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Old 02-17-2014, 03:46 AM   #1
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Sales vs towing knowledge

hI there,

I am very confused and not to happy after visiting the RV show 2 weeks ago.

I like the forest river products and went to look at and hopefully purchase and Rpod to pull with our 2009 honda pilot which has a tow capacity of 3500 lbs. I knew this would be pretty close to the max I could tow with a safety margin. We like to camp and fish and canoe while we do so and often bring our kids bikes.

We ran into another dealer at the show how assured us we could pull the Viking 17bh which is 2818 dry weight (3626 GVW). I told them I have 2 kids, canoe, etc and the response was "we put these things behind mini vans". So I filled out the financing and was prepared to buy and talk to them in a week when I got back.

Well over that week I am doubting this is safe for my family and am now wondering why they would do this. First of all if my calculations are correct my tongue weight will be far exceeded and I will not be even close to having a 20% safety margin as I have been reading is advise.

Honda tells me not to use a weight D hitch and if I am operating outside the manual my insurance will not cover me.

We love this trailer but I don't want to put my kids at risk by pulling something I shouldn't or is not safe. Is my math off? Is the dealer correct here and this is a safe thing to pull? I am not in a position to pick up a new TV for the sake of a trailer. I have not signed off on the trailer only the financing and taking this into consideration the financing on the trailer is not enough to cover a new truck!

Thoughts? Is it safe to pull this with my family in the pilot?
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:05 AM   #2
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It sounds like you've done your homework and have pretty much answered the question. If Honda says don't use WD hitch, don't, for reasons you stated. 20% margin is an absolute must, to me anyway. If I can't achieve that, another tow vehicle is in order. I've watched a dealer set up a 43' Mobile Suites to a short bed F-250 several years back. Sure, it'll pull it, but will it stop it, and what happens when that cross wind hits, somebody pulls in front of you etc etc. Too large a trailer will make a rag doll out of a vehicle in a bad situation. Unfortunately, I'd say most dealers don't have a clue. You are very smart in doing your homework and having these concerns. If your gut feeling says don't do it, then don't do it.

Recently my brother in law bought his 43' HL Cyclone, GVWR 18k. He intended to pull this with a short bed Dodge 2500, had plans to beef up suspension, air bags, etc etc. He wouldn't listen to me suggestion upgrading to a 3500 dually, for safety reasons. I finally laid it out there to his wife that if she's willing to go on a suicide mission with him and their 4 kids, go for it but I wouldn't be around them anywhere with that set up. I explained my reasoning behind this since she didn't know one way or the other. She talked, he listened, and he has a new 3500 dually, and he finally came back and said he's glad he made the swap, as even with with dually and cummins, you know that beast is behind you and can feel the cross winds.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:18 AM   #3
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That puppy is heavier than my pilot lol !
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:40 AM   #4
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For a little humor, think this set up is overkill? Very small popup with an F-350 for tow vehicle. This is one of our previous tow rigs. This rig was to tow our Mobile Scout fifth wheel, however we owned this popup at the same time, for "roughing it" every now and then. I just think they're cool. However, it did get a few comments and looks in the campground. Talk about a bear to back up when going from a fifth wheel to something you can't hardly see behind you.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:26 AM   #5
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I had to walk away from a salesman at the show I went through Saturday. I was looking at yellow weight sticker when he right away says "half ton towable". I responded, "no its not". We went back and forth for a few minutes before I just left. The empty weight of trailer was almost 10k.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:09 AM   #6
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You really cannot trust anything a salesman tells you at these shows. They want to sell. I always do my own research as you have.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJohnD View Post
For a little humor, think this set up is overkill? Very small popup with an F-350 for tow vehicle. This is one of our previous tow rigs. This rig was to tow our Mobile Scout fifth wheel, however we owned this popup at the same time, for "roughing it" every now and then. I just think they're cool. However, it did get a few comments and looks in the campground. Talk about a bear to back up when going from a fifth wheel to something you can't hardly see behind you.
Hey is that a scorpion by chance?

IMHO - The dealer is trying to make a sale. I would never rely on what the dealer tells me without verification. I would always do my own research. I would also not pull something beyond 70% of my capacity but others might tow at 150% of their capacity.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:18 AM   #8
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Hey Toby, that's a Fleetwood Cobalt. I think it was a 2006 or so. Pretty nice for its size. Ended up selling it to a guy to go on a hunting lease. Small and light enough to pull with a decent sized ATV.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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We were sold a 21' Microlite 4500 lbs, at the max of the Honda Pilot 4wd 6 cylinder. It towed but gas mileage was poor and was always shifting down even for the smallest grades. WE bought a F250 diesel and now have a 5th wheeler. If it was a pop up it would be Ok, but trailers to much for it.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
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Hey Toby, that's a Fleetwood Cobalt. I think it was a 2006 or so. Pretty nice for its size. Ended up selling it to a guy to go on a hunting lease. Small and light enough to pull with a decent sized ATV.
Ahh ok. I had a Fleetwood Scorpion S3 that I put my Goldwing on. It towed great! I took it all over the Midwest including Yellowstone. I even had the same AC unit on top. Brings back memories. I sold it to the insurance company after a freak hail storm.
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