How Much Can A Motorhome Tow?

After a little research to find a few important numbers you will be able to figure how much your motor home can tow!  First thing to know is what chassis your motor home is built on so that you can find specifications of the chassis.

Three important numbers when figuring how much a motor home can tow:

  1. Maximum Towing Capacity

This number can be found under specifications for your chassis or by figuring the difference between the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

  1. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

This number represents the maximum weight that the vehicle itself is allowed to have.  The towed vehicle doesn’t count toward this number but the tongue weight of the trailer does count here.  You can find the GVWR number on the tire pressure plate inside the driver’s door.

(Example below GVWR = 11,030 LB)


3. Maximum Available Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).

The GCWR will be listed under ‘specifications’ for your chassis. This number includes maximum pounds of everything combined – the motorhome, the people in it, the towed vehicle, the water in your tanks (every tank), the jumper cables, camping supplies, etc. The total poundage of everything combined must be less than the specified GCWR!

(Example below of window sticker lists tank capacities)


Here’s a visual to help you better understand GVWR and GCWR…

Winnebago in tow


Now look at your RV hitch where you will find the hitch weight rating plate. When a manufacturer tells you that the vehicle can tow 5000 pounds, this ‘hitch rating’ is typically where that comes from.  If the ‘hitch rating’ is lower than the chassis’ Maximum Towing Capacity then your new towing capacity number will be that of the ‘hitch rating.’

Locate the Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC) sticker for motorized RVs only.  This weight sticker is put on by the RV manufacturer (Winnebago normally places it on the inside of the driver’s door).  The OCCC figure is the maximum allowable weight of all occupants, plus weight of all food, tools, full fresh water tanks, full LP-gas tanks and personal belongings.

(Example below OCCC = 1,302 lbs)



Subtract the OCCC from the GVWR to get the weight of the empty RV.

GVWR – OCCC = Empty RV

Now figure the weight of your loaded RV, add the towed vehicle weight and see if you’re overweight.  Your total pounds cannot exceed the GCWR!

+ Weight of empty RV

+ Weight of vehicle being towed (To see if your vehicle is towable and to find the vehicle weight CLICK HERE or see your vehicle owner’s manual for towing specifics)

+ Weight of driver

+ Weight of passenger

+ Full load of water (Water weight is listed on the OCCC sticker.  If you should add this up yourself, be sure to include the water in the water heater).

After adding, if the total pounds exceed the GCWR, you are overweight!  And remember you still haven’t even added in the weight of a full tank of propane, any food, any other cargo, any extra passengers or pets and a contingency in case you have to travel with full black and/or grey tanks.  If you don’t want to do the math simply load your RV up just as you would for a trip and drive down to a local truck scale.