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Old 06-23-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
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towing 4, 500 dry weight

Want to tow a surveyor 280/ around 4,500 pounds dry weight. Looking at the dodge durango which will tow 6,200. However most are 6 cyclinder, do I definately need an 8 cyclinder to tow?
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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Bandit,

Never use dry weight for this decision. Use the GVWR to decide.

This 2012 camper can weigh 7155 pounds ready for camping with a pin weight of 800 pounds or so.

Your Durango will be unable to handle neither the gross weight, nor the safe pin weight.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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The current production Durango has a 6200 pound towing capacity with the V6 model, 7200 with an AWD 5.7L Hemi and 7400 with a RWD 5.7L Hemi. However it is more than just the engine for towing safety. My Power Wagon with an older and less powerful 5.7L Hemi in a vehicle much heavier than a Durango, has a 10,400 pound towing capacity. Many factors go into a tow rating such as brakes, frame strength, cooling system just to name a few. Even with a Hemi Durango, you would most likely be over the weight ratings by the time you get it loaded and ready to go, but more concerning is the length of the trailer. I believe a 30' trailer is way too long to be towing with the short wheelbase of a Durango and be able to safely control. Our first camper was a 23' hybrid that we towed with a 5.9L First Generation Durango.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Dry weight of a trailer is the stripped down base weight - not realistic. You will have to add battery and propane and the hitch assembly, plus of course food, dishes,bedding, chairs, etc that you'll be carrying AND any options the trailer may have, and allow room for water on board (either in the fresh tank or some in the gray/black tanks). I carry 5-10 in the fresh tank just in case - radiator issues, need to use the toilet someplace, final clean up after emptying tanks, etc. That's 50-80 lbs.

Then the tow rating of all vehicles is based on again, optimum tow vehicle (gear, engine, options, etc). You need the tow rating for you specific vehicle (for example, my expy has the optional 17" rims (16" is std) and that reduces towing by 500lbs)
They also assume a 150lb driver and no passengers or cargo.

What you need to look at is GCWR of the tow vehicle. This may say 10,500. Now add up what the truck weights, trailer, cargo, passengers, etc. If you exceed the 10.500 then you need a bigger/better TV or less trailer/cargo. This is the total weight the truck is moving down the road, stopping, turning, etc.

Then you can get into the fine points - rear axle loading/truck GVWR vs tounge weight, etc.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #5
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Forest River listed the dry weight of our SV264 as 4300 lbs. Delivery weight is 5300 lbs.
Go to a lot and look at the stickers before you get a tow vehicle.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Thanks very muck for the response. I did not mean the 280 but the Surveyor 260 but the weight is comparable but about 2 foot shorter.

We are now looking at a Chevy Tahoe, they seem to be a good tow vehicle. I think the Tahoe and 260 may be a better match.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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Still a very short wheel base vehicle. Rule of thumb, wheel base in inches, divide by 5, equals trailer length in feet. If the the Tahoe has 100 inch wheel base, (I don't think so), divided by 5 would equal 20, or a 20 foot trailer. So if the trailer is 28 feet, that would mean 140 inch wheel base tow vehicle. (28 feet multiply by 5 equals 140 inches for tow vehicle wheel base). No, I'm not the towing police. I just don't want your wreck on a windy day to cause a traffic tie up and slow me down to my destination. Worse yet, anyone be hurt.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #8
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I don't believe in the wheelbase 'formula'.
I've only ever seen it posted in forums - never has anyone cited the source of it.
Does it pertain to trailers, 5vrs, trailer without brakes or ?

They sell 32 ft trailers...but I"m not sure anyone makes a TV with a 160" wb!

I figure the longer WB SUVs (suburban vs tahoe say) have a few things against them- same engine/gearing/cooling and they weigh more because they're longer (so less mpg, less accel), and more important the distance from the rear axle to bumper/hitch is longer giving the trailer more 'leverage' on the truck and more lever action on hitch weight.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Last fall my cousin brought an used Durango to tow her new-to-her 26' trailer. Recently she traded the Durango for a different TV. The Durango just wasn't a good fit for her towing needs with her current size trailer.

