Travel Trailer Calculator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-28-2014, 07:36 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer Calculator

Has anyone used a tow calculator such as on the website Changin Gears RV (There are several other sites with the same basic format ),? I was surprised at the results for my tow vehicle, after doing the calculations. My vehicle has a factory tow rating of 8550 lbs but by their calculations , my tow rating is only 4533 lbs . A significant drop in weight . I would tend to believe that the vehicle manufacturer may be a little optimistic with its' tow ratings or Changin Gears towing calculations are overly conservative
Just made me wonder how the numbers could vary so much
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:12 AM   #2
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Everything I've ever heard is it is the other way around. Vehicle manufacturers in today's litigious environment regularly under-estimate tow capacity. They don't need any more law suits than they already have!

Frank
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #3
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You don't mention what your TV is, but always go by the Mfgs. rating, they seem to always be on the conservative side.

I didn't look for the calculator you mentioned, but I can't imagine, due to so many variables, that it could be very accurate. Can you post a link?
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:00 PM   #4
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I agree the results differ from what I expected, it does however give you the reason for the difference.
My TV tow rating is 11300 lbs per Ford.
Tongue rated for 1130 per Ford.

The numbers according to the specified web site....

Maximum Trailer Weight 7,533 lb 3,417 kg
This is the maximum trailer weight based on the most restrictive tow vehicle ratings provided (tongue weight rating at 15% of trailer weight).


Maximum Trailer Weight with Margin 6,027 lb 2,734 kg
This is the maximum trailer weight based on the most restrictive tow vehicle ratings provided, reduced by a safety margin of 20%.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #5
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J2087 Towing Standards

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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
Everything I've ever heard is it is the other way around. Vehicle manufacturers in today's litigious environment regularly under-estimate tow capacity. They don't need any more law suits than they already have!

Frank
I was under the same assumption as you but after doing some reading on the New SAE J2807 standards I am not sure. It seems if one can believe the articles on the internet many of the present vehicle (Pickup trucks only --Cars are not subject to the standard at this time) manufacturers tow ratings will go by the wayside , in some cases they will drop 20 % from presently stated values . I am not an engineer and am only speaking from my own experience but I would never attempt to tow a 8550 lb trailer even though my vehicle is rated for it . I was just wondering how one can calculate the same problem and come up with 2 answers and with such a large discrepancy, A lot of people believe that a vehicles listed tow rating is driven more by the marketing dept than by the engineering dept .
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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That's the link in my signature. (I put it there for others' information and have no connection whatever to the site itself.) If my experience at other, broader RV sites is any indicator, it's widely considered to be reliable. They get their equipment-related information directly from manufacturers and update regularly.

Per getting a lower number than that advertised by automakers:

It's worth remembering that manufacturer stated "tow limits" are really marketing tools and are thus as optimistic as they dare to make them while keeping a straight face.

The new SAE standards are meant to level that marketing playing field some, but since it only applies to a narrow class of pickups it's really anyone's guess how much help it will be across the board and as regards other vehicles.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:58 AM   #7
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Numbers...

TT...Numbers and Calculations

When evaluating a Tow Vehicle/trailer set up things to consider are.....

The TV.... preferably one that has a low center of gravity, independent suspension, short rear overhang, good aerodynamics, performance brakes and tires are a bonus.

The trailer should have a reputation for being a good towing trailer. Aerodynamics help here as well as torsion axles with shocks. When set up for travel balance is key.

The connection hardware and adjustments must be optimal for safety and stability.

Note the whole tow vehicle should be within it's load and towing capabilities. The book numbers may or may not have anything to do with that. Upgraded aftermarket parts, or installs can make positive improvements on out of the box vehicles.

Ideally the combination should be overseen by a towing professional. Someone who has a good reputation for setting up safe and stable rigs. There are so many accounts of newbies getting themselves into serious situations because of inexperience and or using the "trial and error" method of setting up their rigs. Minimalists will try to save a buck by using just the basics. Safety and performance suffer and they increase their risk factor.

