Vehicle Loading - with and without a Trailer
This section guides you in the proper loading of your vehicle, trailer, or both. Keep your loaded vehicle weight within its design rating capability, with or without a trailer. Properly loading your vehicle provides maximum return of vehicle design performance. Before you load your vehicle, become familiar with the following terms for determining your vehicle’s weight rating, with or without a trailer, from the vehicle’s Tire and Loading Information label or Safety Compliance Certification label.
Tire and Loading Label Information Example:
Payload is the combined weight of cargo and passengers that your vehicle is carrying. The maximum payload for your vehicle appears on the Tire and Loading label. The label is either on the B-pillar or the edge of the driver door. Vehicles exported outside the US and Canada may not have a tire and loading label. Look for “The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed XXX kg OR XXX lb” for maximum payload. The payload listed on the Tire and Loading Information label is the maximum payload for your vehicle as built by the assembly plant. If you install any additional equipment on your vehicle, you must determine the new payload. Subtract the weight of the equipment from the payload listed on the Tire and Loading label. When towing, trailer tongue weight or king pin weight is also part of payload.
The appropriate loading capacity of your vehicle can be limited either by volume capacity (how much space is available) or by payload capacity (how much weight the vehicle should carry). Once you have reached the maximum payload of your vehicle, do not add more cargo, even if there is space available. Overloading or improperly loading your vehicle can contribute to loss of vehicle control and vehicle rollover.|
GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
GAWR is the maximum allowable weight that a single axle (front or rear) can carry. These numbers are on the Safety Compliance Certification label. The label is located on the door hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch post, next to the driver seating position.
The total load on each axle must never exceed its Gross Axle Weight Rating.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
GVWR is the maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle. This includes all options, equipment, passengers and cargo. It appears on the Safety Compliance Certification label. The label is located on the door hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch post, next to the driver seating position.
The gross vehicle weight must never exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
Safety Compliance Certification Label Example:
Exceeding the Safety Compliance Certification label vehicle weight limits can adversely affect the performance and handling of your vehicle, cause vehicle damage and can result in the loss of control of your vehicle, serious personal injury or death.|
Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight
Maximum loaded trailer weight is the highest possible weight of a fully loaded trailer the vehicle can tow. Consult an authorized dealer (or the RV and Trailer Towing Guide available at an authorized dealer) for more detailed information.
GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)
GCWR is the maximum allowable weight of the vehicle and the loaded trailer, including all cargo and passengers, that the vehicle can handle without risking damage. (Important: The towing vehicle’s braking system is rated for operation at Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, not at Gross Combined Weight Rating.) Separate functional brakes should be used for safe control of towed vehicles and for trailers where the Gross Combined Weight of the towing vehicle plus the trailer exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the towing vehicle.
The gross combined weight must never exceed the Gross Combined Weight Rating.
For trailer towing information refer to the RV and Trailer Towing Guide available at an authorized dealer.
Do not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR specified on the certification label.|
Do not use replacement tires with lower load carrying capacities than the original tires because they may lower your vehicle's GVWR and GAWR limitations. Replacement tires with a higher limit than the original tires do not increase the GVWR and GAWR limitations.
Exceeding any vehicle weight rating can adversely affect the performance and handling of your vehicle, cause vehicle damage and can result in the loss of control of your vehicle, serious personal injury or death.
Steps for determining the correct load limit:
- Locate the statement "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed XXX kg or XXX lb." on your vehicle’s placard.
- Determine the combined weight of the driver and passengers that will be riding in your vehicle.
- Subtract the combined weight of the driver and passengers from XXX kg or XXX lb.
- The resulting figure equals the available amount of cargo and luggage load capacity. For example, if the “XXX” amount equals 1,400 lb. and there will be five 150 lb. passengers in your vehicle, the amount of available cargo and luggage load capacity is 650 lb. (1400-750 (5 x 150) = 650 lb.)
- Determine the combined weight of luggage and cargo being loaded on the vehicle. That weight may not safely exceed the available cargo and luggage load capacity calculated in Step 4.
- If your vehicle will be towing a trailer, load from your trailer will be transferred to your vehicle. Consult this manual to determine how this reduces the available cargo and luggage load capacity of your vehicle.
Helpful examples for calculating the available amount of cargo and luggage load capacity
Suppose your vehicle has a 1400-pound (635-kilogram) cargo and luggage capacity. You decide to go golfing. Is there enough load capacity to carry you, four of your friends and all the golf bags? You and four friends average 220 pounds (99 kilograms) each and the golf bags weigh approximately 30 pounds (13.5 kilograms) each. The calculation would be: 1400 - (5 x 220) - (5 x 30) = 1400 - 1100 - 150 = 150 pounds. Yes, you have enough load capacity in your vehicle to transport four friends and your golf bags. In metric units, the calculation would be: 635 kilograms - (5 x 99 kilograms) - (5 x 13.5 kilograms) = 635 - 495 - 67.5 = 72.5 kilograms.
Suppose your vehicle has a 1400-pound (635-kilogram) cargo and luggage capacity. You and one of your friends decide to pick up cement from the local home improvement store to finish that patio you have been planning for the past two years. Measuring the inside of the vehicle with the rear seat folded down, you have room for twelve 100-pound (45-kilogram) bags of cement. Do you have enough load capacity to transport the cement to your home? If you and your friend each weigh 220 pounds (99 kilograms), the calculation would be: 1400 - (2 x 220) - (12 x 100) = 1400 - 440 - 1200 = - 240 pounds. No, you do not have enough cargo capacity to carry that much weight. In metric units, the calculation would be: 635 kilograms - (2 x 99 kilograms) - (12 x 45 kilograms) = 635 - 198 - 540 = -103 kilograms. You will need to reduce the load weight by at least 240 pounds (104 kilograms). If you remove three 100-pound (45-kilogram) cement bags, then the load calculation would be:1400 - (2 x 220) - (9 x 100) = 1400 - 440 - 900 = 60 pounds. Now you have the load capacity to transport the cement and your friend home. In metric units, the calculation would be: 635 kilograms - (2 x 99 kilograms) - (9 x 45 kilograms) = 635 - 198 - 405 = 32
The above calculations also assume that the loads are positioned in your vehicle in a manner that does not overload the front or the rear gross axle weight rating specified for your vehicle on the Safety Compliance Certification label.
Special Loading Instructions for Owners of Pick-up Trucks and Utility-type Vehicles
When loading the roof racks, we recommend you evenly distribute the load, as well as maintain a low center of gravity. Loaded vehicles, with higher centers of gravity, may handle differently than unloaded vehicles. Take extra precautions, such as slower speeds and increased stopping distance, when driving a heavily loaded vehicle.|