Towing Capacity

How to Calculate the Towing Capacity of Your Vehicle?

It’s crucial to understand the basics of towing, specifically, your vehicle’s towing capabilities, whether you have a big truck or a lightweight car. There is nothing to worry about if you have no clue what that implies. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what it is, how to calculate it, and why it’s crucial.

What exactly is towing capacity, and why does it matter?

The amount of weight a vehicle can haul when towing a trailer is towing capability. Exceeding that limit would place undue strain on your vehicle’s engine, the transmission, and the rear axle. By exceeding your vehicle’s towing capacity, you risk injuring yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.

A certification sticker or plate is placed on the inside driver’s door frame and carries crucial information about the vehicle. You can also find it in the owner’s manual of your car. You may need to know the acronyms below for towing information:


A gross vehicle weight rating indicates how much overall weight a car or truck can carry without a trailer. It includes the weight of your vehicle, passengers, and cargo.


The manufacturer’s projected total weight of the car with all fluids (gas and transmission), passengers, and cargo is gross vehicle weight. However, the actual weight will depend on your load and the number of passengers riding with you.


Gross combined weight rating takes into account the weight of the vehicle, passengers, goods, and a loaded trailer. The GCWR represents your overall combined weight limit. Exceeding this limit may cause harm to your car.


The gross axle weight rating indicates the maximum weight that a single axle may safely support.

You’ll need to know some of these weight values if you want to buy a vehicle that can tow a trailer.

How do you calculate towing capacity?

Firstly, make sure that the trailer’s weight and load do not exceed your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating. In most cases, if your vehicle’s GVWR is 10,000 pounds and you just want to move 1,500 pounds of freight, you’ll be fine. However, this isn’t always the case.

If you have a 15,000-pound SUV and wish to tow a trailer that weighs 10,000 pounds, you may surpass your vehicle’s rated towing limit. You’ll need to figure out how much your car, passengers, cargo, and camper weigh together.

Other towing suggestions for a safe ride

First, look into the towing regulations in your state. Many states have lenient rules, while others have more stringent requirements. Always check the legislation in your own state and any states you want to visit with your trailer.

When arranging a trailer and its load, take your time. Double-check that everything is safe and that the trailer is attached appropriately. This can aid you in avoiding any potential mishaps that may arise if something is done incorrectly.

The Bottom Line

Knowing and adhering to your towing capability will keep your car and its passengers safe. For the sake of saving money or time, don’t exceed the recommended rating for your towing truck or car. Towing service is always available if you need to tow your trailer safely.

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