Actual Tow Vehicle Chart Available? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2016, 10:41 PM   #1
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Name: Naomi
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Actual Tow Vehicle Chart Available?

Is there a listing/chart somewhere on this site of actual tow vehicles organized by trailer make/model? It seems there's a range between what the "official" recommendation for tow vehicle capacity and what folks are using in real life.

I currently am only a wannabe on this forum. I'll be getting a new (to me) vehicle in the next while, so I've started researching what would work for our family and also as a tow vehicle for a 13' Scamp (Layout 1) or a 13' Armadillo.

I currently have a Subaru Forester and was thinking of getting an Outback. It can tow 3000 lbs but the tongue weight is only 200 lbs. A Ford Escape Titanium with the tow package would tow 3500 lbs with a 350 tongue weight, for about the same money as the Outback. I'm trying to figure out what other competition I should consider. Any suggestions in the small SUV/Crossover category?
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:28 PM   #2
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Recommendation

First decide what trailer you want. Then go to Weights in Real World to determine the maximum weight for the trailer you want.
Since there is so many vehicles out it would be nearly impossible to list all the tow vehicles that would work and those that might not a good idea. Within brands there can a big difference in towing capacity. Therefore, the place to start is probably the internet and search for towing capacity for the tow vehicle of your dreams.
It's generally recommended that your tow weight is not above 80% the capacity listed for your tow vehicle.
I know this isn't exactly what you asked for, but if you look at the weights of the trailers you'll get an idea of how difficult a task you've asked for from volunteers.
Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:52 AM   #3
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Hi Byron -- Thanks for your reply. I know it would be a difficult task, with all the variables. I was mainly wondering if there was one spot where everybody parked their stats on this site. I know some folks have the info in their profile, and I know there's the registry, but searching there didn't come up with anything cohesive. So I wondered if there was already a roll call thread or chart established before I set out reinventing the wheel. I'll be sure to use the real-world weights thread as my reference. thanks!


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Old 08-22-2016, 08:03 AM   #4
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Actual Tow Vehicle Chart Available?

There is this: Trailer and Tow Vehicle Combos
The first post links to a spreadsheet of the data.

Regarding the choices you mentioned, here are my thoughts. It sounds like you will be traveling with your family. Tow ratings generally assume only one or two people and minimal cargo in the vehicle. With a family, you probably have extra passengers as well as a fair amount of cargo in the back. In my mind that rules out the Outback. That 200# tongue weight rating is barely enough for the trailer and doesn't allow for the weight of extra passengers and cargo. The Escape seems more like what you should be looking for. Something with a tow rating of 3500/350 would accommodate the weight of your trailer (likely around 1800 pounds fully loaded) and all the people and cargo in the vehicle.

There are other choices with similar ratings. A few that come to mind: Ford Edge, Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain V6, Dodge Journey V6, Jeep Cherokee V6, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, Kia Sorento 2.0T, Nissan Murano.

Toyota and Honda are missing from that list. Their compact SUV offerings are limited to 1500#. To get a tow rating of 3500/350 or more you have to step up to a larger 3-row SUV: Highlander or Pilot. A number of people do pull 13'ers with RAV4s and CRVs, but not with a family, IMO.

In addition to SUVs, most minivans can be equipped to tow in that range and make good tow vehicles. With kids, you might appreciate the extra room on a longer trip!
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thank you, Jon! That's exactly what I was looking for. I'm still not good at negotiating the site, and all my queries in the search function were coming up short. Thank you!

I will be camping with my two kids and another adult, usually my husband or one of my sisters as a rule. My kids are 4 and 7, so we do have a ton of gear whenever we go anywhere! I'm trying to keep the vehicle to a smaller suv/crossover due to our small garage and ease of parking in the city.


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Old 08-22-2016, 08:46 AM   #6
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You had better check again on the tow rating of the Outback. Unless it has changed for the current model year, the tow rating for the Outback is 2700 lbs., with trailer brakes, significantly less without. The 200 lb tongue weight is correct.

Per a couple of suggestions above, I suggest you look into all the weight ratings, particularly the GCWR, Gross Combined Weight Rating of vehicles which you consider. This is the total weight of the combined TV and TT loaded with passengers and gear. This is a rating which is often overlooked, but is particularly important when you are trying to use anything smaller than a full size pickup or SUV.

As you see, my wife and I pull a Little Joe, 1760 TT/175 tongue, with a '14 Outback, but it is only with the two of us, and we travel pretty light.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck in your search. There is a combination out there that is right for you.

