Determine a Trailer's Load Limit : Mirage Trailers

Determining the load limit of a trailer includes more than understanding the load limits of tires alone.

Determining load limits of trailers involves more than understanding tire ratings. Mirage Trailers will show you how to find the payload of your trailer.

On all trailers there is a Federal certification/VIN label that is located on the forward half of the left (road) side of the unit. This will indicate the trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the maximum weight the loaded trailer can weigh. It will also provide the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). This is the most a particular axle can weigh. If there are multiple axles, the GAWR of each axle will be provided.

If your trailer has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, there is a vehicle placard located in the same location as the certification label described above. The placard describes tire and loading information. In addition, this placard will shot a statement regarding maximum cargo capacity. Cargo can be added to the trailer, up to the maximum weight specified on the placard. The combined weight of the cargo is provided as a single number. In any case, remember: the total weight of a fully loaded trailer cannot exceed the stated GVWR.

For trailers with living quarters installed, the weight of water and propane must also be considered. The weight of fully filled propane containers is considered part of the weight of the trailer before it is loaded with cargo, and is not considered part of the disposable cargo load. Water, however, is considered disposable cargo weight. A fresh water storage tank of 100 gallons weighs about 800 pounds. If more cargo is being transported, water can be off-loaded to keep the total weight within the limits of the GVWR. Understanding this flexibility will allow you to make choices that fit your travel needs.

When loading your cargo, be sure it is distributed evenly to prevent overloading front to back, side to side. Heavy items should be placed low and as close to the axles as reasonable. Too many items on one side can overload a tire. The best way to know the actual weight of the vehicle is to weight it at a public scale. Talk to your dealer to discuss the weighing methods needed to capture the various weights related to the trailer. This would include the weight empty or unloaded, weights per axle, wheel, hitch or king-pin, and total weight.

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