Putting together a safe and stable combination is complex. For the novice it boils down to a hit and miss operation if he is just relying on numbers, which is a very small part of the equation when putting together a satisfying, road worthy rig.

.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:24 AM   #8
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This advertisement for Jaguar TV's and Airstream Trailers has been brought to you courtesy of Can Am RV.

Doesn't the op think that the rest of use get a little tired of all the put downs he posts about the rest of us and how inept we are at correctly selecting anything besides the brand of toilet paper we use.

It might be a little different if there was any discussion about FGRV's included, but all that is ever posted is about the wonder of pro-hitch installers, $2000 trailer hitches, lots of pictures of Airstream trailers, and advice on how wrong we are doing everything.

These posts are little more than a continual stream of advertisements for Can Am and, IMHO, are inappropriate for this board.

And I hope a few of you out there get to read and reply to this before it is requested by the op that it be taken down.....
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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Hey there BM... My posts were designed for newbies like you who throw a combination together and then set out down the highway. Ten minutes later like you they find themselves blown off the road by a passing 18 wheeler.

Instead of continually whining about my posts suggest you start reading them!

You just may learn something.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:12 AM   #10
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Newbie? Indeed

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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Hey there BM... My posts were designed for newbies like you who throw a combination together and then set out down the highway. Ten minutes later like you they find themselves blown off the road by a passing 18 wheeler.

Instead of continually whining about my posts suggest you start reading them!

You just may learn something.

Rather than continuing to distort my RV history I can point out that I have been towing and driving RV's for over 35 years.

And that crass comment about a most unfortunate accident involving our Airstream happened over 35 years ago, with a towing combination set up by the largest Airstream dealer in the northwest, and reflected trailer set-up and towing practices of the time. And, to further demonstrate your ignorance about the specific incident, the accident happened almost a month and 1700 miles into a year long, 26,000 mile, full timing trip, a full year after we bought the trailer, and after we had put over 2000 miles in earlier trips with it.

Fortunately many on this site are more than a one-trick pony and contribute information pertaining to enjoying their FGRV's with a variety of TV's.

I do read every one of your posts and they usually tell us what we are doing wrong, with the suggestions that it can only be right with the services of a "Pro Hitch" installer, of which only one that meets your standards seems to exist on the entire planet.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:50 AM   #11
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:23 AM   #12
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For the Record,

My Posts #8 & 10 only refer to comments made in Posts #7 & 9 and should not be construed to reflect on the thread's starter.... My apologies if there was any confusion.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
It's worth remembering that manufacturer stated "tow limits" are really marketing tools and are thus as optimistic as they dare to make them while keeping a straight face.
Francesca, I think you and Frank are both right. What I am seeing is a big number in the sales brochure to help make the sale, but pages of caveats in the fine print of the owner's manual to limit liability. The manual for my '11 Pilot contains 15 pages on towing, including many situations in which the advertised 3500 pounds (2WD) is reduced significantly. In Honda's defense, most are situations in which common sense really ought to prevail, but often doesn't (like if there are 8-150 pound adults in the vehicle, each toting a 15 pound cat, you probably shouldn't hook up a trailer to the back). Don't laugh - it's really in there… well... except the part about the cats (click to enlarge):

Click image for larger version

Name:	Pilot Towing.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	143.6 KB
ID:	71784

Moral of the story… don't believe the salesman or the marketing information - or even the service manager at the back - I am always amazed at how much they don't know (or won't tell) about their own vehicles. Download and read the actual owner's manual before you sign on the dotted line.

BTW - the Pilot is a great TV, no regrets...
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:34 PM   #14
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hi Everyone
I did dome research and found a website wish I could remember it I'd send a link if I could. In a nut shell trailer my highlander could pull would be pop up util a toy or one of the scamps. Is there a fgrv with a gvr of 3500 or under? I really don't want a pop up. I don't hate them. They are nice but I like being enclosed feels more secure. My wife is our only driver as I'm sight impaired. Would having a second vehicle just to pull a tt be senseless? If that is a good idea what would be a good route to go? So I'm asking is it best to match my highlander with something or get another vehicle that gives me more options as to what tt to purchase? Thanks
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