When it comes to choosing the right RV for your lifestyle, there are many factors at play. One of the things you should consider early on is your towing capacity. If you plan on using your current vehicle to tow your new RV, what weight can it handle? If you’re looking to buy a new truck for towing, what kind of towing capacity do you need to look for to tow your RV safely? These critical questions can help you to avoid problems down the road. If you find yourself asking, “How much can I tow?” here is a list of some essential tips for getting the right vehicle for your RV.
Learn Your Towing Capacity
The first tip for safely towing your new RV is to learn your vehicle’s towing capacity. You can often Google the specific make, model, and year to find an accurate towing guide. Or, you can use our easy towing guide tool and find out instantly!
Understand Basic Terms
Not everything about towing an RV is cut and dry. Sometimes the terms for different types of weights can be overwhelming. Here’s a simple guide for a few of the basic terms you should be familiar with when picking your towing vehicle and RV.
- Dry Weight/Shipped Weight – The weight of the RV as shipped from the manufacturer without any passengers, cargo, liquids, or additional accessories or dealer installed options.
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – The current combined weight of the RV (dry weight) plus passengers, cargo, and liquids.
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – The maximum allowed weight of a Vehicle/RV, including passengers, cargo, fluids, etc..
- Cargo Weight – The total weight of all passengers, food, clothing, liquids, accessories, etc.. that you might put into your RV.
- Tongue/Hitch Weight – The weight/pressure applied from the trailer tongue/coupler to the conventional/bumper hitch on your vehicle.
- Pin Weight – This is often referred to as the weight/pressure applied from the fifth wheel kingpin to the hitch in the bed of your truck.
- Payload Capacity – For Trucks, the amount of weight you can safely add to the bed of the truck. Your Fifth Wheels Hitch Weight or Pin Weight plus the actual weight of hitch plus any other accessories you have in the bed of the truck must not exceed the Payload Capacity amount. Confirm Payload Capacity with your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Max Towing Capacity – The maximum weight limit that can safely be towed by your specific vehicle. This weight is calculated by adding the RV’s GVW with weight of all passengers, cargo, and liquids in your tow vehicle.
Talk to Your Dealer
If you have any doubts about what your vehicle can tow or how much an RV you’re interested in weighs, just talk to your dealer. We handle hundreds of RVs a year, so we’ll be able to point you in the right direction for your towing needs. Additionally, your dealer may be able to find similar features in smaller RVs to help you get everything you want at the right weight and price!