Weight Rating Terms

GVWR—Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The maximum permissible total weight of a vehicle, including all fluids, passengers, and cargo. Many older motorhomes have a GVWR of 16,000 or 17,000 lbs., and most newer motorhomes have a GVWR of 18,000, 20,500, 22,000 or even 24,000 lbs. for gasoline models. The GVWR of diesel motorhomes can be as high 60,000 lbs.!

GVWCR—Gross Vehicle Weight Combined Rating. The maximum permissible combined weight of a vehicle, including the weight of the towed vehicle. Some older motorhomes cannot safely tow some of the newer heavy SUVs or trucks.

You need to be very aware of some of these weight rating terms. For example, many of the newer motorhomes that have a GVWR of 22,000 lbs. still have a GVWCR of 26,000 lbs.— thus, limiting your choice of a vehicle to be towed behind your motorhome to one that weighs less than 4000 lbs., or you choose to carry less than the maximum GVWR.

GAWR—Gross Axle Weight Rating. The maximum permissible weight that can be carried by an axle. Your motorhome specifications sheet should list a weight rating, separately, for both the front and rear axles. Many older motorhomes have a front axle weight rating of 6,000 or 7,000 lbs. and a rear axle rating of 11,000 lbs. Adding the two axle weight ratings together equals the GVWR.

Be very aware that it is possible to overload either axle but still be within the overall GVWR for the vehicle. It is also possible to overload a tire or tires on one side of the motorhome and yet still be within the allowable axle rating. Neither situation is tolerable! (We will talk about load and balance later on in this "seminar.")

NCC—Net Carrying Capacity. The Net Carrying Capacity rating for a motorhome— also referred to as Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC)—is the weight of “stuff” that can be loaded into the vehicle and still be within the allowable GVWR.

Some motorhomes have as much as 3,500 lbs NCC (like my former motorhome on a ’99 Ford V-10 chassis), while others have as little as only 251 lbs. NCC (and this was on a 22,000 Workhorse chassis with two huge slides)! Many of the newer motorhomes with two or three slides have little more than 1,000 lbs. NCC, and many have less than 800 lbs. NCC! My advice to you is to be very aware of the NCC of any motorhome that you are considering purchasing.

All of these different weight ratings are required to be posted in every new motorhome, usually found in a rear closet. When you are looking at a new motorhome, find this weight sheet and read it—before you ever think of buying the new RV.

Return to Main page or click Continue to go to the Utility Terms section

Back to Main Page

Continue to Next

Back to Main button

ForwardNext button