Can I pull this pop-up?

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kaalee

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Nov 9, 2020
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I am looking at a 2016 Coachmen Clipper Classic 1285 SST and have an 2020 Equinox LT Premier with a 2.0 L Turbo engine. It has the towing package and capacity is 3,500. The 1285 SST has a Base Weight of 2702, Carrying Capacity of 800 and hitch weight of 282. Can someone please simplify this for me and tell me if this will work? All the different numbers makes my head spin. If someone can put these #s in laymen's terms, it would be appreciated.
 

Tom55555

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Jan 1, 2018
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There's a difference between towing and RVing meaning your payload.

I would weigh everything then consider your payload and consider the liability if you exceed the numbers.

The bottom line is you can push the numbers if you drive careful but understand if something happens and you hurt someone a lawyer will probably complicate your life unless you have nothing to lose. Besides the money you just shouldn't put anyone at risk so follow all safety guides.

 

Ex-Calif

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kaalee said:
I am looking at a 2016 Coachmen Clipper Classic 1285 SST and have an 2020 Equinox LT Premier with a 2.0 L Turbo engine. It has the towing package and capacity is 3,500. The 1285 SST has a Base Weight of 2702, Carrying Capacity of 800 and hitch weight of 282. Can someone please simplify this for me and tell me if this will work? All the different numbers makes my head spin. If someone can put these #s in laymen's terms, it would be appreciated.

1 - Your trailer hitch is "capable" of pulling 3,500 pounds
2 - If your owner's manual says the "towing capacity" is 3,500 pounds you are good so far
3 - 800 pounds is the max you can put in the package area (most likely from your description)
4 - You vehicle weighs "something" - Look for a placard which may also contain the tire pressure info. It will have something like GVW write this down.
5 - There will be another piece of data "CGVW" - "combined Gross Vehicle Weight" - that is the key total amount of weight you can have.

So -
Vehicle weight (2702) + trailer weight (Google says it's likely <1,000 pounds) cannot exceed the CGVW - remember anything you put in the car or trailer has to be added - People, luggage, dogs, sleeping bags, firewood, food, gas (6 pounds a gallon), water (8 pounds a gallon) etc.

The only other limits
a) no more than 800 pounds in the cargo area
b) approximately 10% of trailer weight (270) on the hitch.

Roughly you should be fine...
 

Oldgator73

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We have a Winnabego TT with what we thought was a dry weight of 2500 pounds. We used to tow with a Nissan Quest van with a tow capacity of 3500 pounds. Winnabego changed the the weight of the TT to 2800 pounds. After towing for about a year with the van I told my wife that the van was not cutting it. I never actually weighed anything but I could tell the van was struggling. I could sense a transmission failure in the near future. I purchased a Nissan Frontier with a tow rating of 6300 pounds. Giving myself a 20% safety margin I was left with a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The truck has no problems handling the weight. I feel much better with the new setup.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Technically YES but you probably won't enjoy it.

Your Equinox can tow up to 3500 lbs if it is not hauling anything else, e.g. any passengers or gear in the SUV.  That usually isn't the case.  And most small SUVs aren't comfortable and don't perform well when loaded to their max capability.  Also, if the trailer balance isn't near-perfect, it may be a "white knuckle" driving experience, with the trailer tending to push the car around when trucks pass or you try to move around other traffic.
 

kaalee

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Nov 9, 2020
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So based on the comments, I gather that it is possible but not ideal and we would most likely encounter difficult handling when driving. Not want I wanted to hear since the 1285 SST has everything that I want in a pop-up. With that being said, what is the top weight I should consider when looking for another model.
 

SpencerPJ

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Because the small SUVs are not the ideal tow vehicle, might I suggest, rent a pop-up for a weekend, in the weight range your Equinox is rated, and see how it does.  Might help you decide must and not must haves as well.  Might I also suggest searching and joining a GM Equinox Forum and find some real user experiences.  Good luck.  Other things play into this formula as well.  Size of humans, family, dogs, amount of junk (I mean necessities you wish to carry).
 

TheBar

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kaalee said:
So based on the comments, I gather that it is possible but not ideal and we would most likely encounter difficult handling when driving. Not want I wanted to hear since the 1285 SST has everything that I want in a pop-up. With that being said, what is the top weight I should consider when looking for another model.
A popup is low to the ground and has a way lower drag coefficient. The tow vehicle practically sucks it along and side winds do not cause a handling problem. I think what you are considering may be doable but make sure the popup has working electric brakes.

When I bought my popup in 2008 I pulled it with a Chrysler 300. I could only tell the popup was behind me by looking in the rear view mirror. My popup only weighs 1,500 lbs and the car had a hemi V8 engine. Your popup weighs almost twice that. Turbo 4 bangers don't have much low end torque.

Since your situation is the reverse of mine I would insist on a test drive before buying it. Also consider the factory warranty on your Equinox might be voided if they determine you overloaded it. You may need a smaller popup or a bigger tow vehicle.
 

kaalee

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Nov 9, 2020
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I have come to the realization that I am not going to be able to get the pop up that I really want. I am going to hold off until next season and keep an eye out for a great deal on a smaller trailer. I am disappointed that I can't get what I had my heart set on, but better safe than sorry. Thanks everyone for your input.
 

OldMarine

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Apr 30, 2020
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If you use a weight distribution hitch and electric trailer brakes you'll be ok. Just my opinion.
 

Papa Glenn

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Nov 26, 2020
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Big factors are where and how far you tow. If you stay close to home and don’t do hills, you probably won’t have serious issues. If you really want to go distances and hit the mountains, you’ll have uncomfortable driving and possibly damage your TV.
 
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