You’ve found the right place if you are looking for average trailer weights. These numbers can help you determine how large a trailer you could buy to tow along with your truck.
What is the importance of trailer weight?
For almost any vehicle, there is a camper caravan. A small teardrop trailer can be towable by a car. If you are looking for a 26-foot trailer, however, don’t overexert your mini-SUV’s tow limit.
A truck or any other vehicle that claims it can tow 7,200 lbs (3,250 kg) should be sufficient to tow most trailers less than 24 feet.
You should be careful when shopping for trailers. Don’t let the marketing fool you. Every trailer, regardless of how heavy or bloated, today is advertised as being “lightweight, superlight and featherlite.”
You can tow a small vehicle with it. We wrote an article about 9 family camper trailers.
Popular Camper Models’ Average Trailer Weights
The average trailer weighs around 5,200 pounds (2.350 kilos) dry.
It is the trailer’s weight when it is empty of its fuel tanks and has no gear. To get a real-world example, you can add 1,500 pounds (680 kg) of gear and water.
This depends on how long your camper trailer is and what type of camper it is. Your trailer filled with water, gear and other items should weigh approximately 250 pounds per foot (not the length of the box, but the length of the hitch).
- 3,715 lbs without gear and water – 2015 Jayco Jayflight19RD (19 feet box length).
- 3,786 lbs without gear and water – 2017 RPod RP-176 (17 ft)
- 3,974 lbs without gear and water – 2017 Coleman CT192RDWE (23 feet box height)
- 4,800 lbs without gear and water – 2017 Rockwood Minilight 2504s (25 foot box length, 29 feet total length)
- 5,118 lbs without water and gear – 2017 Salem Hemisphere 24-BH (24-foot box length).
- 5,605 lbs without gear and water, 2015 Jayco Jay Flight 26RKS (26-foot box length).
- 6,030 lbs without gear and water, 2015 Jayco Jay Flight 27RLS (27-foot long box length).
- 7,690 lbs without gear and water – 2016 Jayco Jayflight 38BHDS (38 foot box)
- 7,705 lbs without gear and water 2017 Cherokee West 274DBH 32 foot box
How to read trailer weight numbers
It can be confusing to read all the numbers for trailers. While I was on the lot, I was confused by the fact that some salespeople gave me the gross weight while others gave me the dry weight.
It was my experience that adding 1,500 pounds for water and gear to the vehicle’s unloaded weight is the best way to go.
- Unloaded vehicle Weight – This refers to the camper without any water or gear. Only the trailer.
- Gross vehicle Weight – This is the total weight of the trailer including full tanks and an average load. This is the maximum trailer can weigh. We know there is more to Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR), so has a detailed guide on exactly what GVWR is.
- Dry hitchweight – The trailer ball weight of your towing vehicle after the trailer has been loaded with water and other gear is called the dry hitch weight. This figure is typically less than 10% of the trailer’s total weight. My 25′ trailer has a dry hitch weight of 500 pounds.
- Cargo carrying capability – Maximum amount of gear or stuff that the trailer can hold.
Shopping for a trailer or truck?
Look inside the driver’s door at the sticker. The sticker will show you how much it can tow. This number is important and not the one you find when you Google your vehicle and the towweight.
The weight of your vehicle’s tow vehicle will vary based on the options and packages that were included with it when it was brand new. You can only find out what model your vehicle is capable of using by looking at the sticker.
This is the maximum weight the trailer can support when fully loaded or empty. All cargo, fluids, passengers, and the trailer’s original weight are considered loaded. This weight rating is important because you’ll likely travel with a loaded trailer.
Here are some ways that gear and trailer manufacturing can impact average trailer weights. Even bicycles can impact how much your truck can tow.
Water and Gear Weight
Eight pounds of water per gallon is the average weight of a trailer. A 48-gallon freshwater tank will suffice. Your trailer will be nearly 400 pounds heavier just from the fresh water tank.
