SAE J2807: Basic Overview For Setting Trailer Towing Capacity
Performance standards for trailering vehicles: To help ensure that vehicles can confidently tow the rated maximum trailer weight under a variety of real-world driving conditions, SAE J2807 establishes specific test protocols. These include:
- Cooling capability on a long highway upgrade modeled on the Davis Dam grade on Arizona SR 68;
- Launch and acceleration performance on a level road and a 12 percent upgrade;
- Combined handling performance – understeer and trailer sway;
- Combined braking performance – stopping distance and parking brake-hold on grade; and
- Structural performance for the vehicle and hitch or hitch receiver.
New calculations for trailer weight ratings: In addition to the performance standards, SAE J2807 also uses a specific set of assumptions to calculate maximum trailer weight ratings:
- For light-duty full-size pickups (GVWR < 8,500 lbs.), SAE J2807 assumes that the tow vehicle includes any options with higher than 33 percent penetration;
- It assumes there is both a driver and passenger in the vehicle, each weighing 150 pounds;
- It assumes that tow vehicles also include up to 70 pounds of aftermarket hitch equipment (where applicable); and
- For conventional trailer towing, SAE J2807 assumes that 10 percent of the trailer weight is on the tongue.