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Old 10-10-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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using the GVWR can work both ways.
some models have huge CCC's and will have a wide gap between the fictional "dry" weight and the GVWR.
and some models, especially smaller models, have miserable CCC's to get their GVWR down as far as possible.

the most recommended towing figure is the 80% number. the reality is that if you are over the 80% of your TV's tow capacity, you'll be unhappy.
you haven't mentioned what you're towing with, so that makes it more difficult to post better info.

the tongue weight of the 275 will easily be over 550lbs., when loaded for camping. that will surely be over the tongue capacity of a tow vehicle with a tow capacity of around 5000lbs, even with a WDH.

the 275 is nearly 29' long. depending on your tow vehicle, that could be an issue too.

i tow a trailer with similar specs and it's 4 feet shorter. my Avalanche has a tow capacity of 7200lbs., a ton more than yours.
i would never tow a trailer heavier or much longer with it.
but i live in California and we have lots of mountains to deal with.
if i lived in Kansas or Florida, maybe i would go bigger.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:26 PM   #12
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I'm going to jump in here with my two cents. Sounds like the OP is aware & understand the various numbers and how it comes into play. While I don't totally agree with the viewpoint I do understand where the OP is coming from.

Whether or not this will be ok (safe - within towing range) will depend on actual weight when fully loaded for a trip including family members. Of course, this is the same for using GVWR number as well.


My trailer dry weight is 3631 + CCC 3656 = 7287 lb. This is where I can see where the op viewpoint as I will not be near the GVWR. I camp solo, 1-5 nights,with full hookups and keep eveything down to a minimum.

For the record I do belong to the "GVWR" camp.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by clarkgriswold View Post
We're thinking of buying a Surveyor SP275 but I'm worried that it won't be close to the advertised spec of 3985 lbs dry weight. Does anyone know what the dry weight of their SP275 really is?
I don't own a 275 but I do own a 235rks. My trailer "started at" 3850 lbs. If you ready the Forest River brochures you will find that the "interior package" adds approx. 220 lbs., the "exterior package" adds another 240 lbs. This still doesn't jive with the yellow sticker that is on the inside of the entrance door stating the trailer weighs 4472 lbs. When I shopped trailers I also checked the weight of the 291, it was right around 4900 lbs (with the options it had). The 275 is going to fall in between these two numbers.

Now, for your tow vehicle;

what's the wheelbase?

what kind of rear overhang does it have?

How many gears in the tranny?

Independent suspension?

Now for the trailer;

Does it have torsion suspension? (I don't know if the "SP" line of surveyors do) I ask this for two reasons, torsion suspension provides a softer ride while each wheel operates independently of each other and usually provides a lower ride height for the trailer.

The front slope is better than some but there is much better designs out now (gulf stream visa etc.)

Where are the tanks located?

Does the person setting up the weight distribution/sway control actually know what they are talking about? (dealer?)

While tow vehicles and trailers can have the exact same "ratings", the tow experience can be night and day. Better RV dealers will let you test tow before you buy.

Ask lots of questions, get informed answers. No, I don't believe tow ratings are set by actual ability. Marketing, durability etc. all play a part of the assigned tow rating for a vehicle.

Happy camping,
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by donn View Post
I do understand that manufacturers have started adding a weight as it supposedly comes off the assembly. .... Add a couple hundred pounds of food, clothes not to mention dishes, TV, maybe a second TV a satellite receiver, a satellite dish, oh don't forget the awning and then go get an accurate weight as the trailer is ready to camp. ....
Virtually all mfgs now place the 'as shipped' weight on their TTs. Your suggestion to add 'various' weight to that number is correct. We'll agree on that point.

If some choose to use the GVWR, it'll work perfect if they plan on loading their TT to its design limit (I don't). Unreasonable at best....dangerous at worst. I'll agree though, they'll have a awesome tow vehicle and an accident waiting to happen dragging behind them.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by shineysideup View Post
I don't own a 275 but I do own a 235rks. My trailer "started at" 3850 lbs. If you ready the Forest River brochures you will find that the "interior package" adds approx. 220 lbs., the "exterior package" adds another 240 lbs. This still doesn't jive with the yellow sticker that is on the inside of the entrance door stating the trailer weighs 4472 lbs. When I shopped trailers I also checked the weight of the 291, it was right around 4900 lbs (with the options it had). The 275 is going to fall in between these two numbers.

