Hi Y'all, I have a 09, Lexus RX350. It has trailer prep pkg and 3500lb max trailer weight. I have not even installed a hitch yet nor purchased a TT. I need very nice acomodations for my wife , me and our 2 small dogs. Must have an enclosed "head" and a/c. I have been seeing things in the 15-16 ft. range coming in at under 3,000lbs. leaving us some room for "stuff". Do I need weight distributing hitch?
We plan on extended trips including cross country. Any knowledgable input greatly appreciated.
My brother-in-law towed a 3000+ speedboat and trailer with his Lexus sedan (not sure what year or model it was) with no problems and never had weight distribution. But, he did have air shocks installed, and would inflate them when the boat was attached. I suppose it worked ok, until he wrecked car, boat, and trailer on those interstates around Dallas, Texas because he had to slam on the brakes and the trailer jack-knifed, flipped, car slammed into a big truck, boat went flip-flop down the road and trailer ended up parallel to the car, and you couldn't tell what was car and what was trailer. The only thing that saved my sister and brother-in-law from flipping the car was because they slammed into the side of that big truck and it prevented them from flipping the car.
Personally, I'd get EVERYTHING imaginable to hitch up!
2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo
Century Truck Cap Commercial /Toolboxes
Northeast Outfitters Canoe
I think for extended cross country trips, you are going to want something bigger to tow with. That lexus is probably going to struggle in the mountains towing a TT. When you are looking at TT's remember that dry weight is not what you will be towing. YOu need to look at loaded weight (dry weight plus propane, battery and all gear you put in it). Gear adds up quickly. Many campers tend to put 1000-1500 lbs in it. You may or may not add that much or more. You might be safer by shopping by trailer GVWR since you won't know how much you plan to put in it. Also keep in mind that your hitch weight in reality will actually be 13-15% of your loaded trailer weight (not the published hitch weight).
In terms of WDH, check your manual for what it states for hitch weights and whether or not WDH should be used on your vehicle and at what hitch weight.
You lexus is probably better matched for a pop up trailer.
I need very nice accommodations for my wife , me and our 2 small dogs.
I don't think you are going to be happy with anything that is within the towing limits of your Lexus. The DutchmenSport's post above about his brother-in-law towing a 3000+ lb. boat, to me, says that it couldn't even handle a boat when the conditions were marginal. RV's have much more frontal area and stress the vehicle even more. The weight limits on your Lexus are about the same as our Odyssey. With safety factors built in and deratings for additional passengers & cargo in the van, the most I would feel comfortable towing with it would be a pop-up. There will be some that say it's OK to push the limits, etc., but I want to know that if things go bad, that I'm not living on the "edge" of the chassis limits. Call it a quirk! LOL
Have you considered a small, upscale motorhome either on a full-size van chassis or one of the "Class B" models. Perhaps even one on the Sprinter chassis?
There are lots of options out there. Just take your time to find what will satisfy your needs and be safe. Spend lots of time researching and reading these forums and feel free to ask as many questions as you'd like. At this point, do NOT ask an RV dealer if your Lexus and tow a trailer you are interested in. They will say YES! Most RV sales people are not very experienced with these things. They know sales, not RVs. It's up to you to do the research.
2005 Georgie Boy 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22 (Class A)
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (17-Angel, Lexi96.org), 1 girl (12), 2 boys (13 & 10).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.
I need very nice acomodations for my wife , me and our 2 small dogs.
While you can find accomodations in the 3500 lb. range, you won't find "very nice accomodations" in that weight range. I think the most you can easily tow would be the pop-up's already mentioned, or the small "eggshell" trailers such as the wonderful little Casita (they have a website). Defintiely check out the Casita, as you will most likely find them preferable over a P-U.
If you will camping for long periods of time (to us, that means over two weeks straight), then you might consider a Class C motorhome. A small MH is easier overall to use than a travel trailer, and you might even be able to tow your Lexus if you wanted to.
