Am I Asking The Right Travel Trailer Towing Questions?

by David Harris
(Los Molinos,CA)

Having just retired and looking forward to much more leisure time, my wife and I have decided to look into purchasing an RV. Since I already own a small pick-up, It seemed logical that we look at small travel trailers. I have looked up my trucks tow rating(5600 lbs) and multiplied it by 80%. This gives me a GVWR for the trailer of approximately 4400 lbs.

When I go to the RV shows I'm looking at trailers with a gvwr of 4400 lbs or less, or taking dry weight and adding 1400 lbs and using that as a guide.

My trucks towing guide also states that I should have no more than 50 square feet of frontal surface. This gives me a limit of 7 feet tall on a 7 wide or 6 feet on an 8 wide( basically excluding the latter. Am I over analyzing this? Or am I on the right track. The sales men seem a little put off when I lay down these parameters.

Greetings David, Thanks for asking your question on our free Ask An RV Question Page and congratulations on your recent retirement.

First, let me assure you that you are not over analyzing anything and yes, you are asking the right questions. What you are doing is being a smart consumer and making sure that you will not overload your tow vehicle.

I am admittedly not an expert on towing, however, I am going to refer you to an article that we have in our RV Lifestyle Articles
Section called Trailer and RV Weight Demystified, just like it's title implies it does demystify, weight ratings, towing capacities and also stresses the importance of adhering to these ratings.

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The fact that an RV Salesperson is getting "put off" by your questions concerns me. You are a prospective buyer of their product and you have valid questions that they should answer. In order to make the sale, they should be doing back flips to get you the answers you need to make a smart purchasing decision.

You would think, that with the RV industry in the midst of a economic crisis, that these salespeople would bend over backwards to get you all of the information you need. You are not the problem, you are asking all the right questions but the salesperson is either not knowledgeable enough or too lazy to get you the answers.

Stay the course, continue asking the smart questions in your search for the right Travel Trailer for you. Do not get put off by these salespeople. If they can't or won't answer these questions for you, move on to one that will and give them the sale.

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I wish you luck on your Travel Trailer search and one thing is for sure, you will not reqret your decision to become an RVer. Just like the majority of RVers on the road today, you will become hooked on the RV Lifestyle.

Happy RVing!!!

RVing Al

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trailer level while towing
by: Anonymous

Can anyone fill me in as to just how critical it is for the frame of a dual axle travel trailer to be parallel to the road surface WHILE TOWING? When hooked to my current tow vehicle, the frame of my trailer is about an inch an a half higher in the front than in the rear, which I suspect transfers too much of the load to the rear axle. My setup includes a weight-distributing hitch, and essentially the problem is that the ball sits that same inch and a half too high for the trailer. Problem is, the hitch assembly is already at the minimum height. Am I looking at replacing the entire weight distributing hitch, and if so can anyone advise which brand(s) have the most adjustability?

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