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Old 08-06-2019, 04:34 PM   #21
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I'll disagree with the above. I'd stick with the "trust the manufacturer's engineers" rule, which is also called the 100% rule.

But, do the math, ignore towing capacity and focus exclusively on payload rating.

If the vehicle can carry 3,500 lbs, then I'd have no issues dropping 3,500 lbs onto it, provided no ratings are exceeded.

More diatribe below ... read with caution:

------------------------------

Also, when you drop 3,300 lbs onto the TV and lose 450 to the hitch ... you're only towing 2,850 lbs. Each lb is either on the TV or being towed by it, but not both.

The post above by Chuck_S is conflating towing capacity, payload, and GCWR. Parts of it are flat out wrong and the rest is confusing ... and I'd recommend ignoring it.

GCWR does become important for 1/2 tons and below because often you run into the inequality of GCWR < GVWR + tow capacity. By that, I mean that a given small SUV/van could have a GVWR of 8,000 lbs, a tow capacity of 3,500 lbs, but a GCWR of 10,000 lbs. What that means is that you can't max out your payload and max out your towing capacity.

If you give the offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys a ride home and tip the scales at 8,000 lbs ... and then hook up a 3,500 lb trailer (that magically has 0 lbs tongue weight), you'd be OK for GVWR and for Tow Capacity. But your GCW is 11,500 lbs ... 1,500 lbs over your GCWR. So, again, with 1/2 tons and below, you generally cannot maximize GVW and Tow at the same time.

Eventually, part of what Chuck_S is talking about will matter and that crusty fry will limit your towing capacity ... but only after a certain amount. Let's try some purely fictional examples:

GVWR = 6,000 lbs
Tow Capacity = 3,500 lbs
GCWR = 9,000 lbs
Vehicle Curb Weight (GVW) = 4,700 lbs
Payload = 1,300 lbs (GCWR - GVW)

Campers: 300 lbs combined couple
Trailer: 2,500 lb 8' box PUP
Hitch Weight: 325 lbs (13%)
Gear in Car: 125 lbs

Total weight on car: 750 lbs
GVW = 5,450 lbs
Tow Capacity Remaining = GCWR - GVW = 3,550 lbs. This is more than the maximum rated tow capacity, so we take the lower of the two and it's still just 3,500 lbs.

So, here we can see that those crusty fries had no bearing on how much can be towed. Even after all of the vehicle contents were accounted for, the GCWR allows maximum towing capacity to remain available to the user.

----------------------------------
GVWR = 6,000 lbs
Tow Capacity = 4,000 lbs
GCWR = 9,000 lbs
Vehicle Curb Weight (GVW) = 4,800 lbs
Payload = 1,200 lbs (GCWR - GVW)

Campers: 400 lbs combined couple + small child
Trailer: 3,500 lb 10' box PUP
Hitch Weight: 450 lbs (13%)
Gear in Car: 200 lbs

Total weight on car: 1,050 lbs
GVW = 5,850 lbs
Tow Capacity Remaining = GCWR - GVW = 3,150 lbs.

Now we see that the GCWR is starting to limit how much can be towed. Now, the crusty fries under the seat are becoming a limiting factor.

So, can we tow a 3,500 lb trailer if the available towing capacity is now 3,150 lbs? Yes, we can. The reason is that we don't double count weight. It's either on the car or it's being towed by the car, but not both. Mass can only be in one of two places.

450 lbs were transferred from the trailer to the car, leaving 3,050 lbs to be towed behind. Since 3,050 lbs < 3,150 lbs, you're under all your ratings.

It also helps explain why a trailer can have two 3,500 lb axles and have a GVWR of 7,500 lbs. The trailer manufacturer knows that some weight will be transferred to the hitch of the TV and, therefore, won't be supported by the trailer's axles. Again, weight is either on the trailer or it's on the TV, but it can't be in both places ... conservation of mass and such.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:57 PM   #22
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Actually there's some misinformation in this thread.

