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Old 07-15-2020, 11:07 PM   #1
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Question Practical Experience With Weights & Tongue Weight on Roo 19

We are in the market for Tow Vehicle + Travel Trailer.

My wife has her eye set on a Roo 19. I am trying to determine if a Jeep Grand Cherokee could work as the Tow Vehicle (for 'other use reasons', we prefer not to go to a full size truck).

Questions for forum members:

Has anyone measured their Roo 19 while equipped for typical camping trip, and where were you ending up on gross trailer weight? We are thinking we wouldn't be using all of its ~1600 lb cargo capacity, but what are real world Roo 19 weights?

What tongue weights are people experiencing in real world loadings? The empty hitch weight works for the Grand Cherokee but thats not realistic.

More generally, the numbers don't work if tongue weight ends up at 15% of loaded weight, but are possible if its at 10% of the loaded weight. Where are you ending up as a % of loaded weight and how much ability / flexibility does the Roo 19 have to distribute the weight to keep tongue weight lower?

Thanks for any guidance people can offer as we start this journey!
PAHTDC

Number details for the combo looking at:

Tow Vehicle, GVRW 6500 lb, payload 1380 lbs, max tongue weight 620lbs, nominal tow capacity 6200 lbs, class IV receiver with tow package

Trailer: 2020 Roo 19, Empty weight ~ 4100 lbs, max weight ~5600 lbs, empty tongue weight 450lbs (~11%)

Assumed weights: Allowing 50-100 lbs on the tongue (and to payload) for a WDH, and assuming 2 adults + 1 kid (600 lbs) + 2 dogs (100lbs)+ travel stuff + canoe (100lbs) = 800lbs that has to into the tow vehicle

(mods please feel free to move to more appropriate forum as not sure which will be better for intended audience - towing or hybrids)
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:45 AM   #2
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I have a 2020 Roo 19 and tow with a F150 EB. I have more wiggle room than you do on payload at just under 1800 lbs. I use a WDH per my TV owner's manual. I am at about 600lbs tongue weight depending on how I load the TT. Based on your numbers you have 580lbs available for tongue weight assuming the 1380 payload is for your specific TV and not a generic number.

In the TT there is room to move cargo around to balance the trailer. In your payload number 800lbs does not include the WDH (unless it's in the 600lbs). In summary, you are at the hairy edge of your vehicles capability. You will now need to pay attention to your individual axle weight ratings.

Some tips to help with weight management:
- The WDH can help shift some of the rear axle weight to the front axle, as you know.
- If possible, move more weight to the TT. Removing 100lbs from the TV will only add 10-15 lbs to the tongue weight. That's a 85-90lbs payload savings.
- Look at a lighter WDH. I like and use the Andersen. It weighs around 60lbs for the entire setup.

All this said, our campground neighbor last month happened to have a 2020 Roo 19 they pulled with a Grand Cherokee. They did not have a kid or 2 dogs or a canoe. He said he was comfortable when towing. He also did not use a WDH and I thought the rear squatted too much when he pulled in. If you are within the numbers for your TV and on relatively level roads you can pull it. Will you feel comfortable is the question. You are cutting it close. Depending on how badly your DW wants the Roo you may have to be flexible on your "other use reasons" if possible.

The Roo 19 is a great trailer. We love ours. The simplicity, roominess for my family of 3, comfort level, and conveniences it offers are wonderful.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:08 AM   #3
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I know what I am about to write may cause you difficulty in trying to make your current TV work for you, but I feel compelled to add some (unsolicited) cautionary advice.

You may have problems with the 620lbs tongue weight restriction. It's best to figure 12-14% of your loaded trailer weight to estimate your expected tongue weight.

Also, you may be pushing the Jeep's payload number as well. With 1380lbs, once you subtract your 800lbs figure you've only got 580lbs left. When you subtract the weight of the hitch (say, 80lbs), you've only got 500lbs of payload left; and that's before you subtract the tongue weight. Even at 12% of your TT UVW, that's another 490lbs, so you only have roughly 10lbs of stuff you can load into the trailer.

Oh, and don't forget that the UVW does not include the weight of the battery(ies), propane and any liquids in the black, gray or freshwater tanks. Even if you only keep 2 gallons of water in each tank, that's an additional 50lbs. Also, add about 60lbs plus for full propane and the weight of the tanks. All of that means you will be over your payload by at least 100lbs...and that's before one dish, one towel or one morsel of food has been put in the TT!

