Do you have a camper with a fifth wheel hitch? If you do, then it is necessary to know its weight for safety reasons, preventing unexpected accidents and damages from happening while you are on the road. Its heaviness is measured according to the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which indicates how much a certain hitch is capable of carrying or supporting.
Most of the time, fifth wheel camper manufacturers will record the GVWR and place it on a sticker, which will be visibly plastered on the vehicle. And for an accurate measurement, it is best to get the fifth wheel weight using the proper weighing scale rather than doing a rough estimation or relying on what the brochures have indicated.
In knowing the weight, you must drive the trailer on any camp location where a CAT Scale is usually available. Pull up on the weighing device until your cab window is in line with the intercom sign. The scale has three weighing platforms where you should properly position your truck and trailer:
- The steer axle or the front tires of the truck are on the first platform.
- The drive axle or the rears of the truck are on the second platform.
- Finally, the trailer axle, which is linked to the truck using the fifth wheel hitch, is on the last platform.
Once you have the laid the vehicle’s parts in their places, you have to reach or go out from your truck to press the intercom button. You will, then be greeted by a weigh master who will ask whether you’re getting the fifth wheel weight for the first time or just having a reweigh.
*If it is a reweigh, take note that you should be weighing the same truck and trailer at the same CAT Scale location. You must do it within 24 hours after having the initial weigh.
*Another thing to remember is to make sure that nothing changes – no one should get one, the same things should be in place. Do the first weigh and reweigh at once.
Then, the weigh master is going to ask for the truck number, which will assure you of getting the right ticket at the fuel desk.
After giving the details, the weigh master is going to initiate the process in producing the ticket that only takes a few seconds to finish. He or she informs you that the weight has already been processed and tells you to drive going to the fuel desk to get your ticket.
Other Weighing Scales
Aside from the CAT Scale, there are different weighing scales that you can use in getting the weight of a fifth wheel hitch camper. You can have the dump, quarry or whatever suits your preference. Such equipment only has single scale unlike the CAT, which has three platforms.
With a single scale, you have to get the weight for the three axles one by one. This basically lets you move the truck often in acquiring each weight of the axle.
How Does it Cost
Knowing the fifth wheel weight apparently has a price, at least for CAT Scale. According to an article in Learn To RV, an initial CAT Scale weigh is about $10. Each reweigh can either cost $1 or $2, depending on the location.