Towing Capacity - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2017, 03:10 PM   #1
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Towing Capacity

I do not have a Travel Trailer yet, and I am going to be purchasing a new vehicle in the next few months. I was hoping to purchase a Crossover SUV, didn't really want to pay for larger SUV, but it appears the highest tow capacity on most SUV crossovers is around 3500 lbs. But even the smaller Escape's Travel Trailer's GVW is 4,000 lbs. Dry weight (Depending Plan A or is either 1720lbs or 2150lbs. I was thinking if I didn't fill it up with water, I could tow with a vehicle that had a tow capacity of 3500lbs. BUT, I guess when you add luggage etc, I would not be able to do this. I don't know how much luggage we would take, but this is disappointing because I don't really want to pay for a larger vehicle, but I want fiberglass and not sticky TT. Plus, I really wanted a FB TT that was 19-21 feet.

So, am I correct I can't pull with a 3500lbs tow capacity and will have to purchase larger SUV?

Thanks!
Dwain
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:27 PM   #2
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Towing Capacity

Correct. When I looked at TT models a year ago we found that in general there is TEAR DROP; MEDIUM SIZE TT; or FIFTH WHEELS.

We optioned for a LANCE TT with 5000 pounds dry. The truck we bought is a Tundra 2006 with 7000 pounds towing capacity.

You can also consider a CASITA OR SCAMP TT which is very light weight at below 3000 pounds for some models.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for response. I like the Escapes TT, seems to be the best one, except for the Oliver, but the Escape's are heavier than the ones you mentioned. I could be wrong, but it seems like the Escape's and Oliver's are better made than other FBT. At least this is what I have deduced from my research on FB TT's.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #4
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Towing Capacity

Many 3-row crossovers can tow up to 5000 pounds (or more in a few cases): Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer, etc.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:46 PM   #5
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Look at the Ford Explorer, plenty of power and great chassis for towing an Escape Travel trailer. It is well appointed, quiet and comfortable, and competitive in price. You will find some 17s still on the lot with great discounts.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:57 PM   #6
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Dwain, if you're interested in an Escape trailer, I'd suggest joining the EscapeForum. Most of the owners of that brand hang out there and there's LOTS of 17' Escape owners towing with all kinds of different tugs. You'll get answers to all your questions: Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:23 PM   #7
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One thing with towing. You do but want to tow a 5000 lb TT via a vehicle rated at 5000 lb capacity. So many have had issue from doing that. You need extra capacity for many things like going up steep roads and braking down them.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:16 PM   #8
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dwainkitchens View Post
I do not have a Travel Trailer yet, and I am going to be purchasing a new vehicle in the next few months. I was hoping to purchase a Crossover SUV, didn't really want to pay for larger SUV, but it appears the highest tow capacity on most SUV crossovers is around 3500 lbs. But even the smaller Escape's Travel Trailer's GVW is 4,000 lbs. Dry weight (Depending Plan A or is either 1720lbs or 2150lbs. I was thinking if I didn't fill it up with water, I could tow with a vehicle that had a tow capacity of 3500lbs. BUT, I guess when you add luggage etc, I would not be able to do this. I don't know how much luggage we would take, but this is disappointing because I don't really want to pay for a larger vehicle, but I want fiberglass and not sticky TT. Plus, I really wanted a FB TT that was 19-21 feet.

So, am I correct I can't pull with a 3500lbs tow capacity and will have to purchase larger SUV?

Thanks!
Dwain
Dwain,

Escape Trailers has a nice summary write-up on their FAQ page at the very bottom of the list under the heading "What tow vehicle is needed to pull an Escape?". While this doesn't actually list suitable tow vehicles, it does provide what I think is a realistic summary of the total weight you may tow, including the effect of both added options and your cargo.

Jon and Floyd provided some nice potential options for vehicles you can consider.

However, here's the tough part; most of this depends on you. Do you like to haul unusually heavy gear, like a portable dredge for gold mining? Kayaks? Bikes? A large family? Pooches? Scuba Gear? What sort of travels do you envision? Weekends in Florida, a week in Appalachia, a quick two-month blast across the Rockies and Sierras to see the western states?

