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Old 10-23-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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J2807 Towing Standards

There has been a lot of discussion on the best tow vehicle for small fiberglass RV's on this forum. A lot of difference in opinions, experience good and bad, and quoted tow ratings. Anyone shopping for a new tow vehicle should do their homework before dropping good money down. I recently stumbled on the Society of Automotive Engineers and the J2807 Towing Standards develop with the engineers from the Detroit Big 3 and several Japanese truck makers. Surprisingly most manufactures do not want to adopt these rigorous standard because their ratings will be de-rated from what they boost. If you are interested in this subject please do a search on J2807 and draw your own conclusions.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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Interesting topic, Dave and Sandy. Here's a fairly current summary regarding the new standard from edmunds.com.

According to Edmunds, Toyota is the only pickup and SUV maker that has adhered to the standard, with the result that the tow capacity of a few of their vehicles is now rated slightly lower, but most are unaffected.
Standardized Tow Ratings: Why Automakers Aren't Using Them -- Edmunds.com
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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LOL I just started to post that same link!

For me, I like this line concerning Tacomas: "Models such as the Tacoma midsize pickup (max tow: 6,500 pounds) and the Highlander crossover (max tow: 5,000 pounds) were unaffected."
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveandsandyclink View Post
There has been a lot of discussion on the best tow vehicle for small fiberglass RV's on this forum. A lot of difference in opinions, experience good and bad, and quoted tow ratings. Anyone shopping for a new tow vehicle should do their homework before dropping good money down. I recently stumbled on the Society of Automotive Engineers and the J2807 Towing Standards develop with the engineers from the Detroit Big 3 and several Japanese truck makers. Surprisingly most manufactures do not want to adopt these rigorous standard because their ratings will be de-rated from what they boost. If you are interested in this subject please do a search on J2807 and draw your own conclusions.
Hi: daveandsandyclink...As I've stated many times, instead of filling the 5.0's fridge with beer... I'll load it with "Slim-Fast"!!! With the 5.0 weighing in at about 1/2 the Frontiers stated tow rating I won't start my diet anytime soon. It would be really simple to lose 125lbs though. Alf
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #5
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Also, as we are learning from weighing our Frontier and 5.0 combo, it is NOT just the tow rating that is important...it is also the carrying capacity. Adding the weight of the 5th wheel hitch and the tongue weight of the 5.0 into the truck bed as part of the load can push the carrying capacity limits as discussed in this thread:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...tier-2829.html
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
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That is a major issue, IMHO, with most 1/2 ton trucks. My Ram Hemi can pull like 8,000 pounds but can only carry 1400#. With a cap, passengers, fuel, the amount after allowance for tongue weight of the trailer is not that high for items in the truck bed. Those who carry boats and other items on top of their pickup with a cap may well be exceeding their carrying capacity.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:37 PM   #7
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The Toyota 4Runner was the first vehicle to be tested and marketed under the new Society of Automotive Engineers testing for towing. All of the major American and Japanese manufacturers agreed a couple of years ago to market using these tests for their 2013 models. When 2013 came, however, all of them disappeared except Toyota. Many of the towing numbers would be lower under this testing as mentioned and the manufacturers don't want you to know that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by daveandsandyclink View Post
There has been a lot of discussion on the best tow vehicle for small fiberglass RV's on this forum. A lot of difference in opinions, experience good and bad, and quoted tow ratings. Anyone shopping for a new tow vehicle should do their homework before dropping good money down. I recently stumbled on the Society of Automotive Engineers and the J2807 Towing Standards develop with the engineers from the Detroit Big 3 and several Japanese truck makers. Surprisingly most manufactures do not want to adopt these rigorous standard because their ratings will be de-rated from what they boost. If you are interested in this subject please do a search on J2807 and draw your own conclusions.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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I have my own standards and expectations for my tow vehicle. It is no secret that I tow with a Dodge 2500 Cummins. It is a dedicated tow and the choice of few for these lighter towing requirements. My weak point is a single Dexter trailer axle. I am always mindful of what I load in our Escape.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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I doubt that any newbie has a clue on this whole discussion. In simple terms, when you look for a tow vehicle, the towing capacity is only one number you need to look at and it can be very misleading. In other words, it is often not really correct when discussing our trailers.

The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the total weight allowed of absolutely everything you are towing, the trailer and contents plus the vehicle and contents.

To see where you are on that, you add the total weight that is allowed in your vehicle (GVWR) to the total weight allowed in the trailer. The GVWR may be in the door jamb.
To see how many pounds you can put into the vehicle in the form of people, camping equipment, boat on top, whatever, you subtract the curb weight of YOUR model from its GVWR. These numbers will give you a rough idea of your possible towing situation.

