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Old 06-28-2015, 08:41 PM   #21
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all excellent posts here, great thread. hes gonna notice a difference with the family loaded. the separate vehicle idea sounded good if needed. all that said, with that frontal area mentioned, if the tranny begins to hunt(shift back and forth) from drive to overdrive, just run it in drive and save the tranny.

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Old 06-29-2015, 12:32 PM   #22
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You may want to try an air deflector that takes the air over the van roof and deflects it over the hybrid so it does not hit the slab. I had one on my SUV that I used to tow a ROO19. It improves mileage slightly and keeps speed up. It also stops snow accumulating on the front of the TT and keeps all the bugs off also.
Google it. If you want a good example of this look at any semi tractor unit and you will see that it has a deflector to take the air over the tractor unit away from the from the front of the trailer.
I would also suggest a good weight distribution hitch to stop the effects of any buffeting and improve stability of your tow combination.

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Old 07-01-2015, 03:07 PM   #23
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Consider upgrading to a 1500 4 door pickup setup for towing. Your up lander will probably get by but not comfortably.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:14 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by lovinglife15 View Post
Thank you for asking. My van is a 2005 Chevy Uplander extended cab 7 seater passenger van GVWR 5622 lbs. V6 engine. Towing capacity of 3500 lbs. GAWR RR 2756 lbs and GAWR FF 2866 lbs.
I have tried twice to respond, but had the responses eaten by the computer. :-)

We very comfortably tow with a 2008 Hyundai/Kia minivan with 130K miles on it. Specs: 3.5L V-6, 250 HP, 5 speed auto xmsn, 3500 lbs tow capacity. Nothing else available from Hyundai/Kia besides the door sticker - except that the European version has a significantly higher tow rating (which gives me confidence in the frame/unibody).

Trailer is 2014 Rockwood A122. GVWR 3261 lbs, sticker wt 2306 lbs. Only dealer additions were propane, and 2nd battery. Based on weighing, normal camping weight is 2720 lbs, add 170 lbs if we fill water heater and water tank. Food, clothing, EZ-up, 2 folding chairs, and outside entry carpet are carried in the minivan (plus dog and 2 of us). Frontal area of A122 is 35 sq ft (5ft high by 7ft wide).

In actual 35 MPH winds on I-76/I-80 through eastern Colorado and Nebraska, we often saw the transmission kick down to 4th and even 3rd on an uphill. Gas mileage went to a miserable 14 mpg while towing at 67 mph. Handling, thanks to the Equalizer E2 600/6000, remained great with no porpoising and no sway. Ride was good enough that wifey was quite comfortable driving while I slept.

On trips with less wind in and through the Rockies and at altitudes of 4K to 11K, we have seen 16-19 mpg, but of course speeds are lower when not on the interstate (and higher altitudes normally give better mileage).

Used to own a 1993 Ford Explorer and 2000 Coleman Westlake (12ft box PUP). That rig (no WDH or anti-sway) was a white knuckle nightmare that would start swaying at 62 MPH on I-80 through the Sierras. Climbing the grade to Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 in Colorado was at 25MPH in 1st gear with the pedal nearly on the floor. Minivan will do 65MPH all the way to the tunnel (11K ft, in 3rd gear near the top).

All that said, I would not want to do 300-500 mile days towing anything bigger than a smaller A-frame or PUP behind my Hyundai. It's pretty comfortable where it's at; much more weight or windage and I believe the comfort level will go down significantly. Which is one of the reasons we decided to go with the smallest Rockwood A-frame. The other big reason was to fit in our 19ft garage stall.

I give you our experience as a point of reference for making your own judgement. Remember that unless turbocharged, engines have 20-25%more power (and worse gas mileage) down near sea level.

Fred W
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by lovinglife15 View Post
Thank you so much for responding and for all of your tips!

I guess what else I'm wondering is shouldn't we technically be okay since we are under our towing capacity even with people and a small amount of stuff?
For your 550 lbs family, you typically don't have to count 150 lbs for the driver. So subtract the remaining 400 lbs from your 3500 lbs rating, and you have 3100 lbs remainining.

You do not have a 2600 lbs camper, since you haven't estimated the weight of any options on the camper (factory or dealer) which is in addition to the 2600 lbs dry weight. For a popup or small hybrid, we usually say 600 lbs over dry. Much of that is options that you can't "not" pack. So that's a 3200 lbs estimate for the loaded camper.

Sounds like you are 100 lbs over your limit. Probably not a big deal, but the main problem here is that you are trying to pull a brick thru the wind, with a drivetrain that was not intended to see that kind of sustained drag.

If you did not already own these 2 vehicles, I'd say don't buy the camper, and stick to a popup (like I did for 7 years with our minivans). But since you already purchased, I recommend:
-Aux trans cooler (if not already installed)
-Tekonsha P2 or P3 brake controller (you will need wiring installed in vehicle)
-4000 lbs rated Equal-I-zer sway control WDH kit
-Do not drive on the interstates. Stay local, or drive 55mph highways between destinations.
-If the trans won't hold a gear (hunting) downshift.
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:46 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by etothepii View Post
You MIGHT be ok on paper, but you most likely won't feel good driving. And never trust an rv salesman when they tell you your vehicle is adequate. The will do or say whatever it takes to make a sale.

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A ****ing men! That is straight gospel right there!

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