Q&A - How Heavy Can My Camper Be?

Truck and CamperI'm heading to Dawson City with a 2010 ford f150 with a 6 foot box i need to know what weight of truck camper i can haul legally though BC, thank you



I touched on this in the article How Heavy is Your Camper?

What you need to do first is grab a piece of paper and a writing tool. Go to your truck and record the following:

  1. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (see sticker example in the article mentioned above)
  2. The front and rear Gross Axle Weight Ratings
  3. The weight capacity of your tires
  4. The licenced gross weight as shown on your truck registration

You now need to visit a scale. You can go to your nearest government weigh scale or you can use a private scale. By carefully positioning yourself on the scale pad, weigh and record the following:

  1. The actual total weight of the truck, camper and all contents as you would normally load it.
  2. The actual weight on the front axle
  3. The actual weight on the rear axle

Now you need to do some comparisons:

  1. Does the total weight of the truck, camper and load exceed the GVWR on the truck's load sticker?
  2. Does the total weight of the truck, camper and load exceed the licenced gross weight on your registration documents?
  3. Does the weight on either of the axles exceed the GAWR on the truck's load sticker?
  4. Does the weight on any axle exceed the rated capacity of the tires?

If your answer is yes to any of the last 4 items, you cannot legally operate the vehicle on a highway. If the yes comes in relation to items 1 or 3 above, you need either a lighter camper, less load in the camper or a bigger truck. If it is item 2, you need to visit your Autoplan Agent and increase your licenced GVW. Finally, if it is item 4, you need a set of tires with more load carrying capacity.

If you can satisfy all of this, you should be legal to operate your truck and camper anywhere in North America. You will generally find the weigh scale personnel helpful if you have questions during your visit. They often hold "Amnesty Days" where you come in with your RV combinations and they help make sure that you are in compliance without the fear of being handed a ticket for a violation.

Campers and trailers

I just read of a Vancouver Island man convicted and sentenced to 22 months in Jail for criminal negligence causing death.His boat trailer struck and killed a pedestrian.

The boat trailer was found to have an altered trailer hitch, hydraulic brake cylinder disabled, electrical cable severed, disabling lights. The rear brakes on the truck were totally disabled and the trck was 33%overloaded.The boat was too heavy for the trailer that had mismatched and worn tires.

What chance do pedestrians have when drivers like this are drivning on BC roads with impunity , until something tragic  happens? 


It is the case of R v Nguyen and I will list it as an article shortly.

I wouldn't say impunity, just without a significant chance of being caught. I used to haunt the brake check on the Hump near Port Alberni and check every boat trailer that I could find. Surge brakes were commonly defective and lots of inspection orders were issued.

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