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Old 04-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
A good rule of thumb is to buy a trailer that does not exceed 80% of your towing capacity, or 4800 lbs in your case. But it's not just the towing capacity, it's your payload capacity that matters also. Need to get your TV weighed and subtract if from the GVWR and then factor in your passengers, pets, gear and groceries. A 6000 lb trailer would have a tongue weight in the range of 600 - 900 lbs.

Google says the max. tongue weight load for a 2008 Pathfinder is 600 lbs. That's pretty low as far as tow vehicles go and that would limit you to about a 4,000 lb trailer without any payload whatsoever. You might only be able to use a 2,000 lb or so pop-up along with a small payload of 300 lbs tops.

Manufacturers tow ratings can be so misleading and are only part of the picture.

We have been towing a 20' TT with 5,000 lb weight fully loaded with a 2000 F150 V6. That was awful on steeper hills and when windy (head-on gusts really slowed us down). We have since upgraded to an F250.
Times two.

And as Red Racer said, for travel trailers to handle safely the tongue weight must fall between 10 and 14% of the total camper weight alone. 12% is usually the sign of a well balanced (loaded) camper.

You can easily "work backwards" to find the size camper you will be limited to with your vehicle.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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That is not a bad size trailer, and if I was in your shoes, I would try it. Of course, bigger is always better on the tow vehicle. But, not everyone has the money to get what they want. I do OK with my little 4 cylinder oil burner. I got the proper hitch setup that works.

Have you thought of renting at first? That is why my family did last year. I know what camping is like from when I was younger, and owned a variety of trailers and truck campers, but I didn't know if the Girlfriend and daughter would like it. Maybe someone local has something you can rent in the size you're looking for...may not be exact. My rental was 3 feet longer than what I have now. Also, the rental had just a standard WDH. I have a dual cam WDH now, and can tell the difference.

EDIT:
I know Minnesota is a HUGE state, but I found one.

http://www.pleasurelandrv.com/Rental...l-Trailer.aspx
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
You can easily "work backwards" to find the size camper you will be limited to with your vehicle.
Ditto ^^^

I found that since payload is generally the biggest limiter with smaller tow vehicles, that this was the only way to stay within your ratings. I was shocked at how little my in-laws "7,000 pounds tow rating" could do when it came down to payload.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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Even better would be the ability to rent tow vehicles. That way you could buy the trailer you want without having to buy a gas hog to pull it with. Lots of guys driving to work in trucks because they need it to tow with a few times a year. Yeah,I know it's fun to drive a truck, but gas is not going to get any cheaper.

Ninety percent of my driving could be done in a small car.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MN_Outdoors View Post
Even better would be the ability to rent tow vehicles. That way you could buy the trailer you want without having to buy a gas hog to pull it with. Lots of guys driving to work in trucks because they need it to tow with a few times a year. Yeah,I know it's fun to drive a truck, but gas is not going to get any cheaper.

Ninety percent of my driving could be done in a small car.
That is why I drive what i do. I get 25 to 30 MPG and still tow a 21ft HTT. After renting and confirming that my lil diesel can tow when I need it to, I ended up buying my Roo. That is why I suggested renting first to make sure you can tow with what you have before investing in a trailer. I would love a Cummins (as I am parked next to one at Home Depot on purpose) but I know it will cost me a fortune commuting up to 150 miles round trip.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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I had no trouble finding truck rentals it was the towing portion that was the challenge. Except for U-Haul I could only find one other place to rent a truck for towing and it had a 75 miles restriction along with lots of red tape questions. U-Haul was much easier going but I couldn't get over the 'box image' for driving around town.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:19 PM   #17
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Tow ratings are based on 1/2 tank of gas and 150lb driver. Every pound you add to the tv comes off your tow rating.
Ratings you find online are for the optimally configured vehicle - YOUR vehicle may not be set up that way (gearing, tow packages, cooling, extra options add weight to tv reducing payload/tow load).

Teh trailer has a listed weight too - does not include the hitch gear (wd hitch an go 75lbs), propane, batter, water in the tanks - and of course you have to add in all your food, bedding, bath, pots/pans, lawnchairs, firewood, etc.

Also look at GCWR - listed on your truck- this is the sum total of all your weight rolling down the road.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by MN_Outdoors View Post
I'm not looking to tow up to the max rating, but I was wondering if there was a good rule of thumb based on the rating. That way I could eliminate the rigs that i know would be to heavy. Is under 4000 lbs a safe bet? Thanks.
It's not that simple. It depend factors that you haven't provided. It would be unwise for me to answer your question without more info. If that's 4000 lbs GVWR, might be OK. If you mean 4000 lbs dry weight, maybe not. But I understand you are looking for a general idea of what range to be looking. Maybe this will help you.

1. 6000 lbs tow rating
2. Subtract the weight of all passengers and cargo that you will put in the truck. This will tell you have much capacity you have left for the loaded camper. Do not have so much stuff in the truck that you do not allow for tongue weight. But do not subtract TW in this calculation.
3. Subtract 1000 lbs from #2, which should give you a conservative MAXIMUM dry weight of a potential camper.

If you have a published GCVWR (combined rating) that's even better. Start wiht this number, and subtract any known weights. This method is more accurate, especially if your vehicle allows for more than the driver at MAX trailer weight.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #19
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Hello MN Outdoors,

I also tow with a 2008 V6 Pathfinder, S, 4x4. Its two of us and a dog. I have a Rockwood 2503S. The scale sticker for the trailer was 4350# if I recall. (Options on the trailer will make a difference).

The all up legal weight for my model of Pathy is 11,300#. I can't recall if that's GCVW, or CGVW, but its something like that.

Anyway, I took the truck full of gas, with the trailer and everything it came with, WD setup, 2 x 20# propane, battery, and everything necessary to move (like mirrors) to the scale and came up to 9,440#. I had no water worth mentioning, no groceries, no clothes, no toys, spouse or dog. Trailer scaled at just over 4,000#, truck front and rear were pretty well balanced and well within limits.

Here's the hard but very important part - what will you add?

We've been camping a long time, this is our 4th trailer. We've got "the stuff" down to real needs.

You need to figure that out first. If you think that list is going to grow, or if you're growing a family or thinking about bringing friends and their gear it will make a huge difference in the long term.

Just my experience and things to think about.

Good luck and keep it fun!
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #20
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