Recently I’ve been looking into getting a vehicle for towing. So I spent many hours researching configurations, trailers, and tow ratings. It was a pain. So I decided to make a handy calculator based on this research and put it up on my company’s blog. I know this forum is full of some sharp people, so I’d love to get some feedback to make sure my numbers are right.
I made the following assumptions:
- Average horse weight = 1200lbs.
- I cross referenced horse trailer weights from various manufacturers, add 200lbs per ft of tack room/living quarters.
- Add 10-15% for steel instead of aluminum.
- Add 15-20% more weight for a goosneck hitch.
- I used average truck weights from ford and chevy.
I’m fairly knowledgable in the truck domain, but I had to call around to a few trailer companies to get average gross weights, material weight (steel vs aluminum), as well as the approximate weight of dressing rooms and living quarters.
- the tow capacity rating usually assumes that you don't have any equipment in the truck, and that you're the only passenger in the car.
- therefore, you need to also consider the payload when calculating your gross combination vehicle weight. Have company? Tack, hay, or water in the truck bed? it can add up.
- however you cant simply calculate payload + towing capacity and use that as an upper limit. The manufacturer actually specifies a number called the Gross Combination Weight Rating (or Gross Combination Vehicle Weight, take your pick). You must stay under this amount. It is important to note that this is almost always less than the payload + towing capacity rating.
It’s by no means perfect, but i did it for fun and to hopefully help some fellow truck shoppers out. Many people focus on the tow rating of the truck, rather than the combination weight. If you have a bunch of stuff stored in your truck to avoid buying a bigger trailer or bigger truck, you may be decreasing your towing performance quite a bit.