I have a 2017 Subaru Legacy with a standard trailer hitch installed at U-Haul. I pull a 5' by 8' utility trailer bought from Tractor Supply. I would like to carry multiple bookcases in the trailer and also the boxed books that were in them.

Should I split up the books into two trips because of the weight?

Should I distribute the books partly in the trunk and cabin of the car and partly on the trailer?

There will be three people in the car, weighing a total of 550 pounds.

  • How much do the books and bookcases weigh in total? You have the total for the people.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


You'll need to know the weight of the trailer and it's maximum capacity (which should be on a plate on the trailer, for any reasonably recent trailer), the maximum towing weight of the car (which should be on the data plate under the bonnet - for a UK spec one it's 750kg unbraked or 1700kg braked), and any restrictions on your licence. It'll then be the lowest of those three.

For example, I have an unbraked trailer marked as 500kg gross, which weighs about 150kg. My Toyota can tow 500kg unbraked, and my licence allows me to tow 750kg unbraked - so the limit for me is 500kg total, and about 350kg load.

You also need to consider weight distribution and the tongue weight (how much weight is being put on the towing hitch on the car) as this affects stability. I'd certainly suggest distributing the books partly in the car just for weight distribution reasons.

  • Two things: You need to consider the towing capacity of the vehicle when looking at weight. Just because a trailer can haul 500kg does not mean the vehicle can tow it. Secondly, When considering what a vehicle can tow, you also have to consider what will be inside of the vehicle while towing. Such things as people, gas, and "stuff" all add up. Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 22:23

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