Originally Posted by pbrackney
I also carry 4 mountain bikes on my luggage rack on top of my expy and carry 6 family members inside. A bike trailer is also located in the back of the expy.
Hey Philip...Curious, if you have taken your new set-up to the scales? Whenever I read something like this, I get concerned for the safety of the family and the safety of others on the road, should something unfortunate ever happen. And when you stated that your payload capacity was 8600 lbs, a red flag goes up because 8600 is your towing capacity, not your payload capacity. Your payload capacity can be found on the yellow sticker inside your driver door, and the payload capacity in simple terms is how much weight your vehicle can carry, and would include the weight of you, your family, your hitch, your fuel, your cargo, etc.
Since I have a TT similar to yours, I know your hitch weight is in the neighborhood of 1k lbs right off the bat, plus you have a family of six, four mountain bikes, and a bike trailer. Without even knowing the weight of your family members, this a lot of weight AND a lot of trailer for an SUV to handle. My old '07 F150 had a payload capacity somewhere around 1500 lbs. and with just my hitch and my family of 3 (yeah I could stand to lose a few lbs) I would have been right at my max payload, and that's without factoring in fuel, the dog, firewood, bicycles, or anything else in the bed of the truck. I bet you are over your payload capacity by a substantial amount with what you are carrying. Can your Expy pull the trailer? Sure, it will pull it. Your TT has a GVWR of 8550, which is the towing capacity of your Expy, and with a family of 6, I would think you may be loaded somewhere near that GVWR, or at least 8k lbs. But towing capacity is not the only factor when it comes to safely towing a camper.
What happens when you have to make a quick and sudden stop due to the idiot that merged into your lane without even looking? Or when the deer jumps out in front you? Combine the shorter wheelbase of your SUV, the 34.5' TT, an overloaded TV, and IMO that's a formula for, well...it's an invitation for something bad IMO. And when you mentioned that you've towed in the mountains of Ky and Tn, you weren't referring to towing your new TT, correct?
Not trying to alarm you, and I didn't mean to hijack this thread, and you can tell me to take a hike and mind my own business, and I will. But, if you take a few minutes to educate yourself on payload capacity vs. towing capacity, then find out what your Expy's payload capacity really is and compare that to the way your Expy is loaded for traveling/camping, you can draw your own conclusions. That's what someone on one of these rv forums advised me to do, and I am thankful that they did.