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Old 05-12-2016, 05:06 PM   #1
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Towing Load Question

Hello,

Iím looking at buying a used trailer for going camping with the family this year possibly a hybrid trailer since theyíre light weight. Iíve never owned a trailer before so I have a few questions on how much my truck should be able to tow. I currently have a 2006 Toyota Tundra double cab 4x4 which is not quite a Ĺ ton truck since the Tundraís became a half ton truck on the 2007 model. Iíve looked online a bit on how much I should be able to tow but have a few questions. Any feedback on this would be much appreciated as I am not sure about my calculations or understanding of how this should work. I called the dealer and they did not know what the GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is for my truck so I tried figuring out the below instead.

When I look on the sticker on the door of my truck it says the below.
GVWR (Gross vehicle weight rating): 6600lbs

When I look on cargurus.com they say the maximum cargo & towing payload would be 1,635lbs. Iím assuming they got that from the GVWR of 6600 Ė the vehicle weight of 4,965 which equals 1,635lbs.
If that is correct then if a trailer weighs 5,000lbs loaded would that mean 10-15% of that weight would be on the tongue Iíll say 15 which would equal 750lbs. Then if I had three adults with combined weights of 500lbs that would be 1,635 Ė 750 Ė 500 = 385lbs left over for storage and other items. Iíve heard I should have a 10% buffer so Iím not at the max GVWR of 6600lbs which would be 660lbs so I would be over that limit.

So if I took the GVWR of 6600 and took of 10 % of that then I would be at 5940 then if I subtracted the vehicle weight of 4,965 that would be 975 then if I had three adults with combined weights of 500lbs that would take me to 475lbs which would mean the maximum trailer weight I would want fully loaded would be 3,000lbs since 15% of 3,000lbs is 450lbs which would bring me in at 25lbs under capacity. Does this make sense? I donít think they have trailers that light as far as I know most of the trailers might be 3,000lbs unloaded at the lightest end but loaded I would assume it would add another 1,000lbs or so.

Iím basically just trying to find out what weight I should not go over for pulling a trailer. Thanks for the help itís much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 05-12-2016, 05:24 PM   #2
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Your general concepts are right on. You are missing a few minor weight items like the weight distrbution hitch and truck weight with full tank of fuel.

I looked at that year Tundra. It drives really nice.

If you are a 1st time camper and want a fun thing to do camping is a very good choice.

I would look at the larger pop-up campers. To me they give the most space for your $$$. Or like you were saying a hybrid campers but they do not save that much weight.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith95610 View Post
When I look on the sticker on the door of my truck it says ...GVWR 6600lbs

When I look on cargurus.com they say the maximum cargo & towing payload would be 1,635lbs. ...

I’m basically just trying to find out what weight I should not go over for pulling a trailer.
Too many "ifs" in your scenario. To keep it simple, load the truck with everybody and everything that will be in when towing. Drive to a truck stop that has a CAT scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded pickup.

Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded pickup from the 6600 GVWR of the pickup. The answer is the max hitch weight you can have without exceeding the payload capacity of your pickup.

Subtract 50 pounds from that max hitch weight for the head of your weight-distributing (WD) hitch, and the answer is the max tongue weight of any tandem axle trailer you can tow without being overloaded.

Example: Your wet and loaded pickup weighs 5950. 6600 GVWR minus 5950 = 650 max hitch weight. 650 minus 50 = 600 max tongue weight. 600 divided by 13% (average tongue weight of a an RV trailer) = 4,615 max GVWR of any trailer you want to consider.

If that example is close to your actual weights, then skip the hybred and go to a pop-up, with GVWR not more than about 4,000 pounds. For example, the Forest River Rockwood HW277 has GVWR of 3,877 and includes hot water, toilet w/shower, stove and optional reefer, microwave, and has reinforced area on the roof for adding an AC.
Rockwood Tent Folding Camping Trailers by Forest River RV

I had a Wheel Camper pop-up all the time my kids were growing up, but ours was plain and simple, No toilet, shower, reefer, AC, or microwave. We pulled that camper all over the lower 48, from Maine to SoCal, Seattle to Key West, and everywhere in between. It was plain and simple, but much, much better than sleeping in a tent.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies I appreciate it. I don't have any scales close to where I'm at right now. But I just went out to my truck and saw the yellow sticker on the door that said "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed 1421 lbs). That being said I believe my below calculation should be correct.

Since the maximum weight of cargo for my truck shouldn't exceed 1421 lbs then if a trailer weighs 5,000 lbs loaded would that mean 10-15% of that weight would be on the tongue Iíll say 15 which would equal 750 lbs. Then if I had three adults with combined weights of 500 lbs that would be 1,421 Ė 750 Ė 500 = 171 lbs left over for storage and other items.

