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Old 07-16-2013, 01:37 PM
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Default Gross Vehicle Weight

I am new to trucks and towing, so a little while ago I downloaded some information on Gross Vehicle Weight and Tow Vehicle Sizing.

I have been noticing lately that I am not the only one who doesn't understand the lingo and thought that I would post what I found several months back.

I'd like to give credit to the website that I got the information from, but can't for the life of me remember who it was.

If you know who this is, then please post their website.

I will create another thread called Tow Vehicle Sizing so as not to make this one too long.


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GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight

GVW Includes

Curb Weight
Cargo Weight
Persons weight

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the actual weight of the fully loaded vehicle or trailer, including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment, as measured by a scale.

If you are in a motor home and not towing anything, the GVW is the total weight of the RV and everything in it. If your RV is composed of more than one unit (towing a trailer or a vehicle), then the GVW is only part of the total.

The GVW is important because without this number you can not determine if you are within the limits set forth by the manufacturer, laws, and regulations. This number can be approximated based on information provided by the manufacturer or dealer.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum number that the GVW or GTW should never exceed. GVWR is applied to trailers as well as vehicles, but you may see this rating referred to as the Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight.

GTW: Gross Trailer Weight

GTW Includes

All GAW's
Tongue Weight or King Ping Weight
Weight on all deployed jacks

Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is the same as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) when referring to a trailer. While GVW can be applied to tow vehicles and trailers, GTW makes it clear that we are speaking of a trailer.

When connected, a portion of the trailer's weight is transferred to the tow vehicle through the hitch. In this case the GTW includes all axle GAW's and the Tongue Weight or King Pin Weight.

When not connected to the tow vehicle, the trailer's weight rests on its own tires and on all deployed support and stabilizing jacks. If you are weighing a trailer without the tow vehicle, be sure to place the entire unit on the scale, including all jacks.

GCW: Gross Combination Weight

GCW Includes
GVW of tow vehicle
GVW of towed vehicle

Gross Combination Weight (GCW) is the actual weight of the fully loaded tow vehicle plus the towed vehicle (trailer, car, boat, etc.), including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment.

If your RV is composed of more than one unit (towing a trailer or a vehicle), then the GCW is the total weight of all connected vehicles and everything in them.
Again, the only way to accurately determine the GCW is to drive the entire assembly on a scale. You may also determine the GCW by adding up the individual GVW's of all components.

If you weigh the components separately, make sure that they are configured and loaded exactly as you will be when traveling.

GCWR: Gross Combination Weight Rating

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum number that the tow vehicle GVW plus towed vehicle GVW (or GTW) should never exceed.

GAW: Gross Axle Weight

Gross Axle Weight (GAW) is the actual weight placed on a single axle. Assuming a well-balanced vehicle, the GAW is then evenly distributed to all tires on that axle.
In addition to the axle weight rating, the GAW must be within the tire weight ratings as well. To determine the amount of weight placed on each tire, divide the GAW by the number of tires on the axle.

You may see the more specific RGAW, when referring to the rear axle, or FGAW, when referring to the front axle.

GAWR: Gross Axle Weight Rating

Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is the maximum number that the GAW of a single axle should never exceed. You may see the more specific RGAWR, when referring to the rear axle, or FGAWR, when referring to the front axle.

Tongue Weight or King Pin Weight

Tongue Weight (also called Tongue Load) is the actual weight pressing down on the hitch ball by the trailer. The recommended amount of Tongue Weight is 10-15% of the GTW.

King Pin Weight (also called Pin Weight) is the actual weight pressing down on the fifth wheel hitch by the trailer. The recommended amount of King Pin Weight is 15-25% of the GTW.

These weights are added to the tow vehicle's GVW.

Curb Weight

Curb Weight Includes
Vehicle weight with standard equipment only
Full fuel tank weight
Full fresh water tank(s) weight
Full propane container weight
Equipment fluids weight

Curb Weight is the actual weight of a vehicle or trailer including all standard equipment, full fuel tanks, full fresh water tanks, full propane bottles, and all other equipment fluids, but before taking on any persons or personal cargo.
We have seen the following variations to this definition:

• Includes driver
• Includes optional equipment

Pay close attention to how the manufacturer defines Curb Weight because this is often used to calculate other weights, such as the cargo carrying capacity or Payload.

Dry Weight

Dry Weight is the actual weight of a vehicle or trailer containing standard equipment without fuel, fluids, cargo, passengers, or optional equipment.

We have seen the following variations to this definition:

• Includes commonly ordered optional equipment
• Includes fluids of generator and other onboard equipment (oil, coolant, fuel)
• May or may not include RV batteries

Pay close attention to how the manufacturer defines Dry Weight because this is often used to calculate other weights, such as the cargo carrying capacity or Payload.
UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight

UVW Includes

Vehicle weight as manufactured at the factory
Full fuel tank weight
Equipment fluids weight

Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) is the weight of a vehicle as manufactured at the factory. It includes full engine and generator fuel tanks and fluids, if applicable. It does not include cargo, water, propane, or dealer-installed accessories. Be aware that some manufacturers weigh each unit to determine UVW, while others provide only the average or estimated weight for each model.

We have seen the following variations to this definition:

• Includes actual factory installed options
• Includes commonly ordered factory installed options

Pay close attention to how the manufacturer defines UVW because this is often used to calculate other weights, such as the cargo carrying capacity or Payload.

Cargo Weight

Cargo Weight Includes

Personal cargo weight
Optional equipment weight
Tongue Weight or King Ping Weight

Cargo Weight is the actual weight of all items added to the Curb Weight of the vehicle or trailer. This includes personal cargo, optional equipment, and Tongue or King Pin Weight.

This number is important because it will determine how many things you can safely pack into your RV. Within this number you need to fit the weight of your clothes, shoes, linens, books, dishes, beer, cleaning supplies, computer equipment, hiking gear, bicycles, water sport implements, food, beer—basically everything you want to take with you.

Payload

Payload Includes

Cargo Weight
Persons weight

Even though it does not include an R, Payload is a weight rating. It is the maximum weight that persons plus cargo should never exceed.

Payload is derived by subtracting Curb Weight from GVWR. In other words, the difference between a vehicle with standard equipment and the maximum allowed weight.

Last edited by RedSmart; 07-16-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:40 PM
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Good post! very informative
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:41 PM
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Thanks for this info. Cleared things up for me
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