First things first when towing a trailer, and that’s safety. Whether you’re carrying a utility trailer, fifth wheel, travel trailer, cargo trailer, or any other haul, you need to know that your vehicle can handle the job. If you don’t, you’ll put undue stress and wear and tear on your vehicle and trailer. That’s expensive and dangerous, two things we dislike at The Trailer Parts Outlet.
How Do I Know if My Vehicle Can Pull My Trailer?
To answer this question, there’s an important number you need to know. This is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR for short. You have to look at the combined weight of your trailer and load to make sure you’re not exceeding this GVWR. However, even going right up to the GVWR can be dangerous. Plan on your combined trailer and load weight to be more more than 80% of the GVWR.
How to Learn Your Vehicle’s GVWR
There are a few places the GVWR might be. Start your search by opening the glovebox and grabbing your owner’s manual. Note that if you don’t have one, replacements or even digital versions are typically available online.
Next, check the sticker on the driver’s side door. That will often have the GVWR and even the Gross Vehicle Weight, or GVW, which is the actual weight of your vehicle itself.
How to Know the Weight of Your Trailer
More acronym time. Learn the GTW or Gross Trailer Weight of your trailer itself. Again, it’s on the owner’s manual, online, or on an (often driver’s side) sticker. Note that it might be written as Base Curb Weight, or BCW so be aware of different possible acronyms. This weight includes things you may not think of, like fluids and lubricants.
But Can My Vehicle Pull My Trailer?
At this phase, you should know the weight of…
- Your trailer
- Load cargo
- And tongue weight (that’s 10% of the vehicle weight).
Make sure the added weights don’t exceed that recommended 80% of the GCWR.
With some trailers, you’ll want to make sure the wheelbase of your tow vehicle can handle the length of the trailer.
Contact The Trailer Parts Outlet with Questions About Tow Vehicles
We’ve seen it all when it comes to trailers, trailer parts in tow vehicles. Ask us any questions you have. Our friendly team of experts is available by phone or chat.