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Old 02-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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Towing Question- Tundra Roo 183L

Just posted this on another forum, but want as many opinions as possible. Thanks!

We just put a deposit down on a Roo 183L. Before it's too late to back out we just want to make sure that our tow vehicle is plenty sufficient. Here are the specs:

Toyota Tundra CrewMax 5.7L V8 with tow package 4WD
GVWR......................7200
Curb Weight.............5645
Payload....................1555
Towing....................9000

Rockwood Roo 183L (Hybrid RV Camper)
GVWR........................7279
Base/Dry Unit Weight....4099
Base Dry Hitch Weight....279
Base Dry Axle Weight....3245
Cargo Capacity.............2900
Fresh Water Capacity....36 gal
Gray Water Capacity.....30 gal
Black Water Capacity....30 gal

Questions:

1. General observations/concerns about this setup?

2. This unit has a platform on the front to haul motorcycles and such. I'm certain that the weight of the motorcycles would count against cargo capacity, but how much more weight does the load on the platform add to the "Hitch Weight" to ensure I stay under my payload rating for my truck? Is there a % formula that I could use to estimate? My motorcycles weigh between 1026 - 1318 lbs depending on which ones I bring. With the deck being on the front of the RV and close to the hitch, I'm guessing a lot of the weight from the motorcycles gets added to the Hitch Weight, right?

3. Similar question as above...assuming that I had my Camper at the max capacity of 2900 (the GVWR at 7279), what would the Hitch Weight be? I am curious what the limiting factor is on my set up - the Tundra truck payload or the cargo capacity of the camper?

4. The #s don't seem to add up on the Roo 183L trailer. Isn't the capacity usually = GVWR - Unit Weight? That would be 7279 - 4099 = 3180. Not that's it's off by a big amount of the listed cargo capacity of 2900, just curious if I'm missing something.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
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You need the weights as listed on the actual trailer as it rolled off the line. The anomalies are likely due to the accessories. Given the "L", the tongue weight is dependant on what is on the "L". The heavier the object the greater the tongue weight. I would venture a guess that the trailer could have some sway issues with the unloaded tongue weight. Make sure you load it up front as much as possible if the "L" is empty. The usual sought after tongue weight is 10-15% of trailer weight so you would be looking upwards of 700lbs for the best stability. Others can correct me.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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Your Toyota's payload will be much less once your add passengers and any gear...might be more like 1000 - 1200 lbs. The only way to know for sure is to load it up as you would for camping and weigh it. You may as well get the front and rear axle weight while you're at it.

Looking at this 183L, it would appear that any cargo weight centered on the front deck should be evenly distributed between the camper's axles and the hitch. Therefore the 1300 lbs of motorcycles would add about 650 lbs to the tongue weight.

With a cargo capacity of 2900 lbs, a large % of this would be in the front deck. I would say that you'll hit the truck's payload limit before the cargo limit.

The numbers your using don't add up to the campers GVWR because you need to add the weight of water in the fresh water tank...36 gal @ 8.3 lbs/gal. The manufacturers don't include that weight in the cargo capacity number.

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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Yes, what I am concerned about is the hitch weight relative to my payload of 1555. I have a campershell, plus 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog and a couple of other minor add ons to the truck that totals out to about 1045 lbs.

The way I understand it, that only leaves me 510 lbs of hitch weight which makes me nervous as the dry hitch weight is 279.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olwalker View Post
Yes, what I am concerned about is the hitch weight relative to my payload of 1555. I have a campershell, plus 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog and a couple of other minor add ons to the truck that totals out to about 1045 lbs.

The way I understand it, that only leaves me 510 lbs of hitch weight which makes me nervous as the dry hitch weight is 279.
As you say, you have very little payload available. Probably less than 510 lbs as that truck weight of 5645 lbs isn't real. If you really want this camper and need to carry everything you listed in the truck, you'll need a 250/2500 series truck. The 183L with a couple of motorcycles will have a tongue weight north of 1000 lbs.

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Old 02-13-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olwalker View Post
Yes, what I am concerned about is the hitch weight relative to my payload of 1555. I have a campershell, plus 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog and a couple of other minor add ons to the truck that totals out to about 1045 lbs.

The way I understand it, that only leaves me 510 lbs of hitch weight which makes me nervous as the dry hitch weight is 279.
You will have less than the 510lbs, you need to add in the weight of you fuel.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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You need to get a true weight on your truck and go from there. Load it up like you're going camping (firewood, bicycles, full tank of gas , etc.) and get the family and dogs loaded. Only then can you figure how much capacity you have left.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
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1. Agree that loading the Tundra like you were going on a trip and then weighing at a CAT scale would be useful for you.

