Going crazy in the world of GVWR, etc - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-15-2016, 09:52 AM   #15
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I just pulled up a Kia Sorrento manual and it has good information for you on what all this stuff means. http://www.kia.ca/content/ownership/...sorento-en.pdf
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:18 AM   #16
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The only part of payload that comes from towing is the tongue weight. So for your tow vehicle you add up actual vehicle weight, passenger weight, cargo in the tow vehicle, and tongue weight of trailer.

The trailer itself has two limits on cargo- one, it's on GVWR and two, not exceeding the 5000lb tow limit of your tow vehicle. Whichever is smaller is the important one. GCWR really means nothing since you can't use one to offset the other anyway. That is, you can't add 200 extra pounds to the trailer because the tow vehicle is 200 lbs below its weight rating. You CAN add 200 pounds to the trailer if it is 200 lbs below the tow vehicle's weight rating (though towing at the max may not be the best thing to do.)
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jill H. View Post
Thanks for the welcome. I've been lurking for about a year. Nice folks on here. Very helpful.

I have never towed anything. First choice of TT is a Little Snoozy and second choice is a 16' Casita. I am seriously looking at a 2017 Kia Sorento AWD with a 3.3 L V6. My son keeps telling me to get a truck, but a truck just feels like too much vehicle. The Sorento has a tow rating of 5K in this package. The Little Snoozy has a base weight of 2600 and the Casita has a base weight of 2500. I know I'm supposed to add weight of cargo, passengers, fluids, etc to weight of car and trailer, but I can't find what the GCWR is for, well, anything, let alone this Sorento, despite a few Google searches. I want hill power and stopping power--I want safety. So how do I know if this is a good match?
Thanks!

Best to give a dealer a phone call and ask or go down to the lot and look at the stickers on the vehicles. Be warned the stickers on each vehicle may read something very different. The numbers can vary greatly on what appears to be the same car based on their trim package & optional equipment etc.

The GCWR (Gross Combined Weight) is indeed a good one to check but it is the total weight of the loaded car and loaded trailer combined.

It is not just the trailers tongue weight and your passengers and gear in the vehicle though.

The GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the total weight of the actual vehicle itself loaded with passengers, fuel and only the trailers tongue weight.

Some of the vehicle manufactures web site will give you the Curb Weight of the vehicle. The curb weight of a vehicle is the total weight of the vehicle with all of its equipment, including a full tank of gas and coolant and motor oil, but without any cargo or passengers. If you know the Curb Weight and the GVWR you can do the math and come up with a Payload (how much weight for gear, people and trailer tongue) it can handle.


The Trailer Weights in the Real World thread will give you a good idea as to what you might expect the weights of the trailers you are looking at might be once loaded for camping. Dry weights tend to be a less than reliable number to work with. If it is all you can find though its a good bet you need to add about 600-700lbs to that number to come up with a more realistic loaded weight.

Re you son suggesting that a truck would be better. Let me say this. There are many folks who are considered towing experts, as well as those who have actually pulled trailers with passenger vehicles and SUV's, as well as trucks who will suggest that may not be true! :lout:lout A great deal depends on how well the vehicle is matched to the trailer... lots of variables.

Some might suggest that the only thing a truck has over a passenger type vehicle when it comes to setting it up for a nice solid and safe towing experience is that there is a lot more room to carry stuff in the rear! Making knowing your actual Payload a real important thing
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jill H. View Post
...Seems to me that a SUV with a towing capacity of 5000 should be fine for towing a 16' fiberglass...
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Originally Posted by Jill H. View Post
My son keeps telling me to get a truck, but a truck just feels like too much vehicle.
Jill, all good thoughts given by others on towing and tow vehicles. Just to add another though, I'll share my Jeep Wrangler '95 experience.

The Wrangler was a 4 cyl and was rated to tow the same as a 6 cyl Wrangler. And it did tow just fine. It had two seats, and I loaded the back of the Jeep with gear and pulled small cargo trailer. Would go on camping and white water rafting trips.

However, going through the mountains of West Virginia the Jeep would maybe go 50 mph, sometimes 45 mph. Breaking was fine and pulling was fine, but that 4 cyl worked hard.

