Do you know the weight of your RV?
This is a question I ask often and time and time again I am met with faces of confusion. Understanding the weight of your RV is crucial especially if it’s being towed. Overweight RV’s cause accidents. Bottom Line. No ifs, ands, or buts, about it. An overweight RV is NOT good for you, or for anyone else on the road around you! Overloading your rig and/or tow vehicle makes you a ticking time bomb.
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Safety is my number one concern
Being the primary driver of our 3500 Chevy Silverado DRW and 43.5′ Jayco Northpoint 375BHFS, three children and dog, and along with ALL of our belongings, I take all the proper steps to ensure our safety and it all starts with knowing that we’re well within our weight limits.
Overweight RV’s can cause improper wear on your tires and cause damage or blowouts. A vehicle towing an overweight RV more than likely is over payload capacity, meaning it’s carrying more weight than the vehicle can handle and cause a number of issues including an accident. IF you get into an accident and it’s found that you’re overweight, your insurance company may refuse to cover you.
How to find out the weight of your RV
There are several numbers to take into account, but while they are all important the two main numbers you need to get acquainted with is the GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating for both the tow vehicle and the RV. If you weigh and you are under the GAWR for both the tow vehicle and RV, then you are MORE than likely OK as far as weights go.
So many numbers!
There are honestly a lot of numbers that you need to acquaint yourself with when you want to make sure you are 100% well within your payload and towing limits.
* Curb weight – the weight of the truck at the moment it hits the curb or rolls off the line at the manufacturer.
* Payload – the weight of what you can put IN the truck, ie. people, cargo, hitch, etc.
* Towing Capacity – the weight that the vehicle can pull. Note: Just because a truck can pull 10,000 pounds, doesn’t necessarily mean it can STOP 10,000 pounds safely. You will definitely want to leave yourself some wiggle room.
* GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating. There are two numbers, one for the front (steer) wheels and one for the back (drive) wheels. These are important to know. If you go over these numbers you could start to cause damage to your axles and cause a various number of issues including tire blowouts.
* GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the MAX weight for the vehicle including passengers and cargo.
*GCWR – Gross Combined Weight Rating. This is the combined MAX weight for the vehicle and whatever it’s towing.
When looking at RV’s there are a few numbers you need to know as well.
* GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
* Hitch Weight – the approximate weight that will be added to the vehicle.
* GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating – just like in a vehicle, super important to know. Just because you have the space to load up your RV with stuff, it doesn’t mean that that’s safe.
* Cargo Carrying Capacity – The max weight that you can add of “stuff.” In some cases, this does or does not include water or propane gas.
But don’t be overwhelmed!
I’ve put all these numbers into a spreadsheet for you and all you have to do is input your numbers and the spreadsheet will tell you if you have a good match between your RV and tow vehicle. It also has instructions on how to properly weigh your set-up to know EXACTLY how much you weigh on which axles. You can access the spreadsheet in my e-book “Wait! Can Your Vehicle Carry the Weight of Your RV?” If you would like access to JUST the spreadsheet, email me at email@example.com
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Are you in the shopping stages and trying to figure out if your truck can carry the load of the RV you're wanting to get?
Do you know if your vehicle can carry the load of your RV?
Do you know how to properly weigh your truck and RV?