That being said it sounds like I would still be able to tow a 5,000 lb loaded trailer at the maximum but should probably looks at loaded trailers in the 4,000 - 5,000 lb range. Does that sound right without getting the actual weight?
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:19 AM   #5
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The specs on your truck show a max payload of 1580 lbs. and max tow of 6500 lbs. You should be able to run your numbers and determine if you can find a trailer that fits those requirements. A lot will depend on what you decide to "load" in the truck.

Interesting the specs on my 2001 are 1798 lbs. payload and 7200 lbs. towing.


Note: I believe the 1580 lbs. excludes gas, so with a full 26.4 gallon tank, your 1421 lbs. sounds correct.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:33 AM   #6
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Lastly, don't forget to add the weight of your WD system to you 171 lbs. (or just the head if you've already accounted for the hitch).

Also, if you go with a 750 lb. tongue weight you could go with a 13% computation and have a trailer of 5,769 lb. max loaded. Even a 700 lb. tongue gives you 5,384 lb. at 13%.

You can play with a lot of numbers, but don't exceed your vehicles GVWR.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:43 PM   #7
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Some of you mentioned a hitch weight of 50 or 171 lbs. My current hitch that I use for towing my small aluminum boat does not weight anywhere close to that. Would the weight you were referencing be for getting a weight distribution system like one of the below? If so would that be needed for towing a trailer like this since it is close to the maximum weight for my truck? Then also would a sway system be recommended as well?

Robot Check

Curt Weight Distribution System w/ Friction Sway Control - Round Bar - 10,000 lbs GTW, 1,000 lbs TW Curt Weight Distribution C17062
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:53 PM   #8
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Well, for me, I was referencing the 171 lbs. you "calculated" you would have for storage and other items. The 50 lbs. (mine weighs 40 lbs.) is basically the weight of your ball mount. And, unless you already added it to your overall truck weight (4965 lbs.), you must include whatever the weight is of your installed hitch receiver.

When I originally bought my trailer a few years ago, I towed it from Phoenix, AZ to Riverside, CA with only a anti-sway bar attached and had no issues (even thru the windy Palm Springs area); however, I wouldn't recommend it. I now use the WD and it pulls like a dream (better for handling/braking). Also, does your setup include a brake controller?
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:06 PM   #9
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Weight distribution is not necessary to tow a trailer, but it can be very helpful.

It can move some weight that is carried by the tongue from the rear axle to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer axles. Doing this can help achieve closer to max tow ratings instead of overwhelming the rear axle and not getting close to max tow rating.

It can also help keep your headlights from pointing into other drivers eyes on the road, or, even better, summoning the alien mothership you have been waiting for to take you home by pointing into the sky (their road performance is substantially reduced, if not completely omitted when pointing up, but the mothership is coming anyway, so nothing to worry about for too long, right?)

It can make the handling and overall amount of work on the part of the driver less by distributing the total vehicle weight over the axles of the tow vehicle and trailer. You front tires stay firmly planted to the road for a better feeling of control while towing and possibly better traction in adverse weather conditions.

Sway control is often built in to WD hitch systems, an added bonus.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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Ranster - I am not sure about the brake controller. Is a brake controller needed for a trailer or is it something that is a nice to have? I found the below one on Amazon that had great reviews. Is the brake controller something that can enable you to dial in your trailer brakes more so you can adjust them if needed?

Robot Check
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:36 PM   #11
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So I just went down to a RV dealer looking at a couple of used RVs. The salesman told me if your trucks GVWR is 6600 then you can get any trailer that has a GVWR up to 6600. I'm going to listen to you guys and not go over 5000 lbs though since I know I should never trust a salesman!
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith95610 View Post
Ranster - I am not sure about the brake controller. Is a brake controller needed for a trailer or is it something that is a nice to have? I found the below one on Amazon that had great reviews. Is the brake controller something that can enable you to dial in your trailer brakes more so you can adjust them if needed?

Robot Check
Yes, with the size trailer you will be getting, you need a brake controller to activate the electric brakes on the trailer. The P3 you reference is good (I have a P2). You will need to get a 7-pin connector and wire it correctly to your vehicle. I saw in one of your earlier posts you have looked at etrailer. They have great installation videos and the equipment you will need. I got all my components thru them.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:51 PM   #13
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If you know the difference between GVWR and GCWR, you are already way ahead of that sales person.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ranster View Post
Yes, with the size trailer you will be getting, you need a brake controller to activate the electric brakes on the trailer. The P3 you reference is good (I have a P2). You will need to get a 7-pin connector and wire it correctly to your vehicle. I saw in one of your earlier posts you have looked at etrailer. They have great installation videos and the equipment you will need. I got all my components thru them.
Since my truck came with a towing package and I already have a 7-pin connector would I still need to get a brake controller?
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