Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-19-2013, 10:21 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Need some help calculating my towing weight please ?

Hey guys , im a noobie and im trying to learn as much as i can . Been reading on these forums and just wanted some extra clarification/insight on some towing. I will be doing some short camping trips i guess , more like a weekend hobby thing .

I was looking into getting a ultra lite TT and dont want to kill my everyday vehicle i drive. I have a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 4x4 .

Tongue max weight is 500lbs
Max towing weight is 5000lbs .
Max payload: 1,240 pounds

Im trying NOT to tow something at max tow so im wondering is my Jeep able to tow or should i look for something else to tow with ? Im sorry if this gets asked a lot but i just want to do things right from the start and dont want to screw anything up. I appreciate any and all help .. Im just trying to figure what i can tow safely. Thanks ! Here is some more information about my jeeps weight etc to help out.



__________________

__________________
aedubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-19-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Dwayne & Shara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: on the rainbow
Posts: 1,518
a lot of people are going to chime in soon so here is my 2 cents.
a jeep should only pull a small camper nothing over 20 foot it can pull more but how unsafe do you want to be? the brakes on a jeep are small and heat up fast. go as light as you can like a ultra lite camper but again how long matters too. to long and she will put you in a bad way. seen it happen time and time again. the gvrw will be beat to death in a min. or two so I'll leave that to them. all my info in this post is my opinion nothing more. It is my belief that anyone towing a TT needs at least a 3/4 ton truck to pull safely. a jeep can pull it but can it stop it or stop it from swaying? just some food for thought.
__________________

__________________
Time is life! money is just a tool. how much of your life is a tool worth?

RVM481968 eagle 475hp Detroit 8v92
Dwayne & Shara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by breed View Post
a lot of people are going to chime in soon so here is my 2 cents.
a jeep should only pull a small camper nothing over 20 foot it can pull more but how unsafe do you want to be? the brakes on a jeep are small and heat up fast. go as light as you can like a ultra lite camper but again how long matters too. to long and she will put you in a bad way. seen it happen time and time again. the gvrw will be beat to death in a min. or two so I'll leave that to them. all my info in this post is my opinion nothing more. It is my belief that anyone towing a TT needs at least a 3/4 ton truck to pull safely. a jeep can pull it but can it stop it or stop it from swaying? just some food for thought.
Yeah, thats why i posted up .. I dont want to go buy a TT and then not be able to use it. I just want to have a fun safe time

I was thinking maybe along the lines of a few such as these that would have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs) 3,500 MAX ... I know these are small but i think it would be enough for me a couple people or just me and my GF . It would be to go camping for a few a days and return home. Im wondering that that would be a safe weight to tow .

Jayco FLight Swift SLX
Viking Ultra Lite
Skyline Eco Camp
Amerilite Superlite
Trail Lite Crossover
V-Cross Vibe 6500 Series Travel Trailers

These are some that look decent and have enough specs that would work. I just dont want to buy something and not enjoy or be held back due to my vehicle. I plan on going out to one of the biggest RV shows next month out in PA to check some out and talk to some vendors.
__________________
aedubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 06:57 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
tuffr2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 2,456
For a weekend kind of thing a pop-up trailer would work. Some pop-up trailers are very nice and look roomy.

There are also small hard shell campers like AR-One that could would. If the max is 5,000 lbs. I would stay around 2,500 to 3,000 lbs. as not to stress the Jeep too much.

Good luck.
__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,328
Your GVWR is 6,500 pounds, and that is probably your limiter.

Your receiver probably has a limit of 500 pounds hitch weight without a weight-distributing hitch, but a lot more with a WD hitch. So if your wet and loaded Jeep weighs less than 6,000 pounds, then you can tow more than 5,000 pounds with a WD hitch.


In your SUV, you can either haul a bunch of passengers and gear, or you can tow a trailer up to around 5,000 pounds, but not both at the same time without being overloaded.

To determine how much weight you can tow without being overloaded;

1) Load the Jeep with everything that will be in it when towing. People, pets, tools, jacks, whatever. Include the hitch head (ball mount) and shank from your hitch.

2) Then go to a truck stop that has a certified automated truck scale, such as a CAT scale at most big interstate truck stops, or a J scale at Flying J.

3) Fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded Jeep.

4) Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded Jeep from the GVWR of the Jeep. The answer is the maximum hitch weight you can have without being overloaded.

5) Divide the available max hitch weight by 0.15 (15%). The answer is the maximum GVWR of any trailer you want to buy to tow with that SUV.

