# How to Calculate Vehicle Tow Ratings

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Towing a trailer with a car or truck can be done by attaching it to the a ball hitch. However, just because a car or truck has a tow hitch does not mean that you can tow anything that is attached to it. There are tow limits for each type of vehicle, especially if you want to tow a heavy trailer such as a fifth-wheel trailer or camper. You can calculate vehicle tow ratings by first determining what you plan to tow with your vehicle.

### Things You'll Need

• Pencil
• Calculator
• Owner's manual

• Look in the glossary to find the section for towing.

• Find the Gross Combination Weight Rating and write this down on a piece of paper with a pencil. The GCWR is the total weight of the vehicle, including passengers, cargo and trailer that is being towed.

• Determine the gross vehicle weight by weighing your vehicle on a set of scales. The gross vehicle weight is the total weight of all passengers and cargo in the vehicle.

• Subtract the gross vehicle weight of your vehicle, without the trailer attached, from the GCWR. This will give you the rating for the towing capacity of the vehicle.

## Tips & Warnings

• The owners manual may already list the maximum trailer weight that can be towed with the vehicle.
• Look online for the GCWR of your vehicle if you cannot find the owners manual.
• You can find scales to weigh your vehicle at many truck stops or grain elevators.
• Exceeding the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle may interfere with the vehicle being able to stop correctly when applying the brakes.

## References

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