Next, we add gear to the camper. A generator that can power a travel trailer air conditioner is about 90 pounds. You can also find here a review of the best generators for travel trailers. Even if you don’t plan on going crazy, you’ll likely add 400 pounds more camping gear, food and kitchen supplies.
My tow vehicle was a Dodge Durango 2012 with the tow package. It can tow 7,100 pounds. It weighs in at 4,800 pounds dry, and 6,300 pounds when loaded with gear and water. Even though it’s almost 1,000 pounds less than my tow vehicle can safely tow, I can still only travel 55 mph when climbing a steep hill.
Slides and trailer weight
Slide-outs for camper trailers can increase the trailer’s weight. One slide-out can add 800 pounds to the trailer’s weight.
Pop outs, which is the tent material that pops out from your camper, will not add much weight. These are motorized slide-outs, and I’m only referring to them.
Fiberglass trailers versus aluminum trailers
There are two main ways to build a camper-trailer. First, fiberglass construction. This type has smooth side walls. This camper is made with aluminum metal structuring, which is much lighter than traditional “stick-built” trailers with wooden 4×4’s.
Stick-built trailers have aluminum corrugated siding. These trailers have bumps all around the exterior. These trailers weigh in at around 900 pounds more than a standard load of lumber.
The Airstream trailer is a completely different animal. This article focuses on airstream weights and includes a towing guide that you should review if you are considering buying an airstream.
Conclusion: Don’t max out your towing vehicle
You may be surprised to learn that your vehicle’s “maximum weight towing capacity” could be higher than your camper’s actual weight. However, you shouldn’t tow your vehicle. Check out this guide to find out how to determine how much your vehicle can safely haul.
I recommend that you multiply the dry weight of your camper and add 1,500 pounds. Add that amount to the towing vehicle’s towing capacity.
There are many reasons to not buy more than your vehicle can tow.
- Your transmission will likely be destroyed over the long-term.
- You won’t likely be able drive at the speed limit uphill.
- There should be some margin for error. In case the trailer company or the towing vehicle give you “overly optimistic” numbers in their advertising materials.
Sometimes you need a big truck to match your big RV. After towing my trailer for awhile with a V8 Dodge Durango, I finally bought an F-150.
16 thoughts on “The Average Camper Weight”
Quick question: I have a 1970 Thunderbird Travel Trailer 12 ft 2 inch. Would you know what the gvwr was?
We are new to the trailer industry, and have not yet purchased a trailer. We are looking for a large vehicle that can carry the most weight and is large enough to accommodate our large family. The Ford Transit 12 passenger is currently our vehicle, but it doesn’t have the capacity to carry all of our needs. We are now looking into a Chevy Express. A trailer that can sleep at least 10 people is required. Are there any other combinations that you think would work? Although a truck is the best choice, it won’t be able to fit everyone and we don’t want two cars. We appreciate your understanding.
I’m not sure if this question has been answered. To pull our 30 foot camper, we bought a Chevy Express 3500 15-passenger to haul it. It’s been great so far. A brake controller is essential. 65 mph is the fastest we have driven or plan on driving. Although big hills can be nerve-racking, they are perfectly acceptable.
Travel trailers are also lighter on your wallet and purse. They are very popular because half of the 430,000 RVs that were sold in 2016 went to people under 45 years old (statistic from 2017 CNN Money article).
We just bought a 17-foot Skyliner. CCC 5000 UVH, -300 for Fresh Water Weight, -48 for LPGAs 10 Gallon. WHICH leaves us at 1377 CCW and 295 HITCH. This INFO COMES OF STICKER. THIS HAS A DESCRIPTION OF ALL THAT COME WITH RV FRIDGE STOVE. ETC. HOW DO I find our WEIGHT?