The 2015 Toyota Sienna has a 'max' tow rating of 3500 lbs and a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 8900 lbs. (P. 208 of owner's manual for definition of GCWR and p. 211 for actual GCWR rating.)

What I found is that a 2015 Toyota Sienna weighs around 4600 lbs empty, no gear, no people, no nothing. Actual weight of the OPs minivan will be yellow Tread Act Loading Sticker payload weight subtracted from the GVWR (5995 lbs).

So here you go:

(GCWR)8900 lbs - ((Sienna empty weight)4600 lbs + (gear and people weight, could be much higher!)1000 lbs(= 5600 lbs Total weight of Sienna)) =(ACTUAL TOW RATING)3300 lbs.


p.217 of the owners manual
Unfortunately Toyota expects engine overheating when towing up hills and on hot days unlike other makers. Other makers state to reduce the weight you tow (reduced tow capacity) to prevent overheating in hard conditions.

Also Toyota doesn't acknowledge Frontal Surface Area also decreases tow capacity as other makers, just expect overheating.

With the drop of real tow capacity down to 3300 lbs, then the additions of real towing factors as weather, hills/mountains, trailer frontal surface area, that's where the 80% rule comes in. For those who don't wish to follow that, then there's that 100% rule with overheating.

BTW, more added cargo weight in the Sienna will reduce the "real" tow rating by the same amount.

Also don't add the tongue weight TWICE. Leave it only in the camper weight not the truck weight w/cargo. We're not talking payload but actual tow capacity.

*EDIT*
Just found that the Sienna has a tongue weight rating of only 350 lbs. Since a model with a front storage box loaded will put tongue weight around 12% or even higher, the tow rating is reduced by that.

3300 lbs x .12(12%) = 396 lbs !! You're way over your tongue weight rating!

Your actual tow rating for a camper with a 12% tongue weigh is now 2916 lbs.

With a front storage trunk, I'd say your actually closer to the 15% tongue weight which would make for much less tow capacity just based on the tongue rating alone!

Once again, with a tow vehicle with a 5000 lbs Trailer weight/500 lbs tongue weight rating, you'd be covered.

*EDIT*
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91 View Post
Actually there's some misinformation in this thread. [...]
Numbers I used above were purely fictional for illustration purposes -- I apologize for not making that clear. I don't know what the OP has and didn't bother to look them up. Pretty eerie how close my made-up numbers were to actual numbers you posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91 View Post
[...] p.217 of the owners manual
Unfortunately Toyota expects engine overheating when towing up hills and on hot days unlike other makers. [...]
Yep, follow the manufacturer's recommendations. If they say 80%, then do that. If they don't say 80% (none of my manufacturers have), then don't add arbitrary factors. I've seen people use 90%, 85%, 80%, and 75%. I don't know where these numbers come from. If you like one of them, then go for it. I don't find any of them prescriptive or grounded in data. If your vehicle's manual has text around this, like maybe the Toyotas do, then by all means follow manufacturer's suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91 View Post
[...] BTW, more added cargo weight in the Sienna will reduce the "real" tow rating by the same amount. [...]
Nope. Using the real numbers you provided, if a 300 lb couple towed the small 2,500 lb PUP and had the 750 lbs of cargo from above, then the towing capacity remains right where it started: 3,500 lbs (8900 - 4600 - 750 > 3,500). Add 50 lbs of beer and ... the towing capacity remains right where it started: 3,500 lbs (8900 - 4600 - 800 = 3,500). At that point, more added weight in the Sienna will reduce the "real" tow rating by the same amount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91 View Post
[...] Also don't add the tongue weight TWICE. Leave it only in the camper weight not the truck weight w/cargo. We're not talking payload but actual tow capacity.
I agree with not double-counting. I don't agree with where the weight is. Tongue weight is weight that has literally been transferred to the TV. It's physically resting on the hitch/rear axle of the TV. The tongue weight counts against payload and the TV's GVWR.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:38 PM   #24
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80% tow rule

As you can see by the link, it's clearly something not made up.

