Automotive

Which car would you recommend when towing 2800lbs

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 14th, 2018 2:52 pm
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3993 posts
417 upvotes
Ottawa
derass wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 1:14 pm
Interesting I've never seen GCWR used before. Only GVWR.

I would have gone about figuring things out as per your 2nd calculation too, while keeping the trailer weight under the vehicle's towing capacity.
GVWR is what the vehicle can carry (might be limited by frame, brakes, tires, axles, etc) within the vehicle
GCWR is the total of the vehicle weight plus any towed vehicle that the vehicle can handle (limited by factors above as well as engine, transmission, brakes (although I think you need trailer brakes for anything about 2500 or maybe 3000 lbs - many manufacturers will say 1000 lbs), etc).

I believe this link explains it well (although I can't actually load at work)
https://www.topspeed.com/trucks/truck-n ... 70318.html
Member
Sep 8, 2017
359 posts
197 upvotes
GTA
i6s1 wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 1:54 pm
As some who tows regularly, I can say this: You generally want to avoid towing at or near the max rating for any vehicle. You won't regret overkill in a tow vehicle. Especially when your family is inside it. You don't want that minor degree of anxiety every time you head out. And it gets worse each hill, each time you have to pass a slow truck, each time you have to merge onto the highway. It's probably a single axle trailer. Dealing with a trailer tire blowout is a lot different in a pickup compared to a van.
Don't forget braking!

I was once pulling a loaded car trailer (~5000 lbs) with my Sierra 1500 on an interchange ramp in the US going from one interstate to another. Because of the concrete barriers and changing elevation, the bend was essentially blind, I couldn't see what was around it. Suddenly, all of the traffic ahead of me was at a dead stop. There was a toll booth up ahead, I wasn't familiar with the area, and couldn't anticipate that. I stood on the brakes as hard as I could, and even with trailer brakes, I just barely managed to stop in time. Maybe 2-3 meters to the car ahead.

I would always see guys at the track towing their cars with vehicles too small: Dakotas, Astro vans, once even a Dodge Nitro. Maybe those things were under the towing capacity. but I always thought back to my experience, and knew that those guys wouldn't have been able to stop.

michelb wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 2:15 pm
GVWR is what the vehicle can carry (might be limited by frame, brakes, tires, axles, etc) within the vehicle
GCWR is the total of the vehicle weight plus any towed vehicle that the vehicle can handle (limited by factors above as well as engine, transmission, brakes (although I think you need trailer brakes for anything about 2500 or maybe 3000 lbs - many manufacturers will say 1000 lbs), etc).

I believe this link explains it well (although I can't actually load at work)
https://www.topspeed.com/trucks/truck-n ... 70318.html
Yup, that makes sense. Just like our Driver's Licences have combined weight restrictions.

Just haven't seen GCWR used much. I just tried looking it up for my GMC and came up blank.

GVWR also includes tongue weight, so that combined with the towing capacity can be used to determine the trailer's maximum weight.

I'm looking at my owner's manual now, and as an example, it says that for my truck's configuration (engine, trans, 2WD/4WD, cab, bed, & axle ratio) the towing capacity is 7100 lbs. That assumes driver and one passenger, NO ADDITIONAL CARGO, and a maximum tongue weight of 1000 lbs (10-15% of trailer). Any additional weight in the truck must be subtracted from the towing capacity (eg. 7100 lbs capacity - 500 lbs cargo - 3rd 200 lb passenger = 6400 lbs max trailer weight).

In short, everyone should check their owner's manual before towing.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
16751 posts
1959 upvotes
Langley
derass wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 2:38 pm
Don't forget braking!

I was once pulling a loaded car trailer (~5000 lbs) with my Sierra 1500 on an interchange ramp in the US going from one interstate to another. Because of the concrete barriers and changing elevation, the bend was essentially blind, I couldn't see what was around it. Suddenly, all of the traffic ahead of me was at a dead stop. There was a toll booth up ahead, I wasn't familiar with the area, and couldn't anticipate that. I stood on the brakes as hard as I could, and even with trailer brakes, I just barely managed to stop in time. Maybe 2-3 meters to the car ahead.

I would always see guys at the tracking towing their cars with tow vehicles too small: Dakotas, Astro vans, once even a Dodge Nitro. Maybe those things were under the towing capacity. but I always thought back to my experience, and knew that those guys wouldn't have been able to stop.

