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Old 02-16-2021, 08:54 PM   #21
sourdough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawford View Post
@Sourdough: I had no specific expectations, thus the question.

There is a range of vehicles that can safely tow a 29ft TT, and I was interested in which was the smallest among all qualified vehicles. I said nothing about a Smart car. I'm not looking for something that will fit in a micro-sized parking spot, but ideally something shorter than a full-sized pickup.
Case in point:


Lots of people will immediately jump to the "best" TV, but my criteria are somewhat different.

Based on the candidates, I'll have to determine whether it's realistic to own and live with such a vehicle in a densely populated city.

I'm coming to the realization that there isn't really a vehicle that I can use to safely tow that model of TT and live with on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, I will move on to a smaller and lighter option.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.

For reference for you and everyone else here is a link to that trailer;

https://www.keystonerv.com/product/b...orplans/250BHS

Note that it is a 30' 7400lb. trailer and you want the smallest vehicle you can tow it with...preferably a short wheelbase, small some sort of SUV - because you have a short parking spot? I'd move.
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:49 AM   #22
JRTJH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawford View Post
@Sourdough: I had no specific expectations, thus the question.

There is a range of vehicles that can safely tow a 29ft TT, and I was interested in which was the smallest among all qualified vehicles. I said nothing about a Smart car. I'm not looking for something that will fit in a micro-sized parking spot, but ideally something shorter than a full-sized pickup.
Case in point:


Lots of people will immediately jump to the "best" TV, but my criteria are somewhat different.

Based on the candidates, I'll have to determine whether it's realistic to own and live with such a vehicle in a densely populated city.

I'm coming to the realization that there isn't really a vehicle that I can use to safely tow that model of TT and live with on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, I will move on to a smaller and lighter option.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.
The smallest size tow vehicle will be in the "properly equipped 150+ inch wheelbase, half ton pickup" range and the largest will likely be in the Peterbilt 579 or Kenworth W900 range... In other words, there really is no "definable too big" truck. But, the bottom, smallest is in the properly equipped half ton long wheelbase chassis".

I don't know of any SUV that would "safely and efficiently" tow that trailer, at least no SUV that's demonstrably smaller than a comparable half ton truck.
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:48 PM   #23
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Hi Crawford-
Since you have the restriction on the vehicle size you want to live with and have to park, tell us what vehicle you had in mind to get and we can go backwards to help you determine the largest trailer you can safely tow with it. I merely suggest this since you have wisely decided to go smaller. We would still love to help you out. Oftentimes people are stuck with a new 1/2 ton truck so we help them decide the trailer that is safe. We can do the same if you tell us what vehicle you had in mind, since you have the space limitations to park it. Many people suggested 1/2 ton truck and that won't work for you, so tell us what you were thinking as far as vehicle.
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Old 02-17-2021, 01:05 PM   #24
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Thanks Gegrad. I've been looking at replacing my Touareg with an Audi Q7 or LR Discovery, but have been open to other SUV-based options if they were going to work.

I've been looking at smaller hybrid TTs, as most of them are shorter and not as heavy.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:47 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by crawford View Post
Thanks Gegrad. I've been looking at replacing my Touareg with an Audi Q7 or LR Discovery, but have been open to other SUV-based options if they were going to work.

I've been looking at smaller hybrid TTs, as most of them are shorter and not as heavy.
This is a quote from the 2020 Audi Q7 owner's manual:

"Never mount a "weight-distributing" or "load-balancing" trailer coupler as the trailer hitch. The vehicle was not designed for these types of trailer hitches. The trailer hitch can malfunction and the trailer can break off from the vehicle. — If the trailer is equipped with electronic brakes, these brakes cannot be activated by a factory-installed control system, which in- creases the risk of an accident. —To reduce the risk of injury, always remove the ball hitch mount if no trailer is mounted."

This is a quote from the 2020 Land Rover Discovery owner's manual:

"CAUTION
The use of weight distribution hitches is not recommended. Using weight distribution hitches can potentially cause serious damage to the vehicle."


I'm not trying to "rain on your parade" but would urge you to do your research before determine what you want to buy. Most "uni-body vehicles" are not suitable for use with a weight distribution hitch, which is a requirement for nearly every trailer with a tongue weight greater than 400-500 pounds. If you can't use a WD hitch with the vehicle, then you can't tow a large trailer (over about 3500-4000 pounds) with that vehicle.

