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Old 11-10-2010, 08:44 AM   #11
Mr. Adventure
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Ed, I don't disagree with you. If I had a 4200# trailer and a 1700# load in the tow vehicle (driver, 4 buddies, 500#), I would be looking for a vehicle that supported those numbers in it's Gross Combined Weight Ratings, Gross Axle Weight ratings, and it's Gross Vehicle Weight ratings. I would also suggest that people read and pay close attention to their manufacturers towing instructions, and I would also be extremely interested in the ownership experience of people with similar vehicles.

And I might look at all those things and decide to do this differently than someone else. For example, I might have some of those other guys drive another vehicle with another trailer so that I don't have to drive a truck to the office 200 days of the year when I'm not out with the guys.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:36 AM   #12
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Ed, I don't disagree with you. If I had a 4200# trailer and a 1700# load in the tow vehicle (driver, 4 buddies, 500#), I would be looking for a vehicle that supported those numbers in it's Gross Combined Weight Ratings, Gross Axle Weight ratings, and it's Gross Vehicle Weight ratings. I would also suggest that people read and pay close attention to their manufacturers towing instructions, and I would also be extremely interested in the ownership experience of people with similar vehicles.

And I might look at all those things and decide to do this differently than someone else. For example, I might have some of those other guys drive another vehicle with another trailer so that I don't have to drive a truck to the office 200 days of the year when I'm not out with the guys.
Good advice Mr A, but I'm a firm believer in "you can't have your cake and eat it too." (Please don't take this personally.)
Basically, if people want to tow a trailer, drive thousands of miles in all kinds of weather and terrain, they should NOT consider doing it in a vehicle that's "just getting by" or in some cases "over the limit". Many people today get caught up in the "suv and crossover" market and don't realize that their vehicle, while looking like a truck, is really NOT a truck at all. No one would consider towing a TM using an Accord, Camry, Optima, etc, but in many ways when they opt for minivans and smaller SUVs/crossovers, that exactly what they are driving.
What I'm trying to say is, if you are doing a job that requires a truck, then you need a truck, not a vehicle that looks like a truck, but one that acts like a truck.
I know many people buy a TV first, then stumbled across a deal on a TM and try to make it work. But when people are in the market for a TV and know what the TM weighs, then wide safety margins and good common sense needs to kick in.
Under the current groups guideline figure of "Minimum 5000 lbs TC", my Astro would be "MARGINAL" with it's current 4500 TC.
I can bump this to 5500 by changing my rear end to 3.73's, and still would not consider using it regularly for mountainous terrain.
A 3500 TC TV should not be considered.

We use 3/4 ton full size vans at work. They have medium size V8's, have incredible towing and cargo capacities, and average 16mpg. Now I'm not saying everyone needs to go to such a vehicle, but when you consider people with minivans are getting low 20's mpg, there really isn't much more spent annually for such a huge safety margin. (Keep in mind that this is the same kind of van that my 5'2" wife came to enjoy driving.)

I think the message we should be spreading is SAFETY FIRST. Saving a few hundred dollars a year should not be priority.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ED-n-KEL View Post
Good advice Mr A, but I'm a firm believer in "you can't have your cake and eat it too." (Please don't take this personally.)
Basically, if people want to tow a trailer, drive thousands of miles in all kinds of weather and terrain, they should NOT consider doing it in a vehicle that's "just getting by" or in some cases "over the limit". Many people today get caught up in the "suv and crossover" market and don't realize that their vehicle, while looking like a truck, is really NOT a truck at all. No one would consider towing a TM using an Accord, Camry, Optima, etc, but in many ways when they opt for minivans and smaller SUVs/crossovers, that exactly what they are driving.
What I'm trying to say is, if you are doing a job that requires a truck, then you need a truck, not a vehicle that looks like a truck, but one that acts like a truck.
I know many people buy a TV first, then stumbled across a deal on a TM and try to make it work. But when people are in the market for a TV and know what the TM weighs, then wide safety margins and good common sense needs to kick in.
Under the current groups guideline figure of "Minimum 5000 lbs TC", my Astro would be "MARGINAL" with it's current 4500 TC.
I can bump this to 5500 by changing my rear end to 3.73's, and still would not consider using it regularly for mountainous terrain.
A 3500 TC TV should not be considered.

We use 3/4 ton full size vans at work. They have medium size V8's, have incredible towing and cargo capacities, and average 16mpg. Now I'm not saying everyone needs to go to such a vehicle, but when you consider people with minivans are getting low 20's mpg, there really isn't much more spent annually for such a huge safety margin. (Keep in mind that this is the same kind of van that my 5'2" wife came to enjoy driving.)

I think the message we should be spreading is SAFETY FIRST. Saving a few hundred dollars a year should not be priority.

Ed,
Safety is indeed the most important thing.

