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Old 05-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
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Looking for towing help on 261BH with Envoy XL

We have a deposit down on the 261BH, and we are supposed to pick it up on Wednesday. Any help before then would be much appreciated!! I posted this on the Envoy forums and the consensus was I should be good. But, now, reading through these forums, I'm very nervous again. Can I tow this safely with an Envoy XL? Specs below.

My vehicle:
2005 GMC Envoy XL
V6
3.73 axle
Online is showing 5,500lb max weight

Looking to buy:
2013 Wildwood 26BH
Exact weight on dealer lot is 4280lb.
We plan on towing this short distances, with family members and camping items in a second vehicle to keep weight down.
Dealer is installing weight distribution and brake controller.

So, the million dollar question - safe to purchase and tow?

Thanks so much for any feedback! It's been a decision we've been struggling with for weeks now!
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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I think you'll be fine. Weight distribution and brake controller will be a big help.

2005 GMC Envoy XL, V6

Maximum towing capacity: 7000 lbs.
Maximum payload: 1427 lbs.
Gross weight: 6200 lbs.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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You should be ok on short distances, just keep the speed down.
It sounds like you are aware of the issues.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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just to clarify, the Envoy has a I-6, not a v-6.

and that trailer's nearly 28' long!
you better get a darn good WDH and brake controller.
for that short of a wheelbase and that long of a trailer, you should get a Hensley or Pro-Pride WDH.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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troyt, thanks. But, with my axel size, I'm seeing max towing @5500 lbs, not 7000. Thats honestly the part that makes me nervous.

bikendan, you're right....I-6. If I make sure I get a good WDH and brake controller, would you feel comfortable driving my setup? Or, in any situation, would you hold off because the trailer is too big, specifically too long?

And thanks so much for all of the quick feedback! This forum is awesome!!
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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The camper is definitely too big for your Envoy, but you said you would be only going short distances. I guess the question is, what do you call "short distances"?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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http://www.trailerlife.com/wp-conten...Guide-2005.pdf

2005 Envoy XL 4.2L I-6
MAX TOW - 2WD = 6,000
MAX TOW - AWD = 5,800
MAX COMBINED WT = 11,000


2013 Wildwood X-Lite 26BH Travel Trailer

GVWR = 5400
With 12% Hitch to Trailer wt ratio tongue weight will be about 650 pounds

11,000 - 5400 pounds 5600 pounds available for TV to weigh

2005 GMC Envoy XL Specifications-Vehix

Curb weight 4650 leaves 950 pounds available for payload

950 - hitch and receiver (100)
leaves 850 pounds

850 - tongue load (650)
Leaves available payload 200 pounds (with 150 pound driver in curb weight) for family and "overly buff" driver.

As you can see weight and balance on that camper and tow vehicle will be critical.
You will spend a lot of time on the CAT scales making sure the load distribution is safe.

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Old 05-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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DonG - we live close to tons of camps, most will be under 50 miles. A few would be between 50-100 miles.

herk7769- WOW. Thank you so much for taking the time to put all of that together. I truly appreciate it. Based on your findings, I have to conclude this camper is too big for the my Envoy XL.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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Herk. You have the tongue weight subtracted twice. You included it in the GVWR of the trailer to get the allowed weight of the TV and you subtracted it from the payload.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
Herk. You have the tongue weight subtracted twice. You included it in the GVWR of the trailer to get the allowed weight of the TV and you subtracted it from the payload.
Oh I see what you are saying.

No, that is not correct. The GVWR of the trailer is the maximum the weight of the entire camper (tongue weight PLUS weight on axles) not just axles alone.

Easy to prove since most axles are rated based on the GVWR minus the minimum safe tongue load at 10% of total camper weight. (or 90% of GVWR rounded up).

I took the GVWR of a loaded for camping camper and multiplied the "optimum" load ratio of 12% (Min 10% and Max 15%) to determine what an optimumly loaded camper's tongue weight should be.

That is the weight that will become part of the tow vehilce's payload.

Did that help?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:36 PM   #11
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No
If you were talking about the GVWR of the tv and took the hitch weight off then yes. But the GCWR of the combo minus the GVWR of the trailer gives you the maximum weight of the TV. The weight of the hitch is part of the GVWR of the trailer.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
No
If you were talking about the GVWR of the tv and took the hitch weight off then yes. But the GCWR of the combo minus the GVWR of the trailer gives you the maximum weight of the TV. The weight of the hitch is part of the GVWR of the trailer.
The receiver and hitch head weight is forward of the ball and reduces available tow vehicle payload. The bars and equipment of the hitch (frame clamps) mounted on the camper become part of the camper payload.

When talking GWVR the units are treated as two different vehicles (the maximum the tow vehicle can weigh and the maximum that the camper can weigh). These numbers are unique to the individual vehicles and are based on limits of the structure of the vehicle. (Frame loads, axles loads, suspension and wheel loads).

