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Author Topic: How big should I go  (Read 603 times)

soupmann

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How big should I go
« on: January 21, 2018, 08:17:34 AM »
I am trying to figure out how large of a travel trailer I can pull safely.   

I have a 2011 Yukon XL Denali with the 6.2L V8 AWD.  Manual says max towing capacity 7,800 lbs.  Max tongue weight 600 lbs. increases to 1,100 lbs. if I add the weight distribution hitch.

Is their a good rule of thump?  I heard 75% of max load but does that rule of thumb include cargo?

steveblonde

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 10:30:22 AM »
correct - if you look at the drivers side door jam it will have a decal that tell you you max cargo capacity including people trailer etc etc on a Yukon the rear suspension is quite soft so if you plan on loading anything close to 75% expect a lot of rear end sag - air bags will change that but not payload rating (they are rated for 5000lbs ) and will allow the vehicle to be level and help with the handling of the vehicle

 
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SargeW

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 10:35:46 AM »
And when shopping for your RV, ignore the Unloaded Vehicle Weight on the sticker, it means nothing. The important weight to go by is the Max weight the trailer can carry. That will be the weight that your tow vehicle will need to pull and stop safely. 
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soupmann

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 11:31:36 AM »
I just want to be clear that I understand what we are all saying so, if my trailer is $5,000 lbs. dry weight and I load it up with another 2,000 lbs. we are at 7,000 lbs.  The max towing capacity for the truck is 7,800.  So is that still a comfortable ride assuming I am still under the combine vehicle max weights.

 

Memtb

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2018, 12:15:46 PM »
    This is my opinion and should be treated as such......”FAR” too much emphasis is placed on being exactly at or under the “door jamb sticker”. Should you stay close.....a resounding “YES”! But, if a few hundred pounds over puts you into the RV that is better suited for your needs/wants..... do it! Provided you use “all” of the proper towing tools for your application, and “ALL”of your preventative maintenance is in order!
So...some “common sense” and proper maintenance of the entire rig (tow vehicle and RV) falls upon the shoulders of the owner!

 It would be insane to believe that failure is imminent, because of a few hundred pounds. Manufacturers of all components have a known failure limit and adjust the “recommended” limits far below that. If everything would fail a few pounds, mph, etc., above the exact rating.... the “libel”attorneys would be very busy. Because a few ( a small percentage) would fail below the rating. Thus... a pretty high “safety factor” is built in. Unless of course....it is manufactured in a foreign country, that can avoid libel suites!
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donn

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 12:48:22 PM »
I just want to be clear that I understand what we are all saying so, if my trailer is $5,000 lbs. dry weight and I load it up with another 2,000 lbs. we are at 7,000 lbs.  The max towing capacity for the truck is 7,800.  So is that still a comfortable ride assuming I am still under the combine vehicle max weights.

 

Remember that rating is based on a stripped base vehicle with one 150 pound driver.  Add family, stuff, full tank of fuel and your actual towing capacity could be as low as 6000 pounds.  Meaning a trailer with a brochure weight closer to 4500 pounds.

SargeW

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 01:34:16 PM »
I just want to be clear that I understand what we are all saying so, if my trailer is $5,000 lbs. dry weight and I load it up with another 2,000 lbs. we are at 7,000 lbs.  The max towing capacity for the truck is 7,800.  So is that still a comfortable ride assuming I am still under the combine vehicle max weights. 

Using your example, yes that would be a legal safe weight for your tow vehicle. Comfortable is subjective.  How good are your shocks and springs in your 7 year old vehicle? Are the brakes and rotors is good shape?  What about the trans? Adding a trailer of any size will often put a strain on a trans that has worked perfectly for the last several years.

I would also want new rubber on your tow vehicle.  7 year old tires on a vehicle used for commuting is usually fine, but when you load up a trailer you will most likely inflate them to the max to handle the weight and strain of stopping your new trailer. 

