Looking to buy a HTT or TT - be prepared

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by Storm Trooper, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Maggie Muffin

    Maggie Muffin Member

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    Earlier this year, we changed to a HTT. First camping trip out was windy with gusts 40-50 kmh. At that time, our TV was a Ford Ranger. According to all calculations, we were well within the towing capacity but those calculations don't tell you a thing about how the unit (TV + HTT) behaves in those (windy) conditions. Could feel the wind gust just grab us, especially where we crossed power lines - just like a wind tunnel! Really had to hang on both with the grab and then the release!
    That experience prompted us to move up our plans to changing vehicles. We expected to do so in 3 or 4 years but decided to do it immediately. As it was almost at the end of the camping season, we have only towed short distances, but am looking forward to testing it in the spring.
     
  2. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    people forget that manufacturer tow ratings are done in pretty perfect conditions.

    i don't know of any auto manufacturer that puts their vehicles through a variety of conditions to get a tow rating.
    that's why you see things like the 1000lbs. Rule or the 80% Rule. this is to help factor in less than perfect towing conditions.

    as you found, your Ranger was within specs to tow your trailer, but not the best choice in real world conditions.
     
  3. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    I don't believe that the Ford Ranger would be in within the towing capability as defined by Ford.
    Ford limits the Frontal area of the trailer to 50 sq ft on the Ranger with the factory tow package.
    I do not believe there are any HTT's that have a frontal area of less than 50 sq ft.
    Here's the link to the 2010 Ranger towing guide. It would be in the manual as well.
    http://www.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/10FLMrvRANGERsep09.pdf

    FORD is the only manufacturer that puts out a towing guide with the frontal area limitations.
    It's not just the weight you are towing, it's the ability of the TV to handle the trailer in windy conditions.
     
  4. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    i was referring to the usual towing/hitch capacity numbers. i agree that frontal area is one of the many factors outside of those two that are commonly quoted.
    all manufacturers, should be required to establish frontal area limits to their vehicles, like Ford does.
    but many minivan owners will ignore frontal area limits also.
     
  5. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    bikendan,
    There was no mention of it when you agreed with Maggie Muffin that she was within the calculations.
    Frontal area is part of that equation from Ford and she did not meet it.
    It's important for people to know that weight is not the only consideration when towing and HTT or TT.
    The original video was the point of this posting.
     
  6. brianbigdogsmith

    brianbigdogsmith Camp more Camp more often

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    I have been on the road and watched a PUP bounce from one lane to the other the guy almost lost it must have it loaded wrong. To much weight in the back.
     
  7. adirondackcamper

    adirondackcamper New Member

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    We are seriously considering Kodiak express expandable 172E its wt is 3161 our TV is a 2011 RAV4 6 C with a tow package and is rated for 3500#s. Is this still safe? My husband says that a sway bar will stabilize it. Any thoughts?
     
  8. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    The short wheelbase on a RAV 4 is not going to be ideal for towing a standard height trailer. We have a crew cab F150 V6 with roughly a 6000 lb towing capacity pulling a 19 foot hybrid that weighed 2700 empty, so I'm guessing 3500 with our stuff and I wish we had more power for mountains and the Texas Hill Country. We have a sway bar. I don't feel like the trailer is ever pushing the truck around, but the truck works HARD up hill (sometimes in 3rd gear). I regret not getting the V8.

    Also, I just checked and that 3160 is an unloaded weight. You will quickly be over your 3500 lb limit. And by quickly, I mean immediately.

    I googled the 2011 rav4 manual, and the towing section says do not exceed 45 MPH. Frankly, that is dangerous to be in highways and freeways where the speed limit is 65 or 75 and you are going 45. There is a reason Toyota says don't exceed 45 MPH. The vehicle is not designed for towing. I'm sure you could get up to speed, but I'm not sure you can stay in control of it in wind or when passing trucks, or stop it in an emergency situation if you are going any faster.

    It's going to make for some long and tedious driving to never go over 45 MPH. Look in your manual starting on page 214 I think it was.
     
  9. adirondackcamper

    adirondackcamper New Member

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    Our other vehicle is an '06 Jeep wrangler (trail rated)with an inline 6 cyl, any thoughts on that?
     
  10. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    The problem isn't the weight. The 3500 lbs capacity is WITH the RAV loaded to full capacity. Toyota is one of the few manufacturers that do it that way (ie: Honda's stated capacity is with one 150 lbs driver). BUT, that is not the full story.

    On the RAV forum, you will find V6 owners who have pulled TT's. The RAV will do fine pulling and stopping. The white elephant is the hitch capacity. Owners have tried many things to help with the limited hitch capacity. Rear end sag will not allow such a trailer to be pulled, even if the rest of the vehicle is up to the challenge.

    We pull our under 1500 lbs camper with our I4 RAV. I was pleasantly surprised how well it pulls and stops (with electric brakes). I have no problem pulling whatsoever. But even with our relatively lite hitch weight (170 lbs), we've had to make some changes so we don't have too much sag. I'm actually glad we didn't get the V6, because I don't think it would have allowed for much larger of a trailer.

