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Old 06-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Complete Newbie!!!

I've read and reread everything I can find on TV and TT's, but I'm still confused so I hope I don't sound too dumb.

I'm REALLY considering a Jayco Kiwi Too 28R, it has the following specs.

490 Hitch Weight
4285 Unloaded Weight
6100 Gross Weight
1815 Cargo Weight
3795 Axle Weight

Which TV should I also consider? I'm looking at a 2006 or 2007 Dodge, Toyota or Nissan. I really like the Tacoma or Frontier, but don't want to limit myself if this isn't what I need. I've also considered the Ford F150. So I thought I would just go to the experts.

BTW, this will be my first TT and first time camping! Its now just my wife and I, all my kids are grown and we don't have animals. This will just be for the weekends and 3-4 weeks out of the year. We will probably only drive it a max of 700 miles each way.

Thanks again for any help given. I also did a search on this forum, but didn't really find anything.

I will be retiring in 5 years and will be updating everything at that time.


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Old 06-11-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ghornet54 View Post
6100 Gross Weight
That's the only number that you should consider. Assume that the wet and loaded trailer when on the road will weigh close to the GVWR, so buy enough tow vehicle to handle 6,100 pounds trailer weight and about 12 percent hitch weight or about 750 pounds.

Which TV should I also consider? I'm looking at a 2006 or 2007 Dodge, Toyota or Nissan. I really like the Tacoma or Frontier, but don't want to limit myself if this isn't what I need. I've also considered the Ford F150.
TVs have two real numbers you need to be concerned with, GVWR and GCWR. Then you also need to know the manufacturer's tow rating. And you need to know (or good estimate) of how much your TV will weigh when wet and loaded for the road an full of gas, tools, people, pets, coolers, jacks, etc.

The GVWR will tell you how much payload, including hitch weight, you can haul without being overloaded. The GCWR will tell you how much you can tow and haul without bending, breaking, or overheating anything in the TV.

The tow rating is overstated by about 1,000 pounds, so for most TVs, if you subtract about 1,000 pounds from the tow rating, you will have a decent estimate of the max weight of any trailer you can tow without exceeding the GCWR of the TV.

But the tow rating ignores available payload of the TV, so hitch weight is often the limiter on lighter duty pickups and SUVs.

I'll use the Toyota Tacoma as the example.

To tow over 3,500 pounds your late-model Taco must have the V6 engine and the factory V6 tow pkg. When properly equipped, the doublecab 4x4 V6 automatic with V6 tow pkg has a GCWR of 11,100 pounds and a tow rating of 6,300 pounds. But that tow rating assumes your wet and loaded truck weighs only (11,100 minus 6,300 =) 4,800 pounds before you tie onto the trailer.

The GVWR of that Taco is 5,450 pounds with a max payload rating of 1,260 pounds. With 750 pounds of hitch weight, that leaves only 510 pounds for driver, passenger, tools, pets, jacks, whatever you haul in the truck.

In other words, the Taco is not quite enough truck for that trailer without constant worry about being overloaded.

So consider my truck, a 2012 F-150 with EcoBoost engine and 8,400 pounds tow rating. Subtract about 1,000 pounds from the tow rating and I could tow a trailer that weighs about 7,400 pounds without exceeding the GCWR of the TV. But that ignors the GVWR of the truck. My truck does not have any extra payload capacity, so my TT with a GVWR of 5,600 pounds put me right at the 7,200 pounds GVWR last week on a 4,000 mile towing trip. So if you get an F-150, then you need the upgraded payload pkg. In a new one, that's easy. Order the EcoBoost engine with either the max tow pkg which gives you 500 pounds more payload capacity, or the HD payload pkg which gives you 1,000 pounds more payload capacity. Then you can tow that 6,100 pound trailer without being overloaded.

But you're not looking at new pickups. For used F-150s before 2011 model year, you have to be certain it is "properly equipped" to tow that much trailer. If you find one with the HD payload pkg (which has been available since the days when they called it the F-250 LD back in '97 thru '99), then all you have to do is be certain it has the factory tow pkg with tranny cooler and engine oil cooler.

If the older F-150 does not have 7-hole wheels, then it does not have the HD payload pkg. In that case, you have to get one with 5.4L engine, 3.73 axle ratio and trailer tow pkg. (My 2003 F-150 with 4.6L 2V engine and 3.55 axle was not enough truck for that trailer.)

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Per your suggestions, I'm giving up on the Tacoma and the Frontier. I will look for the F150, Dodge Ram or Toyota Tundra with towing package. I don't plan on towing the camper with full water tanks or extra weight.

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Old 06-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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I have a 2010 5.7L tundra w/ tow package hauling a 22 foot nomad weighing 4780 pounds wet. Most of the time, I don't even feel the trailer behind me (including half a cord of firewood in the bed, 1 dog and a wife). My tow rating is 11,300 pounds.

However, my general rule of thumb is not to exceed 80 percent of the tow rating ( should I decide to trade up in the future).

Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response! I definitely like the Jayco Kiwi Too 28R and plan on buying it this weekend if nothing happens. I like the looks of the Tundra and hopefully can find one in my price range. Don't want to spend a lot on either since my wife has never camped and doesn't know if she would like it or not. I'm going to use my brother in law's truck to bring the camper home and look for me a tow vehicle. Now to decide what I need to stock the camper for camping.

Again, thanks for your answers! I'm going crazy reading all this information about TT & TV. I want something safe to pull the camper and not have to worry the whole trip.

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