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Old 07-09-2007, 04:40 AM   #1
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I have a question for this board.

Would it be a good idea for trailer/5th wheel manufactures to post a minimum listing of the vehicle that would be able to legally tow their trailer?

I am not talking about brand specifics suchas Ford, GM or Dodge etc., but a 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton, or larger truck, SUV, with minimum equipment required to legally tow their product without any problems.

We have all heard horror stories of people who have bought a TT or 5th only to find out afterwards that the vehicle they have to tow it with is inadequate for the task. Salespeople in a dealer are only interested in selling you a trailer, they don't want to sell you a vehicle to tow it. I have noticed the questions in various forums asking what this or that vehicle will tow, or how much truck/SUV is needed to tow this TT/5th.

There are persons who advocate the use of vehicles that aren't suppose to be able to tow large trailers, but they claim with the right equipment on a tow vehicle that it can be done. Even if it is beyond the normal towing capacity of that vehicle as laid down by the specs from the vehicle manufacturer. In my opinion, this sends the wrong message to the public and client as to the capability of their tow vehicle. And in an accident,an investigation would turn up the fact that you are towing a TT/5th with not enought tow vehicle. In some cases, your insurance company would hang you out to dry.

There is an old adage that states any vhicle can tow anything, but for how long and how far?

And back to my original question, is this something that should be mandated by the government the same as the trucking industry is?I would welcome any comments on this.
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:40 AM   #2
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I have a question for this board.

Would it be a good idea for trailer/5th wheel manufactures to post a minimum listing of the vehicle that would be able to legally tow their trailer?

I am not talking about brand specifics suchas Ford, GM or Dodge etc., but a 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton, or larger truck, SUV, with minimum equipment required to legally tow their product without any problems.

We have all heard horror stories of people who have bought a TT or 5th only to find out afterwards that the vehicle they have to tow it with is inadequate for the task. Salespeople in a dealer are only interested in selling you a trailer, they don't want to sell you a vehicle to tow it. I have noticed the questions in various forums asking what this or that vehicle will tow, or how much truck/SUV is needed to tow this TT/5th.

There are persons who advocate the use of vehicles that aren't suppose to be able to tow large trailers, but they claim with the right equipment on a tow vehicle that it can be done. Even if it is beyond the normal towing capacity of that vehicle as laid down by the specs from the vehicle manufacturer. In my opinion, this sends the wrong message to the public and client as to the capability of their tow vehicle. And in an accident,an investigation would turn up the fact that you are towing a TT/5th with not enought tow vehicle. In some cases, your insurance company would hang you out to dry.

There is an old adage that states any vhicle can tow anything, but for how long and how far?

And back to my original question, is this something that should be mandated by the government the same as the trucking industry is?I would welcome any comments on this.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:43 AM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wakamicamper:
I have a question for this board.

Would it be a good idea for trailer/5th wheel manufactures to post a minimum listing of the vehicle that would be able to legally tow their trailer?

I am not talking about brand specifics suchas Ford, GM or Dodge etc., but a 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton, or larger truck, SUV, with minimum equipment required to legally tow their product without any problems. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
While that might be an admirable goal, it would require a lot of assumptions on the part of the towable manufacturer. For instance, just to say "a 3/4 ton truck is required" ignores specifics regarding variations in GVWR, GAWRs, GCWR, actual vehicle weights, number and weight of passengers, cargo weight, etc. Any and all of these enter into the equation.

I'm not apologizing for the RV towable manufacturers, but if you think about it, they can't even give accurate information regarding the total weight and pin/hitch weight of a loaded RV ready to hit the road. To do so would require assumptions on their part regarding how much "stuff" the owner was going to load into the RV and where the "stuff" would be located.

About the best we can do in an admittedly conservative evaluation is to assume that the RV's loaded weight will equal its GVWR and its hitch/pin weight will be around 10-12% (TT) to 20% (5th wheel) of the GVWR. We can then plug these numbers into our calculations.

I don't know how the government can regulate such "soft" numbers. How can the government force the tow vehicle manufacturers to rate a vehicle for an absolute trailer weight and hitch/pin weight when the loaded weight of a particular vehicle can vary so dramatically depending on the factors I listed above?

Rusty
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:56 AM   #4
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The manufactures do list that information already. The do post the dry pin and weight of the trailer in brochures and also the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The gray area where people run into trouble is when the owner is not responsible or knowledgeable of what things weigh and exceeds ratings of tongue weight/pin on the vehicle or overall trailer weight by not distributing their belongings evenly or how much the holding tanks are filled.

One thing that could be done to help educate newbies would be to provide a list of typical weights of camping items and liquids and then provide diagrams how loading one's trailer properly may be accomplished and still excert proper tongue and pin weight for control and balance. Every case is different and this would only be used by example.

I have a 137 lbs Honda EU3000 on the rear of my fiver which I know lifts weight off the front. So in loading my rig I take in consideraton whether I am filling my fresh water tank for the trip to counter balance the weight or I shift interior objects like cases of bottled water, clothing towards the front. Like I said every instance will be different and the trailer companies have provided us with the basic information as best they can.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:42 AM   #5
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I don't think a trailer maker could be expected to post what tow vehicles can handle the trailer, or even what class.

If you look at one ton pickups, for example, their capability varies by SRW or Dually, axle ratio, engine selection, stick shift or auto.

In the end it is up to the consumer to know the weight of what they are trying to pull, and the various capacities of their tow vehicle.

It would be nice if more dealers were better educated, and/or were willing to tell someone they shouldn't tow that trailer they are looking at with the vehicle they have, even if it costs them a sale.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:26 PM   #6
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Sunline actually has a weight calculator on their website so you can better estimate the actual weight of the trailer with the options you want. A long time ago they had one that you could select your personal belongings as well and it would calculate the loaded weight of the trailer. Some manufacturers do take a proactive approach and try an d educate thier customers better, others just care about selling the trailer.
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