Jayco RV Owners Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-22-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 18
Anyone towing with a Mini Van?

Hi All,

Very excited about our first travel trailer. We went with the 184BH because is was the most affordable lightweight model that sleeps 5. We are limited by the towing capacity of our Odyssey rated at 3500lbs. I've never towed anything in my life so I spent countless hours learning as much as I could online. Wonderful community you guys have here! I was really concerned about keeping the tongue weight down since the Odyssey owners manual does not recommend the use of weight distribution hitches. Tons of people arguing online (in other forums) about safely going over tow and hitch capacities with proper setups. Apparently, there are some highly respected professionals that will setup your TV to pull twice as much as it's rating. I decided to play it safe and go with the 184bh which had the lightest hitch weight compared to similar models. I'm right where I should be weight wise.

I'm going to pick up the trailer in week and I'm hoping my first drive home will go smoothly. Anyone else towing one of these with a mini van or other TV rated at 3500lbs towing? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
__________________

TheTick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 2,060
We towed a '03 Kiwi 17a with a mini-van for about a year. It was not bad. But it was only my wife and me. I would not have used that combination to tow more than a few hundred miles on relatively flat roads. We wanted to travel out west so we got a truck. The short answer to your question is that it is doable under the right circumstances, namely keeping the weight down and not expecting too much from the combo.

However, you are not "right where you should be weight wise". The GVRW of the 184BH is 3500#. Assuming you max out the trailer's weight, and you will with the "stuff" for 5 people, you are already at capacity. Take the weight of all 5 people that will be traveling in the van and subtract that from the towing capacity. Say you, your spouse, and 3 kids, conservatively weigh a total 450#. Now your towing capacity is 3050#. Check your manual for their definition of towing capacity. Often it is the trailer and only the driver. No passengers or cargo. And keep in mind that your kids will grow, and want to take more toys with them. Also subtract the weight of anything you carry in your vehicle while towing.

The dry weight of the trailer is 2,625 so the trailer only has an 875# cargo capacity. This does not include the weight of options such as microwave, awning, A/C, spare tire, etc. There will be a sticker on the outside of the trailer that will state the "shipped weight" which is the "dry weight" plus factory installed options. Add to that the weight of any dealer installed options. Say you have options that weight 200# in total. Now your true "dry weight" is 2825#. Subtract that from the 3050# that's left of your towing capacity. That leave 225# for clothes, cookware, food, toys, TV set, etc. You will eat that capacity up and then some. With a family of 5 I would be hard pressed to think that you would have less than 500# of "stuff". For two people my wife and I carried over 300# of stuff. I would have to say that you are way over your head on this. I know you don't want to hear that though. Hope this works out for you somehow.

Be careful of "highly respected professionals that will setup your TV to pull twice as much as it's rating". Most likely they will make you sign a waver not holding them responsible for what they just did to you towing setup. If something happens, you may be OK from a legal standpoint, but you can leave yourself wide open to civil damages.
__________________

__________________
Chuck
2013 Jayco Jayfeather X20 E, 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Z71 SLE
DocBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central California
Posts: 2,243
IMO mini vans don't make for the best Tow vehicles, however if you have the actual weights and made the calculations that you are with in the various weight ratings...GVWR, GCVWR, Receiver Weight Rating, etc and you truly are "right where (you) should be weight wise" I don't think you will have an issue.

I started with a marginal TV/TT combination. It worked, but I ultimately I upgraded TV which now has us looking at larger TT. It's a vicious cycle.

Welcome to the world if RVing.
__________________
2007 Chevy Duramax LMM/Allison
2012 Jay Flight 29QBH
2012 Jay Flight 26BH (Sold)
clubhouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 18
Chuck, Thank you so much for your response. I should have mentioned we are a family of 4. My wife barely breaks 100 lbs sopping wet and we are all in at 350lbs (until the kids get older). When I said "sleeps 5" I meant we wanted something with a bit more space. I toiled over all those numbers you mentioned before making my decision and I know we'll be right at our capacity. Manual states 350lbs of passengers with 15lbs of gear each allows for a towing capacity of 3350. The trailer weighs a bit over 2800 so we can carry well over 500lbs.

Read about liability issues, and yes... I would be concerned if I was well over the weight limits. Although I did read debates where people were challenged to provide a single case in which someone was sued for causing injury while towing over capacity. I couldn't find anything, but I'm more worried about safety issues. This is why I did not want to go over the manufacturer rating. I'm sure it would be ok to go over by a couple percent, but I'm ocd and will probably weigh everything that gets loaded and assign maximum allowances for each kid. Honestly, I think it will be part of the fun for me lol.