Yes, I'm sure someone, somewhere is towing with those numbers and will say they have no problem. However, IMHO, I owe it to my family and the other drivers around me to tow as safely as possible. If you're right at the recommended numbers or (much worse) above them, then your margin of safety is reduced.

Admittedly, some folks (like me) are more risk-averse than others. You have to determine YOUR level of risk (margin of safety) for YOUR family. And please remember the potential impact on the drivers around you when you lessen your margin of safety.

Have you considered a different (lighter) TT?
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:45 AM   #4
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Based on your factory numbers for the Roo, lets sat you add 1000 pounds of stuff to it which would brings you to 5100 pounds and applying the 11% tongue weight it brings you to 561 pounds so let's call it 600 to be on the safe side...

That's well under your TV GWVR so you should be set there..

As far as Payload this is where most TVs, especially SUVs fall short... Your TV is 1380 - 600 trailer tongue so you have 780 pounds to spare for you and your wife, kids, dogs and gear. That's not a lot and leaves very little room for any margin of error on these assumptions.

If you want to be comfortable and have a little more wiggle room on the payload side, lets assume your family, dogs and gear around going to be around 900 pounds... This means you'd probably need a TV with a payload of 1500 pounds or better.

A tall order for most SUVs and surprisingly even for many 1/2 ton pick up trucks if you go with the higher end trim models. Ford is supposed to have best in class towing and many of the f150 higher trim trucks I've been looking at are typically anywhere from 1300 - 1500 payload.

Having said all this, if you only plan to go short distances, don't fill the water tanks and are careful about how you load your TV and trailer and use a WDH, you might be able to get by with it but you will be pushing the limits and I think you'll want a different TV.
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:28 PM   #5
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Experience ? My son is on their 3rd year with a Jayco Hybrid just about the same numbers as you. Pulling with a 2017 Jeep GC. It's been to OK. WY. SD so far.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAHTDC View Post
We are in the market for Tow Vehicle + Travel Trailer.

My wife has her eye set on a Roo 19. I am trying to determine if a Jeep Grand Cherokee could work as the Tow Vehicle (for 'other use reasons', we prefer not to go to a full size truck).

Questions for forum members:

Has anyone measured their Roo 19 while equipped for typical camping trip, and where were you ending up on gross trailer weight? We are thinking we wouldn't be using all of its ~1600 lb cargo capacity, but what are real world Roo 19 weights?

What tongue weights are people experiencing in real world loadings? The empty hitch weight works for the Grand Cherokee but thats not realistic.

More generally, the numbers don't work if tongue weight ends up at 15% of loaded weight, but are possible if its at 10% of the loaded weight. Where are you ending up as a % of loaded weight and how much ability / flexibility does the Roo 19 have to distribute the weight to keep tongue weight lower?

Thanks for any guidance people can offer as we start this journey!
PAHTDC

Number details for the combo looking at:

Tow Vehicle, GVRW 6500 lb, payload 1380 lbs, max tongue weight 620lbs, nominal tow capacity 6200 lbs, class IV receiver with tow package

Trailer: 2020 Roo 19, Empty weight ~ 4100 lbs, max weight ~5600 lbs, empty tongue weight 450lbs (~11%)

Assumed weights: Allowing 50-100 lbs on the tongue (and to payload) for a WDH, and assuming 2 adults + 1 kid (600 lbs) + 2 dogs (100lbs)+ travel stuff + canoe (100lbs) = 800lbs that has to into the tow vehicle

(mods please feel free to move to more appropriate forum as not sure which will be better for intended audience - towing or hybrids)
I own a 2010 Roo 19, I've pulled it with a Chevy Traverse and now a Nissan Pathfinder both V6's with tow packages. Below is a link to my post about it, as long as your GCWR is high enough for the TV + Trailer both with your full loads, and you use a WDH with sway control, I think you'll be fine. I would advise you hit the CAT scales when you first travel with the full setup and cargo to get a true weight as well for piece of mind! Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post2355134
and
https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post2134512
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAHTDC View Post
We are in the market for Tow Vehicle + Travel Trailer.

My wife has her eye set on a Roo 19. I am trying to determine if a Jeep Grand Cherokee could work as the Tow Vehicle (for 'other use reasons', we prefer not to go to a full size truck).

Questions for forum members:

Has anyone measured their Roo 19 while equipped for typical camping trip, and where were you ending up on gross trailer weight? We are thinking we wouldn't be using all of its ~1600 lb cargo capacity, but what are real world Roo 19 weights?

