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Old 11-04-2018, 03:12 AM   #1
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Unhappy Tow Ratings

My van is rated for 3,500 pounds towing capacity (I've also installed a transmission fluid cooler). I'm looking at getting a 3,295 pound travel trailer, but people are telling me that that's too much weight to tow with my van (even with a load leveler and anti-sway bars). What's the problem with towing a camper lighter than my tow rating?
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:24 AM   #2
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Is the 3295 number the fantasy "dry" weight or the trailer's GVWR?
Dry weights are for a stripped-down version of the trailer, not real world numbers.
It doesn't include the weight of options, battery, water or cargo.
Your van's 3500lbs towing capacity is ONLY with a full tank and a 150lb driver. Anybody else and any cargo in the van, lowers that 3500 number.
Your van obviously didn't have the factory tow package, otherwise it would already have the trans cooler.
So did you add the hitch receiver and 7-pin connector and the brake controller too?
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:57 AM   #3
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Yes - I added the transmission cooler, hitch receiver, 7-pin connector and brake controller. I'll also have a load leveler (weight distribution) and anti-sway bars. The 3,295 pounds is the GVWR.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:21 AM   #4
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Towing calculations

Put your data into this calculator. I believe your friends are correct.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator

Published vehicle towing capacities can be misleading.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:09 AM   #5
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srea, your avatar pic shows a single axle unit, is that what you are getting? I found out that my new unit has a very heavy tongue weight, and necessitated moving up to a larger tow vehicle that could handle it.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:28 AM   #6
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The naysayers will differ, but you should be okay as long as you don't exceed 3500lbs total and your tongue weight.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:38 AM   #7
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Just installing the hitch and WD setup probably put you over the tow rating, even before putting your clothes in the closet!
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:48 AM   #8
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what's the payload of the van? what's the tounge weight? buy the time you fill the camper with stuff and water you will be over. plus kids people in the van etc you may be pushing it. just depends on your personal use of camper. staying close to home on flat land or traveling mountains?
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:02 AM   #9
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IMO, yes, you can tow that trailer with that vehicle. However, you are at 95% TV capacity when at GVWR. Most people, at least at first, tend to overpack and then be overweight on the smaller TT. That is why many, like myself, say to try to keep your TT around 75% of the TV tow rating or lower because you WILL load it up.
The seperate issue is that you also must account for your tongue weight being part of the TV's cargo weight. I have personally found that I can be in spec on most things and be easily overweight on my TV drive axle.
So you need to be constantly aware of your weights for towing, tongue weight, TT axle weight, TV axle weights (both empty and when loaded for camping). And their relationship to their various weight ratings/capacities.
Getting your Weight Distributing Hitch properly set up will make a huge difference while towing.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:16 AM   #10
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3295 pound travel trailer is an oxymoron. Heck you'll be hard pressed to find a popup that weighs that little. What model trailer are you proposing?

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