21C - Relevance of 5,000 lb. GVWR - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-13-2021, 06:18 PM   #1
DWM3's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Trailer: 2021 21C
Posts: 52
21C - Relevance of 5,000 lb. GVWR

The 21C, 21NE and 19 are all rated as 5,000 GVWR. On the face of it, that seems odd, but when we were ordering our trailer, I didnít give it much thought since the dry weight of the 21C was listed as only 3,465 lbs. I knew that the options we chose would add weight, but we passed on things like the reinforced walls. We were unable to weigh the trailer empty before packing it for travel.

But letís just say that one has now weighed their rig, packed and ready to go with a full fresh tank, at a CAT Scale and found that the trailer weight is 4,960 lbs. Nothing extraordinary is packed in the trailer. Letís also assume that the tongue weight is 11% and the tow vehicle is under capacity by 420 lbs. with people, stuff and fuel accounted for. GCVWR is also 1,960 lbs. under maximum.

First off, Escape says that the trailer has a shipping weight of 3,816 lbs. and a cargo capacity of 1,182 lbs. I know from reading posts in the forum that Escapeís claimed weight is likely several pounds light, but I also know that others have said that their trailer cargo is typically approximately 500 lbs. Looking at the Excel spreadsheet maintained by Jon Vermilye there are very few 21Cs shown that are close to 5,000.

So, finally, to the point of the post. How the heck is the 5,000 GVWR of the 21C determined? (Objectively, it looks like it was pulled out of the air.) And more importantly, how relevant is it? What if the trailer is, say, 10% over GVWR? Then what? Is 40 lbs. under GVWR living on the edge? Would 10% over cause real world problems? Inquiring minds want to know.


2021 21C "Travels with Karma"
GMC Canyon Denali Turbodiesel Long-bed
DWM3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2021, 07:15 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 14,117
Originally Posted by DWM3 View Post
How the heck is the 5,000 GVWR of the 21C determined? (Objectively, it looks like it was pulled out of the air.) And more importantly, how relevant is it? What if the trailer is, say, 10% over GVWR? Then what? Is 40 lbs. under GVWR living on the edge? Would 10% over cause real world problems? Inquiring minds want to know.
While I'm sure that the choice of GVWR is somewhat arbitrary, it is limited by the trailer's axle capacity, the coupler load capacity, and the strength of the frame connecting them. It is also limited by braking system capacity, although with tandem Torflex #10 axles their strength and braking are not creating a 5,000 pound limit.

If the trailer is over GVWR, it risks being damaged... and the damage depends on what the "weak link" of the design might be. It could be structure; it could be failure of components. The likelihood of anything being damaged depends on conditions, of course: creep along a road as smooth as a billiard table and you might be able to double the GVWR, but bang through potholes at high speed and you might not get away with much more than GVWR.

My guess is that the assigned GVWR is set to be high enough to accommodate generous option and cargo choices, but still provide confidence that it is within the physical limits of the trailer. I'll note that it's extremely unlikely that any structural testing or even load simulation is done on any travel trailer; these are not motor vehicles with development budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars (not even hundred of thousands).

I wouldn't be concerned about GVW being close (or even very close) to GVWR, but I would be careful about changes in what is carried causing that weight to creep higher with each trip.

Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2021, 07:19 PM   #3
Senior Member
JeffreyG's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Trailer: 2021 Escape 19
Posts: 352
It's not fat, it's just big boned.

Most trailers, the GVWR is limited by the axles or the tires. If these are each well above 5000 lbs, then the 5000 lb number was likely pulled out of thin air.

I am surprised you got a 21C so heavy. Somehow you got 1144 pounds in there. Water is part of it, but the rest is your stuff I guess.
JeffreyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2021, 08:15 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Everett, Washington
Trailer: 2022 21NE on order
Posts: 127
. Looking at the Excel spreadsheet maintained by Jon Vermilye there are very few 21Cs shown that are close to 5,000.
Of the 21 Escape 21C trailers listed on that spreadsheet there are 8 that are heavier than 4,700lbs. I thought was actually a lot that are close to 5,000. Had me worried so I made a post awhile back. Got good feedback that it's nothing to worry about while stationary and just keep it at 5,000 or less while towing.

