This calculator can help drivers maintain safe weight & weight distribution when towing RVs or other heavy loads.
Understand your vehicle’s towing capabilities and weight distribution. Estimate trailer, tongue, and tow vehicle weights & distribution. Avoid accidental vehicle overloading & calculate the amount of payload capacity in your trailer and tow vehicle individually.
Tow safely! All figures here are an estimate and you should always visit a certified weigh station to get an accurate weight reading.
Common Towing Terms
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – GVWR
Gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can safely be loaded to. This figure should not be exceeded and includes the weight of the standard vehicle itself as well as any additional weight from cargo, trailer tongue weight, or occupants inside the vehicle.
Gross Combined Weight Rating – GCWR
Gross combined weight rating (GCWR or sometimes Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating or GCVWR), is the maximum amount of weight a vehicle and its attached trailer, as well as all cargo, can safely be. This figure includes all occupants and cargo in the tow vehicle and the trailer. Essentially the max weight of everything when it is all added together.
Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can safely tow. This is an estimate from automakers as each towing situation is different and unique. Towing capacity figures are dynamic and change according to vehicle drivetrain equipment, model, accessories, and other elements such as trailer type, payloads, and positioning of payloads.
Curb weight represents the weight of an unoccupied vehicle including standard equipment with a full tank of fuel. It does not include the weight of the driver, passengers, cargo, or any other optional or aftermarket equipment installed. This is essentially the weight of an empty and unoccupied standard vehicle.
The weight of all souls onboard the vehicle. This includes the driver, passengers, and pets.
Payload capacity is the maximum amount of cargo weight you can safely load into a vehicle. This includes the interior, trunks of cars, and exterior bed compartments of trucks. This figure is calculated by subtracting a vehicle’s Curb Weight from its GVWR. Payload refers to all passengers, cargo, and tongue weight added to the vehicle.
Dry Weight – Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW)
Dry Weight or UVW is the weight of a standard vehicle as finished by the manufacturer. This includes all generators, engines, and fluids as applicable. However, propane, batteries, and optional or aftermarket accessories are not included in this figure.
Tongue weight is the amount of weight placed onto the hitch of the tow vehicle from the trailer’s receiver. For standard bumper pull trailers, this is around 10% – 15% of the trailer’s total weight. For fifth wheels, or gooseneck trailers this figure is closer to an average of 20% of the trailer’s total weight placed onto the hitch from the trailer’s kingpin.