Since makers do tell you to reduce the weight towed when going above their frontal surface area recommendations (even on Ford trucks F150/F250/F350), and recommend you lower the weight towed in going up inclines and hot weather, you'll have to make a determination on that with your own engineering skills.

Since the 80% rule has been around a long long time and is highly respected, I follow that when towing in anything but ideal conditions that the vehicle maker has published a tow rating (through the use of GCWR) for.

Actually, I just buy a tow vehicle that has a tow rating well above what my trailer is loaded at. My current 10,800 lbs Ford tow rating was well above my previous camper's ~6500 lbs weight but it had a very large frontal surface area above the Ford's recommendations, and I pull in very windy conditions up here by the Lake, and it does get very hot in the 90's (where Toyota feels you will overheat their minivan). And I do pull in the hills occasionally. I really don't want my truck overheating on the expressway and maybe causing a dangerous situation all because I wanted to tow marginally.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:50 PM   #25
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Edited my previous post as I found that the Sienna has a low 350 lbs tongue weight rating.

That brings down the loaded trailer weight that can be towed within this rating when that tongue weight is above 10% of the loaded camper weight.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:13 PM   #26
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It seems like my original post has ignited a flurry of statistics and controversy as to what is and isn't a proper towing weight for my minivan. An earlier post from one of our fine neighbors to the north was very helpful, it would be good to hear from others who have actually experienced towing a PUP with a minivan and their experiences, regardless of the weight of the camper.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:18 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike91 View Post
80% tow rule

As you can see by the link, it's clearly something not made up.

Since makers do tell you to reduce the weight towed when going above their frontal surface area recommendations (even on Ford trucks F150/F250/F350), and recommend you lower the weight towed in going up inclines and hot weather, you'll have to make a determination on that with your own engineering skills.

Since the 80% rule has been around a long long time and is highly respected, I follow that when towing in anything but ideal conditions that the vehicle maker has published a tow rating (through the use of GCWR) for.

Actually, I just buy a tow vehicle that has a tow rating well above what my trailer is loaded at. My current 10,800 lbs Ford tow rating was well above my previous camper's ~6500 lbs weight but it had a very large frontal surface area above the Ford's recommendations, and I pull in very windy conditions up here by the Lake, and it does get very hot in the 90's (where Toyota feels you will overheat their minivan). And I do pull in the hills occasionally. I really don't want my truck overheating on the expressway and maybe causing a dangerous situation all because I wanted to tow marginally.

Wait, your 80% link is a Google search? LOL. No one said YOU made it up; I think almost everyone on this forum has heard of it

Mike I think the point is that the "80% rule" is a rule-of-thumb that some people like to follow, but it's arbitrary and not official. Whats next, we legislate an 80% rule to payload and camper CCC? Maybe camper tire ratings should be followed at 70%.

I think most people agree that towing ratings are highly optimistic, particularity for travel trailers and especially for 1/2 tons, but the "80% rule" is just a guide that works for some people. Personally I think we are better served by watching payload and GCWV and staying under 100%
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ADKdave View Post
It seems like my original post has ignited a flurry of statistics and controversy as to what is and isn't a proper towing weight for my minivan. An earlier post from one of our fine neighbors to the north was very helpful, it would be good to hear from others who have actually experienced towing a PUP with a minivan and their experiences, regardless of the weight of the camper.

Agreed, thanks for the redirect.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:56 PM   #29
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SO
As happens so often, this thread took an ugly turn with the suggestion that the OP's (original poster) TV isn't up to the task.

Edmunds has some reliable specs for a 2015 Toyota Sienna...assuming it's not AWD. https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/sienn...eatures-specs/
You must scroll down pretty far to get to the weights and measures.
If you're a glutton for punishment, try the owner's manual: https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/docu...f/OM08001U.pdf Begin on page 211

ASSUMING YOU HAVE THE TOW PACKAGE ON YOUR SIENNA...

