Average Weight of Travel Trailers (Including Tips for Tow Weight)

Travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s difficult to know what the weight of one is. When I was trying to decide on what travel trailer to buy, I researched weight and this is what I found.

So, what is the average weight of a travel trailer? The average weight of a standard travel trailer is 5,200 lbs. Other types of trailers will weigh less, like a pop-up trailer, while toy haulers will weigh more. To tow a travel trailer, you will usually need a mid-sized SUV or truck.

There are so many lengths and mechanization that it is important to look in-depth at individual trailer and needs.

What is GVWR?

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and refers to the maximum weight allowed of both your RV and cargo. Cargo needs to include the weight of your belonging, camping gear, passengers, and anything in your tanks (fresh water tank, grey tank, black tank). I always recommend traveling with near empty, if not empty, tanks.

What is Dry Weight?

Dry weight is also referred to as UVW, which refers to the weight of the trailer or RV alone. This does not include cargo, propane tanks, or another upgraded accessories.

What it Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC)

Cargo Carrying Capacity refers to the most weight that you can pack into your RV. This includes all your personal items and any water in your tanks. The CCC is determined by subtracting the UVW from the GVWR.

What is Tongue Weight (TW)

Tongue weight or TW is the amount of weight an RV puts on the towing vehicles’s trailer ball. It is calculated by subtracting the weight of the towing vehicle from the weight of your vehicle and the trailer combined.

Related Reading: Choosing the Proper Weight Distribution Hitch for Your RV

Do Slide-Outs Increase the Weight of an RV?

Slide-outs are great additions to an RV as they increase the amount of space or square footage inside, but they do increase the weight quite a bit. On average an RV slide-out will add an additional 800 pounds. If you have multiple slides, then this increases significantly.

Do some research before purchasing as how much your vehicle can tow, the GVWR, UVW, and CCC.

Conventional (Hard-sided) Travel Trailers

Hard-sided travel trailers are the most popular and versatile of the trailers out there. They come in various sizes. They come in anywhere from 12-35 ft. Size is a huge component of why Hard-sided travel trailers are popular.

Because there are smaller models, you can use a mid-size car to pull them. More people have mid-sized cars so this is a huge market for a mass amount of people.

The smaller versions of these travel trailers can be pulled by a minivan, SUV or even your family car where all of your adventures happen. The lightweight composite models are designed so that smaller, six-cylinder cars can tow your trailer.

You can get help to professionally install a hitch and even consult your dealer for questions you might have about hitching or any other things involving your travel trailer.

Here is a chart of some popular travel trailers, and examples of the different sizes and weights.

Unloaded Vehicle WeightGross WeightDry Hitch WeightCargo Capacity
2018 Forest River RV R Pod RP-1712,342 lbsApprox. 3,842 lbs242 lbs900 lbs
Forest River Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BHS5,124 lbsApprox. 6,624 lbs648 lbs1,524 lbs
Palomino Puma 31-FKRK8,655 lbsApprox. 9,995 lbs1,195 lbs1,303 lbs

There is a wide range of prices as well. You can even find many used ones as well. There are a variety of options that you can find online. I went online to search for travel trailers on Craigslist and eBay.

There are plenty of used travel trailers on there. I found a lot of Airstream trailers. I found other popular brands like Forest River and Jayco.

New trailers cost around $30,000 or more. If you are in the market for a travel trailer and you don’t want to shell out that much money, you can always look online for something about $10,000 to $15,000 cheaper.

If you are interested in the smaller size of travel trailers, there are many different models and brands to choose from. I would suggest getting the Forest River RV R Pod RP-171 Travel Trailer. These smaller trailers are good for a small family of about 4.

Because of the smaller size, these kinds of trailers can be pulled by a mid-size SUV or pickup truck. It is easier to maneuver since it is a smaller addition to your car so that is also a plus.

Another product with a similar price range is the Jayco Flight SLX 7. The set up is a little different. There is not as much bed space. It has a bunk bed system. I would say that this one is the lesser of the two.

I think that if you are looking for something more simple than the former, go for the Jayco Flight SLX 7.

So what if your family is bigger? What if you want to space to get around so you don’t get antsy and tense? If you are like me at all, I like to have space to move around.

If you’ve got a few more people you are taking with you, I would suggest something a little roomier. My recommendation is the Forest River Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BHS. That’s a mouthful. I would not suggest saying that very much.

The Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BHS has some really great features. There is a section that can be extended out to create more room after you have set everything up. It sleeps about 5 or 6 people. If you have little kids running around it will probably fit more than that.

