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View Full Version : What do you tow with, and do you use a WD-Hitch?



marc515
05-01-2011, 12:34 PM
What is your tow vehicle, and it's tow capacity; and have you added a WD hitch and/or sway control to the MPG?

Thank you

jmgratz
05-01-2011, 03:56 PM
This has been discussed numerous times. Do a search for tow vehicles. Most will be using a 3/4 or 1 ton pickup.

kb0zke
05-01-2011, 05:48 PM
Since an mpg has a gross weight of only 3800 pounds, you don't need a big truck just to tow it. We're using a Mercury Mountaineer, which has a towing capacity of about 7000 pounds. We're using a weight distributing hitch with a sway bar. The place where we park our 181 is level enough for parking, but the Mercury is quite nose-high at that point, so I generally do not have the transfer bars hooked up when I'm moving it in our out of the parking space. There is a noticeable drop at the rear of the car, but not enough to bother me for that little bit. I think I could probably even tow down the road that way, but I'd rather not try it.

marc515
05-02-2011, 06:09 AM
Wow, I was figuring with only 3,800Lbs, we could get something like a 2011 Ford Explorer with a 5,000Lb tow capacity.

JWalker
05-02-2011, 02:43 PM
I towed a T.T. of similar weight with our 2004 Dodge Dakota. It had the 4.7 V8 and towed great. Used a Valley round bar WD-Hitch. Nice ride and no sway.

Jamie

kb0zke
05-02-2011, 05:08 PM
The Mercury Mountaineer and the Ford Explorer are the same car, so if your Explorer has a factury tow package, like my Mercury does, you ought to be well on your way.

BTW, just my personal opinion, but my 2005 Mountaineer is more comfortable on a long trip than our 2004 Town Car.

Yellowreef
05-03-2011, 11:45 AM
Wow, I was figuring with only 3,800Lbs, we could get something like a 2011 Ford Explorer with a 5,000Lb tow capacity.

Yes you could. I have a feeling that some of the advice didnt take into consideration that it was an MPG. I tow an Edge M18 with a Ridgeline (5000 lbs tow cap) and dont evev use a WDH. Im not familiar with the MPG tongue weight but that will have more to do with the WDH than the dry weight IMO.

kevduf4
05-09-2011, 09:49 AM
I tow with a 2008 Ford Escape rated at towing for 3500 lbs. I have no problem towing with it and yes I have a WD hitch with sway control. This said since I live in the flatlands of the Midwest I haven't had a problem, but I don't think I would try to pull it up the Rockies. I plan on staying mostly in the Midwest for now. Kevin

ToddPeddle
05-12-2011, 11:50 PM
We use a rav 4 here with sway bars.

Lax27
05-13-2011, 07:40 AM
Buick Terazza with the 3500 engine and aux trans cooler. Brake controller, WD-hitch, and friction sway bar. Very stable great on off-highway roads 55mph and under, highway travel could use some more power in reserve - 60mph is about max crusing speed. Rated for the standard mini-van 3500lbs.

marc515
05-21-2011, 06:59 AM
We ended up with a 2011 Nissan Pathfinder, V6, with 6,000 Tow capacity. Not sure if we need a WDH or just sawy bar yet.

If we were to add a WDH to the MPG, is there anything in the way of mounting one, like the propane tanks, etc? The Equalizer says the mounting brackets have to be set up 32" from the center of the hitch ball.

Thank you

kb0zke
05-21-2011, 05:34 PM
We have a 181 and an Equal-i-zer WDH. No problem for the dealer to install it.

kevduf4
12-23-2011, 02:37 PM
Just to update something I said earlier. I was towing with a ford escape V6 4wd. After having some scary braking situations, and towing in a headwind I would not recommend towing for any long distance with a small SUV or mini van. The dealer will tell you it's safe but in my opinion it is not. Happy Camping

marc515
12-27-2011, 06:45 AM
Just to update something I said earlier. I was towing with a ford escape V6 4wd. After having some scary braking situations, and towing in a headwind I would not recommend towing for any long distance with a small SUV or mini van. The dealer will tell you it's safe but in my opinion it is not. Happy Camping

Totally agree. We sold our Mazda Tribute (rebadged Escape) because after doing the research and crunching some numbers realized it just wasn't safe towing with a 3,500Lb capacity vehicle. A lot of folks forget that the towing capacity is computed with a driver only, and any additional weight in the tow vehicle lowers the towing capacity.

