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Old 05-12-2022, 07:48 AM   #1
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Can my car tow this?

Hello. New member here.
I have a 2016 Mazda CX-5 that has a tow rating of 2000 lbs. I purchased a 2021 Runaway Rouser camper that has a dry weight of 840 lbs. Fully loaded and weight distributed of roughly 1450 lbs. I have a CURT 13315 class C trailer hitch, gross trailer weight of 4000 lbs.

Simple question. Can I safely tow this camper? Iím getting differing answers to this.

Thanks so much

Darren
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:06 AM   #2
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You will be very close on weight. Check your owners manual for frontal area of what you are towing, that will matter just as much as the weight.

Slow speeds and short runs may be ok, I doubt your transmission likes towing it around.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:11 AM   #3
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Thanks Lance
I'm not quite sure I know what you mean by "frontal area". Can you explain a bit more?

Also, I would be able to reduce the amount of weight in the camper by as much as 100 lbs. What would be a safe weight would you say I could tow?

Darren
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:14 AM   #4
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Welcome to iRV2

Yours is perhaps the most frequently asked question here in the forums.

Here's the problem , I don't have access to your owners manual to get info on how your max tow rating is calculated . You'll have to read through for yourself.

Quite often the rating is calculated with only a 150 lb driver in the vehicle , so if you're already loaded with family , pets and gear , the answer is; no.

Will you see others with similar SUVs towing trailers ? Probably .

Did they bother to ask about weights and safety ? Probably not.

Take your SUV , loaded with family and gear , full of fuel and get it weighed , front and rear axles and compare the scale weights the the axle & GVWR on the door and see how much payload you have remaining.
The scale numbers will give the best indication if your vehicle will handle any extra weight .
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:27 AM   #5
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Safe with regard to weight. Seems to be within parameters although you are pushing your GCWR right to the limit. You'll be over if you travel in the mountains because your towing load goes down 10% for every 1,000m of elevation. Safe overall? We can't say. Agree with LanceKeys, frontal area is a problem. The Rouser isn't the most aerodynamic trailer in the world and pulling it down the road is going to put a lot of strain on your vehicle. You're only rated for about 32 sq ft frontal area and the Rouser is north of 55. You're going to break something.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarpoM View Post
Thanks Lance
I'm not quite sure I know what you mean by "frontal area". Can you explain a bit more?

Also, I would be able to reduce the amount of weight in the camper by as much as 100 lbs. What would be a safe weight would you say I could tow?

Darren

Frontal area is the area of the face of the thing you are towing. The total sq ft of the front of the trailer.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:34 AM   #7
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Welcome aboard Harpo.

The frontal area is basically a calculation to determine how much wind resistance the trailer is going to see on the highway. For vehicles not designed to really tow, it is often as much a limiting factor as any other worry.

I looked at the trailer specs on line. (Always helpful to include a link for us to advise you.)

https://www.runawaycampers.com/rouser

I would guess that the frontal area on one of these will be about 36-40 square feet. I am using the interior dimensions to calculate, as the overall outside dimensions will be from ground to rooftop, and from wheel to wheel. That would be closer to 56 square feet, but the actual cabin is inside of the wheels and there is ground clearance.

Does the label on the door of the Mazda give you any information for payload, gross combined weight, and axle loading?

For payload, you have to include all people and cargo along with the tongue weight. The addition of the hitch, even the weight of the ball counts. When you add 5 pounds here and 10 pounds there, suddenly, you find yourself with a lot more load than you expected.

I suspect Mazda anticipates you towing a small utility trailer or something, not a square box like the Rouser, with significantly more wind resistance at highway speeds. My first thought would be that you are not going to be happy with the performance, and your Mazda transmission is going to require some loving care. I would definitely consider a transmission fluid change before starting to tow this, if you have not done one recently.

Haven't considered the braking issues this may raise, just plan on your stopping distances being much longer. I doubt the Rouser has trailer brakes and would expect it just uses a 4-pin trailer connector as opposed to a 7-pin.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:49 AM   #8
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Haven't considered the braking issues this may raise, just plan on your stopping distances being much longer. I doubt the Rouser has trailer brakes and would expect it just uses a 4-pin trailer connector as opposed to a 7-pin.
Thanks for the link carybosse ; you are correct no mention of trailer brakes only " standard 4 pin trailer light wiring ".

