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Old 07-14-2020, 04:23 PM   #1
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Tow Weight Question

So, bought our first camper almost 2 years ago now.... 2018 Nucamp T@G XL. We pull it with our 2014 Infiniti QX60. I've never taken the time to truly understand what weight I should be towing because I knew the T@G was well below the limit. Now, the wife wants a bathroom so we are trying to sell the T@G and upgrade. Seeing some of the posts here have me making sure I am keenly aware of what weight I not only can tow, but should tow. I desperately do not want to be "that guy."

So, I've crunched the numbers as I mostly understand them, but I would like to hear if from the experts just so I don't buy something I shouldn't be towing.

The known information from car labels:





From owner's manual:



So, here's my math:

SUV GVWR is 5913 lbs
Max Cargo rating of the SUV is 1149 lbs

So, that tells me that the actual SUV weight without any cargo or passengers is 5913-1149=4764 lbs.

Owner's manual tells me the Max Gross Combined Weight Rating is 10,000 lbs.

I know there are other possible factors like tongue rating and axle weights and all that. But, just as a good rule can I assume that even with a fully loaded SUV at 5913 lbs, that means I should be able to tow a GVWR of 4087 lbs? This obviously falls in the stated max 5k tow rating for the SUV and assuming I will not usually have a loaded SUV and/or camper since it's usually just the wife and I, if I stay below or close to that 4087 pounds I should be okay?

Corollary to that, is while the 4087 lbs is the max, should I endeavor to get a camper less than that so I'm not at the max weight? Or will I be okay with a WD hitch?

Thanks in advance for your comments and input on this matter.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:52 PM   #2
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Would a T@B 400 work for you? I would not tow more than that. With only 1,100lb cargo capacity that is not very much to work with.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Would a T@B 400 work for you? I would not tow more than that. With only 1,100lb cargo capacity that is not very much to work with.
I love the T@B models but the wife really wants something with a bathroom and a permanent or murphy bed, but an actual bed that isn't just a dinette turning into a bed.

If I'm right on that 4087 number, then we have a lot of decent options, actually. I have been looking at the Casitas and the other fiberglass units. That might be the direction we end up going. Plus the T@B 400 comes in at right around 4000lbs GVWR as well.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:50 PM   #4
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Generally, for CUVs, your limiter is going to be your payload. But also important is your Rear Axle GAWR. You need to weigh your vehicle including axle loads and compare those to your axle ratings. A 4,000 lb TT should have 12%-15% on its tongue for stability. That 500-600 lbs will then load your hitch. Your hitch may be rated for only 500 lbs max. That tongue load plus weight distributing hitch (if even allowed, not allowed on some CUVs) then loads your hitch, which loads your rear axle. Now add all your passengers (load front/rear about 50/50) and all the cargo in your cargo area (assume all goes to rear axle) and you may find you are overloaded. And that 4,000 lb is “loaded” not “dry”. Suggest you aim for 60% x 5,000=3,000 lb “dry” for shopping around to start. A teardrop like T@B, RPod, etc is probably the ticket. “Mandatory” option packages and other options can quickly eat up your margin. With a CUV with that light of a payload limit, stay as light as possible. With only the two of you, you stand a better chance of beating the weight limits. Also, get a tongue weight scale to weigh as you load your TT and adjust as needed to hit that magic 12.5% (1/8). For every 800 lbs gross weight, 100 lbs needs to be on the tongue/hitch.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:11 PM   #5
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I'd look at something like the 171 R-pod. 3300 Lb GVWR you could adjust the weight distribution get a TW of 400 or so (rated tw is 242). 750 lb of cargo seems low but I weighed everything I put in my trailer and it is less than 600 LB.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Desert Flyer View Post
Generally, for CUVs, your limiter is going to be your payload. But also important is your Rear Axle GAWR. You need to weigh your vehicle including axle loads and compare those to your axle ratings. A 4,000 lb TT should have 12%-15% on its tongue for stability. That 500-600 lbs will then load your hitch. Your hitch may be rated for only 500 lbs max. That tongue load plus weight distributing hitch (if even allowed, not allowed on some CUVs) then loads your hitch, which loads your rear axle. Now add all your passengers (load front/rear about 50/50) and all the cargo in your cargo area (assume all goes to rear axle) and you may find you are overloaded. And that 4,000 lb is “loaded” not “dry”. Suggest you aim for 60% x 5,000=3,000 lb “dry” for shopping around to start. A teardrop like T@B, RPod, etc is probably the ticket. “Mandatory” option packages and other options can quickly eat up your margin. With a CUV with that light of a payload limit, stay as light as possible. With only the two of you, you stand a better chance of beating the weight limits. Also, get a tongue weight scale to weigh as you load your TT and adjust as needed to hit that magic 12.5% (1/8). For every 800 lbs gross weight, 100 lbs needs to be on the tongue/hitch.
Ignore the trailer's dry weight and make sure the trailers GVWR is under 4100 lbs. Casitas are great trailers and do have bathrooms, but most are wet baths, which will probably be on your wife's next list of "don't wants".
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:27 PM   #7
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curb weight of that model is 4390 -4527
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:42 PM   #8
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The tongue weight of 500 is really going to keep your options limited. Couple that with the 1150 payload. Something on the order of a Riverside RV Retro 135 might be a option given it 3700ish GVW, A/C couch, bed. Style issues aside it covers a lot of items in a small space. I expect though you will be looking for larger tow vehicle pretty soon though.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfryman View Post
Casitas are great trailers and do have bathrooms, but most are wet baths, which will probably be on your wife's next list of "don't wants".
Spoken like a married man. You feel my pain. Lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by K_n_L View Post
I expect though you will be looking for larger tow vehicle pretty soon though.
No, no, no, no.... I curse you. Lol. The entire point is to NOT get a new tow vehicle.