Most "trailer towing specifications" advertised in SUV or truck brochures use an "artificial trailer specification" which is a flatbed trailer with the weight "carefully adjusted over the axles to obtain a perfect tongue weight"... You'll NEVER find a travel trailer that mirrors that kind of tongue weight to trailer weight calculation. What you will find is a big square box with a heavy tongue that gets heavier when you add batteries and propane tanks and even heavier when you fill the fresh water tank and add clothing, camping supplies and food.

So, the "ideal world of trailer specifications" is not realistic and you won't find a travel trailer that matches the Audi or Discovery trailer specs.

But even more important than a few pounds is the initial "DO NOT USE A SPECIFIC (required) HITCH.... If that's in the manual, that vehicle is out of the potentials for RV towing, right from the start. Those vehicles may be "perfectly suited for towing a carefully balanced utility trailer or boat trailer, but not an RV.
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:45 PM   #26
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Hi John,

I believe in the case of the Discovery the reason for the recommendation to not use a WD hitch is the software built into the air suspension makes adjustments to stability already; not because it is a uni-body.
Any WD hitch is likely to cause damage to the air suspension and cause the stability software to make incorrect adjustments because it is not calibrated for any WD hitch you might use.

I am not trying to argue the Discovery is suitable, but hopefully shedding some light on why it is stated.
My father-in-law owns an F150 and his model is not far off the towing capability of the Discovery. That surprised me.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:39 PM   #27
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Sometimes folks just have to figure it out the hard way.
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:13 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin J View Post
Hi John,

I believe in the case of the Discovery the reason for the recommendation to not use a WD hitch is the software built into the air suspension makes adjustments to stability already; not because it is a uni-body.
Any WD hitch is likely to cause damage to the air suspension and cause the stability software to make incorrect adjustments because it is not calibrated for any WD hitch you might use.

I am not trying to argue the Discovery is suitable, but hopefully shedding some light on why it is stated.
My father-in-law owns an F150 and his model is not far off the towing capability of the Discovery. That surprised me.
If you read the warning from the Discovery owner's manual, it states, in part: "The trailer hitch can malfunction and the trailer can break off from the vehicle." An "air suspension system making adjustments to stability" won't cause a steel trailer hitch receiver to "break off the vehicle chassis"...

But, believe what you want, after all, Land Rover only designed and manufactured the vehicle, what would they know ?????
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:25 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin J View Post
Hi John,

I believe in the case of the Discovery the reason for the recommendation to not use a WD hitch is the software built into the air suspension makes adjustments to stability already; not because it is a uni-body.
Any WD hitch is likely to cause damage to the air suspension and cause the stability software to make incorrect adjustments because it is not calibrated for any WD hitch you might use.

I am not trying to argue the Discovery is suitable, but hopefully shedding some light on why it is stated.
My father-in-law owns an F150 and his model is not far off the towing capability of the Discovery. That surprised me.

I find your post sort of interesting. Virtually every unibody SUV manufacturer (small/midsize) precludes the use of a weight distribution hitch. It's not because of an air suspension, it's because a unibody cannot withstand the stress that a wdh will put on that type of body construction. Been that way for as long as I can remember. I would never argue about the towing abilities of a Disco either....they can't.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:44 PM   #30
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So this is good discussion. If OP wants to have the Audi or LR as their daily driver, then they can't use a WDH, so they are limited to trailers no more 3500- maybe 4000 lbs. So there it is, Crawford. You will need to stay under 3500 lbs GVW for your trailer, since you have a family you need to be lighter. 4,000 lbs is really pushing it as far as TTs without a wdh, IMO. We have it solved. There are quite a few trailers that fit the bill, like R-pods, some hybrids. So keep it under 3500 GVWR and you will likely be good. Of course check the other specific vehicle limitations like payload as well, but the 3500 lbs is a good max weight for your situation.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:38 AM   #31
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Would you consider a bit larger suv such as a Durango or Jeep Grand Cherokee? I believe those allow for a wdh... Or maybe a compact truck such as ford ranger or Toyota tacoma?
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:28 AM   #32
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I'm not sure that a compact pickup will be any more capable than a full sized SUV for the purposes of this discussion.

It's an interesting point re: non-unibody SUVs. The Jeep is smaller than the Audi and Land Rover, the Dodge is marginally larger. But the ability to use a WDH is appealing.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:09 AM   #33
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Again, DO YOUR RESEARCH before buying a tow vehicle....

From Wikipedia (probably the worst place to get information) comes this tidbit:

"The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a range of mid-size SUVs produced by the American manufacturer Jeep.[2] While some other SUVs were manufactured
with body-on-frame construction, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has always used a unibody chassis.[3]
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_G...body%20chassis.

