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?
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 , 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: .
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
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.
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.