fbpx

Closed for a Family Event on Friday, March 22nd & Saturday, March 23rd!

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh?

how much does a trailer weigh utility

Knowing the weight of your trailer is very important. Knowing this information will help you gauge how much you can load on your trailer for maximum safety. From gooseneck to utility trailer weight, each will have a specific number and haul size you will need to know.

First, it will be important for you to know some definitions of words that get thrown around a lot when it comes to trailers.

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Definitions

how much does an enclosed trailer weigh
  • Towing Capacity – Total weight that your vehicle is able to pull. This information should be in the owner’s manual inside the glove box. 
  • MPC (Maximum Payload Capacity) – Amount of weight you can add to your trailer
  • Payload Weight – Your haul’s weight. Whatever you are adding to the trailer. Your Payload weight cannot be more than your MPC.
  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) – The max weight that a trailer axle can hold. This information should be on the side of your trailer.
  • GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) – The max capacity that your vehicle’s weight can be. 
  • GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) – The same as GVW but for your trailer.

What is GVWR For Trailers?

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) – Maximum weight your trailer cannot exceed, including cargo weight.

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Formula

Determining the weight of a trailer can be fairly simple. A lot of times, all it comes down to is locating your VIN sticker on the trailer. There you will find the GVWR, which is the gross weight of the trailer plus the maximum capacity in which the trailer is rated.

This means to find the empty weight of the trailer itself, you will need to do some simple math. You can start by taking the GVWR and subtracting the MPC, giving you the empty weight of the trailer.

If your GVWR is 7,500 pounds and your MPC is 6,200 pounds, then the weight of your empty trailer is (7,500-6,200) 1,300 pounds.

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Importance

Ensuring a Safe Haul

heavy duty equipment trailers for sale

Making sure that you are within your trailer’s weight rating is key to ensuring a safe road for everyone. Carrying too much weight on the trailer could lead to damage to the trailer and cause wreckage on the road. So before you begin hauling your next load, make sure that you are within the load rating.

Did you know we offer 7 different types of trailers? Safety for each style is key!

Avoid Possible Damage to Trailer & Towing Vehicle

how much does a gooseneck trailer weigh

As mentioned before, hauling too much weight can cause severe damage to a hauling trailer. These damages may include strain on the engine and transmission, brake wear, tire damage, and even chassis damage which can lead to serious injury.

Before you start driving, you may want to consider your route. Are there different paths that you can take to avoid large congested areas? Maybe you need to traverse down a steep mountain. It is important for you to be ready for the roads, turns, weather, and gradient when towing for the first time. 
Basically, start off ensuring that your load is within the trailer’s weight rating to best keep your haul safe, but more importantly, yourself and others on the road. You can also be sure to check your trailer parts and ensure that they are working properly while you’re at it!

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Management

There are many techniques for managing the weight of a trailer. You can begin by managing what goes where and then move to physical aspects like straps. Let’s dig into the two most common techniques to manage trailer weight.

Option 1: Distributing Trailer Weight

how much does a trailer weigh capacity

When distributing the weight on the trailer, it is important to know where each item will go. A rule of thumb is about 60% of the weight of the haul should be at the front of the trailer. Your heaviest items should go up front to keep the trailer steady while in motion. To get a visual of how you should load your trailer, watch the video below for a few pointers!

Option 2: Using Straps to Secure Items

trailer straps

Straps can be an effective tool for a trailer haul. Most commercial truck drivers use straps every day, and there is a reason for that. Straps are a great tool that helps secure the load to the frame of the truck to avoid having it move around in the trailer. Not only will this help with managing the weight distribution on the trailer, but it will also help with protecting the product on the trailer.

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Tongue Weight

If you are experiencing a high amount of weight near the tongue of the trailer, you should move it to avoid overloading the rear tires of the towing vehicle. That would inevitably push the rear end of the vehicle around. To fix this issue, simply move the weight further back on the trailer. Once you have your trailer weight balanced, ensure the weight is evenly distributed on the left and right sides of the trailer.


Is it your first time setting up a trailer for hauling? We’ve been there. Check out this article for some more helpful information.

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Checklist

We are almost at the end! The last thing that is good to do is to create and walk through a checklist. Here are a few items to get you started. 

  • Check Trailer LightsThese will be paramount for other drivers on the road, especially at night.
trailer tires
  • Check Tires – On your car and your trailer, tires are what can wear down most easily. Be sure you won’t skid around turns.
  • Check All Mirrors – Can you see everything that you need to, even with your haul and your trailer behind you?
  • Check GVW – You need to make sure that people, your haul, and anything else in your trunk or truck bed are not exceeding the weight your vehicle can handle.
  • Check Your GVWR – The same goes for your trailer as your vehicle. Gross weight needs to be checked!
  • Check Brakes – When you stop, it’s going to be a lot more weight that needs to slow down. Make sure your brakes are ready for the trip. 
trailer hitches
  • Check Haul – Is everything down and secured in your trailer? Is your weight distributed properly?
  • Check Hitch – Is your trailer successfully attached to your vehicle?

There will be more things that you will have on your list, but these 7 things should be a good place for you to start.

How Much Does A Trailer Weigh: Conclusion

how much does a car hauler weigh

Whether you are driving to your grandma’s house or across the country, trailer weight can impact everything. No matter the type of trailer that you have, make sure that you can successfully identify all of the weights that you need. 

It is important to know the maximum weight of your vehicle and of your trailer. It is also important to know the trailer and axle weight in general. The last thing you need is for your trailer to pop a tire or tip in a direction that you don’t want. 


It will be important to familiarize yourself with the securing mechanisms that your trailer has to be sure your haul makes it to the destination safely as well. We hope you have a great trip, and please let us know if we can help you out in any way. If you are in need of a trailer, whether it be a car hauler trailer or a hydraulic dump trailer, be sure to check out our in-stock inventory!