How Much Does a 30 Foot Camper Weigh With and Without Cargo?

How much does a 30 foot camper weigh?” is a frequent inquiry by campers who want to try out their new 30 foot travel trailers. This allows them to know what load to carry so that they don’t end up overloading the trailer and damaging it in the process.

Also, knowing the weight of the camper trailer helps them to know how to tow it. In this article, we’ll cover the weight of a 30-foot camper with or without cargo as well as the factors that influence the weight of the travel trailer.

What Is the Total Weight of a 30 Foot Camper?

The total weight of a 30-foot camper is between 500 and 7,500 pounds, depending on the make and model as well as furnishings and the things stored inside it. However, the average weight of a camper is 5,500 pounds and a loaded one is around 7,400 pounds.

Camper weight examples are teardrop trailers that weigh around 1,500 pounds and 36-foot fifth-wheel campers that weigh about 15,000 pounds.

What Are the Factors that Impact the Weight of a 30 Foot Camper?

Some of the factors that impact the weight of a 30-foot camper include water tanks, stored items, occupants, furniture and appliances. These weights need to be factored in when calculating the overall weight of the camper to avoid overloading it, which may eventually cause havoc to the vehicle.

– Water Storage Tanks

Most 30-foot travel trailers come with 3 different water tanks, with each holding about 20 to 25 gallons of water for different purposes. There is a tank for clean water, another for gray water, and the last for wastewater. The maximum weight of the combined water tanks will differ based on the amount of water in them. However, they are necessary for calculating the total weight of the camper.

Instead of measuring the weight of each water tank, the best thing to do is use the maximum value of all three tanks, which is 600 pounds. This value is used for most 30-foot travel trailers and may not reflect the exact weight of all three water tanks. What this means is that to determine the weight of the camper and water tanks, just add 600 pounds to the dry weight.

For instance, if the dry weight of your 30-foot camper is 6,000 pounds, add 600 pounds and your net trailer weight (dry weight + three water tanks) equals 6,600 pounds.

– Furniture and Gadgets

Some travel trailers come with furnishings and gadgets, therefore, you won’t have to weigh any of those because the manufacturer has already done that. However, if you buy an empty trailer, then you’ll need to furnish it before you hit the road.

To avoid overloading or underloading the camper, you’ll need to weigh all the appliances and furnishings you bring on board. However, doing this can be tedious and time-consuming, thus the best thing to do is to furnish the camper first and then weigh the loaded vehicle later.

If the camper is overloaded, all you need to do is remove the excess weights and leave only the essentials, but if it is underloaded, then you can add more items. You can also use lightweight or smaller gadgets if the vehicle exceeds its GCWR. For example, you can install a mini-fridge instead of a full-size fridge or use an air bed instead of a foam mattress.

– Passengers/Occupants

The weight of the people in the camper needs to be considered as well. This won’t be much of a problem if the occupants are few, but if the occupants are many then you’ll need to account for that. This is because the weight of the individual passengers can influence the net weight of the travel trailer.

You don’t have to measure each individual when you can just multiply the number of people by the average weight of humans, which is around 136 pounds. This will give you a fair idea of the total weight of all passengers.

How Do You Weigh Your 30 Foot Camper?

You can weigh your 30-foot camper using two methods — one is to weigh the individual components in the trailer and the other is to use a CAT scale. The CAT scale is the easiest and most reliable option as the other method is clumsy and tedious.

– Weighing Individual Components

This method involves using an industrial scale to measure each item inside the trailer and adding them to the curb weight to get the net weight of the camper. This method is time-consuming and exhausting as you’ll need to carry the items up and down. Also, some items may be too heavy for the scales, thus you may not get an accurate reading.

– Using a CAT Scale

Certified Automated Truck (CAT) scales are big multi-plate scales that can weigh large items including 30-foot campers and RVs. The idea is not to purchase these huge scales but rather locate them are truck stops or travel centers where you can pay a small fee to use them. First, weigh only the towing vehicle by driving it onto the scales. Then attach the camper to the vehicle and drive onto the scales to weigh the two.

To get the net vehicle weight, subtract the weight of the vehicle from the weight of the camper and the vehicle. That is how to use the CAT scale to determine the weight of your travel trailer.

