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Old 08-28-2022, 07:47 PM   #1
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2023 Jayco Jay Flight 224BH / 2021 Ford Expolorer Platinum

Hi,

I own a 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum. It has a tow rating of 5600lbs. I am looking to buy a small travel trailer, but I have three girls so I can't go too small, so I guess I need to push the limits a bit. I am interested in a 2023 Jay Flight 224BH. It has a GVWR of exactly 5600lbs.

My question is, assuming that I pay attention to the payload of the Explorer, considering the tongue weight of the trailer, and I also don't overload the trailer, should I expect to be okay? Technically I am right at the limit, but I am not over the limit.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and am really interested in anybody's experience towing a similar weight with a similar spec vehicle and trailer combo. Additionally, maybe you have thoughts on whether or not I should install a load distributing hitch. I am happy to do that, but not if is not helpful.

Thank you!

Paul
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Old 08-29-2022, 06:00 AM   #2
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Hi,

I own a 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum. It has a tow rating of 5600lbs. I am looking to buy a small travel trailer, but I have three girls so I can't go too small, so I guess I need to push the limits a bit. I am interested in a 2023 Jay Flight 224BH. It has a GVWR of exactly 5600lbs.

My question is, assuming that I pay attention to the payload of the Explorer, considering the tongue weight of the trailer, and I also don't overload the trailer, should I expect to be okay? Technically I am right at the limit, but I am not over the limit.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and am really interested in anybody's experience towing a similar weight with a similar spec vehicle and trailer combo. Additionally, maybe you have thoughts on whether or not I should install a load distributing hitch. I am happy to do that, but not if is not helpful.

Thank you!

Paul
First thoughts are your trailer will be overloaded if you add any cargo (food, water, etc.) since the trailer's weight sitting on the dealer's lot is at your tv's rated towing capacity. Then you've got to calculate your gross combined weight, thats your fully loaded tv, ( vehicle weight plus passengers and cargo) + fully loaded trailer to determine if it's falls below your vehicles gcwr. I'm guessing it won't. A WDH will come into play only after you've determined your tv and trailer fall within those parameters.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:01 AM   #3
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Don't push it. Don't let a sales person talk you into a sale. You will be adding a lot with batteries, propane, water, and other essentials. Did you say Explorer? I am not sure about the wheel basin, but it is important for stability. Ford has a rating for their trucks called "maximum conventional trailer." Look it up for your Explorer.

I looked up one source that claims your year model has the following:

Payload And Towing
Cargo volume 18.2 cu ft
Max trailer weight 3000 - 5300 lbs

I don't know why there is such a range there, but I would be conservative.
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:16 AM   #4
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You can do all the math, but it stills boils down to "I need a larger truck, or a smaller camper". Yes, a proper WDH is work will in almost all situations towing a travel trailer.
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:38 AM   #5
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Paul,

Welcome to JOF

Based on the information provided, IMO your Ford Explorer and the 27ft long Jay Flight 224BH aren't a good match...., especially under less than ideal towing conditions (poor road conditions, poor weather, sudden maneuvers, etc.).

Couple initial thoughts.......

* The 224BH 'as-shipped' UVW will be 100lbs - 200lbs above advertised 4,490lb UVW.

* Family of 5 added cargo weight can easily approach the 224BH's 5,600lb GVWR.

* Towing at TT GVWR 5,600lbs = 728lbs - 840lbs (13% - 15% of gross) recommended Loaded Tongue Weight range.

* A WDH & Sway Control would be required.

I would take your Explorer under loaded conditions (full fuel, passengers, etc.) to a CAT scale for a weigh-in (3 minutes & $9). Having 'some' actual scaled weight data when walking around an RV lot can be very helpful.

Subtract the CAT scale weight from your Explorer's specified GVWR..., the resulting weight is your TV's 'actual' available payload capacity for supporting the WDH weight (50lbs), Loaded Tongue Weight, and any other TV weight not accounted for at the CAT scale.

