Towing, Hitching and Tow Vehicles Discussions about tow vehicles, tow systems, hitching, leveling, jacks and more.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default Dry weight and GVWR

New to this site. Have been looking at pop ups for months, but have discovered hi-lo's and think I want to join your team instead! My concern is my TV. I have a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder rated at 5,000 pounds. Considering a 22 or 24 foot hi-lo. 22ft dry weight is 3,300 and gross is 5,500. 24ft dry weight is 4,000 and gross is 6,000. May be a dumb question, but could I just not load it with much and keep the total weight down in order to be safe towing it? I know I could go down to a 19ft, but have two growing boys, and we're all tall, so things will get cramped quickly. Am hoping not to have to go back to looking at pop ups again! Was looking at them mainly for the lighter weight. One other note - we're planning on getting a 7,500 pound TV in a few years, so weight will be less of a factor, but want to be safe until then. Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum!

I truly believe that either trailer would be too much for the Pathfinder. Take the (rule of thumb) 80% of 5000 pounds and that gives you 4000 pounds. That gives you 1000 pounds for people, stuff, the hitch, and some room for a power and safety margin for your Pathfinder. Car manufacturers don't tell you those things. If you had nothing more than the driver and a full gas tank you may be able to handle 5000 pounds of trailer. You would be better off to find a more capable TV and then go trailer shopping.

I have upgraded trailers a couple of times and have then had to upgrade tow vehicles. If I would have had a crystal ball I could have skipped over two vehicles.

You will get opinions from people that say they can pull those trailers with a VW Beetle.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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You can keep the weight of the trailer down by not filling the water tank, carrying less, etc. For example, I have a 2408T that I have weighed on truck scales between 5800-5900 Lb. loaded and ready to go. On mine this weight includes a full tank of potable water, as well as full propane tanks.

Your weight limitation may not be the rated tow weight. You need to look at hitch weight and the gross weight of the TV, including gas, passengers, and the hitch weight, etc. Here is a good calculator:
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome! I'm going to be a wet blanket, so I'll apologize in advance.

If your TV is rated to pull 5000#, that's as much as you should tow to protect your transmission and to keep handling safe. Actually, most sources will advise you to keep the load under 80% of the limits, so you really don't want to pull more than 4000# with that TV.

Of more concern to me is the axle limits on your TV. When you attach a trailer, the tongue load is applied to the tow vehicle's axles. They both have a safe load limit too, that you can probably find on a door sticker. You'd definitely need a weight distributing hitch to transfer the tongue weight to both axles, or it would all be applied to the rear one. The tongue weight of a 5000# trailer will be between 500-750#. A WD hitch will add 60-80# to the load back there too.

And, since you say you have two growing boys and possibly their Mother, you have to add their weight (and yours) to the load on the axles. And, luggage, food, equipment, etc.

What I'm leading up to is that you could probably tow a 22ft HiLo for short distances over easy terrain, but I would not take long trips with it. I recommend you get the more capable TV now, if you're going to move out of a popup. Sorry!

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Old 12-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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I pulled my 2401 (24 foot, 4035 # dry) with a Honda Ridgeline, also rated at 5K pounds. The truck did everything asked of it just fine. However ... I got tired of listening to the engine running at higher revs.

I eventually bought an old junker (02 F250/ gas V10/ rated at 12.5K) just for the pull jobs. I haven't pulled this enough to definitively claim this but ... I've observed the same gas mileage - 12MPG. Overworked V6 or lazy V10, go figure.

To me, the important thing is that 24 foot may not be enough for your needs. Mine is too narrow for 2 adults and two large critters. Thinking about dumping the wife!
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Seriously??????

I detect that you may be digging a very deep hole!
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:54 AM   #7
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Default Thanks for info

Thanks for the info everyone! Yes, there is a mother, so there will be four of us. Sounds like I'd be limited to a 17 or 19ft hi-lo, which I think would feel way too small, so my options are 1)Look at a trailmanor 2)Back to looking at pop-ups. Planning on keeping the current 5k pound TV for at least 3-4 years, and couldn't afford a hi-lo and new TV.

I appreciate all the info. Highest priority is keeping my family safe, so hopefully I'll be back here in a few years after we get the new TV.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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I hope you come up with a winning combination. Stick around on the Forum there is always something to be learned or shared.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #9
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The Tow-Lites (also made by Hi-lo) are lighter than Classic Hi-Los. My 95 215TL is 3400# dry weight and my 2004 Dakota is rated at 5500 I think. I have never had any trouble pulling it up steep grades here in Utah.
The Hi-Lo's have upgraded features that add weight but nothing that is critical to me.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #10
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This thread came up in my search and having owned other RVs, my concern was what the weight of the options adds to that "dry weight" and how too often that is ignored. I'm going to search and I know that somewhere there is a listing that estimates weight of options like the A/C, spare tire/carrier, etc. We know better than to tow too close to the limit. So many options that run up that weight too. We also have a lower tow limit, 5,700 lbs and won't part with our current TV, 1993 Ford Club Van just ran through with much replaced, both a $$$ savings in many ways (insurance, excessive personal property tax...) and it is a family member at this point.
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