"The third-generation Durango is built on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, features unibody construction..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_...%20late%202010.

The "third generator Durango" is models built from 2011 to present... So, you'll be shopping for a 10+ year old vehicle if you're shopping for a "rail frame Durango"
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:53 AM   #34
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My Jeep Wrangler has an 800lb payload, rated to tow 3500lbs & didn't come with a hitch or trailer plug??? I believe that's trying to say something about it's ability to tow........loud & clear. Yet you can tow IT all day long without a problem.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:27 AM   #35
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Yes keep grand cherokee and dodge durango are unibody but they DO allow use of WDH. The Durango has pretty impressive towing specs for the type of vehicle. A midsize TT would be to much but it could tow a smaller hybridb and use a WDH.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:42 AM   #36
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"Back in the day" my parents towed a 21 foot Aladdin TT behind our 1966 Chevy station wagon with a 283 cu in V8 and 3 on the tree. We did have a WDH though. Towed it from Oregon to N. Carolina and back twice plus all over the NW.

Guess a station wagon would be too big for the parking space
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:52 AM   #37
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I have a Passport 195RB. Frome the factory weight is 37XX lbs, I don't remember exactly.
Loaded and ready for a 4 week trip the weight was 4500'ish lbs.
My TV was a 2016 Ford Explorer "Sport". The Sport has a different suspension, steering gear and a 3.5 Twin Turbo V6. You can use a WDH with it.
In all respects I was within listed limits.

With 365 HP it had plenty of power but what it didn't have was enough suspension and frame to control sway. Semi's would pass me and it was white knuckle.
TT's are not the flat bed trailers manufacturers use to set tow limits. Basically they are large sails on wheels and they have issues that flatbeds and boat trailers don't. They like to sway and wiggle around and you have to be able to control that.

The first year, 2016 we took a number of short trips, 3 -m 4 hours away to shake down the rig.
For 2017 we were planning a trip from Western NY to Boulder CO. Just thinking about it upset me. I just couldn't see my current TV and the trip.
I bought a Silverado 1500 and we had a wonderful trip. One of many trips.

My point is, when you think of down sizing a TT and you don't want a truck make sure you down size enough. A 20' TT is still too much for a SUV, well unless it's a Suburban.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:51 PM   #38
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Times certainly have changed...
My wife brings "The Long Long Trailer" movieup whenever we look at new trailers. She assumes that if you've got a V8, you can tow anything. I hate those discussions with her.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:40 AM   #39
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The smallest size tow vehicle will be in the "properly equipped 150+ inch wheelbase, half ton pickup" range and the largest will likely be in the Peterbilt 579 or Kenworth W900 range... In other words, there really is no "definable too big" truck. But, the bottom, smallest is in the properly equipped half ton long wheelbase chassis".

I don't know of any SUV that would "safely and efficiently" tow that trailer, at least no SUV that's demonstrably smaller than a comparable half ton truck.
Last I knew the Ford Expedition is built on an F150 chassis. I may not be up to date on the new ones. That was in 2011 or 12. Of course that would still not fit the limitations of the OP.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:20 AM   #40
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@Sourdough: I had no specific expectations, thus the question.

There is a range of vehicles that can safely tow a 29ft TT, and I was interested in which was the smallest among all qualified vehicles. I said nothing about a Smart car. I'm not looking for something that will fit in a micro-sized parking spot, but ideally something shorter than a full-sized pickup.
Case in point:


Lots of people will immediately jump to the "best" TV, but my criteria are somewhat different.

Based on the candidates, I'll have to determine whether it's realistic to own and live with such a vehicle in a densely populated city.

I'm coming to the realization that there isn't really a vehicle that I can use to safely tow that model of TT and live with on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, I will move on to a smaller and lighter option.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.
It looks like you now have decided to listen to the advice you have received. I am going to add something that I also found out the hard way as it applies to everyone on this thread and having a travel trailer.

In assessing the tongue weight, start with the MFG tongue weight (660 lbs), add the propane, add the batteries (yes, two 6 volt batteries), the equalizer hitch, and 15 gallons of water in the tank so we can stop for lunch and clean up. For my trailer, that adds up to 969 lbs. My trailer dry weight is 5990. My Ram 1500 is OK for towing but I would not want anything less.

Stay with your conclusion to go to a smaller trailer but be sure to consider all of the weights in the front of the trailer and the weight in the tow vehicle.
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