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Old 04-01-2005, 09:17 AM   #1
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....in regrads to weight and towing. My family and I are looking into buying a travel trailer. We need to buy a tow vehicle first. We have a '96 Mercury Villager that is going to be traded in on a new full size van (Ford Econoline series, Chevy Express, etc.) I know the various tow ratings for the vehicles we are looking at (Thank you trailerlife.com), but I am confused about the weights for the trailer itself. Say I have a vehicle that has the factory specs to tow 9,000 lbs. Now do I want to look at the GVWR of the trailer, the dry weight or what? I know that I won't be towing the trailer fully loaded with supplies, passengers, water, etc. But I will have bikes, luggage, and what not. What weight do I need to pay attention to when looking at Travel Trailers? Thanks a bunch!
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:17 AM   #2
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....in regrads to weight and towing. My family and I are looking into buying a travel trailer. We need to buy a tow vehicle first. We have a '96 Mercury Villager that is going to be traded in on a new full size van (Ford Econoline series, Chevy Express, etc.) I know the various tow ratings for the vehicles we are looking at (Thank you trailerlife.com), but I am confused about the weights for the trailer itself. Say I have a vehicle that has the factory specs to tow 9,000 lbs. Now do I want to look at the GVWR of the trailer, the dry weight or what? I know that I won't be towing the trailer fully loaded with supplies, passengers, water, etc. But I will have bikes, luggage, and what not. What weight do I need to pay attention to when looking at Travel Trailers? Thanks a bunch!
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:30 AM   #3
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My suggestion is to look at the GVWR of the trailer and use that figure. If you use the dry weight and guess on the GVW, you'll likely underestimate it.
For example, My Camper dry weight is 2350 lbs, but fully loaded, I'm at 3217 lbs meaning I'm carrying 867 lbs worth of "stuff". As you can imagine, you can pack alot more "stuff" in a pull trailer.

Cheers and happy shopping,
Dave
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:07 PM   #4
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Yes I would look at the GVWR and also pay attention to the hitch weight also. My TT has a dry weight of 8100 lbs. but when I weighed it last year it was almost 10,000 lbs. with a hitch weight of a little over 1200 lbs.
I went up one more link on my weight distrubition hitch to transfer more of the hitch weight to the front of the truck.
There is a lot to think about picking out a tow vehicle and the right trailer so that you can be as safe as possible going down the road. You are doing the right thing, doing your homework and asking questions. Do not depend on the camper sales people to tell you what you can tow.
Good luck and I hope you and your family enjoy RVing.

Bill
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:01 PM   #5
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Look closely also at the combined weight rating of your tow vehicle.

What they say it will tow is likely based on a small driver and nothing else in the van.
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Old 04-01-2005, 03:41 PM   #6
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Hello Andrew & Darcey,

Welcome to iRV2, we're really glad to have you here as a new member and are looking forward to reading your posts about your RVing experiences and adventures. You'll find a great bunch of folks on this site who are very knowledgeable of RVing, the rigs we use, and the places we go in them.

You might want to try this weight calculator that was developed by iRV2 member "Ken Lenger". It's a useful tool for calculating your safe weight margins.

As you'll see, they're eager to help and share their knowledge and experiences with others.

Again, welcome to iRV2, we're glad you joined.
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:23 AM   #7
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Consider not only the weights involved (vehicle, trailer, tongue etc) but stopping, sway etc. Stopping in an emergency or going down a steep grade can tax an otherwise nice tow vehicle. Good brakes, brake controller, good hitch. Afterall you rarely step on the gas in an emergency, but you will step on the brakes.

You will pick up alot on this forum. Search info on towing (and braking!) and don't jump on what sounds like a fabulous deal on a TT until you've answered all your own questions.
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