How much does an RV weigh? 2024

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Recreational vehicles known as RVs come in two main categories: large motor homes that can be driven and trailers that must be towed by another vehicle.

RVs vary significantly in style and size, from small camping trailers that may run as little as $10,000 to luxury class A motor homes that can cost as much as $1 million.

From upscale camping to remote living, RVs can provide flexibility to get away for vacation or everyday life.

Regardless of what type of journey you take your RV on, knowing how much the vehicle weighs is key for setting tire pressure and avoiding overloading.

Key insights

More than 11 million U.S. households own an RV.

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The weight of a travel trailer can vary from as little as 1,000 pounds for smaller campers less than 12 feet long to several tons for large trailers stretching more than 30 feet in length.

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The largest motor homes can weigh upward of 10 tons.

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The smallest class of motor homes, also known as camper vans, typically weigh 6,000 to 11,000 pounds.

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RV statistics

The U.S. market for RVs is a $140 billion industry. A record more than 11 million households own an RV, with an increasing share of the market driven by millennials and Gen Zers.

Interest in these vehicles notably spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers turned to RVs and camping to escape the health crisis and get outdoors.

RVs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can differ significantly in terms of weight and length.

Here is a rundown of a few different RV types:

  • Class A motor homes: The largest type of RV, class A motor homes are typically built on a commercial bus or truck chassis. Their size, with space for storage and residential-size appliances, makes them fit for families or people who are going to spend months on the road, but these RVs can be difficult to drive and expensive to maintain.
  • Class B motor homes: Sometimes called camper vans, Class B motor homes are the smallest on the market, lacking the size and interior space of Class A or C models. However, they are less expensive and easier to drive.
  • Class C motor homes: Smaller than the Class A, these vehicles are a middle-of-the-road motor home, with a size that can fit into most camping areas.
  • Fifth wheel trailers: As the biggest towable RVs, these typically come with more amenities and deluxe features, but because they have gooseneck connectors to secure them to a trailer hitch, only a limited number of vehicles can haul them.
  • Travel trailers: Though the specific size and features of these trailers can vary significantly, travel trailers typically are towable by any vehicle with a trailer hitch and enough power to pull them. These RVs are less expensive than full-size motor homes.
  • Toy haulers: Also known as sport utility RVs, toy haulers are designed with extra space to store motorcycles, ATVs, bicycles or other small vehicles.
  • Camping trailers: These are small, lightweight RVs meant for camping and typically come without kitchen or plumbing amenities.

RV weight terms

When it comes to the specifications and ratings of different RVs, there are a slew of acronyms and similar terms that are important to know to understand the needs of your trailer or motor home. Some of these include the following:

  • Dry weight or unloaded vehicle weight: the weight of the RV straight from the manufacturer without any cargo, people or tank fluids
  • Gross vehicle weight (GVW): the vehicle’s weight when including all passengers, cargo, fluid and other items. Unlike other weights listed in a vehicle’s information, this measure can be obtained by driving the RV onto a scale and recording the current weight. To avoid damaging the vehicle, the GVW should not exceed the GVWR.
  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR): the maximum weight allowed for the vehicle when fully loaded including all passengers, cargo and fluids
  • Gross axle weight rating (GAWR): similarly measures the maximum weight a single axle is designed to carry and can be overloaded by weighing cargo in an RV toward a single axle
  • Cargo carrying capacity (CCC): the maximum weight an RV can carry on top of its dry weight
  • Tongue weight: the amount of force a trailer places on a vehicle’s hitch; should not exceed the hitch rating, a measure of how much the hitch is able to tow
  • Towing capacity: measures how much a vehicle is able to tow, whether it be the ability of a motor home to pull a car or a truck’s power to tow a trailer

Travel trailer weight by length

Travel trailers can weigh as little as 1,000 pounds for small campers or up to several tons for large fifth-wheel trailers with the capacity to hold a full family. Depending on the towing power of your vehicle, you may require a smaller RV to successfully attach and bring along a trailer. Here’s how those weights vary by trailer length:

While these ranges may represent what is typical for an RV depending on the trailer length, some models with additional features and space may weigh significantly more and require much more towing power. The Grand Design’s 298BH fifth wheeler, for example, clocks in at nearly 10,000 pounds when unloaded and stretches almost 35 feet long.

Motor home weight by type

Along with varying by length, RVs also differ significantly in weight depending on the type of vehicle — from smaller trailers weighing less than one ton to the largest motor homes that can weigh as much as 10 tons.

  • Class A motor homes: The largest type of RV, these vehicles can vary from 13,000 to 30,000 pounds without any cargo added. Gross weights for these RVs may add thousands more pounds on top of that.
  • Class C motor homes: Next in line, these RVs can weigh between 10,000 to 20,000 pounds.
  • Class B motor homes: The smallest of the motor homes, these RVs typically weigh between 6,000 to 8,000 pounds, though they can reach up to 11,000 pounds or more for the largest Class Bs.

Weighing your RV

Certified Automated Truck scales, known as CAT scales, are the most commonly found destination for weighing an RV. Often found at truck stops, these publicly available scales charge a small fee for weighing. However, because these scales measure weight by axle, they may be less useful for determining the gross weight of an RV.

Some sand and gravel yards may also have scales for weighing.

Big RV events and rallies are a destination for weighing, with some offering a weighing service through the RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) Weight & Tire Safety Program.

Knowing the weights and weight limitations of your RV is important when going over bridges with weight limits and can be key to avoiding towing too much weight or overloading your RV and creating dangerous driving conditions.


How much do RV motor homes weigh?

The smallest Class B motor homes can weigh as little as 6,000 pounds, while the largest class A motor homes can weigh upward of 30,000 pounds even before adding cargo.

How many people own RVs?

There are an estimated 11.2 million U.S. households that own an RV.

How much does a travel trailer weigh?

The weight of an RV trailer varies significantly by its size, from as little as 1,000 pounds for trailers just 10 feet long to upward of 5,000 pounds for fifth-wheel trailers longer than 30 feet.

What is the maximum weight of my RV?

The maximum weight of your RV is determined by the vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, a measure of how much the vehicle is able to safely weigh when including all passengers, cargo, fluid and other items on top of the unloaded weight of the RV.


  1. Caldwell, S. “RV Weight & Safety Part 1: How Much Does an RV Weigh?” National Indoor RV Centers. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  2. “Go RVing RV Owner Demographic Profile.” RV Industry Association. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  3. “Travel Trailer Weights: Average Weight By Trailer Type.” Black Series. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  4. “How Much do RVs Weigh?” RV Share. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  5. “Reports & Trends.” RV Industry Association. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  6. Becker, K. “Defining GVWR, GCWR, and Other RV Weight Ratings.” Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  7. “Reflection 150 Series.” Grand Design Recreational Vehicles. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here
  8. “Understanding Your RV Weight & Why It Matters.” Wholesale Warranties. Evaluated April 26, 2024.Link Here


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