That Cap weighs a lot and many half-tons are most limited by their payload. If that is a problem, then consider leaving the cap at home.

2. You really need to find someone who has this trailer and can give you real life experiences. Or, if the dealer has one on the lot, ask to test out your motorcycle and weigh the tongue before and after with a Sherline. As a last resort, possibly call FR and ask to speak with an engineer.

3. I like to use 13% of the trailer weight so 7,279lbs x 0.13 = 950lb tongue weight. You can go down as low as 10% (728lbs) theoretically, but I find that TW gives a squirrely ride in reality.

But, it doesn't really matter because you are going to have a problem with the lack of payload as others have already said.

You actually need to do your own calculation with your own numbers as this is just an example ...

Base/Dry Unit Weight (from brochure) ....4099
Est. Options add ............................... .300
Est. Cargo adds ................................ .300
Est. Water, batteries and propane add.. ..185
MC adds ..........................................1318
Total wet weight .............................6202

You can see that is 1,000lbs less than your trailer's GVWR. The estimate for trailer options would be things like Convenience package C which includes an awning, AC, WH, etc. Almost everyone gets it.

At 6,200lbs with a 13% TW, your trailer's tongue would be 806lbs.

Payload.............................1555
Less cargo and people ........1045 (campershell, plus 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog and a couple of other minor add ons to the truck that totals out to about 1045 lbs.)

You will have about 510lbs of payload remaining. Even assuming that some of the 806lb TW can be moved to the trailer's axles through your WDH, you will be over your truck's payload limit by quite a bit. You might also be overweight your truck's rear axle cap so look into that as well. I am sorry to say this, but I think this setup is a problem.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your replies. We will probably normally tow it only a couple hours at a time, but would like to be able to tow it long distances if that's what we want to do. DH just took his truck and had it weighed so we wouldn't be guessing on the camper shell,etc. Then he added in weight for a full tank of gas, the family and dog, etc. After some research, it seems that about 25-33% of the tongue weight gets transferred back to the trailer when using a WDH, is that correct? For the trailer we added 300 pounds for the accessories (A/C, refrigerator, etc.) and allowed for a full water tank. We also calculated an allowance for 800 pounds of "stuff" to be in the camper while towing. When using these numbers, we are under the payload for the truck. Not a lot under, but under. (Like 50 pounds- and we don't need to travel with a full water tank, so that would save us some weight, and we can also take a bike off if we want to. DH decided maybe dirt bikes weren't the best option anyway and is looking at the MUCH lighter scooters. Oh yeah- we also calculated our children's weight at 150 each, which isn't even close- they're 40 and 50 pounds, but I don't want them to make us grow out of the camper/truck situation, LOL.

DH's uncle has the same truck we have and essentially the exact trailer we do, and he says that it tows great, he has never had a problem with it even loaded with 4 dirt bikes and 4 adults in the truck. Now we won't do that because we want to keep it under the manufacturer's recommended numbers for safety. But it's nice to know that he's never had any issues with squirrliness or anything like that, and his uncle has towed campers/trailers for probably 40 years now.

I have talked to 3 separate dealers and had them run the numbers for me with the WDH, and all say that this truck is "more than adequate" to tow the trailer- even though I'm not buying it from them.

I think we have decided to go ahead and buy the camper, hook it up, load it up and check the weights We figure the worst case scenario would be that we will have to either get a beefier truck or sell the camper. I guess DH is willing to take a chance on that, although money certainly doesn't grow on trees around here. He feels like it will work, but obviously the only way to know for sure is to just buy the darn thing and try it. It's quite the catch-22!

So I guess I have 2 questions:

1) Does 800 pounds sound like enough "wiggle room" for the stuff that an average family of 4 would pack into a trailer? We are not pack rats and the heaviest things that I can think of will be dishes, pots and pans, silverware, and a crock pot. Maybe firewood if we're camping where we can bring in wood. The rest would be blankets, pillows, clothes, etc. I know it all adds up though, so I am curious to see what people say about this.

2) What size WDH would you recommend? Some people have told us to get a more "heavy duty" Equalizer to help with the weight, but I just want to make sure this is a legitimate thing to do.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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Just wondering how this turned out for you? My boyfriend just made an offer on a Roo 183 and he has a 2011 Tundra Rock Warrior and we have 3 kids (5, 7 and 8) so I think we might be in the same situation basically. Did this tow well for you? Do you like the camper?
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