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Old 01-15-2014, 12:18 AM   #15
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As a former owner of a Ford Explorer, with a max tow rating just shy of 6K, I'd say with a family that size, a pop-up is your best bet.

If you absolutely need something hard-sided, look for anything ultra-light (or "lite"), and don't forget to take people and gear into account. With your vehicle, you might look at 3000lbs, 3500 max for your trailer. If you don't use your water tank, or your gray/black tanks, you can squeak by with 3500.

Can you haul more than that? I'm sure you could. Is it safe, legal, or good for your vehicle? Not really. Take care if you do.

If you really want to haul a decent size trailer that won't cause your family to try killing each other on a rainy day, or have to bunk up together, then look for a different vehicle to tow with.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:19 AM   #16
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I tow a '14 Gulf Stream Superlight, 19'. 2810 lbs dry weight. Small but functional. Has bunk beds and sleeps 5. I've towed it over 500, and it handles great. I've been living it in f/t since Thanksgiving. Get a WDH and watch your supplies, and I think you'll be good. For me, the big thing is watch the tongue weight. If you don't have it set right, you won't have control of your tow, no matter what you have hooked up.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:38 AM   #17
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If You don't mind being cramped, you definitely can find a suitable tt to camp in. If it were me, I'd trade the tow vehicle on something larger, at least a Suburban if you want to stay suv. The Acadia is a super nice vehicle, my favorite of all mid sized suv's, but I would have to let it go and get something bigger. Then you options for a tt greatly increase with bunkhouse models that have there own bedroom and dinette and TV for the bunk area. I recommended the Suburban because of the long wheel base. It helps reduce the effects of trailer sway if there is any.

Good luck on your search and decision making.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #18
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We had a 4runner with the tow package, just over 7,000 tow rating. We bought a trailer with a "dry" weight of 4885. Towing it home empty went well.

Loaded for our first trip, we were weighed at 6,100. Still within the weight rating, with a perfectly set weight distributing hitch, it was too much trailer for the 4Runner. Going over a small mountain, it was evident that the strain on the 4Runner was going to ruin the engine, transmission, or both. We parked at our first campsite, unhitched, drove to town and bought a Tundra V8, 5.7liter with the tow package - over 10,000lb towing capacity.

With your passenger load, I think you're better off with a pop-up, or get a bigger vehicle. The Acadia is a nice ride, but just not enough horses or, in my opinion, wheelbase length for what you want to do. Have you considered a pop-up?
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by thefullmonti View Post
We are a family of 5, looking for the roomiest TT that we can pull behind our GMC Acadia (5,200 # max). Our oldest is 6'1":
Is trading in for another vehicle that has a higher payload rating an option? Payload =weight of all the occupants, cargo in the vehicle, weight of the hitch and tongue weight of the trailer. Keep in mind the manufacturer doesn't count the weight of the battery or propane when calculating the tongue weight.

What about a tent trailer? Some have slides and can sleep 6, but probably not very appealing to the older kids (sharing a bed, that is). They may be more comfortable in a tent with good air mattresses, with mom, dad and the youngest in the tent trailer.

Consider that payload reduces your tow rating. I.e. every 150lbs in the suv is 150lbs less that you can tow behind it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by virginiamtns View Post
Going over a small mountain, it was evident that the strain on the 4Runner was going to ruin the engine, transmission, or both.
Same with our trailer. We traveled a few hours to go purchase it from a private seller with our Explorer. We live full-time, and needed something newer (and didn't have an engine in it), so turning back wasn't really an option.

Long story short, it was bigger than we thought, thanks to the wrong size on the title. It weighed almost 5100lbs dry by manufacturer weights (600lbs more than we expected), but even after the weight of us, gas and the hitch, it was just under maximum weight (our Explorer's max weight was 5,985). The poor Explorer worked fairly hard the entire way home, but manageable. We managed 55-60, most of it on a small incline, but when we hit the pass between Idaho and Montana, we considered 35 very lucky, and that was after putting the automatic in 2nd (and in some terrible spots into 1st, which was just to keep it moving more than 15mph). I felt so bad for it.

We only hauled it one more time after that, and that was only to move to our winter spot, which was about a 10 mile move. We traded it for a truck since then.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:32 AM   #21
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We had a popup for 5 years, then went to the small TT. Even a small TT will be way more space than a popup.
I think you need to consider about how you like to camp, because we all camp for different reasons.
Personally, I love to explore and hiking. We spend very little time inside the camper. It's just a place to sleep. We still do all our cooking by campfire. Wife's got really good at it. So we don't need a big rig. At least not at our age.
Now if you're a hook it up, turn on the a/c and stay inside the comforts, then small TT probably will be more annoying for your family. But if you drop it, and the drive to attactactions of the area, and use it like a hotel, a small ultra lite will suit your needs. It's more a question of luxury. If you want more, then you need a bigger TV.
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