What Are the 30 Foot Trailer Weight Categories To Consider?

The various 30 foot trailer weight categories to consider are curb weight, cargo weight, gross combined weight rating, and hitch weight. These weights are essential in knowing how to load the camper to prevent overloading or underloading, which can be detrimental to both the vehicle and the driver.

– The Dry Weight

Also known as the curb weight, this category details the travel trailer weight when it is empty. The curb weight includes the weights of the engine, fluids and other amenities included by the factory before purchase. Take note that the dry weight or unloaded vehicle weight differs depending on the make and model of the travel trailer.

– The Cargo Weight

The next category is the cargo weight, which indicates all the weight of the goods and passengers in the vehicle, which is also referred to as wet weight. The cargo weight will depend on the type of cargo you’re carrying; heavier goods will have a higher cargo weight than lighter goods. Knowing the maximum cargo weight is essential to load the travel trailer because overloading it could lead to various complications, including road accidents.

– The Gross Combined Weight Rating

The third category is the gross combined weight rating (GCWR), which indicates the total weight of the travel trailer and its cargo plus the tow vehicle’s weight. Thus, if your travel trailer and its cargo weigh 6,000 pounds and your tow vehicle weighs 2,500 pounds, your GCWR equals 8,500 pounds. The GCWR is usually found in the vehicle’s manual or on the website of the manufacturer.

– The Tongue Weight

The final weight category is hitch weight, also referred to as tongue weight, which indicates the weight that the tongue can support when it is hitched to the travel trailer. The hitch weight differs based on the size and type of the trailer– a fifth-wheel travel trailer would have a higher hitch weight.

The hitch weight percentage is the portion of the trailer’s total weight that the tongue can support. Adhering to this percentage which should be between 15 percent and 20 percent avoids putting extra strain on the tongue.

How Will You Know the Volume of Goods Your 30-foot Camper Can Carry?

You will know the volume of goods your 30 foot camper can carry using two methods; one involves 1,500 pounds to the curb weight. The other involves calculating the GCWR, which is the maximum volume of cargo your 30-foot camper can carry.

– The 1,500-pound Method

As already mentioned, this involves adding 1,500 pounds to the curb weight of your camper, which gives you a fair idea of the volume of cargo the camper can carry. Thus, if the dry weight is 5,000 pounds, adding 1,500 pounds means that your camper can carry up to 6,500 pounds of cargo.

However, take note that this is just a rough estimate and that the actual values may be more or less. To get the exact value of the amount of cargo your camper can bear, use the next method.

– The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Method

This involves totaling the curb weight of the camper and its cargo carrying capacity, which is found in the manufacturer’s manual or website. Then add 500 pounds to the total of the curb weight plus the cargo carrying capacity.

The 500 pounds is a rough figure that accounts for the weight of the engine, fluids and other accouterments. This should give you the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of your 30-foot camper.

With the value of the GVWR, you can determine the percentage of the hitch weight. This is done by dividing the GVWR by the weight of the tongue and then multiplying the result by 100. Remember that the result should be between 15 percent and 20 percent, if not, then you’d need to do the calculation again.

You’ll also need to consider the gross axle weight rating, which is the maximum weight an axle can bear when the vehicle is fully loaded with cargo, occupants and fluids. This number is indicated in the car’s manual.


As promised, we’ve provided the weight of a 30 foot travel trailer and also explained some terms associated with it. These are our final thoughts:

  • A 30-foot travel trailer weighs between 500 and 7,500 pounds, depending on the make of the vehicle and the furnishings inside.
  • The camper weight category includes the curb weight, wet weight, tongue weight, and GCWR.
  • Knowing these weights is useful in preventing overloading or underloading the camper, as both scenarios could be dangerous for the vehicle and its occupants.
  • The passengers in a camper also influence its weight, especially if the number of people is quite big.
  • To know the exact weight of your camper, you can either weigh all the items in the camper individually or use a CAT scale.

The CAT scale is the best and most convenient weighing method because it gives an accurate weight of your camper while saving you the hard work of carrying heavy items. However, you can only locate them at truck stops or travel centers where you can pay a small fee to use them.

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