Do I Need To Stop At A Weigh Station With My Camper In Minnesota + Wisconsin?
I thought this would be a pretty cut-and-dry answer, but it turns out it's more complicated than that. My wife and I have owned a travel trailer for the last few years, and we've never stopped at a weigh station. We've also never got in trouble for it. I was under the assumption that the weigh stations were only for commercial vehicles. However, that's not what the law says.
It really comes down to your Gross Vehicle Combined Weight (GVCW). That's how your setup weighs. So whether it's an RV, a towable 5th wheel, or a travel trailer, it's a combination of everything. So say my truck weighs 6,000 pounds and my travel trailer weighs 6,000 pounds. That puts my GVCW at 12,000 pounds.
That means that in both cases, legally I should be stopping at weigh stations like commercial vehicles are required. In both Minnesota + Wisconsin, if you have a GVCW of over 10,000 pounds you are to stop.
Now, just because that's the law, that doesn't mean people really follow it that close. In fact, there are many stories of people pulling into a weigh station to be waved along by a trooper when you read the comments in various forums. 99% of people don't ever stop and are never pulled over or cited for it.
Some actually suggest it should be enforced more than it is. When a commercial vehicle stops at a weigh station there is more that goes on than just taking the vehicle's weight. They also inspect the condition of the rig to make sure everything is safe. With so many campers on the roads these days, some suggest that's not a bad idea to get it looked over.
Yourmechanic.com has some information on other states, how to find out your GVCW, and other helpful tips that are worth a read.