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Old 11-08-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
desertdiva
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Default 2720 vs. 3124kb??? reality of tow rating?

OK- here I am, a soccer mom that wants to give my kids the summers that I used to have. Tooling around the country in a camper and seeing everything to be seen.. without the DVD in play.

I am in the midst of purchasing a minivan. I am also in the process of purchasing a Trailmanor. I had my heart set on the 3124kb, for versatility and storage capacity. Now I am looking at minivan tow ratings, and can't find one rated over 3500lbs.

So, I am now thinking that somethings gotta give... or does it?

Does anyone know of a minivan that can be upgraded to tow more?
How disappointed will I be to give up the 3124 in lieu of the 2720 in order to scrape in under the tow capacity?
Now for my 'dumb girl that doesn't know much about cars' question... how real are those tow ratings? Can they be pushed, or will you really be entering a danger zone?
Would I be better off to give up on the minivan and move to a SUV (much less useful to me in the day to day) in order to retain the ability to pull a bigger cargo?
Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:16 AM   #2
ThePair
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Very controversial, this topic.

I drive a Toyota Sienna (2006) and a 2720SL. I don't have any problems with this setup, and I know of more than a few others with the same, without any reported issues. I also have weighed my rig, and I exclusively tow in the flat midwest, so mountains and high altitude are not part of my equation.

I find that the 2720SL with the recliner removed allows for a huge amount of floorspace, relatively speaking, and that was of the highest importance to me and my family (4 yo twins + dog). So, I don't feel like I "gave anything up", rather I feel that this model is the perfect match for me. Plus, it fits in my single car garage slot, with a couple of inches to spare. I have plenty of storage space -- I am nowhere near capacity on storing things, I am at capacity on weight, though, so I don't take anything extra beyond what I've deemed as "needed for camping". Which is still a lot, mind you

Many feel the Toyotas are underrated. Other minivans are overrated for towing, it seems. Do a forum search, you'll find many threads about this topic. I personally feel that the tow rating is a classification thing, a marketing thing, more than an actual number that has concrete meaning and significance.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
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Your screen name says "desert". Presumably that means you live in the west, probably the southwest. Which means that the Rocky Mountains or the Sierras may be in your plans. If so, consider carefully "ThePair's" comments about flatland towing. And maybe do a Search on the term "flat" or "flatlands" or "altitude".

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Old 11-09-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
ED-n-KEL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdiva View Post
I am in the midst of purchasing a minivan. I am also in the process of purchasing a Trailmanor. I had my heart set on the 3124kb, for versatility and storage capacity. Now I am looking at minivan tow ratings, and can't find one rated over 3500lbs.

So, I am now thinking that somethings gotta give... or does it?

Does anyone know of a minivan that can be upgraded to tow more?
How disappointed will I be to give up the 3124 in lieu of the 2720 in order to scrape in under the tow capacity?
Now for my 'dumb girl that doesn't know much about cars' question... how real are those tow ratings? Can they be pushed, or will you really be entering a danger zone?
Would I be better off to give up on the minivan and move to a SUV (much less useful to me in the day to day) in order to retain the ability to pull a bigger cargo?
Any help will be appreciated.
Some help..
It sounds as if you don't have a tow vehicle (TV) or a Trailmanor (TM) yet, so you can plan your moves.
If you haven't already purchased the minivan, and have your heart set on a TM, then don't buy the minivan. If you MUST have the minivan I would suggest a conventional canvas popup trailer.
If you can buy an SUV, then you can get the tow capacity (TC) you need, but beware of wheelbase lengths, especially if you're going to tow a longer TM such as the 3124. SUVs tend to have short wheelbases so keep the size of the TM reasonable.

You normally can't "upgrade" the TC of a TV once you've bought it. The TC of any given vehicle is fixed when it comes off the assembly line. Rarely can any item be added after the sale to increase TC.
You can get higher capacities of certain models (ie: F150, F250, F350), but unfortunately, this is not the case with minivans.
It's important to understand that today's minivans are nothing more than a car chassis with a van body on it. You really want something more in the "truck" family to safely tow many safe miles, especially in diverse terrain.

Another important note is to ignore the posted weights of the TMs on TM's website. These weights are empty base model and can be off from the real thing by 1000 lbs or more.

There are many posts here about your questions. If you read them, think about them, plan based on them, you will be ok. If you go out this weekend and buy a TV and a TM without doing this homework, you may not be ok.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
Mr. Adventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdiva View Post
OK- here I am, a soccer mom that wants to give my kids the summers that I used to have. Tooling around the country in a camper and seeing everything to be seen.. without the DVD in play.

