GVWR vs GAWR vs GCWR: Meanings and Differences of each

Since there are many controversies about GAWR and GVWR, we are going to clarify that. Anyways, in a specific term of GAWR Vs. GVWR, what seems to be the mere difference is handling weight capacity. 

First, GVWR is an abbreviation of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and GAWR is an acronym of Gross Axle Weight Rating.

A vehicle gains a GVWR with standard equipment, which is a total allowable weight it can carry. At the same time, GAWR signifies a measurement of the maximum weight that each axle can carry. 

But it does not end here. There are more differences yet to see for all of us. To know all those perspectives, scroll down.


Weight Capacity Type Gross Vehicle Weight Rating A vehicle’s maximum loaded weight
Weight Capacity Description Gross Axle Weight Rating Each vehicle axle’s maximum weight 

What Is GVWR On A Trailer?

Usually, trailer manufacturers state the GVWR of those trailers they are selling. Not only that, every vehicle has its GVWR. 

GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating represents an allowable weight that any trailer or vehicle can hold in total. 

What do GVWR and GAWR mean?

For instance, a trailer’s constraints include loads, passengers, and other variables. As a result, that trailer weighs heavier than before. And obviously, there is a limitation of GVWR in each vehicle. 

On the other hand, GAWR confines measuring the maximum weight that each axle can bear. However, GAWR varies on the same trailer and depends on placement or axle numbers. 

GVWR Definition

There is always a total safe weight in all vehicles, which present maximum values as well. Such types of requirements in trailers are called GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. 

Moreover, GVWR consists of vehicles’ curb weight and extra loads, like- cargos, passengers, driver, accessories, fuel, etc. 

What does GVWR stand for?

what is gvwr

As mentioned before, GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This rating includes the total weight of an unpowered vehicle with all inside equipment. Furthermore, GVWR represents all loads of passengers, accessories, and drivers too.

What does GVWR mean for towing

Well, GVWR and towing of vehicles are almost the same. Anyways, GVWR comprises unpowered vehicles’ curb weight or actual weight and other loads as well.

Similarly, there are towing capacities too in all vehicles. Mainly, a towing capacity specifies how much weight a vehicle can put into itself.

In comparison, GVWR confines a weight capacity of vehicles without any trailers attached. 


Let us be clear about GVWR first. If we add GCCC and UVW, we will get an amount equal to GVWR. But sometimes, GVWR tends to be more than the number that comes after adding GCCC and UVW. Hence, we can say GVWR is always greater than UVW. 

Considering the term “Dry Weight,” UVW is always clarified. Particularly, an RV’s weight is known as UVW. This weight comes from the time vehicle was made in the factory. Not knowing, UVW is a simple abbreviation of Unloaded Vehicle Weight. 

Is GVWR the same as towing capacity?

Though GVWR and towing capacity hold some similar themes, they are not completely equal. Without any trailer attached to vehicles, we get to know the maximum weights of them. And this allowable heaviness of vehicles is called Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. 

It is where the vehicle’s towing capacity signifies the maximum ability of weight a vehicle can hold. Specifically, towing capacity consumes the heaviness of a trailer, of how much it can tow. 

What is the difference between GVW and GVWR?

gawr vs gvwr definition

Every chassis manufacturer proclaims the GVWR of their trailers and unpowered vehicles while selling. And this GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is another name for the maximum weight rating of vehicles. 

Contrastingly, we also get to see the total weight of our trucks and payloads, which is known as GVW. Illustrated with details and GVWR is usually given by manufacturers, and GVW is an actual weight capacity we experience in our vehicles.

Is GVWR the same as empty weight?

GVWR is an accumulation of empty weight and all-around weight in vehicles. In general, manufacturers prescribe GVWR to their customers. 

For instance, your vehicle weighs 5,500 pounds when being empty. Or, you consider empty weight as the curb weight of your vehicle.

And when there are lots of accessories, loads, fuels, and so on, your vehicle will weigh higher. And, of course, you would know how much the vehicle should be from its manufacturer.

This prescribed weight of all vehicles is called Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. 

Does GVWR include trailer weight?

gvwr vs gawr trailer rating

Yes, GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) includes trailers’ weight too. Besides, GVWR consists of cargos and passengers’ weight also.

