Originally Posted by chunterc
I have a lexus gx 470 with tow package that is rated for 6500 pounds. Most of the hybrids i'm seeing on craigslist are weighing approx 4100. Is this too much?
Not enough info to answer. How much does your wet and loaded SUV weigh? Is that 4,100 trailer weight the dry trailer weight or the GVWR of the trailer? Use the GVWR of the trailer as the probably wet and loaded weight of the trailer on your third long trip from home.
Most SUV owners assume they can load the truck down with people and gear and then tie onto a trailer that weighs less then the tow rating and be fine and dandy. And most of them wind up overloaded when on the road...Because the tow rating is only one part of the computation required to determine the max weight of any trailer you can tow without being overloaded.
The tow rating is the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the SUV minus the empty weight of the SUV with nothing in it but a skinny driver. So it's overstated because nobody travels with nothing in the tow vehicle but a skinny driver.
But the tow rating ignores the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the tow vehicle, and GVWR is usually the limiter on an SUV.
So you need to know the max weight of your LX470 when on the road with a full tank of gas and loaded with the passengers and other stuff that will usually be in it when on the road. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded tow vehicle from the GVWR of the tow vehicle, and the answer is the max hitch weight you can handle without being overloaded.
Properly loaded TTs have between ten and fifteen percent of the gross wet and loaded trailer weight as hitch weight, with the average around 12 to 13 percent. So to be certain you are never overloaded, use 15 percent to estimate the max weight of any TT you could tow without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle. Divide the max hitch weight you can have by 0.15 to get the max trailer weight you can tow if your hitch weight is 15 percent. Then don't buy a trailer with a GVWR that exceeds that max trailer weight.
I'm not planning any long trips..mostly all within 75 miles of home. Help please!
I often see this faulty logic expressed on forums. If you have an accident and kill or severly injure someone with an overloaded tow vehicle, whether you're a block from home or 2,500 miles from home won't matter. Regardless of the distance from home, the lawyers will be certain you and your family never have enough disposable income to enjoy life again. So don't take a chance with an overloaded tow vehicle. Use the CAT scale and be certain you don't exceed any of the weight limits of your tow vehicle or trailer. For your SUV, the most likely limit is the GVWR of your tow vehicle, which limits hitch weight.