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Old 05-24-2011, 10:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by villain2000 View Post
Being able to tow the weight is one thing, drag from a tt is a dramatic difference and adds to the overall "weight" and stability you have back there. I always looked at it as dragging an extremely heavy sail from a boat. Just my .02, but I like sticking to the 80% rule. Like a small insurance policy helping to protect my family and I when we tow.
Good point, and I do certainly respect your opinion as to the tow ratings. Some of us are not in a position to replace our tow vehicles, and thus have to tow near or at our maximum tow ratings. I do not, however, agree with towing over the max tow ratings or GCVWR of any vehicle, though I know that many times, the tow ratings are not necessarily listed due to mechanical limitations of a particular vehicle, rather based on legal issues, etc. That being said, any manufacturer will still provide warranty coverage on a vehicle provided that you have been towing within written limitations, and the components were designed for that weight, that I do know from many years in the automotive service business.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Crabman View Post
That really depends on the vehicle. Some of the new half tons are rated to tow 10 or 11,000 lbs, I`m thinking the tow rating on them is not understated. Their suspension and payload capacity will also struggle with the tongue weight of an 11,000 lb trailer, if not outright surpass its capabilities. Then there is the previously mentioned Drag factor of a TT. The 80% rule can help with this somewhat. My truck is rated to tow 8100 lbs, but the suspension is pretty much maxed with a 6500 lb TT and its tongue weight. So tongue weights/payload can sometimes be more of an issue then tow ratings. Not a member of the weight police as I have a marginal TV at best. But a little buffer zone can be a good thing.
Actually, I had not realized that half ton ratings were so high on some vehicles these days. I should have been more specific, that when I was in the automotive business from 1995-2005, the published tow ratings at that time were understated by a HUGE margin, except for the half ton Dodge Rams - their frames would twist like a spaghetti noodle under any weight CLOSE to the max tow rating - 2500 and 3500 series frames held up much better. I do think that 10k-11k tow rating for a half ton does sound awfully high.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:02 PM   #13
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Zector

Good report about your mini-van and 18ft trailer.

Thanks for posting...
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:31 AM   #14
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Towing is one thing but being able to stop is a whole nudder thing... the first thing I do with any tow vehicle I get is to upgrade the brakes .. I go with drilled and slotted rotors and more aggressive brake pads.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:06 AM   #15
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Towing is one thing but being able to stop is a whole nudder thing... the first thing I do with any tow vehicle I get is to upgrade the brakes .. I go with drilled and slotted rotors and more aggressive brake pads.
For me... I don't touch the Tow Vehicle's brakes. Especially when the vehicle has ABS system. Instead, I ensure attached trailer weighing more then the vehicle's cargo capaciity has its own electric brakes. For example, my mini-van has a max cargo capaticity of 1,500 lbs. re: Total of 1,500 lbs of people and rear cargo can be added - without over stressing its factory brakes. Thus, its factory brakes are sized for addtitional 1,500 lbs. Any weight above this 1,500 lbs limit is "over stressing" the factory brakes.

When a trailer is attached to my mini-van and it weighs over 1,500 lbs, I ensure that trailer has its own brakes. I install electric brakes on my trailers because they can be easily adjusted and its signal/current flow can be easily monitored as well (compared to pure mechanical surge brakes). If wondering, my 6x10 utility trailer has its own electric brakes (on its 3,500 lbs single axle). While attached to my mini-van, both van and trailer can stop faster then my van's factory brakes. After using an attached trailer with its own brakes, I now understand why many regions are applying a 1,500 lbs limit. re: Any loaded trailer over 1,500 lbs needs its own brakes. Especially in regions that have hills - like California.

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Old 05-25-2011, 11:13 AM   #16
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Just to add....

To view the new 3,500 lbs axle (with its own brake hubs) I installed under my 6x10 utility trailer, surf:
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...ing-Linear.jpg
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...iring-Star.jpg
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/100_1419.jpg
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/100_1429.jpg
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/100_1433.jpg

Regardless of the towing laws in one's specific region, I'd recommend an attached trailer weighing more then Tow Vehicle's onboard towing capacity have "brakes on the trailer". Stopping power of before and after is well worth the cost of installing brakes on the trailer. To me, all trailers over 1,500 lbs need their own brakes. But... That's a topic for a different thread...

Hope this helps as well....

