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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > You won't believe this! Now what?

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CampinCouple

Cincinnati, OH

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Posted: 08/02/02 07:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As you all know, I have a Land Rover with a towing limit of 5500# and a wheelbase of 100. Now, I understand the weight recommendations for towing... but I was confused with the wheelbase stuff. So, I contacted the Rover technicians
directly regarding the "safety" of towing.

Here's the question I asked and their response:

Question:
Can you please verify the trailer length that is allowied with the Rover's wheelbase of 100 (when I bought my Rover I was told to worry only about the trailer's weight). However, I have received feedback that towing anything greater than 17' with a wheelbase of 100 could create dangerous road handling (sway issues), regardless of the trailer wieght. The alleged safe wheelbase factor is 110 for a 20' trailer and then adding 2" for every foot thereafter. Thus, a 22'
trailer would require a wheelbase of greater than 114. The equationalso works in reverse. This information was from individuals not familiar with Land Rovers, hence my contacting the manufactering experts directly.

Response:
Thank you for your reply. I have researched further with our technical department and been advised that the length of the trailer is not a consideration with our vehicles. You need only worry about the 5500# limit.

So, does this mean that the vehicle can tow any length as long as it doesn't exceed 5500#??

What do you all think? We are now looking at 18' hybrids that have total wet weights of less than 5500#. Is this doable?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Remember... Life is measured by the memories you create!

Camping Couple
w/four great boys
one spoiled longhaired Dauchsand
a GMC 2500 Suburban
& an 18T6 Fleetwood Pioneer

BobAquino

Portsmouth, VA, USA

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Posted: 08/02/02 07:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had heard that longer wheelbases make for better tow vehicles, but I wasnt aware of a hard and fast formula for them. If you are looking at an 18' trailer, that would seem reasonable to me. Keep the weight down to around 3k dry and with gear and people, you should still be within your overall weight rating with a margin.

Spend some time researching your hitch setup. You will want some sort of load equilizing hitch along with anti-sway and you will have to have an electric brake controller installed and a 7 pin connector if it isnt already there. I'm assuming you have a class 3 hitch already, if not, add that to the list. Good luck.

DPHall

Kennesaw, GA

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Posted: 08/02/02 09:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Save that email, you may need it when you're ready to sue Rover. Get a Hensley (http://www.hensleymfg.com/whatisthearrow.html) and then you won't need to worry about the sway. They are kinda pricey but a lot less than replacing that Rover. We looked at hybrids but then remembered why we the popup wasn't working out for us. Good Luck and happy campin'


03 Durango 5.9:3.92
Prowler 725H
Hensley Arrow
Tekonsha Prodigy

DPHall

CampingNuts

Holliston, Massachusetts

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Posted: 08/02/02 08:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was under the impression that it was 110" PLUS 4 inches of wheelbase for every foot over 20' of trailer. That has been a rule of thumb I have read a number of times starting in books on RVing years ago.

And I have also read that having a wheelbase too short for the trailer can create a condition called the 'tail wagging the dog' meaning the trailer will sway and cause the tow vehicle to sway, again.

With all that said I know I am slightly shorter than the rules for my trailer, but at a 125" wheelbase and towing a trailer under my weight limits with a good hitch set-up (the Equal-i-zer) I am comfortable.
On the other hand I wouldn't want to tow this or the 21' Bantam I had before this with anything shorter than my van.
I have seen it done, but I'm not sure they have as much control as they should, especially in highway conditions.

I don't think this helped much. It's mostly just my opinion. But I don't think it's a good idea to tow anything longer than recommended for the safety of you and your family.

You know, if you haven't towed before it might be worth your while to rent a U-Haul (closed) trailer for a day and tow it around just to get an idea of how it feels to have something behind you. It does add some work to your driving job.
Unless you fill the trailer with 'stuff' it will not give you the sense of weight the travel trailer will but it could give you an idea of what some sway feels like on a highway.
Or maybe a test pull with a travel trailer from the dealer or a friend?
Just a thought.

Good Luck!


It's not just life, it's an adventure..... Live it!
2006 Flagstaff 831QBSS, quad bunks & slide out
2003 Chevy Express Extd Psgr Van, 6.0L V8 3.73
1990 Subaru Legacy
1995 Saturn SL2, kids' car
1987 Porsche 944 our toy
2001 Trail-Lite 8280 (gone)

Kamphiker

South Florida (this 'aint paradise anymore)

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Posted: 08/02/02 10:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The other important factor we forget is the distance from the rear axle to ball of the hitch.