What tongue weights are people experiencing in real world loadings? The empty hitch weight works for the Grand Cherokee but thats not realistic.

More generally, the numbers don't work if tongue weight ends up at 15% of loaded weight, but are possible if its at 10% of the loaded weight. Where are you ending up as a % of loaded weight and how much ability / flexibility does the Roo 19 have to distribute the weight to keep tongue weight lower?

Thanks for any guidance people can offer as we start this journey!
PAHTDC

Number details for the combo looking at:

Tow Vehicle, GVRW 6500 lb, payload 1380 lbs, max tongue weight 620lbs, nominal tow capacity 6200 lbs, class IV receiver with tow package

Trailer: 2020 Roo 19, Empty weight ~ 4100 lbs, max weight ~5600 lbs, empty tongue weight 450lbs (~11%)

Assumed weights: Allowing 50-100 lbs on the tongue (and to payload) for a WDH, and assuming 2 adults + 1 kid (600 lbs) + 2 dogs (100lbs)+ travel stuff + canoe (100lbs) = 800lbs that has to into the tow vehicle

(mods please feel free to move to more appropriate forum as not sure which will be better for intended audience - towing or hybrids)
I pull my 2014 roo 19 with a 2017 6 cylinder pathfinder. My tow capacity is only 6000 and my pay load capacity is equal to to the grand cherokee at around 1600. Fully loaded the trailer is just under 5000 lbs. I have pulled it fro NJ down to key Largo and all over the mountains of NYS and Mass with no issues what so ever
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:08 PM   #8
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Another consideration?

You're on the ball in terms of watching all the weights. Not to muddy the waters, but have you considered other aspects of the tow vehicle? I am by no means an expert, but I do have experience pulling a mid sized trailer with a pick up vs an SUV (Nissan Xterra). The pickup was vastly superior in terms of ease of towing. I believe it had to do with a longer wheelbase. SUVs typically have a narrower track and a higher center of gravity, which are probably not helpful in towing. When we switched from pickup to SUV, we had had to upgrade our hitch. That said, and with a new anti-sway and load leveling-hitch, we managed fine with the Xterra. If this will help you get the truck you might be hoping for, just send a check to . . .
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:09 AM   #9
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We are in a similar situation as you are and it's good to see you running the numbers vs just going out and buying a trailer based on the dealers "no problem. Sign here" attitude.

The Roo 19 is a good, solid trailer, emphasis on solid. Friends of ours tow one with a 2019 Honda Pilot (5000# towing capacity). The Pilot squats like crazy and they have not run the scales so we don't know the reality there.

Direct relevance to your post stops here...

Our personal experience is with a 2019 Roo 23BDS, which is heavier. We are towing with a 2015 Yukon XL 4x4. GM specs are 7500# GVWR, 8000# towing, 14000# GCWR, 1563# CCC, 3600# FGAWR, 4400# RGAWR. The trailer spec is 5278# empty, 6592# GVWR, 584# TW, 1314# CCC, 3000# per axle.

I did the same math as you before we bought the trailer. I knew we would have to be careful but I was surprised by the results.

On our first long trip to Florida last summer we went through the CAT scale. The following numbers are with WDH engaged: Truck front axle: 3340#, truck rear axle: 4500#, trailer 5540#. We were over our trucks GVWR by 340# (important), over our rear axle capacity by 100# (more important) and only 620# under our GCWR.

We were loaded pretty heavy for that trip but we also realize that over time, stuff collects in the camper. Case in point, we moved a bunch of stuff to the camper that previously was in the tow vehicle. I tested my new to me Sherline scale the other day and my TW was 900# ("empty trailer" and w/o hitch) with about 1/2 tank of fresh water I haven't drained yet from a previous trip. Needless to say we won't travel with that much water again.

Where did all that TW come from? Two full propane tanks (40#), a battery (50#), 20 gallons of water (est 100# at the tongue), misc stuff in the camper (est 100#) which is about right (584+290=874).

We know in the future that we cannot take more than ourselves (600#) and some minor cargo in the SUV to try and stay around the GVWR of the truck and stay at or under it's axle ratings. 1563# CCC - 600# occupants - 700# TW (after rebalance (move more stuff into and to the rear of trailer)) - 100# hitch = 163# available. Yeah, that's cutting it pretty close.