I lost the brakes when I was towing my brother in law's 8000lb toyhauler. I guess I didn't put the cable in all that great, and with a bit of corrosion on the connector, no brakes. I realized there were no trailer brakes coming down a large hill. Fortunately my truck is 8000lbs as well, and was able to stop everything, but it wasn't a pleasant experience. My brother in law used to tow that trailer with his halfton, so that would have been even worse.
derass wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 2:38 pm

Yup, that makes sense. Like our Driver's Licences have combined weight ratings.

Just haven't seen GCWR used much. I just tried looking it up for my GMC and came up blank.

GVWR also includes tongue weight, so that combined with the towing capacity can be used to determine the trailer's maximum weight.

I'm looking at my owner's manual now, and as an example, it says that for my truck's configuration (engine, trans, 2WD/4WD, cab, bed, & axle ratio) the towing capacity is 7100 lbs. That assumes driver and one passenger, NO ADDITIONAL CARGO, and a maximum tongue weight of 1000 lbs (10-15% of trailer). Any additional weight in the truck must be subtracted from the towing capacity (eg. 7100 lbs capacity - 500 lbs cargo - 3rd 200 lb passenger = 6400 lbs max trailer weight).

In short, everyone should check their owner's manual before towing.
GCWR isn't a legal term like GVWR. GCWR is just a manufacturer recommendation, it's not illegal to exceed it. So you won't find it as readily.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3993 posts
417 upvotes
Ottawa
i6s1 wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 3:03 pm
I lost the brakes when I was towing my brother in law's 8000lb toyhauler. I guess I didn't put the cable in all that great, and with a bit of corrosion on the connector, no brakes. I realized there were no trailer brakes coming down a large hill. Fortunately my truck is 8000lbs as well, and was able to stop everything, but it wasn't a pleasant experience. My brother in law used to tow that trailer with his halfton, so that would have been even worse.



GCWR isn't a legal term like GVWR. GCWR is just a manufacturer recommendation, it's not illegal to exceed it. So you won't find it as readily.
Car manufacturers don't appear to print it but I think all truck manufacturers do (https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/gen ... U_Sep9.pdf, https://www.rvtechlibrary.com/chassis/fliner_specs.php, http://www.spartanmotors.com/rv-range/n ... 0-chassis/, https://freightliner.com/trucks/new-cas ... fications/, etc)

I'm not a cop, lawyer or engineer but I believe both are legal (GCWR is sometimes referred to as GCVWR or GVW). When trucks get ticketed for being overweight, it's for being over GCWR (for tractor-trailers, it's not the weight of the cab (maybe 10k lbs) that's the issue, it's the 70k lbs that they are towing!)
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
5611 posts
806 upvotes
I learned a while ago not argue with i6s1 on subjects like this, and believe me, I like a good debate.....

Anyway, I do agree a GMC/Chevrolet 1500 is the answer.

Safe and worry free towing, best fuel economy, most cargo space and most reliable. Even if you by a used one, possibly the cheapest option too.

Check, check, check, check and check.....

What else did OP want?
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
2299 posts
420 upvotes
Edmonton
Add to that, the pickup trucks usually have an additional transmission cooler which I don't believe many of the SUVs have, and when towing the oil does get pretty hot.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 15, 2012
10542 posts
4810 upvotes
Southern Ontario
Being better equipped does make a difference. If minivan, you'll need to make upgrades. We had an Ody and towed a 2800lb PUP. I had a transmission cooler and better brakes installed. A P3 brake controller was wired in the minivan to sync with the trailer brakes, and I had WD hitch on the trailer. If you have rear sag, you'll need air bags to help the rear suspension and keep your minivan level because nose high = less steering control. You have to be able to stop, you don't want to overheat, nor fishtail and flip. It's not uncommon, a buddy of mine works at an RV dealership, 2 new buyers toppled this year so far. Learning how to tow should be a certified class and a license requirement.

