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Old 06-18-2007, 06:33 AM   #1
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I have a Buick Rendezvous with the 3,500lbs towing package with tranny cooler, air suspension,etc... It tows my old Palomino popup like it's not even there. I am interested in the JayCo JayFeather Sport 165. Would this be a safe combination of TV + TT?

Another option would be to move up the Jayco line to a slightly bigger model and purchasing a 10 year old full-size Ford or Chevy van and only using it for our camping trips. Would this be a doable option or would the older van be a reliability problem?

The kids are growing up too fast and I've been out of camping for a couple of years...got a 6' son that cannot sleep in the old Palomino (Shetland...VERY tiny).
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:34 AM   #2
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BTW, the GVWR of the Buick is around 5400, and the GVWR of the Jayco is 3,500, hitch weight is 450lbs.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:09 AM   #3
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Jay,

Typically, the 3500 lb tow rating of the Rendezvous is based on the curb weight of a base vehicle with only a 150 lb driver. For every pound of driver, passengers, cargo, options, accessories, etc. over that assumed curb weight, the towing capacity is reduced by a like amount. Does your owner's manual or Mulroney sticker (the new vehicle window sticker) list a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) for the Rendezvous? If so, then you can load the vehicle up with driver, passengers, cargo, full fuel tank, etc. just as you would be heading out on a trip and go to the scales to get an actual curb weight. Once you have that, GCWR minus actual curb weight gives you an actual maximum towing capacity. I suspect that it will be substantially lower than 3500 lbs.

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Old 06-18-2007, 07:21 AM   #4
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I will check the window sticker, but the tag on the door says 5450 GVWR. I don't want to wind up with a TT that's too big for the Buick, but I don't want another popup. Hmmm...
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:28 AM   #5
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Right, but the key factor in towing is going to be the GCWR since that's how towing capacity is calculated. On a passenger vehicle, it may take a little digging to locate it, but it's worth the effort.

If it's not on the Mulroney sticker, try the owner's manual in the Trailer Towing section.

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Old 06-18-2007, 05:53 PM   #6
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My wife has a Revezvous and I never thought of towing anything with it. It did come with a hitch. Her car is a FWD only and i don't think it could handle much of a trailer.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless Buick isn't giving me the correct numbers.

The window sticker is, of course, MIA. So I called Buick and they said the curb weight of the car is 4250 (nothing about GCWR) and of course the gvwr of 5357.

I didn't weight the car yet, but it appears that this vehicle will not be able to tow more than 700 lbs....that make zero sense, since I know I've towed bigger trailers than that with NO problems. This doesn't make sense.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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It sounds like we have some confusion here. Did you read the definitions in the link I provided earlier? If not, I'll give my version here:

GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: In the case of your Rendezvous, this is the maximum amount of weight that can be carried on the 4 tires of the Rendezvous. Note that the only impact the trailer has on the Rendezvous' gross vehicle weight is through hitch weight - the vertical load the trailer transfers to the Rendezvous through the trailer hitch.

GCWR = Gross Combined (or Combination) Weight Rating: This is the maximum weight of the Rendezvous combined with whatever it's towing. In other words, this is the maximum allowable combined weight of the Rendezvous and the trailer.

If you know the actual laden curb weight of your Rendezvous loaded with fuel, driver, passengers, cargo, etc. just as you will hit the road (you can obtain this weight at any truck stop scales, etc.), then you can use this laden curb weight (LCW) in the following formulas:

GCWR - LCW = maximum allowable total weight of the loaded trailer.

GVWR - LCW = maximum allowable hitch weight of the loaded trailer.

On edit: If Buick gave you the same theoretical curb weight they used to calculate your trailer tow rating, then your GCWR would be 4,250 curb weight + 3,500 trailer tow rating = 7,750 lbs. As mentioned earlier, however, the curb weight is substantially low compared to your actual weight (LCW). Once you get your LCW, then 7,750 - LCW would give you the maximum allowable total weight of the loaded trailer.

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Old 06-22-2007, 05:45 PM   #9
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I didn't get any link...

I called Buick to get the GCWR...they had no idea what I was talking about and again gave me the 4250 curb weight. I throw my hands up in frustration at getting GCWR. It's not in the manual either.

It's amazing how difficult it is to figure this stuff out. I've been trying to figure it out for two weeks now and I'm just as bad off now as I was two weeks ago. I'm always missing a number. Thanks for your help, though...I'll keep looking.
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:08 PM   #10
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Ok...I found a label on the car...

"The combined weight of occupants & cargo should never exceed 1336 lbs"

My family would come in at 700lbs, and I'm sure we easily will hit 200 lbs of other junk...

Do these numbers fill in any of the cracks?

So would the GCWR =

4250 curb weight
1336 maximum occupants & cargo
----
5586
1000 actual occupants & cargo
====
4586 I tend to think I don't have this right
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:07 PM   #11
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5,450 GVWR - 1,336 maximum occupants and cargo = 4,114 curb weight with no occupants or cargo

4,114 curb weight + 900 lbs family and cargo = 5,014 calculated laden curb weight (LCW)

From the formulas above:

7,750 calculated GCWR - 5,014 calculated laden curb weight = 2,736 lbs maximum total weight of loaded trailer

5,450 GVWR - 5,014 calculated laden curb weight = 436 lbs maximum hitch weight of loaded trailer

From these thumbnail calculations, it looks like you would be over on total loaded trailer weight (something approaching the 3,500 lbs GVWR) and slightly over on hitch weight (450 lbs, although I don't know if that's loaded or unloaded hitch weight).

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Old 06-22-2007, 08:39 PM   #12
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Jay,
If you post your VIN or PM me with the VIN I may be able to get your GVWR. (I may be able to use the last 8 of the VIN - but that may take a bit longer. The last 8 numbers would start with a number 4)
PLease do it as quickly as you can- I may lose my access to that info soon
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:33 AM   #13
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MonacoMama,

Thanks for your help. In post #4, he says the GVWR is 5,450 lbs. The struggle seems to be finding someone at Buick (not known for trailer towing vehicles) who (1) knows what GCWR is and (2) knows the actual GCWR for this specific vehicle.

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Old 06-23-2007, 12:29 PM   #14
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ManacoMama - I just private msg'd you the VIN...if you can get the GCWR, I would be forever indebted to you. ;-)

Rusty - Thanks for the info...so if the salesman says that a WD hitch and anti-sway equipment will make the rig safe, don't buy into it? I don't get it....Isn't he responsible for any kind of liability if he recommends and sells equipment that isn't safe? Anyways, you have been great. THanks.
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