Towing, Hitching and Tow Vehicles Discussions about tow vehicles, tow systems, hitching, leveling, jacks and more.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:53 AM   #1
PnK
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Default Towing and weight

I have a technical question and here is what I have:

Tow vehicle wt 2679#
Max trailer wt 4900# according to the manual
GCWR 9500# according to the manual
Rear axle ratio 3:42

I know I have to include gear, passengers, propane, water if I carry it into this equation and figure a 80% of the GCWR (7600#) for not overloading the tow vehicle is a good calculation or am I missing something. Almost sounds too simple but hoping to find a HILO with a pull out that would fall into this criteria say a 24t or a 27t maybe a classic but still have to research them since I only had one HILO 1994 24T.

Please correct me if I am wrong or if there is something I missed.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PnK View Post
I have a technical question and here is what I have:

Tow vehicle wt 2679#
Max trailer wt 4900# according to the manual
GCWR 9500# according to the manual
Rear axle ratio 3:42

I know I have to include gear, passengers, propane, water if I carry it into this equation and figure a 80% of the GCWR (7600#) for not overloading the tow vehicle is a good calculation or am I missing something. Almost sounds too simple but hoping to find a HILO with a pull out that would fall into this criteria say a 24t or a 27t maybe a classic but still have to research them since I only had one HILO 1994 24T.

Please correct me if I am wrong or if there is something I missed.
See if this might help you out.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:51 AM   #3
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Well, its that time of year and it means many will be considering purchases of Hi-los and/or tow vehicles. And I do not mean to sound condescending as I have been at this point myself a number of times:

"...and figure a 80% of the GCWR (7600#) for not overloading the tow vehicle is a good calculation or am I missing something. "

Im not sure what you are, exactly, referring to, here. So..... lets just cut to the chase.

You want a trailer that doesn't exceed the capacity of your vehicle as well as the GCVWR with the caveat that the total weight of your tow vehicle is the other variable, here.

You want to know the "hitch weight" of whatever trailer you buy and I believe 15% is sort of the going percentage of what to hope for - as in 15% of the gross weight of your trailer.
But, my trailer hitch weight tends to run heavier.

you want a tow vehicle that can handle the weight of the hitch as well as the weight of the vehicle itself and gear and gas and people etc. That is your GVWR.

I have long ago given up on putting a lot of faith in "published" on capacities and actual weights of trailers and vehicles. The vehicle and trailer weighs what the scale says it weighs. The hitch weight is what the scale says it is. The GVWR of my truck is what the sticker on the door says it is.

Again- if you have owned a trailer/rv before you know this and so I am not trying to be a dink. I just know I have put my hopes in calculations and estimates , before, that I arrived at from applying general theories and published weights and, when all was said and done, the scales told me i was off.

From what I can tell- a 24 ft or bigger Hi-lo will be pushing the borders of what is acceptable for a 1500 size or smaller tow vehicle and even some of the shorter of ones. If you have a 2500 or bigger vehicle- I think most will work. But, in the end, I would weigh it all.

p.s.- that calculator that Ruben posted is a good one.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the calculater and replies. Think I will just look for a 24t or 23lx. Those are close to the weight of my previous one which I pulled with an Astro van from near St Louis to Canada and back getting 15 mpg. So with my 2005 Safari I will just look for the same.

Again thanks.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:55 PM   #5
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What kind of tow vehicle do you have that #1, weighs 2700# (my 1984 RX-7 weighs that much, a car built to be light) and #2 can tow more than its’ own weight?

Generally speaking, tow capacity is limited to tow vehicle weight, or less. The exception to this is dually’s towing a gooseneck (because you get some of the tow weight over the axle, and you limit the ability for the trailer to push the TV since steering angles change).

I’m genuinely curious, what’s your tow vehicle? Very few vehicles weigh that little today, let alone ones that can tow any significant weight.

And I agree with hilltool - don’t trust the capacities/weights as published. And props for focusing on the 80% mark, so long as you can get REAL weights.

Personally I wouldn’t tow a trailer (on a bumper/receiver ball) that weighs more than my TV. I’ve maxed out my Ridgeline while towing (weighs 4500#, max tow is 5000#), and while it could do it, stability was a real factor even though the truck has a near-perfect weight distribution (55/45), and an impressive AWD system with stability-control.

So 80% of 7600 would be about 6100#. Let’s be safe/conservative and call that 6000#.

Now, let’s take out weight in TV for passengers/gear, say 700#, so we now have 5300# to work with.

Let’s take out a few lbs in the trailer for food/gear/water/propane bottles, etc, let’s say another 600#, so now down to 4700#.

And to be a little more conservative/safe, call that 4500#.

What trailer weighs that much and provides what you’re looking for? (I think a 19 is *published* as 3500-ish, depending on the year).

The new Hi-Lo website has brochures for pretty much all the old models. But you’ll have to download and sift through them.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:11 PM   #6
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Been towing travel trailers of one sort or another since 1972 when I hauled a 1957 single axle 26' Airstream from SoCal to near the Oregon border with a long bed Chevy 3/4 ton pickup when I moved north for college. Our most recent travel / camping combination (prior to the recent purchase of an '02 GMC 1500 and Hi-Lo 2307C) was a 93 Coleman tent trailer towed by a modified 66 Chevy Nova station wagon.

Although it's undoubtedly more conservative than necessary, I've never been real comfortable with a trailer with a listed dry weight greater than 50-60% of the tow vehicle's rated towing capacity (either GVW or tongue weight) - although the Nova towed the 1500 lb tent trailer with ease, we were definitely pushing its limits on rated towing capacity and tongue weight, even with a 2" receiver hitch and trailer brakes.

With the pickup's rated towing / load capacity of about 9500 lbs / 1600 lbs vs the Hi-Lo's listed dry weight of about 4000 lbs and tongue weight of 550 lbs, we're back to being well within my personal limits. Even so, we're using a weight distributing hitch and the truck has Air Lift "Ride Control" air bags on the rear axle to keep the ride height level.

Given published specs for your Safari van's curb weight (4000-4500 lbs) and towing capacity (5000 lbs +/- 300 lbs), for me at least, even a 24T would be pushing the limits once you get a normal load of gear on board and/or liquid in the tanks.
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