How to calculate your SUV’s towing capability

I am not sure if I mentioned that I love camping. For me there is nothing more beautiful than to stay in the countryside in my camping trailer. However, many wonder how to choose the right combination of vehicle and trailer. You must choose the right combination against your own needs. In this article I will briefly describe how I selected the appropriate trailer.

Select vehicle

In my case, choice of vehicle was simple. I already had my old Toyota Sequia. This SUV has a towing capacity of 7400 lbs. Data about other vehicles can be found here:

As seen in the above-mentioned website, a good practice is to select vehicle with as large towing capability. For someone who does not have a vehicle, perhaps the most fit is Jeep Grand Cherokee because it’s price. However, let’s return to the moment of choice of vehicle. In the manual for each vehicle is given the maximum value for towing. On the basis of this data should be selected camper. So, now we’re talking about pure technical details, not the convenience of a particular vehicle.


Selection of the camper

Turning now to the trailer. It should align campers weight with the vehicles capabilities. There are many abbreviations when we speak about the weight of campers. The first abbreviation is GVWR. This is an acronym for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. In translation, it is a weight of the empty camper.

Contrary to this size is GTWR. It stands for Gross Trailer Weight Rating. It is about the maximum weight of campers.

Needless to say, do not burden your trailer above the prescribed GTWR. Now we come to the crucial part. Do not let GTWR be greater than 80% of maximum towing capacity of the vehicle. To this information people came during the many years of use. It should be taken into account driving in various fields, and in various weather conditions.

When calculating the total load, you should consider the following items:

-Your clothes will weigh at least 200-250 pounds

-Food in various packages will take from 500-550 pounds

-Water will weigh between 600 and 900 pounds

So, consider all of these items. Do not let it happen that your vehicle may not withdraw trailer. Pay attention to the connection method of camper to your vehicle. From personal experience I would recommend combination of trailer ball and ball mount

Also, consider the size of your family and your needs. Someone with large family would choose a much larger camper, for example 5th Wheel Trailers. Since on trips just go my girlfriend and I, my choice was standard trailer – model Zinger.

towing capabilities


I had a much easier job because I already had my SUV. If you are a outdoor enthusiasts, the better is to think about buying a strong vehicle. Of course, the choice of campers to suit your needs is a very complicated subject. There are thousands of articles about it on the Web, so you will not have problems to find what suits you.

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