No doubt, travel trailer weight is an essential factor while making a purchase, especially for a newbie. In this article, you will get to know the average weight of a travel trailer, its importance while towing and few critical terms that you should know. But before we head to the topic, let’s me tell you a quick story.
There was a man named Peter who purchased a travel trailer to enjoy weekend gateways with his small family of 4 people. He didn’t know about any technicality of travel trailers before purchase. After trying multiple camping tours, Peter noticed that his sedan stated giving multiple problems like – low fuel efficiency, worn out of sedan tires and other mechanical problems. Earlier, everything was running fine.
So, what went wrong with Peter’s car? Wait! Before we figure out the reason, let’s get aware of the query you searched and landed on Throttlebias – Average trailer weight. Shall we?
What is the average travel trailer weight?
An average travel trailer weighs around 5,200 lbs. or 2358 kg with a standard list of equipment. This list includes all factory-made things with no extra gears and empty tanks (water, gas, etc.). However, these scenario changes in the real world. So, you can expect an additional load between 1,200 to 1,500 lbs., which is 544 to 680 kg.
Remember Peter? One of the prime reasons behind his car tires and mechanical failure is towing capacity. Yes, it matters a lot. Every vehicle is designed to carry or tow a limited set of weight. Usually, this capacity comes printed on the first pillar of the owner’s manual of your car/truck. We will talk in-depth later in this article.
Peter was not aware of the towing capacity and factors related to towing his travel trailer. He should have checked the towing capacity before using his sedan for towing. Also, it is not advisable to tow any travel trailer beyond the limits of your towing vehicle, and this can be dangerous for you as well as for other passengers on the road.
Hmm… let me guess; you want to know what is the suitable trailer size and weight that you can buy and tow with your current vehicle. On average, a right truck like – Ford F-150 which comes fitted with a 3.3-litre V6 (standard variant) is capable of towing around 9,600 lbs (4354 kg).
To give you an estimated idea, you will be able to tow any travel trailer under 32 feet with all gears and accessories. I suggest you check the towing capacity of your vehicle before any purchase decision for a travel trailer. Later in this article, you will understand what contributes to the total weight of a travel trailer.
List of some best travel trailer and their weight without gear and water
|Model Name||Weight in Pounds||Length in feet|
|Keystone Passport 175BH SL Series Travel Trailer||3421||21.3|
|Jayco Jay Flight 19RD||3715||19|
|Winnebago Micro Minnie 1808FBS||3760||20|
|Forest River RV 171RBXL X-Lite Travel Trailer||3836||22.5|
|Keystone Passport 199MLWE Express Travel Trailer||4210||22.7|
|Keystone Bullet 210RUDWE Travel Trailer||4286||25.4|
|Cherokee Grey Wolf 19SM Travel Trailer||4826||24.3|
|Keystone Bullet 243BHSWE Travel Trailer||5082||28.8|
|Shasta RV 240TH||5130||29.2|
|Keystone RV Passport 2670 BH Grand Touring||5344||30|
|Forest River RV Flagstaff Classic Super Lite 23 FBDS||5654||25.3|
|Forest River RV 282QBXL X-Lite Travel Trailer||6193||32.1|
|Airstream Land Yacht Trailer||6586||31.3|
|Jayco Jay Flight 38BHDS||7690||38|
|32BHS White Hawk Trailer||7757||37.1|
|Sandstrom 271GSLR SLR Series Travel Trailers||7874||33.6|
|Forest River RV Flagstaff Classic Super Lite 29 RSWS||7981||35.2|
|Forest River RV Flagstaff Classic Super Lite 529bh||8978||36|
|Keystone Sprinter 27ML First Wheel||9078||31.1|
|Forest River RV 280SG Wildcat Fifth Wheels||9364||34.4|
|Winnebago Voyage 5th Wheel V2932RL||10168||32.5|
|XLR Nitro Fifth Wheels 28DK5||10724||32.8|
|Keystone Alpine 3020RE Fifth Wheel||11702||34.1|
|Shockwave 34FWGDX DX Series Fifth Wheels||11016||39.3|
|Forest River RV 38WB Wildcat Wide Body Fifth Wheels||12785||38 .2|
|XLR Nitro Fifth Wheels 405||15519||44.3|
|No-Boundaries 10.5 10 Series Travel Trailer||1570||13.1|
|Vengeance Rogue Travel Trailers 25V||3487||30.6|
|Jay Feather X23B||4425||24.5|
|Salem Hemisphere 24BH||5118||24|
|Flagstaff Micro LITE 25BRDS Micro Lite Travel Trailers||5300||25.1|
|Sandstrom 186 Sport Series||5850||25.1|
|Shockwave 18FS Sport Series Travel Trailers||5850||25.1|
|XLR Hyper Lite HD Travel Trailers 2815||7718||32.2|
|Shockwave 27RQGDX DX Series Travel Trailers||7874||33.6|
What are the common factors that add to the weight of your travel trailer?