So I offer the thought of how you will be towing. If you are not driving highways, going 50 mph, a 4 cyl truck would handle most FG trailers fine. And you could handle a moderate amount of gear in your truck.

If though, your on the highway, traveling 65 mph, best to go with a 6 cyl and tow package. You can have a decent amount of gear loaded in your SUV and tow comfortably at that speed.

For me, I have my eye on a Nissan 4 cyl Frontier and Scamp 13. But because of my style of travel (country roads and 50 mph) would not worry about pulling a Scamp 16 with a 4 cyl Frontier
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:39 PM   #19
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Son knows best - get a truck - all your camping needs [BBQ,screen tent, lawn chairs , extra water, mats,extra propane, levelling blocks and jacks] can be in the truck bed and not overloading the trailer.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:40 PM   #20
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Son knows best - get a truck - all your camping needs [BBQ,screen tent, lawn chairs , extra water, mats,extra propane, levelling blocks and jacks] can be in the truck bed and not overloading the trailer.
Here is a REALITY check on that front.

Most of the mid size classed V6 trucks such as the Tacoma and the Nissan for example do not have an unlimited payload. In fact depending on what body style and other options they can have a very low pay load. As low as 1000lbs and highs are often not more than about 1300lbs. Enough for the tongue weight of the trailer, 2 adult passengers and the family dog and drink cooler! Add all the items you have listed above to the bed of the truck and you will have it well over!

If you are concerned about the added load on your old trailers axle by carrying your lawn chairs, small BQ, awning and mats, levelling blocks etc in it over the axle then thats a good clue its time to replace the axle and upgrade your tires while at it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:06 PM   #21
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Hi Jill,

Your tow vehicle has a GVWR.

Your trailer has a GVWR. For example, my Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe has a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. It actually weighs 2,910 lbs. This means I can put up to 590 lbs of stuff in the Casita (2910 + 590 = 3,500).

Given that you are considering a tow vehicle that is rated to tow 5,000 lbs, that means you should be in good shape to tow a trailer with a GVWR of 3,500. In fact, that means you are towing at 70% of your tow vehicle's capacity. Many folks recommend that you don't tow at 100% of your vehicle's capacity. Given many 16' and 17' fiberglass rigs have a GVWR of 3,500 lbs that means your tow vehicle with a tow rating of 5,000 lbs is towing at 70% of its maximum. Nice. Many folks recommend towing at no more than 70% to 80% of your tug's capacity.

You should be able to find the GVWR on a tow vehicle and trailer.

On the other hand, the GCWR is the COMBINED weight and is the maximum weight recommended of your loaded tow vehicle when towing your loaded trailer. Manufacturers do not have to report the GCWR of a vehicle, though most do. For example, my Kia Borrego is rated to tow 7,500 lbs. I also know it's GVWR, but not its GCWR. I have even called the Kia corporate offices. This number does not exist. However, am not too concerned given my tow rating and that I am towing a trailer that weighs less than 3,500 lbs.

Wishing you the best! Keep us posted.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:34 PM   #22
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And...this is why I'm Fueled-up for this thread!!!! OOOPS! My world is tilting!
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:43 PM   #23
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On the other hand, the GCWR is the COMBINED weight and is the maximum weight recommended of your loaded tow vehicle when towing.... For example, my Kia Borrego is rated to tow 7,500 lbs. I also know it's GVWR, but not its GCWR. I have even called the Kia corporate offices. This number does not exist. However, am not too concerned given my tow rating and that I am towing a trailer that weighs less than 3,500 lbs.
Thank you! I have asked, read, researched, and nothing. I don't think this number exists, either.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:50 PM   #24
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I cannot begin to express my appreciation to ALL of you for the clarifications, links, ideas, and examples.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It takes time to write a post and for some of you, additional time to give me information that you've found. I truly appreciate each and every post.

I only hope the folks I met on the road in the future are as nice as y'all.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:31 AM   #25
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Brian, I sent you a reply to your pm, but your box is full.

Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:49 AM   #26
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Jill, 5000# is the tow rating for the Kia Sedona V6 AWD models with factory tow package...
Oops... meant Sorento, of course. Being from AZ, Sedona rolls off the fingers more easily...

BTW, I checked the specs on the Sorento V6. Torque rating (which is what matters for towing, not horsepower) is pretty close to my Pilot, so I'd expect similar performance. The Kia V6 peaks at a higher RPM (bad), but it has more gears in the transmission and a full manual mode (good).

My dream combo these days is a Scamp 16 (about 2500# loaded) with a Kia Sorento 2.0L Turbo (3500# with tow package). The turbo generates more torque at lower RPMs, performs better at high elevations, and gets better mileage not towing than the V6.

But my budget says I'll have my Pilot and 13' Scamp for the foreseeable future!
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:27 AM   #27
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Thanks, Steve . . . .

So I guess what I really don't understand then is how some folks on here are pulling a 16' trailer with, what appears to me, smaller or similar SUVs.

What is the point of having a tow rating of 5K if the car weight takes up most of that number in its own weight? (Thinking of the math here)

Thanks!
There are always people out there towing trailers with small tow vehicles. Whether it is a good idea or not? No thanks.

At every campground, I see people towing large trailers with small vehicles. They say they can do it, but... I saw a camper towing their trailer with a Honda Fit once. Honda Fit?

"Here is what the 2009 Honda Fit owner's manual has to say about that: "Your vehicle is not designed to tow a trailer. Attempting to do so can void your warranties.""

Heaven forbid you get in a crash. Try explaining your tow vehicle was not rated for the trailer you were towing. Is the goal to set a new record, smallest tow vehicle for a given trailer?

The key rating on most vehicles is "payload capacity". Payload on mine is anything in my vehicle: passengers, luggage, pets, stuff. It also includes the trailer hitch and more importantly, hitch weight. Dry weights on most trailers are a totally joke. GVWR on the trailer is more meaningful.

Its amazing how fast you can use up payload. In my case, I have two passengers (driver and passenger), one dog, truck canopy over the bed, lots of gear, hitch weight and tongue weight. It really adds up. In addition, one "problem" with some FG trailers is the lack of storage. Mine is pretty short in that regard. So a lot of stuff ends up in my tow vehicle, consuming part of the payload.

Do you want to be marginal or even under-rated on towing, or do you want margin to spare? I've done both and am much more comfortable with the extra margin I currently have.

FWIW, I tow my 17 foot Casita with a Ford F150 pickup. The nicer trucks are very comfortable, I call them my generation's version of a Lincoln Town Car/Buick Park Avenue (cars my parents drove).

The car companies do us no favors on tow "ratings". My truck comes with a 9,800 pound tow rating. But it only has a 1450 pound payload. Its basically IMPOSSIBLE to hook a 9,000 pound trailer up to my truck and NOT exceed the payload limit. My low payload essentially cuts my tow rating to about 5000 pounds (hitch weight runs ~ 13% of trailer weight (real trailer weight, not the ridiculous dry weight.

We love the western USA, tend to take long trips through the mountains. And we live in the mountains of NC (yes we do have mountains here). Anyway, the ability to travel at normal highway speeds, up and down mountains, is a pleasure. And the towing fuel economy is surprisingly good with my 5.4L V-8. My theory is the tow vehicle is not working nearly as hard.

In NC, regardless of the weight of the trailer and tow vehicle, if the trailer came with brakes you are required to hook them up. Trailer brakes are a good idea anyway.

Ford has a nice trailer brake controller that is an option, and it plugs right into the dash. Why they didn't just include it with the towing package is beyond me. Now my truck is a 2010, stuff that wasn't included then is included now.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:17 PM   #28
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Remember car rules are different then truck rules.
We pull with a car.
Check your local ministry for local rules.
California has a 1000 lb brake rule or places like BC and Ontario have a 50% twist if the trailer is 50% of the weight of the towing vehicle or more you need trailer brakes regardless of the vehicle recommended limit. Toyota puts or limit greater than we can pull without trailer brakes.
You want to be legal in all the places you tow in. Play safe and have fun.
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