You are on the front end of all the considerations, looking for both a TV and a TT. Take time. Do your homework. It will pay you dividends.
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:03 AM   #7
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You're so right, Cliff! I wonder where I pulled the 3000 from...huh. I am trying my best to learn as much as possible from these threads so that I can make a smart choice for our family. We'll be tent camping it until I can get the stars all lined up. Thanks!


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Old 08-22-2016, 10:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chitown Naomi View Post
...I wonder where I pulled the 3000 from..
The H6 3.0L engine is rated for 3000#, so that is shown in some places as the "up to" figure. The H4 2.5L is rated 2700#, but both are saddled with a 200# tongue weight limit. That's fine for one or two traveling lightly, and in fact Outbacks are a popular choice hereabouts for 13'ers. But probably not in your situation.

A "ton of gear"… sure hope you don't mean that literally! LOL...
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:33 AM   #9
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Remember when choosing a TV that there are other factors as well. Of course you have to stay within the maximum trailer weight and maximum tongue weight. But you also must be sure the gross vehicle weight (into which the tongue weight should be added) and the gross combined weight are not exceeded. For instance with our 2015 Transit Connect we are well under the maximum trailer weight of 2000 lb with a 1500 lb trailer, but with two adults, three dogs, miscellaneous equipment, food, clothing and 150 lb tongue weight, our gross combined weight is 6100 lb and Ford places a maximum on it of 6300 lb. In our case the max combined weight becomes a bigger concern than the trailer weight.
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:00 PM   #10
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Just because someone else is doing it, doesn't always make it right. There are people that tow Airstreams with Mini Coopers.

Unfortunately, dry weights from manufacturers are bogus. And you won't be towing your trailer dry anyway. Figure tongue weight around 11 to 13%. Look up the payload capacity for your choice of vehicle. Most run out of payload capacity long before they run out of towing capacity. And realize you use up payload capacity with passenger(s), driver, luggage, hitch, etc. It seems like the manufacturers short change all of us on payload.

I've towed for a number of years, I prefer a healthy tow margin. It means I can easily tow up pretty much any grade, anywhere. I've towed with a marginal tow vehicle, I won't do it anymore.
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chitown Naomi View Post
A Ford Escape Titanium with the tow package would tow 3500 lbs with a 350 tongue weight, for about the same money as the Outback.
Do your really need the bells and whistles of the Titanium trim? SE trim with 2.0 Ecoboost engine will provide your the same towing capacity but will cost much less.
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chitown Naomi View Post
I was mainly wondering if there was one spot where everybody parked their stats on this site.

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As others have suggested your best to pick your trailer and go from there. Everyone is different in regards to where they tow, frequency of use, how far they tow etc so their chooses in regards to tow vehicles are going to vary greatly. What one party feels is a good towing combo might be a combo that another party would not feel comfortable towing a mile

I BTW did pull for a number of years with an Outback and personally feel its a good match for a 13' Scamp if you are travelling with just two people. I know we have lots of folks here who are pulling 13's with the Outback - but you need to make sure the trailer has brakes on it. It may not be a good choose if you are planning on carrying rear passengers and lots of cargo in the rear though due to its low tongue weight spec though.
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Old 08-22-2016, 04:47 PM   #13
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Remember when choosing a TV that there are other factors as well. Of course you have to stay within the maximum trailer weight and maximum tongue weight. But you also must be sure the gross vehicle weight (into which the tongue weight should be added) and the gross combined weight are not exceeded. For instance with our 2015 Transit Connect we are well under the maximum trailer weight of 2000 lb with a 1500 lb trailer, but with two adults, three dogs, miscellaneous equipment, food, clothing and 150 lb tongue weight, our gross combined weight is 6100 lb and Ford places a maximum on it of 6300 lb. In our case the max combined weight becomes a bigger concern than the trailer weight.
CAREFUL! don't add in the tongue/hitch weight twice. How do you weigh the trailer? Ideally you would get the whole rig on the scale for the total gross weight. Then disconnect trailer on the scale for total trailer weight. Then reconnect to the TV and pull ahead to weigh trailer axle only. The difference will be the tongue weight. The scale approach and departure ramps must be level with scale platform to keep all on one plane. Also, weigh the TV axles separately with and without the trailer on. That will show you how much weight transfer you get by the hitch weight acting a distance behind your rear axle.
Stay off the brakes to avoid pulling the scale sideways.
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:20 PM   #14
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Do your really need the bells and whistles of the Titanium trim? SE trim with 2.0 Ecoboost engine will provide your the same towing capacity but will cost much less.

You are correct. I sat down last night and read the specs for the SE and Titanium side by side, and the SE does everything I want, and nothing I don't. Like LED mood lighting.


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