Base Curb Weight: The wieght of the vehicle including a full tank fo fuel and all standard equipment. It does not include passengers, cargo, or any optional equipment.
GAW: Gross Axle Weight is the total weight placed on each axle (front and rear). To determine Gross Axle Weights for your vehicle and trailer combination, take your loaded vehicle and trailer to a scale. With the trailer attached, place the front wheels of the vehicle on the scale to get the front GAW. For the rear GAW, weigh the towing vehicle with the trailer attached, but with just the four wheels of the vehicle on the scale. YOu get the rear GAW by subtracting the front GAW from that amount.
GAWR: Gross Axle Weight Rating is the maximum weight to be carried by a single axle (front or rear). These numbers are also shown on the Safety Compliance Certification lable. The total load on each axle must never exceed its GAWR.
GCW: The weight of the loaded vehicle PLUS the weight of the fully loaded trailer. It's the actual weight obtained when the vehicle and trailer are weighed together on a scale.
GCWR: The maximum allowable weight of the towing vehicle and loaded trailer including all cargo and passengers that the vehicle can handle without risking damage. The towing vehicle's brake system is rated for operation at the GVWR, not GCWR. Seperate functional brake systems should be used for safe control of towed vehicles and for trailers weighing more than 1500lbs when loaded. The measured GCW must never exceed the GCWR.
GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight is equal to the base curb weight plus actual cargo weight plus passengers. It is important to remember that GVW is not a limit or specification- it is the actual weight that is obtained whe the fully loaded vehicle is driven onto a scale.
GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle including passengers and cargo. This cargo, along with other weight limits, as well as tire, rim size and inflation pressure data, is shown on the vehicle's Safety Compliance Certification Label located on the left front door lock facing the door latch post pillar. The GVW must never exceed the GVWR.
GVW= Base Curb Weight + Cargo Weight + Passenger Weight + Tongue Load or Kingpin Weight. GVW must not exceed GVWR.
GCW= GVW + Loaded Trailer Weight.
Tongue Load or Fifth-Wheel Kingpin Weight:
Tongue Load or fifth-wheel kingpin weight is another critical measurement that must be made before towing. It refers to the amount of the trailer's weight that presses down on the trailer hitch. Too much tongue load or kingpin weight can press the vehicle down in the back causing the front wheels to lift to the point where traction, steering response, and braking can be serverly decreased. Too little tongue load or kingpin weight can reduce rear-wheeled traction and cause instability which may result in tail wagging or jackknifing.
Tongue lad or kingpin weights must meet the following requirements:
-for trailers up to 2,000lbs tongue load must not exceed 200lbs.
-For conventional trailers over 2,000lbs, tongue load must equal 10-15%
of loaded trailer weight.
-For fifth-wheel trailers, kingpin weight must equal 10-25% of loaded
Examples: For a 5,000lb. conventional trailer, multiply 5,000 by .10 and .15 to obtain a proper tongue load range of 500-750lbs. For an 11,500-lb fifth-wheel trailer, multiplying 11,000 by .15 and .25 yields a kingpin weight range of 1,725 and 2,875 lbs.
Note: Be sure the addition of tongue load or kingpin weight does not cause the key towing vehicle weight limitis (GVWR and GAWR) to be exceeded.
To measure actual tongue load or kingpin weight, disconnect the trailer and place only the tongue (klingpin) on a scale (at hitchball or fifth-wheel kingpin receiver height). If the tongue load/kingpin weight exceeds the upper weight limit, move more of the trailer contents rearward to achieve the recommended tongue load/kingpin weight. If the tongue load or kingpin weight is less than the lower limit, shift the load forward.