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Towing Explained

What Is Towing Capacity?

 

Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle can tow when pulling a trailer. It is determined by the vehicle manufacturer and takes into account the GVWR, GAWR, GTW and more.

What does towing capacity mean? Very simply, it is how heavy your trailer can be.

Max towing capacity should always be observed in any towing situation. Exceeding this capacity — or towing more weight than your vehicle is rated for — is extremely dangerous. Be smart and know your vehicle’s limits!

How to Calculate Towing Capacity

To determine maximum towing capacity, you will need to know the vehicle manufacturer’s weight ratings and compare them against the gross weight of your trailer. Most vehicles have the trailer towing capacity listed in the owner’s manual, on the driver-side door jamb or in a trailer towing capacity guide on their website.

How to determine towing capacity: whether you’re looking up SUV towing capacity, pickup truck towing capacity or car towing capacity, consult the vehicle manufacturer!

If the vehicle’s ratings are higher than the total weight of the trailer, the trailer is safe to tow. If the trailer weight exceeds the vehicle’s ratings, the trailer should not be hitched up to the vehicle.

What is GVWR?

 

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

What does GVWR mean? It is the maximum loaded weight of your vehicle (or trailer), as determined by the manufacturer. GVWR isn’t just the weight of passengers and cargo but also the vehicle itself.

The gross vehicle weight rating is all about safety. When a vehicle manufacturer rates a vehicle for its maximum weight, they are taking into consideration the suspension system, frame, axles, wheels and other components bearing the load.

GVWR vs Towing Capacity

GVWR is the maximum weight capacity of a vehicle without a trailer attached. Towing capacity, on the other hand, is the maximum weight capacity of the vehicle, specifically in terms of how heavy of a trailer it can tow.

 

What is GCWR?
GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating

What does GCWR mean? It is the maximum weight of your vehicle with a trailer attached, as determined by the vehicle manufacturer. Combined weight means the weight of both the tow vehicle and the trailer together. It also includes any cargo or load placed in either vehicle.

The rating for gross combined weight or gross combination weight is determined for the vehicle based on the strength of its frame, suspension, axles and other towing-related components.

GVWR vs GCWR

GVWR refers to weight capacity of the vehicle alone. GCWR, however, is a weight rating of the vehicle but takes a hitched up trailer into account. It is the maximum weight of a vehicle with a trailer attached.

 

What is TW?

TW stands for tongue weight

TW is the downward force exerted on the back of a tow vehicle by a trailer or towable load. It is greatly affected by where cargo is positioned in a trailer and is important for maintaining good control of the vehicle.

 

What is Dry Weight?

Dry weight is vehicle weight without fluids

Dry weight is the total weight of your vehicle without passengers, cargo or fluids. Dry weight is similar to curb weight, except dry weight does not include the weight of automotive fluids needed for operation.

 

Dry Weight vs GVWR

Dry weight is a measurement of the vehicle’s total weight without any of the fluids needed for operation. In contrast, GVWR is a weight limit prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer that dictates how heavy the vehicle can safely be.