This is one reason why the pull-rite & hensley arrow "fix" unstable tow set-ups is because they change the center of the pendulum.


2006 Winnebago Outlook WF324V
2009 Honda CR-V 2wd TOAD ......Campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains NP
Last Camping trip ->2011 SUMMER SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK


BillChristoff

Plainfield, Il

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Posted: 08/02/02 10:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tow a 25ft ultralight (as loaded 4600#) with a Jeep Cheerokee (101 inch wheel base). There will be 100 people that will tell me that I am crazy for doing this and an accident waiting to happen.

Here is what I can tell you. You will need a good hitch. I use the Equal-i-zer and are very happy with it. You also need to watch the loading. I have found that I need to travel with the fresh water tank (it is under the bed at the front of the trailer) about 1/2 full for the added weight on the hitch. The trailer has gotten a little squirly on a few occasion but I have never felt out of control. I tow all the time on interstates and keep up with traffic at 60 - 68 MPH without any problems.

Is this the ideal tow vehicle. no way. I have towed this trailer with my in-laws 3/4 ton suburban and you almost can't tell that it is back there. But it can be towed safely with my Jeep. (BTW D-C and jeep put in the owners manual that the max trailer lenght is 25ft. I have seen the 110 inch rule before but have to believe that Jeep knows a little something about there vehicle.)

Feel free to e-mail me if you would like to discuss my experience more.

LAdams

Northern Illinois

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Posted: 08/02/02 11:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have commented on this thread in a few different area's of the forum but will comment one last time...

I'm in agreement with DPHall... Save the email... It might come in handy later when your ready to sue LandRover...

It is a known fact by any experienced tower that the longer the wheelbase of the tow vehicle the more stable the tow vehicle is when towing... Weight of the tow vehicle also helps in this regard... The heavier it is, the more stable it is...

Rover technicians clearly do not know the first thing about "real world towing" and towing a Travel Trailer or they would have not made a statement like this...

As far as Jeep and other manufacturers touting their tow ratings, it is nothing but a marketing game... F-150 pickups that are rated to SAFELY tow #8800!!! Right!!! and I have a bridge I would like to sell you too!!!

What towing comes down to is basic Physics and geometry... There are certain combinations that are safe and stable and certain combinations that are not!!! The same marketing people who tout tow ratings are also the one's that "brought you" the exploding Pinto gas tanks, Chevy truck exploding side mounted fuel tanks, and the most recent Explorer/Firestone Tire fiasco, not too mention a myriad of others...

I would be one of those that would tell Bill Christoff that his setup is an accident waitng to happen... No offense Bill, but that's my opinion... You have been lucky so far and I hope your luck continues... I have no axe to grind with what anybody drives or tows (as long as there not near me with an unsafe setup!!) but I have been doing this "towing thing" for a long, long, time with a myriad of different combinations... I know what works and what doesn't work and what is safe and what isn't safe... A great number of people are towing things that they shouldn't be and getting away with... Some will be "caught" by the law of averages and some won't... Personally, I prefer not to take the chance with the safety of myself and my family but that is a personal decision that each one of you must make...

Yes, the Hensley and Pullrite hitches effectively move the pivot point of the hitch further forward and this is why their so stable... Both these hitches effectively emulate a fifth wheel setup in one form or another... I tow with a Pullrite hitch on my 3/4 ton truck with it's 142" wheelbase and I KNOW how stable it is...

You could put a Hensley on your Rover but the hitch is heavy and will increase your tongue weight by at least #150, maybe more... Assuming you are towing your maximum TT weight of #5500, that will yield a hitch weight of somewhere between #550 (10%) and #825 (15%) and probably about #715 which is about 13% and usually the norm... This type of tongue weight will MANDATE a weight distributing hitch which you say the Rover won't accept...

Given the fact that the Rover has a #1200 load capacity before it hits it's maximum GVWR - - - with 7-800 pounds of hitch weight (which must be included in the Rover's GVWR rating) that leaves somewhere between 4-500 pounds of combined weight for you, your husband, the 3 boys and the "one spoiled dauchsand", and any cargo you might carry in the Rover... I seriously doubt you'll be able to tow the aforementiond #5500 (estimated) TT without exceeding the Rovers max GVWR rating...