Manufacturers are not trying to be deceptive when they give the towing capacity for passenger vehicles. (This discussion has focused on trucks and low GVWR, however, this is even more likely to be the case with the kinds of nontruck vehicles used to tow fiberglass trailers.)

The manufacturers likely thought that people might take their vehicle down to the local nursery and load up some bushes. The vehicle would have one driver in it and that's its. That is the way they have made their towing capacity numbers. Some manufacturers allow for a driver plus another 200 lbs., for instance.

That means that you can't have anything in the vehicle beyond perhaps the driver if you want to tow the weight they are telling you for your towing capacity. They did not expect that people would hook up a travel trailer behind their passenger vehicle. They have never heard of fiberglass eggs!

So you need to look at your GVWR and GCWR and maximum trailer weight allowed. It all adds up and it all counts.

In addition, some experts suggest that you not tow over 80% of capacity, as someone mentioned.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FMLNM View Post
Also, as we are learning from weighing our Frontier and 5.0 combo, it is NOT just the tow rating that is important...it is also the carrying capacity. Adding the weight of the 5th wheel hitch and the tongue weight of the 5.0 into the truck bed as part of the load can push the carrying capacity limits as discussed in this thread:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...tier-2829.html
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
I doubt that any newbie has a clue on this whole discussion. In simple terms, when you look for a tow vehicle, the towing capacity is only one number you need to look at and it can be very misleading. In other words, it is often not really correct when discussing our trailers.

The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the total weight allowed of absolutely everything you are towing, the trailer and contents plus the vehicle and contents.

To see where you are on that, you add the total weight that is allowed in your vehicle (GVWR) to the total weight allowed in the trailer. The GVWR may be in the door jamb.
To see how many pounds you can put into the vehicle in the form of people, camping equipment, boat on top, whatever, you subtract the curb weight of YOUR model from its GVWR. These numbers will give you a rough idea of your possible towing situation.

Manufacturers are not trying to be deceptive when they give the towing capacity for passenger vehicles. (This discussion has focused on trucks and low GVWR, however, this is even more likely to be the case with the kinds of nontruck vehicles used to tow fiberglass trailers.)

The manufacturers likely thought that people might take their vehicle down to the local nursery and load up some bushes. The vehicle would have one driver in it and that's its. That is the way they have made their towing capacity numbers. Some manufacturers allow for a driver plus another 200 lbs., for instance.

That means that you can't have anything in the vehicle beyond perhaps the driver if you want to tow the weight they are telling you for your towing capacity. They did not expect that people would hook up a travel trailer behind their passenger vehicle. They have never heard of fiberglass eggs!

So you need to look at your GVWR and GCWR and maximum trailer weight allowed. It all adds up and it all counts.

In addition, some experts suggest that you not tow over 80% of capacity, as someone mentioned.
Yes, Floating Cloud, I am a newbie and it's true that I don't have much of a clue about this ( or most other things).

I was quite interested in buying a Honda Ridgeline for towing a 19' Escape. The Honda's GCWR is 10,088 lbs, am I better off to assume an 80% capacity of 8000 lbs? Are we to build in a redundancy figure because manufacturers do not?

If that's the case, I certainly would not choose the Honda .

Its cargo rating is 1500 lbs (including tongue weight), which I think could easily be approached with 3 people plus cargo in the bed and/or a rooftop box. That would leave 4000 lbs of the GCWR left, for the 4000 lb GVWR 19' trailer. The 19' might not actually weigh 4000 lbs once loaded, but could certainly approach it with cargo, accessories, fluids, etc., pushing combined actual weight certainly into the 9000-10,000 lbs area.

Is that just too close for comfort in regard to the vehicles GCWR? j
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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If the Ridgeline has 1500# capacity then it has a little more than my Ram 1500 pickup. With 400# tongue weight you still have 1100# for passengers and cargo. I can tell you I had no problem with the Escape 19' and my Ram. You will be fine for a bumper pull, a 5th wheel may not work with the Honda.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Jamie, you have a good handle on the situation. Many people do not really have any clue that they should even be looking at numbers. They will tow anything down the road far overweight and wonder what went wrong.

With regard to the 80% used as a safety margin, I have always taken it that the towing capacity is being referred to and you would always be within that provided you stay within the 4000-pound maximum allowed by Escape for the 19' --- true for anyone who has a vehicle with towing capacity of at least 5000 lbs. (Of course, again, that number can be misleading, so all of the numbers have to be checked as you are doing.)

