Vehicle

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by ipacman, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. ipacman

    ipacman New Member

    We justed purchased a 1996 21' Coachman, Catilina. We were wondering what would be the best vehicle to purchase to pull travel trailer. We plan on visiting the Grand Canyon next year. LWM
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Vehicle

    There is a lot involved in the choice of a tow vehicle. The main issue is the weight that the vehicle is rated to tow. Also, how large a vehicle do you need? Look at the weight data plate on the trailer and see what the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is (GVWR). Whatever you choose you should pick one that has a rated tow capacity that will exceed that amount. The data plate should also list a tongue weight. The tow vehicle will need to be able to accept that much additional weight on it's wheels. Also, the rear axle rating of the tow vehicle is important. There are good choices from Ford, GM or from Dodge. This is not a large trailer so you should have many choices available. If you give us a little more of your preferences, we could be more help. Also, are you thinking of new or used?
     
  3. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Vehicle

    Hey ipacman, Welcome to the forum :clown: . Are you considering a truck, SUV, van, or what :question: . Gas vs diesel :question: . From the size of your trailer, I would think you probaly want to stay with gas to keep the price down ($5.5k extra for diesel). You will get better mileage with diesel :cool: , but gas is a lot cheeper per gal than diesel right now :( and if you don't plan on traveling 50k plus miles per year, you will probably be better off with gas ;) . That hurts for me to say that :( , as I love the smell of diesel :laugh: :) :bleh: :approve: .
     
  4. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Vehicle

    DL, sounds like some smart company ought to come out with 'diesel' smell perfume (and perhaps cologne) :)
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Vehicle

    John, if you pulled with a diesel :clown: , you would love the smell to :bleh: . The diesel smoothes out the hills and dales and makes towing fun :laugh: . Makes it smell good :clown: .
     
  6. ipacman

    ipacman New Member

    Vehicle

    Kurt,

    Thanks for the info. We are looking for a used vehicle (no older than 6 or 7 years old). This is all new to us. This is our first travel camper. The GVWR on the camper is 3420lbs. We currently have a 1999 Honda Passport (V6 engine). It has a it has a hitch on it with a towing capicity of 3500lbs. The data plate on the Honda has GAWR Rear wheels of 2700lbs. I assume that we would not be able to tow trailer since the GVWR of the camper exceeds this. Any information you can provide will be appreciated. LWM
     
  7. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Vehicle

    DL, I know my gas truck didn't do the job as well as I had hoped. Hopefully the new Diesel Pusher motorhome will satisfy.
     
  8. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Vehicle

    ipacman, it is good you are verifying the weights for your tow vehicle. However, you may be slightly confused on what these weights mean.

    The GVWR of the truck is the maximum weight the truck can be, loaded with gas, all passangers, all installed options and all cargo. The GVWR of the trailer is the maximum weight the trailer can be, loaded with water, propane, food, clothing, personal effects and any sewage.

    The trailer will have a 'dry weight', which is the weight from the factory. Don't rely on this, because it often does not include all accessories installed (by the dealer). However, it does provide some indication how much weight you can carry in the trailer. Hitch weight is the maximum weight the HITCH can stand and has nothing to do with the capabilities of the truck.

    GAWR is the maximum weight applied to the rear axel of the truck. And GCWR is the maximum weight of the truck and the trailer. One final piece of information and you are ready to start computing. Any trailer adds some weight to the truck. For a fifth wheel, this is called 'pin weight' and is generally 10 - 20% of the trailer weight. I don't know what it is called for a travel trailer, but I think it is generally under 500 pounds.

    So, you need to get an idea what the weight of your truck is, loaded with people and gear for travel, and the weight on the rear axel. The best way to do this is on a scale. You may be able to estimate it, but in this case be sure to leave plenty of room for error. As long as the values you get are less than the GVRW and the rear GAWR respectively, you can continue (if not, you have to lose passengers and/or gear, or all go on crash diets :) )

    Now, subtract the actual weight of your truck from the GCWR. This will tell you the maximum weight of trailer you can tow. If this amount is over 3500, you will have to cut it down to below the hitch limit or get a higher rated hitch.

    One final step. Find out how much weight (downward force) the trailer adds to the truck, and make sure this does not cause you to exceed either the GVWR or GAWR of the truck, and you will be within specifications.

    Note that although you may be 'legal' below the maximum specifications, you may not be comfortable right at the limit. Many people allow themself 20% or so as a buffer.
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Vehicle

    John, push/pull you will end up loving the smell of diesel too :bleh: . I'm sure your new diesel pusher motorhome will get the job done satisfactorily :) Happy motoring/Rv'ing :cool:
     
  10. cybercelt

    cybercelt New Member

    Vehicle

    Welcome, iPacman!

    Here are two resources that I believe will help you. The first is the tow guide from NADA http://www.nadaguides.com/Content/TowGuideRV2.asp

    The second is acutally a tire guide, but it goes into detail about the process John explained and even gives you a worksheet for your weight calculations. http://www.usaer.com/PDF/RVtires.pdf

    DL and John, all y'all running diesel, have you used the alternative diesel fuel made from restaruant oil waste? You go down the road and you smell french fries. Willy Nelson uses it in his tourbus, Honeysuckle Rose.

    :laugh:
     
  11. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Vehicle

    cybercelt, sounds like it smells GOOD. Haven't tried it yet. :bleh: If it helps my rig stay ahead/out of the way of the 18 wheelers it will be a hit :laugh: .
     
  12. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Vehicle

    biodiesel or 'greasel'? Don't know where I'd get any, but it would be nice to smell like french fries...
     
  13. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Vehicle

    John, Maybe McDonalds will start selling it :laugh:
     
  14. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Vehicle

    Chelse, they might very well. But you know if they do, it will be 1.59 a quart. Or you can supersize it to 44 oz for .39 cents :)

    As I understand it, true biodiesel (which can be used in any existing application with no modification) is processed to remove something ('soap', I think).
     
  15. cybercelt

    cybercelt New Member

    Vehicle

    Check out the BioDiesel site http://www.wnbiodiesel.com/. You'll notice it says vegetable and animal fat. That's a nice way of saying used grease?

    Here is the site to the USA BioDiesel Inivitative Forum http://forums.biodieselnow.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=1. The Texas forum is same, but with 21!

    Y'all diesel folk should get behind this. Cleaner air and less dependence on foreign oil--without drilling in the Artic Refuge.

    :approve:
     

Share This Page