Originally Posted by BrianWSNC
Thank you Terry and Mary for your very detailed and helpful replies. This is the kind of information I was looking for.
my first choice is a 74 and up Trade Wind or Caravan (latter perfered) but may go for Ambassador or Soviergn because of avaliablity and size.
Someone here had written that when calculating trailer weight ratings, you should add 1,000 lbs to it for extras. Is this an accurate assumption? example, Trade Wind: 4,400 + 1,000 = 5,400 towing weight.
One thousand pounds sounds like quite an addition, but in reality may be less than most actually carry. I know that the empty weight on my '64 Overlander is 4,440 pounds (the factory empty weight was 3,930 pounds - - before options were added) with a gross weight of 6,100 pounds when it is fully loaded for an extended vacation (6+weeks). What you need to remember is that the published empty weights do not include options, fresh water, LP gas, and other personal possessions that are carried in the coach. While some advise limiting the amount of fresh water carried, I find that my coaches ride MUCH better with a full fresh water tank (especially the Minuet with its front water tank that is mounted just below the front window).
When looking at a realistic trailer tow limit for your tow vehicle, I would suggest an 80% of factory trailer tow rating for the maximum gross trailer weight to be towed. The biggest factor in ordering my current '99 K2500 Suburban was the inadequacy of my '95 K1500 Z-71 Club Cab pickup which was loaded to more than 90% of its trailer tow capacity (6,500 pounds) and was within a few precious pounds of being over its Gross Combined Weight Rating when towing my '64 Overlander at 6,100 pounds Gross Weight - - the K1500 was down to less than 20 MPH in first gear going through the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 in Colorado with the Overlander.
Good luck with your research and search!