Thanks for the info, y'all. Yeah, I originally started looking at TTs under 5000 lbs gvwr, but I think I'll drop that to 4000 max, with a little below that for good measure.

Casita
R-pods
Oh, and the e-pro/geo-pro with the Murphy bed. That's the one I can't get off my brain. I love that TT, and it comes in at 2800 lbs dry, with a 390 lb hitch weight. I keep trying to find something else to buy instead, but I just keep coming back to it.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:51 PM   #10
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I made a joke once that my wife would have been happy if we bought a tent as long as I towed a port-a-poty around with us...
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:54 AM   #11
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Another option you may want to take a look at is the Lance 1475. GVWR is 3,700, with dry weight at 2,600, and dry hitch weight at 250.
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Old 07-15-2020, 01:14 PM   #12
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I think from your post you understand that each of the maximums specified must be satisfied regardless of each of the other maximums. As noted in an above post 500 pounds tongue weight is going to limit you.

Tongue weight must be at least 10% and is good to be at least 15% of the actual trailer weight. Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer is usually a good estimate of actual weight. So a 4087 pound TT must have a tongue weight of 409 pounds and would do well to be 600 pounds. Of course 600 pounds exceeds maximum tongue weight.

Add this: Estimating actual tongue weight from TT published tongue weight is likely to be grossly incorrect. The last two TT's I bought came in at more than double the published tongue weights. Also, tongue weights of small TT's vary significantly depending on how they are loaded.

You can get a tongue weight gauge from Amazon for about $130. However, TT dealers tend to obstruct any activity that threatens the closing on a TT they want to sell you. One dealer curtly refused to let me weight a TT and another spent time explaining why my gauge was not accurate and that I should not worry about it. I have verified my gauge against a commercial truck CAT scale.

Next issue is, you will need a weight distribution hitch. Some weigh as much as 80 pounds. You may find a light duty one that weighs 40 pounds. You must subtract the WDH weight from the Max Tongue Load of 500 pounds leaving no more than 460 pounds.

So the answer to your question is "Yes" you should endeavor to get a camper less than that. A WDH will not increase capacity of any of the maximum specifications. A WDH will be required for safe towing.

I see some excellent TT recommendations in above posts.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead.
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:46 PM   #13
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Another option you may want to take a look at is the Lance 1475. GVWR is 3,700, with dry weight at 2,600, and dry hitch weight at 250.
I love the Lance but it's a price point that rules it out. I'm looking at right around $20k.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Persistent View Post
I think from your post you understand that each of the maximums specified must be satisfied regardless of each of the other maximums. As noted in an above post 500 pounds tongue weight is going to limit you.

Tongue weight must be at least 10% and is good to be at least 15% of the actual trailer weight. Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer is usually a good estimate of actual weight. So a 4087 pound TT must have a tongue weight of 409 pounds and would do well to be 600 pounds. Of course 600 pounds exceeds maximum tongue weight.

Add this: Estimating actual tongue weight from TT published tongue weight is likely to be grossly incorrect. The last two TT's I bought came in at more than double the published tongue weights. Also, tongue weights of small TT's vary significantly depending on how they are loaded.

You can get a tongue weight gauge from Amazon for about $130. However, TT dealers tend to obstruct any activity that threatens the closing on a TT they want to sell you. One dealer curtly refused to let me weight a TT and another spent time explaining why my gauge was not accurate and that I should not worry about it. I have verified my gauge against a commercial truck CAT scale.

Next issue is, you will need a weight distribution hitch. Some weigh as much as 80 pounds. You may find a light duty one that weighs 40 pounds. You must subtract the WDH weight from the Max Tongue Load of 500 pounds leaving no more than 460 pounds.

So the answer to your question is "Yes" you should endeavor to get a camper less than that. A WDH will not increase capacity of any of the maximum specifications. A WDH will be required for safe towing.

I see some excellent TT recommendations in above posts.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead.
Okay, so I made my list of possibilities today and went ahead and compiled all the weights.



So, looking at the weights, I think it comes down to the Casita or the E Pro/Geo Pro. Considering their price points are going to be nearly identical, and the E Pro/Geo Pro have the full bed, couch, and a dinette AND full size bathroom versus wetbath.... I think that's my answer.

I came within a couple of hours of pulling the trigger on the E Pro just before Christmas, but in the end I didn't like what they were giving me for my Nucamp T@G in trade and felt like I could make it a better financial decision to wait until later this year. Since then I've been looking at campers and researching, and now here I am back at the E Pro/Geo Pro. I guess it was just meant to be.
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:57 PM   #14
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There SUV lovers and there are truck lovers. I am lucky - I think trucks ride good and have any feature a fancy SUV has. For two people you need more comfort like a trailer with a slide to open it up for two people.

I had a 22' trailer with no slide. It was good for me as I did not get in my own way. As soon as I got married I was surprised how small that trailer got. Now I have a 25' trailer with one slide.

If you really like RV life you will soon be driving a truck and wanting more comfort. Best not to like RV's because it is a slippery slope as anyone here can tell you.
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