Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) For Trailer & Importance

Probably, you have heard about the term GCWR and know that it stands for Gross combined weight rating, but what actually is GCWR? Why should you have to know about this? These questions may cling to your mind, and you will get the answers in this article.

what is the gross combined weight rating

When you tow something, then you should have clear information about it. Consequently, you will not get into any trouble. However, little or incomplete information can become the cause of significant loss. I hope you will get what I’m trying to say; let’s complete your knowledge now.

What is Gross Combined Weight Rating?

GCWR is the combined weight of your vehicle base curb, passengers, and fully loaded trailer. Likewise, it is also called the sum of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and loaded trailer weight (LTW). Commonly, GCWR is mentioned on your vehicle’s manual, but you can also calculate it yourself.

how to figure out gross combined weight rating

However, some people get it wrong and only calculate the weight of the loaded trailer, ignoring the weight of passengers, which can lead to the unsafety of themselves and their families.

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Why is Gross Combined weight rating important?

It’s a typical query, which will definitely come into your mind if you want to know GCWR.  You may have heard about the RV accident. It can be the result for those who don’t follow the guidelines and increase GCWR. I don’t want to threaten you, but you should know the severe cases. Then, you will never leave any single chance of this situation.

Moreover, when you increase the gross combined weight rating than recommended, you will have difficulty controlling the load. Mainly, when you take turns and stop the vehicle, many complications can occur. Furthermore, this too much weight also affects the brakes, and they can be less effective.

Another issue that you can face is with tires. Too many hurdles in the path can rupture it. Thus, you may have to consider knowing the GTWR before towing.

How Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) Works:

Until now, you may know GCWR is not only the numbers but also play an essential role in your towing. Additionally, manufacturers determine the weight limit of GCWR, and you should have to follow that number.

However, the GCWR can be summarised by the total weight of your towing vehicle and the trailer, so if you exceed the importance of the car or trailer, it will badly affect your towing experience. The gross combined weight rating comes for the safety of drivers and passengers because the increased weight can cause trouble.

How to Measure Towing Capacity, GVWR, GCWR:

Usually, manufacturers set the towing capacity by performing different tests and experiments. But you can also measure Towing capacity, GCWR, and GVWR. However, the methods vary because of other terms. what is the difference between gvwr and gcwr?

Towing capacity:

The maximum capacity of your truck, SUV or vehicle, to tow the trailer is the towing capacity. It means how much weight your vehicle is capable of loading.

Typically, manufacturers write the towing capacity in the user’s manual. But if you want to find it by yourself, you should consider comparing the weight rating and gross weight of your trailer. Likewise, if the rating is higher than the gross weight, you can tow that trailer but if not, then don’t. Check 2009 to 2021 Subaru Forester Towing Capacity.


You may know, GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating and the total maximum weight of your vehicle with the passenger and full gas tank. Moreover, we don’t include the trailer in it.

Typically, manufacturers determine the GVWR of your vehicle and list it down on the manual. But it is not exact because your manual doesn’t know how many passengers are in your truck or SUV.  So, if you want to find that, you should have a way to scale and measure all the passengers with the luggage. Then, add these readings into the gross weight of your vehicle given in the manual. And you will get the GVWR.


As you may know, what is GCWR, then I should better go to the measuring part. If you want to measure the GCWR, you should first measure the trailer weight with all the luggage and GVWR. You can use a weight scale for that purpose. Likewise, the process can be time taking, but it can save you from many issues.

However, after measuring the GVWR and trailer weight, you should sum them both to get the actual GCWR. Furthermore, it may be don’t exact, but you will never get any problem if you follow it.

Gross combined weight rating vs. GVWR

You can say that there is no comparison between Gross combined weight rating (GCWR) and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) because GCWR is a combination of GVWR and trailer weight. Both are important, but the value of GCWR increases when you go towing, which can’t be possible without knowing GCWR. Check
Why Is GVWR Less Than GAWR?

Both seem to be simple numbers, but you can’t carry a trailer with you without these numbers. Moreover, you can quickly get these terms in your brain by this chart.

Weight of (Vehicle + full gas tank + equipment + passenger) = GVWR

Wight of (empty trailer + load on trailer) = Loaded trailer weight (LTW)

Gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR)+Loaded trailer weight(LTW) = Gross combined weight rating(GCWR)            

Furthermore, GVWR alone can be helpful for the truck drivers because they have to carry a lot of load with the passengers. So, they have to calculate the gross weight of the vehicle. However, the GCWR is more important for towing purposes.

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Gross combined weight rating of different vehicles

Different brands and companies have manufactured every vehicle, so their weight lifting capabilities also vary. Consequently, you should find the gross combined weight rating of your vehicle. However, I’m listing the GCWR of some models of the vehicle. You may get the GCWR of your vehicle.

Gross combined weight rating ram 1500,  ram 3500

The GCWR of the ram models may vary by the different engines and capabilities, but the estimated gross combined weight rating for ram 1500 is between 11,900 to 15,160 pounds and for ram 3500 is 21,500 to 4300 pounds.

Gross combined weight rating ford f150, f250, f350

The gross combined weight rating f150, f250, f350 is 11665 lbs, 15000 lbs, and 15000lbs, respectively. Normally, GCWR increases with the increase of model, but ford f250 and f350 have the same gross combined weight.

Jeep grand Cherokee gross combined weight rating 

The GCWR, depending on class III and IV of Jeep Grand Cherokee, is 7,200lbs.

Gross combined weight rating Toyota Tacoma

The GCWR means gross combined weight rating for Toyota Tacoma 2009 is 8100lbs.

Toyota tundra gross combined weight rating

The gross combined weight rating for the Toyota Tundra is 16000 lbs

Subaru Forester gross combined weight rating

The gross combined weight rating for the Subaru Forester is 5690 lbs.

2020 Toyota tundra gross combined weight rating

The GCWR for the newly released model Toyota Tundra 2020 is 10,200 pounds, which is way higher than the old one.


What is the difference between gross combination weight ratings?

Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) can vary according to the model and manufacturing company of the vehicle. No matter if your vehicle is SUV or truck, they will have different GCWR. Moreover, the trailer’s load, passengers, and vehicle capacity vary according to model and size. So, it would help if you considered checking your vehicle’s manual to determine the gross combination weight rating.

What is the difference between gross weight and combined gross weight?

The combined gross weight, also called gross combined weight rating (GCWR), is the gross combined weight rating of the vehicle, passenger, cargo, and trailer. But the Gross weight called gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the passenger’s weight, load on the car, and vehicle only. Both have their purpose; GCWR is known for towing purposes, while GVWR is known by truck drivers carrying loads on their vehicles.

What is the maximum gross weight of the vehicle called?

The gross weight is the total weight of the vehicle with all the load on it including, passengers, fuel, and other material. If it reaches the maximum, then it is called GVM. Of course, the maximum means you can’t increase by then. Otherwise, you can tangle into different issues.

How does gross weight differ from Curb weight?

Gross weight is the vehicle’s weight with all the load, including passenger, equipment, full fuel tank, and cargo. However, the Curb weight is the vehicle’s weight with all the equipment and fuel but the cargo and passengers are excluded. So, you can easily differentiate both of them.


When you are going on an off-road journey with your family, safety will always be your priority. For that, you should consider gaining complete information about gross combined weight rating and how we can measure it? It may take time to count all the readings with the weighing scale, but it can save you from accidents on the road. I hope you will not take it lightly and always follow the guidelines.

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