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Old 04-03-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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Need help with trailer size suggestion.

I'm in the beginning stages of research on a TT for my family and I. We have our first TV which is a Toyota Sequoia SR5 v8 4.7 gasser which will tow 6500lbs and tongue weight of 650lbs or 1000lbs wdh. My vehicle weighs 5200lbs.

We are sometimers that tent camp now. Getting older and would like to retire as a fulltimer one day. We intend to buy in next couple of years so we're trying to get educated on this subject.

I want the maximum size trailer that this TV will handle. I have driven big trucks in all kinds of weather so I'm comfortable driving most anything. What I need help with is weight and length of a TT that matches this TV. I'll look at floorplan and manufacturer at another time. I really appreciate your help and recommendations.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:11 PM   #2
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load your truck as you would when you go camping (including passengers). Go to a truck stop and weigh your truck. Then you will have the actual weight. Then use the GCWR and GVWR from the door jamb sticker for calculations.

When looking at a trailer, you don't know how much you will load it up, but you do know you will load something into it, so using the trailers Unload Weight is useless. Always use the trailer GVWR for calculations. Figure 10-15% of trailer GVWR for hitch weight.

The trucks weight plus the trailers GVWR cannot exceed the trucks GCWR

The trucks weight plus the hitch weight cannot exceed the trucks GVWR.

I am not familiar with the trailer length calculation, but I am sure someone will be along shortly to help you out.

This assumes you want to stay within the trucks weight ratings.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:06 PM   #3
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I know the total of everything (truck & trailer) cannot exceed 12,000lbs.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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If you plan on full timing in this trailer, my suggestion is to get the biggest trailer you can safely tow AND one that fits your needs. That'll take a lot of investigation on your part. One thing to look at is if the trailer is warranted for full time use. Pick manufacturers that make full time TT's and then scour the floor plans as well as their specifications so it fits within your weight ratings. With today's climate changes you probably want one that is four season rated regarding insulation and enclosed holding tanks. We go to south Texas for the winter and still get cold (below freezing) weather periodically. I also know there are some rules regarding the TV wheelbase and what length trailer works best or too long. I do not know how that is determined and am hoping someone comes along to answer that. I am sorry I cannot help much with manufacturers as I am a 5er person and am more literate about them. Heartland comes to mind as one that makes fulltime 5er's and they do have a line of TT's. I am sure some of them are designed for fulltime use.

Make note of makes, models and floorplans you like. Find out what RV shows those manufacturers will be at to view floorplans. When you narrow your list, contact manufacturers about taking a tour of their plant. No better way to see the quality and get questions answered. I've found that when they you your are interested in purchasing, they pay a lot more attention to you. Plus you will probably have better luck finding a floor plan you like so you can see it. Personally I don't like ordering based on a floorplan. there are times when something looks OK on paper, but when you see it in real life you say .... what were they thinking.

I hope some of this helps you in your quest. You are doing the right thing by giving yourself plenty of time to make an educated selection. I'm sorry I can't make the choice for you as only you can do that. I can only suggest you stay within your towing ratings; IMOHO.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for your help. Right now we are just looking for one that will serve our immediate needs as a family of four. Which my kids are 9 & 12 so for another 8 years we will use this TV and the TT we choose. I will look for another rv or tt when its just the two of us. I do want the ability to camp all four seasons.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf514 View Post
I want the maximum size trailer that this TV will handle.
Assuming you mean you want the maximum size the Sequoia will handle without exceeding any of Toyota's weight ratings for your Sequoia, then it's a relatively easy computation.

The "size" of a TT doesn't matter as much as the hitch weight. The weight limiter on your Sequoia is probably the GVWR of the SUV. So do as K-Star suggested and determine the max weight of the wet and loaded Sequoia packed for towing and camping. Include all the kids, pets, tools, fluids, and anything that will be in the SUV when towing. Go to a truck stop that has a CAT scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded SUV. If you did not have the shank and head from your weight-distribution hitch plugged into the receiver, then add 50 pounds to the wet and loaded weight.

Subtract the wet and loaded weight of the SUV from the GVWR of the SUV. The answer is the maximum hitch weight you can have without exceeding the GVWR of the SUV. You will read that wet and loaded hitch weight of a TT varies from 10 to 15 percent gross weight of the TT, but very few TTs will have a hitch weight less than about 12% and many have 14 to 15% hitch weight. So to play it safe, use 15%. Divide the maximum hitch weight you can have by 0.15 (15%) and the answer is the max GVWR of any TT you want to consider.

Note: If you do the above steps correctly, you'll see that you don't have enough tow vehicle to tow much of a TT without being overloaded. My little 19' Joey will probably overload your Sequoia. So if you cannot trade for a heavier-duty TV, then consider fold-down pop-up camping trailers instead of TTs. There are some nice ones available with GVWR less than 4,000 pounds (hitch weight less than 600 pounds) that will work just fine and dandy for your family. Some have hot and cold running water, furnace, AC, shower and pottie, range, reefer, etc. And some are bare bones with nothing inside but beds and an ice box and maybe a dinette. And some are equipped between the bare bones and the luxurious.

Happy shopping.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:32 AM   #7
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Using rough numbers, you have a 6,000 truck with a 7,300 GVWR.
So you have 1,300lbs to work with. If you four weigh 500lbs and add 26 gallons or 160lbs of gas, you're left with 640lbs for gear and LOADED hitch weight to work with.

I would look for a trailer with a dry hitch weight of no more than 500lbs and load the gear smartly.

There are many in the 18-23ft range that should fit the bill. We had the same rough numbers and are VERY happy with our Winnebago Minnie towable, but there are many others.

Just be smart about it because it get's too heavy fast, and that pucker factor on a trip is no good at all.
Also, that 4.7 with only 270hp and a 5 speed will be working very hard.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:22 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help ya'll. I am getting a lot out of this. I never knew how to figure this stuff out. My specs for the sequoia are as follows : Weights: gross vehicle weight rating (lbs) 6,600, curb weight (lbs) 5,100, gross trailer weight braked (lbs) 6,500 and max payload (lbs) 1500.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:59 PM   #9
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Sounds like you have all the critical data. The 1500lbs payload is the relevant factor with trailer hitchweight, family and gear.
Happy Shopping!
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:34 AM   #10
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My specs for the sequoia are as follows : Weights: gross vehicle weight rating (lbs) 6,600, curb weight (lbs) 5,100, gross trailer weight braked (lbs) 6,500 and max payload (lbs) 1500.
Those specs are misleading in that they are very easy to misunderstand.

"gross trailer weight braked (lbs) 6,500" does NOT mean that you can tow a TT that weighs 6,500 pounds without being overloaded, unless your SUV has no options and there is absolutely nothing in the SUV but a skinny driver.

"max payload (lbs) 1500" does NOT mean that you can tow a TT with 1500 pounds of hitch weight.

To determine the specs that apply to you and yours, follow the advice in my earlier post. Weigh the wet and loaded SUV with everything in and on it that will be in and on it when towing, including a full tank of gas. Include the shank and head unit from your weight-distributing hitch. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded SUV from the GVWR of the SUV to determine the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Compute the max trailer weight you can tow based on the max hitch weight you can have.

Beginning with the curb weight spec and trying to guess at the weight of the payload you will haul in the SUV is a guaranteed way to wind up overloaded when on the road. The CAT scale is not perfect, but it will give you the actual weight of your wet and loaded SUV within 50 pounds of actual.
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