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Old 03-27-2019, 11:05 PM   #1
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Lance trailer, weight question

For the past two years I have been towing my Wolf Pup 16FQ with an Explorer Platinum, which has the EcoBoost engine and full tow package. The towing capability of the Explorer is 5,000 lbs, and it works very well, I drove up and down mountain passes with the trailer attached without any problem...

Now I’m considering to change the trailer with something “nicer”, and I really like the Lance 1995. (https://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1995/) The dry weight for that is 4,265 lbs, and the GWVR 5,700 lbs, so at full load it would be out of specs for the TV. But since I strongly prefer full hookups and I never travel with water I’d say that I’d always be within the 5,000. And, as I say the car really behaves well while towing.

Would I be legal if I keep the weight under control? And, if legal, what do you guys think about the Lance?
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:10 PM   #2
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That trailer has a 45 gallon FW capacity which means you can still end up over 5,000LB even without water.

I would look for a trailer with a GVWR of 5,000 or less, personally.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:13 PM   #3
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I have a Lance 1995. I also have a Toyota 4-runner with a 5000 lb tow rating. I would not even consider pulling the 1995 with the 4-runner. I tow with a GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax which is overkill but I have the truck as a company vehicle. The 1995 is our second Lance - previous trailer was a 1685 but we got tired of the East/West bed. Love the Lance - premium price but very high quality. Lots of info on Lance Owners of America.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by iconnekt View Post
For the past two years I have been towing my Wolf Pup 16FQ with an Explorer Platinum, which has the EcoBoost engine and full tow package. The towing capability of the Explorer is 5,000 lbs, and it works very well, I drove up and down mountain passes with the trailer attached without any problem...

Now Iím considering to change the trailer with something ďnicerĒ, and I really like the Lance 1995. (https://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1995/) The dry weight for that is 4,265 lbs, and the GWVR 5,700 lbs, so at full load it would be out of specs for the TV. But since I strongly prefer full hookups and I never travel with water Iíd say that Iíd always be within the 5,000. And, as I say the car really behaves well while towing.

Would I be legal if I keep the weight under control? And, if legal, what do you guys think about the Lance?
Your Exploder only has the 5000lbs towing capacity, IF there's only a 150lb driver and full fuel tank.
If there's any other occupants and cargo in the car, then you have to subtract those weights from the 5000 number.
And NEVER go by fictional/website brochure dry weights. They don't include weights of batteries, options, dealer add-ons.
Call the dealer for the factory yellow sticker weight amount. That will be closer to a true weight.
And it will be quite easy to see the loaded tongue weight to be over the Exploder's max of 500lbs, once you add the weights of the batteries and cargo without the water included.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:10 AM   #5
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That trailer has a 45 gallon FW capacity which means you can still end up over 5,000LB even without water.

I would look for a trailer with a GVWR of 5,000 or less, personally.
...not sure I understand... if thereís NO fresh water, how does it influence the weight?
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:18 AM   #6
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I have a Lance 1995. I also have a Toyota 4-runner with a 5000 lb tow rating. I would not even consider pulling the 1995 with the 4-runner. I tow with a GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax which is overkill but I have the truck as a company vehicle. The 1995 is our second Lance - previous trailer was a 1685 but we got tired of the East/West bed. Love the Lance - premium price but very high quality. Lots of info on Lance Owners of America.
Happy to hear about the Lance... I should go for the 1685 but as you say I don’t really like the east-west bed either. Really hate the idea of not being able to tow the 1995!
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:31 AM   #7
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The dry weight for that is 4,265 lbs, and the GWVR 5,700 lbs, so at full load it would be out of specs for the TV. But since I strongly prefer full hookups and I never travel with water Iíd say that Iíd always be within the 5,000.


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...not sure I understand... if thereís NO fresh water, how does it influence the weight?


Youíre the one that implied not carrying water would keep it under 5,000LB and away from the 5,700LB GVWR. I was just letting you know that 45 gallons of water doesnít weigh 700LB so you can still end up over 5,000LB without water.

Iíll tell you something else, itís very easy to underestimate how much your ďstuffĒ weighs. If you limit yourself to trailers with a 5,000LB GVWR or less then you have a much better chance of not exceeding weight limits.

Iíve been in your shoes and it never works out like you hope. I wouldnít pair that trailer with your Explorer.

Just my $0.02 since you posted up asking.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:41 AM   #8
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Youíre the one that implied not carrying water would keep it under 5,000LB and away from the 5,700LB GVWR. I was just letting you know that 45 gallons of water doesnít weigh 700LB so you can still end up over 5,000LB without water.

Iíll tell you something else, itís very easy to underestimate how much your ďstuffĒ weighs. If you limit yourself to trailers with a 5,000LB GVWR or less then you have a much better chance of not exceeding weight limits.

Iíve been in your shoes and it never works out like you hope. I wouldnít pair that trailer with your Explorer.

Just my $0.02 since you posted up asking.
Got it now, sorry I did not catch what you meant the first time. Thanks for the comment, as you see itís really tempting to go ahead, but at the same time I donít want to make stupid (and potentially dangerous) mistakes...

