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Author Topic: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)  (Read 1205 times)

nialltom

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Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« on: March 04, 2017, 03:49:26 PM »
First time potential RV purchaser here.  I've done some research on this and I think I should be ok but just wanted to get some opinions from those who might know better.

Our vehicle - 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with 5.7L Hemi V8 and tow package (8 speed transmission).
Rated spec on this vehicle from Jeep - Max Towing Capacity = 7200 lbs.  Max. Payload = 1,150 lbs.  GVWR = 6800 lbs., GAWR Front = 3200 lbs., GAWR Rear = 3700 lbs.

Potential RV - 2017 Jayco Jayflight SLX 245 RLSW
Specs - Unloaded dry weight = 5,220 lbs., Dry hitch weight = 545 lbs., GVWR = 7,000 lbs., Cargo carrying capacity = 1,780 lbs.

It would just be my wife and I (~315lbs), and our RV cargo will be around 500-700lbs, not including water as we would try to avoid towing it with water, or anything in the tanks.  The fresh water tank capacity is 38 gallons though.  I'm going off of around 6100 lbs or so to be the weight with all of our stuff in it.

Is this do-able?  Or at the upper limit of what I'm capable?  We'd eventually be doing longer 3-4 week trips out West in some elevation, but primarily local Midwest trips at first.  Any thoughts/opinions are welcome.

grashley

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 06:18:25 PM »
First, Welcome to the Forum!!  Thank you for coming!

You have fallen into a VERY common trap of believing advertising and not reading small print footnotes.

The 7200 Max towing capacity is based on a Grand Cherokee with few options, a full tank of fuel and a 150# driver.  You must deduct another 165 # for the second person and subtract the weight of most of the options.  The real Max Tow is likely closer to 6800#.  It would be even lower without the tow package.

PLEASE forget all about dry wt and dry hitch wt.  They sound good, but only apply to the guy who delivers the camper to the dealer.  In many cases, the dry wt does not even include empty propane cylinders, let alone full tanks.  Use the GVWR ONLY.  You MAY start out way below that number, but campers have a very bad habit of gaining weight as we find others we "need" to take along.  Any number below the GVWR is a small safety factor.

The actual hitch weight will be 10% or more of the actual camper weight.  Anything less than 10% will not tow well - bouncing and sway.

Where did you get your Payload?  Look on the driver door latch column for a yellow label which states max weight of occupants and cargo must not exceed XXXX.  That is the correct payload for YOUR Jeep as it left the factory.  It does include a full tank of fuel.

Assuming this 1150# Payload is correct, your load will include 315# passengers, 80# for a WD hitch and 700# hitch wt. = 1095#.  That leaves only 55# for her purse, maps, travel aids, cell phones and other "stuff" in the car.

The problem is not if you can tow that load.  That 5.7L will barely know it is there!  The problems are can you stop it if the trailer brakes fail.  Will the "tail wag the dog" when a gust of wind hits you.  Can you make a safe controlled stop in an emergency situation.

In my humble opinion, you are really pushing the weight limits hard!  You may be below the limits, but close. 
Can you do it? Sure!  Lots of people do much worse to their cars every day. 
Is it smart?  Very close call.

Ask for a "test tow".  If that is comfortable, give it a try.  You may be very happy.

Some interesting reading - NOT describing your situation.
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,90933.0.html
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

donn

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 06:23:35 PM »
IMHO length can be far more of a problem than weight with a soft suspension SUV like your Jeep.  Can you pull it?  Sure.  The question really is, will you like towing it?

Wireman134

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 04:08:47 PM »
Legally you will be overloading your tow vehicle GVWR and exceeding GCWR. Realistically you be towing 6,000lbs and have 700lb min. tongue weight.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 04:14:19 PM by Wireman134 »
2000 Silverado 1500 EC Z71 5.3L 325 hp DS intune, Airlift, 34" Alu 1.25"radiator, B&M 70266 trans cooler, oil cooler, Vet servo, Mag- Hytec, Pro comp ES9000, SUV brakes
2015 Venture Sonic 220VBH, 300W Solar/350 ahr AGM/1200w inverter, 75W Dual Band Ham base. Camping weight 5,100lbs on dual 2800 axle

nialltom

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 08:29:48 AM »
Thanks for this input, Grashley.  It sounds like it is do-able but I'd be pushing it.  I may be better off finding a trailer with a few hundred pounds less weight to be more at ease, or upgrading my tow vehicle to something in the 250/2500 truck variety.

