Towing weight

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Campinginga, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Campinginga

    Campinginga New Member

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    Feb 5, 2013
    My vehicle has a towing weight of 3600 lbs. Front wheel drive SUV, V6. Can it safely tow a camper weighing 3300 lbs?
     
  2. RockyRoo

    RockyRoo Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD

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    Many more variables than that, but just because it says you can tow that much doesn't mean you SHOULD. Also keep in mind that if the trailer is 3300 pounds, the added cargo and passengers will put it way over weight. I wouldn't do it, sounds like it is time to start looking for a more capable tow vehicle
     
  3. gec66

    gec66 New Member

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    Maybe you should tell us the year/make/model of both the SUV and the pup so we can help you figure it out with a little more information. Also, how many people will be camping with you?
     
  4. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    x2. We can't help you if you don't tell us what you have.
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Beyond simple towing capacity, there are things like tongue weight limits, axle load limits, a limit on the total weight of the the two vehicles (and everything in them) combined, etc.
     
  6. Jeff d

    Jeff d Member

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    Jun 5, 2012
    Also, is that a "wet" or "dry" 3,300 lbs? If it's a published dry weight you will need to add weight for all optional equipment, water tank capacity (8 lbs/gallon if you want to tow with it full), battery (50-70 lbs) and propane bottles (~40 lbs each full). You could easily end up with another 300 lbs and possibly a lot more depending on what it's equipped with that's not included in "dry weight". Is the refrigerator, water heater, stove, potty, etc optional or standard for this model? If optional it's likely not included in that 3,300 lbs.

    Even if that is a true "wet" weight I think you're cutting it too close. 300 lbs of gear, food, ice chests, etc. adds up in no time when you're leaving town with everything you need for a few days. Even if it's "safe" you're gong to do a lot of wear and tear on that little front wheel drive SUV towing/hauling at 100% capacity very often. You need to look at smaller campers or larger tow vehicles.
     
  7. Campinginga

    Campinginga New Member

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    Feb 5, 2013
    Thanks to everyone for enlightening me on the subject. I had the same feeling of being to close to towing limits. LOL--the "salesman" assured me it would be ok. Nothing can replace experiences and knowledge of fellow campers.
    It's generally just me and the wife camping and sometime our grandson.
    Thanks again !!!
     
  8. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Active Member

    Most likely NOT!
     
  9. Jeff d

    Jeff d Member

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    If you're going to stick with this vehicle I would't even bother looking at something wih a dry weight above 2,500 or a wet weight over about 2,800. If you're buying from a dealer ask them to tow it to a truckstop or scrap yard with scales for you so you can weigh it before you commit.

    The problem you may have is that campers of that size often have no brakes. You could get away with it if you had a full size truck but you will certainly need brakes with a trailer that's 70%+ of the rated capacity for your vehicle. So, look for one with brakes or plan on adding them. Usually there are provisions on the axle to bolt up the backing plates even if they aren't equipped with brakes. If you're buying from a dealer work that into the deal along with a proportional brake controller and 7 pin wiring (complete with 12 or 10 gauge charging lead) for your vehicle. If you're buying from a private seller there are plenty of threads on here to get you through those projects on your own.
     
  10. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    Seriously, tell us what you have, with details, and we can help you quite a bit. Why all the secrets?
     
  11. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    Whether your vehicle can safely tow it or not one thing is almost always the same. A salesperson will just about always tell you whatever they have to so they can get the sale. They are a bunch of liars and this is why you should always be familiar with your vehicles limitations before heading to buy a trailer. Folks used to come in with a Jeep Wrangler with a towing capacity of 3500 pounds, they would have a 6-7 thousand pound trailer behind it! Always the same thing, the dealer said it would be just fine.

    In your case I would be more worried about the tongue weight than the overall weight based on the limited information that has been provided. I wouldn't recommend either however I would rather pull a trailer that's at it weight limit any day vs one that has too much tongue weight. [2C]
     
  12. Campinginga

    Campinginga New Member

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    Feb 5, 2013
    Sorry--I got busy--I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited with towing package. Towing weight of 3600 lbs and tongue weight of 350 lbs.
     
  13. n2cruzn

    n2cruzn New Member

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    I wouldn't do it. just my [2C] maximums are under ideal circumstances I would think, watcha gonna do well you are facing a 3 mile hill in wet weather and then try to stop or climb [V]
     
  14. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Ontaio
    Even with the factory tow package, I think your better off looking for lighter trailer, something in the 2800 lb range would be good and allow a cushion on the numbers ..
     
