Towing Info
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Terms for Trailering


GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight: The real weight of a loaded vehicle. To determine your trailer's GVW, add its weight to the weight of everything it's carrying (horses, hay, grain, water, mats, spare tire, tack, etc.).

GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: This tells you the GVW a vehicle can safely take; for a trailer, it's listed on the MCO (see below) and on a sticker somewhere on the vehicle. GVWR is usually based on axle ratings; most two-horse trailers have two 3500-pound-rated axles, giving a GVWR of 7000 pound - if the coupler is also rated at 7000 pounds. If it's rated at only 5000 pounds, 5000 pounds is the trailer's correct GVWR - so check that your coupler rating matches your trailer's GVWR.

GCVWR - Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating: The total GVW of loaded tow vehicle and trailer that your tow vehicle can safely pull. Your actual combined GVW must not exceed this rating.

MCO - Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin: Issued by the trailer manufacturer, the MCO works as a title in states that don't require trailer titling and is used to obtain titling in states that do. With a new trailer, you'll receive an MCO unless the dealer titles the trailer for you.

Sway Bar: A single adjustable hydraulic bar, one end of which attaches onto a second ball on a weight-distribution system's slide-in ball mount and the other end to a bracket on the side of the trailer; used to reduce sway. (In general, if a trailer sways, something is wrong with the rig: axles out of line, a tire low on air, trailer out of balance or loaded poorly. Always check for such problems. Before you try to compensate with a sway bar.) Sway bars can be helpful in extremely windy conditions.

Tongue Weight: The weigh the trailer tongue puts on the hitch at the coupler point.

 

 



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