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Old 04-10-2012, 11:37 AM   #1
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lexus gx 470 towing?

Hello. New to the rv world and shopping for a hybrid travel trailer. Found this site and its amazing all the great advice I have found. I am still confused on the towing part of it?! I know, i know..should be fairly easy to figure out but math was never my strong point! 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? I'm not planning any long trips..mostly all within 75 miles of home. Help please!

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Just going by capacity, it would be ok. However, you also need to think of things like the Gross Vehicle Weight, and Gross Rear Axle Weight and make sure that with the Lexus and the Trailer set up and loaded for travel (people/stuff/water/fuel) that you are not exceeding any one. There should be a data plate in side the door. If not, a quick look in your Owners manual or call to a dealer should get you this information.

But, at 4100 pounds trailer weight and a 450-550lb tongue weight (assuming), I dont really see a problem.

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Old 04-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks JIm. I'm hoping you are right. Like I said i'm new to this and after reading some of the posts I definately don't want to get more than I can handle.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #4
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I have a 05' Toyota 4-Runner (4.7 L V-8) which is the same power train as the Lexus gx 470. I was towing a 3900lb. dry hybrid tt for 7 seasons. Loaded it was about 4400-4500 lbs. Worked just fine as far as towing. Was able to hold it in over-drive on the hyway at 58-60mph and got 12 to 12.5 mpg....

My new tt ( 2013 Aerolite hybrid) which I just brought back from a dealer 2 hours away is 4300 dry and will be about 4800-4900 loaded. Being a little heavier I was not able to hold it in over-drive on the hyway so my RPM's went from 1800 to the 2300 range. My gas mileage went down to 9.5 mpg....

I had to go with a weight distribution hitch. The decal on the Toyota hitch says: hitch capacity 500lbs or 1100lbs with a weight distribution hitch.

My old tt was about 450 hitch weight the new one will be well over 650-700 loaded.

So to answer your ?, 4100 tt dry should be fine, but most tt's loaded will be over the 500lb max hitch weight without using a WD hitch. My new tt is 25' long...I sold my old Aerolite hybrid on Craiglist too....
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by chunterc View Post
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.
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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