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Old 07-17-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
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Manufacturer Tow Guides

I am going to start a thread here for all the different manufacturer's tow guides. I think this is necessary as there seems to be an increasing number of members who are having trouble fitting a TV to a trailer and vise versa. I am starting with Dodge's Bodybuilder which has much more than just tow info but it is very complete for data for anything you need to know regarding GVWR, GCWR, GAWR etc for all their tow rated vehicles. Please feel free to add links to any other manufacturer tow guides. One word of caution though, this is not to be used as bashing thread for any manufacturer or to debate what one can do over another. Let's keep to the facts here so we can give members a good reference for any and all TV's.

The Dodge Body Builder.

http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/year.pdf

The Ford Guides.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...ng/default.asp
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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PLEASE refrain from posting Non-Link items

Since this will be an "informative" Thread. PLEASE refrain from posting comments or questions in it. Links to towing capabilities (manufacturer's web sites; etc) are welcome, but "great idea" and "thank you" posts will be deleted. If you have a question about towing ratings please either start a new thread or find an existing discussion. Thank you.

PS - This is a "stuck" thread for easy reference

Cool link to "How Stuff Works" that not only has all the towing specs but the definitions and how to use the information.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...ty-chart10.htm
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:49 PM   #3
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I strongly advise you read the owners manual associated with any vehicle you are considering purchasing. These manufacturers guides are a good place to start, but the owners manual may contain additional information more specific to your vehicle.

Options can alter the tow rating and GCWR - such as the weight of "luxury" options, tire/rim sizes, AWD/4X4, gear ratio, towing packages, etc.

My expedition is listed in it's guide as capable of towing 1000lbs more than what the owner's manual says with my options, plus the owners manual adds a max frontal area on the trailer, something I'd never seen mentioned anyplace else.

One other tidbit to look for - the SAE now has a tow rating standard and some manufacturers are adopting it, some are not, and so for some years it will apply and others not - so ratings from year to year that cross this adoption cannot be compared and may show significant changes.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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I went to the How Stuff Works site and it only lists the towing capacity of the vehicle without the manufacturers tow package installed. If you install the same items as the manufacturer (hitch, trans/oil cooler) your capacities (as specified in your vehicles actual manual) will differ.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:00 AM   #5
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I would recommend for folks to use this Husky tow weight calculator. When loading a truck or a camper you have to take into account the distance from hitch where items are loaded in relation to axle to get some accurate approximate weights. I used this when looking for a new 5th wheel and it kept me from purchasing a camper to heavy for my truck. Then weight it to verify. I weighed mine Friday and was within 100 pounds.

Husky Tow Weight Demonstrator

Husky Towing Products | Products
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
Husky Tow Weight Demonstrator

Husky Towing Products | Products
'The Husky Demonstrator is an Excel spreadsheet. Some may feel uncomfortable using it. These might be more helpful in that case.

Fifth Wheel Weight Calculator

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator


RV Calculators - Adjust GVW Calculator

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Old 09-06-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
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I gave my numbers all over the boards including this one and every one came back with: plenty of power and truck to tow. I enter my numbers on this and I am short. your are right about being uncomfortable using the tool!
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:00 AM   #8
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Remember to weigh your vehicle AND your RV.

Weigh stations will measure these for you, and they don't mind doing this because you'll be informed which may prevent an accident.

Furthermore, many stations not attended will leave the scale on, which means you can disconnect and check the tow and RV independently.

The advertised weight (dry and wet) are approximate so get on the scale!

And, then, use a tape writer with which you'll print out your exact height plus an inch or two, length of the overall vehicle, and weight. [ALL in feet/inches and metric] Put these on your dash where you don't have to guess.

Mike
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler2955 View Post
And, then, use a tape writer with which you'll print out your exact height plus an inch or two, length of the overall vehicle, and weight. [ALL in feet/inches and metric] Put these on your dash where you don't have to guess. Mike
Mike, what is a tape writer?
Could you provide a link to what that is?
It is a new one to me.

I have a fiberglass lineman's pole calibrated in inches that I used to determine the max height of my camper (the radio antenna on the camper was the highest flexible point until fixed it leaning backwards below the AC and the leading edge of my air conditioner is the highest fixed point at 11 feet 10 inches).
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:41 AM   #10
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Good morning Herk,

The writer we have is a Brother, common to any office supply retailer, but other MFGs are available. Some call it a label maker.

This one writes on a Mylar / plastic like film (I'm unsure of it's exact makeup) of different widths and can be adjusted in character height and font.

The tape is cheap and readily available.

Putting the data on one's dash may prevent what we've seen-- stuck under a bridge etc. The height was posted, but calculating from memory at 60 mph may not be one's best idea. The result was a lost roof, air conditioner, etc for these unlucky campers.

BTW, we did this on our sailboat where the height was 62' above the water, not counting wave action, tides, and mis-information on the bridges. And, just how does one calculate meters? Just kidding! There isn't anything like having only 2' to spare between the bridge and your mast, and the current pushing you. ha

Hope this helps,

Mike
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by traveler2955 View Post
The writer we have is a Brother, common to any office supply retailer, but other MFGs are available. Some call it a label maker.
Oh! DUH!