I would suggest some questions at the local DMV , about how heavy a trailer can be towed without trailer brakes in your state , it might be ok for a 7,000lb truck to tow a 4,000 GVW trailer without trailer brakes , but not a small SUV.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:58 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info CaryBosse
The GVWR IS 4409 lbs
Front GVWR is 2282 lbs and the rear GVWR is 2134 lbs.

I can possibly bring the total weight of the camper down to around 1200lbs if that helps at all. It would be just me driving the Mazda with minimal stuff in the vehicle.
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Old 05-12-2022, 09:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HarpoM View Post
Hello. New member here.
I have a 2016 Mazda CX-5 that has a tow rating of 2000 lbs. I purchased a 2021 Runaway Rouser camper that has a dry weight of 840 lbs. Fully loaded and weight distributed of roughly 1450 lbs. I have a CURT 13315 class C trailer hitch, gross trailer weight of 4000 lbs.

Simple question. Can I safely tow this camper? I’m getting differing answers to this.

Thanks so much

Darren
I see lots of good advice posted above.

First forget dry weight. Actual weight while towing is what matters. You already have the TT, so fully load it and fill your tow vehicle with everything including passengers you intend to carry. Take it to a CAT scale and get tow vehicle weight and TT weight. If you can get rear tow vehicle weight the would be good.

Compare results to the capacity stickers in the driver's door frame. Do not exceed any spec.

I pulled a folding trailer all over North America with a Toyota Solara. Its weight specifications were similar your trailer. The folding trailer got heavier every year. Eventually I had to move up to a RAV4.

You will have the added issue of high wind loading since your TT does not fold down. You will probably be safe at 55 MPH. Above that, wind loading will increase fast. Gas mileage will tank. The engine will have to run at higher RPM and power levels. The transmission will get hot. Transmission fluid will deteriorate fast.

I had to get the Solara transmission fluid changed well before scheduled maintenance.

Having a factory installed towing package if it was available can help a lot.

A head wind brings your safe speed down 1 for 1.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 05-12-2022, 09:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info CaryBosse
The GVWR IS 4409 lbs
Front GVWR is 2282 lbs and the rear GVWR is 2134 lbs.

I can possibly bring the total weight of the camper down to around 1200lbs if that helps at all. It would be just me driving the Mazda with minimal stuff in the vehicle.
Those weights play in to the calculations, but we need to know the curb weight and does the door label have a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating, sometimes listed as GCWR? A payload number?

I found these numbers for a typical Mazda CX-5, not sure if they are good for your vehicle (this was actually a standard transmission version, I suspect yours is automatic, not sure what that might change in the specs.)

Curb Weight 3,223
Towing Capacity 2,000
GVWR 4,248
Payload Capacity 1,036

You may be able to play with the balance of the trailer to raise or lower the tongue weight, typically tongue weight is going to be ~12% of the total weight. If your total trailer weight is about 1200 pounds, figure the tongue weight is about 150 pounds. With just you and your personal items in the vehicle, the payload number may not be an issue.

I don't have all the numbers to make a good prediction, but my guess is that the wind resistance and the braking issues are going to be the most critical items for you to worry about.
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Old 05-12-2022, 09:34 AM   #12
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Sometimes the internet gets a bit carried away with things. Thatís a tiny camper. Youíll be fine with the CX-5.
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Old 05-12-2022, 09:43 AM   #13
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Sometimes the internet gets a bit carried away with things. Thatís a tiny camper. Youíll be fine with the CX-5.

Easy to be flippant when it's someone else's equipment and life, right? The people on this forum know what they're talking about. Everyone is trying to help. We're out there too and the last thing we want to see is someone else break down or worse because they didn't know something they should.
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Old 05-12-2022, 09:45 AM   #14
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I have a 2019 RangeRunner, which doesn't have quite the frontal surface area of the Rouser, but mine is wood vs the new composite, so probably weighs about the same as your rouser. I tow it with a full size pickup, which is obviously a more capable tow vehicle than your Mazda, but you really can't even tell it's back there. On the Runaway Facebook pages, LOTS of people tow runaways with similar or lower tow rating vehicles than you have without issues. I understand you can add trailer brakes to the rouser if desired, so that might be something to consider, but I don't think you will have a problem.
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