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Old 02-23-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
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Safe to pull this trailer?

I have a 2004 GMC Canyon that has a 4000-lb max tow rating.

I'm looking at two different travel trailers. The one I really love is a Rockwood 1809S, which has a dry weight of about 3400 pounds. The other is a 2010 Viking Apex, which weighs 3,129 pounds dry.

I will be camping mostly alone with my dog ,but a friend will join me from time to time. I won't be hauling much stuff--just clothes a folding chair, food, clothing--you know just the basics.

Can I safely tow either of these trailers?

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake627 View Post
I have a 2004 GMC Canyon that has a 4000-lb max tow rating.

I'm looking at two different travel trailers. The one I really love is a Rockwood 1809S, which has a dry weight of about 3400 pounds. The other is a 2010 Viking Apex, which weighs 3,129 pounds dry.

I will be camping mostly alone with my dog ,but a friend will join me from time to time. I won't be hauling much stuff--just clothes a folding chair, food, clothing--you know just the basics.

Can I safely tow either of these trailers?

Thanks for your feedback.
You have pretty well answered your own question - either trailer puts you at the max weight.

We have a Rockwood Mini Lite 1809S on order from RV-Direct to be picked up in Elkhart, IN in April or May. We will be towing it with a 2004 Buick Rainier with the inline 6 engine. It has a 5,500 # tow rating.

We are downsizing due to our age from a 5th wheel with 2 slides that we pulled with a one ton Dodge dually diesel. Had a beautiful rig but it was getting to be more work than I needed to keep it looking beautiful. The complete rig would get hand washed & waxed once in the spring & once in the fall. Scrubbing the rubber roof was included also.

We also fell in love with the floor plan of the 1809S.

Happy Camping, The Palmers
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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You stated your tv has a 4,000 lb towing capacity. The lightest tt mentioned was 3,129 lbs. That allows only 871 lbs for all your stuff loaded in the tt and in your tv. It really adds up quick.
If maxed out on your towing capacity of 4,000 lbs you'll probably have a hitch weight of approx 520 lbs. Now I'm just guessing at all these numbers because I don't know what your loaded weight will actually be.
If you go with those numbers you will be maxed out or over on your towing capacity. I don't know the payload of the GMC Canyon, but after loading stuff in the back of your truck you'll probably be close to that as well. Add that together with the short wheel base that your truck has and I don't think you will enjoy towing either of those tt's.
You'll probably be lacking in power and stability as well.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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It's not always about weight, sometimes wheelbase plays a BIG factor, based on trailer length. There are several good towing calculators on the web, just do a search. Have all the numbers ready, and as I stated before if you have to ask, you already have doubt in your mind. Don't ask us to bless a poor decision based on your part.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
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Well, here's my 2 cents for what it's worth. Even if you stay within the weight range with your trailer, two things are likely. One, you won't be happy with the way it tows. Besides weight, you have wind drag factoring in. Even though you are able to pull it, maintaining a good speed on the road "might" be a factor. Second, you won't be happy with the camper. It will likely be too small because you ended up getting it to fit your truck rather than what you really wanted. Just a couple of things to keep in mind.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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Lake627, we need a little more input on your Canyon. By what I could find out on the net, that truck came with a couple of different cab configurations. The extended cab and crew cab models have a 126" wheelbase. The Rockwood is a little over 20', which puts those stats within a "recognized" wheel base vs. length chart:

110" 20' ******* 150" 30'
114" 21' ******* 154" 31'
118" 22' ******* 158" 32'
122" 23' ******* 162" 33'
126" 24' ******* 166" 34'
130" 25' ******* 170" 35'
134" 26' ******* 174" 36'
138" 27' ******* 178" 37'
142" 28' ******* 182" 38'
146" 29' ******* 186" 39'

Even the regular cab Canyon would squeeze into those figures, but that is probably not the safest way to go. A lot depends on where you intend to tow. It might be a wild ride going down a 7% grade.....but it might work OK on level ground.

The 2004 Canyons came with either a 4 cyl and a 5 cyl engine. I wouldn't attempt pulling a conventional travel trailer with the 4 banger, but the 5 cyl. might work. Keep in mind, that the Rockwood has about the same frontal area as the big boys......and that is what is going to make your engine work hard.

Do you have a towing package? If not, then you would need to add a wiring harness, hitch receiver, and a transmission cooler. A brake controller is another add-on.

You are wise to add about 400 lbs. to the listed dry weight t of 2958 lbs. on the Rockwood. That is usually what happens after you add an awning, AC, and other options....and might even be towards the upper end. You need to figure out whether the GVWR of your truck will be over the limit, keeping in mind the tongue weight of the trailer is going to add to the load....albeit some of that weight would be taken off with a WDH. You also need to figure out whether the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is still going to be within limits.

Give us some more data, and the members here will give you their honest opinions. If you are going to be over any of those limits, then don't do it. If weights and lengths are under, the towing experience might not be the best, but doable. A lot has to do with where you plan to tow.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:16 AM   #7
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My comment goes to "Don't Do it" I also go along with EdJunior, you will not be a happy camper. I have the 2008 Colorado crew cab as a TOAD and would never for a minute think of pulling anythig biggert han 1000# popup with it. I have had 3 TT and the weakest truck was a V8 F150 for a 24' TT that wgt was #4800 and I hated just going over a long bridge. You also have a wid factor that is going to play heck with yur pulling and to have an emergance stop, the TT will push you through the stop. Don't do it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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Lake627 all of the above posts seems to tell you that both mentioned trailers are too heavy for your tow vehicle. Is there any way that you & your family could be satisfied with a pop-up?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:19 PM   #9
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Geez, it's really amazing the range of responses I'm getting from people on this subject, depending who I ask.

At the Canyon/Colorado owners website, most people say I should have "no problem" towing 3400 pounds. The travel trailer dealer also says I'd have no problem (they're biased of course), and here, everyone says "don't do it."


To get an expert opion, I talked to an automotive engineer today, who felt that my Canyon's chassis/frame could handle the weight, but that my Canyon would probably never get into 4th gear towing with this amount of weight. He did not say "don't do it" but alerted me as to how the engine/transmission would likely respond under these conditions.

So, here I am. I really don't know what to do now. I already have a pop-up, but would prefer a TT. I'll probably just drop the whole TT idea and stick with my pop-up for now.

Just out of curiosity, in your opinion, how much towing capacity would a vehicle need to tow 3400+ pounds comfortably?

Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:35 PM   #10
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Lake627,

If you had the new Toyota truck or 1/2 Ton with a V8, and a 3400-4000 pound TT, I would say that you will be OK. The truck setup properly with the braking system and sway control has the wgt to stop the TT and the muscle to pull it, but not in the mountains. That being said, my V8 F150 with a 24' TT that wgt was #4800 was no match for the mountains (Big Hills really) at Stone Mountain GA, I could tell it was back there. Even my GD at age 9 said you can feel teh TT back there can't you grandpa. After I went to the 3500, she said what a difference.
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