one) or truck and trailer. Then, you’ll compare those weights to the data plate ratings on your rig or its individual components. You’ll also use it with your tire manufacturer’s weight tables to determine correct tire pressures.

All of this information is recorded on your copy of the Escapees SmartWeigh weight information sheet. If your rig is overweight in certain areas, your weighmaster can also offer suggestions on reducing and/or balancing the load.

Suggestions might include reducing the contents of your holding tanks until you can reduce the weight of the gear you carry on board. You may need to empty black and grey tanks and/or keep the fresh tank only 1/4 full when traveling. This can save a fair amount of weight considering that every gallon of water weighs over 8 lbs. Depending on where your holding tanks are located, this could be enough to reduce weight sufficiently or eliminate an imbalance.

Since most RVers value the freedom to use an RV’s fresh and wastewater tank capacities, the best long-term solution might be to reduce storage by eliminating rarely-used (or never-used) gear. Many RVs are built with generous storage space, which is great until you realize that your rig isn’t rated to carry the excessive amount of weight you can pack into those spaces.

If you need to make significant changes in your RV’s weight, weight distribution, or hitch adjustments, you may choose to be reweighed at a later time to verify the results of your changes. SmartWeigh offers a discount on the weighing fee when you reweigh within 180 days.

How Can I Join Escapees RV Club?

If you want to know more about Escapees, see our post on the Escapees RV Club and check out the Escapees website. If you decide to join, we invite you to use our RVgeeks coupon. While we do earn a small affiliate commission when you sign up using our code, we donate 100% of the proceeds to the Escapees CARE Center!

Escapees RV Club Logo
Escapees RV Club

The Escapees RV Club is one of the oldest, largest, and most loved RV membership organizations in the world. They provide a total support network for all RVers, regardless of their travel style...Show More

The Escapees RV Club is one of the oldest, largest, and most loved RV membership organizations in the world. They provide a total support network for all RVers, regardless of their travel style, type of RV, or experience level.

We're particularly drawn to the Xscapers group, which is a community within the Escapees RV Club that was created specifically for working-aged RVers.

All in all, Escapees membership offers a lot of valuable resources… and, if you join using our link, we’re donating 100% of our affiliate proceeds to the Escapees C.A.R.E Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides a safe haven (with professional assistance at affordable prices) for members whose travels are permanently ended because of age, or temporarily interrupted because of health problems.

So if you're not already a member, please join today!

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As mentioned, one of the most important details we get from properly weighing an RV is correct tire pressure settings. Not only are pressures not the same for all tires or rigs of the same model, but they’re often not even the same on one individual RV! (For example, our rig required 110 PSI in the front tires and 85 in the rear tires.)

Because this is such an important and often misunderstood topic, we wrote an eBook about it: How To Inflate RV Tires Pressures Correctly. We think this is such an important topic that we’ve made our book available for FREE to our subscribers.

Tire pressures and The Escapees SmartWeigh program are so important that we wrote a book about the topic: How To Inflate RV Tires Pressures Correctly.

Our eBook How To Inflate RV Tires Pressures Correctly is available FREE to our subscribers.

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We want to leave you with a final reminder that under-inflated tires are a leading cause of tire blowouts. Know your rig’s weight (including position/corner weights) and how to determine the appropriate amount of air for your RV’s tires. Since a front tire blowout, especially on a motorhome, can be SO dangerous, we also had the RettroBand tire blowout protection system installed in our front tires.

Here’s our video showing how we inflate RV tires the easy way:

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Dave Reyburn

Saturday 4th of November 2023

Just a few comments on the video of him getting his rig weighed at the Escapees event. I can see from his numbers that his truck was 3/4 ton diesel truck. WAY too little truck for this 5th wheel with a GVWR of 16Klbs. Truck/trailer matching is something that every 5th wheel owner should really know about before purchasing either the truck or the trailer, but unfortuately most are unaware. There was no mention of the actual pin weight on his report. The pin weight was 4,400 lbs and represented 25.4 % of the total trailer weight. That is excessive!! Not to mention over the 25% maximum you want to see. The result was his truck rear axle severly overloaded (accelerated axle component wear), his truck GVWR severly overloaded (braking ability compromised) and GCWR exceeded (probably engine/transmission overheating). Also since his 5th wheel trailer was way over it's GVWR, it was subject to frame flex and cracking in the overhang area. The one thing that was not mentioned, and probably the biggest safety issue of all was that his truck rear tires were severly overloaded by all that pin weight. Even if his rear tires were inflated to the max. cold inflation pressure (80psi for a G rated tire), his tires would still be overloaded (and therfore underinflated), and putting him at risk for a tire blow out due to excessive flexing and resulting heat build up. Good thing he realized he needed a 1 ton dually, and made the switch. A 1 ton SRW truck would still have been over the rear GAWR and rear tires would still have been overloaded. A dually is just about the minimum for almost all 5th wheel trailers in this weight category. I've seen this scenario over and over at 5th wheel RV rallies. I am a weighing specialist for RVSEF and weigh hundreds of rigs like this every year. The report we hand you after weighing your rig is much more comprehensive than the one Escapees produces in the video. If you would like to get your truck/trailer/5th wheel/Motorhome weighed at all wheel positions and are ever in the Goshen/Elkhart Indiana area, contact me through RVSAFETY.COM and we can get your rig weighed.

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