towing capacity and trailer weights - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-27-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
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towing capacity and trailer weights

I have a question. We purchased a Chevy Traverse, front wheel drive, with the towing package from the factory. They state you can pull 5,200 lbs with it.

My question is if the vehicle is rated at 5,200 what percentage of total towing capacity is truly ideal and very much on the safe side where you are not pushing it? We are talking about a 2-3 month trip out west that will be taking in mountains of course.

Thanks for your help. Car is equipped with a Prodigy brake controller and we do plan on having a WDH and sway bars on the new camper. We are trying to figure out what we are going to purchase next.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:42 PM   #2
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Some folks like to keep their trailer under 80% of tow capacity. That would be about 4000 lbs for your vehicle.

For the wheelbase, I'd suggest 20' length or less would be best IMO.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Some folks like to keep their trailer under 80% of tow capacity. That would be about 4000 lbs for your vehicle.

For the wheelbase, I'd suggest 20' length or less would be best IMO.
Thanks Mike. My husband was thinking 75-80%.

We think we have our 16' Casita sold, supposed to be picked up in the morning.

We have been really debating whether to stick with Casita and go with a 17' to get the larger fridge and larger sleeping capacity or go with a lightweight stick trailer. We have been looking at the Remington 1800 FB by Winnebago, it is 5500 lbs loaded (giving 1625 for cargo, of that 357 would be water tanks). Dry weight appears to be 3,330 and we were coming up with maybe 4,500 to 4,800 giving us a fair amount of loading capacity and yet really staying under what they allow. However, we don't want to push it and I feel more comfy at the 4000 lbs that you mention.

We would most likely want to add a regular mattress to the large bed, having had the Southern Mattress factory mattress in our 16' Casita. The shipping weight on that was 200 lbs but my husband says it did not weight 200 lbs. But mattress weight is probably going to be the heaviest item we will put into the camper besides water and that has to be taken into consideration.

We have just been so used to the nice small size of the Casita when it comes to pulling and backing. The stick trailers are soooo wide and tall! It is a bit intimidating to say the least.

Guess after tomorrow, we will be back to looking at 15-16 foot sticks or a Liberty or Spirit 17' trailer.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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pwdohio,

I bought a 17 Casita LD from an owner who replaced it with a Lance as they needed a tad more room for grandkids. Both of us are happy campers.......

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Old 05-28-2013, 07:46 AM   #5
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Pulling 5200 lbs and towing are 2 different animals. My Ram p/u can pull 10,000 # but I can only trailer 5000#. The tongue weight of 500# is part of your carrying capacity of your tow vehicle. This included passengers, luggage and fuel. That is the number you need to consider, not pull weight.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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Also keep in mind that if you switch from a fibreglass RV to a "stickie", there may be a significant increase in frontal area and a blockier shape, which could significantly increase the wind resistance and impact how your tow vehicle behaves while pulling the trailer.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Pulling 5200 lbs and towing are 2 different animals. My Ram p/u can pull 10,000 # but I can only trailer 5000#. The tongue weight of 500# is part of your carrying capacity of your tow vehicle. This included passengers, luggage and fuel. That is the number you need to consider, not pull weight.
Thanks Jim! We want to give ourselves a lot of leeway in what we can pull. I know one Casita owner who is pulling a Spirit with her Acadia (which is the same vehicle as the Traverse) and she has gone all over the country and up into Canada with it and says no problems, it pulls like a dream....just not sure if her Acadia is front wheel or all wheel.

I think at this point we have ruled out the Remington and are looking at maybe a 15' stick or back to the Casita and look for a 17'.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:57 AM   #8
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Also keep in mind that if you switch from a fibreglass RV to a "stickie", there may be a significant increase in frontal area and a blockier shape, which could significantly increase the wind resistance and impact how your tow vehicle behaves while pulling the trailer.
Oh yes,that is one reason we are back and forth on the issue of whether we move away from a Casita or not....
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:06 AM   #9
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Gosh Jim and Dave! I am envious! A 19' Escape!!!! In my dreams!
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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Just drove thru your state twice in last week going out and back to/from a f/g rally in Minden, Ne.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwdohio View Post

I think at this point we have ruled out the Remington and are looking at maybe a 15' stick or back to the Casita and look for a 17'.
Have you looked at a 17' Escape as an option? You can find them used and they to me feel roomier inside than the Casita and Scamps due to the top of the sides being less curved.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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You have a highly respected/capable TV.

A couple Traverse/Enclave users have commented.... when towing large TT's the vehicles out performed their previous V8 suv's/pickups even towing at the max tow rating in the mountains.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwdohio View Post
...
We would most likely want to add a regular mattress to the large bed, having had the Southern Mattress factory mattress in our 16' Casita. The shipping weight on that was 200 lbs but my husband says it did not weight 200 lbs. But mattress weight is probably going to be the heaviest item we will put into the camper besides water and that has to be taken into consideration...
Greetings & best wishes on your continuing adventures.

A note on bed options. You might have seen my post on another thread that mentioned the Southen Mattress company, here is the _link to my post_ explaining what i found as an amazinly comfortable and lightweight bed option that literally rivals ANY bed system in home, RV, or Yacht... Our bed weights in at the the weight of our 4" matress topper + 8 pounds for the froli queen.

We have one in our van conversion, our full time 5th wheel, and our stick built before moving out
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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I tow an Escape 17B with a RAV4 V6 & Tow Package. The trailer weighs 3000 lbs loaded for a long trip, and the RAV4 is rated at 3500/350 lbs. The combination works well for me, 33,500 miles so far. I do think the tongue weight of a Casita 17' would go over the RAV4's hitch weight limit - I have to work to keep the Escape's under 350 lbs & the Casita generally goes well over 350.

With the Traverse, you should be OK with either as long as you don't expect to tow at 70MPH up the Colorado passes!
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