What Does My Towing Capacity Mean?

GMC truck dealership in Augusta

When you hitch up a trailer or camper to your vehicle, you’re asking your vehicle to work harder than it typically does. Our Augusta car repair shop has seen plenty of damage done by drivers overdoing it over the years. The best way to prevent premature wear and tear or unexpected damage is to understand your vehicle’s capacities and to abide by them appropriately.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The GVWR refers to the weight of your vehicle, passengers, and cargo. If you’re driving a pickup truck, our Augusta team reminds you that this number includes cargo in the bed, too.

Additionally, this number includes the tongue weight; that’s the weight of the trailer pushing down on your hitch. If a load is properly distributed in the trailer, this number is relatively small. Loading your trailer unevenly can cause the tongue weight to climb, though, in addition to a number of other problems.

Gross Trailer Weight Rating

Fairly straight forward, GTWR refers to the weight of your trailer (or camper, or anything else that you might be towing) and anything inside of it. When hitching up a trailer, be sure to consider the towing capacity of your hitch mount in addition to that of your vehicle. If your vehicle can tow 7,500 lbs but your hitch is only rated for 2,000 lbs, for instance, the lower of those numbers is what you can actually do under the circumstances. Always make sure that your hitch is the appropriate class for whatever you plan to tow.

Gross Combined Weight Rating

The GCWR refers to the maximum weight your powertrain can handle when it comes to the weight of the vehicle, passengers, cargo, and trailer together. Note that the GCWR is not typically the same as adding your GVWR and GTWR together; it is typically lower.

This means that, typically, you’re not able to maximize your payload and trailer capacities simultaneously without exceeding your GCWR, so you’ll have to plan accordingly for the load you need to move. It’s always better to take two trips than to take half a trip and a tow to the shop for repairs!

Pushing your vehicle past its limits can create stress on your engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes, so it’s always best to stick to what you know you can handle. To learn more about how to tow safely, or to have your vehicle serviced to ensure it’s up to the task ahead, don’t hesitate to contact the Master Buick GMC team by calling (844) 501-7041 today.

Schedule Service