Safely towing your RV is easy when you understand your vehicle’s towing capacity and the weight of your RV. Whether you’re towing a secondary vehicle with your motorhome, a travel trailer behind your SUV, or a big rig behind your truck, these tow guides will help you do it safely. Learn about the terms and definitions below.
Terms & Definitions
- Dry Weight/Shipped Weight – The weight of the RV as shipped from the manufacturer without any passengers, cargo, liquids, or additional accessories or dealer installed options.
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – The current combined weight of the RV (dry weight) plus passengers, cargo, and liquids.
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – The maximum allowed weight of a Vehicle/RV, including passengers, cargo, fluids, etc.
- Cargo Weight – The total weight of all passengers, food, clothing, liquids, accessories, etc., that you might put into your RV.
- Tongue/Hitch Weight – The weight/pressure applied from the trailer tongue/coupler to the conventional/bumper hitch on your vehicle.
- Pin Weight – This is often referred to as the weight/pressure applied from the fifth wheel kingpin to the hitch in the bed of your truck.
- Payload Capacity – For Trucks, the amount of weight you can safely add to the bed of the truck. Your Fifth Wheels Hitch Weight or Pin Weight plus the actual weight of hitch plus any other accessories you have in the truck’s bed must not exceed the Payload Capacity amount. Confirm Payload Capacity with your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Max Towing Capacity – The maximum weight limit that can safely be towed by your specific vehicle. This weight is calculated by adding the RV’s GVW with the weight of all passengers, cargo, and liquids in your tow vehicle.
Before deciding on the RV that’s right for you, it’s a good idea to learn your vehicle’s towing capacity so that you can find an RV you can safely tow. When you use our easy tool for finding your towing capacity, you’ll need the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Then you’ll be able to determine which type of RV is right for you!
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