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Old 06-24-2019, 01:20 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightday View Post
I understood - perhaps falsely - that the 3500 tow capacity for my Sienna included the TOTAL LOADED WEIGHT of the 17B PLUS the TOTAL WEIGHT of everything I load into the van.
That is not correct in general. The trailer weight limit is just for the gross weight of the trailer (that means including everything in the trailer), and does not consider anything in the tow vehicle.

There are other limits, including one for the weight of the combination of the tow vehicle and trailer and everything in them - the Gross Combination Weight Rating.

For many vehicles, the trailer weight rating is determined based on an empty tow vehicle and running right up to the GCWR limit, so if you carry anything in the tug you can't tow the full trailer rated trailer weight. Some people assume this applies to all vehicles, but that's not the case for some, such as the Sienna.

The weight of a 3500 pound trailer plus an empty Sienna is not close to the Sienna's GCWR, so you can still carry stuff in the van. For my Sienna, I can tow 3500 pounds and still carry half a ton (1000 lb) of stuff in the van.

You do need to watch the axle loads; if the trailer's tongue weight is high, and you carry cargo at the back of the van, you can run into the van's rear axle limit (at least in my year of Sienna).
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:03 AM   #42
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go here for some info http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f1...erms-1921.html
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:44 AM   #43
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As Brian said, the 3500 pound rating is for the trailer alone. You need to check the owner's manual for the amount of weight you can put in the Sienna. The trailer tongue weight is only part of the trailer weight that is considered part of the van payload.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:09 PM   #44
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Thanks, Gentlemen!

I've just copied the pertinent parts of my owners' manual into a Word doc and noted that the combination of the gross trailer weight added to the total weight of my Sienna, occupants and vehicle cargo must not exceed a total of 7800 lbs. (I've also taken note of restrictions re: axle weight, tongue weight, trailer hitches, etc.)

The figures seem to indicate that, as long as I don't overload it, I might even use my Sienna to tow a 19' Escape, which may be a better fit for me in the long run. Do you think this would be pushing the edge of the envelope too far? (If so, I'll do the Sienna/17' combo now and consider the larger Escape when I've determined that full-timing truly is the life for me.)

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:04 PM   #45
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Most 3500 pound trailer weights also specify 350 pounds tongue weight. The average tongue weight of 9 Escape 17's is 344 pounds with a peak of 500.

For a 19, the average of 12 first generation models is 373 with a peak of 480, 4 2nd generation 19's average 495 pounds of tongue weight with a peak of 650.

Values are from the trailer weights in the real world spreadsheet.

I have friends that tow a Scamp 16 with a 2011 Sienna van & it works fine with two exceptions. The hitch is so low that it often hits on steep entrances, and they have ended up spinning the front wheels trying to start on a steep gravel road. They did have to switch to a detachable tongue jack to be able to open the rear door.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:07 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by brightday View Post
I've just copied the pertinent parts of my owners' manual into a Word doc and noted that the combination of the gross trailer weight added to the total weight of my Sienna, occupants and vehicle cargo must not exceed a total of 7800 lbs.
That's the GCWR
... but the 7800 pound value is low for a Sienna. Do you have the first generation (1998-2003) or the later (and rare) 4-cylinder, or did you find the GCWR without the towing package? My 2004, which is typical, has about 900 pounds higher GCWR.

At 7800 pounds, 4300 pounds of van plus 3500 pounds of trailer would hit the GCWR limit, without passengers or cargo in the van.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brightday View Post
The figures seem to indicate that, as long as I don't overload it, I might even use my Sienna to tow a 19' Escape, which may be a better fit for me in the long run. Do you think this would be pushing the edge of the envelope too far?
That's likely too much trailer (assuming you have some options on the trailer and are carrying some stuff) with a 7800 lb GCWR. With my Sienna and its higher GCWR, I considered a 19', but it would require constraint in options and stuff carried in the trailer (to keep it under 3500 pounds loaded), and tongue weight is an issue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Most 3500 pound trailer weights also specify 350 pounds tongue weight. The average tongue weight of 9 Escape 17's is 344 pounds with a peak of 500.