It has a bunkhouse portion where you can fit even more stuff. This thing has great room space to move around and not feel cramped.

You will need a bigger vehicle for this big trailer. I would suggest a full-size SUV or a full-size truck. With this thing weighing nearly 5,000 lbs, I would rather be safe than sorry. You don’t want to tow something that your car can’t handle.

If you do, it will put a strain, that you do not need, on your car which will affect your engine, suspension, brakes, cooling system, etc. Plus it puts you in some potentially dangerous situations that just are not fun.

You may be the person that likes the biggest thing that they can find and are willing to do what it takes to have that travel trailer. One of the biggest travel trailers out there is the Palomino Puma 31-FKRK. This beast is a whopping 37 feet! There are many different floor plans you can have with this thing. It has two parts that extend. One in the front room with chairs and a couch. The other is for the king bed in the back of the trailer.

This giant trailer will take a lot to move it. The gross towing capacity is about 10,000 lbs. Make sure you have a big enough car to deal with this. I would only use diesel engines for this. It will need a lot of power to get this thing to move a big travel trailer like this one.

Below I have provided some of the best kinds of cars to use for these kinds of travel trailers.

Best Cars for Towing Big Travel Trailers:

  • Dodge Ram 3500
  • Ford F-350
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Ford Excursion

Check out “9 Important things to prepare your truck for towing a camper.”

Tips for Pulling a Travel Trailer

Hitching Your Vehicle

Honestly, this is the most crucial part of the whole trip. If you don’t do this right, you could end up in trouble. I would suggest watching videos on YouTube about how to do this.

You will need some WD-40 to help with getting the hitch on. I will say that much. It helps. Make sure you follow a checklist to make sure everything gets done right.

Check for Safety

You will want to check how your visibility is. Check mirrors and make sure there is nothing obscuring your vision. Also, check your brakes and brake controller for your travel trailer. Have someone tell you if the lights are working for the brakes.

When you check your braking, you’ll want to notice if the trailer tugs at you or if it has a jerky stop. If it tugs, turn up the power on the brake controller. If it jerks, turn it down.

Know the Size of Your Vehicle

You will need to know the height of your trailer. There may be low bridges on the path and you want to know if your trailer can make it or not. Along with that, you want to plan out your trip and what roads you will take.

Some roads will probably not fit your travel trailer. Another thing is turning. You will need to understand the size of your vehicle to know how to it. This is not going to be easy if you are driving a huge trailer.

Tips for Reducing Weight

First off, I think that you should weight your car and the trailer separately. That way you can get a better idea of where the problem might be. Along with that, make sure you distribute the weight well so there is no unnecessary weight piled up in weird places.

Get rid of the extra things that you do not need. Do you have equipment that you never use that just sits somewhere? Get rid of it. A lot of small things add up weight over time, so get rid of things like unused kitchen items or bathroom things that seem cool but are useless.

You do not want weight that is is not useful to your trip.

Make sure that you only bring the number of people as recommended. It is a simple one but useful. Just don’t go crazy because you have a lot of space. It can only carry so many people. Most humans average out to 150 lbs and that adds up quickly.

Try to make everything as lightweight as possible. Replace things if you have to. I would not recommend heavy wood. Use aluminum if possible. Find products meant for travel trailers. They have things that specially made for them so that they reduce weight. Have fun shopping!

And last but not least, Make sure you have the proper air pressure in your tires. This is honestly one of the most important parts. Make sure the pressure is even in all tires as well.

This will really help support everything in the trailer after you have emptied out the extra things you don’t need.

Extra Weight

Loading up your trailer will definitely add some extra weight to your travel trailer. Food for a trip will add extra pounds. Also, water weighs a lot. About 8.3 lbs per gallon. Most trailers can load 48 gallons for a trip. That comes out to 398.4. That’s just on water!

You will probably add 1,500 lbs with all of the things that you need to get on your trip. What do you need for your trailer? Here are some accessories that are recommended. Sometimes that might be overshooting it, but it’s better to fall below the maximum towing capacity rather than max out.

If you are wondering how much your car can tow, check out this resource. It has a list of a ton of different makes and models with their towing capacity.

I am going to include some definitions in here for you so you can better understand the weight capacities. There are also some tables later down in the article that will be a lot easier to understand with these definitions.

Unloaded vehicle weight refers to a trailer without anything on it yet, like clothes, food, and water. The total weight here is basically how you buy it but not how you would travel with your trailer.

