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Why You Should Know Your RV Travel Trailer Weight

Most Recreational Vehicle manufacturers provide a dry or empty weight for RV travel trailers. However, to select a proper tow vehicle and RV hitch, you must know how much your travel trailer weighs fully loaded.

For example, when you are towing a travel trailer the gross weight (fully loaded weight) includes the weight of the trailer water, propane, safety equipment, supplies and personal items.

Develop a realistic estimate of the gross weight of your trailer. The time you spend doing this and getting properly equipped will save you time and money in preventing unexpected repairs to your tow vehicle and unanticipated breakdowns while on the road.

Recreational Vehicle Weight Related Terms

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Amount the Recreational Vehicle may weigh when fully loaded.
Tow Rating Weight a tow vehicle can tow. This figure may vary depending on the vehicles equipment, such as a manual or automatic transmission and whether it is equipped with four-wheel drive.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) Permissible combined weight of the tow vehicle, rv travel trailer, passengers, equipment, fuel, etc., that the tow vehicle can handle.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) Weight a single axle can carry.

In addition to speaking with RV dealers and RVers who use RV trailers, the best way to know the actual weight of your trailer is to weigh it at a public scale.

RV manufacturers consider the loaded weight of a trailer when specifying tongue weightthe amount of the trailers weight that presses down on the trailer hitch. Too little tongue weight can cause the trailer to sway. Too much tongue weight can cause many problems, including not enough weight on the front wheels of the tow vehicle. When this occurs, the tow vehicle will be less responsive to steering. A weight-distributing hitch can remedy this problem by transferring weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle.

Manufacturers also establish the gross axle weight and provide a rating that denotes the maximum weight a single axle can carry. Knowing these weights will help you when it is time to load your trailer. Remember that the gross axle weight rating listed on the tow vehicles certification label must not be exceeded.

You may also want to read : How to Weigh a Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel RV - RV Tow Vehicle Basics... weight ratings, tow packages & hitches - Hitching & Unhitching a Fifth Wheel RV


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