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Old 07-11-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Question Need advice - 1500 lbs lite SUV tow limit

I am a first-time RV shopper would sure appreciate some advice. Are there any pop-ups people are happy with that would come in shy of the above weight to allow me some poundage to pack bedding/food/commode/accessories?

I see one Palomino model comes in at 1400 lbs but that's playing it a little close, I think. I see some Livin'Lite units but they look so unsubstantial. I realize I will have to make a bit of a compromise but I would like to feel safer on windy days or a t-storm.

The RV will be mostly for 2 adults camping just a few times a year.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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SUV with a 1500lb tow limit & trying to find the right trailer. If they determine the tow limit the way they do in P/Us, you have to read carefully, as any load in the SUV other than the driver will reduce the tow limit.
Members with ultra -lite trailers will be around soon to help and , good luck with your search.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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You might consider a pop up made for pulling with a motorcycle.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradnailer View Post
You might consider a pop up made for pulling with a motorcycle.
A motorcycle pulling a pop-up? Never seen that, but would like to. I bet there are a lot of limits on that.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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There are several popups that have a bunk on only one side, so they are substantially lighter. Also, the least expensive 8' box models usually are below your weight limit.
To start the process, what is your budget and/or do you want new or used?
What vehicle are you towing with?
I'm going to be in the air in a few hours on a two week trip, so hopefully others will chime in.
Here's a pic of what I'm talking about. Have fun hunting!!!!

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Old 07-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #6
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I would be seeking something used in the $2500-3500 price range. I would be towing with a 4 cylinder 2010 Toyota Rav-4. The ones built for motorcycles are pretty flimsy stuff...I wouldn't want to be in a rainstorm in one!!

Boy, I didn't know that the passenger load counted as part of tow weight!! I noticed 3 models listed here but don't know anything about them.

Model
Vehicle Weight
Hitch Weight
Length
Jayco
Jay Series Sport1,190 lbs.185 lbs.11'7"Starcraft
Starflyer 81,185 lbs.200 lbs.11'7"Time Out Trailers
Easy Camper320 lbs.20 lbs.8'8"
Lightweight Pop Up Campers - Pop Up Campers Guide

Does anyone else perhaps have experience?
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:54 PM   #7
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Most P/U's tow weight rating, is calculated with only a 145lb driver in the truck, NOTHING else, so if your SUV calculates tow rating the same way, it can really pull you trailer weight down, as soon as you have passenger (s) and luggage.
From personal experience , I know that if you carry 6 adults in a 1/2 Dodge quad cab , you will be over the GVWR.
Couldn't even handle the 200lb hitch weigh, of the trailers your looking at.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post
A motorcycle pulling a pop-up? Never seen that, but would like to. I bet there are a lot of limits on that.
Check here:

Trailmaster Inc.- lightweight pop-up campers, motorcycle and auto products
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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We just traded a 09 palamino that was under 1500. We towed it with a Kia shortage 2.0 2wd rated at 1500. We added a tranny cooler and that made a big difference. We towed for 5 years with no issues. Just watch how much you put in, and how you do you loading. You will go through tired and brakes faster. And of course you need electric brakes of course.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:16 PM   #10
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According to the Trailer Life 2010 Towing Guide, the Rav 4 has a towing limit of 2000 lbs for both the 2w and 4wd version and 3500 if it was equipped with the towing package from the factory? And yes, the listed towing limit is not an outright given to tow that much. What you really need to do is find the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) and subtract the weight of your Toyota with people and cargo, you might be surprised, although you will never be able to exceed the mfr limits. Another good source of info on towing is the RV Safety & Education Foundation. They have been weighing coaches and working with Manufacturers for over 25 years.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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thanks everybody! this is a lot of food for thought.

a relative of mine just had to turn back from a trip due to the seams on their travl trailer giving up the ghost and it was flapping in the breeze on the interstate!

how about the seams on your average popup? HOw long do they last and do they need to be babied???
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #12
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There is another concern. Many light weight popups do not come with axle brakes. The lighter duty your tow vehicle the more you need them. I towed a simple cheap popup for a few years with a Jeep Wrangler. The tow rating for the Jeep was 2000#. With water in the tank, and our stuff in the folded camper, it was just a bit under the 2000# limit.

At the time ours was a new, common brand name, simple, cheap popup. It was $3000ish new, without AC or any bath facilities. If you want one at or under 1500# loaded you will need a "special" one, or you will haul a very simple common one empty.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:33 PM   #13
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Just joined this forum and hopefully I can help.

I have a 2010 rav4 V6 and tow my 07 ten foot flagstaff. I am around 2400lbs loaded. My rav doesn't even know it is back there.

The only difference between my rav and yours is the V6 and the standard trans cooler. Suspension is the same and braking is the same. Adding a cooler is cheap and easy.

You would be completely fine towing anyof the 8foot hardtops from any manufacture. The comments on here about TW are not accurate. Your rav as mine is very capable of the tw's produced from pups.

Of course your 4 cyl will labor more but will work fine. RPM's DO NOT hurt a gas engine. They actually have systems in place stopping you from over revving them so don't worry.

As far as brakes on pup....mine doesn't have any. They were never on my pup. I have never felt the need for them either. I have had to stop short and the Rav stopped it perfectly as yours will. I have towed all over the white mountain regions of NH as well. So plenty of hills.

Have confidence in your rav, it will perform great. Keeping your total weight at or around 1800 and you will be fine. 1800lbs should be easy to do.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #14
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I have to comment on the previous post. It has some potentially dangerous advice.

"The only difference between my rav and yours is the V6 and the standard trans cooler. Suspension is the same and braking is the same. Adding a cooler is cheap and easy."

Not entirely sure, but I doubt they would put the same tranny in a 4 cyl car. Regardless, it doesn't change the factory tow rating.

"You would be completely fine towing anyof the 8foot hardtops from any manufacture. The comments on here about TW are not accurate. Your rav as mine is very capable of the tw's produced from pups."

If Toyota says 1,500 lbs., it's 1,500 lbs for a reason. There is no magic pixie dust that can change that number.

"Of course your 4 cyl will labor more but will work fine. RPM's DO NOT hurt a gas engine. They actually have systems in place stopping you from over revving them so don't worry."

If you are towing near redline, nothing is going to last very long, especially your nerves, ears, and credit limit on your gas card... (just gave away my age there, huh?)

"As far as brakes on pup....mine doesn't have any. They were never on my pup. I have never felt the need for them either. I have had to stop short and the Rav stopped it perfectly as yours will. I have towed all over the white mountain regions of NH as well. So plenty of hills."

Good that you have never needed them. I recommend them for any trailer, as do many others. There is nothing bad about having brakes on a trailer, and they are great when the trailer starts getting a little squirrelly in the wind, etc., and when you have a true emergency stop. 30+ years of towing here...

"Have confidence in your rav, it will perform great. Keeping your total weight at or around 1800 and you will be fine. 1800lbs should be easy to do."

If Toyota says it's 1,500 pounds... Is there an echo in here?

Does this mean I'm now an official member of the weight police?
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