After really looking at how close we are to the numbers, I was recently looking at other options. I found that our Yukon (SLE trim) has a better CCC than most 1/2 ton trucks and SUVs. The Fords can pull more but their GVWRs are comparable or lower. We also have the benefit of a 30 gallon fuel tank. You need a long bed for that.

Like you, I would probably like a 3/4 ton truck for towing duties but really don't want one as a daily driver. We'll have to continue to make due with the Yukon (first world problems) and just keep watching the weights and how we load.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by azfansinnc View Post
We are in a similar situation as you are and it's good to see you running the numbers vs just going out and buying a trailer based on the dealers "no problem. Sign here" attitude.

The Roo 19 is a good, solid trailer, emphasis on solid. Friends of ours tow one with a 2019 Honda Pilot (5000# towing capacity). The Pilot squats like crazy and they have not run the scales so we don't know the reality there.

Direct relevance to your post stops here...

Our personal experience is with a 2019 Roo 23BDS, which is heavier. We are towing with a 2015 Yukon XL 4x4. GM specs are 7500# GVWR, 8000# towing, 14000# GCWR, 1563# CCC, 3600# FGAWR, 4400# RGAWR.

After really looking at how close we are to the numbers, I was recently looking at other options. I found that our Yukon (SLE trim) has a better CCC than most 1/2 ton trucks and SUVs. The Fords can pull more but their GVWRs are comparable or lower. We also have the benefit of a 30 gallon fuel tank. You need a long bed for that.
My 2014 F150 SCREW 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost short bed has a payload of 1828lbs and a towing capacity of 11,200lbs.
Its GCWR is 17,100lbs. Even though I have the 5.5ft short bed, the Max Tow package gets me a 36 gallon fuel tank.
So it's easy to get a 1/2 ton truck with much better specs than a SUV.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:27 AM   #11
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My 2014 F150 SCREW 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost short bed has a payload of 1828lbs and a towing capacity of 11,200lbs.
Its GCWR is 17,100lbs. Even though I have the 5.5ft short bed, the Max Tow package gets me a 36 gallon fuel tank.
So it's easy to get a 1/2 ton truck with much better specs than a SUV.
Thanks for the clarification. My statement was too general.

I wasn't touting an SUV (mine or others) over a truck. For my needs, what I do with my vehicle outside of towing the trailer 3-5 times per year, hauling people and stuff around town, an SUV is better suited for. The newer SUVs, both Ford and GM, are light years better as light duty tow vehicles than they were 15 years ago. SUVs, even smaller SUVs, such as the OP's Grand Cherokee, my friends Honda Pilot and others will do a decent job towing if you keep the weights in line and consider how quickly they add up.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:35 AM   #12
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In many cases, the most frequent problem occurs when accounting for the vehicle's payload rating. You can easily exceed that number before coming close to the GCWR and other numbers, IMHO.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:40 AM   #13
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I have a 2016 F150 SCREW with 5.5 bed and similar specs to Bikendan's.
You might consider checking out one of the pickups for other use. Mine is a daily driver and I'm getting 24.5mpg for commuting. (low nines while pulling a roo 21ss).
I also considered the super cab version, but found i could change to hiking clothes in the back of the SCREW much easier.


I'd also argue your point about later SUVs being light years better. the new Explorer body style took the max tow from 7500 (properly equipped yada yada) to 5000. It was fine for the PUP we had at the time, but totally inadequate when I was informed we were getting the Roo. The usage suitability is, of course, subjective. Enjoy what you get.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:04 PM   #14
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Hey we had a Roo 19, 2004 model and had it for 8 years. It was in excellent condition when we traded it in and they had it sold in a day.

I towed it w a Ford conversion van w a 4.6l V8 and an Avalanche. The Avalanche was a disaster towing it. I then ordered a Ram 2500 MegaCab. No issues there.

I think the GC towing it will be fine w the 8 speed tranny. Tires are a big deal here, I would trade the stock ones for a stiffer sidewall and I think the Anderson or GenY hitches would be something to look at for towing w it. We have a 2014 GC and I feel the standard 20 inch Goodyear’s would be a little weak.

We really enjoyed the trailer, lots of stories w that one. I had some issues w the bunk ends,old style, which were replaced by Tom Rapier. I also had a major outside propane leak. Have it pressure checked every year.

The gas alarm needed to be replaced twice.

Once in a campground I left the awning out, storms come, get out to close it and woke up the whole campground when the awning got loose.