I am not trying to discourage you by any means, but I want you to understand that there are lots of issues to consider before you hook up and head off on your first adventure.
Marty--
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grashley

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 05:40:11 PM »
Todd:  VERY WELL STATED!

Soupman:  as Sarge said, and this is in the fine print below max tow capacity, they weight must be reduced pound for pound for the weight of all installed options, aftermarket accessories, passengers and cargo carried in the Denali, with a 150# allowance for the driver.  I am very happy to know you have been doing your homework on weights!
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steveblonde

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 06:24:35 PM »
Remember that rating is based on a stripped base vehicle with one 150 pound driver.  Add family, stuff, full tank of fuel and your actual towing capacity could be as low as 6000 pounds.  Meaning a trailer with a brochure weight closer to 4500 pounds.



DRIVER IS NOT INCLUDED -sorry not that 150lbs is going to make a scrap of difference lol, the cargo weight is vehicle only full of all fluids gas oil etc BEFORE all passengers including driver accesories hitches etc
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 06:27:49 PM by steveblonde »
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2017 Ford Escape my Daily driver - first Ford in 25 yrs
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded (First Ford Truck after 17 GMs) 5167lbs cargo/weight capacity named Kong


" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2018, 06:42:17 PM »
Quote
This is my opinion and should be treated as such......”FAR” too much emphasis is placed on being exactly at or under the “door jamb sticker”. Should you stay close.....a resounding “YES”! But, if a few hundred pounds over puts you into the RV that is better suited for your needs/wants..... do it! Provided you use “all” of the proper towing tools for your application, and “ALL”of your preventative maintenance is in order!


I can't argue too much with that opinion, cause I've done that myself.  But I also believe you have to understand all the numbers thoroughly before you know enough to make a judgment call that it is OK to exceed one or more of them.  It should be obvious that 1 lb under a limit is not materially safer than 1 lb over, but there begins the slippery slope.  If 1 is ok, why not 2 or 10 or...?  I hate to see anyone, but especially a novice, start out saying "a couple hundred lbs over is OK", because by the time the rig is bought and loaded and on the road, that hundred lbs here and 100 lbs there has potentially added up to a real problem. Not always, of course, but we see too many RVers coming here for advice on rigs where the tow vehicle is just plain outclassed the the trailer.
Gary
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SargeW

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2018, 07:55:05 PM »
Not always, of course, but we see too many RVers coming here for advice on rigs where the tow vehicle is just plain outclassed the the trailer.

True. Sometimes by the time folks get here,  they already have made the investment and are looking for validation of their particular rig. Some don't like the advice and choose to ignore it. That's OK, one of the main concepts of a forum such as this is, you can take the advice or leave it. That's why we always try to provide advice that will keep you and your family safe. And me and mine  if I am driving in front of you.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

SeilerBird

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 07:58:56 PM »
    This is my opinion and should be treated as such......”FAR” too much emphasis is placed on being exactly at or under the “door jamb sticker”. Should you stay close.....a resounding “YES”! But, if a few hundred pounds over puts you into the RV that is better suited for your needs/wants..... do it! Provided you use “all” of the proper towing tools for your application, and “ALL”of your preventative maintenance is in order!
So...some “common sense” and proper maintenance of the entire rig (tow vehicle and RV) falls upon the shoulders of the owner!

 It would be insane to believe that failure is imminent, because of a few hundred pounds. Manufacturers of all components have a known failure limit and adjust the “recommended” limits far below that. If everything would fail a few pounds, mph, etc., above the exact rating.... the “libel”attorneys would be very busy. Because a few ( a small percentage) would fail below the rating. Thus... a pretty high “safety factor” is built in. Unless of course....it is manufactured in a foreign country, that can avoid libel suites!
This is just as wrong as it gets, claiming it is OK to be a few hundreds pounds overweight. Not only should you not exceed those limits you should not even get close IMHO.

edited for content. Sarge
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 10:19:22 PM by SargeW »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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warsw

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2018, 10:26:51 PM »
Using your example, yes that would be a legal safe weight for your tow vehicle. Comfortable is subjective.  How good are your shocks and springs in your 7 year old vehicle? Are the brakes and rotors is good shape?  What about the trans? Adding a trailer of any size will often put a strain on a trans that has worked perfectly for the last several years.