More particularly, gross vehicle weight is empty or curb weight, which is the weight of a trailer only. Yet, curb weight is just a part of GVWR.

This rating also includes the weight of extra loads but also maintaining the safety of the vehicle.

Do I need a CDL to pull a 14000 lb trailer?

To pull a 14000 lb trailer, you will surely need a truck that exceeds a GVWR or 12000 lb. For this reason, you will require a CDL so that the GCWR comes out over 26000 lb.

And when a trailer is 1400 lb wholly, you will get a stipulated towing capacity of 18000 lb without a doubt.

What does 7,000 GVWR mean on a trailer?

When a trailer has a GVWR of 7,000, it means the curb weight of the trailer is less. Suppose a trailer weighs 5,500 pounds. And we can put more loads into it considering its safety. That safety rating we will get from trailer manufacturers. 

In the same way, that 5,500-pound trailer’s manufacturer gives a GVWR of 7,000. Not forgetting, this 7,000 is the gross vehicle weight of that trailer which is a total safety weight the trailer can carry along with its weight. 

GVCR, TARE, what’s it all mean?

GVCR is a short form of Gross Vehicle Combined Rating. Nevertheless, GVCR can be less than the GVWR of both vehicles and trailers. To be more exact, GVCR is a maximum weight in the total of vehicles attached with trailers. 

Alike to curb weight, there is also a term called TARE. For one thing, TARE is not similar to curb weight. Indeed, TARE is an unloaded trailer’s weight with some amounts of fuel in tanks of trailers.

What is GAWR FR and RR

All vehicle manufacturers typically give GAWR or Gross Axle Weight Rating. Still and all, each axle has its rating, where FR and RR are counted. Here, FR means front rating, and RR means rear rating, which is the essence in every trailer. 

Gross Axle Weight Ratings is a whole amalgamation of cargos, passengers, and the possibility of a trailer in vehicles. 

GAWR PNBE meaning

We all get perplexed while hearing about GAWR PNBE. Well, we heard about GAWR, but what is PNBE? 

PNBE is a french dialect representing Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. In a wholesome front rating and rear rating, GAWR is mostly identified. 

How to Measure Towing Capacity, GVWR, GCWR

Before looking for your vehicle’s towing capacity, consult with its manufacturer first. When your trailer’s rating seems to be higher than your trailer’s total weight, it means the vehicle is safe to tow.

Or, if your trailer is more than the vehicle’s rating, then you should not hitch up the trailer with your vehicle. 

GVWR is always measured based on the kingpin, suspension setting, or drawbar. Furthermore, water level loads are counted here in a setting of kingpin from the nose of the trailer in 36″.

Again, the rearmost axle is set from the rear in 36″. Now, let us see the equation of GVWR. GVWR= Tare Weight + Rated Payload. 

GCWR is a road vehicle’s maximum allowable combined weight. Markedly, this weight rating includes a mass of cargo, trailer, tow vehicle, and passengers. To calculate GVWR, you will need to add the GVWR of your trailer power unit’s GVWR.

GVWR towing capacity chart

LabelWeight capacity typeWeight capacity description 
GVWRGross Vehicle Weight Rating A vehicle’s maximum loaded weight
GAWRGross Axle Weight RatingEach vehicle axle’s maximum weight 
GCWRGross Combined Weight Rating A vehicle’s maximum towing weight
Curb Weight Curb Weight An empty vehicle’s total weight 
TWTongue Weight Coupling points’ total weight 
GTW Gross Trailer WeightA trailer’s total weight 
PayloadPayloadTotal weight of passengers and cargos
Dry Weight  Dry Weight A vehicle’s total weight with no fluids

Gross Vehicle weight VS GAWR

For example, a trailer’s limitations incorporate burdens, travelers, and different factors. Subsequently, that trailer weighs heavier than previously. Also, there is an impediment to GVWR in every vehicle. 

Then again, GAWR limits in estimating the most extreme weight that every axle can bear. In any case, GAWR fluctuates on a similar trailer and relies upon position or axle numbers.

Is GVWR the same as towing capacity?

gvwr vs towing capacity

However, GVWR and towing limits hold some comparable topics; they are not equivalent. With no trailer appended in vehicles, we become more acquainted with the most extreme loads of them. What’s more, this suitable substantialness of vehicles is called Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. 