Vehicle Payload: 1290 to 1380 depending on options. Fancier ones consume payload with options.

Curb (unladen) weight: 4540 to 4375 lb. depending on options.

Gross weight (of the loaded vehicle alone): 5990 lbs.

Maximum Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs.
Which means that Toyota will warranty the vehicle if you don't tow more than 3500 lbs. period end of story.
But there's no magic deduction for tongue weight in tow capacity. While you may tote 500 pounds of tongue weight on the hitch, you are still dragging 3500 pounds whether it's on the trailer axle or the hitch.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION: Tongue weight DOES eat into the payload. Add 500 pounds of tongue weight to the hitch, and the REMAINING payload in the van is 790 to 880 lbs. The van's suspension, tires, bearings, and so on are designed to carry no more than 5990 pounds, whether it's in the gas tank, in a seat, or on a hitch ball. That's it, that's all.

As for the 80% rule, that's a rule of thumb. Does it make sense in the Rocky Mountains. You're damned right it does. Does it make sense in the relatively flat east and south? Not so much. Again, Toyota will warranty the drive train etc. if you stick to the 3500 pounds tow limit. If you're always in the mountains, your Sienna will struggle. Similarly, a Taco will struggle, because it has a similar tow capacity. But if you're in "normal" terrain, there should be no problem. I see mini-vans and mid-sized SUVs towing modest RVs at 9000 feet every day.

I didn't check where the OP lives. But assuming he's not in Ridgeway, Colorado, chances are good that his TV is well matched to his modest PUP.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:30 AM   #30
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Looking over your popup specs, and being familiar with both Toyota and Kia minivans, you will be safe, do fine, and enjoy camping.

My real world experience is very similar.

Tow vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan. 2007-2008 Entourage is really a re-badged Kia Sedona. Sedona was redesigned in 2007 to directly compete with Honda Odyssey - considered the best minivan at that time.

Tow vehicle specs: tow rating 3,500 lbs, cargo capacity (per door sticker) 1157 lbs (ours has many options). FWD, 250 HP, 260 ft-lbs torque, 3.5L V6, 5 speed transmission. No official tongue wt spec ever found.

Tow vehicle history: bought new 2008, one owner. At 97K, transmission started slipping in 5th gear. Replaced under Hyundai/Kia 100K power train warranty. Oil changes non-synthetic every 5K. Fuel mileage: 19-23 mpg, higher at altitude and warm weather. Did not start towing with the vehicle until 130K miles.

Bought 2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame pop-up in 2014. Factory weight: 2140 lbs, GVW 3150 lbs. tongue wt (real): 400 lbs (being a single axle, obviously varies with loading). Normal camping weight: 2,760lbs (scaled once). Height 60".

When I took delivery of the A-frame, I had planned for dealer to install aux transmission cooler along with the tow vehicle wiring and brake controller. Mechanic showed me the stock cooler (separate from radiator) was 4x size of planned aux cooler. Decided against aux cooler as this matched several Internet findings that an aux cooler was not needed on this particular vehicle.

Test drove rig after PDI. A-frame was bobbing (I called it porpoising) excessively, causing the rear end of the minivan to porpoise, too. Went back into dealership to unwind deal. Dealer suggested a WDH. I was willing to try. Dealer installed E2 600/6000, which cured the porpoising. With the WDH/anti-sway, minivan towed with a near-stock unloaded ride. I took rig up to 75mph on I25 in 30mph crosswind to briefly check for sway. Found none. Ride was close enough to stock that DW was quite content to take over 30% of the driving.

We thoroughly enjoyed the camper, taking it to Waco, Amarillo, and Wichita Falls TX, Black Hills, SD, Lincoln, NE, Arches and Capital Reef NPs in UT, Telluride, CO in some of our more notable trips. Home is near Colorado Springs at altitude of 7,600 ft. Highest pass traversed was Eisenhower Tunnel on I70 (11K ft). Limited tow speeds to 65 MPH due to stock Trail Express tire 65 MPH rating. Typical mileage towing was 17-19 mpg - higher at altitude. Winds affected mileage more than anything else.

