What does GVWR mean?

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What is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)?

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and is defined as the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer. GVWR includes things like passengers, cargo, fuel adn engines. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating does not include the weight of trailersHowever, it does include the weight of the trailer tongue, the part that’s actually attached to your trailer hitch.

GVWR is important because it because it tells a driver the maximum safe operating weight of the vehicle. 

Remember that a vehicle’s GVWR never changes. For an easy example, say you have a bag of dog food in your car. When you remove the food, the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) will go down but the GVWR will stay the same. Similarly, if you put your dog in the back as well, the GVW will go up but the GVWR will stay the same.

Keep in mind, when towing cargo it’s important to know that GVWR is different than GCWR.

Gross Combined Vehicle Rating (GCWR) vs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating and is defined as the maximum operating weigh of a vehicle as specified by a manufacturer including the weight of a trailer and cargo.  Operating a vehicle past GCWR greatly increases the odds of transmission, axel, tire, or powertrain failure. Typically you can find the GCWR rating on your vehicle on the inner frame of the driver-side door, near the latch mechanism. You can also find this information online on your vehicle’s manufacturer website.

There are two other common weight ratings that you might encounter when reviewing your vehicle specifications or towing something: Curb Weight and Tongue Weight.

What is Curb Weight?

Curb Weight is defined as the weight of a vehicle including all the standard equipment and necessary operating fluids (transmission fuel, 90% full fuel tank, antifreeze, etc.) when not loaded with passengers or cargo. Curb weight is generally the weight displayed by manufacturers on because it represents the functional weight of a car during day-to-day activities.

Curb Weight is vital information when it comes to knowing what your payload capacity is for your vehicle.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating - Curb Weight = Payload Capacity

If your vehicle has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds and the vehicle's Curb Weight is 8,000 pounds then you would subtract 8,000 from 10,000. Your vehicle’s payload capacity is 2,000 pounds.

What is Tongue Weight?

Tongue Weight is an important rating to know for understanding towing capacity. Tongue weight Tongue weight is defined as the downward force that a fully loaded trailer exerts on the hitch of the tow vehicle. Too much tongue weight can cause a trailer to sag and too little tongue weight may increase instability and cause trailer sway.  It is recommend that the tongue weight of a loaded trailer should be no more than 9-14% of the total load.

We make it easy for you when you make a reservation by automatically calculating your vehicles GVWR and giving you a list of trailer and towing options best suited for your vehicle.