Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

AKA Bar and Grill - General Discussion of any topics, does not need to be related to metal trading.
User avatar
bigjohn
Turtle Supporter
Posts: 3062
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015
Location: Western Washington

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby bigjohn » Wed May 17, 2017

All the arguments for a V8 truck make perfect sense and if I could talk the wife into trading a family SUV / kids hauler for a truck, I'd be happy :lol:

I guess my goal is not to find the perfect vehicle to tow but rather find one that's a perfect balance. Realistically, I will probably camp/tow 6 time a year or so. The rest of the time, it will be a city car so I still needed to be comfortable and get out halfway decent gas mileage (i.e. Keep the wife happy). It needs to be capable and safe to tow keeping in mind that the rig is not a full-time towing rig.

I am currently considering a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Eight speed transmission, 295 hp and 6200 pound towing capacity with the V6
LOOKING FOR YPS #12 BARS TO COMPLETE A COLLECTION!!! PM ME IF YOU HAVE ANY - I HAVE YOUR REPLACEMENT READY OR CAN BUY OUT RIGHT.

ImageImage Image

User avatar
bigjohn
Turtle Supporter
Posts: 3062
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015
Location: Western Washington

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby bigjohn » Wed May 17, 2017

Bucketeer wrote:Don't forget to add or upgrade your transmission cooler.

I haven't even thought about that. This is why these brainstorming threads are very helpful.
LOOKING FOR YPS #12 BARS TO COMPLETE A COLLECTION!!! PM ME IF YOU HAVE ANY - I HAVE YOUR REPLACEMENT READY OR CAN BUY OUT RIGHT.

ImageImage Image

silverhead
Silver Supporter
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012
Location: Taxafornia

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby silverhead » Wed May 17, 2017

Brick's wrote:My advice is buy an RV and get out of the towing business.


+1 :shock:
I know people have been towing things since cars were invented, but in my older age that is 1 thing I would avoid doing besides riding a motorcycle in this crazy SoCal traffic :P
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Brick's
Supporter
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012
Location: 'Cuse

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby Brick's » Thu May 18, 2017

natsb88 wrote:
Brick's wrote:My advice is buy an RV and get out of the towing business.

My parents are thinking the exact opposite :lol:

They have a class C and rarely use it. Now that they have a nice 2500 truck, and would be traveling without kids, they are thinking they would prefer to tow a camper, set up camp, and be able to run around during the day in the truck, rather than have to tear down and set up all the time and take the motorhome to all the little places they like to go.


When we used to RV we'd see senior couples with no kids, driving the RV and have a small car in tow for the same reason. :lol:

User avatar
Mechanic4hire3
Platinum Supporter
Posts: 2523
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013
Location: Eastern North Carolina

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby Mechanic4hire3 » Thu May 18, 2017

LittleAbner wrote:And I can second what Ed said about gear ratios.

Don't even ask what kind of mileage I get with the Nissan gas V8 and I won't tell you about the sub-10mpg that I see when pulling loaded at highway speeds.

Everything littleAbner is saying is spot on! I install transcoolers on everything as a habit. Just put one on my daughter's 4runner I bought 2 weeks ago.
A well spent $35 bucks

User avatar
LittleAbner
Silver Supporter
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby LittleAbner » Thu May 18, 2017

bigjohn wrote:
LittleAbner wrote:I don't really know what it means that "your vehicle is not wired for a brake controller" but the wireless setup sounds a bit sketchy to me. I would agree with smackvay that you can put a controller on any vehicle. Some may require additional wiring.

You do not want to skimp on the braking side!!

I just upgraded to a Tekonsha P3 and can highly recommend it.
https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-90195-Electronic-Brake-Control/dp/B000P17NXQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495072739&sr=8-1&keywords=tekonsha+prodigy+p3+trailer+brake+controller

Also think about installing a transmission cooler if your vehicle does not have one.

I've got 40+ plus years of experience with trailers (work/skidloader/lumber/etc) and I would certainly not buy a vehicle with a V6 to pull your size of trailer. I'm currently using a Nissan Titan with the 300+ hp V8 to pull a 14" cargo trailer with a weight of 2000-5000#s and would not want anything smaller.

I'm not saying you can't do it with your SUV but I think it's not really going to be fun. :)

The wireless brake controller that the dealership recommended is actually the same brand, just a different model. Outside of difficulty pairing the device, the reviews are flawless, people seem to be really happy with it

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001P0ZA ... ref=plSrch


I have no exposure to the wireless unit but I agree it does sound nice.

see here for some discussion. http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=72076.0

User avatar
xippi
Turtle Supporter
Posts: 1662
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby xippi » Thu May 18, 2017

You don't want to exceed the GVRW (Gross Vehicle Registered Weight)

Not my writing but spot on.
https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuse ... rue.cfmYou need to state what type of

"camper you plan to tow. Your options are either a Pop Up or a Travel Trailer. With only a 5000 lbs tow rating, a Pop Up is really the only choice due to "HITCH WEIGHT" rating which is 'normally' only 10% of the "MAX" Tow rating for the vehicle. A Pop up normally has 11.5% hitch weight while a travel Trailer usually has an average 13% hitch weight. So if you plan to pull a 5000 lbs LOADED (~4000 lbs unloaded) travel trailer, you'll need a minimum hitch weight rating of 650 lbs or a vehicle with a tow rating of 6500 lbs.

