Trailer, Vehicle and Hitch Acronyms

Oscar H. Will III explains the true meaning of trailer, vehicle and hitch acronyms you see on the road.

| November/December 2006

  • Bulldog heavy duty coupler
    A Bulldog heavy duty ball coupler will get the job done.

  • Bulldog heavy duty coupler

Learn what these trailer, vehicle and hitch acronyms really mean. 

Making sense of the alphabet soup you’ll see on trailers, vehicles and hitches can make life much easier. Here are the major players for trailer, vehicle and hitch acronyms:

GTWR (Gross Towed Weight Rating) — The combined weight of the trailer and cargo.

GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) — The combined weight of the axle and tires.

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) — The maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle (including passengers and cargo). This number — along with other weight limits, as well as tire, rim size and inflation pressure data — are shown on the vehicle's Safety Compliance Certification Label, located on the left front door lock facing or the door latch post pillar. Note: The GVW must never exceed the GVWR.

GCVWR (Gross Combination Vehicle Weight Rating) — the combined weight of the loaded trailer and vehicle when hitched together (often less than the truck’s GVWR).

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