I took a quick scan through your previous posts and, (forgive me if I missed this), I didn't see where these types of questions have been asked or answered. It looks like you have narrowed the field from the Jaycos and Airstreams to molded fiberglass. Molded fiberglass is a type of trailer which I and many others, particularly on this forum, have come to believe in strongly. So far, so good...

From there, some reading of previous threads here will reveal that A) vehicle manufacturers provide such conservative tow ratings that you should feel entirely comfortable exceeding them, or B ) it's best to purchase something with a higher tow rating than your trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and to also carefully evaluate the rated payload capacity so that you will have a truly conservative vehicle selection, or C) something in between. Yes, it's just as clear as mud!

Personally, I fall into group B. While I personally recommend staying out of group A, that does not mean that everyone has to join me in group B. Matching the trailer's GVWR and your cargo requirements to the vehicle's tow and payload ratings may serve very nicely. It's very personal.

My election to be part of group B is due in part to my experience towing a Casita for a couple of years, and also an aspiration to criss-cross the continent in future years. We towed about 3,200 lbs of trailer with a 4,400 lb tow rating and it was so comfortable under challenging conditions that I elected to not try and "get by" when we ordered a new 5,000 lb GVWR trailer; we moved up to a 7,200 lb tow rating.

How much conservatism is "baked in" to the rated capacity of different tow vehicles almost certainly varies between manufacturers. Others here can speak better to some of the characteristics of specific vehicles and brands.

Taking some time to consider your unique goals, and also some potential future scenarios, will really help to guide you in finding the best fit for your and your family's needs and ambitions.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Check Consumers Reports and get a Dependable one.
Is somebody publishing a dependable Consumer Reports?
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:32 PM   #11
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Is somebody publishing a dependable Consumer Reports?
That depends on who you ask...
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:43 PM   #12
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Look at the Ford Explorer, plenty of power and great chassis for towing an Escape Travel trailer. It is well appointed, quiet and comfortable, and competitive in price. You will find some 17s still on the lot with great discounts.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:44 PM   #13
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is somebody publishing a dependable consumer reports?
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:48 PM   #14
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Dwain, I may be slightly biased, but you are on the right track looking at Escape trailers.

I would strongly recommend you first decide what trailer will work best for your camping needs, no matter what the make or model, and then look for a tow vehicle that works for you while tows the trailer well. The trailer will outlast many tow vehicles.

Unless you are thinking the 5.0TA which requires a truck, there are many mid-sized SUVs with towing capacities 5,000 lb and up that would do the trick.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:21 PM   #15
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I would strongly recommend you first decide what trailer will work best for your camping needs, no matter what the make or model, and then look for a tow vehicle that works for you while tows the trailer well. The trailer will outlast many tow vehicles.
Jim, I recall you and others gave me the same advice almost 4 years ago. I've posted it in one form or another many times as well, and it's the soundest advice I have. Tow vehicles will come and go. Trailers, not so much. Get the trailer right first - then consider the tow.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:35 PM   #16
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Get the trailer right first - then consider the tow.
Or, get the right trailer first...

We were so close...
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:37 PM   #17
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Or, get the right trailer first...

We were so close...
Lol...no, I meant it that way, as in "you got it (the trailer) right".
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:59 PM   #18
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Lol...no, I meant it that way, as in "you got it (the trailer) right".
I'm going with something that was recently posted... "trailers happen"...

My wife and I used to camp a great deal, but then we didn't for some fifteen years...

Then, a camping trip with the extended family lead us to learn just how far down there the ground is at this age... It's tough just to get up and out of that sleeping bag!

That lead to getting a teardrop, which we both loved, but, "trailers happen"...

I guess the teardrop was our "gateway" trailer. Next, we graduated to the "hard stuff"; the Casita; with a refrigerator! And room to stand up!

I have no regrets but only feel grateful and fortunate that we've been able to make this journey.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:21 PM   #19
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We also did much research, and recently bought a brand new Winnebago 1710 fiberglass teardrop. The quality is excellent and it weighs just under 2500 lbs, dry. Do yourself a favor and check into it?
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:42 PM   #20
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Far better to make your decision about vehicles, based on your own needs, observations and research, than to rely on Consumer Reports to tell you what to do based on their agenda.
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