Originally Posted by Moonkitty
So anyway we purchased a 2006 23ft Safari which we hope to pick up on Saturday. We are coming from a small TT, a T@B which our 2000 Toyota Tacoma towed easily. Our Tacoma is rated for 5000 lbs. This is a temporary TV, we are looking to buy something bigger.
In reading everything it looks like we need the electric brake controller. Can we tow her home for about 50 miles on mostly flat terrain? Will it ruin our TV? The previous owner towed with a Honda Ridgeline which is also rated at 5000lb.
Are there other factors which I should know about before we try to tow her home?
Four things actually govern your effective towing capacity.
1 - Receiver rated capacity. You've got that covered, at 5000 pounds.
2 - Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) minus your tow vehicle's actual weightó or if you don't know its actual weight, be conservative and use the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
3 - The laws of your state.
4 - Your vehicle's owner's manual requirements.
Using my own case as an example, I have an Airstream Interstate motorhome. Receiver rated capacity is 7,500 pounds. So far, so good.
GCWR is 15,250 pounds. I haven't weighed my Interstate fully loaded, so I don't know its actual weight, but GVWR is a whopping 11,030 pounds. So based on these numbers, I can tow at least 4,220 pounds, even if the Interstate is fully loaded. In Louisiana where I live, any trailer over 3000 pounds requires brakes on every trailer tire. But, my Interstate owner's manual says that every trailer over 1000 pounds requires its own brakes, because the vehicle brakes aren't designed to stop the full GCWR by themselves.
So, in my case, I can tow anything less than 4,220 pounds with no worries, over that, I need to weigh my Interstate first to find the actual towing capacity, but not to exceed 7,500 pounds no matter what. I need to have brakes on any trailer over 1,000 pounds, even though the state only requires them on trailers over 3,000 pounds.
Makes sense? Your numbers will work out differently, of course, but for your own safety, you need to go through a similar analysis.