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admin | Category: Business Phone Numbers | 15.07.2015
After you understand your vehicle's weight capacities and general towing capacity, you need to learn your trailer's weight.
This is done by subtracting the Maximum Load figure from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
To protect the consumer from theft and possible fraud, the manufacturer is required to include a Check Digit at the 9th position of the Vehicle Identification Number. If you have a homebuilt trailer or you can’t find the VIN plate on your trailer the best thing to do is have your trailer weighed. If you think you have less than 300 pounds of tongue weight you can use a common bathroom scale. With this set-up, you take the reading off the bathroom scale and triple it to get your tongue weight. If this isn’t practical for you, you can usually take your trailer to your local trailer dealer where he can determine the tongue weight for you.
Unless your trailer is home-built, it will have a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) plate installed somewhere.
This is your vehicle’s standard curb weight, plus an estimate of the typical load of passengers, fuel and stuff. This is the combined weight of your vehicle and the trailer (Not the tongue weight, but the total weight.) This number cannot exceed the GCWR. This is the maximum safe weight of your vehicle and trailer when both are fully loaded with people, fuel, and all your stuff.
You can do this at some RV dealers, state highway weigh stations, refuse transfer stations, and commercial truck stops.
You can buy special tongue weight scales for about $150, but unless you tow many different trailers with varied loads very often, this probably isn’t necessary.


More weight in front of the axles will increase tongue weight, while moving the load to the rear will reduce it. Too much tongue weight will cause your vehicle to sag at the coupler putting more strain on the vehicle. This plate not only carries the trailer's serial number, it also lists the trailer's unloaded GVW and a maximum GVWR for the trailer and a GAWR for each axle on the trailer.Figures 4-2 shows representative weights for a number of commonly-used utility trailer styles. Exceeding this weight will place stress on your engine, transmission, and brakes beyond what they are designed for. And like the GVWR above; exceeding this weight will place stress on your engine, transmission, and brakes beyond what they are designed for. And just like the other two weight ratings above, exceeding these numbers will damage your vehicle and create dangerous driving conditions.
Too much sag could even reduce the weight on the front wheels to the point that the ability to safely steer is reduced.
Not enough tongue weight will cause the trailer to sway and wander and that also creates a dangerous driving condition.
Such scales are sometimes available to recreational users at state highway weigh stations, refuse transfer stations, and commercial truck stops. Checking Tongue WeightThe last capacity you have to consider is your trailer's tongue weight. In general, you want to try for about 10% of the total trailer weight to be carried on the tongue. Most receivers and other hitches assume that the tongue weight will be abut 10%, and sticking to this ratio helps improve your towing experience.You can check your trailer's tongue weight with a specialized scale, available for about $150 at trailer supply shops.
Of course, your vehicle's actual weight will vary depending on how much luggage, gasoline, and passenger weight you have actually placed in the vehicle, so the GVW is an approximation.Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) This is the maximum safe actual weight of your vehicle.


But since you probably don't need to scale your trailer's tongue weight very often, you can call and ask if your local trailer dealer has a tongue scale you can use.
If you exceed this weight, the vehicle's engine, transmission, brakes, and so on will be stressed beyond their design limits.Gross Combination Weight (GCW) This is the actual weight of your vehicle (GVW) plus the actual total weight (not the tongue weight) of your trailer.
You can also take your trailer's tongue weight with a common bathroom scale if it's less than about 300 pounds. Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) This is the maximum safe weight of your combined vehicle and trailer. If you place more weight in front of your trailer's axle(s), you will generate more tongue weight. If your combined towing setup exceeds this weight, your vehicle's engine, transmission, brakes, and so on will be stressed beyond their design limits.Gross Axle Weight (GAW)These numbers are the weights expected to be placed on your vehicle's front and rear wheels. If you place too much weight behind the axle(s), you can actually generate negative tongue weight.If you have too much tongue weight, your combined tow rig will sag at the coupler and you will find that your tow vehicle has to work much harder to pull the load. The two numbers are likely to be different to account for engine weight and other factors.Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) This is the maximum safe weight that can be placed on your front or rear wheels. If you do not have enough tongue weight, your trailer will tend to wander and if you have negative tongue weight, your vehicle's rear tire traction can be reduced with dangerous consequences. The two numbers are likely to be different to account for engine weight and trailer tongue weight and luggage.



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