Sunridge RV Trailer Towing Guide
This guide is meant as a guide only; it's your responsibility to ensure you are acting responsibly and within the guidelines set forth by the Alberta Government. RV Trailers, toy haulers and fifth wheel legislation is subject to change without notice. Please be advised that the following guide applies to Alberta only; other province's regulations may differ. This guide applies solely to the non-commercial operation of camping trailers and RVs.
Determining Your RVs Gross Vehicle Weight
When hauling a camper trailer, toy hauler or fifth wheel, the following steps will help you to determine what your vehicle is capable of towing. Again this is only a guide, so for greater detail, please refer to the Traffic Safety Act which can be viewed online at the Queen's Printer www.qp.gov.ab.ca.
Manufactured Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
The manufacturer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is located on driver's side door. If your vehicle's GVWR is 5171 kg, the front GAWR may be 2722 kg and the rear GAWR might be 3175. Not always will your front and rear GAWR's total the GVWR.
Note - Alberta Transportation recommends that you do not exceed any of the three ratings.
To determine the vehicle payload subtract the Net Vehicle weight from the GVWR.
- For Example:
- GVWR equals - 5171 kg
- Net Weight equals - 2600 kg
- Vehicle Payload equals 2571 kg
Trailer Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
When determining your RV trailer, camping trailer, toy hauler or fifth wheel carrying capacity you can determine the weights by applying the previous steps.
- First locate the manufacturer's GVWR label which in most cases is located near the front of your RV trailer along with the VIN number.
- Second, subtract the net trailer weight from the GVWR which will give you the actual carrying capacity of your RV trailer. Alberta Transportation recommends that this weight not be exceeded.
Here is an example to determine if your truck towing an RV trailer meets the legal GVWR and GAWR.
- Manufacturer's Ratings
- GVWR = 3800 kg
- Front GAWR = 1600 kg
- Rear GAWR = 2400 kg
- Vehicle Net Weight (without trailer)
- Net Weight = 2100 kg
- Front Axle = 1200 kg
- Rear Axle = 900
- Gross Vehicle Weight of Truck (loaded)
- GVW = 3300 kg
- Front Axle Weight = 1200 kg
- Rear Axle Weight = 2100 kg
- Vehicle Payload
- GVWR 3800kg - Net Weight 2100 kg = Payload 1700 kg
Note The combined weight of this unit has not exceeded the manufactures GVWR or the GAWR.
Key Factors to Remember
- You should not exceed manufacturer's GVWR.
- You should not exceed manufacturer's GAWR.
- If you add air bags or overload springs it will not increased your GVWR.
- Each unit added will transfer additional weight to the towing unit (hitch weight) and must be taken into consideration when determining the GVWR and GAWR.
- Ensure that all fifth wheel mounts and ball receiver hitches do not to exceed your vehicle manufacturer's ratings.
- When hauling RV trailers it's very important that you maintain your tire pressure according the manufacturer's specifications.
- Never exceed the GCWR. Your owner's manual has the GCWR (towing capabilities). When towing an over weight camping trailer you create a potential safety risk for yourself and others and may also void warranties.
The manufacturer will state the acceptable tire sizes and type for your RV, travel trailer, fifth wheel and toy hauler; replacement tires must meet these requirements. Tire requirements to be aware of:
- On-highway vehicles must use tires designed for on-highway use.
- The sum of the total rated capacity for your tires on an axle must be greater than the GAWR.
- Alberta Transportation recommends that tires sharing an axle should be the same.
Braking Requirements for Trailers
A camping trailer, RV trailer, toy hauler and/or fifth wheel require brakes when:
- The trailer has a gross laden weight of more than 910 kg.
- The trailer weighs 50 per cent or more of the towing vehicle.
Types of Brakes Required
- The service brakes on your vehicle are adequate if they can bring your vehicle and camping trailer to a stop when your vehicle combination is moving at 30 kilometres per hour and loaded to capacity when the brakes are applied, on a level surface consisting of dry asphalt or concrete, and stops within 10 metres from the point at which the brakes are applied.
- The emergency or parking brake on your vehicle are adequate if they can bring your vehicle and camping trailer to a stop when your vehicle combination is moving at 30 kilometres per hour and loaded to capacity when the brakes are applied, on a level surface consisting of dry asphalt or concrete, and stops within 16 metres from the point at which the brakes are applied.
- The brakes of your vehicle are adequate if they are capable of controlling the safe movement of your RV trailer when towing the unit.
- The emergency brake or parking brake of your vehicle must hold the motor vehicle and camping trailer at a stop when they are loaded to capacity and facing up or down on a 20 per cent grade.
Trailer Breakaway Device
- In Alberta a breakaway device is not specifically required. The owner must maintain the vehicle and RV trailer in a safe operating condition.
- A trailer must be attached to the towing unit by two separate means so that the failure of one attachment does not permit the trailer to break free from the towing unit.
- Each means of attachment must be strong enough to pull all the weight of the travel trailer.
- The secondary means of attachment must be capable of ensuring the trailer follows in the track of the towing vehicle, and the drawbar of the trailer doesn't touch the road surface.
- The lead trailer in a combination of trailers is the towing unit for the second trailer.
- Fifth wheel trailers do not require a second means of attachment.
Towing Numerous Trailers
- Two trailers can only be towed if the lead trailer is a fifth wheel trailer with at least two axles in tandem.
- The maximum length from the front of the towing vehicle to the rear of the last trailer can not exceed 20 metres.
- The hitch fastening the second trailer to the first trailer must be fastened to the frame of the first trailer.
- The longest trailer must be the first trailer when towing more than one camping trailer