Towing, or moving the load forward is only one aspect of towing... A properly greared 5HP Briggs and Stratton lawnmower motor will pull a #5000 TT forward... Stopping and overall handling is arguably the more important aspect of towing...

The original rule of thumb for towing read: For the first 20' of trailer, the MINIMUM tow vehicle wheelbase shall be 113"... For every additional foot of trailer, add 4" to the MINIMUM wheelbase of the tow vehicle...

Note the key word "MINIMUM" in those statements... The RV Consumers Group definition reads slightly different in that it states 110" wheelbase MINIMUM for the first 20' of TT...

An 18' Hybred with wet weight of less than #5500 might be doable... I would modify the maximum wet weight figure of no more than #4000 (lighter would be a LOT better) fully loaded and then, make sure your not exceeding the GVWR or CGWR of the Rover...

And do look into that w/d hitch... I guarantee that when you hang #500-#600 of tongue weight on the Rover's hitchball without a w/d hitch, the vehicle handling is going to become extremely unstable and as Jimmie said, your headlights will be pointed skyward... That's why Rover lists a maximum tongue weight of #350 because that's all it's load leveling air shocks can handle when the fulcrum point is a ball coupler 6" behind the bumper...

You may want to think about your signature line in regard to what you are trying to do here...

"Remember... Life is measured by the memories you create!"

The memories you create with this setup may not
necessarily be something you want to remember...

Best Regards,
Les



2000 Ford F-250SD, XLT, 4X4 Off Road, SuperCab
w/ 6.8L (415 C.I.) V-10/3:73LS/4R100
Banks Power Pack w/Trans Command & OttoMind
Sold Trailer - not RV'ing at this point in time



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MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 08/02/02 10:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's a good point on the tires. I'll bet that your Rover has P rated tires (Passenger). These are fine for everyday urban driving, but you should really consider some LT rated tires (Light Truck). These will give you a stiffer sidwall, and "help" with keeping your rig stable. Plus, it has more of a load rating so you won't have to worry about blowing a tire, while trying to control your "wagging dog tail" that you are towing.

Just make sure that whatever trailer you decide on has tandam axles with 4 wheel brakes. Just that much more to help on the stopping side of life.


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2003 Prowler Lynx 722F #5000 GVWR and weighs every bit of it! Happy Camping!


ChiliPepperD

Clifton Park, NY

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Posted: 08/02/02 10:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The relationship I have see is: 19ft maximum for anything less than 113" wheelbase. Then, 1 foot for each additonal 4" over 113".

These are all guidelines, and I'm sure they're very conservative. If you go longer (and I do), be sure you've got a good weight distribution and exceptional antisway device. I use a Reese Dual Cam; there are other good ones out there, including Hensley.

Lastly, don't abuse your rig. I stay under 60 mph (even where 70 is permitted), and generally stay in the right lane so I don't have to switch back and forth. Also, make sure your tires and shocks are in good shape and tire pressure is set correctly - these things can have significant influence on ability to control sway.


Joe and Jo-Ann
2007 Jayco Eagle 288 RLS. Reese Dual Cam
Tekonsha Prodigy Brake Controller
2000 Dodge Durango 5.9/3.92 Tow Fastman TB QuickD Intake
2004 Dodge RAM 2500 QC 4X4 Hemi 4.10 SB


BillChristoff

Plainfield, Il

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Posted: 08/02/02 02:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that all manufactures have to base the tow ratings on some facts. So can a 1/2 ton pickup tow 8,000 lbs I bet it can. Who would know better than the manufacture?

Yes they make mistakes (like the pinto, firestone tires . . . ) but they sell millions of vehicles a year a few hickups are going to happen.

I don't think that I am playing against the law of averages. The 110 20 ft guideline is just that a guideline. (not to mention that I am just meeting it when I tow my 25ft. trailer with a suburban (130inch wheel base, I believe.) If this combination wasn't safe I would have ditched it when I was towing it in 40MPH winds gust I would have flipped. Actually I didn't have any problems. What scared me was when I stopped for gas and while filling up the jeep I was watching the camper move back and forth from the wind.

Now I will repeat from my earlier post that this is not the best combination. But, you can safely tow a trailer with a 100 inch wheelbase vehicle with the proper towing equipment. Also to put things in perspective I am looking at new trucks (156" Crew cab short beds) for 2 reasons. 1) This is a lot of trailer for the Jeep (and I have already said that this is not an ideal combination) and 2) more importantly, the next trailer will not be within the towing limits of the Jeep.



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