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The more I read, the more confused I get. so, I have a 2017 RTL-E and am considering this for my wife and I to do a bit of traveling / camping.


Every worksheet I find always seems to have something I'm not too sure about, so thought I'd ask here.

Seems to me that I is doable and with a reasonable safety factor.
What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Gross weight on the trailer is under 4K pounds. You should be in good shape. How many people are going to be in the truck? If the truck is loaded up, you could be approaching your Gross combined weight rating of 9987. You have to know all the components of the equation.
 

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I must admit that I find all of this calculation stuff real interesting when it comes to loading and towing. Growing up in the sixties, where currently our other two trucks are early 70's era, loading and towing has been mostly done by looking at the vehicle to see how much it squatted and maybe a touch of common sense, when did trucks become siss.....................when did actually putting the truck and/or trailer on scales become the norm?

Bill
 

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when did actually putting the truck and/or trailer on scales become the norm?
When 'towing at the limits' became the 'norm'. IOW, when folks started using the lightest and most economical-to-operate vehicle possible to tow trailers approaching the limits of their capabilities.

If ya still drive a truck that's very comfortably rated well-over the load you tow, as was the more typical situation in the 60's and 70's, you probably still aren't part of that 'sissy' stuff - 'eyeballing' still 'works' to generally keep you out of trouble.

Same if you drive one of those relatively lightweight economical-to-operate vehicles and only hitch-up to obviously well-within limits trailers / loads. E.g. I've not been to the scale or broken-out the calculator when using an 8' utility trailer on my RL.

Oh, and don't even get me going on what passes for "a touch of common sense" these days o_O
 

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I owned and operated several farm trucks (big-3) from the ‘60s and 70s, from 400s through 700s. They were all physically much larger than same-designation vehicles today, and most were considerably lower-power engines than the current ones (especially the diesels). They had much larger wheels and tires, but not necessarily higher GVWRs. People overloaded them just like they overload vehicles now, but back then those trucks’ top speed was often about 50 mph.

I don’t see newer vehicles as having lower ratings. I do think people now believe that ‘minimum’ livable trailers are vastly larger than they were 50 years ago. It’s also an absolute fact that the internet has made information so available that people believe things are different now (often worse) than they used to be, purely because they encounter more info and more of the same info over and over.
 

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Don’t minimize the impact of lawyers and legal liability in the requirement to insure you are not legally negligent. An overloaded wreck can be financially ruinous, even if you survive it physically.
 

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The more I read, the more confused I get. so, I have a 2017 RTL-E and am considering this for my wife and I to do a bit of traveling / camping.


Every worksheet I find always seems to have something I'm not too sure about, so thought I'd ask here.

Seems to me that I is doable and with a reasonable safety factor.
What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance.
I would tow that in a heartbeat. 2000 lbs below tow rating when dry? That means you have a whole ton (literally 2,000 lbs) for gear (anything you put into the camper OR truck), water (if you even need to carry water), passengers and typically any additional weight of the driver over 150 lbs.
I towed a 6000lb camper with my Suburban that had an 8,000lb tow rating and it was fine. (Sold the camper, and then the Suburban and bought the Ridgeline!)
 

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I’d tow that camper with my Ridgeline, too. I don’t see any reason it can’t be safely towed, and stay within both the pickup’s and the trailer’s maximum axle and gross weights.
 

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FWIW, I towed a TT with my 1st gen (2011) quite a bit. A 21’ Forest River, dry weight abt 4K#. The 2011 has a 5K# tow rating. I had an anti-sway weight distribution hitch (very highly recommended - look at some of the Curt videos on YouTube). I traveled with empty water tanks on the TT, and minimized the stuff I put in it and the RL to keep the weight as low as possible. I frequently traveled by myself, so there weren’t 4 adults and luggage aboard. I never felt like there wasn’t enough power to accelerate or maintain speed. However, there was a definite downside: fuel economy. On my last big trip my best per tank mileage was 9.5mpg. My worst was 4.6mpg. I averaged 7.8mpg. These are real world numbers, done by math at each fill up, not by trusting a trip computer. When you get out in far west TX, there aren’t gas stations every 25 miles. I literally had to plan my route in advance and figure out where to stop to buy gas so I wouldn’t run out of fuel in BFE. I also limited my speed to 60mph. That’s really slow when the speed limit is 80mph and everybody is blowing by you in the left lane. When there wasn’t anybody behind me, I would slow down as the grade increased to increase mpg. The truck never complained, never felt stressed, and ran cool even in triple digit heat with the a/c cranked. But that 1500 mile trip cost me over $650 in gas. I hate to say it, but when I got back I started looking for a diesel. I drove one when I had a construction business and always hauled a big trailer and really liked it. I ended up with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Its a 3L turbo diesel that makes 240HP and 420lbft of torque. It gets about 15mpg pulling the TT. I’ve still got the RL, but it’s trailer pulling days are over.
 