When talking combined weight limits, the limit is based on what the tow vehicle's drive train can PULL (not carry).

When I did my calculations, I took the combined maximum weight of the connected "rig" and subtracted the weight of the loaded camper (5400 pounds).

That left 5600 pounds of "pulling capacity" for the tow vehicle to weigh.

Since with a full tank of gas and a 150 pound driver, the truck weighs 4650 pounds "at the curb."

The GVWR of the Envoy is 6200 pounds. If we were putting sand into the envoy we could shovel 1550 pounds of sand in there as long as we did not try to tow anything.

Since the maximum the truck can weigh is 5600 pounds and pull a 5400 pound camper, the difference between the 5600 pounds and the 4650 pounds of curb weight is 950 pounds of available payload to remain under the Gross Combined weight.

When you finally connect the camper to the hitch, the camper STILL weighs 5400 pounds, just part of it has to be carried by the truck.

That tongue load has to come off of the available remaining payload of the Envoy.

That 650 pound tongue load has to be carried by the tow vehicle in addition to the hitch (and any other gear including family members) and still keep the total weight under 11,000 pounds and the GVWR of the Envoy.

So what I think you are saying is....

Since the 650 pounds is being transferred to the truck, it should not be counted as apart of the camper's load for determining Combined Weight.

If I subtract the tongue weight of the camper from the camper's weight.
5400 - 650 = 4750 then subtract THAT number from the 11,000 would allow the TV to weigh 6250 (50 pounds over its max).

So lets say we want to keep the GVWR at the 6200 pound max.

Subtract the curb weight 4650 - 1550 pounds payload
Subtract hitch 100 - 1450 pounds remaining
Subtract Tongue weight 650 pounds - 800 pounds payload remaining.

That does make quite a bit of difference and it does sound logical.
I need to think on this some more. Something is nagging at me and I can't get my head around it right now.
It is late and I am confusing myself.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:56 PM   #13
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Herk's correct, the weight of the WDH counts toward the tow vehicle's payload, not the trailer's GVWR. it's counts the same as the tongue weight does, toward payload.

to the OP, i would NEVER tow a trailer that long and near my max tow capacity, with a I-6 Envoy XL.
you would need a more expensive WDH, like the Hensley or ProPride, to even make it marginal.

but i live out West and take long trips, not just a 50 miles away.
i guess if i lived where there were no mountains or hills, it might be doable. but i wouldn't tow with my family in the vehicle.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:18 AM   #14
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Ok, thanks again everyone. Even though we plan on taking a second vehicle with family and camping items in it, and only make shorter camping trips, I think we're still going to get something smaller after reading through these comments. Thanks again! It was exactly the feedback I needed!
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
No
If you were talking about the GVWR of the tv and took the hitch weight off then yes. But the GCWR of the combo minus the GVWR of the trailer gives you the maximum weight of the TV. The weight of the hitch is part of the GVWR of the trailer.
Kevin,

I gave this A LOT of thought on the drive out to Ohio and back.

After MUCH thought I believe you are correct about taking the tongue into consideration twice when talking about Combined Weight.

When calculating combined weight it does not matter WHERE the tongue weight is located; just that it is figured into the weight "somewhere".

As far as maximum weight of the CAMPER, tongue weight MUST be included to make sure the trailer's frame is not over loaded.

As far as the TRUCK's maximum weight, the tongue weight must be included to make sure the TRUCK's frame load is not exceeded when hitched.

In most cases (appropriately sized TV vs camper weight) GVWR of the truck limits out well before the GCWR. It is certainly possible in some situations for the GCWR to max out before either the TV or camper does.

In the OP's case you are correct, I counted the tongue twice when figuring how much stuff could be in the TV when using the combined weight as the limiting factor.

The TV would have maxed out before the combined weight but additional cargo (a few hundred pounds) could be carried.

All of this depends on the "real" weights of the truck and camper involved.
A trip to the scales with a loaded for camping Envoy would go a long way to decide it this configuration makes sense to the OP.

On the second point,

The weight is the receiver and hitch head is counted as truck payload since it is all located forward of the "ball".
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:55 PM   #16
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Thanks for the reply.
As you pointed out you need to calculate GCWR and GVWR separately.
But both are just as important.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #17
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I tow a 2012 X-lite 26BH with my 2005 Ford Explorer, V-6, 4x4, and a tow package. The trailer with a moderate cargo load (4800 lbs) is about 500 lbs under my vehicles max tow weight (5300 lbs) and I do fine for short trips. I have a WDH, anti sway device, and break controller. I live on the Oregon coast so we have countless camping less then 100 miles away. the one issue I did run into is that although I am good on the max towing weight, My Max GVRW is 10,000 and my loaded Explorer (Family, dog and gas) weighes in at 5500 lbs. This will usually put me over the mark by about 300 lbs. Until I can get a better tow vehicle (looking at F-150 supercrew), I will keep my trips under 100 miles just because I don't want to overtax my rig. The stablity is fine.
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