How Much Towing Capacity Do I Really Need?

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Know Those Weights

There are a few weights that you will need to consider when looking for a proper combination of trailer and towing vehicle. The maximum towing capacity published in vehicle brochures is an estimate, as the specific towing capacity will be defined by how the vehicle is configured and equipped.

Published in the owner’s manual of your vehicle will be its specific weight ratings and limits. The key numbers that you will want to find are the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the gross combination weight rating (GCWR). The GVWR is the maximum amount your vehicle can weigh, including passengers, all their stuff, plus the tongue weight of the trailer that you are hauling.

The tongue weight is the amount of pressure that the trailer will put on the vehicle's trailer hitch or the fifth wheel. It will vary by the design of the trailer and how you distribute its load. GCVR is the maximum weight of both the vehicle and the trailer, and it includes the weight of the car, the trailer, plus the passengers and cargo in both.