Towing Capacity Guide

What Is Towing Capacity?

Your vehicle's towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight it can tow when pulling a trailer. This figure is determined by the vehicle manufacturer and takes into account the GVWR, GAWR, GTW, and more.

In other words, towing capacity is how heavy your trailer can be. And you should always observe max towing capacity in any situation where you're working with a trailer. If you exceed this limit or try towed more than what your car or truck is rated for—that's extremely dangerous! Be smart on the road and know your own limits as well as those of your vehicle..


How to Calculate Towing Capacity

The maximum towing capacity can be found by knowing the vehicle manufacturer's weight ratings and comparing them to the gross weight of your trailer. The trailer towing capacity is usually listed in either the owner's manual, on the driver-side door jamb or on their website in a trailer towing capacity guide.

To determine towing capacity, always consult the vehicle manufacturer! This is regardless of whether you're looking up SUV towing capacity, pickup truck towing capacity or car towing capacity. If the trailer weight exceeds the ratings provided by the manufacturer, then it's not safe to tow.


GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum specified loaded weight of your car, as decided by the manufacturer. This includes not only  theoccupiedWeight but also account for fuel, any trailer tongue load, and other Equipment that commonly goes with you on a trip. GVWR acts as am important safety measure for both highway driving and off-roading applications. When building a new car model, vehicle manufactures have to design the frame tolerances , suspension system components , axles , wheels to be able to handle this total possible stress from all at once before it becomes an issue .

GVWR vs Towing Capacity

GVWR is the maximum weight capacity of a vehicle without a trailer attached. Towing capacity, on the other hand, is the maximum weight capacity of the vehicle in terms of how heavy of a trailer it can tow.


GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating

GCWR stands for the maximum weight of your vehicle with a trailer, as decided by the manufacturer. Combined weight is referring to both the tow vehicle and trailer combined, including any extra cargo placed in either one. The rating for gross combined weight is based on how strong key components related to towing are (such as frame, suspension, axles)


The GVWR is the weight limit of just the car. The GCWR, on the other hand, comprises not only the car but also a trailer hooked up to it. In other words, it's the max weight of a vehicle with a trailer attached.


Payload is the weight of your cargo

The payload capacity of a truck is the maximum amount of weight that it can haul in terms of cargo and passengers. The payload itself is the actual cargo in the truck bed, and the payload capacity indicates how much weight the truck can carry.

Payload vs Towing Capacity

A vehicle's payload and towing capacity are both weight limits set by the manufacturer. The difference is that payload refers to the truck bed and cab, while tow capacity is for a trailer hitched to the car.