How much does a 16 ft horse trailer weigh?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How much does a 16 ft horse trailer weigh? We will explain all the terms related to the horse trailer weight so that you can be prepared for safe hauling no matter the size of the trailer. 

How much does a 16 ft horse trailer weigh?

A 16 ft horse trailer has a dry weight between 3,600 to 4,300 lbs, depending on the trailer manufacturer, whether it is made from steel or aluminium, and if it has living quarters. 

For example:

  • Trails West Hotshot GN 16′ horse trailer has 4225 lbs dry weight, 4,220 lbs curb weight, and axle weight 6,000 lbs. 
  • Exiss STC 16′ horse trailer: 3,100 lbs dry weight, 4,100/4,200 lbs curb weight and axle weight 2 x 7,000 lbs. 

How much does the average horse trailer weigh?

Again, the horse trailer weight will depend on many factors. A horse trailer can have a dry weight between 2,900 to 3,200 lbs; a GVWR of 2,300 to 3,900 lbs and an average load capacity of 4,300 lbs. 

To all this, remember that you have to add the weight of your horse(s)! A good horse trailer offers different capacities depending on the horse transport needs. The smallest is capable of carrying up to 1600 lbs. And the largest should have a capacity of up to 5000 lbs. 

Therefore, analyze the characteristics of your animals and select the product that best suits your requirements from our wide range of horse trailers.

Horse Trailers Weights Explained

When towing a horse trailer you will invariably encounter terms like dry weight, curb weight, GVWR and so on. What do they all mean and why you have to respect these terms is essential for safe and legal hauling. 

In this section of the article, we do our best to explain these terms and hopefully ensure the safe handling of your horse trailer.

  1. What are GVW and MAM? The Total Authorized Cargo Weight, GVW, is the maximum weight that your vehicle can weigh when setting off. Although still widely used today, it is the old official name. From now on we use the term Maximum Authorized Mass, MAM.

For a horse trailer, the MAM includes the weight of the trailer, the weight of the horse and the weight of the equipment carried.

  1. What is GVWR? The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is applicable when towing a travel trailer, a horse trailer, or a cargo trailer. It concerns the towing vehicle and corresponds to the maximum weight that the entire towing vehicle, coupling and their respective loads can weigh on the scale.

The sum of the GVWR of the towing vehicle and the trailer should therefore not exceed the GVWR of the towing vehicle.

  1. What is the curb weight? The curb weight of a vehicle is the weight of the car, driver, oil and fluids, plus a full tank of fuel. It does NOT include luggage, passengers or any accessories (eg bull bar, tow bar, roof racks, etc.). Think of it as how you will drive the car away from the curb at a dealership.
  1. What is the gross vehicle mass (GVM)? Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the maximum allowable weight of the vehicle, including passengers, baggage, accessories, and tow ball weight. The GVM is defined by the manufacturer, which indicates the maximum weight that the vehicle can support at any given time and cannot be exceeded.
  1. What is the aggregate trailer mass (ATM)? The overall trailer mass (ATM) is the maximum allowable weight of the trailer as defined by the manufacturer. It’s a bit like the GVM, but it’s the trailer version.

Thus, the ATM is the maximum weight the trailer is allowed to have when fully loaded and unhitched from the vehicle. This weight includes all accessories, luggage, full water tanks, gas cylinders, toolboxes, bicycles, etc.

  1. What is the combined gross mass (GCM)? The combined gross mass (GCM) is the maximum allowable weight of your combined car and trailer. The GCM number is defined by your vehicle manufacturer and cannot be changed. This combined total mass of car and trailer includes all equipment and luggage, accessories, driver and passengers, fuel, water, etc.
  1. What is the tow ball weight (TBW)? There are many terms you may come across for tow ball weight, such as tow ball download, ball load, and hitch weight. The tow ball weight is the amount of weight that the fully loaded trailer puts on the tow bar of the tow vehicle. Keep in mind that the TBW will change every time you add, subtract, or move the payload in your trailer.

Essentially, 10% of the weight falls off your trailer and ends up in the back of the car. So this tow ball weight will effectively be transferred to your vehicle’s GVM as it is part of the car’s payload.

  1. What is the gross trailer mass (GTM)? Gross trailer mass (GTM) is the weight of a fully-loaded trailer when coupled to the tow vehicle. This is the maximum axle load that your trailer is designed to carry, as specified by the trailer manufacturer.

To calculate it, you take the maximum allowable trailer weight (ATM) and minus the tow ball weight (TBW). The reason we are removing the TBW is that the car is now carrying this weight, which once rested on the jockey wheel.

  1. What is the payload? Payload is the combined weight of all the items you add or load in your car and trailer. This is something above the tare, which was specified by the manufacturer. Think of payload as your available carrying capacity (that is, how much “stuff” you can load into it).

Examples of payload elements in a horse trailer:

  • Your horse(s)
  • Harnesses
  • Food and water for your horse
  • Any extra luggage
  • Non-standard accessories (bull bar, tow bar, side steps)
  • Tow ball weight, etc.

How do I know if my car can tow a 16 ft horse trailer?

To know exactly if your car can tow a 16 ft horse trailer, you will need to research the manufacturer’s specifications. Some of the other numbers that you will need to calculate yourself. 

You should find all the information you need on your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) plate. These can be located right inside the door of your vehicle. Other places he can hide are inside the front trunk or on the drawbar.

If you can’t find the VIN, check the registration papers and owner’s manual if you have it. For the tow bar, a nameplate can be attached to it. Otherwise, you will need to contact the manufacturer or installer for more information.

Why do you need to know your horse trailer weight?

Learning everything about your horse trailer weight can seem overwhelming, trivial, or just plain boring. But the reality is, this is one of the most important things you need to know. Here are some reasons to take knowing your trailer weight seriously:

  • Hauling an overweight horse trailer is illegal and dangerous
  • Too much weight puts pressure on your chassis and undercarriage
  • An overweight pickup truck can cause “death swings” due to instability
  • An overweight horse trailer will not be covered by insurance.

The bottom line

Knowing how much your trailer weighs is essential for safe towing. Most of the recreational vehicles offered for sale have a GVWR of fewer than 3.5 tonnes (light commercial vehicles). Consider taking light materials on board, and renting accessories (such as bicycles or other sports equipment, for example) at your vacation spot, to avoid adding them to the payload.

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on How much does a 16 ft horse trailer weigh?

How heavy is a 4 horse trailer?

A 4 horse trailer can weigh between 4,100 to 6,100 lbs depending on the type of horse trailer (Whether it is a bumper pull or a gooseneck trailer) and on the main material it is made from (steel or aluminium trailer). 

How big of a truck do I need to pull a horse trailer?

To pull a horse trailer, you will need a truck that can tow at least 5000 lbs (2270 kg). A horse trailer can weigh around 4000 lbs, but you will also have horse equipment, food and water onboard. 

How tall is a draft horse trailer?

A draft horse trailer should be at least 8’ tall. A draft horse weighs on average 1,400 to 2,000 lb and has a height of 16 to 19 hands (64 to 76 inches)  As these are heavy horses, you will need a spacious trailer to transport the horse in safety and comfort. 

How heavy is a horsebox?

Depending on the number of horses, a horsebox can weigh 8,000 lbs on average. You have to take into account the unloaded weight of the horse trailer, the weight of each horse, and the weight of feed, water, saddle, etc. 

How big is a 2 horse trailer?

A standard 2 horse trailer is 6’ width, 7’ tall and has a stall length of 10’. Of course, depending on the horse trailer brand and model, it can vary in size and the weight is capable of holding.


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