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Old 06-01-2020, 07:51 PM   #1
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Geo Pro 19BH and Nissan Armada - newbie question

Hi, long time lurker, first time poster here.

We came *this* close to buying a Geo Pro 19BH this spring, but hesitated when we finally accepted that our current tow vehicle (Honda Ridgeline, first gen) would be cutting it too close on weight.

We would still like to get that trailer, but are looking at a Nissan Armada (2010-2012 version) as a tow vehicle. We have not purchased anything yet. This is a second vehicle so we are trying to keep costs down. I'm more comfortable with higher mileage foreign cars, for better or worse.

I've scoured the forums and I think we will be fine, but I guess I'm looking for some reassurance from the experts here.

Some stats:
19BH has a gross weight of 3860
20BHS has a gross weight of 4455 (I don't want the slide version, but want to keep options open)

Armada has tow package rated for 9000, weighs ~5500lbs, and has a payload of 1350. GCVWR is 15,000. I've read lots about the payload being the hold up on towing with SUVs, and how total towing capacity is meaningless.

I want the towing experience to be low stress. If we keep to a gross TT weight well under 5K, will this be feasible? Most trips will be in flat Michigan.

We're light packers - we have been camping with three small kids in a 12ft Aliner pop up for 5 years!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:23 PM   #2
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My guess, you'll be close to meeting up to the 1350 payload on the Armada. The reason is single axle trailers tend to have heavier tongue weight than what you might otherwise expect. I would anticpate that loaded up ready to camp your tongue weight will be between 500lbs - 600lbs. Subtract that from the 1350lb payload and whats left must accomodate driver and passengers, and whatever cargo you might pack. Kids tend to get bigger with time.

Can you do it? Probably. But since you haven't purchased a vehicle yet you have an opportunity to get the right vehicle thats better suited to tow and stop a travel trailer.

You might want to consider a used F150, Silverado or Tundra (older Rams also suffer low payload capacity) that are equiped with tow packages

My .02
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:48 PM   #3
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I appreciate those two cents. A full size SUV is pretty much a necessity. I can't justify a vehicle that requires all three kids to ride in a crew cab bench at all time.

Would a Suburban 1500 or Expedition EL be any better? I think they only have an extra 100-200 pounds in payload, though that's not nothing.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf257 View Post
I appreciate those two cents. A full size SUV is pretty much a necessity. I can't justify a vehicle that requires all three kids to ride in a crew cab bench at all time.

Would a Suburban 1500 or Expedition EL be any better? I think they only have an extra 100-200 pounds in payload, though that's not nothing.
Maybe one of those would be better but I'm not familiar enough with Suburbans or Expeditions to answer. Someone else who knows more about them will likely chime in.

BTW, my Micro-Lite 19fd is very similar to your Geo Pro (also single axle). The Micro Lite claims a 415 dry tongue weight. Measured its 540lbs.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:05 PM   #5
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You will probably be exceeding your payload. Add up your passenger weight and all extra equipment in your TV. (Say about 500 pounds for two adults plus gear. ) To that add about 100 lbs for weight distribution hitch. Now at 600 lbs. 19bh at 5000 pounds loaded X 15% for tongue weight is another 750 pounds. 750 + 600 = 1350 pounds tongue weight. Adjust your numbers as you feel appropriate but this is your process. You are obviously pushing your limits without any safety margin.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:11 PM   #6
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With 1350 lbs of payload you will quickly exceed that number as kids get older, assuming you wouldn't already be over.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:57 AM   #7
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I appreciate all the replies. This 19BH is (as best I can tell) the shortest and lightest travel trailer made that can sleep 2 adults and 3 kids, so its disappointing that it is limited to the higher payload trucks as a TV. I'll keep researching other full size SUVs. The extra 200 lbs on some models could make all the difference.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:23 AM   #8
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I happen to own a 2012 Nissan Armada Platinum. I pull a 2009 FR Roo 23SS. Never any issue with it but our tongue weight is certainly less due to the double axle as mentioned earlier. I also use a WDH to insure better stability. Good luck on your choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf257 View Post
Hi, long time lurker, first time poster here.

We came *this* close to buying a Geo Pro 19BH this spring, but hesitated when we finally accepted that our current tow vehicle (Honda Ridgeline, first gen) would be cutting it too close on weight.

We would still like to get that trailer, but are looking at a Nissan Armada (2010-2012 version) as a tow vehicle. We have not purchased anything yet. This is a second vehicle so we are trying to keep costs down. I'm more comfortable with higher mileage foreign cars, for better or worse.

I've scoured the forums and I think we will be fine, but I guess I'm looking for some reassurance from the experts here.

Some stats:
19BH has a gross weight of 3860
20BHS has a gross weight of 4455 (I don't want the slide version, but want to keep options open)

Armada has tow package rated for 9000, weighs ~5500lbs, and has a payload of 1350. GCVWR is 15,000. I've read lots about the payload being the hold up on towing with SUVs, and how total towing capacity is meaningless.

I want the towing experience to be low stress. If we keep to a gross TT weight well under 5K, will this be feasible? Most trips will be in flat Michigan.

We're light packers - we have been camping with three small kids in a 12ft Aliner pop up for 5 years!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf257 View Post
I appreciate all the replies. This 19BH is (as best I can tell) the shortest and lightest travel trailer made that can sleep 2 adults and 3 kids, so its disappointing that it is limited to the higher payload trucks as a TV. I'll keep researching other full size SUVs. The extra 200 lbs on some models could make all the difference.
What about a van? Chevy makes 2500 & 3500 vans.
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