Realistic Tow/Cargo Weights - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-11-2007, 05:47 PM   #15
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...we both have the same truck (expect I think you said yours is a NISMO, mine's the LE) just thought I'd let you know that I'm convinced that I don't want to go larger than a 17'er. The one I am considering has 3500 lbs. on the sticker.
In my 2006 Frontier brochure the only variation with a towing limit of only 3500 lb is the four-cylinder, and the LE is always a V-6 (the SE is the four-cylinder). Of course, available combinations change year-to-year. The engine makes a big difference to GCWR, for reliability and performance reasons (not safety or stability), but the smaller engine does save about 360 lb of weight, so it can be beneficial in a way. Not enough engine for three tons of trailer, though...
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:50 PM   #16
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Full tank of gas in the truck
It might help a tiny bit to know that the curb weight in the manufacturer's specifications for a motor vehicle should be with full fluids, including fuel, so you don't have to add it again. For a Frontier, this is about 130 lb of gasoline.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:04 AM   #17
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It might help a tiny bit to know that the curb weight in the manufacturer's specifications for a motor vehicle should be with full fluids, including fuel, so you don't have to add it again. For a Frontier, this is about 130 lb of gasoline.
No matter how we add it up, there just isn't enough of a margin to make me comfortable about it...and it's not as if there is much to remove from the trailer to lighten it up... the microwave, the oven, the dinette... can't imagine that would add up to more than a couple hundred lbs. Though I just saw an ad for a 200x proclaiming "tows easily with my Toyota Tacoma" (which is rated to 6500 tow capacity)... that may mean they are towing it with hardly any cargo.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:12 AM   #18
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Just weigh your vehicle empty then weigh it while you are on a trip.

Grain Elevators, dumps, gravel yards, household moving companies, junk yards and truck stops along the interstates have scales and should weigh it for a very small fee or nothing.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:22 PM   #19
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Of course, just when we are resigned to not getting a 21 footer, I call the fellow whose ad said he tows his easily with his Toyota Tacoma. His TT has all the options we want and he said that the dry weight is about 3,700 lbs. The last time he went to a scale all loaded up, the trailer weighed in at 4,800 lbs. with cargo for family of 3 and water tanks carrying minimum amount. If we can stay around 5,000-5,100 lbs. of trailer weight, I think this could still work for us.

I have a call in to Doug Sloan of Bigfoot to get some confirmation of what the actual dry weight is of this model with the preferred options package (the AC and all that). It would sure be helpful if these were listed somewhere online for each model year, but I think that the NADA guides show only the base dry weight.

And, now that we have our tow hitch all set up up, we can at least drive over to where these trailers are (they are always at least 2 states away though) and try them out...

Just call us "DSER" ( Desperately seeking elbow room)
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:56 PM   #20
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... I just saw an ad for a 200x proclaiming "tows easily with my Toyota Tacoma"...
Bigfoot's promotional material as of a couple years ago claimed that their trailers were readily towed by a minivan... despite the fact that only the smallest model of their trailers is within the capacity of common minivans, and even then not when loaded. When I asked what they meant by this statement, they refused to respond.

"Minivan towable" is a common claim for smaller trailers, just as "half-ton towable" is a common claim for trailers that are at the limits of a what a typical "half-ton" pickup can tow, without passengers or cargo. I just ignore the claims and assess the actual combination proposed (which is why I don't attempt to tow any current Bigfoot with my van).

In defense of the RV industry, as we have recently been looking for a much larger trailer for use as a seasonal vacation home, the sales staff generally cautioned that very substantial pickup trucks would be required to tow those units.

Some real as-loaded truck and trailer weights would certainly be helpful.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:05 PM   #21
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Bigfoot's promotional material as of a couple years ago claimed that their trailers were readily towed by a minivan... despite the fact that only the smallest model of their trailers is within the capacity of common minivans, and even then not when loaded. When I asked what they meant by this statement, they refused to respond.

"Minivan towable" is a common claim for smaller trailers, just as "half-ton towable" is a common claim for trailers that are at the limits of a what a typical "half-ton" pickup can tow, without passengers or cargo. I just ignore the claims and assess the actual combination proposed (which is why I don't attempt to tow any current Bigfoot with my van).

In defense of the RV industry, as we have recently been looking for a much larger trailer for use as a seasonal vacation home, the sales staff generally cautioned that very substantial pickup trucks would be required to tow those units.

Some real as-loaded truck and trailer weights would certainly be helpful.
this is exactly why I will go to a class B motorhome before I go to a bigger trailer. I actually *need* my ford ranger to get where I need to go. Nothing else will get me there short of an ATV or dirt bike. The ranger is going nowhere and I am really not comfortable towing anything heavier than a Casita SD 17" with it. So I will probably buy or rent a used four winds dualie if I do up in scale.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:35 PM   #22
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We just weighed our truck this weekend with both of us in it... 4,930 lbs. This will make it easier to figure out how much trailer and cargo we can safely tow. Just wish it were easier to get the actual weights of individual trailers... most of the owners we have talked to so far quote the factory dry weight which doesn't include any of the options installed on the individual unit.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:20 PM   #23
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Lacking scale weight, the next best thing to use IMHO is the GVWR of the trailer, because if you load it past that, you're really gambling...
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:42 AM   #24
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Val estimated 900 lb of "stuff" in the truck, which when added to the 4,502 lb curb weight would be 4,902 lb. The measured weight is 4,930 lb. Impressively close!

I agree that the trailer's GVWR is an upper limit which is useful for planning; however, specific models such as the Bigfoot 25B21RB with about 3,000 lb between unloaded weight and GVWR could be unnecessarily eliminated from consideration, penalized by their axle capacity. It would be nice is people actually weighed their trailers...
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:02 PM   #25
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Val estimated 900 lb of "stuff" in the truck, which when added to the 4,502 lb curb weight would be 4,902 lb. The measured weight is 4,930 lb. Impressively close!

I agree that the trailer's GVWR is an upper limit which is useful for planning; however, specific models such as the Bigfoot 25B21RB with about 3,000 lb between unloaded weight and GVWR could be unnecessarily eliminated from consideration, penalized by their axle capacity. It would be nice is people actually weighed their trailers...
Gee, thanks Brian! I think yours is a really good point because if one has a solid idea of the amount of cargo and number of passengers that one will carry, then the actual weight of the individual trailer as equipped is more useful to know because the GVWR of the trailer may be substantially higher than one would actually carry. One can become overweight with cargo regardless of the GVWR of one's trailer, so weighing the truck and trailer periodically with cargo and passengers would seem to be a good method of maintaining the overall weight within safe margins. I look forward to having a trailer to weigh soon... sigh.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:11 PM   #26
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A couple of years ago I was readying for a very long trip with a new TV. There was a quarry nearby with a weigh-shack and the guys there were very friendly and helpful. They let me weigh truck and trailer anytime so long as I was respectful of the line of trucks waiting for the scales. I emptied my new truck, filled it with gas, and weighed it.

Thereafter, I used a pair of scales to weigh everything that went into the TV. Kept good notes. When the truck was ready I took it back to the scales, along with my own "scaled weighed" list of contents. I was 16 pounds off from the scaled weight. Then I attached the trailer (after getting the tongue weight using the same scale I had used for the TV contents) and weighed the whole rig.

That knowledge was very comforting during the trip. This wouldn't work for everyone, but if you have access to scales I recommend it.
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