Wireman, I'm not sure how I would legally be overloading my current tow vehicles GVWR or exceeding GCWR.  I realize a lot might depend on the weight we add to the trailer, but if we stay at a 6100 lb total weight back there, how would I be legally overloading given the above specs?

donn

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 03:02:16 PM »
There is no legality, except in BC Canada that will cause you a problem as long as you are not towing commerical.  Weight is likely not going to be a problem.  Like I said length is likely going to cause problems for you.

nialltom

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 03:33:42 PM »
Thanks donn.  When you say length are you referring to the shorter wheelbase here?

grashley

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 06:06:09 PM »
Length refers to the trailer length.  While the distance from the ball to the axle has some effect, the real issue is that a 35 ft long TT, 8 ft high is 280 sq ft of sail, catching every breeze and pushing the truck around.  A 25 ft TT is only 200 sq ft. and that makes a big difference in the truck's ability to absorb and control that side force.

As Donn and I both said, you can pull it.  I know you plan to start with short trips, and you will quickly decide if this truck can comfortably handle the TT.

One other issue is the trailer.  You must have a floor plan you both love or you will never really like the camper.  If you plan month long trips in a camper that is too small for you to both be comfortable, you will not be happy.

Conflicting messages, I know.  Just food for thought.
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

RVRAC

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 07:14:36 PM »
You need a truck for that TT.  Sorry!
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

eprovenzano

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 08:18:23 AM »
I was recently in the same situation...  I pulled a 14' 3,500 lbs popup with my Grand Cherokee for several years with no issues... We recently upgraded to a 23' 4,500 lbs (dry weight) HTT, and with my Jeep at 5K capacity, I knew I needed to upgrade the tow vehicle.  I used the Jeep to tow the camper home without a weight distribution hitch or sway control (2.5 hour drive) over the Pennsylvania mountains without an issue... but... that's with just me, and an empty camper.  The jeep performed without an issue... The trailer never swayed and I did not have any white knuckle moments.  I also used a Prodigy brake controller.

Now reality sets in...  I need to load our gear, account for water, batteries, people, dogs, etc... Could my Jeep pull the camper...  sure... but I wasn't comfortable knowing I'd exceeded the MFG specs for towing.  Wanting to be safe I upgraded to a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500.  My tow capacity now is closer to 10K.  Completely loaded including water, fuel, people, dog, etc, my worst case scenario I foresee a total load of 70% of my total towing capacity.  Most of the time I think I'll be closer to the 60% range.   Again being safety cautious I also purchased a weight distribution hitch with sway control. 

There are two things to consider...  The total weight, and the length of the trailer.   Let's face it...  we're towing a large box (not very aerodynamic).  Wind can play havoc with large trailers.  Your jeep is shorter than a std truck, thus allowing the trailer to wag the dog...  If you use your jeep I strongly suggest a quality WDH with sway control...  Hopefully you'll never need it...  but it's nice to know its there just in case.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 08:34:44 AM »
Quote
Assuming this 1150# Payload is correct, your load will include 315# passengers, 80# for a WD hitch and 700# hitch wt. = 1095#.  That leaves only 55# for her purse, maps, travel aids, cell phones and other "stuff" in the car.

A small point of difference:  The Payload rating already includes a full fuel tank plus an allowance of 154 lbs (70 kg) for a driver, so only the difference between that 154 # and the estimated 315# needs to be considered part of the payload.

Since this one pushes the limits of what a GC can reasonable do, that 154 lb difference may be significant.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Dreamsend

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 10:48:45 AM »
Several recent posts are getting confusing about this.  So, first, below is the link to every Ford towing guide between 2003 and 2017. (pdf)

http://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/

The 2017 39 page guide is just super good to at explaining "all things towing" beside covering tow capacities it discusses hitches, types of towing, wind resistance, trailer braking, and much much more.  I recommend it to anyone just learning about towing.

And from the 2017 guide, I've taken screen shots and posted below (hopefully).  Based on how Ford does it, the weight of fuel/fluids is included in the Base Vehicle (Curb) Weight.  Cargo does not include driver or passengers or fuel, but rather the weight of all other items in the vehicle (including tongue or 5ver weight), which is added to the base weight.  Payload is the maximum amount the vehicle is designed to carry and includes the vehicle, ALL passengers, including the driver, and Cargo. The payload is the same as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

Therefore, payload, or GVWR as stated on the Safety Certification Label cannot be exceeded.  It appears that the only measurement that includes anything is the fuel included in the Base Curb Weight.

There is no measure or term for anything that simply includes a driver in the vehicle.  This pertains to vehicle loading only, not the trailer or the trailer and the vehicle combined.