Even with my 1/2 ton truck, I have towing mirrors, upgraded towing pads/rotors, Timbrens on the rear leafs, a rear sway bar, and I use a dual sway Blue Ox WDH. I'm careful my tongue wt plus passengers/gear do not exceed payload. I also have a Furrion rear camera on the back of our TT. Granted I'm pulling more now, you still have to be pro-active with a truck.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
16751 posts
1959 upvotes
Langley
michelb wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 3:32 pm

I'm not a cop, lawyer or engineer but I believe both are legal
Oh, I could be wrong, just find me the term "GCWR" used in a transportation law. I've never seen it though. Maybe North Dakota or PEI uses it in their laws, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere in BC and Ontario law.


michelb wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 3:32 pm
(GCWR is sometimes referred to as GCVWR or GVW).
No, GVW is a different term. It's usually used in the legal sense as the max that a combination is licensed for, not rated for. Have a look at your insurance. In BC, trucks are by default licensed for 1.5x curb weight, so my pickup (GMC 2500) is something like 4000kg. But the GCWR set by GM is going to be something like 10 000kg.
michelb wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 3:32 pm
When trucks get ticketed for being overweight, it's for being over GCWR (for tractor-trailers, it's not the weight of the cab (maybe 10k lbs) that's the issue, it's the 70k lbs that they are towing!)
No, they get ticketed for being over licensed weight - GVW. If I hook up a commercial trailer that weighs 5000kg to my pickup, I'm over my licensed weight. (Even though I'm not over my rated weight.)

OR

They get ticketed for the tow vehicle or trailer being over it's GVWR. Each vehicle (including trailers) has a plate with the GVWR from the manufacturer. You won't find GCVWR or tow ratings on there. Or an axle can be overweight, or a tire could be overloaded.

Tractor trailers are closer to 20 000lbs. My F550 is over 10 000lbs, it's about 5500kg.
Member
Sep 8, 2017
359 posts
197 upvotes
GTA
i6s1 wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 5:00 pm
No, GVW is a different term. It's usually used in the legal sense as the max that a combination is licensed for, not rated for. Have a look at your insurance. In BC, trucks are by default licensed for 1.5x curb weight, so my pickup (GMC 2500) is something like 4000kg. But the GCWR set by GM is going to be something like 10 000kg... If I hook up a commercial trailer that weighs 5000kg to my pickup, I'm over my licensed weight. (Even though I'm not over my rated weight.)
Similarly in Ontario, the average driver with their "G" licence is restricted to 11,000 kg combined weight, with the trailer weighing no more than 4600 kg.

A quick look on Google shows that a GMC 3500HD for example has a towing capacity of 23,000 lbs (~10,000 kg). So while the truck might be able to do it, the average driver is not licensed to do so.

Interestingly, and I just had to look this up too, if you want to tow more than 4600 kg in Ontario you'd need your A or A-restricted licence. A is the same licence necessary to drive a tractor-trailer, A-restricted is without air-brakes. RV's are excluded from the 4600 kg limit, but the combination still needs to be under 11k.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
16751 posts
1959 upvotes
Langley
derass wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 5:19 pm
Similarly in Ontario, the average driver with their "G" licence is restricted to 11,000 kg combined weight, with the trailer weighing no more than 4600 kg.

A quick look on Google shows that a GMC 3500HD for example has a towing capacity of 23,000 lbs (~10,000 kg). So while the truck might be able to do it, the average driver is not licensed to do so.

Interestingly, and I just had to look this up too, if you want to tow more than 4600 kg in Ontario you'd need your A or A-restricted licence. A is the same licence necessary to drive a tractor-trailer, A-restricted is without air-brakes. RV's are excluded from the 4600 kg limit, but the combination still needs to be under 11k.
Yes, there are also weight restrictions on license type.

Here in BC, the law is similar. You do need a house trailer endorsement on your class 5 to tow a travel trailer over 4600kg, or a heavy trailer endorsement to tow any trailer over 4600kg. The house trailer endorsement isn't that hard to get. Nowhere near as hard as a commercial license.

Your tow vehicle has to be licensed with a high enough weight to cover the truck and commercial trailer. But if you're only towing a travel trailer (or other "utility" trailers usually considered non-commercial), the truck's licensed weight only needs to cover the truck.

11000kg is a reasonable limit as an exemption for RVs, but some of the biggest trailers might be tight against it. I'd think that 99% of trucks and fifth wheels would be under that.
Member
Jul 7, 2017
277 posts
61 upvotes
blind56 wrote:
Jun 5th, 2018 12:48 pm
No, logical answer is a Beige 2002 Toyota Corolla with a tow hitch and a roof rack for their bikes.
I was actually looking into towing a rental trailer with a '04 Corolla, grey. Just the trailer (U Haul) alone exceeded the towing weight - and then there was a climb up 3 mountain passes with the first 1,000m+ over 22 Km. Ended up with a 15' van (wanted a 10 but they didn't have any).
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 22, 2017
43 posts
21 upvotes
Hi,

a bit more details, I tow 2 things regularly, my boat and my motorcycle.

