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Brown City, MI

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Posted: 12/31/17 12:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hommer638 wrote:

Thanks to all that replied. I knew that I would be close for weight.
But it's just the wife and me, no kids, and I was planning in taking out all the rear seats in the van when going on a trip. Even then I think weight wise I will be too close to the limit. I do not like the idea of going on a long trip thinking of what might happen on the road.
So I think we will be shopping for a pickup ether full or mid size.

Probably a good plan. Here are some things to keep in mind when truck shopping.

There will be a tire and loading sticker (on drivers door or door post) that shows a max occupant / cargo weight rating (AKA payload). That number is the trucks capacity to carry things. It gets used up by weight of aftermarket accessories (bed caps / liners, undercoating, step bars, floor mats, etc), people, pets, cargo, hitch equipment, and loaded trailer tongue weight.

Loaded trailer tongue weight will be about 12 - 13 percent of total trailer weight.

Your trailer is about 2900 lbs empty. It will be 36 - 3800 lbs when ready to camp. Your loaded tongue weight will be 475 +/- 25 lbs.

You'll need to find a tow vehicle with enough payload to carry everything listed above, plus your family, have a little wiggle room for unexpected weight, and enough tow capacity left to tow at least the gross weight (about 3950 lbs) of your trailer. That could be a bigger van, an SUV, or pickup truck. Maybe find a tow vehicle that is big enough to handle your next (bigger) trailer.

Trailer tongue weight is not a constant number. It goes up and down during every trip. If you have holding tanks that are located in front of the trailer axles, they will add more weight to your tongue weight. If they are behind the axles, they will take weight off the tongue.

The added weight of accessories, people, pets, and cargo, not only eats up available payload, it also reduces the vehicle's max tow capacity, pound for pound.

Hitch receivers have weight ratings (with and without weight distribution) of their own.

Tow vehicles are not all created equal. You may find two trucks, sitting side by side, same year/make/model, with different payload and tow capacities.

Note: The closer you get to max weight on either payload or tow capacity, the more unpleasant your towing experience will be.

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Death Valley!

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Posted: 12/31/17 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry, down and OP, you’ll hear no better news from me. A vehicle’s towing capacity is only one of a dozen or so numbers that need to be considered before you can tow pleasantly...and safely.

2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Posted: 12/31/17 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great response Hommer
Any half ton pickup will have a fairly easy time with that TT, and you can still get good mileage with something like an ecoboost f-150.
Be exceedingly gentle and you can break in the camper, but do try to upgrade the tow vehicle when you can. Your taking a reasonable approach as you leave the minivan.
Happy motorin



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Posted: 12/31/17 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am sorry for this long response.

I have a fantastic Minivan. It’s a 2014 Town & Country. I set it up to tow a PUP which it did with ease. I had to run a WD hitch because the tongue weight was too heavy. With the WD hitch it towed amazing. Power was never an issue.

I now own a F150 and am looking for my next PUP (kind of want a vintage Apache or Bethany PUP, but I digress) or small TT

We still have the Van and we used it to tow an occasional utility trailer or small U-Haul after we sold the PUP...

Here is the thing...when I weighed the PUP I had 475 lbs of tongue weight. And there was NOTHING I could do about it. The PUP had a slide and limited storage. No matter how I loaded the pup I couldn’t get the tongue weight down to 10% (300 ish lbs is where I needed it). My owners manual said the tongue weight limit was 300 lbs or so for my van and I totally destroyed that rating.

I have an aftermarket Draw-Tite hitch that is rated for 500 lbs with WD..good to go right? Nope, the OEM rating trumps that.

With the WD, like I said, it did great. But, I think the WD hitch has loosened up the uni-body somehow. The doors don’t seem as tight and the interior body panels now rattle more than they use to before we towed with the WD hitch.

I also have worn out the rear springs and the rear shocks and they are going to be replaced very soon. I think that towing with my van has caused accelerated wear on the rear suspension. Although these are maintenance items as well.

It could be just age as we have 88k on the van now, but it was enough for me to say no, and go with a TV with a solid frame. The receiver on my F150 is rated for 1,200 lbs of tongue weight (with or without WD) and 12,000 lb trailer. Way more than I will ever use. I now have more lower end torque for towing and 1,800 lbs of payload.

This truck would have handled that pup with ease and that 475 lbs of tongue weight would not bother it.

So please, as much as I advocated towing with a Unibody van in the past, if you have to exceed the max tongue weight the OEM recommends then DON’T do it. Matter of fact, I don’t recommend exceeding any spec the OEM gives.

Also, my OEM recommends 40 or 50 sq ft as a max frontal load for my van. I am not sure that there is a TT save for a Scamp type trailer that will stay under this.

YMMV but IMHO for a TT something with a body on frame is where it’s at.

My good friend BenK on here says it best... my paraphrase is when the SHTF it is not the proper time to make sure everything is capable of handling the emergency.





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Posted: 12/31/17 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Give the people at CanAm RV Centre in London a call



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Posted: 12/31/17 04:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never mind towing at max for 2-3 weeks per year, but the dry weight is already too close to max towing in this case and as other have said, the tongue weight will be 350-450lbs once your loaded up.

No need to buy a truck, but I would trade the minivan in for a mid-size SUV at least.


North Carolina

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Posted: 12/31/17 09:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This last week we camped next to a small family towing one of those A frame, fold up trailers with a 5th gen Dodge Grand Caravan, 3.6 V6. They were really logging the miles and the van was chock full of stuff. I can't speak to the weights but, they said it towed just fine with the low profile trailer. I'll bet they were heavy but, I don't know the numbers. They had wandered several states from home when we met them. We own a 5th gen Chrysler T&C and I wouldn't want to do a lot of towing with a minivan. The Suburban is much better suited for towing. Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, Expedition, etc.. might be a better choice for your needs.


Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 12/31/17 10:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

noteven wrote:

Give the people at CanAm RV Centre in London a call
Bingo. Because 425 lbs dry hitch weight plus battery plus LP plus any water or cargo up front in the trailer plus the weight of the WD hitch..... is liable to rip the receiver clean off at highway speed! But Can-Am can fabricate a custom receiver with more & better mount points, and install any recommended suspension upgrades. They may have ideas about better tires, too. It may cost about 3 grand, though. So a different tug is still the easiest route. Either a pickup or an SUV with at least 650 lbs hitch weight rating. My Lexus GX470 could handle it, or a Jeep Grand Cherokee, or a Sequoyah or Tundra.

* This post was edited 12/31/17 10:14pm by rexlion *

Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... (Ecclesiastes 3)
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Northern Ontario Canada

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Posted: 12/31/17 10:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had it in the back of my mind that I would need a better tow vehicle. I am planning a trip to the east coast and then a year later a trip to the west coast.I have been looking at the Ford F150 XTR with the 3.5 ecoboost, my son has one and it looks like a very capable and fuel efficient truck.



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Posted: 12/31/17 11:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The three concerns about going over the weight limit are tongue weight, braking and power. The weight distribution hitch will help with the tongue weight.

From some quick research I don't believe that trailer has electric brakes. Of course they can be added and of course you can add an electric brake controller. Combined they will cost you close to $1000.

As for power, the biggest issue is heat. Add coolant and transmission fluid gauges. An auxiliary transmission cooler is also a good idea.

You should not have problems with your east coast trip. Crossing the Rockies is another story.

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