  15. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Seattle, Washington
    If the 3,300 pounds you quoted for the camper is dry weight then I'd have to say no because it will weight significantly more with options and cargo. Dry weight doesn't include things like awnings, batteries or propane cylinders. Those alone could add about 100 pounds (and the battery and propane are usually on the tongue). Then there is the actual cargo. When you ask what a trailer weighs, ask for the gross weight.

    Tongue weight is usually 10-15% of actual trailer weight, loaded and ready to travel. Even at 3,300 pounds, that's 330-495 pounds. So, a loaded trailer would most likely be over your tongue weight limit of 350 pounds. There is another factor to consider here as well. Heavy tongue weight not only pushes the back end of the vehicle down (loads it), it also pushes the front end up (unloads it). This is not desirable with any vehicle because a lighter front end can negatively affect steering and braking but you have a front wheel drive vehicle and that means traction could also be negatively affected. I agree with the others and suggest that you find something much lighter.
     
  16. Sushidog

    Sushidog Member

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    Jan 8, 2008
    New Orleans
    Could you do it? Yes. Should you do it? Well the mere fact that you ask this question suggests that you probably shouldn't. If the weight stated is the "ready to camp" weight and not dry weight then you might be able to do it, as long as the tongue weight is under your hitch's rating (you will have to move things around in or on your camper - and maybe even move your wheels an inch or so inside the wheel wells as I have done to obtain this ideal 10% tongue wt.) and you have brakes. However there are many factors involved such as how fast you plan on towing, the average trip length, the grade upon which you will be towing, ie. mountains vs plains, the altitude, temperature, the amount of weight/number of people traveling in your TV, etc. It is very unlikely that you will simply be able to hitch up and drive away.

    This advise comes from a guy who has been towing safely at considerably over the manufacturer's recommended tow limit for many years. However I do so with knowledge of the limitations involved and have performed expensive modifications to my tow vehicle to make it a more capable. Would you be willing to have your engine and transmission computers tow-tuned? How about adding more/heavier sway bars, beefing up the suspension and replacing your exhaust and intake system? Would you be willing to purchase a higher capacity WD hitch? Or if none is available for your vehicle, have a hitch custom made or modified as I did? How about adding a aux. transmission cooler, improve your vehicle's brakes, switch tires (and possibly wheels) to higher load rated, lower profile (less sway) tires? Would you be willing to lighten your trailer and tow vehicle, (I removed my back seat, rear seat belts, replaced the rear deck, and removed other excess weight which lightened my TV by about 200lbs. This increased my load carrying/towing capacity by an equal amount) as I have done? If not, then it's simpler just to get a lighter camper. However if you love this camper and are willing to spend the bucks to either replace or modify your tow vehicle (by someone who's competent in this area) then go for it.

    Chip
     
  17. daveman

    daveman Member

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    Jun 10, 2012
    Hey there...from recent experience (2012 Santa Fe), I tow a dry weight Starcraft 1019 of 1700lbs, about 2400 lbs loaded with full water tank. The 'Fe is rated for 3500lbs, but I don't think I'd tow much more weight than I have. As it sits, the tow is easy, and hills/highways are no problem.....but I wouldn't want to be stopping without the trailer brakes!

    Just my .02 :)
     
  18. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    Feb 20, 2012
    I still don't believe this question can be answered without vehicle-specific details that are still not forthcoming. GVWR, GCWR, curb weight for starters. Great that it has a 3,600 lb tow rating, but that means nothing until we learn the GCWR. For vehicles like this it's almost always the case that GCWR < GVWR + Tow Rating. Often the payload cuts into the available towing capacity.

    If I get a chance, I may look it up, but was really hoping that the OP would divulge the specifications outright.

    Owners manual + door jamb sticker will provide lots of the ratings you can use to make a good decision. This is a numbers game, not a gut-feel game. Doesn't matter what some stranger's cousin's neighbor may or may not have done. Find the manufacturer's specifications and go by them. I trust those more than I do a bunch of anonymous strangers (myself included).

    For prospective trailers, use the GVWR, not the dry weight. You'll likely have options, gear, and supplies that will push any trailer closer to the GVWR. For example, if a person can tow 2,000 lbs, he needs to find a trailer with a GVWR of 2,000 lbs or less. Finding a trailer with a dry weight of 1,850 isn't an option. Dry weights don't matter. It's fiction.

    And, do some searching. Many, many, many posts on here about "Can I tow it?" with answers that outline how one goes about answering that question. These should help you wrap your head around the core question.

    Good luck.
     
  19. mickaqua

    mickaqua Member

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    Aug 3, 2012
    I have a front wheel drive v6, and 3500 is the max. towing weight. [:O]

    I pull about 2/3 of that, and I would not go any more than that, unless I was going back and forth on flatlands only. [:D]
     

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