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.