Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-04-2008, 10:20 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Trailer weight Vs length

Folks,
I'm fairly new to trailering and looking to buy a new tow vehicle in the next few months. I've been reading all I can find here, but I have one nagging question. It seems that all the recommendations for vehicles are based on trailer length rather than weight. I have a 27ft '78 Soveriegn with GVW of 6,200lbs. I noticed that a 2008 of the same length is 1,400lbs heavier! My AS is a remodel and will probably come out even lighter than the factory spec. The empty and dry weight is about 4,500lbs. So shouldn't the weight be the determining factor? With such variation in weight between models, does length really mean anything?
Then the next part is, if I end up with a trailer with an over the road weight of about 5,500 lbs, is the new Tundra 5.7L enough truck to handle mountainous towing? Anybody with a similar rig? The factory specs say it should be fine, but I've seen many posts listing a 22ft trailer as about max for that size truck. Am I missing something?

Thanks
David
__________________

__________________
DasAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 12:38 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
David you're absolutely right, go by weight, not length. But, as a general rule, the longer ones do weigh more, the newer ones also weigh more than older, especially more than vintage.
Don't use the dry weight as your determining factor. That is the weight without water, propane, camping equipment, etc. Many folks figure an additional 1000# over dry weight, although I think could shave some off of that.
The best thing to do is weigh your trailer to see what actual weight is.
Good luck,
Dave
__________________

__________________
AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 06:07 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
For what it's worth, I agree with Dave...the weight is the biggest factor, however the weight is something that is easy to underestimate, and like Dave says, the only way to really know is to take it to the scales. About the truck...it is my "opinion" a lot of people on this board tend to dismiss the capabilities of the newer 1/2 ton trucks unfairly. I have an '07 GMC, have driven pickup trucks since 1960, and the newest generation of 1/2 ton trucks are really in another class, especially if it is equipped with a towing package and HD suspension. Just my 2 cents on the matters.

Steve
__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 06:18 AM   #4
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
I tow a 75 TW with my 07 Tundra with the 5.7 motor. The trailer is just over 5K when loaded and the truck has no problems with the mountains.
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 07:21 AM   #5
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Weight to me is the controlling factor, the length will come into play if you plan on towing with a very short wheel base vehicle. It has to do with the distance from the hitch to the axles, and it's leverage effect on the tow vehicle and the overall stability.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Good points all, thanks. If I do get the Tundra, I'll get the LWB with the tow package (lower axle gears, tranny cooler, etc). The point made about the power of newer vehicles matches my experience too. The power from some of these smaller engines is really something. I was wondering about the length of the tow vehicle compared to the trailer length. I'm sure that factors in. I have access to a scale at the local land fill so I plan to weigh the trailer and tongue at a couple points along the remodel to make sure I'm good. I'm trying to keep it as light as possible within reason.
Just an observation, but back in the day, you saw a lot of good sized trailers being pulled by the family car. Remember airshocks in the rear?
People used to pull 40ft trailer houses with pickups. We are lucky today to have so many really good pullers available IMO. I guess the reason newer trailers are so heavy is because we can pull them now, and people want all the gingerbread. I like things simple (and light).

David
__________________
DasAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,603
Images: 1
My rule of thumb is 7,000#. Yes, a half-ton will do it, and probably quite well for someone not full-timing. Above that, the three-quarter ton feels better about doing the job, ESPECIALLY for the full-timer carrying a bunch of junk along with him.

The "family cars" that used to pull trailers had to work fairly hard on the grades: WOT for twenty minutes up some of the Colorado Rockies passes. These cars were hindered not by engine size but by gearing that was generally 2.90 to 3.23 (and 28 to 30 inch tires [pre-radial]) with fairly loose torque convertors and only three-speed automatic transmissions. "Hindered" only as we would look at it today.

Could I have one of those cars with a motor optimized for todays low-power gasoline, and EFI, a four or five speed transmission and better gearing (plus the advances in suspension and braking to be found on a modern 1/2T) then I'd jump right on it.

For a trailer of under 7,000-lbs. Not full-timing.

That's my two cents.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Rednax, Yea and a lot of them were pulled over with boilovers as I recall

AzFlycaster, Does your Tundra have the "towing package", ie lower gears etc ?
__________________
DasAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 01:19 PM   #9
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
I have the Double Cab 4x4 SR5 with the tow package.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	tundra.jpg
Views:	179
Size:	70.1 KB
ID:	57659  
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 04:11 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Thanks Richard, that's exactly the truck I'm considering.
__________________
DasAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 06:35 PM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
2002 19' Bambi
Auburn , Maine
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13
It's also worth a mention that those family cars were heavier and were built on frames. Today's cars are unibody construction designed to be light-weight for gas mileage. So they don't have the mass or the stiffness to resist a trailer's sway forces.
__________________
FilmGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 08:54 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
Rollertoaster's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Aptos , California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 69
My parents had a 22' Silverstreak which they towed with a 1959 Mercury wagon. My dad still talks about the time, in 1959, when we went over Ebbets Pass in the Sierras, heading east. He got a brake job for the car and the trailer
in Reno.

Terry
__________________
Rollertoaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2008, 01:08 AM   #13
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by DasAir
...It seems that all the recommendations for vehicles are based on trailer length rather than weight...
hi das'

i'm not sure i understand this thought...

EVERY common tow vehicle comes with a 'rating' for...

towing, payload, gcwr, axles, tires, receiver/hitch, tongue mass and so on...

and EVERYONE of these parameters is based on WEIGHT.

NO vehicle supplier provides towing recommendations based on trailer length or wheelbase or rear overhand or other 'length' parameters...

rv sites and magazines and enthusiasts may mention the length/wheelbase parameters, but only as general guides.

weights and length and wheelbase and overhang are ALL important.

the truck/trailer combo u are considering fits both the manufactures weight guides, and the general length guides...

once properly set up (including adequate tongue mass) the combo should tow fine.

a 9000 lb 23 ft trailer might tow MUCH better than a 5000 lbs 32 ft trailer depending on where IN/ON the trailer length the mass is located...

longer trailers have the potential to generate greater YAW forces on the tv rear axle/suspension/tires...

and longer wheelbase tow vehicles help reduce this influence IF all other parameters are equal...

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2008, 08:19 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmGuy
Today's cars are unibody construction designed to be light-weight for gas mileage. So they don't have the mass or the stiffness to resist a trailer's sway forces.
I think that was proven to be a Myth, wasn't it?
__________________

__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trailer length & state park campsites CanoeStream Airstream Trailer Forums 26 05-28-2007 11:37 AM
Trailer length standards jcanavera Airstream Trailer Forums 4 08-10-2006 06:16 PM
Airstream trailer length? Mariner On The Road... 2 10-20-2003 10:14 PM
pipe running length of trailer outside belly skin?? Bailey56 Exterior Storage Compartments & Access Doors 2 08-07-2003 09:30 AM
Trailer weight Dbraw 1969 - 1973 Safari 3 06-26-2002 01:01 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.