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Old 03-08-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
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Backing into towing capacity

I'm trying to help my in-laws. They have a mid-2000 Toyota 4Runner/V8 with towing package. They'd like to have something that they can take to car shows as my father-in-law (FIL) is restoring an old Ford Galaxy. They know they'll have to take 2 vehicles (4runner + RV and the Galaxy itself separately).

My FIL has put it fairly bluntly, "What can I tow with what I have?" as we walk the aisles of RV shows. I took a picture of his yellow placard on the SUV:


This is showing that he's got a fairly limited cargo carrying capacity of 950 pounds. For easy numbers, lets say that they pack the SUV as lightly as possible and only add 350 pounds to that (extra for the driver, 1 passenger, a few things in the car with them and the ball receiver for the hitch). That leaves 600 pounds of left over.

With 15% of tongue weight, that leaves them with a maximum trailer weight of 4,000 lbs.

With 13% of tongue weight, that leaves them with a maximum trailer weight of 4,615 lbs.

And, while unlikely - going off of 10% of tongue weight, that leaves them with a maximum of 6,000 pounds.

Can anyone check my math here? (on edit: QCCowboy did and I updated the numbers above to reflect a brainfart. They're correct now.)
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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I think the way you are looking at it is right, but your math is slightly off. 4333 * .15 = 650. And 5000 * .13 = 650
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if you're talking about a V6 or V8 4Runner. The 2005 Trailer Life towing guide lists max tow of 5000 for the V6 and 7000 for the V8.

The sure way to know the payload is to weigh the 4Runner ready to camp and deduct that from it's GVWR.

It may be best to use the camper's GVWR and a tongue weight of 13% of that to narrow down the shopping list.

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Old 03-08-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by QCCowboy View Post
I think the way you are looking at it is right, but your math is slightly off. 4333 * .15 = 650. And 5000 * .13 = 650
You're right- for some reason, I did the math of 950 - 350 and come up with 650 in my head (vs. the 600 that I wrote). I'm going to edit my post to reflect accurate numbers.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Monica View Post
I'm not sure if you're talking about a V6 or V8 4Runner. The 2005 Trailer Life towing guide lists max tow of 5000 for the V6 and 7000 for the V8.

The sure way to know the payload is to weigh the 4Runner ready to camp and deduct that from it's GVWR.

It may be best to use the camper's GVWR and a tongue weight of 13% of that to narrow down the shopping list.

Dave
Sigh, typos abound. I originally (now corrected) tried to put that it was a V8. I think we've read in his owner's manual about the 7,000 pound towing capacity but that's in a perfect/ideal world with an exactly 150 lb. driver, no passengers and no cargo and a 13.5% tongue weight.

I agree that it'd be best if they went and got weighed. I actually mentioned that to him.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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Yep...weighing is key. In fact I'm off to finally do that with my almost year old 2500HD today. Looking at moving up from the TT to a 5er and need to know what my limits truly are. Been looking at lots of Rockwood Signature Ultra Lites but also ran across a Montana Mountaineer at the RV show that I REALLY love. Unloaded weight on it though is 10K with a cargo capacity of over 4K pounds. I know that I pack heavily but lordy that is a lot of capacity. Pretty sure the Rockwood is going to win out with weights and they are extremely nice too.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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I think he is gonna be in Rockwood roo or something like a casita or scamp. As stated above the best thing is to load everyone and everything that will be in the truck when towing and go weigh it. Take the scaled weight and subtract it from the trucks gvwr to get his available payload. The loaded tongue weight must be under thiss number. I would use 13-15% of the tt gvwr to calculate tongue weight.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:25 PM   #8
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Yeah- we've been mostly looking at the Roo, Rockwood MiniLite and the sort. They have 3 grand kids now and would like to have sleeping arrangements for some of them, so we've looked at a model or two with bunk arrangements. I think the Murphy beds are really slick- "real" bed vs. some we looked at, you had to makeup the dinette into a bed.

That said, they also walked thru a few couples fifth wheels and wondered why they don't just sell their place and buy a new truck!
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Yeah- we've been mostly looking at the Roo, Rockwood MiniLite and the sort. They have 3 grand kids now and would like to have sleeping arrangements for some of them, so we've looked at a model or two with bunk arrangements. I think the Murphy beds are really slick- "real" bed vs. some we looked at, you had to makeup the dinette into a bed.

That said, they also walked thru a few couples fifth wheels and wondered why they don't just sell their place and buy a new truck!
And so it goes. Generally so many vehicles have such a low CCC that they are virtually useless as tow vehicles. The trailer tow rating is a meaningless number for so many vehicles, yet it is all people look at.

You have run the numbers correctly, and seen what trailers fit in that class. That is why so many people end up upgrading their TV.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #10
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Make sure you have a tranny cooler if not equipped already in the 4-runner tow package. Those runners can hold a lot of gear and it doesn't take long for it to add up in weight.
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