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BrianBM

Discounting tow ratings

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Most 4x4 vehicles, and many AWD vehicles, are supposed to be suited for towing such-and-so a weight load. I assume the manufacturers lie because they can, there being no standardized way to measure this and there being lots of market incentive to lie anyway. So, when I contemplate an ad for a vehicle capable of doing this and that, what's a reasonable discount? Assume 40% off the rating for a unibody AWD SUV, 30% off for an F150 class PU, and about 30% for a large 4x4 SUV?

 

There's probably a rule of thumb, I wonder what it is. Gentlemen?

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View PostMost 4x4 vehicles, and many AWD vehicles, are supposed to be suited for towing such-and-so a weight load. I assume the manufacturers lie because they can, there being no standardized way to measure this and there being lots of market incentive to lie anyway.

 

Auto manufacturers are currently in the process of creating an industry standard for tow ratings.

 

http://www.sae.org/servlets/works/co...o?comtID=TEVTR

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The 2 problems that I encountered over my years of long distance towing are stopping and the attitude of the tow vehicle. While a 1/2T pu or suv may be able to pull about any weight the ass ends sags and the brakes can be overwhelmed at a certain point. The remedies are air bags for the tow vehicle, using a 3/4T pu or suv and disc brakes on preferably both trailer axles. The term is if "properly equipped" you should be able to tow very near the advertised amount. One must also consider the passenger and cargo weight and have an accurate (scale) weight of boat, motor, and trailer rigged to travel and fish.

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Paul hit it right....equipped. In the slide in camepr world pay load is always a hot topic. Sure a truck can carry a 4k camper but can it stop etc? can it carry it for long period of time? Is it safe? I got a new truck party for these reasons.......the old one could carry it, but it didnt feel solid or safe so I got a new truck.

 

most people never think about the brakes, stopping is kinda important........

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Ok here is my .02 and just so ya know I know what I'm talking about here's my credentials....

1. I'm a certified state inspection/service trailer mechanic for MGS Trailers

2. I'm a Cequint Towing Products Installation tech.

 

A vehicle's tow rating is already % down from it's absolute max capacity. It's not just an advertising thing it's a DOT legality thing think about it if you bought a brand new truck and the manufacture states it can tow 9,000lbs and something fails can you imagine those repercussions!?? I will admit vehicle age and condition to come into factor but we're talking about new vehicles here so if it's rated to tow 9,000lbs it was most likely tested and 10,000 or higher when they were designing it.

 

As for the sagging newer trucks are made to have a soft more car like ride hence weaker rear springs. This does not mean you need to install a helper spring or airbag, a weight distribution kit will most of the time take care of the problem. For those of you who don't know how it works... it uses torsion bars to shift the weight off the hitch and move it to the front of the vehicle.

 

Trailer brake systems compinsate for the trailers whieght when you apply the brakes you should not feel the trailer pushing you if you do turn up the gain on your controler if this dose not work your either 1. Over loaded your trailers GVW 2. Controler not installed correctly or properly set up.

 

Hope this clearifies some things.

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Good credentials. And a good post. You may - apropos of the preceding comments from JohnM and PaulM - have redefined the question.

 

Assuming you buy a new vehicle that has a rated towing capacity, how well do manufacturers advise you (via the manual or otherwise) of how to safely set up your tow?

 

I must look in the manual for the 4runner and see what advise they provide.

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I think the only thing you'll find is a statement about not tow more than yada yada pounds and something about keeping the trailer level (correct drop or rise on your ball mount) other than that I don't think a manufacture will take responsibility for "hooking up a trailer" since its not parts installed buy them. As for aftermarket installed hitches they are made for per vehicles towing capacities and will have tow ratings in the installation instructions or on a sticker on the hitch it's self, also most of the time to find your tow rating look on the sticker inside your door jam. It should also be the installer of any tow accessories to teach their costumers how to use them, and the sales man of a trailer on how to hook up the trailer.

