Towing a travel trailer weight calculator - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-29-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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Towing a travel trailer weight calculator

I thought this was unique:
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I thought this was unique:
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
Nice find Jim - thanks!
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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I tried it out with as many numbers as I had available for my vehicle and tow. I was disappointed with the results, it just seemed to apply my desired safety margin and give me the same numbers back.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I tried it out with as many numbers as I had available for my vehicle and tow. I was disappointed with the results, it just seemed to apply my desired safety margin and give me the same numbers back.
Yes, it will do that if you don't have many of the values, or if for any other reason the vehicle appears to be capable of towing the full listed trailer weight capacity. On the other hand, it will catch situations such as GCWR limiting someone who is carrying bunch of cargo or passengers in the tug... if they remember to include that cargo and those passengers in the GVW.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thanks Jim. It is an interesting tool, and has some nice features, such as the ability to enter each value in whichever units you have, and the ability to check whatever portion of the data you have.

It would be nice if it let you enter weights of passengers, cargo, and the vehicle itself separately.

My biggest concern is that by not including some important data, some issues cannot be caught. For instance: it doesn't include wheelbase or overhang to the hitch ball, or axle loads, so it can't check for an overloaded rear axle. With what it handles, the GAWRs are useless except as a poor substitute for a missing GVWR. It is very easy to overload the rear axle even though the total weight is okay; my concern is that someone in this situation will not know about the problem, and since they filled in every blank they might be reassured and stop checking.

Fundamentally, it only adds and subtracts weights and their limits, and does nothing with weight distribution. I use a spreadsheet to check those issues - the math isn't hard.

Within its limits, it's a handy tool.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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Safe trailer towing weights

Brian, I've been wrestling with this issue. I've played with the calculator in the first post and found it very interesting. While I can give it most all the numbers it asks for, including the actual vehicle weight, I couldn't give it the actual rear axle weight. The best I could do was use the weight distribution ratio given by the manufacturer (rough at best). With using a 12% tongue weight to trailer weight and applying the 500 lb hitch restriction, I can only tow a 4167 lb trailer (0% safety margin). Applying a 10% safety margin lowers that number to 3750 lbs. Since I just purchased a 21, I'm very concerned. I have to believe that the vehicle manufacturer applies it's own safety margins when supplying it's tow and hitch ratings. Since we don't know what those safety margins are, is that the reason we add more, or is it that we just don't trust the manufacturer to do his part properly?
It sounds like your spreadsheet takes other safety issues into account. Care to share?

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Old 10-30-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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Tom, you do not mention your tow vehicle?
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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I'm towing with a Honda Ridgeline. It has a tow rating of 5000 lbs with a tongue rating of 500 lbs. There's more to be considered, but that has to do with elevation calculations. I towed the 21 from Escape to Auburn Washington, not using a weight distribution hitch, without issues. In fact, it sat better (level) then our 17' Casita did. It felt very stable even in side winds. I know Escape recommends a minimum tow rating of 5000 lbs for the 21, but looking at the numbers, I wonder if that's really enough.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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If you hitch says 5000/500 then you will be okay. The 21' has a max of 4500# on the specs. I'm wondering now about my FJ, using the above calculator says 4700 is the max for my FJ, although my hitch says 5000/500. I need the Andersen for the FJ, it squats too much. My Hemi Ram is fine without the Andersen. Will need to wait and see.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
If you hitch says 5000/500 then you will be okay. The 21' has a max of 4500# on the specs. I'm wondering now about my FJ, using the above calculator says 4700 is the max for my FJ, although my hitch says 5000/500.
The hitch ratings are two of the several limits, but have nothing to do with the vehicle's capacity. Since 5000 pounds is the limit for Class 3, hitches commonly have that rating... regardless of what the vehicle can handle. 500 pounds is commonly the hitch weight limit for a Class 3 hitch in weight-carrying mode, but again that has nothing to do with what the vehicle can actually handle.
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