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Weight capacity calculations

Calculating The Safe Cargo Carrying Weight and Towing Capacity Of Your Coach
by Tom Jones

Follow these simple steps to determine how much stuff you can carry in your coach and how heavy a car, trailer or boat you can tow behind. I've used the numbers for our 38 foot Monaco Camelot (3 slideouts) in the examples, and you should plug in the numbers for your own coach. Note that I've used 0 lbs in my calculation of fuel weight because Monaco includes a full tank of fuel in their stated Unladen Vehicle Weight of our coach. You'll need to determine from your owners manual if the same is true for your coach; If it's not included, then plug in the weight of a full tank of fuel into the example.


Determine the weight ratings and the actual weight of your coach when it left the factory, from a combination of the owners manual, the Federal weight certification plaque (usually mounted near the driver), and the RVIA weight sticker (usually found inside a cabinet). You will need the following:


GCWR - Gross combined weight rating:   42,800 lbs
GVWR - Gross vehicle weight rating:       32,000 lbs
UVW - Unladen vehicle weight:                28,251 lbs


Determine the capacity of your fuel, water and LPG tanks (usually found in the owners manual), and calculate the respective weights:


110 gallons of water @ 8.3 lbs per gallon:                     913 lbs
30 gallons of LPG @ 4.2 lbs per gallon:                        126 lbs
100 gallons of diesel fuel @ 7.2 lbs per gallon:                   0 lbs
4 people:                                                                      616 lbs
Total weight of fluids and LPG:                             1,655 lbs

Calculate the total wet weight of your coach without cargo:
UVW (Unladen Vehicle Weight):     28,251 lbs
Weight of fluids and LPG:                  1,655 lbs
Total wet weight:                          29,906 lbs


Calculate the available cargo carrying capacity:
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating):       32,800 lbs
Total wet weight (from above calculation):   29,906 lbs
CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity):             2,894 lbs


Calculate the towing capacity:
GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating):   42,800 lbs
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating):        32,800 lbs
Towing capacity:                                   10,000 lbs

When your coach is loaded, you should take it to a public scale and weigh the front and rear axles and individual wheels to ensure that an individual axle or tire is not overloaded, and to be able to accurately determine the correct tire pressures.

One caveat - irrespective of the outcome of your calculations, do not exceed the rated capacity of the hitch on your coach.