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Old 05-25-2011, 11:41 AM   #17
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So glad to hear that the weight police from other forums haven't crashed the party here.....yet. The ones who swear that you need at least a 3/4 ton truck with a marble mixer (diesel) to tow anything heavier or longer than an aluminum rowboat fully loaded with a MinnKota trolling motor, 2 oars, a battery, and a lifevest.....
LOL, I think our forum rules (Announcements on top of each forum) scares them off, or possibly the mods/admin are diligent about deleting postings that are other than informative without having to berate or bash others. It's refreshing that the members here keep the negativity and name calling out of this family friendly forum


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We're planning to tow with a minivan (2006 Sienna) until we can replace our tow vehicle with something that has a bit heavier tow rating. So, we're limiting ourselves to a trailer with a max GVWR of 3500, and plan to load lightly and camp mostly locally, as our tow vehicle/trailer plan will not allow us to camp in the mountains, though I'm sure we can make it 1,000 feet up into the hills from where we live. Glad to hear of others minivan towing experiences. I have read on other sites of others towing nearly 5,000 lbs with minivans, !
We towed a little 17' Casita at around 3000# loaded with our Honda Odyssey (max towing 3500#) for two years. We added the needed coolers and wdh (we had sway bars but didn't need them, so we didn't use them). Our tongue weight was under the 300# max for our tv. We faithfully traveled at 60mph max. The tt/tv set-up slowed considerably on grades (40-45mph). We had to use our brakes quite a bit descending the grade. For Don and me, although the the grade descent went well, it never-the-less was the white-knuckler for us! Otherwise, that set-up responded well with braking for any other driving situations.

Just from our experience, I would never encourage anyone to tow more than the above. The driver would be putting themselves or others in danger when the brakes fail. Also, the life of your engine would be much shorter. Hope this helps some
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by FoCoNoCo View Post
Actually, I had not realized that half ton ratings were so high on some vehicles these days.

I do think that 10k-11k tow rating for a half ton does sound awfully high.
Ohhhh my. Did we catch it on the other rv forum for this. Holy Cow! Don and I wondered if the folks on that other rv forum changed our middle names to "idiot"! (Actually, one guy actually called us that.... that was the last time either of us posted there!)

One reason I added all that info about our F150 in my signature is so the weight police wouldn't harrass us! We bought the F-150 we did because of the tow ratings. However! We knew that we couldn't actually tow the suggested 11,300 max once we added people/payload to the truck. Even with the high tow rating, we made the decision that we would not tow anything more than 7500# GVWR or 30' (based on helpful/informative info we did receive from others). We are glad we made that choice based on our current experience towing on grades (we slow to 45mph and although the tt feels like it is pushing our tv down the grade, our trucks Overhaul mode keeps our tt slowed nicely without having to ride the brakes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:00 PM   #19
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LOL, I think our forum rules (Announcements on top of each forum) scares them off, or possibly the mods/admin are diligent about deleting postings that are other than informative without having to berate or bash others. It's refreshing that the members here keep the negativity and name calling out of this family friendly forum




We towed a little 17' Casita at around 3000# loaded with our Honda Odyssey (max towing 3500#) for two years. We added the needed coolers and wdh (we had sway bars but didn't need them, so we didn't use them). Our tongue weight was under the 300# max for our tv. We faithfully traveled at 60mph max. The tt/tv set-up slowed considerably on grades (40-45mph). We had to use our brakes quite a bit descending the grade. For Don and me, although the the grade descent went well, it never-the-less was the white-knuckler for us! Otherwise, that set-up responded well with braking for any other driving situations.

Just from our experience, I would never encourage anyone to tow more than the above. The driver would be putting themselves or others in danger when the brakes fail. Also, the life of your engine would be much shorter. Hope this helps some
Thanks for the info and your experiences. I think we've decided that our original plan is what we're going to do. As for the weight police, especially on you-know-what.net, some of them are BRUTAL. I understand their concerns, as I have seen some VERY unsafe things on the road. As a matter of fact, I saw a Smart Fortwo towing a very small travel trailer today - now THAT is scary. Some of the comments on the "other website" are extreme at times. I'm surprised I don't have to have a Freightliner FL60 to tow a pop-up according to some of them. There are actually a few over there that follow the 50% towing rule - you know the one - if you tow a 3500 lb trailer, you need to have a tow rating of at least 6500-7000 lbs. A bit overkill, IMHO. So glad to hear that the members here are so nice - I've read some really great posts and have gotten a lot of great information as well!
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:42 PM   #20
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I understand their concerns, as I have seen some VERY unsafe things on the road. As a matter of fact, I saw a Smart Fortwo towing a very small travel trailer today - now THAT is scary.
OK here's an oldie but goodie (as far as visuals). Funny to watch, but I still feel bad for the guy...
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