ratios - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-27-2007, 05:48 PM   #1
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I have a 4000lb towing pickup and a 3000 lb trailer.
I want to downsize a little but and was interested in what you pull with and how much you pull.
My trailer weight is 75% of my truck weight.
Do any of you go more than "one to one"? trailer being heavier than your car/truck?


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Old 12-27-2007, 06:13 PM   #2
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Thats something i never thought of. I normally go by tow rating of tow vehicle.

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Old 12-27-2007, 09:37 PM   #3
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I once (1970s) pulled a 2,000# (fully loaded) stick built 14' (8' wide) travel trailer with a 1,600# 1966 Covair Monza. Does that count?
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:10 AM   #4
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Ron, I pulled my 8,900 lb Airstream with a 7,500 lb Excursion. I also occasionally pull my 5,300 Bigfoot 25RQ with my 4,300 lb Tundra.

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Old 12-28-2007, 05:28 AM   #5
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I pull our 1400 lb. Compact Jr. with a 4200 lb. '02 Toyota Sienna. I used to tow it with a 3300 lb. '96 Nissan Maxima.



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Old 12-28-2007, 01:58 PM   #6
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I would shy away from towing with a tug lighter than the trailer, but I realize that it may be acceptable with some rigs, such as a 5er and a well equipped truck. For information about towing, check out Trailer Life's 2008 "Guide to Towing" which just came out with the January issue. It is a great reference on towing!
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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Trailer wt NO more than 85% of Tow Vehicle.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:07 PM   #8
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I think Chester has the right answer.
As for towing with a vehicle light than the trailer, towing ratings of vehicles seem to discount that. Example: My 2005 Dakota with tow package is rated to tow 7,000 lbs. The vehicle weighs 4,700 lbs.

We have examined and discussed tow ratings here on this forum. From those discussions I don't believe weight of the tow vehicle vs weight of trailer are important. What is important the towing rating of the tow vehicle vs the weight of the trailer.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:42 PM   #9
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Trailer wt NO more than 85% of Tow Vehicle.
I'm with you there somewhere Kevin.
Maybe 1:1 max
Just makes me feel better if the trailer doesn't weigh more than the puller.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:45 PM   #10
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I believe it's true that many tow vehicles have ratings higher than their weight. Actually a 3/4 ton is not that heavy and can have quite a large towing capacity. I believe one huge factor would be brakes on the trailer so that the tow vehicle is not trying to stop the whole load in an emergency. I would think that as long as you are within the towing capacity of your TV you are safe, but I do agree 1 to 1 sounds sensible.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:00 PM   #11
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A vehicle's tow rating has a lot more to do with its design and construction than its weight. Consider a diesel tractor in a tractor-trailer combo where the weight of the trailer and cargo is often some multiple of the weight of the tug; at the other end of the spectra some cars are rated for zero-tow-weight. There is no golden ratio.

Off the top of my head, some of the things that affect tow rating are

-- The TV's brakes. They have to be able to effectively handle the TV & Trailer.
-- Wheel base & weight distribution. A longer wheelbase and shorter distance between the rear axle and the hitch helps maintain front-tire traction; vehicles with shorter wheelbases and greater hitch overhang loose traction and directional control as the vehicle's effective center of gravity shifts backward when weight is applied to the hitch. (Additional downward weight beyond the standard hitch weight is applied to the hitch while braking and as the TV and trailer go over rough terrain.)
-- Rear axle and tires. They also have to handle the added weight and demands of towing.
-- Body/frame type. Cars and trucks with traditional frames have stronger mounting points for the hitch than frame-less "unit body" vehicles.

And the list goes on and on . . .

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Old 12-29-2007, 07:42 AM   #12
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I would go with whatever the automotive engineers in their infinite wisdom determine for the tow vehicle.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:44 AM   #13
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In the US (and, perhaps, Canada) we seem to go more by tow ratings and length of trailer to tow wheelbase than weight ratios. However, the Europeans seem to use weight ratios. I believe the British trailer-to-tow ratio is around 85% to 89%.

It'd sure come in handy if North America had a website LIKE THIS. They furnish a lot of helpful information.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:03 PM   #14
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The manf tow capacity rating trumps all.

That said, I don't think weight is that much of a factor if all the other stuf is right. I have seen a small trailer yank a pickup truck around on the road when the loaded pickup weighed almost three times the loaded trailer's weight. Conversely, as PeterH points out, what's the weight ratio of a tractor-trailer rig hauling a load of structural steel...

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