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Old 01-04-2016, 11:23 AM   #1
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Aerolite Towing

Hi everyone,
I am a new RV owner, 2016 Areo-lite 26ft. I need to ask a few questions regarding towing. I've camped most of my life in various RVs. So, I am not completely new to it. However, I am a recent Widow & my husband always took care of the towing and setting up.
I have a Chev 150 pickup and a Tahoe V8. Not sure which one to pull my camper with. This is a 2016 Areo-Lite built on an aluminum frame. Can someone advise which vehicle I should set up for towing? Also, do I need swag bars alone or should I invest in Equalizer/sway bar combo?
Thanks everyone, looking so forward to a new year camping and new beginning.

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Old 01-04-2016, 11:43 AM   #2
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Which model trailer is it? There are many on the Aerolite website.

Both of your potential TVs are half ton rigs, but one has more weight due to the enclosed body of it, the SUV. This reduces cargo capacity and the amount you can tow. Depending on how many people you will be carrying, how much stuff you bring, cargo carrying capabilities, trailer model and how you load both the TV and trailer, you might not be able to use either one within the TV capacity.

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Old 01-04-2016, 01:13 PM   #3
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Aerolite 242BHS

It is an Aerolite 242BHS. Here are the specks.


Average Shipping Weight (lbs.)

Dry Hitch Weight (lbs.)

Cargo Capacity (lbs.)


11' 1''

28' 6''

Thanks for you help.
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #4
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OK, that's a good start. Keep in mind that with full propane tanks and two batteries, that is about 200ish pounds pretty much right on the tongue. Now your tongue weight is already around 900 pounds. This is before you've even made the bed. The under-storage is up in the front, too. That will also increase tongue weight from tools, etc.

Now, what type of Chevy 1500 do you have? 2dr or 4dr? 4x4? Long bed? Camper shell? Options like max towing package of some kind? Can you go take a peek at the drivers door sticker and tell us what the weight ratings are? The Tahoe should have a door sticker, too. These things help determine how the rubber meets the road.
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Currently working in Idaho Falls ID de K7NOL 146.52Mhz Safety? (CLICK ME!)
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:13 PM   #5
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Regardles of vehicle (although the truck will almost certainly be a better choice), you definately want a good weight distribution hitch that includes built in sway control.

Something like the Blue Ox, Equilizer Sway Pro, or another QUALITY WDH that does not use friction bars to attempt to control sway.
2015 Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS Blue Ox WDH
2015 RAM 1500 4X2 CrewCab, 5'7'' bed, 3.93 gears, 5.7L 8-speed VVT, Payload 1608, Max tow 10,400
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:01 AM   #6
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Ma'am, sorry to hear about your husband.

Great pick on the trailer - we love this floorplan.

Since you already have the trailer, the most important numbers you need are the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of both your Pickup and SUV. The payload number on the sticker is good to know going into purchase, but the two numbers above are what you need for both vehicles (they should be on your sticker or in the manual).

For instance -

The GVWR of my 2015 Tundra is 7200lbs. This is the total amount the truck can weigh with EVERYTHING in it (passengers, gear, fuel, trailer tongue weight).

The GCWR of my truck is 15,300 (your SUV and Truck will have different numbers). That means the most my truck and trailer can weigh together is 15,300. Assume the truck is maxed out and subtract 7200 and the most my trailer should weigh is 8100lbs. The truck has the power in the 5.7L to pull much more than that - but that is the safe limit according to Toyota (and it is more about stopping than going).

The GVW of the 242 is 6600lbs - so I would use that as your planning number until you can get the trailer on a scale.

Our 242 weighs 5820 without water and loaded for camping (on a CAT scale). We travel very light, so this is just to give you an idea of what the propane and some amount of gear add to the dry weight.

Next - a WDH will be required. Anything over 5000lbs of trailer and you need one. We use an Equalizer brand, but you'll find many opinions on what is best. You absolutely have to have one though.

With your base numbers in hand from the sticker/manual (GVWR, GCWR) - hook up and go to the scales with your trailer loaded for camping. Weigh your vehicle (truck/SUV) with the trailer ATTACHED but with the trailer axles off the scale and only your tow vehicle on the scale surface. This will give you the real weight of the tow vehicle plus tongue weight and let you know if you are over GVWR.

For instance - my truck with trailer ATTACHED weighs 6900 on the scales with a 3/4 tank of gas. My bed cap probably weighs 250lbs - and one day I made need to take that off to get back some weight (my kids are just little ones right now). I don't carry any gear in the truck to keep the weight down. All gear goes in the trailer.

The truck weighs 6200 without the trailer attached on the scale - so if I subtract that out I get 700lbs of tongue weight(+/-). Puts me right at 12% based on trailer weight (700lbs/5820lbs).

Next get the total weight of both vehicle and trailer and see if you are within GCWR for the tow vehicle. (In my case, truck and trailer weigh 12,020)

You'll have to do this twice if you want to know the numbers for your SUV and pickup - although I agree with the previous posters, your pickup is likely to have more capability although I can't know for sure without knowing more about the particular model.

You can see how quickly you get to your max weights with a half-ton, but good equipment and good judgment help tremendously.

You'll love the trailer - and hope this was helpful, happy traveling -
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