When picking out the perfect RV for your family, you’ll want to consider the towing vehicle you have or plan to get, as well. Towing your RV safely depends on your RV’s size and the towing capacity of your truck, SUV, or crossover vehicle. If you are unsure of your towing vehicle’s weight limits, learn more about how to answer the question, “how much can I tow” below.
Basic Towing Terms
Before you can understand how to tow your selected RV safely, you’ll need to understand some basic towing terms.
- 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 an 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 fifth wheel king pin 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.
Learn Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity
Next, you’ll need to figure out your truck’s specific towing capacity, which you can do with an internet search or our towing capacity tool. All you need is the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Our towing capacity tool will provide all the information you need about your vehicle’s towing limits in seconds!