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Pushing the limits on tow vehicles

SprinklerMan
Explorer
Explorer
On my way to go camping in Hagerstown md , I was going up one of the small mountains pulling my camper and in the slow lane was a Ford expedition pulling the same model I have. A sunsetcreek 30 ft 10 k gross weight . He had 3 kids , 2 adults ,a dog , he was barely going 30 up the hill , I was behind him for about 5 minutes before I got around him going up the hill . ( I have a v 10 excursion) . He ended up at the same campground about 45 minutes later . The next day I stopped by his camper and asked him how was his trip getting there . He said scary , he bought it a month ago from a dealer who said his expedition could pull it no problem . He said the trailer is only 7300 lbs . I told him thats right .....EMPTY , not loaded with bikes, water food etc , You are closer to 9000 lbs . Its his first time camping . We looked at the specs on the door , it had the small v8 and the max towing was 5000 lbs . He decided to call a friend of his to tow it home with a 3/4 ton truck .
45 REPLIES 45

mike77leprechau
Explorer
Explorer
oilslick wrote:
you can pull almost anything with almost anything but for how long depends on a few things.

and how safely and how comfortably.......


I tow a 7200lb. dry trailer with a truck rated for 9600. i'm right at comfortable max for me. anyone experienced would say the same if not say i may be over.... a newbie will say I'm 2400 under.....

I think the RVIA and the manufacturers need to get involved with these dealers as an Industry and try to circumvent this "you can tow it" behavior by salesmen.... I believe it is up to the buyer to make sure they can tow what they are buying but the salesman is considered the "expert" to many buyers.... the outright lies are amazing.... (Like when I was told I could tow a 13k 5'er AS LONG AS I HAD a sliding hitch at one show...)
Current Rig: 2018 Forest River Salem 32BHI Towed with a 2017 Ram 1500 Big Horn 4x4-5.7 Hemi/4x4/3.92/8 Speed Auto

"You should really invest in a Diesel 1 ton to properly tow that popup"

Dennis_Smith
Explorer
Explorer
This is one of the reason we bought a Ford F250 to pull our 22 foot Fun Finder. Don't even know its back there when we are running around the mountains of Colorado.

vwags
Explorer
Explorer
Asking the RV salesman what he sells that I can tow with my vehicle is like asking the Car salesman what I look best in..."why we have this very nice Ferrari sir..." but that is exactly what I did. Found a trailer I liked then said "Can I tow it?" "You'll be fine" was his answer and I was so excited. Well after buying it and researching (Ready fire aim) I came to realize that I was too heavy for our TV. Just sold it and bought a replacement. Maybe now I won't be too afraid to go to a CAT scale and get a real weight to get my WD Hitch right. Live and learn, thankfully we did all live through my learning curve.

KiowaTomcat
Explorer
Explorer
First off, Hello All! I am new here and this is my first post.

Second, I found to be pretty scary after spending the past couple of months shopping for our first travel trailer. All the dealerships we went to told us that our truck could pretty much tow anything we wanted to buy. Fortunately, both my wife's and my military backgrounds kicked in when too many things were sounding too good to be true and started really researching things. A good 3/4 of the trailers we had been looking at were over, some VERY over, the towing capacity of our truck. We ended up purchasing a very nice smaller trailer that is well under our limits and we feel it will still service really well. Bottom line, don't let the excitement of the purchase or the salesmen talk you into something you may not be able to handle. Do your own research.

KiowaTomcat
KiowaTomcat
Kiowa=What I work on now, contracting for the US Army.
Tomcat=What I worked on while on active duty in the US Navy.

oilslick
Explorer
Explorer
There are many inexperienced first time buyers and WHEN they ask for advice about weight ratings they are usually asking because they DON"T know, you can pull almost anything with almost anything but for how long depends on a few things.

jaycocreek
Explorer
Explorer
I wanted to get something like the second one when I was in the market. I had an 8ft Lance at the time on an F-250 but the wife said no, not enough room with two dogs so I was back to travel trailers again.

One day..... I wouldn't hesitate to use something like the second one with a few minor adjustments for the over weight issue, but that's me based on my past experiences with several pickup campers on different rigs.
Lance 9.6
400 watts solar mounted/200 watts portable
500ah Lifep04

Huntindog
Explorer
Explorer
jaycocreek wrote:
I'll just let you read it yourself. It's an eye opener to an old trick camper fan and owner. Page 3 has a beautiful 1 ton dually overweight also with a small camper.

