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Old 11-19-2014, 01:28 AM   #1
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Towing 6900lb with SUV

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum.

We have been looking for a rig to accommodate our travels in north america for sometime and would like to make the purchase with in the next a few weeks to escape the Canadian winter.

We have looked at every possibility from Class A to C, TT, and 5ver and liked the idea of the travel trailer best. We will be traveling in the TT from 2 to 4 month/20k miles a year.

We currently own a SUV that has a tow rating of 7700# and a hitch rating of 770#. This leaves us with a very limited choice of TTs.

After looking at every possibility we came upon the North Trail 28brs which has relatively low dry weight and hitch weight (GVWR: 6900#, Dry Weight: 5180#, Hitch Weight: 482#). However, after searching and reading the threads on this forum, I am starting to doubt if the tow vehicle would be able to handle the TT.

There will only be the three of us (2 adults 1 infant) riding in the TV, and we won't put anything in the trunk. I have already purchased a Hensley Hitch for WD and EQ and a Prodigy RF for brake controlling. We would not be able to get a different tow vehicle.

We would really appreciate any input. Thanks a lot!
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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I towed mine all over the place with a Touareg. But it is the V10TDI with air suspension. It did great. Same 7700# specs.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #3
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Hi, woodswill, and

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswill View Post

We currently own a SUV that has a tow rating of 7700# and a hitch rating of 770#. This leaves us with a very limited choice of TTs.
Maybe not. Is that 770 pounds max hitch weight with or without a weight-distributing hitch?

Quote:
After looking at every possibility we came upon the North Trail 28brs which has relatively low dry weight and hitch weight (GVWR: 6900#, Dry Weight: 5180#, Hitch Weight: 482#). However, after searching and reading the threads on this forum, I am starting to doubt if the tow vehicle would be able to handle the TT.
Why not? If the wet and loaded trailer grosses 6,900 pounds, the hitch weight could very easily be kept to 770 pounds with careful loading of the trailer. The dry hitch weight is less than 10% of the dry trailer weight. So with a wet and loaded trailer weight of 6,900 and a hitch weight of 770, that's 11.16% hitch weight. That sounds do-able, at least on paper.

Quote:
There will only be the three of us (2 adults 1 infant) riding in the TV, and we won't put anything in the trunk.
Still sounds do-able without being overloaded. The problem with an SUV towing a TT is you usually run out of payload capacity long before you get to the towing capacity of the SUV.

Quote:
I have already purchased a Hensley Hitch for WD and EQ and a Prodigy RF for brake controlling. We would not be able to get a different tow vehicle.
The numbers missing before we can give you a definite go or no go is the GVWR and actual wet and loaded weight of the SUV. But with the Hensley Arrow hitch properly installed, set up and adjusted, I'll bet you're good to go with that North Trail 28BRS TT.

Weigh the wet and loaded SUV with the hitch head installed, and a full tank of gas, plus all three people in the SUV (but without a trailer tied on). If the total weight on the front and rear axles of the SUV, subtracted from the GVWR of the SUV, leaves at least 770 pounds for hitch weight, then you're probably good to go with that trailer.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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First off, the hitch weight cannot be under 500 pounds. It should be between 12 and 15 percent of the total loaded weight of the trailer. Your loaded weight will likely be between 6000 and 6500 so your hitch weight will probably be close to 800 pounds. The only way to know if your vehicle can haul that much weight is to look at the sticker on the drivers door sill which lists cargo carrying capacity and tire/axle loading. You need the available payload capacity to be 800 pounds or at least very close to it.


Pulling and stopping are much easier to accomplish than controlling that much weight on a twisty road, over humps and dips and in emergency maneuvers. My guess is you will be fine however you will continue to find things you want to bring with you so your trailer will likely get heavier with age so you may need to upgrade in the future.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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Your biggest problem will be getting stopped in an emergency maneuver situation.

If you do decide to go with that big of a trailer I wouldn't go much over 55 MPH and would keep a real good distance back from the vehicle in front of you.

I've pulled a heavy trailer with a half ton pickup and it wasn't a good combination. I suggest you study the options a little more.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
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What SUV tow vehicle is it. Full sized or mid sized? Up till a year ago we had the mid-sized Toyota 4Runner rated at 7200 max towing and 1100 max hitch with a WD hitch. Our 26' hybrid wet is about 5100 lbs. That was about all I would go with the Toyota. I wouldn't want to go any larger of a RV with that set-up. The 4Runner did have a longer wheel-base than most mid-sized SUV's, but pushing 7,000 lbs or more length would be too much.

We swapped out for a new Tundra...(9800 lb. max)

If your SUV is a full sized type, I think your in the ball park if it is set up right with the Hensley hitch and watching the stuff you put in.

I see the North Trail 28brs is a 32' long unit. Much too long for a mid-sized SUV...So only a full sized SUV for this unit. I also noticed the fresh water tank is 36 gallons. Kind of small for such a large unit. Just something to watch.
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Your biggest problem will be getting stopped in an emergency maneuver situation.

If you do decide to go with that big of a trailer I wouldn't go much over 55 MPH and would keep a real good distance back from the vehicle in front of you.

I've pulled a heavy trailer with a half ton pickup and it wasn't a good combination. I suggest you study the options a little more.
It's a valid point, but not always true. Some of the SUVs in this category have massive brakes. My VW Touareg has the same brakes and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with huge rotors and calipers. It stopped WAY better than my Ram 2500 when towing.
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:30 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the great info.

