How Much Does an RV Weigh?
Recreational vehicles come in many shapes and sizes, and that will help determine the weight. A pop-up camper is the lightest weight RV while a large Class A motorhome or bus conversion will weigh the most. Likewise, once you add water to the tanks and pack your RV with your gear, it will weigh much more.
If you look inside your RV you’ll find a large sticker with weight information concerning your particular RV. Some important weights to keep in mind:
The term dry weight refers to the weight of the RV before it’s loaded up with water and gear.
This is the maximum weight of all of your personal items and gear that can be added to the dry weight of the trailer or motorhome.
Gross Vehicle Weight
This is the maximum amount the RV can safely weigh when fully loaded with water and gear.
Water weighs 8.3 lbs. Per gallon, so a full 30-gallon freshwater tank will weigh 249 lbs. A full gray and black tank would be similar. Likewise, a full tank of gas will add weight; gasoline weighs 6 lbs. per gallon.
You can expect to add approximately 1,500 lbs.in water, gear, and personal belongings.
How Much Do Specific Types of RVs Weigh?
There is no one specific weight for all types of RVs. The lightest weight RV would be a pop-up trailer, and those can vary from 600 to 2800 pounds. On the other hand, a 35’ long Class A motorhome or bus conversion can weigh in at a hefty 24,000 lbs.
Likewise, the construction method can influence the weight of an RV; whether it was built with a wood or aluminum frame will influence weight. Slide-outs will add weight, up to 800 lbs. Likewise, a motorhome will weigh more than an equal-sized trailer, due to the weight of the engine and transmission.
That said, the average dry weight of a travel trailer is around 5,200 lbs. That’s the weight of the trailer empty, with empty tanks and no gear.
- Class B Van will weigh between 4,000-14,000 lbs dry.
- Class C motorhomes generally weigh between 12,000 to 20,000 lbs dry.
- Class A motorhomes can weigh between 16,000-30,000 lbs dry.
Once again, the weights of individual RVs can vary greatly, so check your RV to find out its specific weights.
Weight and Towing a Trailer
You’ll need to match the weight of your trailer to the towing capacity of your truck. Keep in mind, the stated maximum towing weight listed by the manufacturer will be a best-case scenario; it’s a very good idea to keep the weight of the trailer considerably below the maximum towing weight. Likewise, don’t forget to add the weight of your water and all your stuff, which can add up to 1,500 lbs. It’s recommended that you not exceed 80% of your truck’s stated towing capacity. For example, if your truck says it can tow 7,000 lbs, keep your trailer, loaded with stuff, to 5,600 lbs.
The best thing you can do is to travel light, and not overload your RV with unnecessary stuff. The weights of RVs can vary a lot, and not overloading one is a good idea to keep it safely within its limits.