This comment was prompted by an internet post entitled “What does a small pull-back camper weigh?” A 17-foot to 24-foot trailer with an adequate amount of equipment weighs between 2500 and 3500 pounds. Both were mine in ’72/80. After my wife’s death, I also owned and camped out in a 5’x8″x46’H teardrop, weighing 900 lb with 100 lb gear. At 78, that was too small so I bought a 13-foot layout-2 Scamp trailer which weighed 1660 lb dry. These two last vehicles were pulled by small cars weighing between 4000-4500 lb (1997) Avalon and 2007 Ford Edge. The Rocky Mountains and Plains were not suited for a heavy-duty pickup truck. I can only travel 60 to 65 mph, but the autos did not strain at towing (with no electric brakes). Because I was single and needed elbow space, I swapped the layout-2 Scamp layout-1 for one that weighed 150 lb. I will be using a 2015 Mazda 3 with a good-ideas transmission cooler and electric brake controller. My first motivation for buying a small travel trailer was to escape the “luxuries” of home and live in the quiet “wilderness”. You’re on vacation and want to experience the beauty of nature, including hikes and campfire stories with fellow campers. You and me don’t need much, and I don’t make a mess of the roads. This is my experience and it’s been wonderful. (PS: You should spend a year camping before you make any other +/- caravaning decisions.
So confused. I have a Jeep Cherokee latitude plus, and it claims it can tow 4500 pounds. What size camper should I get? What should I look for in a camper? We only need something for the weekend and on vacations for Hubby. We will have only clothes and food. We won’t be able to carry any sporting equipment.
I’m thinking of buying an Oliver Legacy Elite 2. It lists the dry weight at 4,600 and the GVWR at 7,000. It measures 23′ 6″ in length. My car is a 2007 Kia Sedan with 307,000m. What towing vehicles should you be looking for? Complicating matters, my two elderly dogs don’t like being pushed in the back of an SUV. I’d love a car that is low to the ground. Please help. We are so grateful.
Ken says: June 4, 2021, 7:47 am
You can purchase dog ramps. It is unlikely that you would ever want to downgrade your vehicle.
Linda Nelson says: November 26, 2018, 7:10pm
Hello guys! Hello! I am a new RV owner. I just bought a Winnie Vista 2002, 21′. Although I’m not pulling any cars, I do want to replace my couch. Temporarily, I will be using a 269 lb massage seat. Are you concerned about your weight?
George says: November 18, 2018, 9:53 p.m.
I own a 2016 4Runner with a four-liter V6 engine and a tow weight of 5000 pounds. I am interested in a 21′ trailer that weighs 3900 lbs. Although the tongue weight of the 4Runner is 500 lbs, I believe it can tow more weight with a weight-distributing hitch. This trailer may be too big for me. I would appreciate any thoughts.
Helen says: October 18, 2018, 10:51 p.m.
I own a 2018 highlander that is designed to tow 5000. My camper weighs in at 3885 dry. Is the factory couch, ect considered cargo weight? Does it matter if I don’t take water with me when packing? I’m super confused. I have added safety bars to the camper. But I’m still concerned.
Paula Troutman says: September 12, 2018, at 3:30 AM
Thank you for your help. I have a trailer Fleetwood 1987 25 feet in length.
Dragan says: August 23, 2018, 7:03 PM
This blog is very informative.
I love to travel and hope that I can buy a camper van in the near future.
LYNDA JANKE says: July 24, 2018, 10:38 p.m.
HI, WE HAVE A 15.5 FOOT OLDER TRAVELLER FOR SALE.. WE’VE BEEN ASKED THE DRY WEIGHT.. READ THIS: A TRAVELLER WEIGHS ABOUT 100 LBS/FOOT. THIS WOULD GIVE US A BASE FIGURE.
Ricky Kesler says: July 26, 2018, at 2:57 a.m.
If your document is older, it may not have the MSO (Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin) listing this information. You will know the dry weight if you have this document. You can also have the dry weight of your camper weighed. You can also look at similar models but older ones to see their dry weight. This could be done online.
