What is GVW, GVWR, and GCWR?
• GVW, GVWR, and GCWR are abbreviations for the three most common weights that all RV operators must become very familiar with:
• GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight—actual weight of a single vehicle or RV.
• GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating—maximum allowed weight of a single vehicle or RV.
• GCWR: Gross Combination Weight Rating—maximum allowed weight of all connected vehicles.
How do I calculate GCW?
Gross Combination Weight (GCW) is the actual weight of the tow vehicle, towed vehicle(s), and everything in them. To calculate GCW, weigh each individual vehicle to get their Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Then, add up all GVW's to get the GCW. If a large truck scale is available, the GCW can be determined with a single weighing by driving all connected vehicles on the scale.
How do I calculate GCWR?
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum allowed weight of all connected vehicles, as established by the vehicle or RV manufacturer. Therefore, GCWR cannot be calculated by the vehicle operator.
For detailed explanation of this and other weights, see Understanding RV Weights.
How heavy a trailer can my vehicle tow?
The maximum trailer weight is the difference between the weight ratings and the actual weight of the tow vehicle. Each vehicle has manufacturer weight ratings such as GVWR, GCWR, and others. You must first weigh the tow vehicle and then determine how much weight remains for the trailer by subtracting the actual weight from the ratings.
How much does water, fuel, and propane weigh?
One gallon of the following liquids weighs:
• Fresh water: 8.3 lb (3.8 kg)
• Gasoline: 6.1 lb (2.8 kg)
• Diesel fuel: 7.3 lb (3.3 kg)
• Propane: 4.2 lb (1.9 kg)
How is RV insurance different from auto insurance?
An RV is a vehicle, and as such, most insurance companies will be happy to issue a policy. However, insuring an RV with a typical auto policy will leave significant coverage gaps. Therefore, RV's should be insured with a specialized policy which covers the things an auto insurance would miss, such as:
Total loss replacement — This coverage is applicable to buyers of new RV's in the first five model years. It replaces the RV with a similar unit, even if the replacement costs more than the original. This coverage is good protection against steep RV depreciation, in case of total loss.
Replacement cost of personal belongings — Auto policies usually cover a limited amount of content in a vehicle. RV policies give you the option to specify a limit to include all of your personal belongings destroyed by most events.
Fulltimer liability — Offers liability coverage similar to homeowner's insurance when the RV is parked and is used as a residence. This coverage includes emergency treatment and medical expenses for others injured in or around your RV.
Campsite liability — Similar to fulltimer liability, but designed for short-term vacationers.
Emergency expenses — Reimburses expenses related to living outside the RV while it is being repaired, as long as the covered loss occurs a set number of miles from your fixed residence (usually 50 miles). Common expenses covered are lodging, meals, and travel back home.
Higher liability limits — RV insurance policies allow for significantly higher liability limits than auto insurance. Because most RV's are much larger than cars, they have the potential to cause a significant amount of damage in a mishap. Higher limits provide greater financial protection after an unfortunate incident.
Medium duty tow trucks — Covers trucks over one ton when used to tow a trailer or fifth wheel.
Suspend collision coverage when in storage — When the RV is in storage, you can suspend portions of the policy which apply only when the RV is moving on the road, such as collision coverage. This is a cost-saving option because you are not paying for unnecessary coverage.
Is RV camping possible with a car or SUV?
Yes, there are a good number of small, light-weight trailers that can be pulled behind full-size cars, SUV's, and vans fitted for towing. The best type of RV for light vehicles is the Folding Trailer (also called a tent trailer).