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I just looked at that trailer you like (looks great!) and it’s empty weight is less than 3K#, which is substantially less than my mine is. With the additional power and more efficient design of the 2nd gen RL, you should be in much better shape than I was pulling a 4K# TT. Maybe somebody on the forum has pulled a similar size/weight trailer and could give you an idea of their gas mileage. If you’re not familiar with a weight distribution hitch, it utilizes torsion bars to transfer trailer tongue weight to the FRONT axle on the truck. On my RL, just dropping the TT on the stock hitch ball would drop my rear wheel well by 4”, and raise the front by 2”. That’s terrible for handling, braking, etc. With the weight distribution hitch installed and properly adjusted, both the front and rear wheel wells dropped by 2”. That makes the truck drive much better, and doesn’t overload one axle/set of tires. I’d still practice weight control when loading the trailer and truck, and don’t fill up your fresh water tank before leaving town. That alone can add 250#!! I’d put 5 gallons in, enough for washing your hands or flushing the toilet, or worst case if you need to spend the night on the side of the road and fix dinner/breakfast. Obviously if you’re going boondocking (totally off grid) you need to fill the fresh water tank, but you can still delay that to close to your destination. And plan on replacing the cheap OEM trailer tires in the first two years. Mine were just 3 years old, tons of tread left, and I had two blowouts within 10 miles while driving down a perfectly smooth highway at 60mph.
 

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.....................Seems to me that I is doable and with a reasonable safety factor. What do you guys think?.........
With a proper set up you should be fine towing this trailer.

When 'towing at the limits' became the 'norm'. IOW, when folks started using the lightest and most economical-to-operate vehicle possible to tow trailers approaching the limits of their capabilities.

If ya still drive a truck that's very comfortably rated well-over the load you tow, as was the more typical situation in the 60's and 70's, you probably still aren't part of that 'sissy' stuff - 'eyeballing' still 'works' to generally keep you out of trouble.

Same if you drive one of those relatively lightweight economical-to-operate vehicles and only hitch-up to obviously well-within limits trailers / loads. E.g. I've not been to the scale or broken-out the calculator when using an 8' utility trailer on my RL.

Oh, and don't even get me going on what passes for "a touch of common sense" these days o_O
In the 60's & 70's it wasn't the norm to tow a camping trailer with a truck. It just wasn't the practice for a family as trucks didn't have crew cabs and all the fancy things like sedans and station wagons. How could you fit a family of 4 in a p-up truck in those days when the majority sold were regular cabs with 8ft box on them. They were meant for work back then and not for pleasure or commuting the way they are used now a days.

Sedans and mainly station wagons were mainly used for towing campers. They generally had less horsepower, drum brakes on all 4 corners for some (60s) and were a lot heavier than the modern vehicles of today. I would much rather use a modern vehicle to tow at capacity these days then what they had back then.

80-a.jpg camping-1950s-60s-4.jpg camping-1950s-60s-14.jpg

Here is a few images that was common to see in those days. Remember my family had a 70's Volvo wagon towing a travel trailer (caravan in Europe) and then we had Dodge Aspen wagon when we immigrated to Canada towing a camper.
 

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Ever wonder why they can tow much larger trailers in other countries?

This is a good read for anyone contemplating the concepts of towing:

Tl;dr - you can tow heavier with less weight on the hitch, but must drive slower and pay more attention!
 

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edans and mainly station wagons were mainly used for towing campers...

View attachment 396571

...Here is a few images that was common to see in those days.


Wow - I’ve never seen a trailer like that, with axles at each end, and the front axle pivoting (like the proverbial Red Ryder wagon). How common were they? BTW, the family had a Jayco pop up in the 70’s, which we towed with the family station wagon.
 

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Wow - I’ve never seen a trailer like that, with axles at each end, and the front axle pivoting (like the proverbial Red Ryder wagon). How common were they? BTW, the family had a Jayco pop up in the 70’s, which we towed with the family station wagon.
That’s interesting - why did all my text get strike though? I guess that will teach me to use the preview function!!
 

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Ever wonder why they can tow much larger trailers in other countries?

This is a good read for anyone contemplating the concepts of towing:

Tl;dr - you can tow heavier with less weight on the hitch, but must drive slower and pay more attention!
Euro trailers are very different than trailers in NA. They are built so that the tongue weight is generally around 6%-7% like the boat trailers here. Most don't come with electric brakes (not common at all) and have surge brakes instead. Also WD systems are banned in most European countries and a lot of trailer manufacturers have sway control device built right into the trailer tongue and others offer it as an option that can be added. Hitch systems are built differently than here most of of them mount where the bumper mounts are and if the bolt to the body like some do here they have a part that extends forward towards the rear axle to prevent twisting on the receiver when a trailer is hooked up.

When I lived in Germany for 2 years had a 4cyl diesel Opel (GM) hatchback that I towed a 20 ft full height trailer all over (France, England, Spain, Finland, etc.) without a problem.

There is so much more to towing than strictly tow capacity that so many concentrate on. But that would be a discussion for another day and place.
 
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