The 2017 R-Pod RP-176 measures 17 feet in length and weighs 3,786 lbs dry (a little more than 100 lbs per ft). This will depend on whether your camper has slide outs and what materials the frame or body are made of. A good starting point is 100 lbs per foot, but this only applies if your camper is light and has no slide-outs.
R Gardner says: June 22, 2019, 11:36 p.m.
You may now have your answer in June 2019. You can also look for a vendor that weighs trucks, or a cattle feed vendor. Some may offer a non-certified weight.
Merlin says: July 22, 2018, at 4:51 AM
I bought an Arctic Fox 32A last month. I am towing it with a GMC Denali 2500 HD with Duramax diesel. It weighs 825 dry. I just weighed it using a Sherline scale and it came in at 1375 lbs. This is after all tanks are empty and with a small amount food and other supplies. Manufacturers are very misleading in suggesting that this number means anything. There is not enough space for anything more when you add propane tanks, batteries and other options, such as a powerjack. Before letting the vehicle leave the lot, dealers should have scales and weigh the trailer and vehicle axels. The consumer would still be responsible for loading the gear but they would also be alert to the dangers associated with over loading. I will next be stopping at a truck stop nearby to verify all axel weights.
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Leslie says: June 29, 2018, 2:47 p.m.
A 2007 Ford Escape can pull an 18ft travel caravan with one slide out. If it can, what kind of hitch would we need?
Nick says: June 6, 2018, 10:07 p.m.
Hi, I found a 99 Franklin Imperial recently. It’s 38 feet tall with two pop outs. I pulled it with my 91 dodge D350 but it took almost everything. I’m curious how much it could weigh. I’d like to get a weight-distributing hitch with the suspension control.
Ricky Kesler says: June 7, 2018, 5:20 p.m.
This 38-footer is likely to weigh close to 8,000 lbs, but that depends on several factors. If they are pop-outs and not slides, it could mean a difference of 1,000 to 1,600 pounds. That’s just the dry weight. Water and gear are also important. If your Dodge Dodge can carry 12,000 lbs, I would say it’s fine. To make sure the trailer can handle at least 8,000 lbs, I would weigh it.
USMC 66′- says: May 27, 2018, 11:28 p.m.
I purchased an 04′ F150 in 04′ with a few thousand miles, probably 19K. (4×2) 4.6L Automatic
My boat ….20″ is the only thing I have pulled along with my trk. I don’t know if it has towing pkg, and I don’t.
Know how to determine if it has one. Never really paid much attention to the T-Pkg.
I am about to become the proud owner of a 23.4′ Rockwall UltraLite RV/ bumper pull camper. It’s being sold by one of my X-family members. It is clean, and although I have not seen it in person, I am certain that it is in excellent condition. It is located in La. near Alexandria. My SIL told me he would pull it here I live near Galveston, Tx. It will be down here soon, and I’d like to pull it. I wish i could tell you how heavy that RV weighed empty.
If anyone could can relate to this scenerio……….please chime in
Shawn says: May 25, 2018, 6:44 p.m.
I don’t like to spend a lot of time researching something. The amount of time spent “thinking” about something has no bearing on its accuracy. Smart decisions are made based on the information you have at your disposal at the time of the decision. If you are looking for a high quality trailer, and you have the ability to understand quality, you can spend a few hundred dollars on a visit to the Oliver factory to take a two-hour tour. You won’t have to worry about the color of your trailer if you are serious about buying one. These Oliver’s were worth every penny. I was convinced long before the tour ended.
Oliver Travel Trailers
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Blake Irvine says: January 17, 2018, 3:17 p.m.
Andy, this is a very clear article. It is difficult for me to grasp the significance of the maximum tongue weight of tow vehicles. If you pull 6300 pounds, then 15% of your tongue weight equals 945 pounds. Dodge Durango 2012 with tow package has an upper tongue weight of 750 pounds. This means that you are slightly heavier than the 7100 pound towing limit.