Just food for thought.

Bob
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:38 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the responses. I need to clarify a couple things.

The 5,600lbs that I am specifying as the trailer weight it its fully loaded weight. So, fully loaded this is the weight of the trailer. I intend to adhere to that manufacturer specification. Perhaps I used the wrong acronym when I referred to it is GVWR. The dry weight is in the low 4,000's.

No salesperson is trying to talk me into this, though I have been warned that they will sell a trailer that you can't possibly tow with your tow vehicle. This is why I am here.

The tow rating of my vehicle is indeed 5,600lbs.

So, I've done a lot of research about how to calculate the two capacity numbers and I am confident that I understand all of the nuances that affect capacity. To simplify my initial question I will ask, is it okay to two at max capacity? I won't overload my trailer. I won't overload my tow vehicle payload. I will deduct tongue weight from my payload. I will use a high-quality weight distribution hitch with sway control.
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:43 AM   #7
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Bob,

Thank you for the detailed response. One question, why would the UVW be 1,000-2,000lbs above the factory specified number? That is definitely not something I calculated for. That means the UVW would exceed the GVWR which sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Am I missing something?

Paul
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:31 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the responses. I need to clarify a couple things.

The 5,600lbs that I am specifying as the trailer weight it its fully loaded weight. So, fully loaded this is the weight of the trailer. I intend to adhere to that manufacturer specification. Perhaps I used the wrong acronym when I referred to it is GVWR. The dry weight is in the low 4,000's.

No salesperson is trying to talk me into this, though I have been warned that they will sell a trailer that you can't possibly tow with your tow vehicle. This is why I am here.

The tow rating of my vehicle is indeed 5,600lbs.

So, I've done a lot of research about how to calculate the two capacity numbers and I am confident that I understand all of the nuances that affect capacity. To simplify my initial question I will ask, is it okay to two at max capacity? I won't overload my trailer. I won't overload my tow vehicle payload. I will deduct tongue weight from my payload. I will use a high-quality weight distribution hitch with sway control.
The GVWR of 5,600 lbs is not how much it weighs loaded, it's the maximum allowable loaded weight. Conventional wisdom has it you should observe the 80/20 rule when towing an RV, which is don't exceed 80% of your tv's max towing capacity/ give yourself a 20% margin for the unanticipated.
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:56 AM   #9
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The GVWR of 5,600 lbs is not how much it weighs loaded, it's the maximum allowable loaded weight.
I believe this is not accurate. GVWR is the dry weight plus the cargo weight. It is the maximum allowable weight of the loaded trailer. At least that is how I understand it. Not trying to be argumentative, I could be wrong.

Nevertheless, your comment about 20% safety margin tells me I should not buy this trailer. I wish I could understand this gray area. Everything is so well specified, leading me to believe I can tow 5,600 pounds. I wonder why there is no safety margin included in those numbers. If towing the maximum weight is not safe, then why would it be specified at all? Weird.

Thank you for the info!
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:25 AM   #10
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I believe this is not accurate. GVWR is the dry weight plus the cargo weight. It is the maximum allowable weight of the loaded trailer. At least that is how I understand it. Not trying to be argumentative, I could be wrong.

Nevertheless, your comment about 20% safety margin tells me I should not buy this trailer. I wish I could understand this gray area. Everything is so well specified, leading me to believe I can tow 5,600 pounds. I wonder why there is no safety margin included in those numbers. If towing the maximum weight is not safe, then why would it be specified at all? Weird.

Thank you for the info!
As long as you don't exceed any of the weight ratings, there is nothing wrong with towing up to the limits specified by the mfg. The 80/20 rule is not a rule anyway, a suggestion perhaps that doesn't provide for a complete analysis or consideration of the gcwr, gvwr, rawr, fawr, hitch weight, cargo weight, etc. which should all be checked and considered independently.

