UVW vs GVWR: Briefly Comparing The Two

uvw vs gvwr
uvw vs gvwr

Going out on camping trips can be a lot of fun for most people. Although, most enthusiasts will stay on their trips for weeks and even months at times. Considering this, they decide to purchase RVs and motorhomes for their use. These large vehicles come with lots of storage and rooms that you can stay in. Our topic for today is going to be about RVs, particularly UVW vs GVWR, and the differences between them.

You can also purchase third-party and equipment and then install it if these were not provided by the RV manufacturer. Aside from this, people who already have trucks and large vehicles avoid getting another motorhome. The best option for them is getting a trailer instead as these do not have an engine and you can just tow them to your truck or car.

UVW vs GVWR: A Detailed Comparison


Getting started with our UVW vs GVWR comparison, we’ll be discussing the former first. If you have recently bought a travel trailer for yourself. Then the first step that you have to take care of before using these is towing the trailer to your vehicle. Although, one important requirement is having a suitable hitch system. These come in different shapes and sizes, additionally, the features on these also vary. This is exactly why it is so important that you carefully check these hitching systems before purchasing them.

One of the most essential things to look out for is the overall weight capacity on these. This will determine how heavy of a load the device can carry. Once you have bought a suitable hitch and tow bar, you can proceed to install these. This is where the process of distributing weight between your vehicles comes in. Two terms people should be familiar with are UVW and GVWR. These will help in ensuring that you properly distribute the weight without any problems.

UVW is an abbreviation for Unloaded Vehicle Weight, you will also notice that some users call this as ‘dry’ or ‘shipping’ weight. The term refers to the total weight of your trailer that was measured by the company. This includes the weight of the frame, axles, and even the hitch. Keep in mind that if you take your trailer directly to a workshop to get it weighed then the results will be different. This is because UVW does not take the weight of equipment installed by the dealers into consideration.


The second term that you will hear about is GCWR, which stands for Gross Combination Weight Rating. This is the exact value specified by the manufacturing company of your trailer as the maximum amount of load or weight that can be carried on the vehicle. Keep in mind that this includes the weight of liquids, cargo, and passengers in your trailer. Considering this, once you have bought the vehicle and decided on how much weight you will be carrying in it.

The GCWR will help you in purchasing a suitable tow bar for your vehicle. Measuring the maximum weight that the bar can withstand with GCWR will help you in getting the best possible hitch. Keep in mind that it is entirely possible to exceed this weight rating without running into problems. However, most companies recommend that you try staying below this.

The reason for this is that the GCWR rating provided is the safety rating at which there will be no stress on your vehicle. Adding on additional load will start to put a strain on the frame of your vehicle and might even start to damage it. This can be quite dangerous which is why if you are someone who wants to purchase a vehicle that can carry an extremely heavy load.

Then you should check the weight ratings carefully beforehand. This way you will not have to worry about how many people and equipment you are carrying on your trailer when traveling. Finally, you will have to either visit a workshop that has an electronic scale or a store like CAT if you want to get your vehicle weighed. This will ensure that you get the most accurate results, allowing you to easily distribute the weight on your vehicles. This should also help in avoiding any sway issues on your trailer when driving at high speeds.

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