I would also want new rubber on your tow vehicle.  7 year old tires on a vehicle used for commuting is usually fine, but when you load up a trailer you will most likely inflate them to the max to handle the weight and strain of stopping your new trailer. 

I am not trying to discourage you by any means, but I want you to understand that there are lots of issues to consider before you hook up and head off on your first adventure.
SAE J2807 Tow Tests - The Standard
Fully Equipped
The J2807 “Test Tow-Vehicle Selection” requirements have some wiggle room in the ratings assigned to a particular configuration, but the allowances favor the customer. The rules require that a tow vehicle “shall be equipped with the propulsion system or powertrain and driveline (engine, transmission, axle ratio, tire size, etc.) and cooling package to produce the GCWR under test.” If there is more than one tire size or final drive ratio available for a manufacturer’s truck model rated with the same GCWR, the combination with the lowest numerical axle ratio is the one that will be tested.
In addition to a vehicle’s base curb weight, the “Tow Vehicle Total Weight” (TVTW) for testing for ¾- and 1-ton trucks allocates 150 pounds for the driver, 150 pounds for a passenger, the weight of all tow package equipment, and 100 pounds of optional equipment (hitch ball, weight distribution bars, and such) split evenly between the front and rear axles.

Here is a link to the whole article. Interesting read. http://www.trucktrend.com/how-to/towing/1502-sae-j2807-tow-tests-the-standard/
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warsw

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2018, 11:04:14 PM »
Not only should you not exceed those limits you should not even get close IMHO.

edited for content. Sarge
Why would you say this? The manufactures have spent a lot of time and money testing these vehicle and they say that the vehicle can safely tow up to these limits. Why would you say you shouldn't even tow close to these limits? Have you done your own test and found that their results are wrong? Just curious. This seems like an odd statement. Read the "SAE J2807 Tow Tests - The Standard" and see how these limits are derived. After you read it and find out all the grueling test these vehicles have to go through to get their ratings you may change your mind.
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SeilerBird

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2018, 05:40:40 AM »
Why would you say this? The manufactures have spent a lot of time and money testing these vehicle and they say that the vehicle can safely tow up to these limits. Why would you say you shouldn't even tow close to these limits? Have you done your own test and found that their results are wrong? Just curious. This seems like an odd statement. Read the "SAE J2807 Tow Tests - The Standard" and see how these limits are derived. After you read it and find out all the grueling test these vehicles have to go through to get their ratings you may change your mind.
Because it is dangerous to do so for most drivers. Driving in the mountains changes everything. I am a safety freak and being right on the edge is always dangerous.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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warsw

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2018, 07:27:40 AM »
Because it is dangerous to do so for most drivers. Driving in the mountains changes everything. I am a safety freak and being right on the edge is always dangerous.
LOL....OK.....You be safe my friend.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2018, 07:30:06 AM »
Another reason is that the test does not specify frontal area to be a flat plate 8.5 ft. wide by nn ft. high. That is the source of the greatest load placed on the tow vehicle and rv's are wider and, usually, taller than any standard load.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

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UTTransplant

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Re: How big should I go
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2018, 09:29:43 AM »
“Safe” and “enjoyable to drive” are two different things. Towing a trailer close to a vehicle’s maximum capacity means the vehicle bogs on uphills and runs fast downhill. Both of those effects mean you will be doing a lot of manual shifting. It is just a lot more tiring than when you tow a trailer that has more margin. If you will be going a couple of hours from home on an occasional weekend, it won’t be a big bother. If you drive hundreds of miles on a frequent basis, you will regret it. You know how you intend on using the trailer, so make your decision with that in mind. And if you have kids, remember they just (and their toys) just get bigger and heavier with time. Heck, that’s even true for me!
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