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Old 12-12-2010, 08:53 PM   #1
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Explain towing capacity/trailer weight?

Can someone explain towing capacity to me? The sticker on my trailer says that it's around 8000 pounds but I think it says that's the loaded weight, not empty (it's dark and slightly flooded out or I'd go look). So if I find a vehicle with 6500 towing capacity and have the trailer mostly empty, that should be ok, right? I'm trying to cover all my options but, you guys are awesome for explaining, even when I ask supid questions like this
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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I almost want to help you tow your trailer to Colorado, just to keep you out of trouble. If I were not all the way down in Texas...

You need some capacity in reserve. A tow vehicle that can safely tow 6500 lbs would be maxed out towing a 8000 GVCW trailer, even unloaded. You need at least 10-20% in reserve to be in a safe handling area. It'll also require a weight distributing hitch to make the truck handle anything like safely with that light a tow vehicle.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:28 PM   #3
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Towing is not only about tow vehicle capacity, but also about tow vehicle controlability. Do a search on my name "withidl" and you'll find both sides of the debate ............ at length.

Also, note my avatar to the left.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
I almost want to help you tow your trailer to Colorado, just to keep you out of trouble. If I were not all the way down in Texas...

You need some capacity in reserve. A tow vehicle that can safely tow 6500 lbs would be maxed out towing a 8000 GVCW trailer, even unloaded. You need at least 10-20% in reserve to be in a safe handling area. It'll also require a weight distributing hitch to make the truck handle anything like safely with that light a tow vehicle.
I've posted the AS on craigslist, but I don't have a long time to wait around for it to sell. Im thinking if I can find a truck I know a few people who used to drive big rigs and might be able to talk them into moving it for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
Towing is not only about tow vehicle capacity, but also about tow vehicle controlability. Do a search on my name "withidl" and you'll find both sides of the debate ............ at length.

Also, note my avatar to the left.
Your avatar looks like a big trailer attached to a smallish vehicle! Reading the consultant thread now..
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
Reading the consultant thread now..
That thread gets really intertaining!
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:20 PM   #6
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it appears u've been misdirected 2 a thread that doesn't answer the question,

and really really doesn't help solve your issues.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
Can someone explain towing capacity to me?...
many here can, and the answers will be reasonably correct, or intentionally confusing.

most ford/dodge and some others have towing booklets and LINKS on their websites to explain these parameters.

many dealers will give these booklets 2 those who ask, but they are online too...

https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...11_default.asp
________

what towing capacity IS and how it's derived is changing.

basically a new more objective approach has JUST been adopted that will provide more realistic numbers.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...2-a-55751.html

so far, as a result of the newer parameter/testing toyota has DErated some if its trucks by 400-1200 lbs.

others may follow.
________

the key numbers to understand are...

1. tv curb weight (how much the vehicle weighs with options)

2. tv payload (how much the manufacturer rates the vehicle to CARRY) thats everything IN/ON the tv.

3. gCvwr ((may be shown as gCwr)) (that's the capacity/rating for EVERYTHING rolling on/in/behind the tv) ...

look those terms up, and try to understand them

by simply understanding and HAVING the gCvwr, curb weight and payload...

one can reasonably sort out the towing capacity available (with a few caveats)



Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
...So if I find a vehicle with 6500 towing capacity and have the trailer mostly empty, that should be ok, right?...
short answer is sorry, no.

generally the towing capacity is a "best case" number and with the tv EMPTY.

so for example that 6500 lb towing capacity is reduced by putting people, pets, rocks and stuff in the tv.

IF a mythical tv weighed 5000 lbs and had a payload of 1500 lbs and a listed towing capacity of 6500 lbs....

once 1500 lbs of stuff is put IN the vehicle, the amount available for towing is ~5000 lbs.

does that make sense?
____________

it's hard to find the exact numbers for older vehicles

and things like axle ratios, tire/size, added tranny coolers or gear overdrives/underdrives and so on...

mean the CAPACITY/ratings may be wildly different for many apparently similar vehicles.

for example consider a 2wd, 2 door truck/short bed with all the same drivetrain/tranny as a 4x4, 4 door, long bed heavily optioned truck...

the heavily optioned 4x4, 4 door truck will have LESS towing capacity.
___________

some vehicles HANDLE better than others, have better brakes or better steering or other features that enhance driving/control/towing...

so 2 different vehicles with the 'same numbers' may ride, drive and FEEL much different while towing.
___________

in your case many/most modern 1/2 ton trucks (or bigger)s and full size vans and full size suvs would be adequate.

OLDER vehicles can work fine too, if the brakes, fluids, mechanicals and so on are UP to date.

but towing in winter/across wyoming/idaho/montana or colorado is not for the INexperienced.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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I would verify the weight of the trailer. 8K sounds high.
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