Now, for your tow vehicle;

what's the wheelbase? I agree that's a factor. I've used every 'rule of thumb' there is and it's good for tip-to-tip of the 275....just barely.

what kind of rear overhang does it have? 4.10 lowest on vehicle

How many gears in the tranny?

Independent suspension? yep

Now for the trailer;

Does it have torsion suspension? (I don't know if the "SP" line of surveyors do) I ask this for two reasons, torsion suspension provides a softer ride while each wheel operates independently of each other and usually provides a lower ride height for the trailer. That will depend on which TT I go with.

The front slope is better than some but there is much better designs out now (gulf stream visa etc.) Yep, that's what I'm looking for.

Where are the tanks located? Will depend on TT choosen. But running on low tanks can reduce that affect on hitch.

Does the person setting up the weight distribution/sway control actually know what they are talking about? (dealer?) Done it before myself on TT. Already had 2 popups, TT, 2 MHs.

While tow vehicles and trailers can have the exact same "ratings", the tow experience can be night and day. Better RV dealers will let you test tow before you buy. Not that many 'good' RV dealers out there! LOL

Ask lots of questions, get informed answers. No, I don't believe tow ratings are set by actual ability. Marketing, durability etc. all play a part of the assigned tow rating for a vehicle.

Happy camping,
Gave a few answer in the quote. Life is so much easier when the TV isn't a real consideration.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by clarkgriswold View Post
Virtually all mfgs now place the 'as shipped' weight on their TTs. Your suggestion to add 'various' weight to that number is correct. We'll agree on that point.

If some choose to use the GVWR, it'll work perfect if they plan on loading their TT to its design limit (I don't). Unreasonable at best....dangerous at worst. I'll agree though, they'll have a awesome tow vehicle and an accident waiting to happen dragging behind them.
The as shipped weight doesn't include propane and the battery. Add another 100lbs approx for the drive off the lot weight.

You are absolutely correct to figure a few hundred lbs. more than the brochure weight. Your best bet is to find one somewhere and get the sticker weight. Even then there can still be a variance of +/- 100lbs or so for identical trailers.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:40 PM   #17
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clarkgriswold, what's the tongue capacity, with WDH, for your TV?
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:12 PM   #18
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The as shipped weight doesn't include propane and the battery. Add another 100lbs approx for the drive off the lot weight.

You are absolutely correct to figure a few hundred lbs. more than the brochure weight. Your best bet is to find one somewhere and get the sticker weight. Even then there can still be a variance of +/- 100lbs or so for identical trailers.
Actually I think 'brochure weight' plus a few hundred lbs is a good estimate.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:18 PM   #19
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clarkgriswold, what's the tongue capacity, with WDH, for your TV?
Per ford literature it states 770lbs with WD hitch. But not comfy with that information though since that would exceed the specific info for my vehicle (approx 550 lbs).
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:16 AM   #20
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A "Junior Member's" perspective. We have a new SP 240 with a dry weight of just over 4,000 lbs. With batteries, propane, fresh water, and gear for two we are at 5,000 - 5,500 I figure. Towing with a Suburban 1500 4WD (an oldie but a goodie 2001 with 173,000 miles on factory original drivetrain. Suburban has a tow rating of 7,700 lbs. No problems (basically) with 2,300 mile trip to PA and back to MN just ended. 65 - 75 mph on the interstate/turnpikes in 3rd gear with tow/haul activated. In PA had to have trailer pulled to a service garage when factory original fuel pump on the truck died. The tow guy had a Ford F350 with a diesel and allison 6 speed transmission. Pulled the SP 240 with absolute ease and no equalizer hitch. Just dropped it on the ball and drove away. Bottom line for me: Have plenty of margin in your tow vehicle! Cutting it close is a recipe for a stress filled ride with the possibility of catastrophic (or other bad) failure which will ruin your trip(s). No fun. Leave plenty of room. I am debating between a new Suburban 2500 or a Silverado 2500 4 door with maybe a diesel. We will see. I will try the 1500s with the new 6 speed transmission just to see if they are really that good. But, have to wear out the 2001 first (besides I happen to like it and especially like not having payments to make on it for like, many years...).
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