Originally Posted by DPB
... I am planning on purchasing a 1998 Sunline Solaris T2363 with a weight of 4150# according to the title. I currently have a Ford Explorer 4.0 SOHC with a class III hitch (newer factory mount). Will I be able to comfortably tow this trailer SAFELY with this vehicle??
2003 Ford Explorer 4.0L, 3.55 axle ratio, 4x4 or AWD:
Tow limit (GCWR minus curb weight of the tow vehicle) = maximum trailer weight of 3,400. (The tow limit of the 4x2 is less - about 3,250?)
But to get that much tow limit, the tow vehicle must be empty except for a skinny driver and a full tank of gas. No passengers, no cargo of any kind, no tool box, nothing. So it's not suitable for towing a trailer that weighs more than about 3,000 pounds.
Quick research indicates the T2363 will weigh around 5,000 pounds when wet and loaded for the road. So that's too much weight for that tow vehicle.
My other vehicle is a Chrysler Town and Country van with a 3.8 V6 and also a class 3 hitch installed which I would also like to use to tow this Solaris 23' TT Is there anyone who can clarify this for me and/or use these vehicles to tow this similar TT??
Max tow limit of a 2005 model with 3.8L V6 = 3,800 pounds. Still not enough tow vehicle for that much trailer. If you promise to not tow on hilly roads nor climb any mountain passes, then you might "get by" with the minivan - assuming you have the 7-pin trailer wiring plug on the van so the trailer brakes will work and the trailer battery charge will be maintained. And a weight-distributing hitch with sway control will be mandatory.
The tow ratings are usually overstated, because they are the maximum you could safely tow with an empty tow vehicle with nothing in it but a skinny driver. Add passengers, luggage, cooler full of cool, tools, spares, ect., and the actual tow rating falls fast.
The GCWR (and the resulting tow rating) is not a legal limit, but is a good indicator of whether you will be able to cruise down the highway without becoming a rolling road block or burning up something expensive in the drivetrain. If you exceed the tow rating, then expect something in the drivetrain to overheat and blow apart on a towing trip, plus you'll have problems climbing normal hills, and you'll really be a poke-along on any mountain pass.
If I wanted to tow a T2363, I would want a tow vehicle with a tow rating of at least 6,000 pounds. My 2003 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4.6L with heavy duty tranny cooler has a tow limit of 6,500 pounds, which would be fine for that trailer.
I rigged up my 2009 Honda Odyssey 3.5L V6 with trailer brakes and tranny cooler, and I sometimes tow a cargo trailer with it. The van's tow limit is 3,500 pounds, so I can haul lightweight bulky items in the trailer, but nothing aproaching the 7,000 pounds GVWR of the trailer. That's what the F-150 is for.