RV Tips: Tow Guides and Towing Capacity

Before you hit the road with your new RV from Folsom Lake RV Center, it’s vital to ensure your vehicle is capable of towing your new trailer.  For example, if you’ve picked up a Coachmen Catalina Legacy travel trailer, then you’ll need a different vehicle size to tow it than you would if you were hauling a KZ Venom V-Series toy hauler fifth wheel. Learn more about how to safely tow your RV with these easy RV tips for towing capacity.

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Towing Terminology

First, you need to understand some basic terms of towing weight and towing capacity.

  • 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.

Finding Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity

Most of the time, you will be able to Google your vehicle’s max towing capacity.  However, if you can’t find the information online, you may be able to find it in your owner’s manual or by talking with one of our RV experts at Folsom Lake RV Center.  We have years of experience helping RV owners tow safely, so we’ll be able to help you find the right vehicle for your RV.

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Choosing an RV

Ultimately, you want to choose an RV that’s right for your family.  If you have a large family and enjoy long-term camping trips, then a light-weight pop-up camper may not be right for you.  Similarly, if you’re looking for something easy to store that sleeps 2-3 campers, then a toy hauler fifth wheel is probably too much RV for you.  However, when you come to Folsom Lake RV Center, we’ll help you find the RV that meets all your needs and fits your vehicle’s towing capacity.

Trade-in RV

Don’t wait to make your RVing dreams a reality. Contact us today for more information  on how to safely tow your RV, or to find an RV for your family!

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