Can I tow this safely? - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Technical | Towing, Maintenance and Repairs > Towing Talk
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-21-2017, 07:02 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Portland
Posts: 3
Oregon
Can I tow this safely?

I am trying to learn as much as I can but I'm just getting more confused.

I feel we may be close to our limit, I am wondering how much I should panic J

We recently brought home a 2017 Kodiak Ultimate 240BHSL.

Dry weight, from manufacturer: 5312
Dry hitch weight: 620
Cargo capacity: 1286
Length: 27’6

Tow Vehicle (info from manual)
2008 Escalade ESV 6.2L

Tow limit from manual: 7800lbs
GVWR: 7400lbs
GAWR Front: 3600lbs
GAWR BacK: 4200 lbs
GCWR: 14,000
The sign on the tire sticker in the door: “Combined weight of occupants and cargo should not exceed 1433lbs”

Husband pulled the trailer through the CAT scales yesterday. It was just him in the car, plus some gear, on a full tank of gas. Trailer was loaded with all things we’d need, minus clothing.

Results:
Steer axle: 2760
Drive axle: 4240
Trailer: 5020
Gross weight: 12020

I have been reading and reading on how to interpret all these numbers and calculate tow capacity, and all I’ve done is confuse myself more =/

The dealership is 60 flat freeway miles from our house. When we picked it up last month, they installed an Eaz-lift WD hitch, and anti-sway bars. Drive home seemed to go just fine, car didn’t seem to struggle. My husband said he barely noticed the trailer back there. I however noticed a LOT of groaning and whining noises though, not sure if that is normal?

We have brand new brakes and tires on the Escalade, new tires on the trailer, and installed a brake controller. Tires are at max psi.

Are we able to tow this thing safely? Most of our towing will be to the beach and back which is about 80 miles each way, over a mild mountain pass that goes to about 1500ft in elevation.

Do we need to make any adjustments anywhere? The trailer is empty, as in no water in tanks. This is how we’d pull it due to all the places we’d go would have hook ups.
__________________

1kristarose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2017, 07:11 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
wildwest450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sparta
Posts: 1,071
Tennessee
You're definitely on the edge. I don't know if the dealership got the wdh right, but maybe it could be adjusted to take some more weight off the rear axle. The 14xxlbs includes the tongue weight of the hitch, which I guarantee is more that what is listed. The groaning is probably do to the weight distribution bars not being greased.

It all depends on how far you travel and how safely your husband thinks he can stop the rig when someone pulls out in front of you. With campers getting bigger and bigger, seems like most tow vehicles are pushing the limits.
__________________

__________________
2014 Aerolite 213 RBSL
2016 Chevrolet Colorado
wildwest450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2017, 08:17 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Portland
Posts: 3
Oregon
Thanks for the info.. I figured we are probably getting close to our limits. The car seems to handle it fine, but of course that doesn't really matter much in the end for safety.

I noticed that we are 40lbs over our weight limit on the rear axel, according to our weigh in at the CAT scales. We can adjust our WDH and ease some of that weight?

The trailer actually seemed to weigh in on the scales at less than its listed dry weight. I think if the trailer weight stays around 5200lbs that should be well within the car's 7800lbs capacity, so now I'm more worried about tongue weight. Which I don't understand at all.

Is there a way to figure out exactly how much our tongue weight is?

I am wondering if something like a ProPride hitch would help our cause, by eliminating the risk of trailer sway, or make our situation worse, since that particular hitch itself is so heavy?
1kristarose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2017, 11:06 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Occupant5143's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Sierra Vista
Posts: 221
Arizona
Using the CAT scale is a great idea but you need multiple weighings to get the information you want.
This link RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Heading to the CAT scales tomorrow gives a good procedure to get a complete picture of your weight distribution at the CAT scale. It involves taking three weighings (but you should only have to pay for one).
__________________
2012 Dutchmen Denali 289RK
2013 Ford F250 Lariat - 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel
Occupant5143 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2017, 12:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ridgway
Posts: 254
Colorado
Very close

I can't tell you if your numbers are safe but I'll relay my experience because we have VERY similar set ups. We have a 2014 240BHSL. Our advertised weight (sticker on it) was 4800LBS. We tow ours with a 2008 Land Rover LR3, it has a tow capacity of 7700LBS.
We've towed our Kodiak from Colorado, to California, Whistler BC to Florida (we travel full-time). It tows straight as an arrow on the highway, never had a problem. Not to say you don't know it's back there, you can feel it for sure. I've had it in pretty high winds and we got through it no trouble. The only "issue" is the big mountains and steep roads. I definitely turn off the AC and try to keep the RPM's under control (about 4K). If I try to push it to hard I will start to overheat. I then back off and everything comes right back down to normal. Not sure where you live but if it's fairly flat I wouldn't even blink, you'll have no trouble at all. If you are in the high mountains just know you'll have to take it easy going up and get use to cars blasting by
Good luck,
Randy
rcharrette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2017, 02:32 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
wildwest450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sparta
Posts: 1,071
Tennessee
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1kristarose View Post
I noticed that we are 40lbs over our weight limit on the rear axel, according to our weigh in at the CAT scales. We can adjust our WDH and ease some of that weight?

