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Old 07-01-2017, 06:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,757
Trailer GVWR

Went to buy new seals to the axles yesterday, they asked which axles I had to be able to give me the right seals without one in hand. The answer got me wondering. I always thought the limiting factor on GVWR was what the axles or the tires could safely carry, this doesn't seem to be the case.

My old Starcraft trailer had a GVWR of 3500 lb., a single 3500 lb. axle, and a pair of load range C tires, 1820 lb. capacity each. The math all pretty much works out, all are 3500 lb. +/-

My Escape 5.0TA has a GVWR of 5511 lb., a pair of 3500 lb. axles, and 4 tires also with an 1820 lb. capacity. The math doesn't work. The axles and tires say the trailer could be 7000 lb.

Anyone know the real factors used in determining a trailers GVWR, maybe the frames capacity?

Just curious.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:33 AM   #2
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Location: Colorado, Colorado
Trailer: Escape 21 - Nov 2017 "Harvey"
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It is all of that and more. Axles, tires, frame construction, front to back load balancing, wind profile. And lawyers. No single factor determines it, but each factor could limit it. So, they won't exceed the axle ratings, but the tires or frame may lower the number before reaching the axle rating. And the lawyers (insurance companies) chime in too.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:05 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA/03 Silverado 2500HD Duramax
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My belief is that it is primarily a matter of judgment as to what each manufacturer is willing to warrant as the GVWR, within basic engineering constraints. Large automotive companies seem to be relatively conservative, e.g., the GVWR of the vehicle is normally significantly less than the sum of the two individual axle weight ratings. RV manufacturers sometimes are not so conservative. One of the many things I like about my 5.0TA is that the GVWR seems relatively conservative, i.e., well engineered for its weight.

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