What Is Towing Capacity? Terms & Definitions

Lots of people often ask our Dallas towing company about different towing terms and question. But most of the time people like to know about towing capacity and other towing related terms.

In this article, we will try to explain those things, including:
1.what is towing capacity?
2.Common towing terms and their definition.

What is towing capacity?

If you really wanna know what is towing capacity then read the whole article. end of the article you will understand everything about towing capacity and their related terms.

Basically towing capacity refers to the maximum weight of your vehicle can pull while towing. Before towing a trailer, boat, car, truck or anything else you must have to know about the towing capacity.

Common Towing Terms and definition

Pin Weight
Pin weight referred to the weight/pressure applied from fifth wheel kingpin to the hitch in the bed of your truck.

Payload Capacity

For a Trucks the amount of weight you can safely add to the bed of the truck. And 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

Max Towing Capacity refers to the maximum weight limit that can safely be towed by your specific towing vehicle. This weight is calculated by adding the RV’s GVW with the weight of all passengers, cargo, and liquids in your towing vehicle.

Cargo Weight
Total weight of additional items that are stored into you might put into your RV. That also includes passenger, foods, cloth, and, etc.

Dry Weight or Shipped Weight
The weight of RV as shipped from the manufacturer, without any cargo weight.

Gross Vehicle Weight
Total summed up the weight of dry weight and cargo weight. You can simply sum those two weights and you will get the gross vehicle weight of your vehicle.

How to Determine Vehicle Towing Capacity?

As you can see we already mentioned the towing related terms here. Which can help you to determine vehicle towing capacity?

Next, you have to check the owner manual of your towing vehicle. Owner manual can be found from the dealer during the buying process of your towing vehicle. There you can find limitations, capacity and other technical information about your tow vehicle.

If you lost it, you can find then a downloadable copy of the owner manual from the company or makers website.

How to Weight a Trailer

After knowing about your vehicle’s weight capacities and general towing capacity, now it is time to look at trailer weight. The most trailer has a VIN plate (Vehicle Identification Number), usually installed somewhere on the trailer frame. This plate not carries the trailer’s serial number, unloaded GTW, maximum GVWR, and GAWR for each axle.

How to Measure Tongue Weight

Now you have considered your trailer’s tongue weight. Tongue weight is the weight exerted at the vehicle-trailer coupling point when your trailer is fully loaded and hooked up ready for towing. most of the time tongue weight to be about 10-15% of the gross trailer weight.

There are a few different methods anyone can be used for measuring their tongue weight, and with each of them, always be sure that your trailer is parked on an even and maintain level surface.

1. Tongue weight scale
This is available at most towing supply shops, a tongue weight scale is a small scale designed specifically to measure a trailer’s tongue weight. Because you probably will not need to check your trailer’s tongue weight very often, you can call and ask if your local trailer dealer has a tongue scale you can use.

2. Bathroom scale
You can use a bathroom scale for measuring tongue weight. If the tongue weight is expected to be less than 300 lbs., simply place the tongue directly on the scale. If the weight is likely greater than 300 lbs., you can use some boards and pipes and set up a test as shown below. Using this type of setup, take a reading off the bathroom scale and triple it to find your actual tongue weight.

3. Vehicle scale
This last method you can use for measuring the tongue weight of your trailer is to use a vehicle scale at a rest stop or at your local trailer dealer. You can Begin by weighing your vehicle without the trailer hooked up. Then, hook up your trailer and weigh your vehicle again, without letting the wheels of the trailer touch the scale. Take the weight of your vehicle and subtract it from the weight of your vehicle with the trailer attached. The difference is the tongue weight of the trailer.W