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Old 06-12-2017, 07:07 PM   #1
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Name: Jackie D
Trailer: In the market
California
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Hello - I'm new to the forum

I'm looking to purchase a small travel trailer with the Dry Weight of 1675 lbs and tow it with my 2016 Toyota Rav4. I know this exceeds the 1500 lbs for the vehicle. I won't be using all the Payload so I should have 400 to 500 pounds under the 900 maximum. I will also remove one propane tank and not add fresh water until I arrive at my destination, so that should help.

I've been reading Honda 03842 (Norm & Ginny) and I'm inspired by their adventures especially with their towing their Scamp 16 with a 2004 Honda CRV.

I will definitely heed the advice of adding a Transmission Cooler to my Rav4, a Weight Distribution Hitch with Anti-Sway, a Camera for the back of my trailer, and add Trailer Breaks if they don't come factory installed.

I've also been inspired by the tales of Rouxstep (Stephanie) and RebeccaSF (Bex), so thank you for posting. Bex, I've really enjoyed your Vlogs thanks so much.

Any words of wisdom welcome.

Jackie D.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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You appear to have made up your mind.
That's unfortunate.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:39 PM   #3
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Weight without size?

Have you decided on a size of camper that you are interested in? You could come well below the dry weight you have posted, and increase your safety factor in towing. The 13 foot variety should be a little easier on your vehicle. There is serious coolness in the 13's.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:29 PM   #4
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Name: James Y.
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Keep in mind Norm & Ginnys CRV had a manual transmission. They now tow with a much more capable Honda Odyssey. It's better to keep your safety margins wide.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:41 PM   #5
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Tongue weight limit?
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:32 PM   #6
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Hey, Jackie. Welcome to FiberglassRV.com. We're glad you're here.

Have you looked at the thread, Trailer Weights in the Real World? It should help you with your quest for a lightweight trailer. (You'll notice that there were only a few that weighed in at under 1500 lbs., but there were a few.)

I am curious about the dry weight figure you mention, since it's over the weight rating of the 2016 Rav4. Also, keep in mind that "dry weights" published by (some) trailer manufacturers won't include optional equipment. (Sometimes it doesn't include standard equipment!) Thus, the reason for the "Real World" weight table.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:49 PM   #7
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Trailer and tow capacity is always a contentious subject here, but it shouldn't be. The numbers either work or they don't. If your towing capacity is 1500 lbs, don't exceed it, and you'll be fine.

One great piece of advice I got when I was first considering an RV was to get the tow to match the trailer, and not the other way around. Your tow may change several times over the years - your trailer, not so much.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:04 AM   #8
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Welcome, Jackie!

California is hilly, congested, often windy, and a rather famously litigious state. All those factors argue against your plan, which will likely have you towing 2200-2500# loaded and exceeding your tow rating by 50-70%.

In addition to weight, frontal area also comes into play. That 1500# pound rating was tested with a low-profile cargo trailer (frontal area 20 sf per the SAEJ2807 towing standards). Even the smaller eggs start at close to double that, and you'll feel it at the first headwind.

I'm sure you could make it happen. I'm less confident you will look back in 5 years and decide it was a good decision. Best case, you will accelerate wear and tear on your vehicle. Worst case, if you are in an accident, even if it's not your fault, and lawyers get hold of the fact you are towing well beyond the manufacturer's rating...

I was towing our Scamp on I-5 in SoCal, about 50mph in congested traffic. A yellow Porsche darted right in front of me and immediately braked hard to make an exit ramp. It was close! Were I pulling an oversized, overweight trailer it might have ended differently. Even though it was clearly a bonehead move by the other driver, I would have almost certainly been held liable.

I agree with Kay- 13'ers are fun! A basic one might work with your 1500# rating if you're careful. Trailer brakes and a transmission cooler are still sensible upgrades.

Alternatively, I would urge you to seriously consider a more capable tow vehicle.