In 2018, we sold the A122 and bought a Flagstaff T21TBHW (same as Rockwood A213HW) to have a toilet for emergencies after DW chemo.

Specs on the bigger A-frame: 2,591 factory, 3,372 lbs GVW. Height 67". Camping tow weight 3,150 lbs. Moved the E2 600/6000 to the bigger A-frame.

At first, I was quite disappointed in the towing with the new camper. The 7" extra height caused a 15% increase in frontal area, which is noticeable when towing. I can't see over the top in my mirrors, and the transmission kicks down sooner. The ride wasn't as comfortable or as relaxed. Towing mileage dropped to 14mpg. Added 2 washers to the hitch, and re-adjusted the brake controller as trailer brakes "broke in". With things better adjusted, I now tow at about 72mph - stock Castle Rock tires are rated to 75mph.

The ride and handling are much better now with the hitch and loading adjustments. The minivan is up to 212K miles, overheating has never been an issue for either engine or transmission. I flush and drain transmission fluid and coolant every 2-3 years. We are much closer to the practical minivan tow limits; I would never try to tow a full height TT, even if we found one light enough. Air resistance is everything when towing - the winds are with you all day, the mountain grades only last 10 miles at a time at most. The Entourage has sufficient power to maintain posted highway speeds (60-65) towing uphill on all the Colorado mountain grades, although it may shift to 3rd or 4th gear. The minivan is an ideal touring vehicle while we are camping - comfortable and roomy for 4 (we have comfortable captain's chairs in the middle row).

After 11 years and 212K miles, the minivan is starting to show age cosmetically. DW wants another minivan to replace it because she likes the comfortable ride. As soon as I retire, she wants to start touring the country with the new minivan and our present A-frame in tow. Her bout with cancer has made a lot of things more urgent.

I would be prepared to do the following to your Sienna (in addition to hitch and wiring) to make your towing safe and comfortable:
  • add an auxiliary transmission cooler
  • add a weight distribution hitch (WDH) sized for the camper. E2 works for me, others might work for you. The WDH puts weight back on the front end - important in a minivan - AND (just as important) reduces the rear end sag so you are not dragging on speed bumps and road dips.
  • get a Teknosha brake controller (P2 or P3). The difference compared to most controllers is phenomenal. No more lurching to a stop with my P2. No more backing off the gain because of the slow speed lurching and not having enough stopping power at highway speeds.
  • get a "spring" emergency breakaway cable (Fastway sells them and the E2 WDH). This stops the emergency breakaway cable from dragging, getting pulled accidently, getting tangled so it can't be pulled, or other non-humorous incidents.
  • use 1 octane grade higher gas when towing so that maximum power is available from your engine when you need it (critical in the mountains where they sell 85 octane as "regular")
enjoy your pop-up; we do and did
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:56 PM   #31
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I posted my remarks about affecting tongue weight early in this thread and have read through the many *opinions* on here.

Remember these sage words... free advice is worth every penny you paid for it None of the folks on this forum will be affected by what you ultimately decide to do or whose advice you take. Make the best possible informed decision you can but please do your own research!

I have seen suggestions to go to "CAT" scales. As I read this thread and saw those comments I have been sitting here going over NINE scale reports from 2 different "CAT" scales under various conditions. Not one of them agrees with the others under the same circumstances/loading. Amazingly 2 of the reports agree that my loaded trailer weighs just over 2900lbs (but not the same exact weight). Sticker on the trailer is 2260lbs dry, I removed EVERY item from the unit that was not "factory" on delivery and personally weighed it with two scales that always agreed or were no more than 2 10ths from one another. My figures show I put 318lbs in that thing including a cooler I do not usually bring which was 45lbs with ice, water bottles/cokes. So typically I am in the mid to high 200's. I did this weighing today, on return from my trip.

