Towing, Trailering, & Hauling Glossary

May 8th, 2022 by

If you plan on taking a trip to the lake with a boat or to a campsite with a camper this summer, you’ll need a truck or SUV that can handle the weight. When researching hauling and towing options, have you caught yourself reading a page on a truck, maybe the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado, and come across a bunch of trailering jargon that’s just a bit confusing? We at Landers Chevrolet Cadillac of Joplin put this glossary together for you. Feel free to peruse now for a quick reminder of common terms, or you can bookmark the page for later! 

Chevrolet Trucks to Check Out 

Hitching a trailer to the back of your vehicle can be dangerous if done incorrectly. When transporting additional weight behind your automobile, make sure you know your vehicle’s limits, like how much weight it can travel with, both in the cabin and on the trailer. Looking for the Basics of Towing? Check out our blog!

Axle Ratio

The Axle Ratio is determined by the connection between the differential, rear axle, driveshaft, and engine. The Axle Ratio is important because it connects the vehicle’s towing capacity and fuel economy.

Curb Weight

A vehicle’s Curb Weight is how much the vehicle weighs without any cargo or passengers in or attached to it. 

Gross Combination Weight 

The Gross Combination Weight (GCW) is the combined weight of everything. From the driver’s weight, the fuel’s weight, the weight of the packed trailer, the weight of the emergency kit shoved under the rear seats: everything. A major miscalculation of the GCW could put excessive strain on the vehicle’s powertrain and integrity. 

Gross Combined Weight Rating

The Gross Combined Weight Rating, or GCWR, is the combined weight that both the vehicle and the trailer can hold together. If you’re curious about what your vehicle’s GCWR is, it should be on the Trailering Information Label inside your vehicle’s doorframe or in the owner’s manual. 

Gross Trailer Weight 

The Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is the weight of your trailer with the equipment on it. This combined weight of payload and trailer must not exceed what the vehicle can pull, for fear of the brakes not working efficiently or the trailer overcoming the vehicle itself. 

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is determined by the manufacturer to make sure the vehicle isn’t overloaded. The manufacturer takes brake application and vehicle stability into account to make sure that the rating fits a vehicle while it’s working, not just while it’s parked. 


A hitch is an anchor that connects the vehicle to the trailer. A conventional hitch is typically attached to the back of the vehicle around the license plate. Examples are a hitch ball on the step bumper, hitch receiver, and the weight-distributing hitch with sway control. If you’re looking to haul something that requires more stabilization or is heavier, like a horse trailer, heavy-duty hitches include a fifth-wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch. Both of these heavy-duty hitches are docked to the truck bed for better weight distribution and more control. 

Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating 

The Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR) is the same thing as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating above. They are two ways to say the same thing. 

Trailer Weight Rating

If you take the Gross Combination Weight Rating and subtract the Curb Weight, you’ll find the Trailer Weight Rating. This will help you better estimate your payload capacity.

Trailer Tongue Weight

The Trailer Tongue Weight is the force the trailer is pushing down on the hitch where the two meet. 

If you’re looking for a vehicle to tow with this summer, check out some of the ones we at Landers Chevy of Joplin recommend!

Check out more information on Chevy Trailering. 

We want to know if this list helped you out! Let us know of any other trailering terms you’d like to know more about in the comments!