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Old 03-02-2016, 02:19 PM   #15
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You got it right on max towing, but this number is often calculated with nothing in the vehicle and a 150 pound driver, and no other passengers, which is unrealistic to the highest degree. In your case, it will be 2 adults and five kids in the van before you even hitch up the trailer, which will reduce your max towing capacity.

The 9500 Max Gross Weight figure will also include the tongue weight of the trailer.

Figure tongue weight at 13% of trailer weight. Could be less in the real world, but also could be more.

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Old 03-02-2016, 02:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sunsinger44 View Post
Nissan's NV van says:

Wheelbase 146.1 in.
Height 84.0 in.
Mas Gross Weight 9500.0 lbs.
Max Towing Capacity 8700.0 lbs.

Does this mean it can pull an 8700 lb gross weight trailer? And that the trailer, people in the van, and gear in the van should not be more than 9500 lbs?

How do you figure out if the tongue weight is okay?
One important spec you don't have and appears hard to find for that vehicle is the GCWR, or gross combined weight rating. I found on one website that a 2014 3500 NV with a towing pkg has a GCWR of 16,500#, while one without the pkg has a 13,500# GCWR. In other words a loaded up to GVWR vehicle can tow a GVW trailer of 7,000#. An 8,700# trailer would need the van to be at 7,800# GVW or less to be within specs. Those figures are for a van with the towing pkg. They would be 3,000# less with a van without the towing pkg, at least for a 2014 model.

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Old 03-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #17
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Thank you all so much for your help!

We found an awesome 2013 KZ SPREE 289KS for $16,200. It has been stored inside its entire life, smells like new, has a dry weight of only 5500#, still under warranty and only been used 2 times!

It sleeps 10 and feels like new. I am very thankful for all of the advice here as I would not have found such a good camper without your help!

Newbies with kids. Camping with a KZ Spree 289KS. Pulling with a Nissan NV 3500 passenger van.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:41 PM   #18
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You can buy a ratings book like we did, 'Travel Trailer & Fifth-Wheel Ratings Guide' by Randall Eaton or maybe check it out of the library. Depending on the years you're looking at their maybe older versions also. It gives ratings for all the current builders in the industry. That's why we chose an Outdoors RV/Northwoods product because they are rated #1. Prior to our new Wind River we owned a Nash TT, towed it from NorCal to Canada and back with no problems.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:48 PM   #19
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The problem with those ratings is that most of the time they never even see what they are rating, let alone actually live in it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sunsinger44 View Post
First, Thank you so much for your help!!!!

Ideally, I would love something to sleep 2 adults and 5 kids - without having to fold down the couch/table (I remember what a pain it was to clear and lower the table every night).

I dont get the prices of campers. Help! I have found a 2016 Forrest River Cherokee Gray Wolf 26DBH for $16,900. Other brand campers with the basic design USED cost more than this. Why? Is the Forrest River a junky brand?
We have a total of 4 Forest River TTs (19' and 25' Palomino Pumas and a Coachmen Hybrid) and a Forest River Park Trailer (31' Palomino Puma). The 3 Pumas stay parked and we've been living in them full time (one for each adult daughter - they bought their own - and one for us) for close to 2 years. So far, the only one to give us trouble was the 31' (sky light leak) and that was warranty work. We did lose the AC on the 19' during a heatwave in Louisiana but, again, warranty work which they came on-site to do, no charge.

We just bought another Forest River. This time a Coachmen Hybrid. For your family size (we had four kids and did a LOT of tent camping so we know the drill), I would suggest you look at the Hybrid. It has 3 fold out king size beds with canvas covers, which gives you the feel of tent camping but without the morning back pain. The solid interior has everything a standard TT has but, because the beds don't take up floor space, you don't lose living space. In fact, it is so roomy, we use it for 4 adults, 3 dogs (sm, med, & lg), and a cat and never feel cramped.

We did buy a 26' Wildwood bunkhouse once (don't remember who makes them) and it was a nightmare. We tried it twice, just the 4 adults, and hated it. Ended up trading it in for the hybrid, it was that bad.

Our hybrid is similar to the layout and pic below. Best of all, it weighs in at less than 6,000lbs gvw, which means you have more choices of tow vehicle.

Hope this helps!

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Living in the 25' Puma,
Traveling in the 21' Coachmen,
Looking for the next adventure.
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