Best wishes!
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:19 AM   #9
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Good post Jon.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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Name: Kathleen
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie D View Post
I'm looking to purchase a small travel trailer with the Dry Weight of 1675 lbs and tow it with my 2016 Toyota Rav4. I know this exceeds the 1500 lbs for the vehicle. I won't be using all the Payload so I should have 400 to 500 pounds under the 900 maximum. I will also remove one propane tank and not add fresh water until I arrive at my destination, so that should help.

I've been reading Honda 03842 (Norm & Ginny) and I'm inspired by their adventures especially with their towing their Scamp 16 with a 2004 Honda CRV.

I will definitely heed the advice of adding a Transmission Cooler to my Rav4, a Weight Distribution Hitch with Anti-Sway, a Camera for the back of my trailer, and add Trailer Breaks if they don't come factory installed.

I've also been inspired by the tales of Rouxstep (Stephanie) and RebeccaSF (Bex), so thank you for posting. Bex, I've really enjoyed your Vlogs thanks so much.

Any words of wisdom welcome.

Jackie D.



Hi, Jackie, and welcome. What 900 maximum?

The term, "dry" doesn't mean just cutting down on the propane to half and running without water. It means carrying NOTHING inside your trailer, not even a paper plate or wastebasket beyond what the trailer comes with when it's empty. It literally means "empty." NOTHING in it, not a blanket, not a pillow, not a sandwich.

As suggested above, why not consider a much smaller trailer (well below the 1500 pound capacity of your TV--there are some...) and/or a bigger TV with more capacity. Adding weight distribution hitches, anti-sway bars, and transmission coolers is not going to bypass basic physics.

Others have said the same things, and said it better. Just wanted to add my thumbs up to their comments and send you our best wishes. It's a fascinating, and can be a rewarding, journey.
Wishing you good choices,
Happy hunting,
Happy trails,
Good camping!
BEST
Kai

(1974 Dodge Grand Caravan, capacity 3600 / tongue 360, 1973 amerigo FG16, dry weight 1750 - 1850 more or less, loaded weight under 2250, tongue 260 or thereabouts. It loads a little tongue-heavy, tows level, so it's well-balanced. Mostly designed to be that way, and we try to cooperate! Anti-sway bar especially nice under high wind conditions. Towing ease--superb. No WDH needed, no transmission cooler. Not exceeding manufacturer's stated vehicle capacity so no worries on that score.)


Possible overloading was one of my greatest concerns. There is a straw that breaks the camel's back...but it all looks pretty good right up until you add that straw past the last viable one...!
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:17 AM   #11
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Name: Jackie D
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I will consider a more suitable tow vehicle.
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:48 AM   #12
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie D View Post
I will consider a more suitable tow vehicle.
Welcome to FGRV Jackie. It is unfortunate that the builders give such numbers to a trailer weight and not a completed unit. It certainly doesn't bode well to new folks trying to use the vehicle they already have. There are a few makes out there that could come in to work with your tug. A Hunter or Compact might work and you wouldn't need a WDH. There are a few more real light rigs out there but the makes escape me right now....Jon or Donna?
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:25 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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Dave, Hunter made the Compact models. The larger Compact I and II will likely exceed 1500#, but the smaller Compact Jr. Is a good candidate, as is the similar-sized Trailswest Campster. They also have a lower towing profile due to the pop-up roof section.

Among 13' full-height trailers, the Burro seems to be one of the lightest, though the 880# Burro in the "Trailer Weights" database is almost certainly an empty gutted shell. With any vintage unit, weight can vary a lot depending on what kind of mods have been done over the years.

Among late model offerings Scamp, Happier Camper, Little Joe, and Relic all make 13'ers that start below 1500# in simple, basic trim.

Sounds like the OP is pretty committed to the trailer described in the first post, though, and is thinking about a larger vehicle to pull it. I'm really curious, Jackie... what kind of trailer is it?
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:15 AM   #14
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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We weighed our 1974 Boler 13 with fridge, converter, cushions, spare tire, etc., but no water, no camping gear, no heater and no battery (we never installed a battery). Towed the camper onto the scale and unhitched. Weight was 1140#.

The camper DID have a new axle and brakes.
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