- Using the example from down your way that’s in our national news today, you need a culture of safety, not a culture of complacency. Safety does not arrive at your home in a pickup truck any more than it arrives in a UPS package. Safety is much more about you than it is about your vehicle and has nothing whatsoever to do with your rear axle ratio. I cringe when I hear people say “we don’t even know it’s back there” or “I have nothing to worry about because my truck has a 10000# tow rating.”

- Braking distance is important, but the pickup truck we were discussing in another thread today will theoretically have a less than 5% shorter braking distance than I do with a 4000# trailer (unless he chooses not to use a WDH, in which case I don’t want him to be following me) (I’ll share my calculations if you like). The following was posted by harveyrv awhile ago (http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...d.php?t=8709): "I tried a hard stop from 50MPH and was shocked that my front wheels skidded (note that I have never done this before). However, I then removed the spring bars and tried the same panic stop, in exactly the same speed and place. The skid was worse and I lost steering."

- But Braking distance is only a little more than half of stopping distance at 60mph. Controlling your speed is by far the better part of towing safety, as I mentioned in a previous post. Towing a full height travel trailer with a Ford van taught me to not exceed the speed limit when I’m towing, and driving a 37ft motor home taught me that I can drive further in a day at 60 than I can at 70, no matter what the speed limit is (the Highlander/TrailManor is a breeze by comparison to those vehicles).

- And, just to clear the air, there’s 4700# between the curb weight of my Highlander and its Gross Combined Weight Rating. While Toyota rated its similar vehicles as 3500 or 5000 in my model year, 4700# is the amount of room for a TrailManor when we do the math your way, and I have referenced the scale numbers earlier in this thread which prove it. My Highlander, in other words, is good enough to be rated by GM at 4700#, but not good enough to be rated 5000# by Toyota. Please also note that my vehicle gains 100# on the front axle when hitched. So far, it’s never skidded in any towing stop (thank God; not bragging, just grateful).
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:01 PM   #14
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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!
As a point of reference, I have weighed my 2720 as 3380 pounds on the axle. I estimate the total weight to be 4,100 pounds. Perhaps a bit more.

Anyone with a heavier 2720 has a rock collection.

My point is, the high side of the weight of a fully loaded 2720 is about 4,000 pounds. It is not difficult to stay below that. For starters, I always leave home with 48 gallons of water in the TM. Just the water is nearly 400 pounds.

I take a lot of stuff.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:30 AM   #15
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Just a quick note. I have a 2007 Honda oddessey, a weight distrabution hitch with anti sway bars, And a 2008 3124kb. So far this year the wife, 5 year old daughter, and two year old twins and I went to Florida for a week and a half during Easrer break. And this summer went to Penn.,Conn.,Maine, Vermont New Hamp., New york, and back to Cincinnati, on a six week adventure. Had a trip of a lifetime, and the pulled fine. If I was in your shoes I would get the bigger camper. You can never have too much storage room. Just be sure to get a good weight distrabution hitcht.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:30 AM   #16
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Thanks Manny-
I just bought the 2720... several considerations here. First of all it was on 'Hale Sale' so if I could live with a few (or more) dents, I could get more than half off. Also, it will fit in our garage easily, so we don't have to invest in a side yard retrofit, yet. I agree that you can never have too much storage... and I am concerned about giving that up, but I figure that if I really enjoy the heck out of this thing, as planned, over the next few years, then I can trade it in for something bigger...

BTW: the Odyssey specs that I found stated a 1800 lb tow capacity, is that incorrect? I had ruled out Honda or Toyota vans as tow vehicles based on these specs, but would love to rethink them if you have better info.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:52 AM   #17
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That is incorrect. The tow capacity for my 2007 Odyssey is 3500lbs.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:29 PM   #18
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Just a quick note. I have a 2007 Honda oddessey, a weight distrabution hitch with anti sway bars, And a 2008 3124kb.
Have you weighed your TM?
I'll guess that it's pushing 4500 lbs, not counting the people and cargo inside the vehicle, which would probably be over 5000 lbs total.

A major misconception is that WDH increases your tow capacity.
IT DOES NOT!
They do absolutely nothing to increase your overall tow capacity. It simply moves some weight around.
So if your TV is over it's capacity, at this point it's probably making a bad situation even worse by adding more overall weight than it's actually moving.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:43 PM   #19
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BTW: the Odyssey specs that I found stated a 1800 lb tow capacity, is that incorrect? I had ruled out Honda or Toyota vans as tow vehicles based on these specs, but would love to rethink them if you have better info.
DesertDiva,

Please do your own homework on this prior to buying a TV, especially one with a 3500lb TC. You will almost certainly be immediately overloaded, unless you remove the AC, refrigerator, stove, sofa, etc.
If you can, WEIGH the trailer. I think you will find that it actually weighs some 800-1000 lbs over what the TM website says it does.
This is a very experienced and wise group of individuals, and after MUCH discussion it was determined that the MINIMUM tow capacity of your TV should be 5000 lbs. If you don't want to take our words for it.... weigh the trailer.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:47 PM   #20
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I try to shoot for a TV tow rating of twice the max trailer weight that way I have a better chance at getting both stopped.
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