Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-05-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 36
Trailer is heavier than Tow vehicle - What are the consequences?

This may seem like a dumb question but...

A coworker asked me what would happen if the trailer is heavier than the tow vehicle. In this case, the tow vehicle is rated to tow at 2,000lbs and the trailer is 2,500lbs. He's thinking about renting a travel trailer for the weekend. Is it just more work for the tow vehicle or are there some serious safety issues involved?

I've seen some articles about this but none of them ever said anything about the possible consequences of towing a heavier trailer.

Thanks,
__________________

__________________
vinman72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
RubenZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Rio Grande Valley Texas
Posts: 357
Thats not uncommon. Many contractors at job sites that pull backhoe's and tractors on goosneck trailers have heavier loads than the truck. Thats where having the proper hitch, brakes, suspension, and tires all come into play.
__________________

__________________
__________________________________

Ruben Zamora
2007 Silverado 2500HD 4x4 Dmax/Allison, 4" Exhaust-no cat-no muffler
2012 Palomino Puma 23FB
RubenZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 02:49 PM   #3
Member
 
frankm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubenZ View Post
Thats not uncommon. Many contractors at job sites that pull backhoe's and tractors on goosneck trailers have heavier loads than the truck. Thats where having the proper hitch, brakes, suspension, and tires all come into play.
After reading the OP's heading, I would agree with your reply, however once you read the post itself I think this isn't a question about the TT gross weight being greater than the TV's, but instead the trailer's weight exceeding the stated towing capacity of the tow vehicle. This "the tow vehicle is rated to tow at 2,000lbs and the trailer is 2,500lbs" being the key phrase.

If this is the case then the answer would be completely different. If not then I'm confused!
__________________
Frank & Rita M
2016 Ford F-150 XLT Ecoboost
2017 Rockwood 2703WS
frankm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
ken0042's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 375
If the tow rating is 2000 pounds and you are pulling a 2500 pound trailer; there are safety concerns. Not grave at that rate, but still a concern.

You seem to be asking two different questions. Can the trailer weigh more than the tow vehicle? Yes, as Ruben said it happens all the time. Look at semis as a classic example.

But if your vehicle has been rated to safely tow 2000 pounds and you add a 2500 pound trailer; you have exceeded the safety rating. Also don't forget a 2500 pound trailer will easily get to 3000-3500 pounds once you add stuff to it.

Personally; I bought a 2800 pound trailer that has a max weight of 3700 pounds. I made sure my tow vehicle could handle 5000 pounds just to be safe.
__________________
Wolf Pup T16P owner

"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it is nearly impossible to discern if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln
ken0042 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
prof_fate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Beaver, PA
Posts: 911
What would happen? Or what could happen? And when will it happen?

Basically you're overloading the tow vehicle - the cooling system, the transmission, brakes and suspension.

It's not a horsepower issue -the truck will no doubt pull the trailer. If it overheats while doing so then you'll be stranded at the least and in need of a large expensive repair at the worse. The trans may hold up but have it's life shortened - figure $3000 these days for a trans rebuild.

Overload the brakes? You'll crash.

Suspension? Ill handling making for a lousy trip at the least, broken truck perhaps, or a wreck at the worst.

Many factors need to be considered - is he towing in kansas on a flat hiway in 75F temps, or up a mountiain in 100F with the A/C on full tilt and then it begins to pour rain (causing lightly loaded front tired to not brake, not steer...)? And with any safety margin gone there is no 'margin' for error - panic braking, swerving, etc.
__________________
Chris, Wills (16) Evie (13) & Toby our collie (6)
2011 Grey Wolf 28BH
2013 Chevy K1500 Crew w/ Reese StraitLine Dual Cam

Nights camped 2011: 11 2012: 18 2013: 12 2014: 12 2015: 13 2016: 56 2017: 8+
prof_fate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 03:27 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 719
What is the distance he is going to tow ? What is the tow vehicle ?

Regardless, I would NOT do it .... If someone comes and hits him through no falt of his, his insurance will simply deny coverage because he is doing something illegal. You are not supposed to tow above your tow ratings, period. So he would be out of pocket for all damage and liability. Is it worth it ? He can try to rent a truck or borrow a truck and do the towing with that.

I tow my trailer the 5 miles or whatever it is from storage to my house with no WD bars and of course no sway control. I FEEL the difference ..... Exceeding tow ratings .... he doesn't want to know what might happen ....
__________________
2009 Ford F-150 XLT/XTR 5.4l, CrewCab. long bed
2011 Surveyor SV-291
Goomph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Jacksonville Florida
Posts: 1,263
vinman72, if his tow vehicle is RATED TO TOW 2,000 lbs, then that is the MAX towing capacity for that vehicle-(which ain't much.) Therefore, a trailer that weighs 2500 lbs is over the limit for that vehicle, and furthermore almost any rental company that I could imagine won't even rent that camper to him IF they know he's pulling it with that vehicle. A good rule of thumb for towing is to tow 75 percent of the max tow rating. So, if you have a tow capacity of 10,000 lbs, you can safely tow a 7,500 lb. rig. AND you still would need the proper hitch and brake setup to do that. I wouldn't tow anything more than a small utility trailer or a jet ski with that vehicle. Randy
__________________
/SIGPIC]'08 V-lite Flagstaff 30WRLS
'06 Ram 1500 QC hemi Reese dual cam sway control,
K&N series 77 intake, Hellwig helper spgs. LT tires,
Flowmaster "true duals", 380 h.p., Bilstein shocks
08flagvlite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:06 PM   #8
Anacortesians
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA
Posts: 1,167
What on earth wimpy TV have you got that's rated at only 2000 pounds? My old Chevy S-10 with the 4-banger engine was rated at 3500.

It's interesting to see what other countries allow. An English RV magazine publishes its "Best Tow Vehicles" every year for a range of different TT weights. They recently did the 2011 review. The best TV for trailers up to 3000 pounds was the Ford Focus. For trailers between 3000 and 3700 pounds they rated the VW Passat the best. For trailers 6000 pounds and more, the winner was the Land Rover Discovery.

I've been trying to find out why the UK ratings are so much higher than the US. My 03 Kia Sedona is rated for 3500 pounds in the us and for 3000 Kg (6600 pounds) in the UK. How do you rationalise such a difference?

Can anyone familiar with tow ratings offer an explanation?
__________________
Frank and Eileen
No longer RVers or FR owners
F and E Damp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 11:48 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
thebrakeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canton, Michigan
Posts: 1,105
Neither is a good situation:
1. As already beat to death, if you have a 2000 lbs MAX tow rating, you should not tow more than 2000 lbs. Very simple. To answer your question, if you did, you would be putting yourself, me, and others at risk of life or limb. Don't do it.

2. If you really meant that the 2500 lb trailer is heavier than the tow vehicle, which weighs 2000 lbs, I'd like to know what vehicle you have that only weights 2000 lbs!......and that you think can tow 2500 lbs.

Either way, this does not sound good.
__________________
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller
thebrakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
thebrakeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canton, Michigan
Posts: 1,105
But in general, there are plenty of vehicles that can tow more than the weight of the vehicle itself.

In fact, my rig:
5135 lbs empty Mountaineer
7000 lbs MAX tow rating

You have to take precautions, like using a brake controller that will let the trailer "lead" the braking event. Also, most situations like this (or even lighter) will require a WDH setup.
__________________

__________________
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller
thebrakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:39 AM.