Lead image provided by Jason Hamasu of Ox Overland.
Camping beyond the confines of a traditional campground requires lugging every item that you will need to support yourself for days or even weeks at a time. Of course, the duration of the trip will dictate which items need to come, but all too often many find themselves taking everything “just in case”.
This lack of planning is the primary reason for the epidemic of exceeding GVWR. Most people don’t even realize just how overweight they are. Though it is your responsibility, it’s not entirely your fault. It’s often difficult to locate the weights of individual pieces of kit, and gaining access to a scale large enough for an entire truck isn’t always an option. Though, finding a scale is best practice.
Load up your rig for a trip, then drive over a truck scale (landfills and race car shops often have scales). Compare this weight to the GVWR that’s located on the driver’s side door sticker. These weights are likely for highways and may be less for off road. Most military vehicles and trailers list separate weights for on and off road (off road tends to be half). I have yet to see a civilian vehicle with separate designations, but I trust the military’s discretion here.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to verify those tire pressures! While inspecting the door sticker for GVWR, double check that there isn’t a second tire pressure listed for heavy loads. Often the required pressure is greater when towing or hauling heavy items. This would also be a perfect time to verify that your tires are the correct load rating, don’t assume that the previous owner, or the tire center got this correct. I have seen more than a few people buy new tires and the installer accidentally grabbed the incorrect tire.
For replacement parts, we can subtract the weight of each part we remove. If possible, weigh these items rather than arbitrarily estimating weight -you may be surprised at how far off you are. Stock bumpers tend to be mostly cosmetic and lightweight since they are only designed to sustain a 5 mph impact.
Below you will find a list of most of the items we tend to see out on the trails. Feel free to let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. Also, if this article inspires you to weigh your vehicle, let us know what you find.
*Unless otherwise noted, the second generation Toyota Tacoma 4x4 was used for vehicle specific items. Weights of popular brands and models were used throughout.
Weights to consider:
Don’t forget to include weight of occupants and personal items.
If towing, don’t forget to factor tongue weight into GVWR.
Maxtrax: 15 lbs/pair
Winch: Warn M8000 74 lbs (steel cable)
Lighting: Rigid 50” light bar, 14.25 lbs; Rigid 20” light bar 8.8 lbs
Larger tires: 35” BFG K02, 67 lbs (x 5) vs 48.4 lbs stock 245/75/16 (x 5) (net gain 93 lbs)
Wheels: varies significantly but should be considered
Roof rack: Front Runner Slimline II Extreme, 101 lbs (Jeep JKU)
Front bumper -ARB Toyota Tacoma 175 lbs (without winch)
Rear bumper -CBI w/tire carrier and fuel caddy, 175 lbs (empty)
Fuel cans: Jerry can +5 gal gasoline (41 lbs); Rotopax +4 gal gasoline (33 lbs)
Water tanks -Rotopax +4 gal water (41 lbs); Scepter Military +5 gal water (46 lbs)
Ground tent: 5-100 lbs
Roof tent: 100-220 lbs (Tepui for reference)
Bed Rack: Front Runner Slimline II, 53 lbs
Awning -ARB 2000mm, 35 lbs
Cooler: YETI Tundra 50qt, 26 lbs empty, add 10-20 lbs for ice
Fridge freezer: 49.6 lbs, ARB 50 qt
Cooking gear: include propane, varies significantly
Fridge slide: 35 lbs ARB for 37/50 qt fridge
Drawer system: ARB Single Drawer, 106 lbs (Jeep JKU); TruckVault, 130-265 lbs (Taco)
Skid plates: CBI full skid, 90 lbs
Rock sliders: CBI 150-190 lbs (depending on cab configuration)
Recovery kit: 20-25 lbs
Storage boxes: 10-12 lbs
Fender flares: Bushwacker, 30lbs
Air compressor: ARB CKMA12, 7.7 lbs; ARB CKMTA12, 17.4 lbs
Tool kit: 25-50 lbs
48” Hi-Lift jack: 28 lbs, +16 lbs for ORK (off road kit)