Understanding the towing capacity of your vehicle
Towing capacity answers the question of how much weight your vehicle is rated to tow. This is a crucial knowledge if you consider buying a proper RV.
Traditionally indicated on the driver’s inside door frame, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating provides the information about the maximum weight that the given vehicle can tow.
If you are lazy enough or the vehicle is not near you, make use of our comprehensive database to retrieve the same information for any vehicle out there.
Towing terminology and definitions
Curb weight – indicates the maximum weight of the car as it was built in the factory including when it was fully fueled as well as other types of fluids contained in it.
Tow Rating – captures the maximum weight limit determined by the manufacturer which the car can safely tow.
Gross combined weight rating – includes the manufacturer’s limitations on the maximum gross weight limit of the fully loaded vehicle and its trailer.
Gross vehicle weight rating – captures the maximum allowed weight of the vehicle that it can operate at with passengers, fluids, cargo but excludes the weight of the RV.
Gross vehicle weight – captures the combined weight of the vehicle together with passengers, liquids, cargo as well as the tongue when it is towing an RV.
Important things to note:
- when using max towing capacity as a way of defining which RVs the car can safely tow, such aspects as optional equipment, the weight of the passengers, and weight of the cardo need to be accounted for.
- the vehicle’s towing capacity should never be exceeded as that can easily impact the vehicle’s breaking capability or even proceed to interfere with the drivetrain.
- always check on your trailer weight rating and tow vehicle’s trailer weight before purchasing the vehicle.
Strategies of determining your vehicle’s towing capacity
Always start with owner’s manual. This is the case as the owner’s manual will give you not only tips for safe towing but also detailed instructions.
But in case you have lost your owner’s manual, then our chart can help you with your towing needs.
Towing tip – the 2WD type of vehicles tend to have higher towing capabilities than 4WD and AWD. The reason for this is the fact that 4WD are ways heavier when compared to 2WD models which means they come with an extra axle and extra drive shaft.
How to calculate your trailer’s weight
When calculating the trailer’s weight against vehicle’s towing capacity, always add the weights of the passengers, cargo, and all other forms of gear.
This is when the tongue weight comes in indicating the amount of the resultant downward pressure that is being placed on the exact hitch point.
A well loaded trailer will always have the correct tongue weight which will, in turn, improve the overall handling capability of the trailer.
Our towing capacity chart provides the towing capacity by make, model, and the year.