Originally Posted by Ghornet54
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.)