Could terminology have changed?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 05:55:19 AM by Dreamsend »
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka La Belle Beast;
(6.2L V-8, crew cab, 4x4, off-road, 4.3 axle)

grashley

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 05:52:09 PM »
Several recent posts are getting confusing about this.  So, first, below is the link to every Ford towing guide between 2003 and 2017. (pdf)

http://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/

The 2017 39 page guide is just super good to at explaining "all things towing" beside covering tow capacities it discusses hitches, types of towing, wind resistance, trailer braking, and much much more.  I recommend it to anyone just learning about towing.

And from the 2017 guide, I've taken screen shots and posted below (hopefully).  Based on how Ford does it, the weight of fuel/fluids is included in the Base Vehicle (Curb) Weight.  Cargo does not include driver or passengers or fuel, but rather the weight of all other items in the vehicle (including tongue or 5ver weight), which is added to the base weight.  Payload is the maximum amount the vehicle is designed to carry and includes the vehicle, ALL passengers, including the driver, and Cargo. The payload is the same as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

Therefore, payload, or GVWR as stated on the Safety Certification Label cannot be exceeded.  It appears that the only measurement that includes anything is the fuel included in the Base Curb Weight.

There is no measure or term for anything that simply includes a driver in the vehicle.  This pertains to vehicle loading only, not the trailer or the trailer and the vehicle combined.

Could terminology have changed?

Great reference, but you misread the PAYLOAD definition.  Payload is the GVWR    MINUS the BASE CURB WEIGHT.  This is what Ford publishes as the Payload, but the chart also has a footnote that states the weight of all installed options must be deducted from the Payload.

Please reread the definition you posted.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 05:55:39 PM by grashley »
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

grashley

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 06:13:23 PM »
Please allow me to quote from your reference, using the 2017 towing guide.

Page 12  F  series Pickup / camper towing selector
Cargo Weight Rating shown in chart is maximum allowable, assuming weight of a base vehicle with required camper option content and a 150-lb. passenger at each available seating position
Ratings also assume weight of engine and standard transmission. Cargo Weight Rating shown must be further reduced by weight of transmission upgrade and any other options. Option weights and center-of-gravity information are available on the Ford Pickup Truck Consumer Information Sheet
Note this specific chart assumes all seats occupied by a 150# passenger.

All charts on pages 18 - 25 include the portion in red in the NOTES below the chart.
Note: Trailer tongue (trailer king pin for 5th-wheel towing) load weight should be 10% (15% for 5th-wheel towing) of total loaded trailer weight. Make sure vehicle payload (reduce by option weight) will accommodate trailer tongue (trailer king pin for 5th-wheel towing) load weight and weight of passengers and cargo added to towing vehicle. Addition of trailer tongue (trailer king pin for 5th-wheel towing) load weight and weight of passengers and cargo must not cause vehicle weights to exceed rear GAWR or GVWR. These ratings can be found on the vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Label.
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Dreamsend

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2017, 05:48:00 AM »
You are 100% correct in that I did indeed commit a signficant screw-up and I can't even explain why (brain fart?) because I know what is meant by the terms I was trying to clarify.  I think I'll ask that the post be deleted because I only added to the confusion and that doesn't help anyone.

Off course PAYLOAD is the difference between the GVWR and the Base Curb Weight -- serious dah!!!! on my part.

All the other "red" liners you post are already accounted for in the other basic definitions and you aren't getting any argument from me on things like adding options to Base Weight, tongue weight/kingpin added to Cargo, etc.  Again, no argument here, however, the tables are not germaine to what I was trying to get at, albeit, maybe badly.

The definitions I posted pics of are from page 36 of the 2017 guide BTW.

And just curious, why did you select the slide-in "camper" table to quote -- did I miss something else?

I was simply trying to address a clarification of usage of the overall term "PAYLOAD" (or "Payload Rating" that is also used) to be used in general because of seemingly inconsistent usage.  There are a gazillion posts about calculating weight limits (back to 2008) and some say payload includes a driver (sometimes 150# sometimes 154#), some say it doesn't, some say it includes fuel, others don't.  I know because I read every post (yes, I really did) on the topic and got confused myself.

To me, and from the Ford definition, payload is simply the maximum allowable total combined weight of all passengers (including driver) and cargo in the vehicle. Very straightforward, and no need to subtract, or make allowance for weight of fuel/fluids or a driver.  It is the weight that is stated on the door panel safety label that is not to be exceeded when loading the vehicle.  And the way I understand it, that stated weight does not include any allowance for a driver (i.e. allowing one to ignore the 150# driver weight when comparing their total expected load to the maximum allowable weight limit of the vehicle).