I will add though that more of a tow vehicle than needed is not a bad thing compared to some people who tow weigh over the limits of their tow vehicle. Towing right at or over the limits could result in issues with cooling, transmission concerns, engine power, handling, braking, etc., so in the mountains for example you could run into issues that a larger tv would not have, or even flat roads with head winds that cause you to run at or close to full throttle (not necessarily a weight limitation though). ~CA
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:38 AM   #11
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Although you must look at your TV tow capacity and GVWR my experience is that payload and tongue limit will be the most limiting factors.

Doctor google says the payload is 1084 and the tongue limit is 560 for your TV. From the Jayco site it list the tongue weight for the TT as 560. This does not include the two filled propane bottles, battery, hitch, and anything you place in the front storage of the TT. I estimate the TT true tongue weight to be more like 750. That is significantly over the limit.

Additionally, your payload will also be over the limit as well. You only have 334 for passengers, fuel, etc. These numbers are a big no match.

You will be porpoiseing down the road which means a loss of steering.

A WDH will not solve these issues since both are significantly over their limits. It definitely will not fix the payload and most likely not the tongue limit. The hitch only transfers the majority of the TT tongue weight to a more centered position on the TV.

Sorry for the bad news. The safety of your passengers and other motorist is important.

I appreciate your wanting to get this right as evidence your being on the forum. Sorry for the news. Don't stop because camping with your family and friends is priceless.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:54 AM   #12
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An alternative could be a 174BH, much smaller I know, but still a bunkhouse with a bed in the front and a dinette that folds into a bed to accommodate your 3 girls. The overall loaded weight and tongue weight is considerably less with this camper.
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Old 08-29-2022, 11:20 AM   #13
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snip.......One question, why would the UVW be 1,000-2,000lbs above the factory specified number? That is definitely not something I calculated for. That means the UVW would exceed the GVWR which sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Am I missing something? Paul
Paul,

Please note my prior post stated 100lb-200lbs, not 1,000lb - 2,000lb. In the case of some of the larger, heavier TT's/FW's it's not unusual to see the 'as-shipped' (yellow sticker) UVW increase 400lbs or more.

The 'specified' 224BH UVW of 4,490lbs (web site, brochure, etc.) in most cases represents a Jayco specific configured 224BH base unit, but the 'as-shipped' UVW (yellow sticker on side of TT) will include weight of options, weight of filled LP tanks, etc..

Also, please keep in mind that anything the RV dealer adds (battery, etc.) associated weight has to be taken into consideration.

Bob
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Old 08-29-2022, 11:40 AM   #14
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Okay, thank you for clarifying. Sounds like I am cutting it too close.
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Old 08-29-2022, 11:56 AM   #15
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Right, too close to be safe...see post #4.
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Old 08-29-2022, 12:57 PM   #16
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Yes, you were right. The questions and clarifications were just so I could understand the details and be better educated. I aim to be a responsible and safe tow vehicle operator. I'm bummed out because the Jay Feather Micros are too expensive. I guess I'll have to settle for an SLX 7.
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:26 PM   #17
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I'm bummed out because the Jay Feather Micros are too expensive. I guess I'll have to settle for an SLX 7.
Big mistake buying a trailer you have to "settle" for and really don't want. I and others on here have done that and regretted it. You will be picking it apart noticing things that aren't what you wanted. Maybe if you can, trade (not necessarily up) for a better tow vehicle?
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:44 PM   #18
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Hi Paul, Welcome to the JOF!

After reading the suggestions from my fellow members above, and your last comment about purchasing a Jayco SLX 7, I was curious about a few things. You state you have "Three girls". Does that include a wife? Next, the Explorer has a Payload of 1084. If you were to purchase a Jayco 175BH, the smallest SLX 7 with bunk beds, it has a GVWR of 4150 pounds.