Though, towing limits of vehicles imply the greatest capacities of weight a vehicle can hold. In particular, towing limits devours the weight of a trailer or amounts they can tow.

GAWR definition

As mentioned before, GAWR resembles Gross Axle Weight Rating, a distributed weight that all axles of a vehicle can support. GAWR comes up with RR, e.g., rear axles, or FR, e.g., front axles. 

GAWR Calculation

There is always a VIN label in all trailers where GAWR will be posted on the drivers’ side. If you see, in newer trailers, the VIN label is always noted on the driver’s side. Likewise, in older trailers, the VIN label is posted on tongues. 

To determine the GAWR of your trailer, first, locate the VIN label in your trailer’s front half part. Please locate your VIN label on the left. Thus, you can see the GAWR of your vehicle simply. 

GAWR trailer meaning

GAWR or Gross Axle Weight Rating is a maximum weight rating of all axles in a vehicle. Chiefly, every axle in a vehicle is designed to carry some weight, maintaining a limitation. This maximum weight in axles of a trailer is called Gross Axle Weight Rating. 

What is included in GAWR?

GAWR limits the greatest weight that every axle can bear. Nonetheless, GAWR shifts on a similar trailer and relies upon position or axle numbers.


How do I calculate GVWR?

GVWR is constantly estimated dependent on the kingpin, suspension setting, or drawbar. Moreover, water level burdens are included here in a setting of the head boss from the nose of the trailer in 36″.

Once more, the rearmost axle is set from back in 36″. Presently, let us see the condition of GVWR. GVWR= Tare Weight + Rated Payload.

Does GVWR include trailer weight?

GVWR is a term of maximum weight in a trailer or vehicle. Usually, this gross vehicle weight rating is determined by manufacturers as it implies the vehicle’s safety.

GVWR comprises not only cargo and passengers but also the vehicle itself. Similarly, if there is a trailer, the gross vehicle weight rating will include the trailer’s weight as well. 

Is GVWR the actual weight?

No, GVWR is not only the actual weight of a vehicle. Actual weight is another name of curb weight in a vehicle. And we know curb weight is just a part of gross vehicle weight rating. Moreover, GVWR is essential to operate a vehicle safely.

What weight trailer can I tow?

To know what weight of the trailer you can tow, subtract your vehicle’s curb weight from its GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating).

Accordingly, GCVWR includes the weight of trailers with the maximum loaded weights of vehicles. 

Does tongue weight count in GVWR?

Yes, tongue weight does count in GVWR of any trailer we would want to tow. So, whenever you know a GVWR of a vehicle, remember the rating also involves tongue weight. 

No matter what you are towing, the gross vehicle weight rating of a vehicle never changes.

What is mandatory if the gross trailer weight is 3500 pounds or more

A GVWR of 3500 is not exactly the weight of the trailer only. Along with trailers, passengers, cargo, and drivers also count in GVWR.

So if your manufacturer says that the gross trailer weight of the trailer is 3500 pounds, don’t take it as the actual weight of the trailer. Instead, be determined that your trailer can weigh 3500 pounds in total, including its weight.

What determines maximum towing capacity?

There is always a maximum weight given in each vehicle by manufacturers. In the same way, towing capacity also conveys an allowable weight in vehicles while pulling a trailer. Moreover, towing capacity takes GTW, GAWR, GVWR, and many more into account.

Is towing capacity the same as trailer weight?

In particular, gross trailer weight is composed of cargos and trailers or their total weight. Being more certain, let me tell you GTW is more like a measurement rather than a rating.

Contrastingly, towing capacity identifies a vehicle’s allowable weight in a maximum value. And most importantly, how much a vehicle can tow is described by manufacturers every time.


Though GAWR and GVWR carry some similar features, they are still different from each other. Hopefully, you have already known what comparisons are there in GAWR Vs. GVWR. 

To sum up, let us brief again about them. GAWR or Gross Axle Weight Rating is the heaviness of all axles in trailers. In comparison, manufacturers give GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating the allowable weight, including vehicles or trailers and passengers and cargo.

References: https://www.uhaul.com/Trailers/HitchGlossary/

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