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Old 09-09-2006, 03:06 PM   #1
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OK, I just got back from the car lot looking for a new tv. The salesman had me look at a Sienna just to check it out. I looked at the GVWR and it said 5669lb. Could that be right? My astro is rated at 5300lb. I was quite shocked.

And one more thing... If it does have a greater tow capacity.... Could it possibly tow a camper with a weight of 5000lb as well as an astro, full size van, or suburban?

The torque listed was like 300 @4500. Not sure though, will double check that.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2006, 03:06 PM   #2
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OK, I just got back from the car lot looking for a new tv. The salesman had me look at a Sienna just to check it out. I looked at the GVWR and it said 5669lb. Could that be right? My astro is rated at 5300lb. I was quite shocked.

And one more thing... If it does have a greater tow capacity.... Could it possibly tow a camper with a weight of 5000lb as well as an astro, full size van, or suburban?

The torque listed was like 300 @4500. Not sure though, will double check that.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Sienna </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


According to Toyota's web site the Sienna has:

Engine 3.3-liter DOHC 24-valve VVT-i V6
215 hp @ 5600 rpm
222 lb.-ft. @ 3600 rpm

Towing capacity (lb.), maximum 3500

A full size Chevy Van can tow from 4300 lbs (1500 series) to 7300 lbs (2500 series).
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Old 09-10-2006, 05:46 AM   #4
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Thanks Neil. It did not sound right to me. I looked at the sticker in the door well and it said that the GVWR was 5669lb. I figured I must have read it wrong or something. I looked at the label on the Odyssey and it had a similar GVWR.

Am I misunderstanding what GVWR is? I am still a littl enew to all of this, so I figure I must be confused about something.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:03 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mamaloya:
Thanks Neil. It did not sound right to me. I looked at the sticker in the door well and it said that the GVWR was 5669lb. I figured I must have read it wrong or something. I looked at the label on the Odyssey and it had a similar GVWR.

Am I misunderstanding what GVWR is? I am still a littl enew to all of this, so I figure I must be confused about something. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, in other words is the amount that the vehicle can weight with Aunt Gertie and Uncle Al PLUS your cargo loaded in the van.

It does not mean that you can tow a 5669lb trailer. It just means that the most the van can weight with ALL cargo and people on board is 5669 lb.

GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is the total weight of trailer and vehicle allowed. Look for this rating if it is placed on a van.

You take the GCRW and substract what the vehicle weights loaded with people and cargo etc. and this will give you the actual trailer weight you can tow.

Here is a link about weights/towing and the definitions that I think would be helpful for you to read:

Weight Ratings

Hope this helps,
Ron
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:17 PM   #6
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Thanks Ron,

Your info helped a lot. I am not much clearer on the subject. That being the case though, I can see why you see people in minivans trying to tow campers. The GVWR of the trailer says 6K and the GVWR on the sticker says 6991. Hey, sounds like it would work, huh?

Vehicle manufacturers need to mark things a little more clearly. Not everyone will take the time to look it up or ask questions.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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Manufacturers publish a Tow Rating for the folks who can't be bothered to learn what the individual ratings mean. The tow rating summarizes the maximum weight trailer that could possibly be towed under ideal conditions. Few people meet the criteria for the ideal conditions and so are still often overloaded, but at least they are in the ball park.
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GStream40:
... You take the GCRW and substract what the vehicle weights loaded with people and cargo etc. and this will give you the actual trailer weight you can tow. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While Ron's is the accepted formula, I do the calculation just a little differently to ensure that I don't exceed the GCWR.

I take the GCWR of the TV, and subtract the GVWR of the TV. The result is the maximum trailer GVWR.

My full-size Ford E-150 van has a GCWR of 10,000#, and GVWR of 7000#. 10,000 - 7000 = 3000 I can legally only pull a 3000# trailer with my van.

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Old 09-10-2006, 07:51 PM   #9
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A minivan can pull a small trailer, but you have to becareful to stay within manufacturers ratings for GVWR and GCWR. The problem with minivans is they do not have a lot of cargo capacity and is pretty well eaten up with 2 adults, 2 kids and the miscellanous cargo that comes along. This does not leave much room for tongue weight.

Additionally the extra cargo reduces the max tow rating. So realistically, a minvan with a published tow rating of 3500# will most likely be at max capacity with a trailer weighing in at about 2500#. For estimating purposes, look at 75 to 80% of the max tow rating.

Something to remember is GVWR is gross vehicle weight rating or the most the vehicle can weigh when full loaded. The GCWR or gross combined weight rating is the most the vehicle and trailer can weigh as a total weight.

Neither of these numbers tell you what the maximum trailer weight is for towing capacity.

The manuaftures derive a maximum towing capacity by using a base model vehicle weight with a 150# driver and subtract this from the GCWR. The base model vehicle is used as this gives them the largest towing number possible. Very few vehicles sold come close to the base curb weight. All accessories, passengers, cargo and the hich add to the vehicle weight and reduce the towing capacity.

George's assesment of the weight issue is very conservative and you won't go wrong with it.

Ken
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:04 AM   #10
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Wow, you guys are awesome and knowledgeable. When we started searching for a new TV, I had scratched a minivan as an option. Upon seeing the sticker in the door, I thought maybe it was a possiblity. Glad I checked so that I know not to buy one. I will stick with looking for a new Astro, suburban, or 250/2500 van.

We currently have a popup, but are looking to purchase a hybrid weighing in the 5500 range. Plus we have 5 kids, which adds a lot of weight to our vehicle. If we stick to an Astro, we will have to either stick to a popup or get a smaller hybrid.

Thanks again for all of your help. You have made my life much easier!
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:21 AM   #11
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You have gotten some very good info. I am glad to see you have scratched the mimivan. My impression of a minivan is they are a car with an over grown box for passengers. My experience with towing with a car was about 40 yrs. ago when I towed a 15' TT with a full sized Ford car. It had WD bars and air bags in the rear springs and I thought it handled well. After a 300mi. day I was wore out. It required constant attention. I then got a 1/2T HD, Camper Special PU W/LT tires. It was so much better that I said I would never tow anything with a car again if I could avoid it and I haven't. When I upgraded to a 3/4T that was even better.
IMHO with your size family I would recommend a 3500 Van. It will give you enough weight and suspension to control a TT big enough for yor family and their "stuff" and give you a little room to upgrade to a bigger TT if you decide you need to. That's not to say you can't overload a 3500.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:21 AM   #12
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One thing you need to very caewful is the frontal surface area of the trailer. In general you have a sail behind you and that must be figured in the all of the equations discussed.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:12 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rocinante:
One thing you need to very caewful is the frontal surface area of the trailer. In general you have a sail behind you and that must be figured in the all of the equations discussed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The last frontal area specification I read was for a Grand Caravan and the restriction was 4 X 6 feet maximum frontal area. In other words a pop-up, hi-low or utility trailer.
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