How Do You Calculate What Truck Can Tow?

It’s important to know what your truck can tow before you start towing anything. Calculating the right towing capacity for your vehicle is essential for a safe and successful journey.

There are a few key factors that go into determining the maximum weight your truck can handle while traveling.

1. Vehicle Weight

The first step in calculating the right towing capacity for your vehicle is to determine its total weight.

This includes the weight of all passengers, cargo, and any other items inside or attached to the vehicle. The total weight should be within the manufacturer’s stated Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). If it exceeds this rating, you will need to use a different vehicle or reduce the weight of items inside and on top of your vehicle.

2. Towing Capacity

Once you know your vehicle’s total weight, you can then look up its maximum towing capacity.

This number is usually listed in your owner’s manual or on a label located on the driver-side door jamb or inside the glove box. It is important that you do not exceed this number as doing so could cause serious damage to your vehicle.

3. Trailer Weight

Now that you know your vehicle’s maximum tow rating, it’s time to calculate what trailer weight is safe for it to tow.

Start by adding up all of the items that will be packed into or mounted onto the trailer (including water, fuel, propane tanks, batteries, etc.). Then subtract this number from the maximum tow rating of your vehicle.


Calculating what truck can tow is easy when you start with determining how much your vehicle weighs and then subtracting any additional items that will be added onto or put into the trailer from its maximum tow rating listed in its manual or label. Doing so will help ensure that you don’t put too much strain on your truck and ensure a safe and successful journey.

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James Gardner