2260 + 318 + ~100 for air conditioner (going a little high on that its really about 90 but I don't have weight on the inside intake and controls).

So 2678lbs. There has been some debate as to if the stickered trailer weight includes propane and battery or not. There seems to be consensus that it at least includes the propane but batteries are dealer installed. So.... 2710lbs at the MOST. How do I get weighed at 200 lbs over that at 2 different certified scales in the last two days yet a month ago it was about dead on the money at one of those same places with the sticker + cargo and A/C ?

I have been trying to do what you are doing here. Make sure I am not making any mistakes but... I can't seem to get good info on weights. If I had stopped at what I got a month ago I would be fat dumb and happy about my weights but because I got a WDH I wanted to see how much weight I was transferring off the back axle and am now in this new dilemma.

Today alone at the same scales I was trying to get scale weights of each axle and a second weigh on my trailer unhooked, car on one scale, tongue on second scale and trailer axle on the third scale. Due to some epic mismanagement at the place I had to come back and re-do the second weight about 60 minutes after the first weigh. In that time my family and I got food and I put 14 gallons of fuel in my tank. Guess what... the second weight had everything 60lbs lighter than the first?! Truly, we drove up the street I filled up the tank we ordered and took out food and ate it in the car on the way back to the scales... We still had the trash in the car while we weighed. WTH?! Further.... The rear axle weights were 140 lbs different on the two reports today when NOTHING changed on the trailer at all!

I believe the heart of my problem is scale loading. They are designed for freight trucks. There are multiple scale plates. One for the front "steering" axle, one for the drive axle and at least one more for cargo axles. When my front tires are BARELY on the edge of the steering plate my trailer axle is barely on the edge of the "freight" axle scale and my rear tires are somewhere forward of the middle of the second scale plate. So basically instead of getting close to center on all 3 scales I am right on the edge. This MUST be affecting my readings.. I have no other explanation for today.

In light of that I would suggest to you that if you can't get on or near center on the plates... maybe get more than one opinion. As for me I am going to try to get a hold of someone with accurate scales of the more portable variety that can be placed under each axles of tires one at a time and takes the measurements that weight so I am sure to be on the scales correctly :/

This has been a long and frustrating experience for me I hope yours goes easier.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:14 PM   #32
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Wait, your 80% link is a Google search? LOL. No one said YOU made it up; I think almost everyone on this forum has heard of it

Mike I think the point is that the "80% rule" is a rule-of-thumb that some people like to follow, but it's arbitrary and not official. [...]
Thank you! Great post and saved me some time.

I nearly laughed out loud for real when I clicked that link that was supposed to prove it wasn't made up. I was thinking it was going to link to GM, Ford, or something. Nope. Just a google search of other forums and such. That literally made my day. I may go back and click it again just for the laugh.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:46 PM   #33
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Thank you! Great post and saved me some time.

I nearly laughed out loud for real when I clicked that link that was supposed to prove it wasn't made up. I was thinking it was going to link to GM, Ford, or something. Nope. Just a google search of other forums and such. That literally made my day. I may go back and click it again just for the laugh.
You know, I look at your post on the 100% rule to see what ignorance is and laugh. I may read your post again to have a laugh about how ignorant it is, ignoring basic principles of towing.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:13 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by flyerdp View Post

<snip>

How do I get weighed at 200 lbs over that at 2 different certified scales in the last two days yet a month ago it was about dead on the money at one of those same places with the sticker + cargo and A/C ?

<snip>
Not saying you did it but someone slamming on the brakes when pulling onto a scale can cause the scale platform to shift.

It can cause binding in the load cells or even shift one or more cell out of position. The funny thing is if someone does the same from the other direction it could cause everything to return to normal, but it is rare. It most always calls for a scale maintenance service to reset the cells and calibrate the individual cells. All certified scales need the service done least once every year or whenever discrepancies occur.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:02 AM   #35
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This thread is full on nonsense and unnecessary complication.

