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Old 06-10-2015, 08:12 PM   #1
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I'm shopping around for a new travel trailer. I currently have a Jayco Export 17c for the 5 of us. However, with the kids getting bigger it's shrinking fast. I had my eye on the jayfligut 26bhw, but was told something about the dealer being concerned about the wheelbase being to close for comfort.
I tow with Durango SXT AWD. Tow capacity is 6700 but I say 6000 just so I don't get put in something too big that I can't pack stuff.
can someone tell me if I need to worry about wheel base along with weight & also a slight explanation so I know I'm not bring led towards a more pricey unit just to get it sold.

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Old 06-10-2015, 08:54 PM   #2
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Find out what your Cargo capacity is so you know how much tongue weight you can handle. Tongue weight should be 12-15% of a loaded trailer. This is often the first number to exceed limitations when towing travel trailers.

2015 Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS Blue Ox WDH
2015 RAM 1500 4X2 CrewCab, 5'7'' bed, 3.93 gears, 5.7L 8-speed VVT, Payload 1608, Max tow 10,400
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Heather J View Post
I tow with Durango SXT AWD. Tow capacity is 6700 but I say 6000 just so I don't get put in something too big that I can't pack stuff.
Common misconception of newbees. Your tow "rating" might be 6,700, but that tells you only the max weight of any trailer your drivetrain can PULL without overheating anything in the drivetrain and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on hills.

But the tow rating is not your limiter, especially on an SUV. Instead, your limiter is the amount of hitch weight you can HAUL without exceeding the GVWR of your SUV.

...can someone tell me if I need to worry about wheel base along with weight & also a slight explanation so I know I'm not bring led towards a more pricey unit just to get it sold.
Yes, the wheelbase of the tow vehicle is important, but not your main concern. Keep the length of the trailer down to less than 24' and you should have no problems caused by the shorty wheelbase of your SUV - PROVIDED you have an excellent weight-distributing hitch that is properly adjusted for your trailer's weight, and PROVIDED your tongue weight does not cause the SUV to be overloaded over the GVWR of the SUV.

So step one is to determine the max tongue weight you can have without being overloaded. To do that,

1] load the SUV with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing.
2] Drive to a truckstop that has a certified automated truck scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded SUV.
3]Subtract the weight of the SUV from the GVWR of the SUV and the answer is the max tongue weight you can haul without being overloaded.
4]Divide that max tongue weight by 0.15 and the answer is the maximum GVWR of any TT you want to buy.

From the above, it should be obvious that with your SUV you can either haul a wagon full of people and stuff, or you can tow a small travel trailer (TT), but not both at the same time without being overloaded.

Step two is to buy and install a really-good weight-distributing (WD) hitch that includes excellent sway control. If you find a new one for less than $500, that's a cheap hitch, so ignore it. Look for one of the following that list for around $1000 and are available complete with adjustable shank from online discount sources such as Amazon.com or eTrailer.com for $525 to $700.

Reese Strait-Line trunnion bar

Husky Centerline

Blue Ox SwayPro

Equal-I-Zer (or the similar Reese SC)

Note that both Reese and Husky also make cheap hitches, so ignore those and insist on a Strait-Line or CenterLine if you go with one of those brands. Blue OX and Equalizer don't make cheap hitches, so you can't go wrong with one of those brands.
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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