That's just one consideration for the heavy tongue weight of a travel trailer. Another is the payload which can be found on the tire loading sticker in the driver's door jam, called the Tred Act sticker.

Payload with most midsize trucks/SUVs is the most limiting factor.

With hitch weights over 300 lbs, many midsize SUVs need a WDH. I know my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder needed one as my rear of the SUV was sagging badly with very poor handling and suspension bottoming out with my previous Rockwood Pop Up which had a tongue weight over 300 lbs. It was bottoming out the suspension and it wasn't even loaded!

Using a WDH, with all calculations as far as the weight of the hitch taken into consideration, an average 80% of the trailers tongue weight can go onto the trucks/SUVs suspension and 20% onto the trailers suspension. So with a tongue weight of 650 lbs for a loaded 5000 lbs travel trailer, you will have 520 lbs on your suspension.

Most midsize SUVs have inbetween 1100 and 1200 lbs of payload. So with the higher 1200 lbs of payload, you only have 680 lbs left for gear in the SUV and the weight of "ALL PEOPLE, INCLUDING DRIVER". Large families with Mom and dad weighing 375 lbs, and 2 teenage kids weight together 300 lbs, you already have 675 lbs without anything in the SUV. NO cooler of snacks, no tools, no duffle bags, NOTHING.

So for most 'families' using a midsize SUV as a tow vehicle, a Pop Up with a weight distribution hitch (WDH) fits within the vehicles tow and weight capabilities. Rarely does a Travel Trailer.

Now many on this forum and in the real world feel that if the vehicle can pull it, it's OK. I would not want my carefree decisions to affect my families lives, based on that I feel I know more than the vehicles engineers.

Others are confident that they know more than the vehicle's engineers, but that's an individual decision.

As long as you know you could be liable if an accident occurs and if there's an investigation on weights"
ImageImageImageImageImage

User avatar
H2SO4
Gold Jeeper
Posts: 2603
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010
Location: St. Elmo, Colorado

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby H2SO4 » Fri May 19, 2017

What is the SUV you have now?
Always looking for BS Bars- any serial numbers. Buy/Trade
Image

User avatar
BarsandStars
Turtle Supporter
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013
Location: Connecticut

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby BarsandStars » Fri May 19, 2017

Mechanic4hire3 wrote:You are going to get lots of answers...

Let me ask you this. If you didn't get the camper would you be getting a new SUV?

If the answer is No, you would be fine with current vehicle.
This is my answer and again some will not agree but whooopty doo!.

In your neck of the woods there are plenty used Dodge Cummings Diesels. Reasonably priced. A 1998 to 2006 5.9 cummings. I know I know here come the ford lovers dodge haters.... there is no more durable and easier Engine to work on than the 5.9. It has been around for many yrs. Also yeah you hate this part get a 5 or 6 speed. All the big 3 make crap Auto trans, But hey roll the dice you make get lucky... I don't speak with forked tongue I speak from sperience.
Pulling not as much of an issue as stopping, trailer brakes are a must.
I've met Rodebaugh on this puppy gone down south to meet SH3 and gone west to hang with Eventurer..
Have Stayed away from Dorian, cause he would try to turn it into a ShagginWagon
Image
https://imgbb.com/
Image
https://imgbb.com/



Robert speaks the truth. Manual transmission /cummings is the way to go if you can find a decent used one. Those dodge AT's were made of glass! There's a reason you see so many old dodges on the road. Hell, I own a 2001 Ram that just won't die. You may get electrical gremlins though.

Does your current SUV have overdrive? If so, turn it off and it should help get you up those hills.


Edit: Damn robert, you got the 4dr with a manual, long bed and cummings...you dirty rat! I'd love that truck.
Payments accepted via Paypal (no fee or add 2.9%), Check, USPS MO, or Cash (Item will ship when funds are received)

Check out my eBay store: http://www.ebay.com/sch/barsandstars/m.html

User avatar
bigjohn
Turtle Supporter
Posts: 3062
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015
Location: Western Washington

Re: Towing a Camper Trailer With an SUV

Postby bigjohn » Sat May 20, 2017

Xippi, good write up. I am in an ML now. 7200 lb towing capacity, 1600 lb payload, 7 speed tranny, 302 HP V6. Curb weight close to 5000 lb. Tongue weight worries me a bit because max hitch weight is questionable (online resources are all over the place and dealer is less that useless). I don't think I am putting my family in danger towing with it, all math seems fine and and I've seen these rigs tow some heavy things. Just got my wireless break controller delivered, getting it set up this weekend
LOOKING FOR YPS #12 BARS TO COMPLETE A COLLECTION!!! PM ME IF YOU HAVE ANY - I HAVE YOUR REPLACEMENT READY OR CAN BUY OUT RIGHT.

ImageImage Image


Return to “Burgers and Beers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MileHighSilver and 2 guests