When gross weight is mentioned, this is when the trailer is packed with food, water, the whole shebang. This will be the total amount of weight that you will likely have at the start of every trip, so this weight is probably the most important when it comes to towing capacity.

Hitch weight is the amount of weight that will go directly onto the hitch of the vehicle you are using to tow with. A hitch can only withstand so much weight so make sure your trailer is not too heavy for the hitch.

Just so you know, dry hitch weight is usually 1/10th of the total trailer weight so you are probably good.

If you want a bigger trailer, than make sure you have a good, heavy duty- hitch. Even if you have a massive truck, check out your hitch to make sure it’s in good condition.

Cargo capacity is in reference to the maximum amount of things that you can have in your trailer. Maybe, it’s more about the max amount you should have.

[Going over tow capacity can] put a strain, that you do not need, on your car which will affect your engine, suspension, brakes, cooling system, etc. Plus it puts you in some potentially dangerous situations that just are not fun.

Overfilling your travel trailer can cause some unnecessary wear and tear on your trailer and hurt the vehicle that you are towing with because it might set it over the towing capacity limit.

Pop-Up Campers

Pop-up trailers are super neat because they come so compact and are so easy to store. Pop-up trailers can be opened and raised to reach approximately the size of a traditional travel trailer.

It collapses when you are traveling so it does not interfere with your gas mileage as much which is also a plus. These trailers are more lightweight which means that it can be towed by a bigger range of vehicles.

Pop-up trailers do leak more than other trailers do which can be a problem and they are not as great as keeping out the cold at night. They also can get really hot in the summer as well.

Don’t let that stop you. These pop-up trailers are very nice to have. They are one of the most loved types of trailers.

Here are some of the most popular pop-up trailers:

Unloaded Vehicle WeightGross WeightDry Hitch weightCargo Capacity
Jayco Jay Series Sport 8SD1,570 lbs 2,250 lbs215 lbs680 lbs
Coachman Clipper 806LS1,503 lbs2,096 lbs115lbs813 lbs
QuickSilver Tent Camper 10.01,106 lbs2,090 lbs186 lbs984 lbs

The Jayco Jay Series Sports 8SD is super lightweight compared to a lot of other trailers. It should be easier on the vehicles to tow because of the weight.

Downsides about this trailer, in particular, is that it does not have much room for water and cannot sleep a lot of people.

This Coachman is a great option too, and not super heavy. It is a bit small so if you have a big family this is probably not the right trailer for you.

The Quicksilver trailer is the lightest of them all but can also hold the most inside. This pop-up, in particular, has reviews that it is not the best at keeping warm at night.

Click the link for more information on pop-up camper weight.

Hybrid Trailers

Hybrid trailers combine the elements of a traditional or hard-sided trailer with the pop-up trailers. That’s why they are called hybrids. These babies are regular size trailers but can expand when parked. Sometimes they move outwards or sometimes they move up.

Most have an awning that expands that gives so much needed shade in the summer.

Hybrid trailers are a bit heavier because they are mechanized (most of the time). The parts that pop-out do so mechanically which adds a lot of weight.

Let’s take a look at some of the best hybrid trailers on the market:

Unloaded Vehicle WeightGross WeightDry Hitch weightCargo Capacity
Kodak Cub 179E3,774 lbs5,400 lbs518 lbs1,626 lbs
Aerolite 2423BH5,928 lbs7,595 lbs769 lbs1,667 lbs
Jayco Hummingbird 17RK 20192,980 lbs3,950 lbs310 lbs970 lbs

As you can see, the weight differential is huge. The Kodak Cub model that is picked out has a lot more room than any of the pop-ups. There are more beds and more area for the non-sleeping parts of the trip as well.

Aerolite’s model in the above table is a very, very nice and roomy travel trailer. It is a great product with high reviews. A downside can be the amount of weight on the hitch. Towing this trailer could be harder on your hitch and the vehicle itself.

Jayco has a smaller model but it is also not as heavy. Really what kind of trailer you need depends on the group size.

You don’t need to get any of the trailers that are listed above either. There are so many options out there. Sometimes your budget means getting a used trailer, which is perfectly fine!

It is just good to know that there are many weights out there for trailers! A general idea of how much the kind of trailer you want weighs is such a big help. By knowing its general weight, you know where to start, or maybe the kind of vehicle you need.

Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers are lightweight and inexpensive travel trailers that are so named for their teardrop-like shape that starts bulky and becomes smaller towards its end.

Teardrop trailers are one of the most flexible travel trailer options there are even some teardrop trailers that are capable of handling off-road travel.

