Important Towing Terminologies Every RVer Should Know

rv and trailer hitches

If you are a new RVer, you may be worried about the heavy equipment, load distribution, towing equipment and of course the technical terms that you need to know and follow. Most of the important terminologies come in abbreviations, and most of them are required to be followed by law. In fact, knowing most of these terms would also help you in figuring out which RV or towing vehicle is right for you.

Here are some important terminologies that you should be aware of:

Breakaway Cables

Breakaway cables are attached to the trailer and the vehicle, and perform the function of engaging the trailer brakes in case the trailer starts to separate from the vehicle.

Drivers are supposed to know when the breakaway cables have tightened and are engaging the brakes.

Ball Height

When the trailer coupler is hooked to the towing vehicle, the ball should be at a specific height. This is known as the ball height.

The ball height entirely depends on the type of trailer being towed.

Curb Weight

Curb weight is the weight of the vehicle with all its components, including fuel. This does not include the weight of the passenger or the luggage.

Tare Weight

Tare weight is the weight of the trailer, which is written on the trailer itself before it leaves the manufacturing facility. Again, this does not include passengers, luggage or any sort of modifications that the dealer performed on the trailer.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

GVWR refers to the total weight a towing vehicle can pull, which includes the weight of the trailer, passengers and any other luggage. This is usually given on the vehicle door, as it is a required by law.

Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the total weight that the trailer places on the hitch. Tongue weight should be within 10% of the entire weight of the trailer. If it gets too high or too low, it would become difficult for the driver to control the vehicle.


The coupler is part of the trailer that goes over the ball and connects the trailer to the vehicle.

Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM)

ATM is the total permitted weight of the trailer on its wheels and coupling. This includes everything that could possibly be stored inside the trailer.

Manufacturers usually have this printed on the luggage boot of trailer. This weight should never be exceeded as it would compromise the safety of the trailer on the road. The driver could also be held liable if they are found violating the ATM.

Gross Trailer Mass (GTM)

GTM is the maximum permitted weight that can be placed on the wheels of the trailer, and does not include coupling. GTM is also quoted by the manufacturer and is a requirement by the law.

We are one the leading hitch suppliers in the country and have a comprehensive range of hitches for all your towing needs.

Visit our website to access trailer saver 5th wheel hitch, shock absorbing hitch ad many more.


How to Back Up and Park a Towed Trailer


Backing up a towed trailer for parking can be a challenge. This is something you will only be able to master with time, so don’t beat yourself up when you don’t get it right the first time around.

Here are some useful tips that will help you back up and park your towed trailer:

Plan the Route

Plan the parking route. You need to know where your trailer is, where you want to take it, and how.

When planning the route, take into consideration every possible obstacle in the vicinity. Once you know where you have to go and spots to avoid, it will be much easier.

Get a Spotter

If you have someone with you, tell them to act as a spotter. If you’re alone, ask a passerby to help with your parking.

Even though you have thoroughly planned your route, it is still possible to bump into something, such as a tree limb. Similarly, your trailer might go the wrong way in, in which case, you may need a spotter to tell you to stop and correct the position before backing it up.


Adjust your mirrors multiple times (if you have to) when backing up your trailer, but make sure that you have a clear view of the rear.

You won’t be able to see much in your rearview mirror, which is why you need to depend on the side mirrors.

Look back when steering

Don’t depend on the mirrors alone. Since you are backing up a trailer, you will need to look back to know exactly how your steering wheel is affecting the direction of the trailer.

Back up from the driver’s side

Always back up the trailer from the driver’s side; it is much easier. If you’re backing in from the passenger’s side, adjust your position. It is easier to control the trailer when you back up from the driver’s side.


If you find it hard to back up and park your towed trailer, practice parking with cones. This will help you understand the dynamics of the entire the process.

We are one of the leading hitch suppliers and have all types of hitches and towing equipment. Visit our website to access the full collection, which includes shock absorbing hitch, trailer saver hitch, gooseneck hitch and more.