Originally Posted by tnvolrvr
I think I will leave the Envoy alone and look for a "real" tow vehicle ....After I decide what I want to tow
When matching RV trailer to tow vehicle, remember that hitch weight of the trailer will probably be the most important spec. But dry hitch weight is meaningless because nobody tows a dry RV trailer.
Calculate max hitch weight of any travel trailer (TT) as 15% of the GVWR of the trailer. If the trailer specs don't include GVWR, then GVWR is the dry weight of the trailer plus cargo carrying capacity (CCC) of the trailer. Most TTs have tongue weight of 12% to 15% of trailer weight. GVWR of the trailer is the max the trailer can weigh without overloading the trailer components, so use 15% of GVWR of the TT to be conservative to be sure you won't wind up on the road overloaded.
Calculate max hitch weight of any fifth wheel RV trailer (5er) as 20% of GVWR of the trailer. Most small to medium-size 5ers have "pin" weight (weight on the trailer kingpin, or hitch weight) of 16% to 20% of the weight of the trailer, and they average about 17% to 18%. So use 20% to be sure you have enough tow vehicle to tow any 5er you might decide on.
After you know the max hitch weight of the trailer you want, then be sure the tow vehicle has enough payload capacity to haul the weight of all the people, tools, and other stuff including a full tank of fuel, as well as the hitch weight of your trailer. Payload capacity on the door sticker is GVWR minus the weight of the empty truck. Payload capacity available for hitch weight is GVWR minus the weight of the wet and loaded tow vehicle ready to tow the trailer.
That's a big difference. My F-150's payload capacity per the sticker is 1,566 pounds, but my payload capacity available for hitch weight is only 550 pounds. So with just me and Darling Wife in the pickup, along with toolbox full of tools, jack for changing a flat on the trailer, and a couple of dogs and additions such as bed rug and camper shell, my small TT that grosses only 4,788 pounds with tongue weight of 588 pounds overloads my half-ton pickup over the GVWR (and payload capacity) of my F-150.
Way back when, my tow vehicle was an F-250 diesel with payload capacity of well over 2,000 pounds. But I was overloaded with my small 5er that had less than 1,200 pounds pin weight.
General rules for matching trailer to tow vehicle:
Half-ton pickup that is not a special-order heavy duty half = max 6,000 pounds GVWR of the travel trailer. Don't even think about a 5er.
Heavy duty half-ton, such as the F-150 with the rare HD Payload package or the GM 1500 HD = max 10,000 pounds GVWR of a TT or 9,000 pounds GVWR of a small 5er.
3/4-ton pickup with 10,000 GVWR = 12k TT if not limited by the tongue weight capacity of the receiver hitch, or 10k 5er
So-called one-ton SRW pickup = 12k 5er
One ton dually pickup = 16k 5er
F-450 will PULL
more than the F-350 DRW, but it has the same pin weight limitations, so about 16k is the most 5er you should consider if you don't want to be overloaded over the GVWR of the tow vehicle.