There are many things to take into consideration when hitching your trailer to your tow vehicle. The following are some common towing terms you need to know when selecting a tow vehicle or purchasing a travel trailer.
GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
Maximum allowable weight that a single axle can carry. Do not exceed the gross axle weight rating listed on the trailer’s and tow vehicle’s certification label. It is measured at the tires and includes the weight of the axle, tires, wheels and brakes. Many problems can occur if this weight is exceeded; the tires may not be able to carry the weight possibly resulting in a blow out situation, the vehicle’s steering may become less responsive and the brakes may not be effective. GAWR is listed on a data plate typically located outside near the front of the unit or in some cases it could be inside a cabinet door inside the trailer.
GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight)
How much a vehicle actually weighs. Do not confuse with GVWR. GVW should never surpass GVWR. The trailer weight is not considered to be part of GVW weight, but the tongue weight is part of the GVW.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
A weight limit set by a manufacturer for a specific vehicle, it is the total weight the vehicle has been designed to carry. GVWR is listed on a data plate typically pasted to inside of driver’s doorframe, it is equal to or greater than the sum of the UVW plus the NCC. There are a few things that can go wrong if you exceed the GVWR; suspension can become ineffective or maybe even break because the added strain on tires, the breaks may not be able to stop the car effectively because of the excessive weight being pulled by tow vehicle.
GTWR (Gross Trailer Weight Rating)
The maximum trailer weight. This weight is located on a metal tag on the trailer frame and is based on the allowable weight of trailer and cargo.
SCWR (Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating)
Weight measurement provided by the manufacturer, determined by multiplying 154 lbs by the number of sleeping capacities in a unit (3 beds X 154 lbs = 462 lbs).
CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)
Weight that can be safely added without exceeding a vehicle’s or trailer’s GVWR. It is a weight limit and should not exceed manufacturer’s specifications. Here is how you can calculate CCC: GVWR – UVW – SCWR – Propane Fuel (4.2 lbs/gallon) – Fresh Water Weight (8.3 lbs/gallon) = CCC. If you are not sure of the ccc on a vehicle, ask the dealer or seller for a certified weight slip.
NCC (Net Carrying Capacity)
NCC is being replaced by CCC (see above) in new RV’s. NCC is equal to or less than GVWR minus UVW.
GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)
Gross combination weight rating. Total weight of the tow vehicle, the trailer, all fluids, contents of trailer and vehicle and passengers.
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)
Weight does not include passengers, cargo, fresh water, LP gas, or dealer installed accessories. Usually found on the inside of a cabinet.
TWL/TLR/VLR (Tongue Weight Load/Tongue Load Rating/Vertical Load Rating)
Amount of trailer’s weight that presses down on the trailer hitch. Too much tongue weight can cause not enough weight on the front wheels of tow vehicle, too little weight can cause the trailer to sway. A weight distribution hitch will solve this problem by transferring weight to the front of the axle of tow vehicle. Look closely at the manufacturer’s trailer towing ball steel strength specifications before buying one or attaching your trailer rig to it.