How much does my trailer weigh?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How much does my trailer weigh? We will tell you how you can find and measure the weight of your trailer and how much the average trailer weighs. We will also discuss other important terms related to the weight of a trailer.

How much does my trailer weigh?

If you want to know specifically how much your trailer weighs look for the VIN under the frame of your trailer. The VIN sticker will also specify the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), meaning the empty weight of the trailer. 

In the table below you can see how many lbs the average trailer weighs, depending on the type of trailer.

Trailer Weights

Trailer TypeAverage Empty Weight (lbs.)Empty Weight Range (lbs.)GVWR (lbs.)Average Load Capacity (lbs.)
Canoe / Kayak Trailer200100 to 400200 to 800200
Jet Ski Trailer300100 to 500800 to 3,0001,500
Motorcycle Trailer500300 to 8001,300 to 3,5001,900
Fishing Boat Trailer600200 to 1,100900 to 6,0002,700
Tow Dolly600400 to 8003,000 to 5,0003,400
Small Open Utility Trailer700300 to 1,1001,000 to 3,0001,800
Small Enclosed Utility Trailer1,000400 to 1,8002,000 to 7,0002,200
Teardrop Trailer1,700500 to 3,2002,000 to 4,000700
A-Frame Camper1,7001,200 to 2,3002,500 to 3,6001,200
Car Trailer1,9001,500 to 2,8006,000 to 15,0007,100
Large Boat Trailer2,2001,100 to 4,4005,400 to 34,40011,400
Pop Up Camper2,3001,400 to 3,0002,700 to 4,0001,100
Large Enclosed Utility Trailer2,700900 to 5,2003,000 to 10,0004,400
Small Travel Trailer2,8001,200 to 3,9001,900 to 4,500800
Small Horse Trailer2,9002,300 to 3,9007,000 to 8,0004,300
Large Flatbed Trailer3,000500 to 7,7002,900 to 26,0007,400
Dump Trailer4,5001,100 to 10,1003,000 to 30,00012,400
Large Travel Trailer6,7004,500 to 8,7006,300 to 10,5001,600
Gooseneck Flatbed Trailer7,2004,700 to 10,40015,900 to 36,00016,000
Large Livestock Trailer7,3004,200 to 10,90014,000 to 24,00011,400
Toy Hauler7,6003,600 to 11,40014,700 to 22,50010,300
5th Wheel Camper12,7005,000 to 16,00017,000 to 20,0006,000

Important trailer weight terms you must know

For your safety, it is essential to understand your trailer’s weights and adhere to the rating limits that manufacturers require for towing. The weights of the tow vehicle and recreational vehicle fall into two categories:

  1. Current weights: These are measured weights and can be averages or estimates of actual weight.
  1. Nominal weights (rating): These are weight limits to be observed on vehicles or their components and must never be exceeded.

The most common weight complications occur when the above two categories are combined. We invite you to continue reading in order to better understand the weights of recreational vehicles for the safety of all:

  • Dry weight: This is the weight of the trailer with standard equipment, but without liquids, without cargo, without propane gas and cylinders, without passengers and without optional equipment. Often the battery is an option, so is not part of the dry weight. The dry weight is the first thing to consider when calculating the weight of your load that you want to tow.
  • The curb weight or wet weight: This is the weight of the trailer with standard equipment, all liquids, full tanks, full propane gas and its bottles, but without counting the occupants, their personal effects or cargo.
  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): This is the maximum authorized weight of the fully-loaded trailer. It is the absolute total allowable weight on the wheels and drawbar that the manufacturer requires and which has been determined by weighing.
  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating or GAWR): This is the maximum authorized weight on the axle or axles of the trailer. Each axle has its own GAWR. The GAWR is prescribed by the axle manufacturer for each axle. It is the lowest nominal number of the axle system, including wheels and tires.
  • Nominal tongue weight: This is the maximum tongue weight of your trailer or the tongue load capacity, and this is indicated on the datasheet. The manufacturer also gives you the information regarding the tongue weight as it leaves the manufacturing plant on the trailer identification tag.
  • Tongue weight or dry tongue (TW): This is the actual weight that relies on the hitch of the trailer and is usually 10 to 15% of the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
  • Cargo Carrying Capacity (or CCC): The maximum weight of all personal effects such as food, tools, installed accessories and options, etc. that can be carried by your trailer. The CCC is equal to the GVWR minus the curb weight (not the dry weight).
  • Gross Tow Weight (GTW): The maximum allowable towing weight that your tow vehicle can pull and that is specified in the tow vehicle manufacturer’s owner’s manual. You cannot increase this weight by changing the trailer hitch.
  • Combined Gross Weight Rating (GVWC): This is the maximum combined total weight specified by the tow vehicle manufacturer. It is the total weight that the tow vehicle is designed to pull and stop a trailer as well as the tow vehicle.

How do I estimate the weight of my trailer?

Well, it’s very simple: we prepare everything for the trip, fill the tanks (diesel and water), seat all the passengers and go to a public weighbridge.

If we go over the above figure, something will have to be given up.

It will be difficult to choose, we know, but the fines are often high, not to mention the risks that this entails for our safety and that of others!

The use of a hitch, the mass of which is calculated separately from the main body of the vehicle, could be a tip to consider, without prejudice to the larger dimensions and possible driving difficulties.

Another method not to make a mistake could be as follows: go to a technical control with a full tank of fuel and all the crew on board, before adding what we want with us for the specific trip we are going to undertake.

In our motorhome, therefore, everything that we never remove must be present because it is essential.

The difference between 3700lbs and the weight returned to us by the detector will tell us how much residual load margin we still have. This way, we won’t have to waste time unloading what we had previously stored.

Obviously, in all cases, before leaving, you must check that you have not missed the calculations, by visiting the weighbridge again.

Conclusions

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.

If the actual weight exceeds the GVWR, you risk first a class 4 ticket, in other words, a fine of $100. If you exceed the GVWR by more than 5%, your vehicle may also be immobilized.

Last thing: keep in mind that your insurer may not appreciate an incident due to the overload and, therefore, increase your contributions significantly.

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

FAQ on How much does my trailer weigh?

How much weight do you add to a camper?

A good rule is to add an average of 1,500 lbs to the dry weight of your camper, that is the weight of the vehicle without any equipment, cargo, passengers or additional equipment. 

What is a camper’s dry weight (tare)? 

Tare is the “unloaded” weight of the vehicle, that is, the minimum weight of the vehicle, ready to drive with its authorized fixed equipment: fuel, lubricant, brake fluid, spare parts, tools and other mandatory accessories. Without driver, passengers or cargo.

What is the MiRO (Mass in Running Order) of a camper? 

This is the same as Weight in Running Order. It is the Tare plus the weight of a standard driver of 160 lbs. Our personal belongings and/or extras from the camper that we add later do not enter the MiRO calculation.

What does MAM (Maximum Allowable Mass) mean? 

Maximum Allowable Mass is also called Maximum Authorized Weight. It is common for manufacturers to adjust it a lot. In other words, it is very common for the MMO (Mass in Marching Order) of the camper to be just a little lower than its MAM. For example, the MMM of the camper is 2545 lbs and its MAM of 2866 lbs.

References