I would think that you would need a vehicle with a 5,000Lb towing capacity as a minimum to be safe.

ptarthur2
12-28-2011, 10:55 AM
I was towing my MPG 183 with a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe with a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. I had tow brakes, sway bar and a weight distribution hitch. No problems on short hauls to local campgrounds but when we started taking longer trips down the interstate though the hills of Arkansas it just felt like the 275 hp V-6 engine was under too much of a load. I never had problems with braking, the tow brakes seemed to stop the trailer just fine but even with the sway bar, the wind and passing 18 wheelers would move us around in our lane. To make matters worse, I was only getting about 11 mpg when towing which was quite a dissapointment when I could normally get 25 mpg when not towing.

I traded in the Santa Fe on a new Ford F-150 with the new Eco Boost V-6 and I continue to use a weight distribution hitch, sway bar and tow brakes. The difference in performance is like night and day with that of the Santa Fe. Although my F-150 does have a V-6 the dual turbos generate an additional 100 hp over the engine in the Santa Fe and the transmission was designed for towing and I seldom see the tachometer climb over 3000. I still only get about 11 mpg when towing with the F-150 but I'm a lot more at ease on long trips and when not towing I still get about 22 mpg on the interstate.

I think a small SUV or min-van is just fine for towing the MPG for short trips but I would recommend adding a trailer brake actuator, sway bar and weight distribution hitch.

marc515
12-28-2011, 02:22 PM
I think a small SUV or min-van is just fine for towing the MPG for short trips but I would recommend adding a trailer brake actuator, sway bar and weight distribution hitch.

Twoing with a small SUV/Minivan with a 3,500LB tow capacity is only borderline safe at best.

Our MPG-181 has a dry weight of 2,820 Lbs, and GVWR of 3,800 Lbs. While we may not load to the 3.800Lbs, (close guesstimate is 3,400Lbs) I would venture to say most of us are well on our way there. Stuff adds up.

I read in some tow guide that the tow capacity is computed with a 150Lb driver, and once you add passengers and cargo, the tow capacity goes down. There are sites that have spread sheets where you put in your vehicle and trailer weights, and it will compute what is safe. When I entered the data on 3,500Lb and 5,000Lb vehicles, we were over the capacity on the 3,500 vehicle, and boarderline on the 5,000 vehicle. **For calculations purposes I used myself, my wife, our dog, 300Lbs of cargo in the tow vehicle, and the 3,800 GVWR of the MPG. So you can see that in our case, a tow vehicle with a 3,500LB towing capacity now has about a 2,920Lb towing capacity; add on a 60Lb WDH, and we are now at 2,860Lbs towing capacity for our 3,400Lb trailer.

**Someone please chime in if my tow capacities are incorrect

So we ended up with a vehicle with a 6,000Lb tow capacity, and I now feel relatively safe.

These small trailer manufactruers are misleading folks when thay indicate smaller vehicles can tow these trailers. Yes they can tow, but pushing the capacity limits is not the safest thing to do.

TheMysticWood
01-14-2012, 11:33 AM
We've towed our 2011 MPG with a 2007 Chevy Colorado, which only has a 4,000lb towing capacity. We added a Brake controller, WD-hitch, and friction sway bar, per the dealer request when we bought it. Never had any issues pulling up hill, or on the freeway, although I wouldn't push it much over 60mph. Just as a safty thing.
Although, I know this thread is an older one, I thought I would add a comment.

cookie
01-14-2012, 01:11 PM
TheMysticWood, welcome to the forum. Well, welcome to posting as I see that you have been a member for some time.
Thank you for your input.

Peace
Dave

Brandon.Prewitt
01-15-2012, 04:17 AM
Ever tried to rent a utility trailer from U-haul or equivalent. They will not rent to you if you are driving a small SUV.

