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Old 01-18-2018, 08:00 AM   #1
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towing question

Looking at a 2003 Sunline Solaris 1950. Dry weight is listed at 3600. I have a 2012 Honda Pilot 4wd Exl V6 3.5L Tow weight is listed at 4500. Thoughts? can I tow this?
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:26 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for questions. This a great group!

To answer your question, I am thinking it probably would not be a good idea. The dry weight of the trailer is already close to your max weight capacity. Once you start adding your gear/supplies, propane and batteries you may go over. You only have about 900# to work with. What does your documentation say about tongue weight for your Pilot? The senior members will chime in soon as there has been previous discussions on towing. I apologize as I do not remember which thread. You can search the site though and I am sure you will find some (Custom Search).

Good luck. I like the 1950 floor plan. If I ever upgrade, that would be what I go for.

Thank,
Tommie
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:17 PM   #3
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I wouldn’t. I have a t-1950 and I would say that a half ton pickup is ideal - that is what we use. I have towed our coach with a 4.0 Tacoma with a 6500 tow rating properly equipped and it was ok, but not ideal. A pilot is a serious step down from the Tacoma far as towing and not only would performance be poor, it would be tough to keep the weight low enough to not exceede some aspect of capacity.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:23 PM   #4
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See the thread “finally weighed my 1700” to give you an idea of how the weight adds up.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
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Hi Backpacker,

This thread may help on explaining in more detail some of the towing needs of a camper which can be very different than regular utility trailers or boats. Towing a TT - Info for those new to Towing

For camper towing there are 2 main things/ratings to be looking for.

1. The pull rating of the truck. You mentioned a Tow Rating of 4,500#.

2. The load (weight) rating the truck can handle. You did not mention this for your truck. This is axle ratings, the gross vehicle weight rating along with the actual weight of the truck with all people and gear that must be in the truck when you go camping.

Then there is the reality of a camper. The camper you talked is 8 feet wide and 8' 8" tall not including the roof AC unit. This large frontal area of the camper creates a lot of wind drag. We nickname this towing a brick as that wind drag is going to eat into a trucks tow rating when you exceed the frontal area ratings of your vehicle. Some trucks are rated at 60 sq feet others at 50 sq feet. When you exceed this, the ability of the truck to perform well goes down quickly. Campers also come with loaded tongue weights higher than an average normal utility type trailers or boats in many cases.

The loaded camper weight, the large wind drag and heavier tongue weights eat into your vehicles ratings.

Your 4,500# tow rating is most likely based on a stripped truck with no options, 1, driver of a normal weight range. (many are rated as one, 150# driver.) All other weights are considered cargo to the truck and reduce the 4,500# tow rating. Add a second 200# person and your down to 4,300#. Add 150# of added truck options above the base vehicle and some minor gear in the truck and you are now down to 4,150# of tow rating.

The camper, it starts "dry" at your 3,600#. But that camper is listed as a 5,000# GVWR camper if loaded all the way. Dry weight means empty camper the day it left the factory with no extra options added to it. This is no battery, no LP gas in the tanks, no spare tire, no stabilizer jacks or other add ons above the base weight of the camper.

While it may seem to be shocking, the average camper will add 1,000# of weight above the dry weight to a camper. Yes that sounds like a lot but it really is not that much as that includes the LP gas, the spare tire, the battery and then all the other gear you have. So now the 3,600# camper is 4,600#. Even if you are a light packer, and say it is 4,400# this is still a lot for your truck.

Then there is the wind drag factor for large frontal area that will show up when ever you drive above 45mph. It is real and affects all tow vehicles pulling campers of the size you picked. Some folks use an 80% rule, meaning reduce your tow limit by 20% as a reserve factor. In your case, the 4,500# tow rating is then 900# less or 3,600#. You can now see how the 4,400# loaded camper will be up against a 3,600# rated tow vehicle. Bottom line, it will not be a good match of that trailer and your truck. The truck performance will struggle in many camping towing experiences.

We did not get into the loaded tongue weights yet as the pull rating is out of balance to start with but we can if you want to learn that too. It may or may not be OK.

For Sunline travel trailers, if you are going to stay with your Honda, look for single axle ones. They are nice campers too and a lot lighter and smaller. Many of them max out at 3,600# fully loaded and are not 8 feet wide.

We are glad to explain more to help you learn what to look for and what to look out for.

Hope this helps

John
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