The weight of a mobile habitat is an important factor that comes to mind when you want to buy one. Camper and trailer weight can affect where you can travel, how much it will cost, and how you get there.
Different types of weights explained
In answering the question of how much trailers weigh, it’s important to distinguish between different methods of measuring weight. There are numerous commonly referenced weight measurements in the towing world. Several of these measurements can come into play when planning your travels, but depending on your journey and tools available, some may be more important than others. The most useful for most camping vehicle owners are usually “dry weight” and “GVW” (Gross Vehicle Weight), but we’ll also discuss two others that can be important factors.
Dry weight is essentially the weight of the vehicle without any added cargo, fuel, or passengers. The dry weight range of camper vehicles can vary greatly, depending on the materials, manufacturing, internal features, and size of the loading space. Of course, the weight is often directly proportional to the number of amenities available in the vehicle. Heavier camping vehicles usually offer more amenities, including space for more travelers.
There is a wide variance among the weights of most trailers, from about 1,000 to 9,000 pounds — but as a general ballpark, the average dry weight of a standard trailer is 5,200 pounds. Towed units (as opposed to self-driving units) will weigh much less, but they also require a vehicle with the correct towing capacity in order to travel. Mobile units that drive themselves are obviously not dependent on an external towing vehicle, but will have a much higher dry weight and are typically more limited in where they can travel.
To find your exact dry weight on your trailer, unload all of your equipment including propane tanks and batteries, and go to your local weighing station. Once you have weighed the trailer, detach your trailer from your vehicle and only weigh your vehicle. If you subtract these two numbers, you get the dry weight of your caravan.
GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight)
GVW is a practical answer to the question “how much do campers weigh?” GVW is basically the weight of your vehicle when your tanks and cargo load inside the trailer are completely full. The same camper trailer can have differing gross weights, depending on optional features and size of the cargo load included. The most accurate way to determine the total weight of your motorhome is to fill all the tanks, add your equipment and supplies, and put them on a truck scale.
Maximum Trailer Load
Your maximum trailer load is the total weight of the trailer that your vehicle can carry under normal circumstances. This is the total weight (including the driver) minus any freight or passengers. A good rule of thumb to estimate this is to add 1,500 pounds to the dry weight of the camping trailer. If you tow weight beyond the maximum trailer load, it will destroy your gear over time and reduce the speed at which you can drive, especially uphill.
Hitch Weight (Tongue Weight)
While a trailer has set weights, the distribution of this means that some of the weight is on the hitch, while some of it is on things like the axles. The tongue weight measures how much of the total weight pushes on the attachment hitch, and is important to match up with your tow vehicle’s hitch.
Average weights & examples
When it comes to listing actual numbers, there can be a wide variance depending on who you ask. We’ve done our best to collect averages across the three major categories (small, medium, and large), as well as examples to give you an idea of where specific sizes and types weigh in. However, keep in mind that there are always outliers and instances well above and below these averages.
- Average weight of category: 1,800lbs
- Average weight of category: 6,000lbs
- Average weight of category: 22,000lbs (Class A), 9,000lbs (Class B), 16,000lbs (Class C)
Camping Trailer Weight Versus Alternatives
As you can see, the average weight for various mobile living spaces can vary greatly. Even within TAXA’s family of mobile habitats, there is a dry weight range from about 1,000lbs to nearly 3,500lbs. But you’ll quickly find that TAXA habitats are built for maximum versatility and flexibility — we utilize NASA-grade engineering and materials to achieve both durability and efficiency. Not sure if any of these habitats can fit what you’re looking for? Take the quiz or talk to a specialist today!