Weighing the Van

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VanFan

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Today I weighed the van--a standard length, low roof, 1500. I've been a little concerned about adding 30 pounds here and there, and had no real idea of how much was on board. Turned out I have about 1400 pounds to play with. I watched a YouTube before heading out, where I learned about the Cat Scales app. It turned out the intercom button would have been impossible for me to reach, so the app was worth the trouble of setting up an account and all that techy stuff I tend to resist.
 

Overland One

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Nice. Thanks for mentioning the Cat Scales App. I had not heard of the until you did. I see many van build videos on YT and the weight some folks are adding is astounding to me. Yes, they are beautiful builds to be sure and that takes a lot of skill but all that heavy wood, and other materials really add up. (Granite countertops, really?) I made the mistake of not weighing my van before I began removing things from it. I estimate that so far, I have removed about 300 pounds give or take from the stock conversion van configuration. Obviously I will be adding more than that back as I work on the inside build but, pulling that weight out has given me a bit of a head start I think. I am not going to be a nut about weight or anything but less weight equals less wear and tear on the van and drivetrain and, better gas mileage so I am going to be careful about what I add inside.
 
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VanFan

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I estimate that so far, I have removed about 300 pounds give or take from the stock conversion van configuration.
I suspect 300 pounds is pretty close. I removed two captains seats and a power sofa, as well as a television/VHS combo (LOL). My "build" is very simple, but I was still concerned about weight. Very nice to know it's well in range.

My van is 27 years old, and although extremely well maintained, we are losing confidence in it. I can't find anything at any price I like as well to replace it. Just sayin'... enjoy your van (like everything) to the fullest while you can!
 

Overland One

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Thanks. I am working by myself and carrying that rear electric powered couch/bed to the dumpster and then lifting it up into the dumpster was not easy. The other seats in the back had been removed by the previous owner(s). I also removed the 2 running boards that ran the length of the van and they had heavy steel tubing inside them and were close to 80 pounds each. I too removed the TV and the VCR (separate units in my van) as well as the heavy steel mounting brackets that held them in place. My old radiator, which was full of sediment, seemed to weigh a ton and the new unit was light as a feather. I removed all the rear seat belts and brackets/nuts/bolts too. My van is 25 years old but has only 108,000 miles on it. It was in decent shape except some of the maintenance items had been neglected (like the timing chain) so while I had it all ripped apart changing that, I went ahead and replaced most of the parts I had to remove to get to it. Sorry to hear you are losing confidence in your van. To me, with as well as you have maintained it, it would be worth it (to me) to replace the engine and the trans when the times come which would still be cheaper than replacing the entire van with another one and starting over with so many unknowns. At least you know what you have done to your van and when. This makes no sense to many people because I believe my van books for about $5k and spending big money to replace the trans and later the engine means I would have more in it than it is worth but, I could not replace this van for anything near that money no matter the book value and I know what I have done to it, and what it might need in the future. Best of luck to you and safe travels.
 

LargeMarge

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Today I weighed the van...and all that techy stuff I tend to resist.
.
a)
If you are near Oregon, our weigh-station scales are available and active 24/7/360°... without the weigh-master on-site and on-duty.
.
b)
Our rig is a 1996 -- 27yo -- and we have absolute confidence in it.
.
What rig would not inspire confidence?
* anything with a computer
* anything with an Exhaust Fluid dispensary
* any factory RecreateVehicle
* anything with 'cutting-edge technology'.
And we are waiting for the LiFePo4 industry to mature -- child-labor? slave-labor? -- before investing our hard-earned.
 

PineyCruisin

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We not only have a Chevy 1500 but a 4.3L engine so also have to be very cognizant about weight. I didn't realize that anyone could use the commercial CAT scales. Our county dump has one and were able to use that to keep an eye on the weight with our additions and gear but good to know there are other ways to check it.
 

tx2sturgis

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Yes the local landfills and salvage yards usually have platform scales and dont normally charge a fee just to weigh an RV, van, or pickup and trailer, but occasionally they might, so always ask.

Most of the time these cannot weigh individual components of the rig, like front and rear axles, or truck then trailer, unless you unhook and/or drive back and forth slowly across the scales. Sometimes the weigh-master is too busy, or they might simply tell you they do not do 'axle weights'.

CAT scales DO charge a fee, with usually one free re-weigh included. But they can usually measure 3 or 4 simultaneous weights without the rig having to re-position. And you will receive a certified weight slip (electronic or printed receipt) that you know is correct, usually within about 20 pounds accuracy.
 
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VanFan

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The CAT scale at a truck stop we visited charged $12 or $13 (?) for the weigh, and we paid $3.50 for a reweigh. We got steer axle and drive axle weights and a gross total. If we had had a trailer, that axle load would have been included. There were barriers on the sides, so we were unable to weigh each side separately, but I understand this can be done where space allows.
 
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