RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: TERMINOLOGY (GCW, GCWR, etc.)

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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > TERMINOLOGY (GCW, GCWR, etc.)

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Westronics

Redmond, WA

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Posted: 02/10/03 02:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a public service provided for newbies and those abusing the terms. I've noticed a lot a misuse of these terms recently - that can lead to a LOT of confusion.

GCVWR: This term does not exists!!

GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight - the actual weight of a vehicle.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: The maximum allowed GVW for a vehicle.

GCW: Gross Combined Weight: The total weight of everything - tow vehicle, trailer, etc.

GCWR: The maximum allowed GCW.

GAW (front or rear): The Gross Axle Weight - the amount of weight on that particular axle.

GAWR (front or rear): The Gross Axle Weight Rating: The maximum allowed GAW.

UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight, also know as "Dry Weight". This is the weight of a trailer with no liquids or options. The GVW of the trailer will usually be 500-1500 pounds more than this number.

Tow Rating: The rated towing capacity of a tow vehicle - generally based upon curb weight plus one 150-lb driver. This number is NOT designed as an indicator of what you can tow under normal conditions, but it is useful for comparisons.

Actual towing capacity is about 1,000 pounds less that the tow rating, or, to be more accurate, it's GCWR-GVW, provided that the number you get is less than the tow rating, which it may not be for certain vehicles (it's pretty unusual - mostly heavier duty trucks).

A note on GVWR and GCWR: Sometimes odd things happen with GVWR and GCWR on larger trucks especially. The thing to remember is that neither GVWR nor GCWR can be exceeded safely.

I hope that helps!

*This Message was edited on 14-Feb-03 09:06 AM by Westronics*



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Kusani

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Posted: 02/10/03 06:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting this.

cmoehle

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 02/11/03 02:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would add...

Tire Ratings: The maximum load the tires are rated to carry, which like other ratings should not be exceeded. Especially important when buying replacements.

Pin Weight: The weight the towable will add to the tow vehicle. Advertised pin weight is typically for dry weight; options, accessories, and stuff will add to actual pin weight, and where it is loaded, fore or aft the axles, will affect how much it all adds.

Actual Weight: Weigh it to be sure.


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Kenneth

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Posted: 02/10/03 09:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

West,

Thanks. You might add that usually a travel trailer will usually max out the truck's GCWR first, and a 5th wheel trailer will max out the GVWR ('cuz the truck carries the front of the trailer).

It's this reason that a 3/4-ton truck may pull a heavier travel trailer than a 1-tonner (truck itself weights less), and the 3/4-tonner isn't adequate for a heavy 5er...and I won't go to max, anyway.


Ken

prowler2001

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Posted: 02/15/03 11:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey Westronics,

Weren't you driving an Aerostar last fall? Did it give up the ghost?


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Westronics

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Posted: 02/15/03 06:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, Prowler, my Aerostar died. It was a marginal tow vehicle for my trailer, so when the gear connecting the distributer with the cam shaft broke, we decided that the $3-4,000 repair was not worth it - especially when we considered that the transmission was likely to go next.

Now I have an excellent tow vehicle (as of 12/31/02)!

*This Message was edited on 16-Feb-03 08:46 AM by Westronics*


wittmeba

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Posted: 02/17/03 06:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great post...lots of good details.

I never liked the term 'Rating' - I replace it with 'Limit' - just makes more sense to me.


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Westronics

Redmond, WA

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Posted: 02/17/03 02:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oohhh... I'm in the FAQ!!

Item # 3, Weighing your RV, last item, "Terminology."

I'm so.... proud. *sniff*

*This Message was edited on 17-Feb-03 02:26 PM by Westronics*


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