The weight of a trailer can vary depending on the size and type of trailer, as well as a number of other factors. For instance, a 40-foot cargo trailer can weigh less than 10,000 pounds but a 40-foot RV may weigh as much as 20,000.
So, how much does a 40 ft trailer weigh?
The average weight of a fully-loaded 40-foot trailer can range from 15,000 to 17,000 pounds. Trailers can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, but typically only carry loads of around 20,000 to 30,000 pounds, and this is only typical of commercial trailers and loads.
40-Foot Trailer Weight Examples
Every 40-foot trailer is going to be different. That’s because they’re all built differently and they all serve different purposes. The weight varies widely among models for various reasons.
The following table will give you a better idea of how much a 40-foot trailer might weigh, including length.
|Model||Length||Dry Weight||Gross Vehicle Weight|
|Jayco North Point 373BHOK||39’ 11”||13,715 pounds||16,500 pounds|
|Grand Design Reflection 367BHS||41’||12,552 pounds||14,995 pounds|
|Forest River Sandpiper 3440BH||40’ 5”||11,129 pounds||14,075 pounds|
|New Horizons Summit S39RK3S||39’||21,000 pounds||24,000 pounds|
|Grand Design Solitude 378MBS-R||40’ 2”||14,344 pounds||16,800 pounds|
|Jayco Jay Flight 38BHDS||40’ 6”||8440 pounds||10,950 pounds|
|Keystone Residence 401FKSS||40’ 2”||11,108 pounds||13,250 pounds|
|Coachmen Chaparral 360IBL||39’ 9”||11,449 pounds||14,000 pounds|
|Forest River Hemisphere 314BUD||39’ 3”||8583 pounds||Unlisted|
|Keystone Passport GT 3401QD||39’ 3”||7850 pounds||9640 pounds|
|East West Tandara 375BH-OK||40’||12,584 pounds||Unlisted|
|Forest River Sandstorm 346GSLR||39’ 11”||11,016 pounds||14,999 pounds|
|Beacon 39FBB||39’ 8”||14,700 pounds||18,000 pounds|
|Heartland Bighorn 3300DL||39’||12,277 pounds||16,000 pounds|
|DRV Mobile Suites 40 KSSB4||40’ 5”||18,300 pounds||21,500 pounds|
|Forest River Cedar Creek 360RL||40’ 7”||13,134 pounds||16,525 pounds|
|KZ Durango D343MBQ||40’ 3”||11,570 pounds||14,995 pounds|
|Luxe Elite LF-39FB||40’ 10”||18,000 pounds||24,000 pounds|
|Dutchmen Astoria Platinum 3553MBP||39’ 11”||11,138 pounds||Unlisted|
|Heartland Big Country 3560SS||39’ 6”||13,214 pounds||16,000 pounds|
Understanding Trailer Weights And Limits
When you’re trying to determine how much your 40-foot trailer weighs, it’s important to keep in mind that the weight limit for trailers is set by the government and is different in each country.
In the United States, the maximum limit a trailer can weigh is 80,000 pounds (36,287 kg). However, this weight limit only applies to commercial trailers hauling extremely heavy loads.
The vast majority of 40-foot trailers only carry loads that weigh between 10,000 and 30,000 pounds (4,536 and 13,608 kg).
However, there’s more to trailer weights than just the curb weight. Here are some other terms you need to understand.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
This is the maximum weight of your trailer and everything that’s in it. This includes the weight of the trailer itself, all your belongings, any fluids, and anything else you have on board.
If your vehicle has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds but your trailer has a dry weight of only 8,000 pounds, you still have to factor in how many other things might be in it, like clothes, dishes, and other furnishings.
This is the weight of your trailer when it’s empty and doesn’t have anything in it. The dry weight will be listed on the manufacturer’s website or in the owner’s manual.
The cargo capacity of your trailer is how much weight it can carry. This is a lot like the payload of a pickup truck. Your trailer is only built to carry a certain amount of weight on its frame.
If your trailer is rated for 20,000 pounds, but it weighs 15,000 pounds dry, that means you can only load it with 5,000 more pounds before you risk damaging the frame or overloading the axles.
The hitch weight, also known as tongue weight, is the amount of downward pressure the trailer puts on the hitch of your vehicle when it’s hooked up. The hitch weight is generally 10-15% of the trailer’s total weight. So, if your trailer weighs 16,000 pounds, the hitch weight would be 1,600-2,400 pounds.
The hitch weight is important because it affects how your vehicle handles when you’re driving. If the hitch weight is too light, your vehicle will be more likely to fishtail. If it’s too heavy, your vehicle will be more difficult to steer.
List of Vehicles That Can Tow A 40-Foot Trailer
There are plenty of vehicles on the market that can tow a 40-foot trailer. But, as with any vehicle, not all of them are created equal. Some vehicles are better suited for towing than others. The following is a list of some of the best vehicles for towing a 40-foot trailer.
- RAM 3500 – RAM makes excellent heavy duty pickups, and they’re the most popular choices among RVers. They’re easy to drive and are fully capable of pulling any 40-foot camper. Take a quick cruise around any campground and it’s likely you’ll find more RAM trucks than any other heavy duty model. That’s because of all the heavy duty recreational vehicles on the market, the RAM has the highest towing capacity at 31,000 pounds. Some can even tow more, depending upon the axle ratio.
- Ford F-450 – Ford’s F-450 Super Duty pickup is a close second. It’s made for pulling heavy equipment, but it costs a bit more than the RAM. Unfortunately, the Ford F-350 only has a towing capacity of 27,500, so you have to upgrade to the F-450 to get a truck capable of pulling 32,500 pounds.
- Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD – Chevy offers more modern features than either of the other brands, like a wifi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It’s a great way for RVers to stay connected to family and friends while they’re on the road, but the towing capacity is lacking. At just 23,300 pounds, you can’t pull anything quite as heavy as you can with the others.
- Ford F-150 – Surprisingly, if you’re looking for a light-duty half-ton pickup, Ford has the best option this time. It can easily tow a lightweight 40-foot trailer with a towing capacity of 12,200. Ford is also the only manufacturer that offers a more economical option in the EcoBoost V6. Not only is it more fuel efficient, but it can tow more than the V8 model. Ford also equips this pickup with even more features than the F-350, so you’ll enjoy plenty of cameras and a steering knob that makes towing a lot easier.
- Chevrolet Silverado – Chevy’s half-ton option beats out RAM this time with a towing capacity of 12,500 and still has all of the same awesome electronics as the 3500HD.
- RAM 1500 – RAM falls behind in the light-duty truck game with a towing capacity of only 8200 pounds, but it’s also one of the most affordable half-ton pickups on the market.
- Toyota Tundra – Toyota doesn’t make anything bigger than a half-ton pickup, but if you’re looking for maximum reliability and resale value, the Tundra is the best option. You may be surprised to find out it can actually tow quite a bit, too – up to 12,000 pounds.
- Jeep Wagoneer – Jeep is known for its rugged durability, and the Wagoneer is the model with the highest towing capacity of all Jeeps, at 10,000 pounds. It’s also the largest Jeep with seating for 8. However, it’s an SUV, so it can’t pull a fifth wheel. If you have a bumper pull trailer, this is a great option.
- Ford Expedition – As far as SUVs go, the Expedition is a fantastic option. It also has seating for up to 8 passengers and can pull almost as much, at 9300 pounds. Ford also offers the EcoBoost V6 in this model.
- Nissan Armada – Nissan offers a towing capacity of up to 8500 pounds in the Armada. This is the highest standard towing capacity of any SUV without opting for the heavy duty towing package. It’s certainly not the most stylish option, but it comes standard with some great features that make towing a breeze, like Intelligent All-Around Monitoring, auto-leveling suspension, a hitch, and a 7-pin connector.
3 Popular 40-Foot Trailers (With Specs)
There’s no shortage of 40-foot trailers on the market. While these 3 are some of the most popular options, you can do some research to find others that may work better for you.
New Horizons Summit S38RK3S
This fifth wheel trailer from New Horizons is one of the most popular on the market. It’s a luxury brand whose price range won’t be accessible to all, but they’re gorgeous and comfortable, with plenty of amenities.
The Summit has 4 slides for extra room inside and can sleep up to 8 people.
- Length: 39 feet
- Width: 8 feet
- Height: 12.5 feet
- Dry Weight: 21,000 pounds
- GVWR: 24,000 pounds
- Sleeps: 8
2. Grand Design Reflection 367BHS
The Grand Design Reflection is another great option for those looking for a bit more space. It’s just over 40 feet long and has three slide-outs for added room.
It can sleep up to eight people and features a beautiful interior with plenty of storage. The Reflection line offers travel trailers, fifth wheels, and luxury trim levels, so there’s something for everyone.
- Length: 40.5 feet
- Width: 8 feet
- Height: 12.6 feet
- Dry Weight: 12,552 pounds
- GVWR: 14,995 pounds
- Sleeps: 8
3. Forest River Sandpiper
If you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, take a look at the Forest River Sandpiper. It’s just under 41 feet long and has five slide-outs for added space.
It can sleep up to eight people comfortably (plus a few extras in a pinch) and features top-of-the-line appliances and fixtures.
The Sandpiper is on the heavy side, so you’ll need a heavy-duty truck to tow it, but it’s definitely worth the investment.
- Length: 40 feet
- Width: 8.5 feet
- Height: 13 feet
- Dry Weight: 11,129 pounds
- GVWR: 14,075 pounds
- Sleeps: 8
Tips To Reduce The Weight Of Your Trailer
If you’re looking to reduce the weight of your trailer, there are a few things you can do.
- Get rid of water weight: One of the biggest culprits of trailer weight is water. If you can, ditch the fresh water tank and hook up to a city water supply instead. This will save you a ton of weight. If you have to fill up your fresh water tank, fill it up closer to your destination.
- Ditch the generator: Another heavy item is the generator. If you don’t absolutely need it, get rid of it and save yourself some weight. If you won’t be boondocking and you know you’ll always have access to electricity, you won’t need your generator to tag along.
- Get a tankless water heater: A tankless water heater is a great way to save weight. These heaters don’t rely on a big tank of water, so they’re much lighter. They also have the added benefit of never running out of hot water, so you don’t need to take those dreaded 30-second RV rinse-offs.
- Choose a composting toilet: If you’re looking to save weight and water, a composting toilet is a great option. These toilets don’t use any water, so you can ditch your black tank altogether. This will save you a lot of weight and they’re actually quite sanitary, but it’s not for everyone.
- Replace furniture, fixtures, and treatments: If you have heavy furniture, like a recliner or a sofa, consider replacing it with lighter options. Choosing lightweight window treatments, curtains, and other finishes will also help.
- Pack light: This one seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating. The lighter your trailer is, the easier it will be to tow. So, only pack the essentials and leave the rest at home.
These are just a few ways to lighten the load, but there are plenty more. Based on how you travel, you can probably come up with a few on your own.
Depending on the type and style, a 40-foot trailer will vary in weight. The average dry weight of a 40-foot trailer is around 10,000 pounds, but it can range from 7,600 to 14,000 pounds.
When choosing a 40-foot trailer, there are a few things to consider, including what kind of vehicle you have and how much weight you’re looking to carry. More spacious trailers will generally weigh more.