Is there a way to figure out exactly how much our tongue weight is?

I am wondering if something like a ProPride hitch would help our cause, by eliminating the risk of trailer sway, or make our situation worse, since that particular hitch itself is so heavy?
That should be possible unless they have it adjusted perfectly, in which case you simply have too much tongue weight. My camper is 5400lbs fully loaded and im around 720lbs which is 13.5% of the weight. Recommended is 10-15%.
I bought a tongue weight scale just because I don't trust the manufacturers numbers, I think they just write down 10% or less of the weight without ever checking.

If it tows fine with that hitch I wouldn't go to a different one, the issue isn't power or towing if I read your first post correctly, it's overloading the rear axle.
It all comes down to if you're comfortable going past the manufactures specs.
__________________
2014 Aerolite 213 RBSL
2016 Chevrolet Colorado
wildwest450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 09:45 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kent
Posts: 9
Washington
Could use some towing feedback from experienced RVers

We are very close to purchasing a travel trailer and on the top of our list is a 2018 284BHSL. Dealer lists Dry Weight at 6,665# and a hitch weight of 702#. This TT is listed at 33' 10".
(also very similar in size to 282DBHS)

Our current vehicle is a 2011 Lexus LX570. V8 5.7L.
The 2011 is listed with a 7,275# towing capacity. Here is our predicament...the 2010 LX570 is listed with a 8,500# towing capacity. (We've also seen varying max hitch weight of 770 to 850)
In doing some research, we confirmed that there have been no changes in the manufacturing of the vehicle between 2010 and 2011 but that Toyota was an early adopter of the new SAE Towing Standards referred to as SAE J2807.

Hitch - our choice for hitch system would be the ProPride.
WD - our understanding is that a WD system would be able to shift as much as 40% of tongue weight off our tow vehicle.
Transmission Cooler - was a recommended installation by the RV dealer

cargo at 700#, hitch at 200# and a typical travel water at 170# would put us towing about 7,735#. (about 460# over)

Am I pushing this combo too far? Would appreciate hearing from experienced RV'ers, especially those who are hauling a similar trailer.
zpmccune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 12:25 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Roseburg
Posts: 114
Oregon
Don't panic. You have brought the trailer home so, let's make it work.

You say you have a EAZ Lift hitch with Anti Sway Bars. If they are the Friction type anti sway bars " you do not grease those" they will become useless. If your talking the WDH bars they should have grease where they plug in the WDH Head. if they are not greased you could get some cracking sounds mostly when turning. If you have the Friction type Anti Sway Bars you will get a "moaning sound" from them when turning which is NORMAL. You also want to loosen those up or take them off when you are backing.

When weighing you want to know what your truck weighs by it's self loaded with passengers and cargo. Then you can compare the numbers when you weight with the trailer connected. For example let say your truck front axle is 2760 and rear is 4740 when loaded with the trailer. But let's say just for sake of argument that your front axle is 3100 when empty. That means that when loaded with the trailer and WDH your front end is light and going a little tighter with the WDH may be in order.

You can do this in your driveway without going to the scales each time..

This may sound complicated but it's not.

With the truck alone mark you wheel wells in the center so you can have a measuring point that won't change. Measure from that point to the ground front and rear. connect the trailer without the WDH bars and measure again. Now with the WDH bars and anti sway connected measure again. Write all these measurements down.

What all this will tell you is how much your WDH is transferring weight to the front axle of the truck.

You want the measurements with the WDH and bars to be as close to the measurements of the truck alone.

You need more tension you can either grab another link or two or you may have to lower the Head angle when you do this. Lowering the Head angle will drop the bars a little so you can gain more tension.

Anymore weight you can transfer to the front truck axle and to the trailer axles will lower the weight on your rear axle.

This youtube video may help/
1l243 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 02:23 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
skarlin1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 50
Arizona
We tow a Kodiak 255BHSL with a 2005 Escalade ESV through the mountains in Arizona and 120 degree temps. Our TV has the 6.0 liter high output. Keep an eye on your temps and you should be fine. Like the others have said, apply some hitch ball grease to the wd bars and the hitch ball. Makes a huge difference in the moaning and groaning.
__________________

The Epic RV Adventures of the Karlin Family
www.campfireshenanigans.com
skarlin1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 08:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
wildwest450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sparta
Posts: 1,071
Tennessee
Go to youtube and watch all the suv's pulling absurdly long campers crashing. It's an eye opener. There's no way your Lexus is capable (engine power has nothing to do with the equation) of safely pulling a 33ft trailer.

__________________

__________________
2014 Aerolite 213 RBSL
2016 Chevrolet Colorado
wildwest450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


DutchmenOwners.com is not in any way associated with Dutchmen Manufacturing, or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.