Is this now correct?

May I ask further question?  Back on Mar 2, you posted the following in another thread,  I really do pay attention, and it's part of why I was looking for some clarification.

""Payload / CCC includes a full tank of fuel, but it does NOT include any drivers or passengers.  I stand by my statement."" 

By the guide definitions, a full fuel tank is included in the Base Curb Weight -- correct?  So if Payload is equal to the GVWR minus the Base Curb Weight, then Payload does not "include [the weight] a full fuel tank".  No???  I think what is meant is that one does not need to ADD the weight of gasoline when calculating their expected Payload, but that is not how it comes across in the post -- and maybe I'm the only one who reads it that way.  It comes across as not including drivers or passengers means you have to account for their weight (add to Base Curb Weight) so therefore, including fuel weight means you can subtract that weight from Base Curb Weight (resulting in a higher than allowed Payload) when determing expected payload.

Stating that payload includes a full tank of fuel comes across as if the weight of the fuel can be subtracted from the Payload rating thereby allowing one to add-in more cargo or passenger weight.  I'm pretty certain that is not what you intended.  But, on reading that post, and this most recent one, it added to the confusion.

Well, I've about beaten this dead horse to a pulp, so I'll quit.  Only to add, there was no intent to argue with your statements about Payload etc., only to request forum clarification about payload and "including" fuel/driver etc., which has a pretty confusing history in the posts.  Oh, and again, nothing here is relevent to towing, towing capacity, towing calculations -- only vehicle loading.

Linda
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka La Belle Beast;
(6.2L V-8, crew cab, 4x4, off-road, 4.3 axle)

RVRAC

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2017, 02:22:18 PM »
OP, I used to have a TT with similar specs.  I pulled it with a 1500 Silverado HD with 10,000 Max Tow.  It was a much as I would pull with the 1/2 ton pick up.  The issue is not when you are alone on flat lands. The issue is when you get on hill country or on an area when you have semis passing you by or on windy roads.  You will understand then what we are trying to say.  As I said before, you need a truck.  Sorry!
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

grashley

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2017, 06:03:34 PM »
Linda,

We are on the same page.  Thank you for not referencing MY "brain farts"!

Payload does include a full tank of fuel, so this does not need to be deducted when calculating weight of cargo.  Yes, if you never fill the tank over full, with a 40 gal tank, you could increase payload by 20 gal X 7 lb/gal = 140 lbs.

I included the camper reference because it was stated so clearly AND included passengers.  This is different, so this reminds all to please read the fine print carefully.

Your post was very good, showing the official definitions.  My response may have been overkill, but so many do NOT understand what you said.
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

nialltom

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2017, 09:46:21 AM »
Thanks for all your input, folks.  I ended up trading in the above mentioned Jeep Cherokee for a Dodge Ram 1500.  Bigger wheelbase + additional payload and towing capacity will give me the added capability it sounds like I need to do this safely.  As well as giving me a bit more peace of mind.

Thanks again!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2017, 09:55:59 AM »
Good choice.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

RVRAC

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2017, 02:56:00 PM »
Congratulations! Right choice.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

grashley

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2017, 05:32:55 PM »
Wise choice for reasons you obviously understood!
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Wireman134

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Re: Can I Safely Tow This RV? (Specs Given)
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2017, 09:09:42 AM »
Thanks for this input, Grashley.  It sounds like it is do-able but I'd be pushing it.  I may be better off finding a trailer with a few hundred pounds less weight to be more at ease, or upgrading my tow vehicle to something in the 250/2500 truck variety.

Wireman, I'm not sure how I would legally be overloading my current tow vehicles GVWR or exceeding GCWR.  I realize a lot might depend on the weight we add to the trailer, but if we stay at a 6100 lb total weight back there, how would I be legally overloading given the above specs?

Yes, you are liable for your GCWR That Jeep's GCRW is less than 13,000lb. I suspect close to 11,000lb. Fancy (optioned) loaded Jeep at 6,000lb (GVWR) then add your trailer. Find your reserve capacity on tire sticker drivers door jam. That'll tell you weight to subtract from GVWR to get as equipped net weight to add all your additional loads on TV
2000 Silverado 1500 EC Z71 5.3L 325 hp DS intune, Airlift, 34" Alu 1.25"radiator, B&M 70266 trans cooler, oil cooler, Vet servo, Mag- Hytec, Pro comp ES9000, SUV brakes
2015 Venture Sonic 220VBH, 300W Solar/350 ahr AGM/1200w inverter, 75W Dual Band Ham base. Camping weight 5,100lbs on dual 2800 axle

 

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