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  #1  
Old 06-14-2005, 02:36 AM
stressalert
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Default Tow vehicle Information

I have a 6 cylinder Honda Passport (2001). I do not understand the technical language regarding torque and rpm etc. but I want to be sure I can safely tow a TM without going over the weight limits. The car owners manual says the trailer wt and cargo load should not exceed 4,5oo# and the gross combined wt rating is 8700#. I thought it was as easy as picking the unloaded trailer weight, adding in the optional wt (lp gas, water,clothes,food)
or maybe allowing 1,000 pounds lea way for those extras., and essentially finding a trailer whose unloaded weight was less than 3,500#...when I ask the RV dealer, they say, to call the Honda manufacturer. Could someone out there tell me what information I need to ask the Honda people about my car to be able to determine what size TM travel trailer I can tow? The more books and info I read on this the more complicated it seems to become! I am sure I am not alone!! Right now, the TM use is just for one, me. But I like the 2720 SD model. I need to use this for intermittent housing ( 3 mos at a time) and for traveling. What type of climate/ weather conditions is the TM livable?? Will pipes burst in a freeze? I appreciate any input! S.A.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2005, 04:05 AM
BrigCA61
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You're not alone. Things get more complicated if you intend to take your Trailmanor up mountain roads.... the steeper the grade, the more your engine has to work. If you are just towing on flat land or small hills you should be just fine with what the manual states as far as towing capacity. Other members will probably add more soon. You might want to state what type of towing (mountains, flat terrain) you plan to do.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2005, 07:42 AM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressalert
I have a 6 cylinder Honda Passport (2001). I do not understand the technical language regarding torque and rpm etc. but I want to be sure I can safely tow a TM without going over the weight limits. The car owners manual says the trailer wt and cargo load should not exceed 4,5oo# and the gross combined wt rating is 8700#. I thought it was as easy as picking the unloaded trailer weight, adding in the optional wt (lp gas, water,clothes,food)
or maybe allowing 1,000 pounds lea way for those extras., and essentially finding a trailer whose unloaded weight was less than 3,500#...when I ask the RV dealer, they say, to call the Honda manufacturer. Could someone out there tell me what information I need to ask the Honda people about my car to be able to determine what size TM travel trailer I can tow?
The parts of the equation you're overlooking are (1) the published "dry" weight of the trailer does not include factory or dealer options and (2) your Honda's tow rating is based on a bare bones model without options, passengers, cargo, or gas...just a 150 lb driver. When you plug in the options on the trailer and stuff (options, cargo, gas, etc.) in the Passport, the numbers change quite a bit. But one thing does remain constant...the total of loaded car and loaded trailer must not exceed the Gross Combined Weight Rating of 8700 lbs.

Taking some typical numbers...on a 2619/2720 class TM, normal factory and dealer options like air conditioning, awning, overhead cabinet, battery, microwave, TV antenna, swing tongue, etc. will add around 400 to 500 lbs to the weight of the empty trailer. So your starting weight is more like 3200 lbs...to which you must add all propane, water, food, and gear you intend to carry with you. Since you're planning on extended periods of living in the trailer, you'll likely be loading it very heavily with "stuff" so your total weight on a 2720SD will probably be close to the trailer's GVWR...or about 4000 lbs.

When you subtract 4000 from 8700, that means the most the loaded Passport can weigh is 4700 lbs. But an empty Passport is 4200 lbs (8700 minus the "tow rating" of 4500). So you can only carry 500 lbs of stuff (including gas) in the Passport before you exceed the GCWR.

Basically, your intended usage is going to put you right at the GCWR (if not a little over). In the relatively flat (and near sealevel) terrain of Florida, being at the GCWR or even a hundred so pounds over the GCWR is not a huge deal. You will have pretty poor acceleration...turnpike/interstate onramps will seem awfully short...but the Passport will eventually get the trailer up to highway speed and has enough wheelbase to decently control a 2720 or 2619 sized trailer. However, if you were to head for the mountains, especially if you went "out west" to the Rockies or Sierra Nevada, you'd find that your Passport would be severely challenged (like down to around 25 mph) when towing over the higher/steeper passes. Even the higher areas of the Appalachians (like around the Smoky Mountains in TN) will give your Passport a real work out if you were towing a 4000 lb trailer.
Quote:
The more books and info I read on this the more complicated it seems to become! I am sure I am not alone!! Right now, the TM use is just for one, me. But I like the 2720 SD model. I need to use this for intermittent housing ( 3 mos at a time) and for traveling. What type of climate/ weather conditions is the TM livable?? Will pipes burst in a freeze? I appreciate any input! S.A.
IMHO, a TrailManor becomes very hard to keep warm when the outside temperatures drop into the mid 30s or lower, especially if there is any wind. Where I camp in the high altitudes of Colorado, the nighttime temps...even in mid summer...are often near or sometimes below freezing so I have a lot of experience with my TM in cool/cold weather. The problem is mostly the windows and seals. There are a lot of windows and they're made of very thin glass so they lose a lot of heat. It helps to close the curtains but then you can get quite claustrophibic, especially during the day. The other problem is the seals...there are lots of them and its very hard to make sure there are no gaps that will let in cold drafts if the wind is blowing. The good news is that most of the pipes are inside so freeze up of the plumbing is not a particular concern...though the exterior drains and valves can freeze in extended sub-freezing temperatures.

Hope this helps clarify things
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #4  
Old 06-14-2005, 05:39 PM
stressalert
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Thank you so very much!! This definitely makes me feel better! If I want to tow in the mountains, are there rental trucks I could use to take the abuse? (maybe not, since I would need to install them with electric brakes.)
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2005, 09:15 PM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressalert
Thank you so very much!! This definitely makes me feel better! If I want to tow in the mountains, are there rental trucks I could use to take the abuse? (maybe not, since I would need to install them with electric brakes.)
Rental trucks for mountain towing???? I don't think so...partly for the reason you specified (lack of brake controllers), partly because there's very little to no demand (at least 99% of folks who tow want to use their own tow vehicle), and partly because any rental company that did a thorough cost analysis would have to price its offerings so high (due to probable abuse) that hardly anyone would be willing to pay the daily rates. Towing and tow vehicles are a very specialized market...about the only generalized RVing market that supports rentals are the mid-size "Class C" rentals (e.g. Cruise Americia, RV4Rent, etc.)

If you want to do mountain towing in a regular or semi-regular basis, you simply have to upgrade to a V8 powered tow vehicle (with at least 300 ft-lbs of torque (at 3400 RPM or less) and 3.73 or lower (numerically higher) axles.

As point of reference, my Toyota Tundra came from the factory with a 4.7L V8 that produced 315 ft-lbs of torque at 3400 RPM and had 3.91 axles. I found its high altitude towing performance of my TM2720SL (loaded weight around 3700 lbs) to be just "adequate"...frequent downshifts to 2nd gear were needed to stay with traffic when crossing Colorado's high passes (over 11,000 feet above sea level) on steep grades (over 6%). So I spent around $3000 modifying the truck (headers, exhaust) to get around 350 ft-lbs of torque out of the engine and changed to lower (4.30) gears) for even more torque multiplication. I can now tow my trailer over the high passes with ease.
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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