So you understand, it is best to have 12 to 15% of the trailer weight as the tongue weight. If you were to have the trailer loaded to say, 4000 pounds, that would give you a potential tongue weight of 600 pounds. If the trailer was maxed at the 4150, your tongue weight would then be 620 +/- pounds. Then add the weight of you and your passengers. May be pretty close to the Payload and would exceed the 560 pound tongue weight limit that Ford states.

The biggest drawback I see is this trailer is really going to be too small, as you stated, "not too small" and any other SLX 7 will be to heavy for your Explorer based on the above figures and the limited Payload number. Maybe it wasn't stated hard enouugh above, the Payload is the most important number.

I know you don't really want to buy a new tow vehicle and trailer, but from my point of view, maybe trade the Explorer in on a similar year F150 Super Crew with a tow package and an EcoBoost engine. If you decide to go this route, there are plenty of F150 owners that can help you.

Sorry to throw cold water on your wishes. I have been where you are several times and have made some regrets with not having enough truck to safely move my trailer.

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Old 08-29-2022, 09:59 PM   #19
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I think you understand now you do not have the right vehicle for the trailer you want. And a pick up truck might not suit you either. Would you consider one of the long expeditions? It has a wheelbase that will put you in charge of your trailer rather than the trailer in charge of your tow vehicle. I am currently on our fourth expedition, and they have all been great cars for us. I don’t consider them everything I would want in a tow vehicle and we did not use them for that as I had a dually, but if you don’t push the envelope by jumping to something bigger, but stay with what you have planned for the trailer, it will do the job for you. And you will have that important safety margin. I don’t know if anyone mentioned above, but stretching things to the limits results in white knuckle rides under the best driving conditions and much worse under less than favorable conditions. It’s just so much more pleasant to have a team that works well together.
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Old 08-30-2022, 11:34 AM   #20
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Welcome to JOF Paul, there's a great community here that will help you get to the right place. Let me give you my example of a very similar situation. When I started out with my 212QB, I had a 2017 Explorer Limited with max tow package. Specs were 5000 pounds towing and 500 pounds for my hitch rating with WDH. My TV payload was 1223.

I bought the trailer thinking that the dry weight (4325) and tongue weight of 435 would be OK. I then started to do some research (after the fact). After getting the trailer, I loaded up, working hard to keep the trailer under 5000 pounds (there are just two of us), and headed to the scale. I was the only passenger in the vehicle.

After doing the three weighs, and figuring out things, my trailer was at 4720 pounds (well under the 5K mark), so lots of room there, I had 330 pounds of TV payload left (room for my DW and a few things to bring in the Explorer, but not much extra). The big issue was the tongue weight. It was 740 pounds, well above the hitch rating. Now the 212qb has a lot of front-side storage (under the forward queen bed, the pass through storage, etc.), so that tends to skew the weight forward, but at 15.7% of trailer loaded weight, I was not far off the numbers. At 10% I would be close (472 pounds), but even 11% put me over the 500. There was no leeway there.

So for the first two years of ownership, I was super cautious, local trips only, minor hills to deal with, etc. The other thing I found out quickly was that the Explorer has a really small gas tank, so filling up every couple of hours and planning routes with that in mind was necessary. The Explorer pulled that trailer like a champ, no issues with towing, winds, etc.

Then in the spring of 2020, Ford had a deal for 0% interest on the F150 and I jumped in. No more being the weight police, telling my DW that she can't bring something, additional range with the much larger gas tank, and a better towing experience all around. I didn't have issues pulling with the Explorer; however, with the limited range, pushing the edge on some of the numbers and the plan to do much more than local trips drove us to a new TV.

For yourself, the kids will grow, and they will bring more stuff. That will continue to add pressure to the payload of the Explorer. If you have the trailer, figure out a way to make it work, if not, maybe a hybrid or a pop-up to get started, we jammed the 3 kids into the pop-up for years before we bought them tents and us the 212qb (as my DW says, it only sleeps two).
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