I thought it was something you used to MEASURE your rig with.
I am picturing a laser dohicky with a digital readout that prints a tape of your measurments in SAE and Metric.

You know; measure off a known distance from your connected rig; aim the laser at the bottom of a wheel and raise the sight tube to the highest point on the rig and press "print"...
Totally got that one wrong.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
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No worries Herk,
Most often I’m old-fashioned, but now and then I get into the techie stuff.
We used to use sextants until GPS’s, then had 7 on the boat and almost forgot how to navigate via the aforementioned, used excellent binoculars with a vertical and horizontal reticular to measure height then figured the tangent until radar, bottom depths with marks rather than depth sounders, and chart plotters with that radar overlay. Even my HAM radio's more sophisticated than the tube I first had, you get the drift.
In fact, I used the back of my hand for many miles to check the temp on tires until my laser pointer found its way to the PU, and the laser pointer measured the distance to the tree branch.
What would we do without technology today—save on batteries?
Certainly, all of your ideas are good as well, nice to have when the dead battery leaked.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #13
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This is a little thread necromancy, but I used the Travel Trailer calculator while trying to plan what TT to get and it says my truck (see sig) should tow a trailer less than 3400 lbs loaded...I find that hard to swallow...

I could have towed more than that with my 92 Jeep Cherokee 4.0l... They must use government math to get that number. I am ok with being cautious, but those numbers seem redonkulous IMO. Anyone else have similar results?
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:24 AM   #14
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What travel trailer calculator?

I'm guessing your TT is what, 5500lbs dry weight (should be a sticker on the screen door I assume?). Add in your dishes/food/bedding/bath/chairs/etc, battery, propane and you'll have 1000 lbs easy I should think.
A WD/Sway hitch and it's bits adds another 100ish.

So you've got some 6600lbs. Add in the weight of you, passengers, cargo in the truck (firewood, genset, bikes, etc). I get to 700lbs no problem, plus the truck (5800?)

So you've got 13,000-13,5000 gcwr using those numbers.
GCWR is more important than tow weight - the total weight is what's being pulled by the engine/trans/cooling system, managed by the vehicle brakes/weight/suspension during maneuvers.

If you do the math you'll see you can tow more - but only if you have less load in the truck (one 150lb driver and nothing else...).
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
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Well the truck curbs with its options at about 5400, with the 600lbs (2 extra adults and 2 small children) passengers and 200 lbs misc (hitch, aftermarket accessories and cab supplies), I figure 6200 truck and 1000 lbs added to trailer at about 6800lbs. that puts me at 13,000 with full compliments. thats right at the GCWR. Now if i change to 17" rims and 31" tires (which I am considering for towing) I can push it up to 14k max GCWR so i will have the extra 1k to play with.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:58 AM   #16
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My expedition loses 500 lbs to it's 17" rims (over 16"). Not sure why that would be. Load capacity of the tires is the same (or can be). Overall diameter (from my research) is the same so gearing's not affected.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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Not exactly manufacturers towing guides, but Trailer Life puts out an annual pamphlet. Here is 1999 thru 2012:

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #18
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Not exactly manufacturers towing guides, but Trailer Life puts out an annual pamphlet. Here is 1999 thru 2012:

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
Remember that these guides are based on the required options in the notes, just a 150 pound driver, and a full tank of gas in the TV.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rsgtivr6
This is a little thread necromancy, but I used the Travel Trailer calculator while trying to plan what TT to get and it says my truck (see sig) should tow a trailer less than 3400 lbs loaded...I find that hard to swallow...

I could have towed more than that with my 92 Jeep Cherokee 4.0l... They must use government math to get that number. I am ok with being cautious, but those numbers seem redonkulous IMO. Anyone else have similar results?
2010 Ram QC HEMi 4x4 SLT getting same results from changing gears as you are. That is just nonsense! i stared at those numbers for a week until I decided to just listen to good sense. Not that the good sense I listened to was all valid but there was a lot more replies from the good sense side than from ONE changing gear website telling me my Ram isnlimitted to a little over 3400 lbs!
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boubou View Post
2010 Ram QC HEMi 4x4 SLT getting same results from changing gears as you are. That is just nonsense! i stared at those numbers for a week until I decided to just listen to good sense. Not that the good sense I listened to was all valid but there was a lot more replies from the good sense side than from ONE changing gear website telling me my Ram isnlimitted to a little over 3400 lbs!
If you do some component investigation you may find the issue, or assure yourself there isn't one.
Could be a light duty trans or transfer case or axle that's causing the rating to be different than expected.

My expy is essentially an F150 and rated to tow accordingly. But for put the 4R100 trans in the Expy's in 2001 - that's their big momma tranny so it can tow almost anything. I've not investigated the transfer case, but Iv'e got an AWD system..not a normal truck option. It moves the power to the front wheels as needed at any speed...nice idea and it works, but at times I've had it clunk hard (say, starting on wet grass or gravel when the rear wheels start to spin). Add 10,000 lbs to that and I'd guess component life would be shorter than a traditional transfer case.
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