I think you’ll be fine.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:10 PM   #15
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Hey we had a Roo 19, 2004 model and had it for 8 years. It was in excellent condition when we traded it in and they had it sold in a day.

I towed it w a Ford conversion van w a 4.6l V8 and an Avalanche. The Avalanche was a disaster towing it. I then ordered a Ram 2500 MegaCab. No issues there.

I think the GC towing it will be fine w the 8 speed tranny. Tires are a big deal here, I would trade the stock ones for a stiffer sidewall and I think the Anderson or GenY hitches would be something to look at for towing w it. We have a 2014 GC and I feel the standard 20 inch Goodyear’s would be a little weak.

We really enjoyed the trailer, lots of stories w that one. I had some issues w the bunk ends,old style, which were replaced by Tom Rapier. I also had a major outside propane leak. Have it pressure checked every year.

The gas alarm needed to be replaced twice.

Once in a campground I left the awning out, storms come, get out to close it and woke up the whole campground when the awning got loose.

I think you’ll be fine.
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:40 AM   #16
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Thank to you all - really appreciate the thoughtful replies and shared experiences.

I've attached a working picture of the grand cherokee / Roo combination showing how much stuff can be brought combined across both TV and TT as a function of the tongue weight %. The different curves are different amounts of weight 'required' to be in the TV (e.g. weight of passengers, dogs etc...) and the y-axis captures how much 'stuff' can be brought above the empty/curb weights of the TV and TT (so needs to account for items mentioned by e.g. @Theo, @azfansiinc)

Couple of observations/caveats
1) can really see effect of loading the TV with stuff that starts consuming payload room that would otherwise be used for tongue weight (e.g. our TW limit of 620 lbs leaves 760 lbs for stuff in the TV and you can see what happens once the minimum cargo in the TV goes from 700 to 800 lbs)

2) can also see for this particular TV / TT combination how much effect the TW % has on what can be carried - its about 400lbs of cargo for each percentage point change in TW%

3) this has not been triple checked!!! This should be respecting GVWR on both TV and TT, GCWR, the Tongue weight limit, and the towing capacity limit (but explicitly not the axle limits) Please don't rely on this without independently checking for your own decisions.

Some individual followups:

@hobienick. Those are really useful numbers. Have you ever weighed how much you are putting into the Roo itself (eg. what your gross trailer weight is producing the 600 lbs?) and have a sense of what tongue weight is as a % of loaded weight?

@Theo. We are thinking along same lines, appreciate your thoughts. We are looking at other lighter TTs - the functional goals are separate sleeping areas for us from our son, sleeping areas that don't have to be set up / torn down each night (attraction of hybrids / those TTs with fixed bunks), functioning toilet and dry shower, separate fridge/freezer, enough space to survive more than one rainy day in a row with 2 dogs and the 3 of us in the space, storage (which goes against the whole 'lighter' angle but.... )

@ElyWhy... Unfortunately for a truck (or even the Grand Cherokee) I know already where the checks are going to!!

Thanks again to all
PAHTDC
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:07 AM   #17
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Experience ? My son is on their 3rd year with a Jayco Hybrid just about the same numbers as you. Pulling with a 2017 Jeep GC. It's been to OK. WY. SD so far.
So, IOW, flatlands
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:05 AM   #18
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I have not weighed the items we put in the Roo. We travel light so I would estimate 400-500 lbs of stuff for the typical trip. Due to other hobbies I have gotten really good at estimating weight of baggage.

I focused on TW to determine if I really needed to WDH. I have significantly more payload available with my truck so I have more wiggle room.

Again, can you do it safely? Probably. Since you made a chat to analyze different scenarios I will assume you are good with numbers. If you are OK with paying very close attention to how and what you load every time then you should be able to pull it off.

One more thing to consider. If you plan on keeping the GC and Roo for a while and your kids are not yet teens they will gain significant weight. You could see a 200 lbs increase for them. I believe you said you have two kids. Even with one kid you may bump yourself over your payload as the growth spurts start.

Not wanting to purchase a new TV is understandable. However, you may decide to go that route for more peace of mind while towing. I decided to get a used truck and park it in the driveway since it won't fit in the garage. I use it for my daily driver. I do not have the room nor budget for 3 vehicles. Sometimes you need to adjust your mission requirements. If you do go this route remember that most people who trade in a 1/2 to truck don't use them for truck stuff. They are usually used well under their design limits and are in pretty good shape.

You can always start off with the GC and switch TV's later if needed for your style of camping.
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