Is Hitch Weight Included in Dry Weight

Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Will Sabel

No, hitch weight does not include dry weight. In this article, I  have discussed it. To get a good understanding of it, you must first understand what hitch weight and dry weight are.

Dry weight 

The weight of the Vehicle as shipped from the manufacturer, excluding any passengers, cargo, liquids, extra accessories, or dealer-installed options is known as dry weight. The dry weight of a vehicle is its weight without any consumables, passengers, or cargo. Dry weight is similar to curb weight, except that it excludes the weight of automotive fluids required for operation.

Hitch weight 

The weight that a travel trailer’s tongue puts on the hitch it is mounted to is known as the hitch weight. It is the portion of the trailer’s weight that is supported by the hitch. Hitch weight is also known as tongue weight. Both “tongue weight” and “hitch weight” refer to the force exerted by a trailer on a hitch.

Towing terms

How to exclude hitch weight from dry weight?

The dry weight is the actual weight of the trailer. The dry weight of a trailer is its total weight before cargo is added. The hitch weight does not include the dry weight because different manufacturers use different amounts of weight. Check the yellow label located in the door jam of your camper to verify the dry weight.

The hitch weight listed on the trailer is either dry or empty hitch weight. The hitch weight is affected not only by the amount of cargo in the trailer but also by where it is placed. “Dry weight” (also referred to as Unloaded Vehicle Weight UVW) includes hitch or tongue weight, but that figure is meaningless. So the hitch weight that includes dry weight is worthless because that is known as dry or empty hitch weight.

Tongue weight is the actual weight of the travel trailer’s hitch ball. This weight should always be between 10% and 15% for safety. The tongue weight is included in the travel trailer’s GVW. In my opinion, because tongue and hitch weight is assumed to be the same, hitch weight is also included in the trailer’s GVW ( Gross Vehicle Weight).

What issue arises when hitch weight is excessively high or low?

The hitch weight is not fixed. It can be affected by the amount of stuff you loaded on the camper as well as the way your trailer or camper is loaded. It will increase the weight being transferred to the hitch if there is too much weight placed forward of the trailer’s axle(s). The hitch weight can be decreased by placing too much weight behind the trailer’s axles.

The rear suspension of your tow vehicle may become overloaded by too much hitch weight, which will result in extra friction and wear and tear on the tires and rear suspension parts. Too little weight on the hitch can cause excessive sway while towing because the trailer’s weight is distributed too far to the rear.

How to Determine Dry Weight?

You can inquire about your vehicle’s dry weight by contacting the manufacturer or by inspecting the yellow label located on your door jam.

If your trailer is loaded then make sure that everything, including the batteries and tanks, is unloaded. The trailer will then be weighed. Remove the trailer from your tow vehicle and weigh it. The difference between the two is your camper’s dry weight.

How to Determine Hitch Weight?

To calculate hitch weight, subtract the weight of your tow vehicle from the weight of your tow vehicle with the trailer attached.

Final Words

The hitch weight does not include dry weight. The amount of hitch weight included in the trailer is known as dry or empty hitch or meaningless tongue weight. Because nobody tow a dry trailer. The hitch weight is included in GVW. 

You must consider both hitch weight and dry weight when towing to ensure safe and successful towing. Exceeding the recommended hitch weight can cause accidents.

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Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

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