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Most cases, maximum trailer weight rating doesn't account for having any people or cargo inside of the tow vehicle and at best accounts for the wet curb weight of the tow vehicle.

 

What you want to watch is GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating). This accounts for the tow vehicle wet curb weight, trailer weight, and all the "stuff" loaded into both.

 

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) accounts for the trailer tongue weight, passenger weight, cargo weight, and wet curb weight. Basically anything that is "carried" on the tow vehicle.

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IIRC 1/2 T pu and suv literature state trailers must have brakes if over a 1000lbs. The manual also states the type of hitch required. Usually a weight distrubuting hitch is required at the top end of the tow rating.

 

The tow laws vary by state as well. Some states have different requirements for trailer brakes, width, length, etc.

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Don't know about trailer brakes. I've seen quite a few trailers rated to 2800lbs GVWR (built on a 3500lbs axle) that are not equipped with brakes.

 

Some of this comes down to personal preferences. Even though my Ford Escape is rated to tow 3500lbs, I have some doubts about putting that much weight behind it. I'm thinking at most ~2000lbs of boat and trailer.

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States are different on requirements for brakes, I have a 20' Whaler on a 5K trailer that has brakes on one axle, but setup came from Michigan, in Pa. anything over 3K needs breaks and also has to have on both axles, and be inspected. I also have a MGS trailer rated at 3K with no brakes(great trailer by the way). Tow ratings on vehicles are not just an abstract thing, I prefer GM products and a Tahoe equiped with the same engine, trans. and tow package is rated a lot lower then a Suburban equipped the same, because of the short wheel base.........Jack

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One other item, a vehicle with independent rear suspension seems to be rated lower, then vehicles with a solid rear axle. Some vehicles look scary when loaded down and the rear wheels are slanted outward from suspension being compressed..........Jack

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View PostDon't know about trailer brakes. I've seen quite a few trailers rated to 2800lbs GVWR (built on a 3500lbs axle) that are not equipped with brakes.

 

 

Because there's no such thing as a 2800lb axle. so they go to the next size up. Remember what I have stated earlier vehicals (cars and trailers alike) are tested past what they are rated for. plus an axle weight is not the only desiding factor in a trailers GVW (flooring, frame, cupler, ect.), and some more food for thought. If your car or truck is only rate to pull lets say 5Klbs don't pull a trailer with a higher GVW or you may get a ticket DOT's don't care about unlaiden weight they only go by GVW. Unproper connections will also get you fined, for example (at least here in PA) not haveing your chains crossed will get you up $300+. I had my boss send me these photos to help.....

525

525

525

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TrailerGuy, it's good to have you on the board.

 

Before I buy a boat and trailer I will ask the Board to recommend the Best Possible trailer/hitch combination. We're not talking anything big - a 17' Alumacraft is my probable financial limit - but I will want to drag it all over the place, so I'll need to arrange a trailer that is legal to the specs of the most demanding state I might cross.

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I'm not sure I would worry too much about needing the trailer to comply the laws of each state you plan to pass through. So long as it fully complies with your home state and federal regulations you should be good to go.

 

One consideration I made a few years back when putting a hitch on a full-size truck was to go with a Class IV over a Class III. At the time I was already planning to use a hitch mounted cargo carrier and having the 600lbs tongue weight capacity of the Class IV (versus 500lbs for Class III) was a benefit. This truck wasn't otherwise rated to Class IV capacities but the cost difference for the hitches was maybe $30.

 

 

TrailerGuy, I know there isn't such a thing as a 2800lbs axle. The 3500lbs axle under trailers rated to 2800lbs is the same one that would be under a trailer rated to 3500lbs having brakes. Or at least that has been the case with the ones I have seen. Trailer floor design is somewhat unique in that a wood deck over steel frame and a steel plate deck over steel frame can be built to the same capacity.

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