The answer will probably be less than 5,000 pounds.

Way back when, my first RV trailer was a Wheel Camper pop-up with an 8' bed and nothing in it but an ice box, dinette and beds. We camped in that camper for almost 20 years, all the time my kids were growing up. No regrets. Lots of fond memories. Back then, the three major brands of pop-up campers were Wheel Camper, StarCraft, and Coleman. Wheel Camper was operated by the Amish, and very high quality hand-made campers. I suspect they stopped production a long time ago, but StarCraft and Coleman brands are still available, along with others such as Forest River.

So I suggest you first look at pop-up tent campers. They now come with a lot of options to make camping more pleasant. Some with GVWR less than 4,000 pounds (wet and loaded hitch weight less than 600 pounds) have stove, reefer, hot water, even optional AC. If your Jeep has at least 600 pounds payload available for hitch weight, then you should consider one of those. This one for example:
Flagstaff Tent Pop Up Camper by Forest River

GVWR 3,358, and wet and loaded hitch weight of less than 504 pounds. With options, that one can have hot and cold running water and AC. No toilet, but you can do like we did and buy a porta-pottie and keep it in a storage area when not in use.
__________________
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 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
SmokeyWren is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Yea the list of Lightweight TTs i mentioned are all at a max of 3500 GVWR... They are small inside but i think they provide enough for just a weekend camp. I will do as you mentioned and try to get my Jeep weighed.
__________________
aedubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 11:27 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Im wondering if I should go trade in my jeep and pick up a v8 dodge ram 1500 setup for towing haha . I have always liked the looks of them . I just need a vehicle to be ideal for everyday use for work and to tow. Unless buying a used older truck might be an option but would take up a lot of space.
__________________
aedubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
I just need a vehicle to be ideal for everyday use for work and to tow.
No such thing. Any vehicle that would make a good commuter car will not be good for towing more than a rowboat. Any vehicle that would be good for towing an RV trailer with GVWR of 5,000 to 7,000 pounds will get awful gas mileage and ride "rough" compared to a decent commuter car.

One compromise is a GM Suburban 2500 SUV - either Chevy or GMC brand. Strong enough to tow a 7,000 pound TT and yet car-like enough to be a pleasant family "car". Commuter gas mileage on the 2500 is still awful compared to a good commuter car such as a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, so there is no free lunch.

My choice is to have two different vehicles - a 30 MPG commuter car plus a pickup that can tow my trailers without being overloaded. For three years we drove a Corolla LE as our car. Over 30 MPG on long trips, including trips from west Texas to Oregon and several times to Austin last year. But lack of elbow room on long drives caused Darling Wife to insist on the bigger Venza when we traded to our 2013 car. We recently completed a 4,000-mile round trip to Knoxville in the Venza, and it was a pleasure to drive and we got around 25 MPG cruising at 79 MPH. Our F-150 tow vehicle is fine for towing our 5,000-pound TT, but it gets only 17 to 18 MPG when not towing and 10 MPG when towing at 62 MPH.
__________________
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 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
SmokeyWren is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Rednax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Posts: 139
The tow vehicle -- with weight distribution "activated" after weight scale set up -- will see but 75% of the trailer tongue weight. Possibly less depending on a number of things.

GVWR and GCwR are vehicle manufacturer recommendations. Neither law nor limitations. The true limiting factors are the axle and tire/wheel ratings. Don't ever exceed those . . the rest has some leeway depending on where you go and what you will put up with.

I'd much rather have a TV that was better suited to the 90% solo miles I'd cover with it. A vacationer using a TT 30-nights / 5k miles annually or less deserves to read around a good bit more.

Just as RV dealers are notorious for overselling their products, dont' believe for a minute that the auto manufacturers aren't doing the same thing -- trying to put you in a high profit pickup where another vehicle could do just as well if not better (if braking and handling are concerns, pickups are the worst, solo and towing).

"Weight charts" and "ratings" and the like are ways of fooling the novice. Trailer frontal area and general shape mean more than "weight" for the vast majority of miles travelled. Proper hitch rigging means a family vehicle can tow a good TT so long as axle/tire limits are respected. This is how we did it 40-years ago and this is how it can be done now.

Look at TT aerodynamics and suspension sophistication, first. Build quality as well. The right TT can outlast several tow vehicles even if they are kept 15-years each.

