The weight of an RV is dependent on many factors. It depends what type of RV you own, the length and any added features. It’s important to know when determining what type of vehicle you will be using to tow your RV. The average weight is around 10,000 pounds and as you load up your gear, the weight increases. Gear typically weighs around 1,500 pounds. If you’re in the market for a new RV, the team at Lakeshore RV in Muskegon, Michigan can help you determine what size and weight is best for you. If you choose a smaller RV, your weight is less and will be easier to tow. Larger RVs and motorhomes will have a higher weight and can be more challenging to pull behind your tow vehicle.
There are a lot of different numbers when it comes to the weight of an RV, but what do they all mean?
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) is how much your RV weighs when it’s full. This is your max Rv weight with all of your gear. If you go over this weight, it will affect the performance of your RV or towing vehicle.
Dry Hitch Weight is the weight of your RV empty with no gas, water or gear. This is important when calculating how much your tow vehicle and pull. The dry hitch weight is only in reference to pop up campers or travel trailers.
Cargo Carrying capacity (CCC) is the maximum amount of weight you can load onto your RV including your gear, water, gas, waste and people. The larger the RV, the more cargo you can carry.
There are different types of RV class based on length, chassis and weight. Knowing what class your RV falls into will help determine where you can drive your RV to avoid getting stuck.
Class A RVs are the largest motorhomes that are 30 to 40 feet long and weigh between 13,000 and 30,000 pounds (dry weight). They have a built in engine and drive similar to a bus. Some parks restrict Class A motorhomes so keep that in mind when you are shopping for an RV or deciding where to go.
Class B RVs are van style RVs weighing much less than your traditional RV around 6000 to 8000 pounds and are around 18 feet long. Camper conversion vans have a lofted roof allowing passengers to move throughout the bed of the van.
Class C RVs are built on a truck chassis and are designed to carry a heavy load of an RV. Class C RVs have a dry weight of 10,000 to 12,000 pounds and are 20 to 30 feet long.
Travel trailers, 5th Wheels and Pop Ups weigh much less than a motorhome RV since they do not carry an engine. A trailer weighs anywhere from around 1,500 to 7,000 pounds dry. Travel trailers or pop-up RVs attach to a trailer hitch, where fifth-wheels attach to the bed of a truck. The benefit of the fifth-wheel trailer is being able to get the maximum space for trailer length. If you choose to purchase a travel trailer, remember to keep in mind how much weight your vehicle is able to tow and stay below that limit when shopping for a new RV
Find out more about RV classes in our blog What Does an RV Stand for?
Managing RV Weight
You can manage your RV weight by being selective about what you bring on your trip and what you can do without. Bring the necessities that add value and comfort to your trip. It’s hard to tell what your RV will weigh when adding small items so it’s smart to stop at a truck weigh station to determine if you have more room to bring more items with you or you need to eliminate some items. If you start with a new or empty RV, weigh each item you add to it to get a good estimate of how much weight you’re carrying. You should not have your weight over the GVWR at any time.
When buying a new travel trailer or pop up, make sure you know your vehicle's towing capacity. Most vehicles have a sticker on the inside of the drivers door that lists the GVWR which is the maximum tow weight for that vehicle. If you’re buying a 5th wheel, you’ll need to determine the maximum weight your truck can pull. You can use an online 5th wheel calculator to help you find that weight.
When selecting your RV, you need to consider how you will use it, what you will carry and how much it’s going to weigh. Many people ruin their tow vehicles by carrying too much weight. Shop the selection of New or Used RVs at Lakeshore RV in Muskegon and our team of experts will guide you to pick out the best RV to meet your weight requirements. Call us today!