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Old 07-17-2016, 10:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Tyngsboro
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Considering a jump to a hybrid

Thanks for adding me to the forum. We currently have a 2006 Fleetwood Wililamsburg popup camper and a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3500 pound tow capacity. I've pulled the PUP from San Diego to Maine, including one cross-country move right at my max according to the scales.

We're considering a jump to a light weight hybrid. Maybe the X17Z or the 16XRB. I've looked at both, and the Grand Caravan is listed in the brochure as able to tow these hybrids. We are planning on upgrading our TV to a newer Grand Caravan (with factory tow package etc) next spring. The owner of the Jayco dealership here will talk to me about sway control etc, there are a variety of reasons why a pickup or SUV such as the Durango won't work for our family.

From a weight perspective I'm comfortable as long as the dry weight of the trailer gives me a reasonable amount of cargo carrying capacity. I can monitor the weight and ensure I'm not overloaded on the trailer, the tongue and the TV. When we had that cross country move, we were loaded with everything we didn't want the military to move for us, and I don't foresee our camping excursions ever getting that fully loaded again.

I'm concerned about the frontal area of the trailer. When I read the Grand Caravan owners manual I think it says anything above 40 sq ft frontal area will void your warranty. The two hybrids seem to have a much larger frontal area, although they are built at an angle so not sure how that impacts wind drag.

This question should probably be moved to either the Hybrid section or the Towing section, certainly open to suggestion. I'm getting to the point where the PUP is becoming too much for me to physically handle, the ease of the hybrid is something we are looking at.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:23 PM   #2
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For one There is no way I would tow a hybrid with that TV.
Most Hybirds have a gross weight more than the Gross weight rating of your TV.
There is also a big difference between towing a low profile Pup then the Hybird that has at least 50 sq ft frontal area or more. Even if it is tapered towards the rear.


Although both Hybrirds you mention have a gross weight of 3500 lbs and your TV has a gross weight rating of 3500 lbs that does not take into consideration the weight of passengers and any gear that will be in both vehicles. In other words if you have full propane battery and any gear in the TT you will be limited in the weight you can have in the TV This is just my opinion based on my experience but you are leaving no room for error. You will be running close to 100% or more of the weight ratings of both units. Not my ideal way of towing.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:51 PM   #3
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Thanks bedrck46. The dry weight of the TT as the starting point is something I'm already looking at carefully, I certainly understand how the passengers, gear, fluids, propane etc adds up quickly. When we were fully loaded on the cross country move, we were at the very max that the TV could handle and it made for a long ride. Total Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating for my current setup is 8600 pounds. TV GVWR is 5700 pounds. Typical camping load for us us is about 90% of our GCVWR, about 700 pounds under the max. Moving up to a hybrid eats into that very quickly.

The frontal area is probably the clincher for me to stay with a PUP. I don't like the thought of being that close to my max allowable, never mind the hi profile.

Appreciate hearing from those with hybrid towing experience.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:14 PM   #4
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