Take your time, and consider all options. How long will you own it, how many nights aboard annually, and how many miles over the life of the TT (if above 75k miles then dont compromise on the TT as in the choices you've shown).

Good luck

.
__________________
2004 2WD Dodge 305/555 CTD 6-speed
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling
Hensley Arrow
Rednax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
I live in NJ and plan on using it around the tri-state . I won't be going ever weekend so the miles will be low annually. Its more for just the fun factor and not super long trips or retirement.
__________________
aedubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 08:19 AM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 3,328
If you are involved in an accident while driving an overloaded tow vehicle where someone is maimed or killed, then you're in deep doo doo, whether 5 miles or 5,000 miles from home. So abandon the excuse for overloading that you'll only be a few dozen miles from home.

"Overloaded" means exceeding ANY of the tow vehicle's engineered weight ratings, including GVWR, GCWR, front and rear GAWR, hitch weight ratings, etc. Most likely the first weight rating you'll exceed is GVWR. So pay close attention to that one. If you don't exceed the GVWR, then you'll probably not exceed any of the other weight ratings.

It should also go without saying that you also never exceed the GAWR of the trailer axles.

The GVWR of the tow vehicle is printed or embossed on the Federal Certification Label on the driver's door sill. That's the label that includes month/year of assembly, VIN, tire size and PSI, and several codes. The GAWR(s) of the trailer are printed or embossed on a label somewhere near the front of the trailer. Weigh the wet and loaded rig when on the road. Compare the combined weight on the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle to the GVWR of the tow vehicle. Compare the weight on the trailer axles to the combined GAWRs of the trailer. If you're overloaded, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

It's true that most tow vehicles can pull a lot heavier trailer than it can haul the hitch weight of that trailer without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle. But that doesn't mean you're safe when exceeding the GVWR of your tow vehicle with plenty of power to climb the mountain. My 1999.5 diesel tow vehicle had enough power to tow a trailer that grossed up to 13,000 pounds, but it was overloaded with my 25' fiver that grossed less than 8,000 pounds. My current EcoBoost F-150 can easily tow an 8,400-pound trailer without breathing hard, but it's overloaded with any TT that weighs more than 5,000 pounds. So you cannot go by the feel in the seat of your pants. Weigh the rig and try not to exceed any of the manufacturer's weight ratings.
__________________
SmokeyWren is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
SmokeyWren - Yes i am looking at trailers that give me a GVWR MAX and not the "dry" weight ... I got all that information regarding all the weights now , im going to shoot over to a CAT scale this weekend with my SUV with a full tank of gas. Since my camping trips will only be for a night or two i wont be bringing much gear . I can always weigh that stuff down the road and add it into the towing factor as well before purchase of a TT .

I dont want to overload for A. the reason you mentioned and B. i dont want to kill my motor and trans . I want to do everything the right and safe way.
__________________
aedubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Skip426's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 14,970
Quote:
Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
I dont want to overload for A. the reason you mentioned and B. i dont want to kill my motor and trans . I want to do everything the right and safe way.
__________________
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
Skip426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 08:18 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Your GVWR is 6,500 pounds, and that is probably your limiter.

Your receiver probably has a limit of 500 pounds hitch weight without a weight-distributing hitch, but a lot more with a WD hitch. So if your wet and loaded Jeep weighs less than 6,000 pounds, then you can tow more than 5,000 pounds with a WD hitch.
A WD hitch does not automatically mean you can exceed the max tow rating. I think the OP has the right plan. Stay well below the max towing capacity, and figure out if he is below GVWR or GCVWR before phurchase.

The brakes should also not be a concern if those limits are followed. The tow vehcile doesn't stop the trailer, the trailer brakes do. Max tow vehicle stoppping is limited by available traction. For a bunch of reasons this doesn't change much unless you add more tires on the road with brakes. It is also one of the reasons that trailer brake laws focus on the weight if the trailer, not the size of the tow rig. Stay under "the numbers" and make sure your equipment works.

Frontal area may be a concern in this specific application. Two of my Jeeps I used for towing had frontal area limitations listed in the owners manual. In both cases the area requirments dictated that an enclosed trailer or TT was not allowed. This is important in this case because frontal area causes most of the load at steady highway speeds (not weight or size). If you don't want to beat up your Jeep, you don't want too much of this kind of load. And unlike most other loads, it is constant and can last for hours on end. I would carefully read the owners manual section on towing and look specifically for frontal area restrictions.
__________________

__________________
Adaycj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
towing, weight



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.