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Old 10-29-2009, 01:20 PM   #1
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towing with '08 Aspen

We are hoping to be first time RVers, but trying to get this weight thing down. I do not claim to be the most mechanically inclined person out there, that is my husband's area, but alas he thinks I am making too big a deal out of this. Want to be safe as will be hauling the kids and everyone else on the road too!

We had our hearts set on the Grey Wolf 29BH, but several posters pointed out that RV was way too big for us to pull. I understand that you should not tow anything heavier than your tow vehicles GCWR minus your tow vehicles GVWR, which equals 4350 for the 08 Aspen.

I am still confused about tongue weight. I get how the 'loaded' weight with bodies and gear can quickly put you near your max out weight. But, I just a read a post on here from someone with the same vehicle who was pulling a Surveyor 294, I believe. Isn't that RV the same size as the Grey Wolf? Help me out here. We have only had the Aspen for 6 months and not sure what kind of loss we would take if we tried to trade it in for a bigger tow vehicle. On the other hand, being a family of 5, usually 7 with grandparents, we really want the bigger trailer preferably with the 4 bunks in back.

Help!
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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Havnt you posted this already? I think you know the answer already or you wouldnt be trying to convince yourself that this is a good idea.
Reasons this is a horrible idea:
1- wheelbase of your vehicle is on the short side as is the track width
2- your vehicle was not designed to tow anything anywhere near this large and it will not last long
3- you havnt even listed how it is equipped- engine, gears, tow setup, etc.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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Let's give Kim some help with this, until she and Fred get a good grasp of how towing works.

Anything you put in the Aspen is going to contribute to the gross weight. If you average 150 lbs. per person, then right there is 1050 lbs when you are carrying 7 people. Not to say all of you weigh that much, but we gotta start somewhere.

Add what ever camping gear you throw in the back. I am not sure what the tongue weight on the Grey Wolf is, but typically something that big runs about 800 lbs, depending on how it is loaded. A heavy tongue weight is good to keep down sway, and should be 12 to 15% of the total weight of the trailer. So add another 800 lbs, bringing the added weight of the Aspen up 1800 lbs. Not sure what the weight of the vehicle is, but that plus the 1800 lbs. is probalby over the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). Even with the 1/2 ton pickup that I have, I can't carry that much weight.......about 1400 lbs. is it.

Now.......a weight distributing hitch (WDH) will put some of that tongue weight back on the trailer tires, as well as taking some weight off of the rear axle, and putting some weight on the front axle. What ever weight is put back on the trailer tires is no longer figured in total weight of the Aspen....that is a good thing, but I still wonder if that would get you below the GVWR of your vehicle. Plus, you do not want to overload the front axle, because you are putting more weight up there. It is a balancing act even with the best of setups.

If you don't understand how a WDH works, then let us know and we will send you a WDH 101 website.

Please feel free to ask any questions you want on this forum........everyone here has started right where you are.......reading and learning. The members here will give you the best information that they can. But don't expect anyone to say that you will have a good towing combination if they are not sure........we don't want to put you in danger. I cringe when I hear of dealers say "Aw, you can tow that".

Give us the vehicle stats , and let's go from there. I can't remember exactly what was given on your other post, but some things we need.

The Aspen empty weight.
The GVWR
The GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)
Both axle ratings (GAWR, front and rear)
The factory tow rating
Your wheel base
The engine size
Final drive ratio
Was the Aspen factory equiped to tow?

And the trailer stats....empty weight, GVWR, tongue weight, length, etc.

Let's start there, and get you headed in the right direction.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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well, thanks for the patience there edman, and yes I have posted regarding my tow vehicle and this TT. As I said in my post, while researching I read about a guy with a similar setup and wondering what I am not getting.

I think I got the point that my Aspen is not capable of towing the Grey Wolf...Ive moved on....and not trying to convince myself of anything. Just trying to learn so we can make decisions.