    I my humble opinion, the RAV should not tow the Kodiak. The only RAV that has less sag are the ones with the third row seat. The third row seat versions have different (heavy duty) springs.
    Look at a smaller camper to match your RAV, or get a different tow vehicle.
     
  11. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    I TOTALLY agree! You should NOT pull that hybrid with a Rav 4.

    We were in the market for a hybrid. And we have a F150 with a straight 6 and knew we would be pushing its limits with weight when loaded. And would of had to add brake controllers and coolers and everything to it. So instead. We traded my 09 Journey in on a 2010 F150 with a V8 4x4 super crew just to be on the safe side with pulling a hybrid. We ended up getting a small TT instead and our empty weight is 3800 and on the way home from the dealer with it empty we can for sure tell its back there with the V8. And that is using distribution hitch and sway control. So its not much over your dry weight your considering.

    No way I would risk it with a v6 Rav 4. My friend has one so I have been in them.

    Sharon
     
  12. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    adirondackcamper, PLEASE don't buy that trailer!! [XX(]

    neither of your vehicles are capable of safely pulling that trailer. the Jeep will probably have the same 3500lbs. tow rating. but need more info about it other than it's an '06 Wrangler.

    you're making the #1 newbie mistake: looking at "dry" weights, instead of real weights.

    you need to find out what the actual UVW from the factory is. usually on an outside yellow sticker. that's the weight when it left the factory, including so-called "options".

    that trailer's GVWR is 3850lbs., well over the 3500 max for either vehicle.
    and with a very low CCC of only 689lbs. you'll easily be at the GVWR when loaded for camping.

    lastly, both your vehicles may also have a frontal area limit, which any trailer like this one, will easily exceed.

    IMHO, a popup or teardrop would be the only trailers appropriated for either vehicle.

    let me guess, the dealer told you that you'd have no problem towing the Kodiak. [:(O]
     
  13. jimi stevie

    jimi stevie New Member

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    we are looking to buy a hard sided pop up and have a toyota tacoma v6 pre runner w/trd. could there be a problem with that?
     
  14. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    Jimi, youd probably get more responses if you posted a new thread in the pre-purchase section. Also include exactly which campers you are considering, and more info like year model of your tow vehicle, how many people would camp with you, etc.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  15. adirondackcamper

    adirondackcamper New Member

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    Thank-you all for your input! We are purchasing the Kodiak and will be towing with a new to us '03 Toyota Tundra. purchased today! Now we won't have to be paranoid about weight, (YAY!!), but we'll have to make sure we have enough gas $$! [LOL]
    Thanks :)
     
  16. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    My TT is low to the ground and so is the center of gravity. The frontal area is sloped for aerodynamics....it is very stable behind my Dodge Ram. My brother in law has a 5'er and he was going thru Idaho when he encounter major wind, it created a white knuckle drive and he pulled over to the side of the road only to have the police tell him to move it. He tried to explain the situation to them but they told him it was too unsafe to park on the side of the road. They told him that he could pull it into the rest stop a few miles away and so he did....it is something he says that he would never do again...he felt that it was going to flip during the entire drive to the rest stop. He even got a police escort
     
  17. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    Congrats on your new Tow vehicle. I know I feel much better about you towing with that.

    The truck sitting higher will help a lot. Our F150 4x4 sits high, out trailer sits low and has a really sloped front end. Which we actually only looked at trailers with a sloped front end. So the wind resistance would be low. We pulled it 2 hours home and didn't notice any difference in gas. Mileage but will keep an eye on it. It was a windy day as well, but the distribution hitch with the sway control helped a lot.

    Have fun.
    Sharon
     
  18. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    Despite all the GOOD that a WDH provides for most Towing Configurations, watching the OP Video closely shows that it is mostly the torque applied by the WDH onto the back of the TV that caused the TV to ROLL. Whether it was Wind or a Blown Tire or Both, once the TT starts to flip-over onto it's right side, you can see the WDH actually lifts the back of the TV all the way Off the Ground. It's when the WDH tears off the Hitch that the TV Rear Tires hit the ground and throw the TV violently into a Roll-Over.
    Perhaps this highlights the NEED to RIGHT-SIZE your WDH to your Trailer...
     
  19. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    A tall Cab and sloping TT Frontal Area would generally aid in Towing MPGs.

    But not so for a Lifted Truck, as the air that formerly would have flowed over the Truck Cab and impacted the TT Frontal Area is now divided between air flowing over and UNDER the Truck (causing worse MPG for the Truck in all cases). The air flowing Under the Truck is going to impact the square lower Frontal Area of the TT, causing a similar amount of Drag as if it had flowed over the Cab - AND it will disturb the airflow coming across the Tailgate to cause additional Drag.

    A Lifted 4x4, especially one with additional Mods to increase Articulation when Offroad, has additional Drawbacks when used as a TV. Those mods will lead to additional side-to-side freedom of movement in the TV, which will decrease the ability to resist Sway induced by the TT (despite the longer wheelbase). These same sway issues will be exacerbated by the high-sidewalled Offroad or even Flotation Tires.
     
  20. Heritage

    Heritage New Member

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    That is what I like about rpods. Wheel wells on the outside and a little lower center of gravity.
     

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