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Old 04-21-2014, 11:17 PM   #1
MBS
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Towing a 2101 Minnie Towable

Hello,

I am new to trailering, and my wife and I are thinking of getting a 2101DS (3780 lbs dry weight according to Winnebago) or a 2101FBS (3840 lbs dry weight) Minnie Towable. We have a Chevy Traverse with the factory tow package that has a tow rating of 5200 Lbs. I think we will have around 500 lbs of cargo (we might be able to pare that down a bit). We are going from Indiana to California this summer, which means crossing the Rockies and the Sierras twice.

My questions are, can we tow this with our vehicle (safely)? and, has anybody towed a 2101 with something like the Traverse? If so, what was your experience?

Thanks for any information.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:31 AM   #2
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I don't have the answers, but the scale doesn't lie.
Check your weights, stay within max listings and all should be good.

Hope someone comes along to help right away. And if someone's reply sounds like they belong to "the weight police", telling you that you must go buy a 1 ton pick-up or similar to tow safely, just take the advise "with a grain of salt."

Best luck
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Scarab0088.

If I go by the numbers as given, it looks fine: a dry weight on the trailer of 3840 + 500 in cargo + 180 for hitch, propane and a little travelling water gives a total weight of 4520 lbs, which is under the 5200 lb tow rating for the vehicle.

But from what I've read, some think you need to reduce the stated tow rating of a vehicle for safe towing (and some don't); some say by 10%, some 15%, some 20. If I use 15%, that means the adjusted tow rating is 4420 lbs, and that's less than the 4520 total weight. So I'm seeking advice from those who have been pulling.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
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If there are no replies here, you could try this Forum: Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion - iRV2 Forums

And maybe try title like - "Towing a lightweight TT with a Chevy Traverse" - to see what others say.

Best luck
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:40 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll try that.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:03 PM   #6
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MBS,
You ask a great question, but the key numbers you need to consider are what's missing.

Here are some things to think about:
1) Forget the tow rating of your vehicle. It's not irrelevant, but it won't be your limiting factor.
2) The weight rating of any trailer is useless as that is the dry weight with no options, accessories, gear, food, water, propane, batteries, etc.
3) Your tow vehicle (TV) max hitch weight is one important factor you need to know.
4) the weight of you and the family and everything you want to bring in the car PLUS the hitch weight needs to be less than your max Payload capacity of (1700lbs)

So here's the breakdown for your rig (proposed):
Chevy Traverse for a 2012 (with a V6?):
Towing is 5,200lbs "when adequately equipped". Hitch weight is usually rated at 10%, so 520lbs.

I think you'll be OK, but the the 2101 is rated at 460lbs dry hitch weight, so no propane tanks or battery or any clothes, dishes or gear of any sort. Once you add that stuff, you will quickly go over that 520 number. Closer to 600 may be more real-world.
Even then you have plenty of payload capacity, but you will want a good weight distributing (WD) hitch.

As far as all the gear you put in the trailer, load it smartly (aka balanced). And as long as you tow safely, you should be fine.

You will need a brake controller for the trailer's electric brakes installed in your car. The dealer or any hitch shop should be able to help you with this.
Also, keep those tires aired up.

Good luck and keep us posted!!
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:19 PM   #7
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Thanks TDI-Minnie,

We always figured on a WD hitch, possibly with an anti-sway bar as well. Does that change the hitch weight limit, as it distributes some of the weight forward?

We have the 2wd Traverse, so i think the payload capacity is closer to 2000 lbs. It doesn't really matter, though, as I can't see my wife and I, the hitch and all, even closing in on 1700 lbs.

I also think the dealer said they'd install the break controller and lights with the hitch.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:30 PM   #8
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Remember these tow ratings are for level ground at lower elavations. You will be going into higher elevations with less air for the engine to breath (less for you as well, LOL). You are going to be putting a lot of stress on that vehicle.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:51 AM   #9
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The WD hitch will reduce the rear end "squat" of your vehicle and shift weight to the front wheels, but the net weight stays the same. The WD hitch also puts some considerable forces into the receiver that are very different than if it were just sitting on a ball.
Just buy good equipment. Not the "5,000lb max" stuff from Walmart. And keep your tires inflated somewhere above the door sticker but below the max on the tire.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:35 AM   #10
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Thank you everyone...

Thanks Medico, I hadn't thought of that. I'd thought about the effort trying to pull the load up a mountain, and to control it coming down, but no the effects of altitude on an air-breather.

TDI-Minnie, thanks again for you replies. I know the weight has to still be the same (unless WD hitches are multi-dimensional beings able to shift weight into another universe, which I doubt), and I still need to keep on eye on the cars payload. I was just wondering if Balanchine the weight means the vehicle can take a greater tongue-weight than it could with a convention stomp-on-the-tail hitch.

Also, it looks like right now we are going to go with another trailer. We like the Minnies a lot, and hope to get something like the 2201DS in future, but the 2 2101s the local dealer has are actually quite a bit heavier that the online specs. Heavy enough we aren't comfortable towing them with our car.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:36 AM   #11
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It's good to play it safe.
I would not go over the weight by much. Consider that it's not just what the scale says, but also the force of all the weight bouncing over bumps, etc. 500lbs can quickly multiply over large dips in the road. And it's not just the vehicle but also the hitch itself that needs to handle it all.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:11 AM   #12
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Thanks TDI-Minnie,

It looks like we are going with a Sportsmen. The trailer is about 300 pounds less than the Winnebagos, though, oddly, its hitch weight is about the same.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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You cannot go by the dry weights and brochure weights. Any item listed as a option is not included in the dry weight...things like A/C, microwave, Awning, battery, propane, etc. A trailer can easily be 500# plus over the "dry weight" before you add any of your camping supplies.

The hitch weight of a loaded trailer should be 10% to 15# of the loaded trailer weight...not the brochure weight.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:42 PM   #14
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Thanks TXiceman. According to the dealer, the weight listed is the actual weight for this trailer. And KZ does list awning and a/c as standard. No battery or propne in the tanks, but that's all I can see that isn't included. Maybe I'm missing something.

Two more questions, please. Lets say the tongue weight is 600lbs. I need to subtract that from the tow rating, correct? So, 5200lb rating - 300 for cargo and occupants - 600 for tongue weight = 4200lbs. So the trailer and it's cargo and hitch cannot be more than that. Does this sound right?

How does all this relate to using GCWR instead? I mean, if I use the above calculation, and say I have a trailer whose loaded weight (including hitch) is 4400lbs, then that total is greater then the above adjusted tow capacity. But, the same trailer and vehicle weights don't exceed the vehicle's GCWR (10250). Is it unsafe to tow, even though I am still within the vehicles GCWR and max tire load?

Thanks again.
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