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Old 05-12-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
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Help, I'm overweight!!!

Well maybe a little but it's my travel trailer that's the issue. I bought a 17 foot 1988 Terry Resort, advertised as 2550 dry on Saturday. I towed it home with my Kia Sedona minivan rated for 3500 pounds with no issues. I plan on adding a weight distribution hitch and transmission cooler to help out my little Kia. Today I went to the DMV and got my tag, paid my taxes and then went to get the trailer weighed. I unhitched on the scale and they weighed the trailer alone. 3620 and that's with no water onboard (I hope it was winterized ) I know the labeled max weight of the trailer is 4100, so this seems really heavy. I'm already in love with my little 19 foot (yes the length was also wrong) home on wheels and am trying to come up with ways to lighten the load. It has two LP tanks, one is sufficient as I usually travel solo so that might help. It also has a huge steel bumper with sodered bike rack, could I replace that with something lighter? I'd hate to give up the awning but a smaller one would be fine, would that make a difference? Any other ideas? The kia will be paid off this year and I can't really afford a new tow vehicle.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:07 PM   #2
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If that bumper is the original it should be 4" sq. steel sheet metal, which probably weighs around 30#. I doubt it is the weight saver you seek. Sadly yours is another case of buying by the dry/unloaded weight. You will need to lighten the trailer by 400# or so just to get to a safe towing weight. That does not include lightening the trailer enough to be able to haul your "stuff" for you and your pets.
Have your Kia weighed with you and your pets, plus anything else you will have in it when you go camping. Subtract that weight from your Kia's GCWR and you will know how much weight it can actually tow safely.
This calculator: http://www.klenger.net/RV_General/To...monstrator.htm
is a great aid for properly and safely matching your Kia to a trailer.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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This bumper is not sheet metal, it's solid steel and has a bike rack welded on. Maybe it's not the original after all. Does anyone know what an propane tank weighs and is it hard to adapt from two to one?
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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For the propane, look on the handle ring on the bottle. There is a TARE (TW) weight which is what the bottle will weigh when full of propane. Nominally the short BBQ size are 20# volume weight, mid height 30# and the tall ones are 40#.

See Answers.com - How much does a full 20-pound propane tank weigh

Sounds like you seriously need to look for a nice used and larger vehicle at this point.

Ken
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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The photo shows that your trailer is set up with two 20 pound propane tanks. Full, they weigh just under 40 pounds each, so that's what you will save by removing one. Not really much of a savings.

As for the rear bumper, there is almost no chance it is "solid steel," unless some complete moron put it on there. If it is, and it's 7.5 feet long, it will weigh about 450 pounds. THAT would be a significant weight savings. But it should be a 4" square steel tube with fairly thin walls, so it really doesn't weigh much. That's generally where you store your sewer hose. It is probably no thicker than about 14 gauge, so will weigh about 4.5 pounds per linear foot. Probably about 35 pounds, not including the bike rack.

So if you eliminate one tank and the rear bumper, you are going to save about 75 pounds and will need to find a new place to store your filthy sewer hose. 75 pounds is about enough water to take one good shower.

You should be able to remain within your weight limit on the trailer with some judicious loading and careful consideration of what you REALLY need to take with you. For example, if you're going to be staying in campgrounds, you probably don't need to take any water with you. That can save a lot of weight.

I agree with Ken, I think your biggest issue is with the tow vehicle. The empty weight of the trailer already exceeds the tow rating of your Kia. There's no way around that. A lot of people do it, and do it safely. It's done literally tens of thousands of times every day, and rarely causes an accident. But manufacturers are all pretty optimistic with their tow ratings, and when you get near or exceed that limit, you probably aren't going to be very happy with the performance. Plus, it can be pretty hard on the vehicle. You will tend to break things. And there is always the issue of what your insurance company will do if there is an "incident" and they find out you are towing beyond the rating of your vehicle.

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Old 05-13-2011, 01:17 AM   #6
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You could keep the Kia and trade for a lighter trailer. But in the long run if you like trailer camping you'll probably want with a beefier tow rig. If it's any consolation you wouldn't be the first camper buyer who had to upgrade his truck unexpectedly.

Think about going to an RV show to see what kind of camper you will ultimately want. It might save you a second unexpected TV upgrade.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:10 AM   #7
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Actually tare weight is how much the bottle weighs when empty.

Add in the propane at about 4.2 pounds per gallon at 60 deg F.

Most trailers have 30# or 40# bottles on them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
For the propane, look on the handle ring on the bottle. There is a TARE (TW) weight which is what the bottle will weigh when full of propane. Nominally the short BBQ size are 20# volume weight, mid height 30# and the tall ones are 40#.

See Answers.com - How much does a full 20-pound propane tank weigh

Sounds like you seriously need to look for a nice used and larger vehicle at this point.

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Old 05-13-2011, 07:04 AM   #8
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My coworker has a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee six cyl. 4 wheel drive for sale, maybe I can work out a payment plan. $10,000 is below market value but I really want to have no depts before I go fulltime next August. Towing capacity is 5000, but the gas milage stinks. Guess that's the price you pay. Something to consider. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:52 AM   #9
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I am not a fan of the Jeep GC as a tow vehicle. The wheelbase is short, high center of gravity and it is narrow. The problem is towing and good fuel economy do not really work in the same sentence.

I think you would do better to move on up to a full size tow vehicle for serious towing.

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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It's a shame that the weight police have given the automakers in the US market such a scare. I also have a Sedona (03) and initially was considering a TT. A friend in the UK has a similar model (his has a diesel engine, 2.9 liters, I think) and he tows a 4200 pound trailer. The rated tow weight for the Sedona in the UK is 3000 Kg (6600 pounds)!
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
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A friend in the UK has a similar model (his has a diesel engine, 2.9 liters, I think) and he tows a 4200 pound trailer. The rated tow weight for the Sedona in the UK is 3000 Kg (6600 pounds)!
The diesel engine kinda makes a difference in trailer tow ratings.....

Just because I have access to it, I used the Dodge truck body builder's guide to spec out 2 identical 3/4 ton trucks, except one has the 5.7L Hemi V8 gas engine and the other the 6.7L Cummins I6 turbo-diesel. Both have automatic transmissions and 4.10 axle ratios, and both are crew cab long bed Laramies. The trailer tow rating on the gasser is 11,650 lbs; the trailer tow rating on the diesel is 14,800 lbs.

I would imagine Kia's ratings in the UK would show a similar variation depending on drivetrain selection.

Rusty
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #12
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What are your thoughts on a Chevy Astro van. It has a mich higher towing capacity than my Kia? I'm a van kinda gal. I've driven nothing but full sized vans since I was 16 years old but do like the mini for ease of parking, toting dogs around, moving furniture, etc
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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If the 3620 lb was without your clothes, food, dishes, silverware, cups, glasses, plates, pots or pans, extra electrical dog bones, sewer hoses, extenson electrical hoses, water hoses, cleaning supplies, bedding, etc. on board.

Then it is time for a bigger tow vehicle.
Or definitely add a weight distribution hitch and transmission cooler.
And maybe try to keep the transmission out of overdrive when pulling.
Especially if it starts hunting between gears, manually downshift.

Also carry ERS.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:42 PM   #14
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I don't know that the Astro van is any better. My old S-10 pickup, with the 4.3L V6 had the same 3500 lb rating as the Sedona. I think the Astro is on the same chassis as the S-10.
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