Calculate Your (CCC)
RV Cargo Carrying Capacity

How do you determine your RV Cargo Carrying Capacity or maximum weight limit for your RV? As full-timers we can sometimes overload our RVs beyond their carrying capacity.

RV Cargo Capacity

The laws for Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity weight rating in the United Sates have changed recently. In the past you needed to calculate the weight of how many the motorhome or trailer could sleep, but the current law was passed to better protect consumers from overloading their RVs.

The new OCCC label calculates the average 150 pound belted, seated passenger seat, plus the weight of fresh water cargo. This total cannot exceed the GVWR of the manufacturer.

Cargo weight includes the weight of the battery, propane, water, furniture, appliances, and all the stuff we have in our RVs. The manufacturer specifications outline the cargo limits for your particular RV.

According to the RV Safety and Education Foundation 51% of new RVs exceed one or more safety ratings! Exceeding these limits can be dangerous and cause broken springs, failed airbags, broken or bent trailer axles, and tire blowouts. The closer you are to your RVs maximum GVWR the greater the chance of stress on the suspension, frame and tires. You must know your RVs limits to travel safely.

How do you know if your RV cargo has exceeded its limit?

Calculate the (CCC) for your RV:

The Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) of an RV is the GVWR less the empty weight, the weight of the full water tank, the weight of the full propane tanks and the sleeping capacity.

  1. Take the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR on Manufacturers Specifications)

  2. Subtract the vehicles unloaded weight (UVW) or empty weight (on Manufacturers Specifications)

  3. Subtract the weight of fresh water on board (8.3 pounds per gallon)

  4. Subtract the propane weight (4.2 pounds per gallon)

  5. Subtract the weight of the seating capacity weight rating (SCWR) (150 pounds times the number of seating positions)

Now you have arrived at the maximum Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) for your RV. Again, for safety reasons never exceed the maximum CCC for your RV.

How to Weigh Your RV Worksheet

Bridgestone Tire company created a really nice guide to help owners properly weigh their vehicles and maintain their tires. Their How to Weigh Your Travel Trailer or RV Worksheet is exceptionally helpful. You can download the PDF file or have them mail you a copy of the worksheet.

Helpful Definitions

CCC: (Cargo Carrying Capacity) is the maximum weight of everything you add to the RV, including all belongings.

GVW: (Gross Vehicle Weight) the total weight of a fully equipped and loaded RV with passengers, gas, oil, water, and all the other stuff you have in there. The GVW must not exceed the vehicles GVWR.

GVWR: (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) provided in the manufacturers specifications and on the VIN plaque of Canadian RVs. A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable total weight of an RV or trailer when loaded - including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo and trailer tongue weight as determined by the manufacturer.

UVW: (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) also in the manufactures specifications. The UVW includes a full tank of fuel, the coolant, oil, propane, driver and passengers.

SCWR: (Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating) calculated by multiplying 154 pounds times the number of sleeping positions.

Dry Weight: the weight of the RV without any fluids such as gas, oil, and water.

GCWR: (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is the maximum allowed loaded weight of the RV with towables such as a motor-home towing a car.