Tear Drop Trailer

If you are searching for a lightweight travel trailer than teardrops are almost always your best bet. They usually sleep up to four people have simple amenities like a single television and a small kitchen area and bathroom but their small cozy nature is perfect for a small family on the road.

Additionally, the small size of teardrop trailers makes them easy to store and cart around. While some travel trailers can be difficult to maneuver the teardrop trailer is rarely more than 12 feet in length added to the end of your car.

This means that you won’t be struggling throughout maneuvering in your small home town in a way that you might with some other travel trailers.

Unloaded Vehicle WeightGross WeightDry Hitch WeightCargo Capacity
Forest River R-Pod2836 lbs3885 lbs292 lbs1049 lbs
Timberline trailer4,150 – 4,350 lbs5573 lbs575 – 825 lbs1223 lbs
iCamp Elite2366 lbs2896 lbs236 lbs530 lbs

Click the link to read more on Teardrop trailer weight.

Forest River R-Pod

While small the Forest River R-pod maximizes the space that it gives you providing you with plenty of options in its limited space. First, it is highly durable due to its fiberglass and steel coated frame.

This durability allows for greater lengths in the use of space such as having an option for a bunkhouse which will provide a sleeping capacity for 4 people.

This means it’s easy to cart around and works well for a small family. It falls well into the light scale for travel trailers so towing the trailer shouldn’t be a challenge.

For more details and pricing options on the R-Pod follow this link.

Timberline Trailer

Timberline trailers are right at the edge of teardrop trailers it is rather large and as such weighs quite a bit more, but that comes with much more living space. So if your truck can haul it will be worth your time.

You are looking at a weight of close to 5,000 pounds with a maximum at around 7,500. This will cause more strain on your engine, but the result is it sleeps 5 people, reaches 7 feet in height, and has an indoor shower.

Check out the Timberline and pricing options here.

iCamp Elite

The iCamp Elite truly takes advantage of all the space it has your dinning table turns into your bed allowing for the luxury of a bathroom, oven, and refrigerator on top of the bed/table.

You’ll be able to take care of everything you need to back here without it being majorly cramped while still keeping its overall weight light.

Check out more details on the iCamp Elite here.

Toy Hauler Camper

Toy Hauler trailers are among the heaviest trailers out there. These RVs are used to cart around your UTVs, ATVs, and dirt bike in the back of the trailer. This means that on top of hauling your living space behind your truck you also are hauling a garage. That’s heavy.

Toy haulers will still have plenty of amenities for their owners but the majority of the space and effort in creating the vehicles goes into the garage space. As such, if you are looking for high-quality living space you probably aren’t going to get the best deal with a toy hauler.

Unloaded Vehicle WeightGross WeightDry Hitch WeightCargo Capacity
Lance TH 26127050 lbs9950 lbs845 lbs2900 lbs
Forest River RV Fury 2912X7113 lbs9590 lbs790 lbs2477 lbs
Keystone Raptor 35113546 lbs17000 lbs3020 lbs3454 lbs

Lance TH 2612

Functional and Reliable the lancer camper has great living space and room for your vehicle too. Its construction is tough allowing it to survive in harsh weather wherever you take it. The trailer can sleep up to 7 people and has two recliner for both resting and sleeping.

For toy haulers, this is among the lighter options with it reaching just under 10,000 pounds. You’ll still need a heavy duty truck to haul your toy hauler though as it is definitely too much for a small truck. You will want nothing less than a one-ton truck to cart your toy haulers around.

For more information and pricing detail for the Lance TH 2612 go here.

Forest River RV Fury 2912X

The trailer reaches about 34 feet long and 11 feet high. It has a lower amount of carrying capacity, so you can’t cart the heaviest of toys in this hauler but it works out well for a strong place to serve as a home on the road while taking some of your small toys with you.

Once again a heavy duty truck is what you’ll need to cart this around as you need. to find out more about the RV Fury 2912X follow this link to Forest rivers website.

Keystone Raptor 351

One of the featured items of the Raptor brand this toy hauler has quality room for both your vehicle and you. It has a very large array of amenities and is on the heavier scale of trailers even for toy haulers with a whopping 17000 pounds in total weight. You will need a one-ton truck to haul this trailer around. But it is definitely worth it.

It’s been called a 5-star hotel on wheels because it is pristine in just about every way. These aren’t cheap but they are luxurious and definetly up their in quality.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors to consider when looking at how much your tow vehicle can pull. Check out “What Camper Can my Vehicle Tow?”

For more information on this trailer check out the Raptor website.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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