I'm about to embark on our longest journey yet -- from NH to the Great Smoky Mountains (we've only had our Fourwinds 29' for about a year now). Since roadside weigh stations in New England are rarely open, it's never been an issue for us, but are we required to pull into weigh stations that tend to be open in other parts of the country? Is a Class C considered a truck for this purpose?
While we're on that subject, should I stay out of the lanes that sometimes prohibit trucks?
I questioned the same thing at first. On my first approach I remember fighting the feeling of thinking I should pull in and decided to pass by, look for RVs in the station, and prepare to be pulled over by armed and dangerous men/women. I didn't get stopped and there were no RVs in the station. While passing the next few I happened to be around other Rvs, none of which stopped. I have yet to see an RV in a weigh station. If you ever did get stopped play dumb. I can give you free lessons, I'm good at it for some reason .
Moral of the story, I look for propane check points when approaching bridges and tunnels.
I'ved also used the fast/passing lane on three lane highways. I just dont stay out there long.
Four years of driving my motorhome, and I haven't pulled into a weigh station, and to my knowledge, it is not required. However, I've been told by seasoned campers to observe other truck regulations. On the New Jersey Turnpike, make sure you stay in the truck lanes, not the "cars only" lanes. When you pull into a road stop for a break or gas, stay out of the "cars only" sections...the size of our vehicles puts us into a truck category. Many areas have signs indicating trucks, buses, campers. There is one exception in NJ, and that is, the Garden State Parkway does not allow trucks on the northern section, but motohomes are allowed on the entire length. In all states, observe the Hazardous Waste (propane is in that category) rules on bridges and in tunnels (most tunnels do not allow propane through).
It pays to pay attention to signs and it doesn't pay to play stupid.
Have a safe journey.
Hold fast to dreams,
for if dreams die,
life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly. Langston Hughes
I'll add my experience but no definitive answer. I don't think there is one. "No Trucks" is a sign that I have yet to find out the legal definition even after asking two police officer friends.
When I obey "No Trucks": What I have found is that if "No Trucks" is qualified with "hazardous cargo", a weight limit, height limit, width limit, or similar restriction, I need to obey it. I've seen "No Trucks" signs that also specifically list trailers, RVs, and/or busses. "Cars Only" is another clear indication that RVs shouldn't be there.
When I ignore the sign: "No Trucks" without any other explanation doesn't apply to RVs. "No Commercial Vehicles" doesn't apply to RVs. "Trucks excluded from left lane" tells me I shouldn't hang there but I am allowed. I see busses in these lanes when so marked. "All Trucks" or "All commercial vehicles" at an inspection/weigh point do not apply to RVs.
It is very hard to separate a legal declaration from a safety one. There is a street between Lynnfield and Saugus MA (Walnut St.) that on the Lynnfield end says "No vehicle over 4 tons" and on the Saugus end says "No Trucks". There are no tunnels/bridges or other physical impediments in this stretch. I have no idea if this applies to my RV or not.
2000 Coachmen Santara Class C 315QB
2002 Dodge Neon SXT
New Jersey Turnpike you say???? Our first long trip in our Class-C, driving rain, traffic stacked up at the toll booth, darkness decending. I didn't see the small hanging overhead sign that read NO TRAILERS until it was too late. I was already about the third vehicle from the booth when I saw it. We had a short discussion as to whether we could fit under the sign, not that we had any other option at this point, and decided to go for it....albeit slowly. We completely shattered the air conditioner shroud and winged the top of the ladder. We were really lucky we didn't do any damage to the A/C.
We try to observe the truck rules, mostly stay out of the passing lanes when they don't allow trucks, use the slow lanes on a long hill and give trucks the room they need. As far as stopping at weigh stations, that's only for trucks that are hauling commercially.
Good luck on your journey, try to relax, take deep breaths when you get nervous and have fun.
The weigh stations are only for those vehicles that are DOT tagged. A vehicle has to be DOT tagged and has to follow ALL of the rules of the DOT(there are a million regulations)if the GVW is over 26,000 lbs or is used for interstate commerce. Actually if the vehicle is over 26,000 lbs you must have a CDL to drive it.