Maximum towing capacity is computed with the tow vehicle empty. That's how it's done. Consequently any weight in the tow vehicle will decrease the allowable towing capacity. Max is not a planning number.

GCVWR - Empty tow vehicle weight = Max tow capacity.

Ford published data and my truck data plate.

GCVWR: 15,200 pounds
Empty weight: 6,085
GVWR: 7500

Max Towing Capacity:
15,200 (GCWVR) - 6,085 (Empty weight) = 9,115 (Max towing capacity)(Ford rounds up to 9,200)

Allowable towing capacity is the same formula, but with actual, as loaded weigth of the truck. I this case I picked loaded to GVWR.

15,200 - 7,500 = 7,700

Yep, every pound in the truck decreases allowable towing capacity. Those fossized MacDonald's french fries included.

This is all handled with 4th or 5th grade math.

(Highlights for those with reduced reading capacity.)

-- Chuck
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:21 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
This thread is full on nonsense and unnecessary complication. [...]
Yep, every pound in the truck decreases allowable towing capacity. Those fossized MacDonald's french fries included.

This is all handled with 4th or 5th grade math. [...]
You're continuing to conflate some of these ratings. And, the fries sometimes reduce towing capacity ... and sometimes don't. Go back and read post #21.

I do agree that this thread is full of nonsense, but I think you're just like me: a contributor.

I also agree that this is 4th or 5th grade math.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:39 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Scrapper View Post
Not saying you did it but someone slamming on the brakes when pulling onto a scale can cause the scale platform to shift.

It can cause binding in the load cells or even shift one or more cell out of position. The funny thing is if someone does the same from the other direction it could cause everything to return to normal, but it is rare. It most always calls for a scale maintenance service to reset the cells and calibrate the individual cells. All certified scales need the service done least once every year or whenever discrepancies occur.
Oh I agree, they are wrong. I showed the last place I went to where I did two weigh in's an hour apart the TOTAL on the sheet showing 60 lbs lighter on the second weigh then I said I had just put 14 gallons of fuel in the car in between and the guy just shrugged...... Thats why I say I need the type of pads you can park on and weigh each axle individually rather than floating scales designed for a semi.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:47 AM   #38
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For the OP

OP, FYI I ran across these linked spreadsheet if you want to fill it out for your vehicle.

http://www.keepyourdaydream.com/wp-c...load-Calc.xlsx

http://www.popthetop.com/files/Towin...yWorksheet.xls


Keep in mind if they do not take in to consideration individual axle loading you need to get that measured to make sure you are not over.

For the argumentative peanut gallery it deals in the absolute ratings values and doesn't skim a percentage off the top.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:53 PM   #39
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The OP has a Toyota Sienna. According to Toyota, the following tow limits apply (2010-2019):
  • Trailer Weight Rating (TWR) - 3,500 lbs - has nothing to do with tow vehicle weights
  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) - 8,900 lbs (8,990 for AWD). Weight of stuff and people inside the minivan plus Certification Label weight plus total trailer weight.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) - on Certification label. Certification label weight plus stuff and people inside minivan plus tongue weight of trailer.
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) - on Certification label.
Notes say that if gross trailer weight is over 2,000 lbs, "a sway control device with sufficient capacity is required."

Notes say that "The gross trailer weight should be distributed so that the tongue weight is 9% to 11%." No maximum tongue weight is provided.

It is likely that the GCWR will be the first capacity exceeded, but Toyota says that all limits must be met.

Not all vehicles have a published GCWR, which means the GVWR will likely be reached first (compared to max trailer weight) when tongue weight is added in.

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Old 08-12-2019, 07:20 PM   #40
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Your Sienna has a towing capacity of around 3,500, and a tongue weight of about 350. You should be fine if you balance the loads between the front-wheel drive Sienna and the front compartment of your trailer.

I had two Previas at one time, the predecessor to the Sienna, and pulled a larger pop-up with my SL rear-wheel drive Previa and never had an issue even with one or two bikes and a rack on the back of the trailer.
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