Consider that the under 3000 lb weight is with an empty trailer - no water, empty tanks - and no stuff like pots and pans, etc., etc. You are cutting it close. The car capacity is not taking into consideration mountain roads, keeping up with traffic,and so on. You also need to know what hitch weight capacity your Lexus has - and what the trailer has. Hitch weight should be listed in the car manual somewhere near the 3500# max towing capacity.
We looked at trailers that our 3500# capacity Class 3 hitch on our SUV could tow and we were coming up with very small trailers that would not be considered "very nice accommodations". Take a look in person at the trailers you are seeing in this weight range. That is the only way you will know if you and yours will like spending time in one. An RV show is a great place to start to see all that is out there - even if you want to look for similar models used after you see what you like. Be careful of salesmen who will say - sure your car can tow this - and then once you take delivery say, you really need something larger to tow this properly.
I would be looking at something in the 2000 dry weight range with a wet weight of no more than 3000lbs. The pop up crowds use a 75-80% of your max weight figure. 80% is at 2800lbs...You will need a brake controller for sure. As far as WDH, it depends, is all I can say. You also need to be looking at tongue weight. What does your hitch allow on that? 350lbs? Your trailer needs to a good bit less on that as well as they will give a dry hitch weight. Add a battery to the tongue and propane and that goes up. A battery will be a minimum of 40 lbs itself...and they go up over 60 lbs easily.
WOW! Tx all. A lil background. The bride and I have been spending 3-4 nights a week on our 28ft. 10 ft beam Sea Ray for the last 10 years or so, so although a 32 foot T would be grand we will most likely be cumfy in a 16". In addition we live on Long Island and space is an issue on our 80x100 lot. The boat runs about 10K a year in dockage and winter storage so I would like to keep the T home. Then there is fuel... I don't want to drive a tank all year long to pull the T for 2-3 months. Our retirment budget will not allow the purchase of another 40-55K tow vehicle even if I wanted to drive it. So our immediate quest is to buy used and see if we like it as much as boating. If so I may sell the boat and move up to a motor home. I ask for your input so I don't have to relate a story to y'all one day about how the bride and I and the two dogs r only alive because I slammed into a truck and didn't roll the Lexus. LOL.
I'm thinking/hoping a hybred with a tent room / awning-thingie would be nice for us. Star Craft makes a nice 15 footer @ 2300 dry. N E 1 have a reco or a knock on a particular brand? I don't know what holds up and what don't. When I bought the Sea Ray I bought quality and have been enjoying her for over 25 years. Is fiberglass worth the premium price in a trailer?
Tx again guys u r great for taking the time to educate us. We plan on growing with this hobby and contributing to your forum. Now if i could only decide which hitch to buy LOL. The one from Lexus is pricey @ 285 or so.
I, too, recommend the pop-up trailers. We've had several in the past and our last one had shower/cassette toilet, slide out dinette, A/C, furnace, stove, refrigerator, etc. PUs may not fit your expectations for the best of accommodations but they are certainly worth the look and may surprise you. You also have a much better chance of being able to park a PU on your property without complaints from neighbors or government.
Rick & Karen
2006 Monaco Monarch 30PBS, Class A, Triton V10
2013 Honda Fit Sport automatic, Roadmaster Stowmaster.
Robore Prudentia Praestat
Now if i could only decide which hitch to buy LOL. The one from Lexus is pricey @ 285 or so.
Are you referring to a full hitch package with wiring or are you talking about just the hitch slide and ball? We are also on LI and a friend just had Jeep install a full hitch package with wiring on a new Jeep and they charged him $600. If you are just talking about the slide and ball - and already have the receiver, go to Walmart and pay no more than $50 for it - and probably less.
There are a few places to look at trailers on LI -Trailer City has locations in Hempstead and Commack. There are several places in eastern Suffolk around Mastic.
If you are in the Town of Hempstead, they require that a trailer or RV be kept behind the house line. Many seem to ignore this without problems but it takes one complaining neighbor to cause trouble. Trailer or RV storage on LI is outrageously expensive and not many places offer it. We looked into that when we were shopping for our RV and deciding what to get.