Mtnguy - my dear husband is not in on this post, he would probably have my head


Aspen info: 2008, 4.7L, 8cyl, Max GVWR = 6650, GCWR=11,000
Payload = 1570, max trailer weight = 5750
Base weight total = 5082,
Towing capacity = 8900, front axle= 3600, rear axle = 3900
Factory tow package (has a gearshift on the steering column
for tow/haul)
Wheelbase I believe is 119-120"

We will only have 5 bodies in the truck, the other 2 have their own vehicle; total body weight for us 5 is approx 600 lbs. We would be packing the standard gear one would take, staying local most of time, with a further trip, say NJ to FL or maybe New Mexico, maybe once/twice a year, and those times might be a bit heavier.

The original TT we had our heart set on was the Grey Wolf 29BH, but not opposed to something a bit smaller, say 26-27'; our main thing was we wanted the 4 bunks in back. Here arte the stats for this one anyway:

Hitch wt = 683 lbs
Axle wt = 5148 "
Ship wt = 5831
GVWR w/brakes = 7683

yes, several dealers told us we COULD 'pull that thing in a heart beat'....glad I choose to research things on my own

So, that's the scoop. Thanks for the WDH explanation, now THAT makes sense, putting some of the weight back on the trailer tires, but since that weight is still THERE and has to be counted in the overall numbers, wonder how much help it would actually be.

We are so glad we didn't make an impulse decision on the TT. Want to be safe firstly, happy with esthetics secondly,lol,lol.

Thanks mtnguy for the go ahead to ask stupid questions, sometimes its unavoidable when entering a new world so to speak
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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frednkim09, by what little research that I have done, I think you have been mislead with the 8900 lb towing capacity. By what I read, an 08 Aspen with the 4.7L engine has a tow capacity of 5950 lbs. That is much more in line with the GCWR of 11,000 and the vehicle weight of of 5082 lbs.....that is a pretty heavy SUV. The 8900 lb. towing capacity is for Aspens with the 5.7L Hemi.

On top of the limited tow capacity, the wheelbase of 120" is going to be problematic.

I will a little more research and get back online tomorrow.

If others are more familiar with this vehicle please chime in.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
frednkim09, by what little research that I have done, I think you have been mislead with the 8900 lb towing capacity. By what I read, an 08 Aspen with the 4.7L engine has a tow capacity of 5950 lbs. That is much more in line with the GCWR of 11,000 and the vehicle weight of of 5082 lbs.....that is a pretty heavy SUV. The 8900 lb. towing capacity is for Aspens with the 5.7L Hemi.

On top of the limited tow capacity, the wheelbase of 120" is going to be problematic.

I will a little more research and get back online tomorrow.

If others are more familiar with this vehicle please chime in.
So, playing the devil's advocate... An aspen with a 5.7 can all of a sudden handle a 8900lb trailer? I don't think the wheelbase, track, vehicle weight has changed has it? Because it has a bigger motor everything is good? This is the part of tow ratings which makes no sense whatsoever to me...

Did you know that a properly equipped jeep liberty can tow a 5000 lb trailer up to 25ft long (at least according to the manufacturer). It still ticks me off that there appears to be NO rhyme or reason for tow ratings. Does everyone think that all the vehicle manufacturers test tow all vehicles? You can't tell me marketing/warranty/profit margins DON'T affect tow ratings. Does anyone know for a fact that car makers do this type of testing (trailer towing etc.)?

I think that a person should buy a trailer from a dealer that will let you TEST tow BEFORE you buy... They might be hard to come by but these dealers are out there.

I've seen many improper setups with regards to "trucks"... Setup's that I would not dream of driving myself.

I wish it was easier (and standardized) for people to decide what a person could tow safely...

something to think about,

shineysideup
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shineysideup View Post
So, playing the devil's advocate... An aspen with a 5.7 can all of a sudden handle a 8900lb trailer? I don't think the wheelbase, track, vehicle weight has changed has it? Because it has a bigger motor everything is good? This is the part of tow ratings which makes no sense whatsoever to me...

