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What does GVW mean?

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

GVW – or GVWR - means Gross Vehicle Weight, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It’s specified by the manufacturer and refers to the MAXIMUM weight a trailer or vehicle can be when fully loaded. In other words, it’s the unladen weight of the trailer or vehicle (kerb weight) and the maximum payload combined. Using the stats for the HM-D TH600 tiny house trailer, the equation would look like this:

2,930kg (payload capacity) + 570kg (kerb weight) = 3,500kg (GVW)

The GVW can be found marked on the chassis plate of most tow vehicles, which is often located on the front door sill, and is usually clearly marked on the trailer too.

The HM-D TH600 trailer has the Gross Vehicle Weight and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) clearly marked on a sticker. In this case MTM is the same as GVW.

It should be noted that a vehicle with a GVW of 3,500kg or less in the UK may only tow a trailer which is a maximum of 7m long by 2.55m wide, however for trailers designed to carry boats and other long loads, the limit does not apply. A heavier vehicle can tow a trailer which is a maximum of 12m long by 2.55m wide. It’s also worth noting that a trailer with a GVW of 750kg or less doesn’t need to have brakes fitted, but a trailer with a GVW of 751kg to 3,500kg does - usually of the over-run (inertia) variety.

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