(The main problem is that I have already too many cars, four for two people, and the Explorer is a company car on lease for another year and a half, so itís really absurd for me to get another one just for towing...)
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:58 PM   #9
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Jeesh Poor OP, Look get the darn trailer hook it up get it weighed if it don't work it's no different then many weight folks (didn't say police) are telling you to do. You will know what's right and then make a decision with the facts not folks like myself who have nothing better to do then give opinions often not 100% accurate.

Oh you might invest or need too in a WDH hitch.

Good luck my friend
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
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As you start getting close to your TV's TWR (Trailer Weight Rating), you should be more concerned about your TV's GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). That's includes EVERYTHING, and even without water you're probably over.



One way to get an estimate would be to weigh your current set up, with all your stuff. Subtract the dry weight of your current camper then add the dry weight of the Lance 1995. The difference between that and your GCWR will tell you what your margin is. Keep in mind, you'll probably be packing more stuff in the new rig.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:17 PM   #11
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Jeesh Poor OP, Look get the darn trailer hook it up get it weighed if it don't work it's no different then many weight folks (didn't say police) are telling you to do. You will know what's right and then make a decision with the facts not folks like myself who have nothing better to do then give opinions often not 100% accurate.

Oh you might invest or need too in a WDH hitch.

Good luck my friend
Sorry, that's some really poor advice. Just buy it and hope for the best? Awful.

The GVWR of the trailer exceeds the MAX tow rating of the Explorer and that MAX tow rating drops as people and gear are added to the Explorer. That 5,000LB MAX tow is with fuel and a driver, nothing else. So yes, GCWR is something that needs to be considered as that minus curb weight is what determines tow capacity.

With the trailer GVWR being 14% more than the MAX tow rating it just isn't a good match for the Explorer. No need to try it and hope for the best and then just shrug your shoulders and do it anyway if it's not because "other people do it all the time." The numbers don't lie. That's not an opinion.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:34 PM   #12
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I'm towing my 3877# GTWR TT with my 2008 Explorer rated to tow 5225#. WDH moves 400# off the tongue, didn't get an actual tongue weight, will balance beam weigh it when better weather hits. Cat scale TT single axle weight 3600#. Me, wife, & 100# lab in the TV, sometime my 145# grandson.
Based on my current experience, I concur with staying under your TV tow rating for a new TT GTWR. Actually, more under, the better and more comfortable towing.
When I finally CAT scale weighed my rig and found out I was over weight on both the drive & TT axle, I purged a lot from both the TV & TT. And I never tow with anything in the tanks.If you followed the listed weights, at that weighing I was over my GTWR by 133#.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:37 PM   #13
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A little more information that might help your decision - My 1685 scale weights were #3700 on the axles and #500 tongue for a total weight of #4200 with no water in the tanks and basically empty. I weighed it right before the person I sold it to came to pick it up.

The yellow sticker on that camper stated #3886 for the weight as it left the factory.

The yellow sticker on my 1995 states #4186 or 300# heavier which is also the difference in the GVWR - #5700 vs #5400

I don't have scale weights on the 1995 but a good estimate would be around #600 on the tongue and #4600 total weight. The #400 to get to your tow rating will get there really quickly when you start adding contents. I also suspect that the #600 tongue weight will outstrip your cargo capacity on the Explorer without even considering the other cargo you will have.
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:13 PM   #14
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I skimmed the other answers, and I didn't see some of these points covered. If I'm echoing someone else, just consider that multiple people have the same concerns.

Concerns:
  1. Even with a dry fresh tank, you may be forced to tow it home with full grey and black tanks. Do the math on those tanks' capacities in gallons combined x 8.3 pounds per gallon. And don't forget that the 6 gallons (50+pounds) of water in your hot water heater counts against you.
  2. You suggested you ccould live with just 750 pounds of payload in the trailer. Perhaps you can, but that's not a lot of payload in a rig that can pile on the pounds simply due to its size.
  3. As others mentioned, your dry weight does NOT include a number of essentials that get added. Start with a battery, then add tools, jack pads, kitchen equipment (pots, pans, utensils, silverware, dishes, etc.) and so on. Then comes bedding, bathroom supplies, towels, and so on. Pets? Their stuff counts. And you haven't even added food an beer yet. I put that much weight in my folded PUP!
  4. Let's assume your Explorer behaves well with this rig in tow. Your transmission will NOT last long by torturing it with something beyond its max rated capacity.
  5. Also echoing others, then there's all the crap and people that you'll load in your car...they count.
  6. Ever hefted that WDH? That's not counted in the dry weight of anything.

Can you get away with it? Perhaps...even likely. Will you be safe in an emergency? Nope! What about an unexpected high crosswind situation...where you leave the wind, enter sheltered space (e.g. an underpass) and then emerge into the wind again? These trucks say losing control is more than just possible. What about an emergency maneuver provoked by another vehicle - e.g. a texting driver? What if your trailer brakes fail or partially fail due to an electrical problem? Your Explorer's brakes will be utterly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, my RAM 1500 towing all of 4K is only a ton over its capacity if the bed is fully loaded. And even then, towing through the mountains, its easy to overwhelm the brakes even if everything is working as it should.