The tow vehicle is a 13 Range Rover 5.0 Supercharged. It indeed has huge brakes and equipped with an active air suspension, but the wheelbase is on the shorter side at around 120 inches. The Spec follows:

GVWR: 6946lbs
GCWR: 14660lbs
Curb Weight: 5137lbs
Maximum Mass on Rear Axle: 3913lbs
Towing Capacity: 7700lbs
Hitch Weight: 770lbs
Maximum Occupant+Cargo Weight: 959lbs
Hensley Arrow Hitch: 200 lbs

From all the replies above. I think it is safe to conclude that the suv has enough power to both pull and stop the trailer, but I am uncertain about the handling at highway speed.

I think the VW Toureg is comparable to my tow vehicle, the diesel should have more torque but the handling should be similar. What kind of trailers are being towed by your Toureg? I would really appreciate this kind of first hand experience.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:39 AM   #9
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I see your limiting factor now, which is the payload. If you max occupant plus cargo weight is only 959, that has to include the hitch weight... and not the dry weight but "wet", so add at least another 100lbs for battery and propane tanks.
That does not leave much for occupants.
I assume the issue will actually be the load rating on the tires, too.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswill View Post
The Spec follows:
Maximum Occupant+Cargo Weight: 959lbs
Hensley Arrow Hitch: 200 lbs
So with the hitch installed in the receiver, you have only 759 pounds left for tongue weight and people and any other cargo. Your tongue weight alone will be that much or more, so you cannot haul anyone or anything else in the SUV without exceeding the GVWR (weight-hauling capacity of the SUV). You have plenty of power and torque and brakes to pull the trailer, but not enough suspension strength to haul the hitch weight of even a small TT, much less a 7,700 pound TT.

So if you don't want to be overloaded, you need to forget about a TT and consider hybred or pop-up folding trailers with GVWR less than 4,000 pounds, then load the trailer so you have barely over 10% tongue weight. Then you still can't haul much in the SUV while towing, but at least you can haul the driver and one adult passenger and the baby without being overloaded. Other cargo such as clothes and coats and any tools need to be hauled in the trailer, not the SUV.

For example, here's one pop-up that would serve your needs with GVWR less than 4,000 pounds. If not standard, you can add options of hot water and AC and still be less than 4,000 pounds GVWR.
Rockwood Tent Pop Up Camper by Forest River
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:51 AM   #11
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Thanks for the reply.

Actually the cargo carrying capacity does not equal payload in this case.

Per Land Rover's calculation, GVWR = Curb Weight + Cargo/Occupants + Hitch Weight, so techinclly the hitch weight is not included in the cargo weight.

Am I correct to say that if I fuel up the vehicle, install the hitch, load up the people and weight, the total weight should be less than the GVWR, and the rear axle weight should be less than the rear axle maximum weight (both still leaving enough room for the hitch weight of the trailer)?

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
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What kind of trailers are being towed by your Toureg?
This and that over the years... and no WD hitch or sway control as the air suspension and electronics take care of it all.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswill View Post
Actually the cargo carrying capacity does not equal payload in this case.

Per Land Rover's calculation, GVWR = Curb Weight + Cargo/Occupants + Hitch Weight, so techinclly the hitch weight is not included in the cargo weight.
The Brits sometimes speak a different English than we do.

GVWR: 6946lbs
Curb Weight: 5137lbs
Hitch Weight: 770lbs
Maximum Occupant+Cargo Weight: 959lbs

If I add 5,137 curb weight, 770 pounds hitch weight, and 959 occupant+cargo weight, I get 6,866 gross weight on the two SUV axles. That's 80 pounds less than GVWR.

So apparently the payload capacity is at least 959 plus 770 = over 1700 pounds. So in that case you might be able to tow a 6,900 pound TT without being overloaded.

Quote:
Am I correct to say that if I fuel up the vehicle, install the hitch, load up the people and weight, the total weight should be less than the GVWR, and the rear axle weight should be less than the rear axle maximum weight (both still leaving enough room for the hitch weight of the trailer)?
Sounds right, if you are using an estimate for the tongue weight. After you have the trailer wet and loaded for a camping trip, and connected with your properly-adjusted weight-distributing hitch, then the CAT scale should show less than the GVWR of the SUV on the two axles of the SUV, less than the combined GAWR of the trailer on the trailer axles, and less than the GCWR of the SUV as the combined weight of SUV and trailer.

For your estimated tongue weight, use 15% of the GVWR of the trailer. If the GVWR of the trailer is 6900, then estimate the tongue weight at about 1,035 pounds. With over 1,700 pounds of paylpad capacity, that leaves you almost 700 pounds for people and stuff in the SUV. That should be plenty for you, wife, baby and hitch head, but not much else.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:25 PM   #14
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From all the replies above. I think it is safe to conclude that the suv has enough power to both pull and stop the trailer, but I am uncertain about the handling at highway speed.
Having a air suspension, are you able to adjust it for a stiffer ride. That was the issue of my last SUV based TV. It had a softer suspension to be a great daily driver, even with a the 110" wheelbase for a mid sized SUV. Once it was swapped out to a Toyota Tundra (truck) I felt the stiffness at highway speeds without the bouncing in the SUV. Even as a 9 year old SUV it was a great daily driver...best riding vehicle I ever owned, even after 9 years of ownership.
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