4WD Weights; what you need to know, and why

If you’ve never looked into the weight of your own 4WD, it can be a slippery slope. By the time you add a bit of gear, some modifications and the usual passengers in your vehicle can easily be over weight. That doesn’t even consider tow ball weight, which is one of the easiest ways to be overweight.

Fortunately, you have a number of avenues to go down, which are all worth considering. Weight in general is bad; it hurts your economy, increases stresses and makes 4WDing more difficult. In this post, we cover a huge range of 4WD weight related topics.

Weighing your 4WD

What does your 4WD weigh?

I’m very curious to know how many of you know what your 4WD weighs with no gear in it, and when it is loaded up for a trip away. In Australia, all 4WD’s come out with a GVM, Pay load, GCM and Towing Capacity. If you exceed these, you risk damaging your vehicle, having an accident and voiding your 4WD insurance.

4WD Weight

Mobile weighing

Not too long ago we had our Isuzu Dmax and Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper weighed by a mobile weighing service, and the results were surprising. Even with a GVM upgrade and a light trailer, we were almost overweight. This just reinforces how many others would be well and truly overweight. Want to know more? Have a read of this post.

Dmax being weighed

Using a weighbridge for our Camper and 4WD

Before our Big Lap of Australia, we took our entire setup over an unmanned weighbridge, and I left feeling quite disappointed with what it does for you. It’s better than nothing, and we still recommend it, but there are much better options

On the weighrbridge

5 weight facts about your 4WD you might not know

The weight saga for 4WD’s and towing has been hugely talked about in recent years, but there’s still a number of facts that a lot of people don’t know, or understand, and they’re all important. Find out more here.

24 hour 7 day a week weighbridge


Towing Capacity; a simple guide to keep you legal

Every day there are arguments, questions and lengthy discussions about what is legal when it comes to towing with a 4WD, and every guide I’ve ever read has not made things overly simple or clear. There is a lot more to towing capacity than just the one rating, and lots of people don’t understand this.

Towing with a Pajero

Our Isuzu Dmax weights

Isuzu Dmax touring 4WD build; a look into what it weighs

Dmax and soft floor camper trailer

A few months ago, I was backed into a corner with the weight of my Isuzu Dmax. It was going to be over weight at the end of the build and no matter what I thought of the only real solution was to get a GVM Upgrade. This was done by ARB using an Old Man Emu suspension package.

Tow Ball Weight

What is tow ball weight, and why is it important?

Tow ball weight is one of the easiest ways to bend or break something, let alone the huge issue it creates in overloading many 4WD’s. If you add 200kg of tow ball weight, you can apply nearly 300kg on the rear axle due to leverage, and that can be a problem real quick. Want to know more about Tow Ball Weight? Check this out.

Tow ball weight

Tow ball scales

If you haven’t ever looked into the tow ball weight of your trailer, its hugely important, and even more so once you start towing something heavier. There’s a number of ways you can get the tow ball weight, but a set of tow ball scales are a good start.

Tow ball weight of our Reconn R2

Check your tow ball weight with empty water tanks

If you’ve checked your tow ball weight when you’re ready to take off, that’s great. Do you know what it is when the water runs out though? You probably should, as it can change things dramatically. Find out more here.

Tow ball weight of our Reconn R2

GVM Upgrades

GVM Upgrades; how much is too much?

Weights have become a major topic in the 4WD, Caravanning and Camping world today, and for good reason. It’s almost impossible to set a 4WD up for exploring this great country without it being over weight.

Isuzu Dmax offroad

The Dmax gets a GVM Upgrade

Before buying the Dmax, I sat down and made a spreadsheet covering the accessories and modifications that I wanted to put on the 4WD, as part of building it into a comfortable, reliable and mildly capable tourer.

OME GVM Upgrade

GVM Meaning

Not sure what GVM actually means, along with the other acronyms that seem like foreign language? Don’t worry; we break it down so its super simple here.

Dmax weights

GVM Upgrades and OEM Warranty

If you’re considering a GVM upgrade, it would appear that the manufacturers are cracking down on warranty claims with vehicles that have upgrades done, and a part of this makes perfect sense. Find out more about what you need to consider before getting a GVM upgrade.

Isuzu Dmax


Can you be under GVM and over axle weights?

There’s a lot of little nuances when it comes to making sure your 4WD is legal, and one of them is axle weights. Just because you are under the GVM figure doesn’t mean you are out of the woods yet. To find out more, check this out.

Dmax weights

Roof Racks; are you overloaded?

How much weight do you have on your roof racks? Do you know what roof capacity your 4WD has? Do you know what the on road and off road rating is of your roof racks? Roof Racks are a great option for storage, but there’s some pretty severe limitation to what you can do with them. Want to know more? Check out our roof rack post.

Roof racks on the 80 series

Is your dual cab’s chassis likely to bend?

There’s been a huge number of Utes with bent chassis over the last few years, and it comes down to a range of different factors. Ultimately its avoidable, on a number of fronts, but the aftermarket industry does no favours in increasing GVM and GCM ratings to crazy levels. Is your Ute likely to get a bent chassis? Find out more here!

Ute tray length

11 ways to pack your 4WD better

When it comes time to take your 4WD on the holiday you’ve been planning for months, the packing can be a bit of a nightmare. Out come the clothes bags, the food tubs, drinks, toys, fishing gear, jerry cans, more bags and the list goes on and on.

Dmax canopy

Is your 4WD really suitable, or do you need a truck?

In my opinion, too many people today are using 4WD’s to do a job they were never really designed to do. When I say 4WD’s, I’m referring to anything from a Suzuki Sierra through to a full size wagon like a Y62 Nissan Patrol or 200 Series Land Cruiser.

Touring Australia with lots of gear

4WD Ute or Wagon; which one is best?

Buying a 4WD is a pretty big decision, and once you start looking into it you’ll see its just the beginning of a myriad of choices you’ll need to make.

Ute vs Wagon

Unsprung Weight; what is it, and why is it important?

A lot of people replace the factory suspension in their 4WD with something aftermarket. This is done for a huge number of reasons, but I feel that a lot of changes that get made aren’t always fully understood. Every single modification you do has a long list of downsides, and its important to consider things from a balanced perspective.

Squeaky suspension

Floodways and a bent chassis

Up until recently we’d never actually seen a bent Ute Chassis in real life, and that changed on our way to the top of Cape York, when we came across a couple minutes after their BT50 bent the chassis in a big way. Find out more here.

Bent chassis repair

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