If you want to apply the 80% to the rest of it, that is also your call. Yes, the manufacturer may have allowed for such a thing and people like to debate that, so some say there is no need to care about 80% vs. 100%.

This is totally up to you as to whether you think that you want to apply the 80% idea to all of the numbers. What I always say is that people should know exactly what numbers they have for their vehicle and their trailer instead of going by someone else's say-so.

As you have seen, the numbers are not difficult. Just a matter of looking at them. I don't think someone should wake up one day after listening to someone else without knowing their own numbers and suddenly realize that they are towing on the edge or overweight. Your comfort level may differ from those who tell you that some combination works.

Whatever you decide, you decided it based on your own knowledge. You look as if you are in good shape with what you are considering.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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Jim, thanks very much for your feedback, much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post

With regard to the 80% used as a safety margin, I have always taken it that the towing capacity is being referred to .
Floating Cloud, thanks for the info that the 80% seems to apply to the towing capacity. The Honda's towing capacity is 5000 lbs (depending on passengers) so a 4000 lb trailer would leave some margin in towing capacity.

Thanks all for the input. j
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #14
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Jamie, I am a big fan of anything Honda, lawn mowers, snow throwers, cars and especially the Ridgeline which I used for a few years. I towed a 3000# camp trailer as loaded. Crossing I-8 from CA to AZ numerous times, I would hit several 4000 hills (those are not mountains) and I would be hitting 5000 RPM at times and I blamed the high RPM for causing a couple of oil leaks in the engine. Maybe a main type of seal that were fixed under warranty. When I planned on the Escape 19 I moved to a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Hemi engine, 390# torque and it is 18" shorter. It now tows our 21 Escape very well.

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Old 10-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie beers View Post
I was quite interested in buying a Honda Ridgeline for towing a 19' Escape. The Honda's GCWR is 10,088 lbs, am I better off to assume an 80% capacity of 8000 lbs? Are we to build in a redundancy figure because manufacturers do not?

If that's the case, I certainly would not choose the Honda .
You would be just fine with the Ridgeline. I pull with my Honda Pilot all the time, with no issue. While I don't subscribe to any percentage of tow capacity to safely use, as that really is just a random number some have chosen to use, it is nice to have that extra capacity for performance reasons, as it makes passing and steep grades much easier to handle. There is no issue taking the tow capacity right up to the limit from a safety standpoint if you have your weight distributed on the trailer properly, and the brakes set up as recommended.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #16
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I agree with Jim, but a reminder: there is no problem going right up to the heaviest trailer which fits in all of the limits, as Fran & Dave and Floating Cloud explained.
  • GCWR
  • GVWR
  • GAWR-front
  • GAWR-rear
  • towing capacity
  • hitch weight limit

It looks like Jamie has now covered most of them - perhaps only the hitch weight and axle capacities remain - of the axles, only the rear axle would be a concern if a weight distribution system is not used.

The relationship to SAE standard J2807 is that if the vehicle is tested to that standard, the operator can be relatively confident that the vehicle will properly handle the rated loads, and so leaving some arbitrary extra margin is even less appropriate.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #17
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Hi: All...I think, IMHO, that all standardized testing and Mfg's own tow ratings should be consumed with a pinch of salt. Have you ever been able to reach the stated gas mileage for a particular brand or model? Remember the tow rating given the Dodge Dakota RT. Chrysler ended up giving the owners a generous refund or replacement.
As always it's "Buyer Beware". Alf
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:01 PM   #18
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The Dodge Dakota RT is a sport truck with a 2000lb tow rating. Never considered a good choice for towing. The suspension was too low and would bottom out with anything more than a jet ski in tow. Big boys made them go faster and trailered them to the track with a bigger Dodge truck. Staying on the subject, I like the position Toyota is taking. All others should quiet their hype. If consumers could influence the truck and recreational vehicle manufactures to accept J2807, it would greatly help consumers choose the right vehicle for towing. Like safety and crash standards have done.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:00 PM   #19
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...I think, IMHO, that all standardized testing and Mfg's own tow ratings should be consumed with a pinch of salt. Have you ever been able to reach the stated gas mileage for a particular brand or model? Remember the tow rating given the Dodge Dakota RT.
Good point, but SAE J2807 is based on real-world testing; EPA mileage is not.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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I am a newly and probably don't understand all the details of this discussion, it does explain why my 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser has a lower towing rating that all previous model years and zero difference in the actual vehicle.
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