Before you go on your next road trip with your travel trailer you may want to stop and ask yourself “how do I find out the trailer king pin weight”?
You must know a thing or two things about vehicle and RV weights for your family’s safety. To understand whether your vehicle is overweight or not, it’s better to learn more about the consequences themselves.
The weights of RVs and vehicles are divided into two aspects:
- The actual weights: Self-explanatory. It’s the weight of a vehicle along with the components within. The estimated weights from the factory might indicate the average or estimated value.
- Ratings: These are the limitations of weights for the vehicles. Don’t ever exceed these ratings for your safety.
But sometimes, these two weights can easily be mixed up. That’s when the confusion begins. But don’t worry, because we are here to help you by giving the details about the vehicles and trailer’s weights. Let us jump to the first one.
GVW: GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT
The GVW includes three weights: Curb, Cargo, and Passenger weight.
GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is a vehicle’s total weight when fully loaded. This means it measures everything within the car, including the passengers, fluids, machinery, additional equipment, or any other add-ons.
If you don’t have anything attached to your vehicle, the GVW here is the measured weight of your RV plus the additional things in it.
People often see GVW as the most critical factor in determining weight because it can give you an estimated measure of the limit you shouldn’t exceed.
The government regulations already have some numbers for the vehicles. But, the best way to know that your car has surpassed the limit is by driving and feeling it yourself.
GVWR: GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING
GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the exact weight amount that GTW or GVW should never pass. This rating applies to trailers and all vehicles.
However, you can also see the rating known by other terms called Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight. It’s essentially the same one.
GTW: GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT
Now GTW includes several weight aspects like the GAWs, the tongue weight, and the deployed jacks weights.
The gross trailer weight, simplified as GTW, is similar to Gross Vehicle Weight or GVW.
One of the main differences is that the rating applies to trailers. While GVW mentions the ratings for all vehicles, GTW only explicitly addresses the weight of the campers.
If a trailer is connected, its weight is transferred into the pulling or towing vehicle. The GTW includes all the GAWs and the King Pin weight.
The trailer’s weight is rested when it doesn’t connect to other vehicles. Now, if you want to measure the importance of a trailer alone, ensure to measure the entire unit plus the additionals.
GCW: GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT
To measure GCW or Gross Combination Weight, you need to include two things: the GVWs of the towing and towed vehicles.
This combination of weight is the actual weight of a tow vehicle fully loaded with a towed vehicle. The importance measures all the weights of the towing vehicle and adds the number with the weights of the towed vehicle.
Remember, to put all things into the measurement, including the weight of passengers, fluids, components, equipment, etc.
If you have more than one RV connected, the GCW of the vehicle is the total weight of the vehicles that are connected, plus every other thing within them.
The method to effectively measure your vehicle’s GCW is the same as the other weights above. You can do it by driving the vehicle (including the connected one) on a scale.
If you want to make it simpler, you can start individually measuring the components. However, ensure that everything is assembled normally as if you’re traveling with them.
GCWR: GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING
The GCWR or Gross Combination Weight Rating is the maximum amount that should never be passed by the tow vehicle’s GVW and the pulled vehicle’s GVW.
GAW: GROSS AXLE WEIGHT
GAW or Gross Axle Weight is the actual weight placed on an axle. Imagine a four-wheel vehicle structure, and you’ll see that the weight should be evenly distributed on all the tires on the axle.
It not only includes the weight of the axle, but GAW should also include the rating for tire weight. To get the exact weight pressing on every tire, you can divide the GAW number by how many tires are on the vehicle.
GAW is divided into two specific ratings: RGAW, the rear position, and FGAW, the front.
GAWR: GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING
A single axle should never pass the GAWR or Gross Axle Weight Rating. GAWR is known to be the number that GAW should never pass.
This rating is divided into two parts: RGAWR, the rear, and FGAWR, which shows the rating for the front axle.
How do I Find Out the Trailer King Pin Weight?
In the next one, we will cover the Tongue Weight, also known as the King Pin weight.
As you might know, this is the weight of the measured weight that’s pressing the hitch ball. It should be around 10% to 15% of the overall vehicle’s GTW. Everyone should follow the recommendation if they want to travel safely.
The Pin weight, or King Pin weight, is the weight pressing down the wheel hitch. This should be around 15% to 25% of the vehicle’s GTW.
Last but not least, we want to talk about curb weight. The weight includes several elements to measure, including the vehicle’s weight that has the standard equipment in it, the weight of the tank (full), water tank, propane container, and other additions.
Curb weight isn’t the condition when the trailer is full of stuff. Instead, it’s the measurement of the trailer’s weight when it has full water tanks, fuel, propane bottles, and other liquids.
Remember to add the other two elements, like the driver’s weight or other optional equipment later.
Hopefully, today we have answered the question of “how do I find out the trailer king pin weight.“. It is a lot of information to take in at once.
However, once you have figured it out, it doesn’t need to be done again. That is until you get a new vehicle. In that case, I guess we will see you again.
If you learned something today, check out some of our other posts on recreational vehicles.