With negative reserve capacity to cope with an emergency, your trailer becomes the tail wagging the dog. If your family is along for the ride, you get the picture.

Back to that transmission. Is it really up to the job of downshifting and holding speed on long descents? Perhaps not so much. I had an older Explorer towing a 2000 lb. pup with no brakes (legal) through the mountains. On Interstate-70, the Ford lost its lunch and went into limp home mode at the top of Copper Mt. ... again, on an interstate highway! Explorers are NOT trucks. They are midsize SUVs.

If you like your Explorer, buy a lighter (probably smaller) trailer. If you just must have the bigger Lance, then get a TV that's truly capable of handling it. One thing's for sure. I don't want to be on the road near you when you learn the hard way that your Explorer isn't up to the job.

If you're asking for our permission to ignore manufacturers' ratings and violate the laws of physics, permission denied.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:53 PM   #15
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Would you be legal? The rules usually vary by state, but you're more likely to get into an insurance hassle if you get in an accident and your weight exceeds specifications.

I think if you look around a bit, you can find a similar trailer with your preferred floor plan within your weight restrictions. These floor plans are pretty standard within the industry.

The biggest weight difference will probably be the slideout. Your Wolfpup doesn't have one and the Lance does. For comparison, take a look at the weight difference between a Wolfpup with a slidout and one that doesn't have one. Wolf Pup | Forest River RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:00 PM   #16
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Would you be legal? The rules usually vary by state, but you're more likely to get into an insurance hassle if you get in an accident and your weight exceeds specifications.

I think if you look around a bit, you can find a similar trailer with your preferred floor plan within your weight restrictions. These floor plans are pretty standard within the industry.

The biggest weight difference will probably be the slideout. Your Wolfpup doesn't have one and the Lance does. For comparison, take a look at the weight difference between a Wolfpup with a slidout and one that doesn't have one. Wolf Pup | Forest River RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes
Legal can be an issue. Last year, northbound in I-29 in South Dakota south of Sioux Falls the weigh station message board told me to pull in???? I did not even come to a complete stop on the scale when I got a green light. I guarantee you that if I was overweight, I would have been fined, left stuff behind, and who knows what else.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:43 PM   #17
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Thank you all, too many to thank individually!!!...

So after reading through Iíve made my decision: I will get a larger TV and the Lance 1995. Much bigger investment, but Iím closing in my retirement and Iím foreseeing a good use for the right rig...

Iíll have to change something in the cars (probably getting rid of a convertible...) but this will make much more sense.

I really appreciated your support!
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:09 AM   #18
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...Back to that transmission. Is it really up to the job of downshifting and holding speed on long descents? Perhaps not so much. I had an older Explorer towing a 2000 lb. pup with no brakes (legal) through the mountains. On Interstate-70, the Ford lost its lunch and went into limp home mode at the top of Copper Mt. ... again, on an interstate highway! Explorers are NOT trucks. They are midsize SUVs...
Thanks for taking the time for such an extensive answer, Iíll follow yours (and others) suggestion, as I said, it makes complete sense.

Any case, just as a comment on the specific technical point: mine is an Explorer Platinum 2017, which comes with the 365 hp double-turbo EcoBoost (the same engine that goes over 450 hp on the Raptor). This version also has the ďtow packageĒ which within other things adds a specific radiator to the transmission, exactly for the reason you mention.

It would still end up being highly stressed by the extra weight, no doubt, and even more so considering I live in the Sierra so wherever I want to go thereís uphill to do. But itís surely very different from the old Explorers...

Thanks again
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:25 AM   #19
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Would you be legal? The rules usually vary by state, but you're more likely to get into an insurance hassle if you get in an accident and your weight exceeds specifications.

I think if you look around a bit, you can find a similar trailer with your preferred floor plan within your weight restrictions. These floor plans are pretty standard within the industry.

The biggest weight difference will probably be the slideout. Your Wolfpup doesn't have one and the Lance does. For comparison, take a look at the weight difference between a Wolfpup with a slidout and one that doesn't have one. Wolf Pup | Forest River RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes
I donít know very well the market (Iíve being back into RV for only a couple of years) so there may be other brands at the same quality level as the Lance I donít know about. All what I see in the dealers yards is like the Forrest River, not bad, but not nice. The WolfPup I have is functional and works for what we do, but the sloppiness of the details is disheartening...

My point is that I want something ďniceĒ and well finished, and so far I havenít found any trailer as the Lance. Which I realize brings some extra weight compared with more ďessentialĒ structures and Iím willing to cope with it.

Any suggestion for other brands at the Lance level?
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:14 PM   #20
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Thank you all, too many to thank individually!!!...

So after reading through Iíve made my decision: I will get a larger TV and the Lance 1995. Much bigger investment, but Iím closing in my retirement and Iím foreseeing a good use for the right rig...

Iíll have to change something in the cars (probably getting rid of a convertible...) but this will make much more sense.

I really appreciated your support!
You won't regret it.
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