Towing weight advice... With a Mini Van

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by anothersmith, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. anothersmith

    anothersmith Member

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    My mini Van has a 3500lb towing capacity. 2012 VW Routan SEL with a towing package.

    Using rough math of not going over 80% of the towing capacity with the weight of the trailer I get to about 2800lb trailer weight.

    I have found a Coleman Bayside Elite for $3,650 ( I think there is room to get them down a bit further too). It is in good condition, no accessories as far as I can tell.

    The weight of this PUP is shown as 2608 dry. Given that we will obviously be loading up with clothes, food etc does this seem to be enough wiggle room to be able to tow this trailer?

    I could not find anywhere if this PUP has trailer brakes, does anyone know if they can be added?
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that the dry weight doesn't include anything. no propane, no battery , no A/C, no water.
    With the dry weight of 2800lbs, the pup will have brakes
     
  3. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    You'll likely be above 3K or so loaded, kind of depends on how you pack. I tow a 2800, 2900 lb camper with a super loaded minivan no problem (Odyssey). Depending upon terrain and driving skills, you could potentially tow up near the 3500 limit and be fine, but you won't have much margin for error.
     
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  4. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    Not sure the year of the Bayside, but if you have not run across ABS roof info yet, look into it.
     
  5. RDWRER

    RDWRER Active Member

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    How many people in the tow vehicle? That might lower the amount you can tow.
     
  6. p

    p Active Member

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    Be on the safe side a go for something in the 2000 to 2200 lb range. And watch out for tongue weight.
     
  7. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    I tow a 2400 lb dry popup with my Chrysler pacifica. With the roof ac it's about 2500 lbs. So far I have not had any issues, but I have only driven about 1000 miles half of which was flat. I live on the east coast as well so we have mountains and but no altitude. I would not take my popup out in the rockies.

    My GCWR is 8600 and my setup, with 3 young kids, gear, etc, is 8100 lbs ( I do not carry water). So I have room to spare, but I lose 172 lbs of capacity for every 1000 ft of altitude so you can do the math.

    So my answer is it depends. I feel very comfortable with my setup, but I passed on a 2800 lb popup with a nice slide out due to the weight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  8. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    What is the GVWR of the trailer? Start there.

    In addition to what joet mentioned, dry also won't include the awning, spare tire, spare tire mount nor any options like fridge up grade, vent fan upgrade, All of these things have to be added to the dry weight just to get to the UVW (unloaded vehicle weight).

    Given the dry weight and depending on how that trailer is decked out, I'll say your probably closer to the 2900-3000 lb neighborhood prior to added your "stuff"..

    One thing you will get in a thread like this, is a lot of information and suggestions, you'll get reasonably good info, you read some bad info and you will be told all sorts of down right dangerous info, in the end you have to decide what info you want to listen too.

    Now before you rush out to go buy a Semi to tow that trailer, Google "towing worksheet" it should bring up an excel spreadsheet that you plug in as much of the info as you can (the more info, the better the result) and it will help determine what you can safely tow..
     
  9. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    @Snow dry weight does include all options installed at the factory. The sticker even says 20 lbs propane and all factory installed options on new popups. So while I can not confirm the weight on a used popup everything you just brought up would be factory installed and included in the dry weight.

    I can confirm this based on weighing my popup and van on a certified scale.
     
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  10. gatorbait

    gatorbait Upstate, SC

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  11. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    How new is your pup v.s the age of the pup the O.P is asking about ? Prior to early mid 2000's, it was only optional for the manufacture to include that stuff in a "factory" weight.. Which at the time was referred to as "as shipped weight" by some manufactures others went with the now more common term "UVW" and others continued to use the term "dry weight". IIRC it was back in 2008 when we were TT shopping when all this was explained to me at that time Keystone was one of the few who had adopted the "as shipped weight", however many of the items that both I and joet listed above can be classed as dealer add-ons in the case of smaller trailers like pop-ups.
     
  12. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    I just bought mine 3 months ago so it may indeed be different. It's also clear what is factory installed in the documentation that comes when you buy the trailer.

    In my case the ac was the only dealer installed option.
     
  13. anothersmith

    anothersmith Member

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    Point well made and noted Snow regarding the info provided and how to take it.
    This is a 2000 model, I found this guide online that looks to be the original manual. Some items that you mentioned were listed as "standard" but they do call the 2608 weight the "base vehicle weight" so i'm not confident those standard items are included.
    https://colemanpopupparts.com/pages/model_specs

    I'm cutting it fairly close I think on the weight, how would weight carried in a roof box impact this math?
     
  14. anothersmith

    anothersmith Member

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    That thread posted on towing weights was great. Does anyone know how to find the GCVWR for the 2012 VW Routan? This is the key piece of info that I am currently missing and can work back from to figure out how much I can really tow.
     
  15. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    Is the gcvwr in your manual? That's where mine was, I also posted and read up at a chrysler pacifica towing forum.

    As for the roof box that would take away from your total gcvwr and thus your towing capacity.
     
  16. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    The manual for your van is hard to find online, but it looks like it’s Grand Caravan/Town and Country sisters both have up to 8750 GCWR. You’ll want to confirm it for the Routan though. It’s usually in the “driving” section of the manual and may list two values based on if it has a tow package or not.

    A roof box on the van would go against both the GCWR and the GVWR of the van. If you mounted it on the pup it would only go against the GCWR of the van, plus a small increase in tongue weight and all that impacts.
     
  17. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    IMO, Dry weight too much, stick with PUs with 2200lb or less dry weight, most Colemans have brakes, all after some year (2000?) they can be added and your vehicle wired for brake controller.

    A 2200lb dry PU loaded to 26-2800 will have a 300-350 tongue weight.
     
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  18. anothersmith

    anothersmith Member

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    Found the GCVWR in the manual in the car. Here is the math I did, did I miss anything? IF this math is correct then I might have a little more wiggle room than I thought and it would line up with towing a 2608lb trailer with a towing capacity of 3500lb.

    8750-2608-1000-3397=1,745lb
    GCVWR-PUP-stuff-curb weight= Weight left spare

    Thanks rabird, we are a family of 5 so those smaller PUPs are going to be pretty tight inside I think. The extra weight of the slide out is significant but so is the space that they add to the inside area.

    Side note, can an enclosed awning be added to this model PUP?
     
  19. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    your curb weight seems light to me, where did you find that info? often it is in the owners manual.
    What does the door pillar sticker show ? vehicle max weight rating?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  20. anothersmith

    anothersmith Member

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    Good catch rabird, i found it online but I was on the Tiguan page!!

    Did the math again and I am tight for sure, I dont really know how much weight our stuff would be so just went with 1000lb. Seems reasonable with gas, bedding and the kids. We would not be adding water for the sink, most likely.
    8750-2608-1000-4595=547lb
    GCVWR-PUP-stuff-curb weight= Weight left spare
     

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