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Old 11-16-2020, 10:15 PM   #1
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Towing Escape21 with Ford Transit 150 Cargo Van

Greetings all, We new to Escape and looking for some opinions from those with more Escape towing experience. We are considering a new Escape21 to replace our aging 06 Casita17. Towing was never a concern with the smaller Casita, but an Escape21 pushes the limits more in our case.
We have a Ford Transit 150 cargo van, only 17K miles, with a
GCWR 10,800 lbs and the max loaded trailer weight
ratings is 5400 lbs. Looks to be enough to handle the Escape21. What are some thoughts?
Thanks much!
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:58 AM   #2
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Just stay away from the mountains.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:24 AM   #3
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It's impossible to say without reading the actual load placard from your van. Transits come in far too many versions to tell from the owners manual.


It seems you have the 3.7l engine with 3.73:1 RAR. That's one of the weakest powertrain configs. You will be close to the GCVWR most likely, but we need to see the placard to be sure.


Your cargo capacity (which includes the tongue weight and hitch, plus everything in the van) is more likely to be your problem. Again, check the actual placard on the van and report back the figures and we can figure it out.


Also, if you have some idea how much you will have in the van? How many people? Any unusual cargo that is exceptionally heavy like a dirtbike?
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:06 PM   #4
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2017 Ford Transit 150- Medium Roof-Escape21

Hi Jeff, Thanks so much for your reply. Your level of knowledge looks to be exactly what we need. I'm attaching the vehicle placards from the door.

As far as loads are concerned, just myself & my wife...300lbs. We often take bicycles...no more than 60lbs. Honda generator on occasion 50 lbs. Couple of kayaks & gear 100lbs.
That 500lbs total plus assorted tools & personal gear. Being generous let's total van at 700-800lbs cargo & people.

We always travel with trailer tanks empty. Trailer could have a couple hundred pounds of clothes, food, & just stuff.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:21 PM   #5
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Not too bad then.

Your curb weight is likely about 5700 lbs. So I'm wrong and cargo is NOT a big problem since your GVWR is 8600 lbs. You can carry ~2900 pounds in the van.

Lets say you have 800 pounds of 'stuff' in the van. At that point your van weighs ~6500 pounds, leaving you 4300 of your tow rating left before you will reach the GCVWR. If you are correct that 800 pounds in the van is worst case, this is just on the border of OK for an average ETI 21 and loadout.

Definitely not grossly overloaded, but I'd bet you will be pretty close to the GCVWR. The 21 has a dry weight around 3500 pounds and a gross weight of 5000. So the 4300 to 4400 you can really tow (depending on what's in the van) is just about what it will likely weigh.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:04 PM   #6
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I wouldn't hesitate to tow a 21' with that van. You won't charge up the hills at high speed, probably, but even in the Rockies I would expect the van to do fine so long as you expect to downshift and slow down. On the flats, your van's profile and trailer's profile will be a fairly close match for wind resistance and you should be able to cruise at 65 easily enough.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBFlat View Post
We have a Ford Transit 150 cargo van, only 17K miles, with a
GCWR 10,800 lbs and the max loaded trailer weight
ratings is 5400 lbs. Looks to be enough to handle the Escape21. What are some thoughts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBFlat View Post
As far as loads are concerned, just myself & my wife...300lbs. We often take bicycles...no more than 60lbs. Honda generator on occasion 50 lbs. Couple of kayaks & gear 100lbs.
That 500lbs total plus assorted tools & personal gear. Being generous let's total van at 700-800lbs cargo & people.
The placard shows a GVWR of 3901 kg (8600 lb) and the loading sticker shows a payload of 1565 kg (3451 lb), so the curb weight can't be more than 8600-3451 = 4549 pounds (3901-1565 = 2336 kg). And the van can carry 3451 pounds, as the sticker says. Transits are designed to haul.

So with a curb weight of 4549 pounds, 800 pounds of people and stuff, the trailer is limited by the 10,800 pound GCWR:
10,800 - (4549+800) = 5451 pounds
... or about what the van is rated for anyway, and well beyond what the Escape 21' is allowed to weigh (GVWR of 5,000 pounds), so GCWR isn't an issue unless substantially more stuff in carried in both the trailer and the van.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
Your curb weight is likely about 5700 lbs. So I'm wrong and cargo is NOT a big problem since your GVWR is 8600 lbs. You can carry ~2900 pounds in the van.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
Lets say you have 800 pounds of 'stuff' in the van. At that point your van weighs ~6500 pounds, leaving you 4300 of your tow rating left before you will reach the GCVWR. If you are correct that 800 pounds in the van is worst case, this is just on the border of OK for an average ETI 21 and loadout.

Definitely not grossly overloaded, but I'd bet you will be pretty close to the GCVWR. The 21 has a dry weight around 3500 pounds and a gross weight of 5000. So the 4300 to 4400 you can really tow (depending on what's in the van) is just about what it will likely weigh.
Jeffery, you had a very different estimate of curb weight, and different conclusions as a result (although cargo capacity isn't a concern in any case). Did I miss something?
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The placard shows a GVWR of 3901 kg (8600 lb) and the loading sticker shows a payload of 1565 kg (3451 lb), so the curb weight can't be more than 8600-3451 = 4549 pounds (3901-1565 = 2336 kg). And the van can carry 3451 pounds, as the sticker says. Transits are designed to haul.
I dunno what's going on, you and I are both failing math this month.

8600 - 3451 = 5149. So I don't know where either of us got our curb weights, but it seems it should be 5149 lbs.

If I then finish your calculation, but with the corrected number:

So with a curb weight of 5149 pounds, 800 pounds of people and stuff, the trailer is limited by the 10,800 pound GCWR:
10,800 - (5149+800) = 4851 pounds

So, yeah. Still works OK.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:13 PM   #9
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Thank guys. I understand the formula much better now.
From other posts I'm seeing loaded wts on the 21C, 4100lbs-4600lbs with new ones getting fatter each year.
Cutting it real close here....
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
So with a curb weight of 5149 pounds, 800 pounds of people and stuff, the trailer is limited by the 10,800 pound GCWR:
10,800 - (5149+800) = 4851 pounds

So, yeah. Still works OK.
Heys guys. Correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the trailer tongue weight and hitch weight should be added to the 800 lbs of people and stuff, reducing margin even more.
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GaToMe View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the trailer tongue weight and hitch weight should be added to the 800 lbs of people and stuff, reducing margin even more.
How much of the trailer's weight in carried by the hitch makes no difference to the gross combination weight and it's rated limit (GCWR), so there's no issue there.

We didn't worry about the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) because the van is so far short of hitting that limit, but yes, the weight on the hitch must be added to the curb weight and the 800 pounds of people and stuff and compared to the GVWR.
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
I dunno what's going on, you and I are both failing math this month.

8600 - 3451 = 5149. So I don't know where either of us got our curb weights, but it seems it should be 5149 lbs.
LOL - I must have keyed in "8000" instead of "8600", but I should have noticed that the result was incorrect. Yes, it should be 5149 pounds.
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Old 11-23-2020, 12:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
How much of the trailer's weight in carried by the hitch makes no difference to the gross combination weight and it's rated limit (GCWR), so there's no issue there.

We didn't worry about the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) because the van is so far short of hitting that limit, but yes, the weight on the hitch must be added to the curb weight and the 800 pounds of people and stuff and compared to the GVWR.
Thanks for clarifying Brian. Makes sense now, the tongue weight does not play into GCW.
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