My trailer is 450 lbs and motorcycle is 250 lbs so fairly light.

I also tow my boat which is around 650 lbs + trailer 450 lbs + engines + fuel + all fishing equipment. When I go fishing all the equipment is in the boat, nothing in the car. I did weight the boat ounce with everything inside, full fuel wet carpet, 3 batteries, cooler full, fish in livetank, etc (worst possible condition) and it was just a bit under 2800lbs and 240lbs tongue weight. Usualy the livetank is dry so it's about 300lbs less

When I go fishing I'm either alone or we are 2, I have always used a FWD for the boat ramp and never have I had an issue in the past.

I could also put all the fishing equipment in the car if it make any difference which is about 300 lbs (Downrigger, electric engines batterys)

So worst case, I would say 2800lbs to tow plus 400lbs for passenger in the car
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
1826 posts
424 upvotes
ShingoHusky wrote:
Jun 6th, 2018 8:50 am
Hi,

a bit more details, I tow 2 things regularly, my boat and my motorcycle.

My trailer is 450 lbs and motorcycle is 250 lbs so fairly light.

I also tow my boat which is around 650 lbs + trailer 450 lbs + engines + fuel + all fishing equipment. When I go fishing all the equipment is in the boat, nothing in the car. I did weight the boat ounce with everything inside, full fuel wet carpet, 3 batteries, cooler full, fish in livetank, etc (worst possible condition) and it was just a bit under 2800lbs and 240lbs tongue weight. Usualy the livetank is dry so it's about 300lbs less

When I go fishing I'm either alone or we are 2, I have always used a FWD for the boat ramp and never have I had an issue in the past.

I could also put all the fishing equipment in the car if it make any difference which is about 300 lbs (Downrigger, electric engines batterys)

So worst case, I would say 2800lbs to tow plus 400lbs for passenger in the car
Well again I think a truck is your best bet. The reason is, a minivan has the greatest utility do your family. It has the most interior space, and is great for kids of the age of yours. However a minivan shouldn't be towing that much weight on a regular basis.

I would think an SUV that can pull 5000lbs should be good enough to tow, but the majority of them get marginally better mileage than a pick up, and unless you need a third row, offer less utility than a truck.

The truck can easily pull what you're towing, offers a tonne of interior space for a family of 4, and has the cargo space for family trips etc. It also will allow you to carry bikes without adding a bike rack to the front. In most cases, a truck will cost you less up front to purchase than a 3 row SUV.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
20168 posts
7255 upvotes
Ottawa
ShingoHusky wrote:
Jun 6th, 2018 8:50 am
Hi,

a bit more details, I tow 2 things regularly, my boat and my motorcycle.

My trailer is 450 lbs and motorcycle is 250 lbs so fairly light.

I also tow my boat which is around 650 lbs + trailer 450 lbs + engines + fuel + all fishing equipment. When I go fishing all the equipment is in the boat, nothing in the car. I did weight the boat ounce with everything inside, full fuel wet carpet, 3 batteries, cooler full, fish in livetank, etc (worst possible condition) and it was just a bit under 2800lbs and 240lbs tongue weight. Usualy the livetank is dry so it's about 300lbs less

When I go fishing I'm either alone or we are 2, I have always used a FWD for the boat ramp and never have I had an issue in the past.

I could also put all the fishing equipment in the car if it make any difference which is about 300 lbs (Downrigger, electric engines batterys)

So worst case, I would say 2800lbs to tow plus 400lbs for passenger in the car
The Explorer Sport with the 3.5L twinturbo will tow that with ease and enough space to haul your entire family and gear ;).
Moderator
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
22892 posts
2597 upvotes
I would go with a truck. If you don't want a full sized truck, then get the Ridgeline. It will tow it just fine and has lots of room in the bed for the bikes and whatever else you want to carry.

I personally don't like the Chevy trucks whatsoever, but there's nothing wrong with them, it's just personal preference
Toronto Maple Leafs tickets for sale. PM me for details

Top