In the beginning I used my sister's Yukon to tow my trailer. The Yukon worked well but I have a smaller trailer than what you are considering. The weight of stuff is somewhat reduced with taking short trips & RVing solo.

There's always a lot of information provided on this topic. Take everything with a gain of salt and please consider the reasoning behind behind the feedback.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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The Tahoe actually has a shorter wheelbase than a Durango, but it is wider and heavier. If properly equipped it will have a greater payload capacity (not by much) and can have a towing capacity of up to 8500 (2WD 5.3L with 3.42 axle ratio). On paper it should be a better choice.

http://www.chevrolet.com/assets/pdf/...trailering.pdf

2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV Features and Specs | Chevrolet
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #11
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Our sp-280 yellow sticker is 4900lbs we tow with a nissan titan and a Anderson weight dist hitch no problems.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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We are looking at a 2003 - 04 Ford Expedition to pull our 04' 255RS.
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
They sell 32 ft trailers...but I"m not sure anyone makes a TV with a 160" wb!
Dodge Ram Quad cab with an 8 foot bed. Not argueing with any of the info you took the time to post just pointing out there is a TV with a 160" WB.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JFM-jr View Post
Dodge Ram Quad cab with an 8 foot bed. Not argueing with any of the info you took the time to post just pointing out there is a TV with a 160" WB.
I know a few exist - but they've been making trailers over 30 ft for decades - but only recently have they made TVs with 'that much' wb.

A car with 125" wb has always been rare, yet people pulled long trailers. AFAIK the new SAE towing 'test' does not take trailer lenght/wb into account. PickupTruck.Com - SAE, OEMs, Trailer, and Hitch Companies Work to Define Standards for Tow Testing and neither have I ever seen anything about length and TV selection, safety, driver training, vehicle inspection or licensing.

Only that un-credited ratio brought up in forums. If it had some basis in fact there would be a source, tests to confirm/rebut it's validity, etc. Legal liability concious car companies would put warnings in the owners manuals, trailer makers might also.

I agree, the longer the WB, the heaver the TV, the better off you are when towing but other factors matter more.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #15
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We have an sp260 and pull with a suburban half ton. The suburban pulls great and we haven't had any issues with sway.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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Add 1200 lbs to the dry weight. This will put you very close to your ready to travel weight!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:15 AM   #17
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Definitely a V-8 and perhaps a big one. Also, if towing at altitude, subtract 20% from the towing capacity to get the safe number. As you can see from the detailed replies, you need to really understand all the factors which go into safe towing before you decide which vehicle to purchase for your trailer.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisty View Post
Forest River listed the dry weight of our SV264 as 4300 lbs. Delivery weight is 5300 lbs.
Go to a lot and look at the stickers before you get a tow vehicle.
I have this same trailer. It seems they do not weigh the trailer when it leaves the factory. If you look in the brochure it shows the weight of the options. My theory is that they add those numbers to the dry weight of the trailer.

I took mine to a state certified scale and fully loaded (full water,gas,etc,clothes, bedding, pots, pans) ready to camp weighed 5300 pounds and i have a sticker that has a delivery weight of 5300 pounds.
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenwing View Post
I have this same trailer. It seems they do not weigh the trailer when it leaves the factory. If you look in the brochure it shows the weight of the options. My theory is that they add those numbers to the dry weight of the trailer.

I took mine to a state certified scale and fully loaded (full water,gas,etc,clothes, bedding, pots, pans) ready to camp weighed 5300 pounds and i have a sticker that has a delivery weight of 5300 pounds.
Did you remember to add the tongue weight?
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenwing View Post
I have this same trailer. It seems they do not weigh the trailer when it leaves the factory. If you look in the brochure it shows the weight of the options. My theory is that they add those numbers to the dry weight of the trailer.

I took mine to a state certified scale and fully loaded (full water,gas,etc,clothes, bedding, pots, pans) ready to camp weighed 5300 pounds and i have a sticker that has a delivery weight of 5300 pounds.
Is it the exact same 10th anniversary model trailer?
They do weigh every trailer - they have to because of legal reasons.
I weighed mine while hooked up, spring bars and all. The weight on the tires of the trailer was 5550 lbs. Add an estimated 12% tongue weight and it gives me about 6200.
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