Safety questions for a newbie

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by polarbearla, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. polarbearla

    polarbearla New Member

    Hi,

    My husband and I are looking to purchase a used travel trailer this summer. We have a Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4WD with a V-8. It says we can pull 6,640. I know we can't max that out but I am guessing we can pull like a 22 ft Prowler that is about 5,400. Or maybe that's still cutting it too close. The dealer says you just need to go under 1,000 from what your vehicle guide says you can pull. However, dealers say alot of things. I have tried looking at all the formulas for figuring out what you can tow and it really hurts my brain!! I am not an idiot but there seem to be so many variables.

    My main concern is the short bed that our truck has. Is this going to be a problem with pulling a travel trailer? What sort of safety concerns do we have with our short bed truck and what are some things we need to look for in a trailer or in hitching equiptment?

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    Welcome to the board Nancy. Think you would be really cutting it close on this rv. Sway will be a problem with a short tow vehicle. Might work if you only plan on short weekend trips and really watch what you load in the trailer and sport trac. Is the 6640 for the 4 wh drive?
     
  3. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    Don't forget all the 'stuff' you're going to put in there, too! :clown:
     
  4. elkhartjim

    elkhartjim Senior Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie



    Including people and all the lose stuff.
     
  5. polarbearla

    polarbearla New Member

    RE: Safety questions for a newbie

    Actually it's a two wheel drive so our weight would be 6800. We are mostly just planning weekend trips, going short distance around the great state of California. But we will occasionally head up to Yosemite or the Sierras.
     
  6. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    I would still go for something in the 3500 lb range. JMO
     
  7. polarbearla

    polarbearla New Member

    RE: Safety questions for a newbie

    Would that be a pop up trailer? I really don't want one of those!
     
  8. miket

    miket New Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    First, you are limited by the hitch rating on the Sport-Trac. Legally you cannot increase tow capacity by putting on a bigger hitch. Your Sport-Trac should have the factory tow package for towing a trailer near the max rating.

    The short wheelbase of the Sport Trac can present a problem if the driver is not careful and over-corrects -- you can have the tail wagging the dog effect. Is the Prowler rated at 5400 GVW? It may not weigh that much when loaded as you would use it. I used to tow a 26 Ft 7,700 GVW rated trailer that loaded was around 6,000 lbs with a cab and a half 1/2 PU. Due to the long wheelbase, no problems, even running at 70.

    You'll need a good weight distributing hitch for the trailer.
     
  9. polarbearla

    polarbearla New Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    5400 includes the weight of the trailer AND the cargo capacity. The dry weight of the trailer is about 3200. When you are all talking about the weight of a trailer are you talking dry weight? I am just wondering because when I search online for trailers the number given is always the weight of the trailer and the capacity it will hold and so that's the number I use.
     
  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    I thought you meant the dry weight was 5400. Though that was pretty heave dry weight for a 22 footer. The only thing now is the short wheel base. Is the total length of the prowler 22ft?
     
  11. msjackie

    msjackie New Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    It is not the starting that has us worried, with the size of the Sport Trac, my worry would be in case of a hasty stop>
     
  12. polarbearla

    polarbearla New Member

    RE: Safety questions for a newbie

    They advertise it as 22 feet. I am mostly just looking at various trailers online.
     
  13. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Safety questions for a newbie

    With all the info now you are below the max tow weight and should be OK. I would put on some type of sway control and make sure to have trailer brakes.

    LEN
     

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