Towing weight ?


New Member
We have a Pontiac Montana minivan with a towing package. The manual says we can pull 3500 lbs. The lite weight travel trailer we have looked at has a total dry weight of approx. 3300 which includes all the options. If we have the proper hitch, sway bars, etc., what is your opinion as to whether we can pull this trailer. We really like our Montana and would prefer not to get a different vehicle. We have never pulled a trailer and so do not have any experience on this subject. Thanks for any advice you can give us.

Gary B

Senior Member
Towing weight ?

Hi bbyrd, you already are at your towing wt. with nothing in the trailer, adding water, food clothing, and any comfort items / chairs, tv dvd vcr, grill etc can easily add 800 to 1000 lbs to your load, plus gas for the tow vehicle and any passengers. Good luck with your search and a big welcome to the forum & RVing. :) :cool: :bleh: :approve:


Senior Member
Towing weight ?

First of all, don't accept that dry weight as gospal until you verify it on the scales. It may be right, if it really includes 'all options', but sometimes it is not accurate as additional options were added after the dry weight was listed. Second of all, that towing capacity of your van is probably for a van with no options, no cargo, no passangers, a 150 lb driver and a gallon of gas. You need to find what the actual weight of your van loaded for travel is (need the scales again). Then you subtract that weight from the stated GCVW (combined vehicle and trailer weight limit) to find out what you can REALLY tow.

Also, be aware that the trailer adds some weight to the van. You also need to make sure that this 'toungue weight' and the weight of the hitch/bar/etc do not cause you to exceed the GVWR or the maximum rear axel weight of the van.

It is better to look at the GVWR of a trailer when matching it with a tow vehicle. Dry weight is not always accurate, and does not include anything which makes the trailer usable, like Gary said.