What is the impact of the maximum hitch weight? Can I go over? I’m interested in a Durango as a family hauler or summer tow vehicle.
Lilly says: January 12, 2018, at 5:14 p.m.
My 2001 BMW 4.4L is my vehicle. My vehicle can pull one axel 15. travel trailer?
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David says: December 6, 2017, 8:07 pm
My current sports car may not be powerful enough to pull a 21-foot trailer that would weigh in at 5,250 lbs. Is it possible for a Corvette to pull such a trailer in a modern model? We can assume its V-8 is powerful enough to pull such a trailer. Is its frame strong enough to support a trailer hitch? What will the impact of the trailer hitch on the Corvette’s performance if it isn’t towing a trailer at all? What would the cost of installing that hitch be?
Please let us know. We are grateful!
Andrew Seale says: November 2, 2017, 8:54 pm
Wow, you are reading my mind.
Mak says: September 21, 2017, at 2:05 am
I have a 1979 Fleetwood 15′ Prowler tandem axles bumper-pull trailer. I do not know the axle ratings or gross weight of this trailer as it has no tags. Could you please give me more information? Thanks.
Agnes says: September 11, 2017, 11:28 p.m.
One of these scales is available for truckers on the roadside. Dumps and industrial recycling centers are also possible with scales.
Sherri says: September 5, 2017, at 02:13
The same problem is happening to me with Jeep. I am trying to figure out their towing capacity. It is difficult to determine the towing capacity, weight, etc. I have tried many sites to find concrete answers but no one has ever provided any real information.
Justin Kap says: August 29, 2017, at 12:33 am
Distance traveling does make a big difference. You should be within the manufacturer’s specifications. You should consider buying a larger vehicle if you plan to travel a lot. It is difficult to travel at maximum GVWR. This requires 100% focus and the perfect weight distribution.
Patty says: August 23, 2017, 7:52 PM
This is great information. However, I’d like to add that it is important to consider the vehicle’s stopping power in relation to the load you are pulling. Many people believe their truck can pull a large trailer (or horse trailers). The question is: If you’re going down a steep hill or grade, is your vehicle strong enough to stop or slow the vehicle? It’s not a pretty sight to see people pulling four horse trailers and four horses behind Toyotas. This is just an FYI. Don’t believe the dealer when they tell you the truth. It’s their job sell the truck.
Michael Mamuscia says: August 21, 2017, 10:21 p.m.
A 20 foot layton travel trailerskyline is available for towing a new Toyota four-runner. Please let me know how heavy the trailer weighs empty from factory
Cheryl says: August 21, 2017, 5:48 p.m.
You also need to consider the weight of all the passengers and gear in the tow vehicle (in this instance, the Dodge Durango).
Kirk says: August 20, 2017, at 4:02 AM
I own a 1995 304 Bh Jayco with dry weight 5250 and gross $7800, 2 30 gall tanks, and a 2 30 gal tank. I have a 16 f150 crew-v8 with 7000 tow capability. I am concerned that I might have purchased too big a trailer to fit my truck. My family of five and their dogs weigh 600lbs in the truck. Thoughts?
Maureen says: May 5, 2022, 9:36 PM
I hope you found a satisfactory answer. Although I am not an expert, I do have an F150 tow capacity of 7800
The dry weight of a travel trailer is 6440. We don’t have water in our tank. To overestimate, hubby and i add 400-500 lbs. This leaves us with a little more than 1000 lbs extra weight. This is a good guess, but it’s not the correct term for dry weight. We were instructed to use this number when deciding on a proper weight to pull our vehicle.