Still makes me scratch my head a little that the 2nd gen trailers are shipped so close to their stated max weight. As you mentioned they are probably at least a few hundred pounds heavier than stated shipping weight. From what I've read on here Escape is just using an algorithm to state the weight based off of the weight of options etc. The components they use are probably all listed as lighter than they actually are by their manufacturers. Also I'm guessing Escape takes the weight of the lightest flooring option and uses it for all trailers no matter flooring was chosen. Same with Formica, fabric and even wood choices. All those painted pieces of wood for contemporary probably adds a little weight.

It all starts to get much heavier than the stated shipping weight

MichaelS78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2021, 09:06 PM   #5
Senior Member
Iowa Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 6,395
I don’t know a lot about it but I do know that accident reconstruction when serious injury or a
Fatality occurs can get to be a pretty precise science. I had an Asst. scoutmaster who was an officer on the force and had been to the accident reconstruction training. Having some big trailers in my department we would get a call from him to pick up something and take it to be weighed. One time a drunk driver hit two people and killed them in the center of downtown. His car was stopped by one of our large flower bowls, concrete, dirt and drainage rock. The car pushed the bowl several feet. The reconstruction ended up showing his speed was 71 mph when he hit the bowl. It took some figuring. So I would say close is ok but over might cause you a problem in an unforeseen unfortunate circumstance. I have a dealer installed hitch on our Highlander. There is an auxiliary sticker next to my yellow GVW sticker stating that the factory rating should be reduced by 34 pounds. So that’s a Toyota CYA sticker.
Easy does it, Especially on rough roads , good tires, good brakes, controller properly adjusted for the speed driven and regular inspections of critical components is important. Today I went over my cargo in the front and side boxes took out a 50 and a 25 foot
AWG 14 drop cords. Left in a 25’ 12 AWG cord and my 25’ 30 amp extension cord . Took out some extra tarp stakes. Started carrying only two lawn chairs instead of 4 or 5. Usually trave with some fresh water but empty black and grey tanks. Used to have about 10 screwdrivers in my toolbox now, two multiple bit jobs and two beaters. Figured out that you don’t need a lot of extra stuff. Maybe this is not the way you camp but it’s some observations that I’ve made over the years.
Iowa Dave
Strike while the iron is hot. Live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right.
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2021, 06:05 AM   #6
Senior Member
Doug2000's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London, Ontario
Trailer: 2020 Escape 19
Posts: 848
My 2020 19 is advertised as 3150 dry. Not sure of the shipped weight. We have few options, AC being the only one of any weight worth mentioning. I weighed my trailer at the CAT Scales with empty tanks, full propane, 1 group 27 battery and some basic gear, the way we would store it. The gear was pots and pans, dishes, 3 cords, an ax and some other misc items. Our weight was 3900lbs.
Doug2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2021, 07:54 AM   #7
Senior Member
Chotch's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Naugatuck, Connecticut
Trailer: 2017 50 TA, 2016 F150, 2.7 Ecoboost
Posts: 1,045
Never weighed our 5.0TA, probably because it tows with absolutely no issues behind my F150. The trailer rides level (with fresh water full, 1/2 full or empty) truck rides level. I really canít tell the difference and thatís a weight of over 230 lbs and another almost 50 lbs in the HW tank. I believe the GVW was arrived at based on the experience and practical knowledge of the founder of the company. One of the influences may very well have been the targeted consumer, the buyers who doesnít want to buy a 3/4 T or larger truck to tow their rig. One of the compelling reasons I looked into the Escape was seeing a 5.0 being towed by a smaller pickup. Another factor may have to do with not the weight you carry but where. My 5.0 has a lot of storage space, but a good deal is at eye level or higher, perhaps if I put that 230 + pounds in my upper cabinets I might see a difference in its towing manners. The center of gravity may have a lot more consequences than a couple hundred lbs.
🤔 Anyhow this is all speculation from someone who had nothing to do with the designing, just a satisfied owner who at this moment has nothing better to do. My opinion is donít loose sleep over a few pounds, but pay attention to how you load. We donít put canned goods or bottled water above counter level. Same for pots and pans and a few appliances my wife takes along (toaster, 2 percolaters, toaster oven, and pressure cooker. She likes to cook and I like to eat&#128523.
Chotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2021, 08:01 AM   #8
Site Team
cpaharley2008's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Central, Pennsylvania
Trailer: Escape#5 E19, ECD 5/22.
Posts: 24,062
I am of the opinion that every Escape owner should weigh their "ready to camp loaded Escape" to determine the correct weight. I try to do this this at least once for each Escape I have owned. If you are outside the needed parameters then you can make the needed adjustment.

Sometime life gets in the way of living.......
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.