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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > How do you know how much you can TRULY pull?

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Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 06/17/20 05:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

do your payload math and check frontal area limitations. if you need help post your numbers here. id guess no go based on payload


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A: A Stick....


ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 06/17/20 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can pull 10,000lbs, but the issues that arise are
wear and tear on the vehicle
and the biggie is the safety factor. While it will pull the heavy trailer down the road just fine, you also consider handling. With a much lighter tow vehicle that has a short wheel base you will have a vehicle that gets thrown around by the trailer when something happens. This is the biggie with approaching the tow limits, and the reason some nay-sayers on here will not get anywhere near close to the max tow limit of any vehicle.
As mentioned, there are people on this forum that have anxiety attacks just thinking of towing a pop-up trailer with a 1-ton dually truck.
If your truck is rated to tow a weight then you can tow it.
I am much more concerned about my transmission and driveline with a big trailer than I am the handling. You will wear out your truck (suv) much faster towing heavy. Also consider the frontal area as at highway speeds the wind resistance is a bigger factor than weight.

LVJJJ

NW WASHINGTON

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Posted: 06/17/20 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Weigh the trailer before buying it, betcha it weighs a lot more than they are telling you.


1994 GMC Suburban K1500
2005 Trail Cruiser TC26QBC
1965 CHEVY VAN, 292 "Big Block 6" (will still tow)
2008 HHR
L(Larry)V(Vicki)J(Jennifer)J(Jesse)J(Jason)

kage65

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Posted: 06/17/20 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LVJJJ wrote:

Weigh the trailer before buying it, betcha it weighs a lot more than they are telling you.


That makes sense. But how is one to do that? Dealers are not going to let you take it off the lot to get it weighed I would imagine.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 06/17/20 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you can weigh the tongue with a tongue scale (or a bathroom scale, a block and a 2x4)

that will give you a good starting place.

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 06/17/20 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

5000lb TT is what is pulled in Europe by 2-door Fiats with 1.2 l engines.
Towing, just like driving diesel car is political issue in US.
The upper forces don't want you to travel economically and steer you into spending money on "bigger is better".
The real issue with towing is rear overhang. Superduties are lousy TV for the size as with long rear (till F550) they need WD bars to stabilize lousy suspension.
Highlander has short overhang, what makes it way better TV (for the size) than any pickup.
I used to tow 6000 lb boat and 5000 lb TT with Mercedes ML (the older model, who had solid frame). Never needed bars.





joedekock

West Michigan

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Posted: 06/18/20 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is all my opinion based on my personal experiences in towing and talking to others who tow RVs and varying trailers.

First, a fact. The tow rating from a vehicle manufacturer is based on the vehicle having zero options in it. So a base model with no heated and cooled seats, leather, HD transfer cases, roof racks, 17" tires, etc... all of that adds weight to the vehicle and subtracts from the tow capacity. Also, its based on a 150 pound person in the vehicle with zero cargo. Start putting your family and friends in the vehicle with gear in the back and that also subtracts from the tow capacity of the vehicle. Start upgrading to 20" wheels and that adds more weight to the vehicle.

Because of the above fact, I personally live by the general rule a lot of folks live by that tow trailers and RVs. the 10% rule. Leave 10% of your towing capacity as head room and you can usually always account for the family and some gear in the tow vehicle without having to do the hard math. For example: my 2019 Silverado has a tow capacity of 9600 pounds. I have the LTZ model which has lots of upgrades. I also have my wife and a few kids with me when we tow as well as the dog, and all of our bikes in the bed of the truck. When I selected a new trailer recently, I made sure the trailers GVWR was not above 8640 pounds which is 10% less than the trucks tow rating. This gives me 960 pounds to account for the heavier options in the truck, the cargo, and the people we will carry while towing. The GVWR on our trailer is 7600 pounds, so I have 2000 pounds less than the truck is weighted for. Plus, we don't usually have more than 1000 pounds of cargo in the trailer, so with the dry wieght being 6040 pounds on our RV, I figure we have roughly 7000 pounds im pulling, leaving me with 2600 pounds of head room.

