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Old 04-29-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
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Newbie Towing Capacity Question.

After many years of tent camping and the past couple with a small pop-up,we decided to move up to a TT. We will pick up our 2012 Wildwood 26TBSS next week.I'll admit right up front that I should have done more detailed research into my TV's capacity before purchase of the new TT but it is what it is,here are all the details I have.
TT - hitch weight=815lbs,axle weight=4915lbs,dry weight=5730lbs, CCC=2047lbs.

Tow Vehicle-04 Dodge Durango with the 5.7L Hemi and Tow/haul Package.
GVWR=6600lbs, Payload=1449lbs, Curb weight=5151lbs(includes all fluids and Gas), Curb weight front/rear = 2807lbs/2807lbs, GAWR front/rear= 3600lbs/3900lbs, GCWR= 14,000lbs. The maximum towing capacity is listed as 8950lbs which is what I used and am now finding out really doesn't tell the whole story. The Family weighs about 390lbs, I figured a rough estimate of gear-food, clothes,dishes,bikes etc. to be around 1200lbs.

SO the question is am I ok or in trouble?
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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I think you are fine with this setup. Close, especially with a reasonably adjusted tow rating and the payload, but fine overall.

You will not like mountains towing with this setup but I think you would do fine everywhere else.

Lets take this one step at a time. Thanks for posting all the detail right off the bat. It really helps.

Trailer
  • Estimated trailer weight = 6,930 (5730+1200)
    • Your trailer will be under its GVWR of 7,700lbs. Keep in mind that this is very rough unless you saw the actual weight sticker on the door of the trailer. The dry weight listed in the brochure does not include factory or dealer options.
  • Estimated tongue weight = 900lbs (6,930 * 13%). The ratio needs to be between 10-15%. Too light causes too little weight to be transferred to your truck's steering axle. Too much can lead to other problems. 13% is a good starting point.

Truck

  • Towing Cap = 7,608 (8,950 less 15%)
This 8,950 figure is probably not very accurate. The truck manufacturers for years have been playing a game of one-up with each other as consumers demanded higher tow ratings in 1/2 ton pickups and large SUVs.

The problem with this number is you don't know how they arrived at it - there was no set standard for them to follow and I suspect they all fudged. Also, I suspect that none of their tow ratings test were towing a wall and all its wind resistance right behind your truck. Probably just a trailer with rocks in it.

I recommend that you knock this down a bit to give yourself some wiggle room. A safety margin of 10-20% would be good.
  • Even with the safety margin, you will be under by 700lbs. Its close though.
  • GCW = 12,471lbs (6,930 + 390+ 5,151). This is the weight of your fully loaded trailer plus truck with family.
    • You will be under your GCWR of 14,000lbs
  • Payload = 1,290 (900+390). Tongue weight plus all people.
    • You will be under the payload rating of 1,449. Its close though.
  • GVWR = 6,600lbs.
    • You will be under this rating with your estimates.
  • Axle ratings. Your GAWR front/rear= 3600lbs/3900lbs will probably be fine once you hook up to a weight distribution hitch. But, the only way to know is to do a proper weighing at the local CAT.
What WDH are you looking at?

You can do all of these on the Changing Gears calculator if you want to play around.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Triguy, I'll be using a Reese Pro series RB2 WDH (1200lbs) with sway control. Unless you and others can recommend something better for my situation.
I knew I was going to be close after doing more research,I guess i'll see how it goes after a couple of trips. Any thoughts on a better rig to tow this trailer?
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #4
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Guesses are just that. Load the family up hitch up the trailer and go to the scales. That will get you some fairly accurate numbers. IMHO towing with any of the mid sized SUVs is a crap shoot. Limited frame P metric tires suspension tuned for soft ride all contribute to poor towing. You would be better with a pickup or 2500 suburban no doubt.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
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You have a big and fairly heavy trailer even if the weights are within your SUVs ratings. I am not familiar with that hitch but am bothered by it being described as "economical". I assume Reese produced this as a competitor to other (lessor) hitches than their Reese Dual Cam or the Equal-I-zer, which are both very good hitches.

I would seriously consider either of those for your setup before I get a new truck. Both of those hitches will be twice the cost or more but probably worth it.

The new vehicle is, of course, a much bigger decision.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Just an update,picked up our new Wilwood 26TBSS the other day.The WDH I have is a Husky round bar(1,000lbs) Max Trailer weight of 10,000lbs with a Reese sway control.
The Durango did fine pulling and braking (Primus IQ 90160 brake box) of course the TT was dry and I was the only one in the vehicle and it was only a few miles. One thing I did notice was the front end felt "floaty" coming out of a couple of turns,not sure if this is normal or not.The plan is to load it up for a short trip close to home and get weighed to see what the real numbers are and go from there, but I have been scanning the classifieds for an F-150 or Colorado crew cab that would better handle this TT.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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Congrats on your new Wildwood.

So you have a Husky round bar WDH with sway. The float you are feeling possibly indicates an under-adjusted system, which will feel worse as you load the trailer and the tongue becomes heavier. I suggest that you re-read the manual for the Husky to check your dealer's setup and really spend time adjusting that until it is correct for you. I attached the instructions.

Just to let you know. I remeasure and will adjust once or twice a year and whenever the trailer weight is significantly different from the last trip. It will be very different once you load up the trailer and the truck for a trip.

Did your hitch come with one or two friction sway bars?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Husky Round Bar Hitch Instructions.pdf (891.3 KB, 24 views)
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomoretents4me View Post
... but I have been scanning the classifieds for an F-150 or Colorado crew cab that would better handle this TT.
One more thing - Go with a properly equipped F-150 when you upgrade.

Unless I am mistaken, the Colorado Crew Cab would have even less towing capacity than your current SUV, wouldn't it?
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link Triguy! I will definitely be going over the installation and set-up according to the manual and fixing anything the dealer messed up.Oh and I meant Silverado not Colorado,also just found a 2500 Suburban with the 8.1L engine that should work as well,rather have a truck though and prefer The F-150 or 250 over any other.

Edit-Hitch has 1 Sway Bar.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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Silverado! Now that makes more sense

I asked about the sway bar because this setup probably needs more than one. But I can't tell you for certain because I'm not that familiar with the Husky round Bar w/one sway. Maybe others will chime in.

I used a basic WDH with one sway bar on a lighter trailer in the past and it worked fine. Your trailer is fairly heavy, though, so its something to keep an eye on.

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