With that said, your response does have me concerned now. You seem very knowledgable and I'm second guessing myself now. Is there any chance that the trailer could weigh more than whats posted on that yellow sticker in the door jam? I would hate to go on a trip with only the shirts on our backs. Hope I didn't make the wrong choice..
TheTick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
IMO mini vans don't make for the best Tow vehicles, however if you have the actual weights and made the calculations that you are with in the various weight ratings...GVWR, GCVWR, Receiver Weight Rating, etc and you truly are "right where (you) should be weight wise" I don't think you will have an issue.

I started with a marginal TV/TT combination. It worked, but I ultimately I upgraded TV which now has us looking at larger TT. It's a vicious cycle.

Welcome to the world if RVing.
Thanks clubhouse. I can see how this can become a vicious cycle lol. My other car will eventually need to be replaced and I'm already looking at better TV's. Although I have read that the Odyssey makes a great TV with it's low center of gravity and HP/torque equivalent to suv's rated at much higher tow capacities. Some say that there is a lot of "marketing" involved with tow ratings. They bump them up for trucks and SUV's when they are no more capable than mini vans.

As long as the trailer doesn't weigh hundreds of pounds more than the yellow sticker on the door jam, I'm good.
TheTick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central California
Posts: 2,243
Yellow sticker = weight as it left the factory + an allowance for propane in the tanks.

Before you load anything in the TT, the only real additions to weight from the yellow sticker are battery(ies) and WD hitch. If your setup is typical, a single group 24 battery will weigh about 50lbs and another 75 for WD hitch w bars. Each of these has a greater net effect on the TT tongue weight which directly effects TV Cargo capacity as I'm sure your research has shown. Roughly, whatever the yellow sticker says for tongue add about 125lbs and should be pretty close as you make calculations.

I too have OCD and can relate. All you need to do is confirm actual weights and make the calculations. It appears you going about this in a sound logical manner.
__________________
2007 Chevy Duramax LMM/Allison
2012 Jay Flight 29QBH
2012 Jay Flight 26BH (Sold)
clubhouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Where ever the boss says we're going.
Posts: 5,045
Our son has a 17Z and tows it with an Odessey, he says it handles it fine.
__________________
DISNEY LOVERS
PINNACLE 2015 38FLSA. aka: "Roam Sweet Home"
Grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Threebutchers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 6,818
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
The dry weight of the trailer is 2,625 so the trailer only has an 875# cargo capacity. This does not include the weight of options such as microwave, awning, A/C, spare tire, etc. There will be a sticker on the outside of the trailer that will state the "shipped weight" which is the "dry weight" plus factory installed options. Add to that the weight of any dealer installed options.
The yellow sticker is the shipping weight, and on my 154BH, that included everything. The only dealer installed item was the battery - should be the same for the 184BH (check your contract). All our camping gear, tools, outdoor mat, screen tent (blah, blah) weighs under 300# (I've weighed it). Use common sense when you stock your TT....everything we purchased is lightweight. Leave the horse shoes and cast iron cookware home...

I would recommend purchasing a tongue scale. Mine has proven to be a great asset in guiding me in how to pack the travel trailer to keep the tongue weight at my recommended 300#. You haven't stated your tongue weight and it's a very important you find out..... especially if you choose not to use a WDH.

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the Jayco (SWIFT) Family!
[ATTACH][/ATTACH]
Threebutchers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Threebutchers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 6,818
Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
and another 75 for WD hitch w bars. Each of these has a greater net effect on the TT tongue weight which directly effects TV Cargo capacity as I'm sure your research has shown.
The right WDH for your setup (if your hitch will allow) is the Reese 350 Ultralight w/ anti-sway. It weighs 38# total....I just moved over to it and I'm very happy with it....

https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...our-TT-or-P-UP
Threebutchers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 18
Grumpy, Good to hear another Odyssey owner having success. The hitches for the Odyssey are rated at 350lbs. The 17Z has a hitch weight of 395lbs so its encouraging to see that your son has no issues going over the hitch rating. It seems plenty of people go over this rating with no problems, but I wanted to keep it as close as possible. One of the main reasons I chose the 184BH was the hitch weight of 315. Hoping I won't need to use weight distribution. Thanks for chiming in!
__________________

TheTick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia State Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.