Now... personal experiences and talks with others lead me to have the following opinons.

Just because an SUV like a Tahoe or Yukon (short wheel base) is rated for 8000 pounds, I would not pull that kind of weight with it if the trailer is 30 feet long. That's a trailer that is two and a half times the length of that tow vehicle and a longer wheel base matters with longer trailers.

I see more and more people towing 5th wheels with half ton trucks. The RV market is very good at marketing "half ton towable" on 5th wheels and too many people are fleeced by this. Those 5th wheels are usually always assuming the dry weight of an empty RV and those weights are at the top of almost all half ton trucks' towing capacity. So if you don't like packing your R with anything other than what comes from the manufacturer, and you don't want to take anyone along with you, you may be OK. But then there's the fact that half ton trucks are not manufactured with goose neck or 5th wheel towing in mind. I would avoid this all together. I am not bashful when I see a half ton truck puling a 5er to wlak up and ask that person how it tows and how the truck performs. They all answer "great". But if I happen to see them on the road traveling, they have both white-knuckled hands on the steering wheel and are the slowest rig on the highway.

A truck or SUV with a V-6 will pull a 12,000 pound trailer. It can even pull it up hill. (All be it slowly). But, it won't stop that trailer safely, and you will wear out the suspension quickly which enhances the unsafe towing.

I'll end with this. If you don't put a lot of miles on when towing, by all means, go up against the vehicles limit on tow capacity. Towing 20-30 miles is not going to hurt it. But if you are going further than that, and traversing highways or thick traffic on the highway, you owe it to the other drivers around you and your passengers to tow safely.


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2012Coleman

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Posted: 06/18/20 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kage65 wrote:


That's the thing, there were really no specifics given for those that said no.
One said chance of the tail wagging the dog. Another said no way of controlling the rear end if the trailer starts rocking. Also
"2wd highlander is not geared for this payload. It could destroy your transmission"
"I wouldn’t. It will not be a fun experience with it floating all over the road"
"If it doesn’t have a separate transmission cooler(no tow package), might be issues with transmission."


Sounds like you have been asking the same question on other RV boards...

Does your Highlander have the tow package? There is a sticker in the drivers door jam that reads weight of cargo and passengers not to exceed xxxx lbs - what is that number?

Does it have a hitch receiver? If so, there should be a sticker on it too with a weight rating - what is it?


Experience without good judgment is worthless; good judgment without experience is still good judgment!

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crasster

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Posted: 06/18/20 08:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

I saw a Highlander pulling a trailer like ours rated at 3,750 lbs and most likely hitting 5,000 lbs with all the wifey stuff. I also trust Toyota on what they say their vehicles could do.

This might not be as relevant since 4runner is one class up and 4.0 liters engine but there is an article somewhere titled This Little Engine Could -- or something paraphrased.

I don't know however how it willl manage those 9,000 feet climbs or the braking power coming downhill.


I have a Toyota Yaris. (Here's an interesting fact)
The SAME identical car to 100% is rated at the following:

1. USA - Not recommended for towing.
2. Canada - 900lbs
3. UK - 2400lbs

So the same car in the 3 countries specified all 1st world all with smart people is rated very differently. I've put a washer, dryer, and trailers on that car with absolutely no problem.

I would NOT tow a "loaded" popup with it. I absolutely would tow a small popup with it.

The thing is, I would not tow it on extreme grades though.... That's the thing. Are these strict specs considering the highest grade hills/mountains etc., in the USA or just "the average road"?

There's so many variables.

It's also not always about "going", it's about "stopping" in the worst case scenarios.

I would tow a small popup from Texas to North Dakota, but I would not tow one in the Ozarks with my Yaris. (Small 4 cylinder Toyota).


4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.


Edd505

Elephant Butte, NM

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Posted: 06/18/20 10:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

can it pull it yes? Will it do it well, No. I pulled a 4500lb dry 5W once with a 1500 GMC extended cab long bed with a 5.3 V8, it was not enough truck.


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2006 F350 SRW 6.0 crew longbed sold
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Jayco Eagle 30.5BHLT sold, Layton 24.5LT sold


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