For a 19, the average of 12 first generation models is 373 with a peak of 480, 4 2nd generation 19's average 495 pounds of tongue weight with a peak of 650.
Another issue for me is the hitch weight limit, because I don't want a weight-distributing hitch... and can't use one with my receiver. The weight-carrying (non-WD) hitch weight limit is 350 pounds (10% of 3500; for most and perhaps all years of Sienna), but if you do use WD, the limit is 525 pounds (15% of 3500). With WD, the hitch weight limit is high enough for any reasonable 3500 pound trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I have friends that tow a Scamp 16 with a 2011 Sienna van & it works fine with two exceptions. The hitch is so low that it often hits on steep entrances, and they have ended up spinning the front wheels trying to start on a steep gravel road. They did have to switch to a detachable tongue jack to be able to open the rear door.
The Sienna hitch is low (because it is under the bumper rather than in it, and because the bumper is low because the floor is low for easy loading and maximum interior height). Some hitch receivers fit better than others, and one reason that I like my Toyota accessory (made by Reese) 1.25" Class 2 receiver is that the bottom of it is higher than other designs. Air bags added to the rear springs prevent sagging, and loss of clearance. I never had a dragging problem, but I used air bags.

Traction can be an issue with any 2WD vehicle. The van starts quite front-heavy, so even with a trailer is probably has as much traction as a 2WD pickup, but uphill transfers load rearward and makes traction worse for front wheel drive. It hasn't been a problem for me, but it can be in some campgrounds.

I had no issue with the tongue jack and hatch, even with a short drawbar, but trailers vary (and mine is low and doesn't have a power jack head).
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:27 AM   #47
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Brian,
According to the specs per my specific VIN, my 2003 Sienna is a 6-cylinder with towing package, curb weight 3,932 lbs. and gross weight 5,247 lbs. You're right. This doesn't leave room for much besides myself in the van, though I will be able to replace the (already removed and quite heavy) middle and rear seats. It's also clear that I'll have to purchase a heftier tow vehicle or stick with the Escape 17' length.

I have a Class III hitch on the van, but everything I've read indicates that I'd be much safer using a WD hitch. And, yes, I plan to add rear air bags.

Re: traction, I planned on following the advice read in one of the threads: Always stop with the van's nose headed downhill.

Because of arthritic hands, I had hoped to buy and use an electric jack, but I see that size may make this impossible. Hopefully, in that case, an electric drill will do the trick.

Thanks for helping me clarify!
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:03 PM   #48
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According to the specs per my specific VIN, my 2003 Sienna is a 6-cylinder with towing package, curb weight 3,932 lbs. and gross weight 5,247 lbs.
Thanks for the details. That's the last year of the original Sienna, so the numbers make sense for it; since it is now 16 years old, it isn't what most of us are expecting now when we hear "Sienna". It is a perfectly good tow vehicle, within its limits.

It looks like you now have a good handle on the situation, other than thinking that WD is important for safety (it's not).
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:09 PM   #49
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Brian, thanks for the encouragement and support. Perhaps I can add the WD later if/as needed? I'll see what the techs suggest when I add the other items.
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Old 07-18-2021, 05:54 PM   #50
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This was an informative thread for me as I have a ford escape with a 3500 limit and was interested in pairing it with one of these 17B of the same namesake. But it seems from when this thread first was posted to now the 17B base weights have shot up to over 2600lbs or so, up from 2100 lb. If 2100 was borderline, 2600+ definitely puts it off the table for those of us at that level. What a shame. Wonder where all that weight came from.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:03 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean2a View Post
This was an informative thread for me as I have a ford escape with a 3500 limit and was interested in pairing it with one of these 17B of the same namesake. But it seems from when this thread first was posted to now the 17B base weights have shot up to over 2600lbs or so, up from 2100 lb. If 2100 was borderline, 2600+ definitely puts it off the table for those of us at that level. What a shame. Wonder where all that weight came from.
At some point they beefed up the frame. Not sure what else, though.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:44 PM   #52
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My 2010 17B with 3" frame without A/C, Front Box or dual pane windows was 2800 on the scale ready to camp.
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Old 07-19-2021, 08:16 AM   #53
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