Did you know that a properly equipped jeep liberty can tow a 5000 lb trailer up to 25ft long (at least according to the manufacturer). It still ticks me off that there appears to be NO rhyme or reason for tow ratings. Does everyone think that all the vehicle manufacturers test tow all vehicles? You can't tell me marketing/warranty/profit margins DON'T affect tow ratings. Does anyone know for a fact that car makers do this type of testing (trailer towing etc.)?

I think that a person should buy a trailer from a dealer that will let you TEST tow BEFORE you buy... They might be hard to come by but these dealers are out there.

I've seen many improper setups with regards to "trucks"... Setup's that I would not dream of driving myself.

I wish it was easier (and standardized) for people to decide what a person could tow safely...

something to think about,

shineysideup
Funny you should mention the Jeep Liberty. We pull our 20' bass boat with our Liberty. The boat on the trailer is listed at about 3700# and I have to say that I wouldn't want to go great distances with it. In contrast the old Jeep Cherokee's were rated at around 5000# towing capacity but the Jeep Wranglers with the exact same size engine, transmission and gearing were only rated for less than 2000# The reason???? The wheelbase!

Kim I have to agree with Edman here, I don't understand why you are asking the question again when you were provided with ample data and reasoning from many knowledgeable people on this group the first time you posted.

That said I don't believe SUVs are suitable tow rigs as they come from the factory with flimsy wishy washy suspensions set up for soccer moms who want a nice cushy ride to the grocery store. Just because the manufacturer gives a vehicle a rating doesn't mean it should be used as a full time tow rig. Likewise just because a quad cab, long bed pickup says 4x4 on the side doesn't mean it's an off-road rig.

Kim take the advice that was already given to you here before.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shineysideup View Post
So, playing the devil's advocate... An aspen with a 5.7 can all of a sudden handle a 8900lb trailer? I don't think the wheelbase, track, vehicle weight has changed has it? Because it has a bigger motor everything is good? This is the part of tow ratings which makes no sense whatsoever to me...

shineysideup
Not playing the devil's advocate here......just posting what I found out with a quick search on the net. That is what Chrysler rates the Aspen with the 5.7 Hemi at.....that is not figures that I pulled out of thin air.

This was taken from the Edmunds website:

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on all Chrysler Aspens is a revised-for-2008 4.7-liter V8. It's rated at 303 hp and 330 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 providing 335 horses and 370 lb-ft of torque is optional. Backing both engines is a five-speed automatic transmission delivering power via 2WD or 4WD. Properly equipped, an Aspen with the 4.7-liter V8 can tow up to 5,950 pounds, while Hemi-powered models can lug up to 8,900 pounds -- impressive for a vehicle of this size. EPA testing for 2008 stands at 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway for a 4WD 5.7-liter V8-equipped model.

I couldn't find the Aspen on the Chrysler website.

Now, back to helping Fred and Kim out.

It looks like that Grey Wolf is probably going to put your Aspen over the limit on your GCWR and towing capacity, even if the trailer is empty. Loaded up for camping you are going to probably be over the GVWR as well, and substantially over on all other weights. But most concerning, would be the wheelbase of the Aspen.....I found that at 119.2". According to a popular trailer towing chart found on the internet (I posted it on your other thread), you should only be pulling a 22 footer.

Pulling that trailer is not going to be pleasant experience, and most important, it is probably not going to be safe. I know the dealer says you will be fine, but he is wanting to take your money. The members here are more concerned about your safety, and a pleasant towing experience. That is why most members think this is way too much trailer for your vehicle, and I concur.........not that I claim to be any kind of expert.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses.

Again, we already understood the fact that we CANNOT pull the Grey Wolf with the Aspen, I was just looking for further layman's explanation of the WHY.

We have purchased enough vehicles and such that we will not be "talked into" buying anything by desperate salesman, but thanks for the concern.

NWJeeper....don't really appreciate the "soccer Mom" reference. This is touted to be a "friendly, educational website'...let's keep it at that and not get personal,,,ehh?
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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Aspen

One more note on the Aspen. The 8,900 tow rating also REQIRES a 3.92 axle ratio.
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