Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and Other Terms to Know

 a TOPHAT 83X18-EC equipment trailer

There you are, minding your own business trying to watch a football game when, BAM, there comes another ad for a truck. After years of psychological training through image and slogans and terminology, they got you a while back. You have the truck. But, wait, what is that handsome little trailer the truck is pulling up a hill? “I think I need a trailer,” you murmur through the crunch of your chips. So you ask, now what? How do I know how big it should be? What can I haul with which kind? You remember all the terms - towing capacity, payload capacity, GVWR, and more. At Affordable Trailers, we can help you figure out what you want and don’t want in a trailer. And we can start by explaining what in the world GVWR is (Psst. It’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and why it matters. 


Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is a number of pounds or kilograms a vehicle, or in this case trailer, can carry, including its own weight. A 2,000 pound trailer might have a GVWR of 5,000 pounds. That means the trailer is able to haul a payload of 3,000 pounds. Speaking of payload, let’s define some terms:


  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) - the maximum weight the trailer should be able to carry, including its own weight.

  • Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR) - the total weight of the trailer including factory accessories published by the manufacturer.

  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) - the maximum weight the axles can carry (this doesn’t include the weight the tongue and hitch can bear.

  • Payload - the weight of what is being hauled in addition to the trailer. So if a trailer weighs 4,000 pounds and the GVWR is 7,000, then the payload can be up to 3,000 pounds. 

  • Towing Capacity - the weight the towing vehicle can tow safely. This number is based on the total GVWR of the trailer and not just the empty trailer weight.


To find the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your truck, you can look at the title or the Manufacturer Statement of Origin. To find the GVWR of a trailer, look for the small placard on the tongue. Knowing that rating will allow you to then choose a trailer that fits the capabilities of your towing vehicle. 


Once you have the limits within which you can choose, you just need to figure out what you want to do with the trailer. At Affordable Trailers, we have a selection of Boat, Dump, Enclosed, Equipment, Open Car, Utility, and Used trailers to meet many needs. We can help you learn more about the capabilities of the quality trailers we carry and help you choose one that will fit nicely with your needs but within your means. Contact us for more info on our trailers or how we can help. We’re eager to meet you!

Want to know more?

If you're still wondering what's the right trailer for you, contact Affordable Trailers to find your tailored trailer.

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1519 Old Hwy 17 N
North Myrtle Beach SC 29582


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Office: 843-399-8654
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