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Old 12-16-2013, 09:35 PM   #15
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This Travel Trailer weight calculator will remove all doubt from properly and safely matching your truck to a trailer. You'll note it includes the 20% safety factor most full-timers use. Also,note it does not have a box for unloaded trailer weight, as no-one tows/camps in an unloaded trailer.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
This Travel Trailer weight calculator will remove all doubt from properly and safely matching your truck to a trailer. You'll note it includes the 20% safety factor most full-timers use. Also,note it does not have a box for unloaded trailer weight, as no-one tows/camps in an unloaded trailer.
Thanks. I'll check it out tomorrow.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:13 AM   #17
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we'

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Why tow on the ragged edge or slightly over? The 1st time the OP gets caught by a 20-30 mph side wind he'll be all over the road. Let alone either passing or getting passed by a semi on the interstate. The wind bubble from the semi will play havoc with his setup.
I believe he said he's towed before. So, if he is knowageable, then he'll know how to content with different road conditions.

I also believe he said he'd be towing under and not the ragged edge. Again I like to believe the he is knowledgable, and knows what he will be carrying.

I don't like to assume the worst of everything. You can always create a scenrio where the conditions are not safe for anyone and everyone's setup.

From my experience, towing a TT with a station wagon, for the first time, I was really worried about the semis and all the hype. When I went out and lived it, it wasn't a problem at all. I slowed down a few mph when they passed and it was all good. I laugh at my wife and said they didn't know what they were talking about. Grant it, I had a very small TT, but it wasn't a tenth as bad as I was expecting.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:24 AM   #18
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Sounds like the OP has made up his mind and has justified that he can tow the trailer. As for having towed before, well, lots of people have done a lot of things, some good, some no so good.

Best of luck on the road.

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:48 AM   #19
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Sounds like the OP has made up his mind and has justified that he can tow the trailer. As for having towed before, well, lots of people have done a lot of things, some good, some no so good. Best of luck on the road. Ken
I know I CAN tow it but I'm here to see what others have experienced to see if I should. I'm confident in my ability and truck but I want to see what others have done. From what people have been saying I am def on the search for something a bit smaller but if I can't find it then I feel I can safely tow 9-10k on the flat roads of Florida. I don't want to settle on something that isn't going to make us happy and isn't going to get used. I'll be around with plenty of questions prior to buying though.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #20
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Good or bad, it is all a learning experience for everyone. I grew up riding with my dad in a cab-over International. I watched him back into places I'd swore was impossible to get a 53' trailer in, but he did it everytime. That's what 30 years behind the wheel will do.

The advantage of this forum is we can share. I did this or that, and boy was it a bone head idea. Your, not so good ideas become someone elses learning.

Like I found out that towing at the top of your weight limits uses much more gas, as say, towing with a larger engine, that is less taxed. And my guess is I will wear our my vehicle at a much accelerated rate. So if you are a tow it and park it person, you are probably good. If you like to take it on the road, then you are probably right, and you need a bigger TV.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:35 AM   #21
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I definitely would not buy a TT based on any dry weights listed by the manufacturer. You could end up having quite a surprise. Actual tongue weights can be much higher than listed numbers. Our tongue wt. is nearly double the factory number and just under 15% of the TT GVW and it's just 200 lbs under the GVWR loaded for camping with some ordinary camping gear and supplies for short-term camping.

You'll read many experienced folks say to use the GVWR when shopping to play it safe and also use the higher end of the normal range of 10-15% of the TT's weight for TW. By the time you've added factory options, dealer installed items, installed things of your own and have the TT loaded for a trip, the weight will be much higher than you expected.

You'll sometimes see a rule of thumb recommendation to keep the TT wt. under 80% of the TV towing capacity. Some will even say 80% is too high a figure. 80% worked for us on our first TT and by the time I had finished a few mods and it was loaded for camping, the TT actual wt. ended up at the GVWR. You'll also often see folks saying around 7K lbs is a limit for most 1/2 tons, unless it has a HD tow package. Payload can be a major issue. I don't know about Toyotas, but the actual payload capacity can be quite a bit less than on the door jamb sticker. Passengers, pets, groceries and camping gear can typically add around 400 - 500 lbs of payload and that goes on top of the tongue wt. So for that 35', 9000 lb TT, you could have a payload approaching 2,000 lbs. And that's without a load of firewood, generator, bikes and other heavy stuff. 2000 lbs is a stretch for even some 3/4 tons. Our 3/4 ton actual payload capacity is 1800 lbs. Truck makers are all flogging towing capacity and are pretty silent on payload capacities. It's a lot more than just a towing capacity number.

Towing at or near the TV max. tow capacity can make for some unpleasant towing, especially in hilly areas and when it's windy and gusty. BTDT, and never again. Even on the flat, it'll be sluggish to accelerate.

Our last TV was a 1/2 ton and when we bought a 29' 7K lb TT, we upgraded to a 3/4 ton, even though a 1/2 ton would have worked by the numbers. Even *if* you can justify the numbers, a 3/4 ton is so much nicer to tow with. Everything about it is so much beefier. Lots more payload cap. for firewood, generator and anything else heavy you want to put in the back. A 9,000 lb 35' TT with a 1/2 T? Not for me, no way.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:25 PM   #22
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Camping should be fun and it should be something you can't wait to do again. Being there and getting there are the two factors that make it fun.
We had a TT prior to our 5'er and we never could get rid of the jerky feeling we got when towing. That made getting there not fun. Being there was still fun but having to endure a crappy towing experience diluted some of the fun from the whole trip.
Not sure how far you tow or how often, but if you camp a lot and travel 2-3 hours each way then having a TT that's dictating what the trucks does will take some shine off the whole trip.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:11 AM   #23
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You probably can do it. I did for awhile. Last truck was a GMC 1500 and I towed 1400 lbs over (9,200) the trucks Max Tow rating (7,800) and at the limits for axle and hitch. GVWR was close, and I had to move tools from truck to trailer to keep weight off truck. Also kept trailer loaded with minimum stuff. That was hard because it is a toyhauler and bike or golf cart had to go with us. My trailer maxes out at 11,200 lbs - that's another 1,800 lbs I could have added before getting to the trailers Max GVWR. The GMC would not have handled that! So I traded up to a diesel 2500. Towing is much more relaxed now and even if I get to the trailers GVWR I will still be under the trucks ratings.

A few tips for you if you do tow close to your vehicle's capacity or over - we don't have mountains or even big hills here in Florida so your truck will handle towing it BUT keep your speed down to 65 or less (less is better for fuel consumption) , use secondary roads to get around the heavy traffic areas like I-4. From Jax, I use 17 and 19 to go south to Leesburg instead of 95 and 4. Make sure your brake controller is properly adjusted each time you hook up. New shocks help older trucks. Take your time, you will enjoy the ride more and give yourself plenty of room for the visiting idiots that cut you off every chance they can.
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