There are multiple things that contribute to the additional weight of any travel trailer. Let’s discuss them in detail.
An average travel trailer comes with an average water tank capacity of 45 gallons. Here, a gallon of water weighs eight pounds. That’s a 360 pounds of additional weight freshwater weight for your travel trailer.
Travel & other gears
Every camper owner knows the importance of gears. We carry them on our campers as essentials but each one them adds a separate weight to your camper. For example – your bicycle, camping gears, kitchen supplies, cables, etc. add an adequate weight to the camper (average weight of 400 to 600 pounds). However, I always recommend the best camper equipment list; this will definitely bring something on-board to your travel trailer.
Slide layout & design of travel trailer
Depending on the size, construction material and electro-mechanical equipment of a travel trailer, a single slide-out can add around 600 pounds. In design, an RV manufacturer uses standard materials like fiberglass, aluminium, etc. for the design and layout. However, these sliders use mechanical components like – the gearbox, sliders, suspension, etc.
On the other hand, campers with “pop-up” top don’t add any significant pounds. Pop up layout is design & manufactured using weather-proof materials. You can quickly retract and retrieve them using a handle or given mechanism.
How construction type and material affect weight?
Travel trailer uses lightweight materials like fiberglass and aluminium in most of the construction. Let’s talk about the use of fiberglass; these types of campers use this material for the outer shell and interior design only. Depends on the manufacturer, but almost 90% of them use an aluminium frame as core construction. This makes fiberglass travel trailer significantly lighter. Usually, fiberglass material is used in some of the best small travel trailers in the market. Campers like Scamp is one of the finest examples.
On the other hand, most of the traditional trailers use aluminium skin with wooden frame. Thanks to the verities wooden stick-built, the aluminium-sided trailers are typically heavier. Manufacturers use aluminium sidewalls joined as a corrugated sheet on the outside of the trailers. This corrugated design makes make them less wind resistance as compared to fiberglass campers.
Not just that, extra weight of lumber pillars in different construction add-up load to the trailer. On average, these traditional trailers weigh over 800 to 1000 pounds over than lightweight fiberglass construction. Every dollar you spend for the traditional trailer will give you more space and weight whereas fiberglass trailer will give you a bigger trailer with less weight. Also, fiberglass trailers are superior in looks, easy to clean and provides better aerodynamics.
Essential terms to measure weight
How much weight can I tow? Well, this is one of the few questions that pop into a newbie’s mind. After all, you are about to invest a big chunk of your life investment. However, a lot of people gets confused or find it difficult to understand the basics for measurements and towing capacity of their vehicles.
Well, you don’t need to rush to scales and have everything perfect. You also don’t need to research top figure out measurements. It isn’t that hard.
Whether it’s an RV or any other vehicle manufacturer, there are a few standards that come with every product. Let’s get started on the weight towing capacity acronyms and understand in a better way.
UVW: UVW also knowns as Unloaded Vehicle Weight. This is the wight of your empty travel trailer. It is the basic architecture or structure weight of your travel trailer with no gears, water/fluids, or no accessories.
CC: CC also knows as Cargo Capacity of your travel trailer. It tells about total cargo a travel trailer can carry. This includes your clothing, kitchen or other essentials, fluids/water, etc.
GVWR: Also knows as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It is the maximum amount your trailer can safely weigh. This carries full tanks of fluids, all essentials and required set of gears.
GVMR: UVW + Cargo Capacity
Tongue/Hitch Weight: This is the amount of weight your trailer puts on your truck. This weight is transferred via trailer ball of your towing vehicle. Not necessary, but this weight can be with or without water and any gears. Here, Bumper pull typically goes 10% of CVWR whereas the Fifth wheel has 20% of GVWR (check your RV docs for more info.) However, an average 25 feet trailer come with a hitch weight between 350 to 500 pounds.
