By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When shopping for an RV, everyone has their own ideas of what’s “important.” Be it the floor plan, the electronics gear, the comfort of the bed — tastes matter. Here’s something that we should ALL be concerned about – weight. No, not whether you’ll fall through the floor, but the weight of your rig.
For rigs manufactured since 1996, the RV industry requires the manufacturer to post an information sheet inside a cabinet in every coach. Here’s a rundown on terms you need to know – and pay attention to.
GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
This is the maximum total weight a motorhome or trailer and its contents as allowed by the design specifications of the manufacturer. For personal safety of yourself and others on the road, it’s critical not to exceed this weight.
GCWR – Gross Combined Weight Rating
Here’s the maximum total combined weight of your tow vehicle plus anything you’re towing, once again based on the design specifications of the manufacturer. It’s also a gauge of how well the vehicle will tow in terms of muscle. The closer your total weight gets to this number, the tougher towing performance can become. Add on a steep upgrade or a nasty headwind and things can get even worse.
GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating
The maximum weight that can be carried by the axle, including tires and wheels.
UVW – Unloaded Vehicle Weight
Also known as “dry weight,” this is the claimed weight of a motorhome or trailer as it rolls off the manufacturer’s line. What’s added after that, say for instance by the dealer or a previous owner, can truly affect that weight. This is a good reason to actually weigh your rig – you’ll then really know where you stand.
NCC – Net Carrying Capacity
Theoretically, the amount of weight you can toss on your rig in terms of gear, food, water, sewage, even passengers. Here, too, is where the weight of those add-on options matter. NCC has been replaced recently by a couple of other terms, which follow.
SCWR – Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating
The manufacturer’s designated number of sleeping positions multiplied by 154 pounds (70 kilograms). Ah, to be able to meet that specification!
CCC – Cargo Carrying Capacity
Here the manufacturer simply takes the GVWR and subtracts the UVW, full fresh (potable) water weight (including water heater), full LP-gas weight, and SCWR. Is this a bit of hocus-pocus? It means you, as a consumer, get to figure out your own CCC based on a personal calculation of actual passengers carried, the amount of fresh water onboard, and the amount of LP-gas carried.