The average weight of a trailer varies and depends on a variety of different factors. Weight plays a critical role when towing trailers, so it’s important to understand why. Having knowledge about travel trailer weight will save you time, money, and headaches.
Why do we need to know the weight of a travel trailer
To begin with, knowing the weight of a trailer comes down to simple logistics. You will be towing a travel trailer using your car, truck or SUV, and different types of cars have different weight limits. If you have a travel trailer that exceeds your car’s weight limit, it won’t be able to tow it.
The weight of a travel trailer also affects your maneuverability. You will not be able to drive a car that is towing a trailer in the same way as a car that is not towing anything. If you are towing a travel trailer, it will be harder to brake, make sharp turns, and drive uphill. You will need to know this in order to tow the trailer and avoid accidents.
Weight distribution is also important to understand because it will affect how you pack or add things to the trailer. If a trailer is overloaded on one side vs. the other, it will put you at risk of tipping over when you are making turns. If a trailer is loaded too heavily to the front or back it could cause damage to your car hitch as well.
Look at where all of the heaviest ammenities are on the inside and try to store your personal items and extra supplies in places that will be evenly distributed side to side and front to back. You can also refer to your manual to get a better idea of how you should load things.
Trailer Weight Terminology
Knowing terminology that refers to the weight of the trailer can help you assess your situation better, read instructions, and troubleshoot. There are lots of different ways to measure weight, so having a general overview will be beneficial. Here is a list of terms that you should know:
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) – This refers to the amount of weight each axle can support. Different trailers have different numbers of wheels and axels.
Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) –This refers to the weight of the trailer in its original state before anything else. This number is also referred to as the “dry weight” of a trailer.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – This is how much weight in total the trailer will tow after fuel, water, supplies, and people.
Gross combination Weight rating (GCWR) – This number refers to the weight of the trailer AND the weight of the vehicle towing the trailer combined.
Cargo carrying capacity (CCCC) – This is the weight of the trailer in a “stock” state. This would be before any optional features or upgrades.
Net carrying capacity (NCC) – This number would be the weight of all of your personal items. Gas, water, food, or people.
Sleeping Capacity weight rating (SCWR) – The maximum weight capacity depending on sleeping areas. Each person is calculated as around 154 lbs, so if a trailer has 4 sleeping positions, it will roughly be 462 lbs maximum weight of people based on sleeping positions.
How much do travel trailer weigh on average
The average weight of a trailer
The average weight of a trailer is around 5,800 lbs. This is known as “Dry Weight”, and refers to the weight of the trailer with nothing else added. So this number varies as we start to load the trailer with supplies, fill the tanks with gasoline, and use the water or bathroom.
Most trailers will have lots of extra things packed inside, and you probably won’t ever deal with the “dry weight” except for when you are first buying. Looking at the average weight, in the beginning, is a great idea so that you will have a good idea of how much room you will have to add extras. To get more information on the average weight of your trailer, read your owner’s manual or look at the factory details.
The Length to Width Relationship
The length of a travel trailer directly correlates to the weight of a trailer. Basically, longer trailers weigh more. A longer trailer may also have more wheels or axels and will have different capacities. Generally, the larger the trailer, the more it weighs, but isn’t always true, especially these days with the advent of new technology and materials.
Different lengths of trailers will also require different kinds of weight distribution. If a trailer is loaded unevenly, it could cause the trailer to flip while making turns. So, longer trailers will have strategic floorplans to prevent this from happening and may have more minimalistic styles to compensate for the weight of the trailer that is longer.
What affects the weigh of the travel trailer
Various factors will affect the average weight of a travel trailer. Most of the time, longer trailers will naturally weigh more than smaller travel trailers. Other contributing factors will be the contents of the inside depending on the floor plans. Some models have more amenities.
On top of that, you will put things in the trailer that will increase the weight. These things will include fuel, water, supplies, and people. Other add-ons might be upgrades or optional features that didn’t come with the trailer when you bought it.
How to reduce weight on your travel trailer
If you have found yourself with a trailer that weighs too much for the car you already own, there are some ways that you can reduce the weight of a trailer. Start with minimizing the optional features and upgrades. They aren’t vital to the functionality of the trailer or your basic needs like gas and water.
Reduce other unnecessary items, if you can. Packing too many extra items may not seem like it will add weight, but in reality, those things add up and increase the weight. Try to look at the amount of luggage you have, extra linens, kitchen items, and tools. It might be possible to widdle these things down to the bare minimum without putting yourself at too much risk.
The average weight of a trailer is not a set number. It will vary depending on trailer model, size and floorplan. It is a factor that should be thought about when you’re towing because it will affect which cars will be able to tow, how it will handle, and what could go wrong if you are overloaded.