Labor Day weekend is upon us and many of you are planning getaways! That means that the roads are full of vacationers towing their homes-away-from-home with them on their journeys. If you planning to be one of them, it is important to stay safe on the road and avoid some of the most common towing mistakes!
Today we want to discuss to mistake of not knowing the ratings on your trailer in Seattle, WA.
Your tow vehicle (the vehicle doing the towing) can only carry and haul so much weight. Overloading your tow vehicle, trailer, or both can cause a whole host of problems like failing brakes, broken suspensions, overheated transmissions, or blown-out tires. None of these things make for happy campers, and some can be very dangerous.
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR): This is the weight limit for your vehicle, including the vehicle itself plus passengers, cargo, and all accessories.
Gross combination weight rating (GCWR): This is the maximum weight of the tow vehicle plus the loaded trailer, equipment, passengers, fuel, and anything else you may plan to haul with you on your journey.
Gross axle weight rating (GAWR): This is the amount of weight a single axle can safely carry. It is s important to know this value for the safety of your tow vehicle and your trailer.
Towing capacity: This is the amount of weight your vehicle can pull.
Tongue weight: This is the amount of the trailer’s weight that is borne by the trailer hitch. Ideally, this should be about 10 percent of the total trailer weight. If you have too much tongue weight, it will make your vehicle’s steering less responsive. If there is too little the trailer might sway.
If you’re having trouble estimating the combined weight of your trailer plus cargo, take the loaded trailer to a vehicle scale at a nearby weigh station or truck stop.