Do I have to stop at weigh stations with an RV?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do I have to stop at weigh stations with an RV? We will explain what a weight station is, what types of vehicles have to stop at one and what can happen if you skip a weigh station on the highway. 

Do I have to stop at weigh stations with an RV?

In most states, you do not have to stop at weigh stations with an RV. A weigh station is a chosen location that is usually located right next to the roads. Here the Department of Transportation verifies the weight of the vehicle. Its main objective is to be on the lookout for overweight vehicles that can cause damage on the roads.

The maximum load that a truck can carry in the US is 80,000 lbs. There are also some exceptions to this rule. A port of entry is another name for a weigh station, which is located on the border of two states.

In the following state, you must stop at a weigh station only if the GCWR of your RV is 10,000 lbs or more:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Wisconsin. 

What vehicles must stop at weigh stations in the US?

Laws vary by state, but in general, commercial trucks over 10,000 pounds must stop at all open stopovers. Some companies will ship their trucks on pre-approved routes where drivers know upfront if their vehicle can hit the road. The driver should stop at the scale when in doubt to avoid heavy fines if caught carrying an overweight load. If the load is below the limit, at least the inspection lets the driver know how much the vehicle’s tires can support.

Generally, commercial semi-trailers and rental vans with heavy loads will need to stop at all open weigh stations. Signs pointing to the scales will generally indicate the gross vehicle weight (GVW) needed to get through the weigh stations and most of those that rent the printed on the side. 

Vehicle laws and specific gravity variability by the state as you can see in the table below:

StateWeigh stations laws
AlabamaAn officer may require a truck or trailer to be weighed with portable or stationary scales and may order a scale truck if it is within 5 miles.
AlaskaTrucks exceeding 10,000 pounds must stop.
ArizonaGVW rates apply for trailers and semi-trailers 10,000 pounds or more; commercial trailers or semi-trailers. 
Arkansas Agricultural vehicles, passenger or specialty vehicles of 10,000 pounds or more, and commercial trucks in excess of 10,000 pounds must stop at inspection and weigh stations.
CaliforniaAll commercial vehicles must stop to inspect for size, weight, equipment, and smoke emissions wherever the California Highway Patrol is testing and where signs are posted.
ColoradoAny owner or driver of a vehicle with a GVWR rating or a gross combined weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds. 
ConnecticutAll commercial vehicles, regardless of weight, must stop.
DelawareThe Secretary of the Department of Public Safety may adopt weight regulations and procedures as necessary for law enforcement weighing purposes.
FloridaAgricultural, motor vehicles, including trailers that are or could be used in the production, manufacture, storage, sale, or transportation of any food or agricultural, horticultural, or livestock product, except private passenger automobiles without trailers, trailers of travel, camping trailers, and motor homes must stop;
GeorgiaAgricultural vehicles, passenger or specialty vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more, and commercial trucks in excess of 10,000 pounds must stop at inspection and weigh stations.
HawaiiTrucks exceeding 10,000 pounds gross weight must stop.
Idaho
10 fixed entry points with 10 mobile units for weighing are available.
IllinoisPolice officers can stop vehicles suspected of exceeding weight limits, including RVs.
IndianaTrucks with a gross gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more must stop.
IowaPolice officers can stop vehicles suspected of exceeding weight limits, including RVs. All vehicles over 10,000 pounds must stop.
KansasPolice officers can stop vehicles suspected of exceeding weight limits, including RVs.
KentuckyAgricultural vehicles and commercial vehicles 10,000 pounds or more must stop.
LouisianaAgricultural vehicles and passenger or speciality vehicles (single or trailer) and commercial vehicles 10,000 pounds or more must stop.
MaineWhen directed by a police officer or at a designated weigh station, the driver must allow the vehicle to shake and allow examination of the record and the transported load.
MarylandAgricultural and commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds must stop, as well as commercial buses carrying more than 16 passengers and any material hauliers dangerous with posters.
MassachusettsAgricultural vehicles and passenger or speciality vehicles (single or trailer) and commercial vehicles 10,000 pounds or more must stop.
MichiganDual rear wheel vehicles moving agricultural produce, dual rear wheel trucks over 10,000 pounds, and/or trailer construction equipment, and all tractor/semitrailer combination vehicles must stop.
MinnesotaAny vehicle with a GVWR rating of 10,000 or higher must stop.
MississippiAny vehicle can be weighed to verify the accuracy of the record by the State Tax Commission, tax collectors, highway patrol, or another authorized compliance officer.
MissouriAll commercial trucks with a GVWR rating of over 18,000 pounds must stop.
MontanaVehicles with a GVWR rating of 8,000 pounds or more and new or used RBs that are taken to a dealer or dealer must stop.
NebraskaWith the exception of vans towing a recreational trailer, all vans over 1 ton must stop.
NevadaAgricultural vehicles and passenger or speciality vehicles (single or trailer) and commercial vehicles 10,000 pounds or more must stop.
New HampshireWhen directed by a police officer or at a designated weigh station, the driver must allow the vehicle to shake and allow examination of the record and the transported load.
New JerseyAll vehicles 10,001 pounds or more must stop for weighing.
New MexicoTrucks weighing 26,001 pounds or more must stop.
New YorkFixed weighing and inspection stations along with random applications using portable units should be followed when indicated.
North CarolinaWhen directed by a police officer or at a designated weigh station, the driver must allow the vehicle to shake and allow examination of the record and the transported load.
North DakotaExcept for recreational vehicles (RVs) used for personal or recreational purposes, all vehicles with a total gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds must stop.
OhioAll commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds (5 tons) must cross the scales if they encounter open weigh stations.
OklahomaAny officer of the Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma Tax Commission or any sheriff may stop any vehicle for weighing with portable or fixed scales.
OregonAll vehicles or combinations of vehicles over 26,000 pounds must stop.
PennsylvaniaPassenger and specialty vehicles that tow large trailers, large recreational vehicles, and trucks are subject to inspection and weighing regardless of size.
Rhode IslandTrucks with a GVWR rating of over 10,000 pounds and agricultural vehicles must stop.
South CarolinaIf there is reason to believe that a vehicle’s weight and cargo are illegal, the law may require the vehicle to stop and be weighed on a portable or stationary scale or to drive to the public scale closest.
South DakotaAgricultural vehicles, trucks, and the operation of vehicles with a gross weight of more than 8,000 pounds must be stopped.
TennesseeWeigh stations are located throughout the state to check federal and state restrictions related to size, weight, safety, and driver regulations.
TexasAll commercial vehicles must stop when directed by a sign or police officer.
UtahAny law enforcement officer who has reason to believe that the height, weight, or length of a vehicle and its cargo is illegal may have the operator stop the vehicle and undergo an inspection.
VermontAny uniformed officer who has reason to believe that the weight of a vehicle and its cargo is illegal can have the operator stop the vehicle for up to one hour to determine the weight
VirginiaTrucks with a registered gross weight greater than 7,500 pounds must stop.
WashingtonFarm vehicles and trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds must stop.
West VirginiaA police officer or motor carrier safety officer may require the driver of a vehicle or combination of vehicles to stop for weighing at a portable or stationary weigh station
WisconsinVehicles over 10,000 pounds gross weight must stop.
WyomingVehicles must stop when directed to do so by a regulatory sign or police officer, and may be selected for random inspection.

The bottom line

If you are driving a larger vehicle and think you may need to stop at a weigh station, check the laws of the states you will be driving in. Most trucks come with their gross weight recorded on the side to give you an idea of how heavy a load they can handle. If you’re ever unsure, stop at a weigh station anyway to avoid a hefty fine and get an idea of what your vehicle can handle.

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