John stewart says: August 13, 2017, 2:54 PM
How much can I tow with a Jeep Rengrade? The tow-on hitch weight is 1,500 lbs
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Jon says: August 9, 2017, 8:51 PM
Andy, I was curious where you found the GCWR for Durango. I have a 2014 Grand Cherokee with hemi, tow package and I can tow 7200lbs. After looking at my specs, I was baffled to see a stamp on my front door that stated my vehicle’s GVWR is 6800lbs and the curb weight is just under 5000lbs. ….wrong. I can load 1800lbs in my jeep. Another sticker is located inside the door jam that states cargo and passengers must not exceed 1150lbs. The discrepancy of 650lbs was so confusing that I called Chrysler. They could not explain it and could not provide me with a GCWR. I tried my best to find the information online, but I was unable to.
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Tim Jagoe says: July 7, 2017, 6:22 AM
We are all grateful.
Randy Wright says: June 13, 2017, 11:26 am
You are a lot lighter than you think. They are closer to GVWR than they are unloaded vehicle weights. For example, the R-Pod RP1756 weighs in at 3786 lbs. unloaded.
Andy Y says: July 7, 2017, 7:12 PM
Randy, you are right. It is important to ignore trailers’ dry weights. The GVWR is the most important. When towing your trailer, it will be close to that number.
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Nancy Ferri says: May 24, 2017, at 1:07 a.m.
I would like to know how much more miles per hour a 5th-wheel tows than a travel trailer. Next year, we will be purchasing our “retirement camper”. A 5,400-pound 5th wheel is what I am interested in. I added 500 lbs to the calculation because we won’t be carrying fresh water in our tanks. Tops are for clothing and food. A travel trailer, which weighs in at 5,900 lbs, is another option. Add 500 lbs to the dry weight. Most likely, we will purchase a Diesel pickup – either 250 or 2500 series. Is the RV’s weight a factor in diesel fuel consumption? How much mpg should we expect to pull? Please let me know if you have any information. My work email is: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks! !
Andy Y says: July 7, 2017, 7:11 p.m.
Remember that dry weights don’t usually include any options, and that all trailers come with lots of options… even mandatory option packages. This seems to be a strange definition of what options are. Dry weight does not include things such as furnaces, A/C units and upgraded refrigerators. There will be 500 lbs more of bedding, food, pots/pans, and other gear than you originally thought. But there are still 1,000+ lbs worth of options. It’s better to start with the GVWR, and then work backwards from there, than with the dry weight, and moving forward.
Having said that, I cannot really help you with MPG. A 3/4-ton diesel should get between 10 and 15 MPG, but you can do a search online.
Mark D says: May 10, 2017, at 2:55 a.m.
Tongue weight is something I don’t think we talk about. This is what got us into trouble. A 2007 Tundra with a 5.7l engine was available that could tow 10,000 pounds. The RV store staff insisted that my truck was capable of towing the trailer I wanted. The trailer was dry weighed 8000 pounds and the tongue dry weight was about 1100. We weighed in at around 1300 pounds with 80 pounds of propane added to the tongue and a 100+ pound Centerline hitch. Although I have no idea what the rating was of the receiver, I will tell you that even with the Centerline weight distribution hitch, we were still dragging our tail home. This was because the steering wheel was extremely light and provided very little control. To top it all, with 1300 pounds tongue weight, 240 lbs of me and my wife and 40 lbs of our dog, we could tow 1700 pounds on a truck that has a 1590 pound maximum payload capacity. Needless to mention, I was furious at the dealership for insisting that my truck could tow the trailer. They should not have allowed me to leave the lot with this load, even if they were legally compliant. I bought an F-350 in the hope that I would be able to upgrade to a fifth wheel if I enjoyed RVing. I was eventually able to upgrade to a class-A diesel pusher. However, I have become more knowledgeable about what I can tow and tongue weights. I’ve also lost weight since retiring.
Margie says: May 2, 2017, 2:58 p.m.
I am a Dutchman who is 27 feet tall and want to purchase a truck to pull it. I’m not sure how much. I would appreciate any suggestions as to what truck type you should buy. This is my first RV. I’ve been researching online about RVING. Help! It’s not necessary to take it beyond your local area.
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