I am in the midst of purchasing a minivan. I am also in the process of purchasing a Trailmanor. I had my heart set on the 3124kb, for versatility and storage capacity. Now I am looking at minivan tow ratings, and can't find one rated over 3500lbs.

So, I am now thinking that somethings gotta give... or does it?

Does anyone know of a minivan that can be upgraded to tow more?
How disappointed will I be to give up the 3124 in lieu of the 2720 in order to scrape in under the tow capacity?
Now for my 'dumb girl that doesn't know much about cars' question... how real are those tow ratings? Can they be pushed, or will you really be entering a danger zone?
Would I be better off to give up on the minivan and move to a SUV (much less useful to me in the day to day) in order to retain the ability to pull a bigger cargo?
Any help will be appreciated.
We have a lot of diversity in how people use TrailManors and where they use them. Extreme uses mandate more tow vehicle. Tow ratings are guidelines, not laws, but towing is something to be studied and taken seriously in all tow vehicles.

I've had great experience with my Highlander, which has a little bit firmer suspension than the Sienna. We have Sienna owners here that are the best sources for telling you about Siennas, which are superb minivans.

For me, the 3124 is too heavy for most of the lighter tow vehicles because TrailManors tend to actually weigh more on the road than the brochure might have you thinking (my 3023 weighs almost 4000 pounds when I consider it lightly loaded). Here's my numbers on the truck scale:
http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ad.php?t=10652

Let us know if you'd like us to help with the calculations on something specific.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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Much thanks for all the input! There are so many pieces to this puzzle, and I am trying to power through my learning curve here.

We do live in AZ, and I am hoping to drive through both mountains and flatlands... so. I will pick up the 2720, that we found a deal on. I will go ahead and buy my minivan, but hubby agreed to hang on to our ML350 SUV with a 7600 tow capacity so when we are going on extended trips, or tough terrain, we will have a more appropriate option.

Thanks again for ALL of your help- we'll be seeing you again, I am sure!
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:17 PM   #8
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We have a lot of diversity in how people use TrailManors and where they use them. Extreme uses mandate more tow vehicle. Tow ratings are guidelines, not laws, but towing is something to be studied and taken seriously in all tow vehicles.
Tow ratings are what the manufacturer of any given vehicle states is theMAXIMUM amount of weight that the vehicle that they built is rated to tow.

Not sure how that can be interpreted as a "Guideline".

I understand that some people think that these multi-billion dollar corporations take these ratings lightly and really don't know what they are doing but I can assure you that they don't take anything lightly. Anything that effects competitiveness and market share is HUGE........wait a minute let me re-state that.........HUGE!!!!!!! and is what absolutely drives the industry.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:03 AM   #9
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Not sure how that can be interpreted as a "Guideline".
I'm not sure how something that's based heavily on competitiveness and market share could ever be interpreted as anything but a guideline based primarily on maximizing the market and minimizing the costs and liabilities. There would be room only for only a sidelong glance at the engineering issues in that scenario.

I actually find the variables in towing to be humbling, with a lot of unknowns that make any real precision difficult. Folks who buy a big tow vehicle and think that's all it takes to solve all their towing safety problems are mistaken. If the most important thing is safety, then the most important part of towing is being able to stop before you reach the scene of the accident. Therefore the single, most important factor in towing safety is speed.

At 60mph according to the studies I've been reading and posting on the forum lately, your stopping distance would go up or down by about 4% for every mph plus or minus (it's not actually linear, it gets worse the faster you go). The difference in safety between the best tow vehicle we know about in this forum and the worst could be less than 20mph. In the middle of the range, operating a vehicle basically as it was designed and for the purposes as intended, it's going to be more about the care and caution of how you drive than it is about what you drive.

There are a lot of factors to be considered in choosing a tow vehicle, and you need to let other people make decisions that might be different from yours.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:03 AM   #10
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I wouldn't disagree with the term "guideline", but I would disagree how some people interpret this and twist it to fit their needs.
Say you have a TM that weighs 4200 lbs loaded, and you are shopping for a TV. You would look at their various TCs as a "guideline" to choose which is suitable. Some TVs are rated at 3500, some at 5000, 6000, 7500, 10,000, etc. A consumer should use these figures to then say, "My trailer weighs 4200 lbs, I have four 200 lbs buddies, and about 500 lbs of gear (=5500 lbs). I should at least consider a TV with a TC of 6000 lbs or more." They should not say to themselves, "My trailer and gear weigh 5500 lbs, but I'm going to use my 3500 lbs TV, because its only a guideline."
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