How to check the towing capacity of your pickup truck

truck towing trailer

This excellent, short video (a little longer than 3 minutes) does a great job explaining and illustrating the many weight terms associated with a vehicle and anything it’s towing. Knowing all these terms is essential for operating a vehicle safely.

The video was made by Chevrolet to explain the weight terms associated with a Chevy truck and a trailer it might be towing. But it applies almost equally to every other truck and nearly all automobiles that would be used to tow a travel trailer or any other vehicle attached with a trailer hitch.

If the terms GVWR, GCWR, tongue weight, curb weight or payload are confusing to you, this will quickly bring you up to speed on what they mean. There are other terms as well, all covered here.

GVWR, for example, the first term above, stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It’s the maximum allowable weight of your vehicle including its parts, passengers and cargo.

Unless you’re familiar with all the weight terms associated with towing something behind your vehicle, watching this video would be a valuable use of your time.


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Bart McGlinsey
1 month ago

With us becoming more savvy in this time of the internet. The other is to look up your VIN on several mfgr websites.
They tell you many things about your towing. This is one example

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 month ago

Very informative. Need to watch, research your individual criteria, and make informed decisions.

Irvin Kanode
1 month ago

The video doesn’t pay enough attention to the Payload rating which is usually the limiting factor for one-ton trucks. It includes the weight of: after-market accessories, passengers, pets, cargo both in-cab and in-bed, tongue weight, the weight of the hitch, ice chests, etc.

That’s the first number to check when matching a vehicle and a trailer. If Payload capacity is OK, then check the others but they’ll likely be good.