If you are new to the RV world, there are some things you need to know before you start getting out there RV towing. Not only do you need to know these terms for your own knowledge, but you need to know them so that you can tow safely. With that in mind, here are terms and definitions you need to know before you get out and go RVing this year.
These are two of the most important acronyms to remember. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) refers to the total weight allowed for the SUV or truck. You can find the GVWR on the inside of your driver-side door. You also need to know the GCWR or the Gross Combination Weight Rating, The GCWR is the largest amount of weight your vehicle can carry–which means you have to subtract the weight of your car, passengers, and cargo so that you can determine how many trailers you can tow.
This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. If you don’t get the weight rules figured out, you could damage your vehicle, and cost yourself thousands of dollars.
You may have heard the term “dry weight”. Dry weight refers to the weight of the trailer without any cargo, including liquids. You can find the dry weight of your RV inside the trailer on a sticker. The total weight of the trailer as you are towing includes all the supplies in the trailer, you need to weigh it when it is fully loaded so that you can make sure you don’t exceed the GVWR. You also need to make sure that you have an idea of how much your trailer weighs, because the heavier your trailer is, the longer it will take to stop.
Another term you need to know for towing purposes is tongue weight. Tongue weight is the amount of weight placed on the rear of your tow vehicle through the tongue of the trailer. You need to know the limit of the tongue weight for your vehicle hitch because you can damage the tongue as well as the vehicle’s frame and rear suspension. Over time, this can cause your vehicle to be irreparably damaged. If the weight of the vehicle is close to the maximum, it could also make your trailer difficult to handle as well.