DW_Gray
01-15-2012, 11:15 AM
When in doubt or just unsure as to what your towing requirements are, consider reading:

Before You Buy That RV, Truck or Other Tow Vehicle (http://www.fifthwheelst.com/before_you_buy.htm)
Your guide to matching any tow vehicle to any towable.

marc515
01-15-2012, 01:09 PM
When in doubt or just unsure as to what your towing requirements are, consider reading:

Before You Buy That RV, Truck or Other Tow Vehicle (http://www.fifthwheelst.com/before_you_buy.htm)
Your guide to matching any tow vehicle to any towable.

Good site, and I believe if many of the folks towing with small SUV's plugged in their numbers, they would see they are over the safe towing capacities.

FoCoNoCo
02-03-2012, 11:36 PM
Twoing with a small SUV/Minivan with a 3,500LB tow capacity is only borderline safe at best.

Our MPG-181 has a dry weight of 2,820 Lbs, and GVWR of 3,800 Lbs. While we may not load to the 3.800Lbs, (close guesstimate is 3,400Lbs) I would venture to say most of us are well on our way there. Stuff adds up.

I read in some tow guide that the tow capacity is computed with a 150Lb driver, and once you add passengers and cargo, the tow capacity goes down. There are sites that have spread sheets where you put in your vehicle and trailer weights, and it will compute what is safe. When I entered the data on 3,500Lb and 5,000Lb vehicles, we were over the capacity on the 3,500 vehicle, and boarderline on the 5,000 vehicle. **For calculations purposes I used myself, my wife, our dog, 300Lbs of cargo in the tow vehicle, and the 3,800 GVWR of the MPG. So you can see that in our case, a tow vehicle with a 3,500LB towing capacity now has about a 2,920Lb towing capacity; add on a 60Lb WDH, and we are now at 2,860Lbs towing capacity for our 3,400Lb trailer.

**Someone please chime in if my tow capacities are incorrect

So we ended up with a vehicle with a 6,000Lb tow capacity, and I now feel relatively safe.

These small trailer manufactruers are misleading folks when thay indicate smaller vehicles can tow these trailers. Yes they can tow, but pushing the capacity limits is not the safest thing to do.

In most manufacturer's tow ratings, this is correct, but not always. Toyota minivans are not rated this way. The safest way to figure the tow rating for them is to get an accurate weight of the van loaded, subtract that amount from the listed GCVWR, and that leaves the total allowable weight for towing, provided it does not exceed the 3500 lb limit, and hitch weight remains below 500 lbs for WD, or 350 weight carrying. Regardless, the tow capacity is pretty low. So realistically, you could very well end up with only a 2500 lb towing limit. The major problem with the minivans that I have found that the load capacity is generally so low, that you are severely limited in hitch weight as well....

kb0zke
02-05-2012, 07:48 PM
I thought I'd look up my Mountaineer on the chart, but it isn't listed. Looks like only pickups are listed.

DW_Gray
02-06-2012, 11:06 AM
I thought I'd look up my Mountaineer on the chart, but it isn't listed. Looks like only pickups are listed.

At the bottom of the page are other resources. I think you'll find what you're looking for from that list.

Tumblebug
02-06-2012, 03:31 PM
This looks easy to use to obtain tow data of various vehicles.

http://www.campinglife.com/tow-ratings-database/

JD

DW_Gray
02-06-2012, 08:17 PM
This looks easy to use to obtain tow data of various vehicles.

http://www.campinglife.com/tow-ratings-database/

JD

I looked at that site last week. It's alright but is still not as comprehensive and accurate as the information provided by the vehicle manufactures. Example, I looked up two trucks that I new the data for and in both cases, the info was slightly off when compared to the manufactures published data. It appears that Camping Life uses the same database that I have listed in my Other Resources list, "Searchable Database of Tow Ratings (http://www.trailerboats.com/sharedcode/ford/)" and is provided by Ford. The other problem with both of these is the maximum trailer weight limits out at 17,500. There are a lot of trailers that have GVWR more than that.