GCWR (GCVWR): GCWR also knows as Gross Combined Weight Rating. It is the maximum amount your combined truck and trailer can safely weigh. This includes all passengers, cargo, etc.
- Best 1/2 Ton Truck For Towing Travel Trailer
- Best Midsize SUVs For Towing A Travel Trailer
- Best Trucks For Towing 5th Wheel Trailer
- Best Travel Trailers Under 4000 lbs
Sample weight capacity of a trailer:
- Model: 2013 Cruise RV Shadow Cruiser 280QBS
- 31” travel trailer
- UVW: 5,085 lbs.
- GVWR: 7,530 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity: 2,445 lbs.
- Hitch Weight: 753 lbs.
Never MAX OUT your towing vehicle
Congratulations! You have decided to bring a brand-new travel trailer. Next thing you want to make sure you tow properly. Let’s understand towing basics and that you and your vehicle won’t see problems like Peter. Let’s get started.
Considering the towing capacity of your vehicle, which is usually on the higher side as compared to the total weight of your camper. You should not max out the total towing capacity of your vehicle. The golden rule I can recommend is that 80% of your towing vehicle capacity should not be less than the total weight of travel trailer.
Recommended method to calculate MAX capacity
We will go according to 80% method. Pick the camper/trailer that you want to buy. First, note the dry weight of that trailer and add anywhere between 1,200 to 1,500 pounds (ideal weight of all fluids, gears, etc.). Now compare this sum with towing capacity of your vehicle. Please make sure that it is not more than 80% of what the manufacturer says it can tow easily.
Reasons that you should now max out towing capacity
I hope you remember Peter from the story above. He maxed out the towing capacity of his towing vehicle and suffered a lot. However, I don’t want you to suffer that same. Let’s understand why you should not buy as much trailer as your sedan/truck can possible tow!
- It can lead to disbalance on the road which unfortunately leads to major accidents.
- It can decrease your tires as well as vehicle’s mileage. Sometimes, it leads to tire burst incidents.
- Burns transmission system.
- It reduces the braking power (Vehicle’s brake systems are designed and performs better up to a certain weight limit).
- You can’t drive on slopes and up hills.
Although, I suggested this earlier. My last recommendation is to open the door of your towing car/truck and look at the sticker on the first pillar of the passenger’s side. It is a yellow color sticker that will tell you every tiny detail like vehicle’s GVWR, GCWR, Curb Weight, etc. Not just that, you will be able to see the air pressure guidelines which is an essential part during towing trailer. In case sticker is missing, you can look details in the owner’s manual.
Some car manufacturer like – Chevrolet & Ford offers varieties of towing packages in their pick-up trucks. Make sure you check details to your variant and model specific. You can also check the best travel trailer brands available in the market.
Measure & hit the road with your loved ones
I hope this article has given a lot of insights on travel trailer weight and other factors that will “fore sure” help you to think and purchase better.
Any specific query? Don’t worry, I got you covered. Just drop your a line below in the comment section and I will get back with the best answer.
If you have a Jeep or planning to buy one then you should definitely check the list of best travel trailer for Jeep Wrangler.
What does travel trailer shipping weight mean?
Shipping weight of a travel trailer refers to the dry or UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight). The shipping weight does not include any kind of passenger, gears, fluids, etc. An average travel trailer shipping weighs around 5,200 lbs. or 2358 kg.
What is the difference between dry weight and gross weight on a travel trailer?
The average dry weight of a travel trailer measures around 5,200 lbs. It only comes fitted with standard types of equipment. Another side, average gross weight of a trailer is 7,000 lbs. The gross weight is a combination of unloaded vehicle weight with cargo capacity. It comes loaded with all fluids and standard gears.
What is a travel trailer weight distribution?
Towing a travel trailer can be dangerous with the wrong weight distribution. At least 60% of the load should be bolted on the front. According to experts, a tail-heavy trailer could whip you off the road. That’s is why you need a proper weight distribution. Here, travel trailer weight distribution helps you enjoy a smooth and level ride without worrying about towing vehicle as well as un-balanced steering. It is recommended to use a weight-distribution hitch system, especially for trailer weighs more than 5000 pounds.