3500 over weight


That first one is not a dually.
The second one is. But there is a large discrepancy, on just how much a 811 weighs empty
The pictured dually SAYS that his camper is basically empty. Only propane,(40) batteries(130) and 1/2 tank of water (200) (=370) Yet weighs 4120. The SRW fellow says that his is fully loaded. The dry weight is 2873.

One of them is WRONG!!! Ya gotta pay attention when reading stuff on the net. Just because it is written, doesn't make it true.

But is does make me smile some as my Dually would not be overloaded in either case.

And thinking about just how much weight people manage to cram into a truck camper,,,, But here on the TT forum I constantly read of those with MUCH larger TTs that profess to hardly packing any weight into them.
Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
FullBodyPaint, 3,8Kaxles, DiscBrakes
17.5LRH commercial tires
1860watts solar,800 AH Battleborn batterys
2020 Silverado HighCountry CC DA 4X4 DRW

jaycocreek
Explorer
Explorer
I'll just let you read it yourself. It's an eye opener to an old trick camper fan and owner. Page 3 has a beautiful 1 ton dually overweight also with a small camper.

3500 over weight
Lance 9.6
400 watts solar mounted/200 watts portable
500ah Lifep04

Huntindog
Explorer
Explorer
jaycocreek wrote:
It's pretty bad when playing the numbers game a 2012 Dodge 3500 dually with a GVWR of 11,500 can't even haul Arctic Fox's smallest camper(811) without being over weight.

Some would call it unsafe and an accident ready to happen.


Enlighten us. How much does that camper weigh?
Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
FullBodyPaint, 3,8Kaxles, DiscBrakes
17.5LRH commercial tires
1860watts solar,800 AH Battleborn batterys
2020 Silverado HighCountry CC DA 4X4 DRW

jaycocreek
Explorer
Explorer
It's pretty bad when playing the numbers game a 2012 Dodge 3500 dually with a GVWR of 11,500 can't even haul Arctic Fox's smallest camper(811) without being over weight.

Some would call it unsafe and an accident ready to happen.
Lance 9.6
400 watts solar mounted/200 watts portable
500ah Lifep04

Illinoisgreyhou
Explorer
Explorer
I was extremely fortunate. I got a 2013 Dodge Caravan for Christmas in 2012, as a dog hauler. I own and race greyhounds and have 3 at home. I decided in 2013 fall I wanted to buy a travel trailer to go with the dogs. The dealer I went to here in Rockford Illinois was very honest and said we have only 1 trailer here you can pull. The van was not made to pull a travel trailer. They sold me a 14' KZ Sportsman and my hubby paid to have the trailer towing package put on my new van. What a dream!!!! It pulls great with the electric brakes making my stopping perfect. The trailer is loaded with everything the larger trailers have and we have a blast. I have a portable pen for my 3 dogs and I put up a canopy for them and I sit under my awning. If anyone wants to get honest, knowlegable and customer friendly sales people and wonderful service people should come to Sunny Island RV Sales in Rockford Illinois!!!!! I will by my next trailer from them also.
Me and....my 3 Greyhounds
Patch
Teague
Isabella

BurbMan
Explorer II
Explorer II
That trailer will be 4500 lbs ready to camp with empty tanks. At 13% tongue weight that means 585 lbs on the FJ's hitch....

Best to read the owner's manual and understand:

1. If there is a limitation on frontal area of the trailer being towed. Wind resistance requires more power to overcome than weight, and many FJ-sized vehicles have frontal area restrictions that preclude towing a travel trailer.

2. If if says not to use a weight distributing hitch...some frames and unibodies cannot handle the stresses applied by weight distribution. No WD hitch and the FJ won't be able to be leveled out with a travel trailer attached.

3. Limitations on tongue weight of a trailer.

4. Available payload of the FJ with passengers, cargo and trailer tongue weight.

My guess is that you will strike out on one or more of these points and be limited to towing a pop-up with the FJ.

mhs999
Explorer
Explorer
Hi, I have a Toyota FJ Cruiser. The tow weight is rated at 5000 max so we're looking to keep dry weight at 4000 lbs. I've come across a 2005 Salem that is 23' and the dry weight is listed at 3640. Compared to the new models, this seems so light. What does the group think of an FJ Cruiser pulling a 23' trailer? Would it feel dangerous?

I appreciate any input from the group... thanks!

SprinklerMan
Explorer
Explorer
fireman41 wrote:
I know it's still over weight but what's wrong with 30 MPH on a hill fully loaded.
My semi truck has a hard time on those hills.


I dont know what grade the hill was as far as % goes , but the semi's were passing him , I had no problem holding 60 mph up the hill with a v 10 excursion running about 3800 rpm .