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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone ... I'm towing a 5x8 uhaul trailer (900lbs), and unfiortunately, in my area anyways, there's no way to have the car & trailer weighed, and no one at uhaul seems to know how to tell what is too much weight in the trailer for this car!
Does anyone have any ideas regarding how to tell if there is too much weight in a trailer, maybe based on the clearance of the back tires in the car?
I don't know ... I'm just getting frustrated because I don't know if its too much weight or if I'm fine!
I'd have to assume that if I went over by a 200 - 300lbs then it should still be fine ... don't they usually set the manufacturer's limits a bit lower because they know people will do more??!!
Thanks for the help ...
- Bryan
 

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Bryan -

The RAV4 is rated at 1500lbs. To read more on this topic, click on SEARCH and plug in the word "towing" :D
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Right ... I know that ... I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas as to how to tell by looking at the back of the vehicle if it is carrying too much weight!
Did a search before & didn't see much
 
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Discussion Starter #4
to clarify, does anyone know the minimum clearance from the back tires to the outside top of the wheel well? Or maybe the clearance that would indicate a load too heavy bvy looking at the clearance between the rear wheels & the inside top of the wheel well?
ty in advance
 

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No offence, but I think you're being a little too "detail oriented" here. As long as you're not putting a tonne of weight in it I think you'll be fine. I would say you'd be doing okay if you could keep it to what you think is around 2000 lbs. Just be sure to balance the trailer front to back with the majority of the weight over the tires of the trailer. This will ensure you're as safe as you can be.

Just use your best guess.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Ha! The best guess for someone who's never done this is no guess! Thanks for the help ... I'm gonna bring the car to the dump tomorrow with the trailer because they should be able to weigh the who thing ... I am estimating that the car plus the trailer empty(empty its 900lbs) and I'll add in 200lbs for stuff in the back, should be a total of 5046 lbs. I'll subtract that guesstimate from what I get at the dump and it should give me what I need ... its like a kid waiting for test scores to come back & hoping its an A!! AARRGGHH!
 

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Bryan, check your mailbox.
Also check your trailer tires, keep 45 on cold, before you`ll load your trailer. Get some FixFlat from pepboys or wallmart, cuz Uhaul trailers have common problem is to run with flat tires!
Dont be panic anc check your trailer everytime you will have a pitstop.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I got it all weighed, and it looks like I'm over ... by 1000 lbs because I figured that the gross weight was the weight of the car, not realizing that its the weight of the car plus what it can carry.
So, here's my next question ... everything matches when figured out ... the weight of the care (gross) plus towing capacity is about 5400 lbs. If what I have now (car + trailer weight) is 5400 lbs, should it matter which way it is dispersed?
Say the trailer is 2000 lbs of the weight (my hitch is rated for 3500 lbs), and the car weighs in at 3400 loaded w/ passengers, should that be the same as having a FULL car (max GVW) and pulling 1500 lbs?
I'd think so, its the same wear & tear on the brakes, AT, etc ...
What do you think?
 

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I was a little confused at first but I think I understand what you are getting at.

You don't want to exceed the GVW and your affaid that the trailer will put you over.

Well just weighing the trailer won't be accurate. Only a portion of that weight is on the back of your Rav unless you put the trailer on your roof rack.

The (tongue load) as it is refered to will add to your GVW but trailer load does not. Your vehicle will pull what its rated for and then some even if your GVW is maxed out.

Your tires may not unless they are the load index for your vehicle. (100)

You can check the tongue weight by weighing just the Rav with the trailer and without or by calculating the % of weight forward but you would have to know the trailer weight full to begin with.

Another thing you can do if your that concerned about it is keep track of everything you put in and weigh it on a scale before you load it. Keep your heavier things from the wheels back but balance it if you can. If it is well balanced you should not have a problem even lifting the tongue of the trailer a little by yourself.

Save some books and heavy items for the back just in case you need to remove some of the tongue weight.

Good luck! M.
 

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As someone said earlier, the towed weight cannot exceed 1500lbs, so if the trailer weighs 900lbs, then you should only put <600lbs in it. The people suggesting that you load all the weigh over or behind the wheels probably never towed a trailer. That is a perfect recipe for trailer instability ie sway, which can make your car go out of control. Been there-done that. Always have the tongue weight be at least 10% of the total trailer weight. The weight limit is not only for the tongue weight, but also for the strength of the chassis, driveline, and brakes. A trailer weighing more than 1/2 the car weight with no separate brakes is looking for trouble. At best it will take forever to stop--at worst the trailer will jack knife.
MikeG
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Update!

Well, scarily, I am DEFINITELY overweight in the trailer, and not up to full weight in the car, but I don't know how much. I miscalculated and thought the GVW was the full weight of the car ... anyways, I got rid of what I could, and am on the trip, over-weight and all.
I'm taking it easy on the car, not PUSHING it, and its working out GREAT. The Rav4 is GREAT at hauling. The trailer must be evenly weighted, in the way it should be, as I'm able to do 70mph with ease and the trailer doesn't sway an inch!! When I say that I am able to do 70 with ease, I mean that in the flats, with even pressure on the gas, it climbs to 70mph with no problems, no forcing it to do so. DOn't get me wrong, I don't drive it at 70, I've been doing 60-65 (sometimes), usually between 50 & 60 on the hills. I've left overdrive on during the flats & downhill sections, turn it off going up hill, and everything is SMOOTH. The hasn't over heated AT ALL, I've been extremely cautious when braking, and while going downhill, with or without over drive, othe car slows itself down with no feelings of the trailer wanting to over-take the car. I've been driving through VA to South Carolina, through the mountains, and its been a dream.
Gotta run to the pool .. more updates later!
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Update!

Hows your mileage so far? I am looking into this myself for later this summer.

JON
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Mileage hasn't been too greagt or too bad so far ... maybe 18-ish ... not quite sure, I'll keep an eye on it & let you know a better #
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Well, even still, going through the Smokies of North Carolina, going through TN, KY, IL, too, the Rav4 has been great! I think through the hills I was getting 18ish for gas mileage (remember, I'm over-weight) ... and going downhill or on the flats, I've been able to do 60-70mph!!! When I was going that fast, I wasn't pushing the rav too much, I wasn't makin' her work to get there (she only worked hard on the hills), it was average driving pressure on the gas and she pulled all the way there with ease. The 5x8 trailer has been STEADY ... its like I have sway bars on it because the thing has just stuck behind the rav, hasn't swerved, NOTHING. Its been great so far, only 3 or 4 more days to go! More updates later ...
 
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Discussion Starter #16
From NH to South Carolina (To visit Family) and then to Aspen, CO ... about 2300 miles. Its kind of like DUmb & Dumber ... I stayed in RI over night and actually started the trip from there ... fortunately I have NO plans to trade the car & uhaul for a little mini bike thatgets 80 mpg!!! HA!
 

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Good luck! I've driven most of that route many times before. Great scenery! Post some pics, if you have any, when you get there.

Stay safe. M.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
You want some pics? Go to my website ...
www.bryannh.com/gallery2/
Click the album for "Aspen Journey" ... I've got TONS of pictures!!! More coming up daily until at least Sunday.
Another day down, a shorter one, and the rav is doing AWESOME.
I'm VERY impressed!!
Oh, yeah, if anyone had the problem with the P0420 & P0430 codes appearing, I had it before I moved, it hapened twice. The first time I reset the ECU, the second time I read the codes, brought it in for the TSB service (and I did notify the auto techs about the issue because I NEEDED it fixed fast, and it hasn't come on Since. PERFECT. They just recalibrated/reprogrammed the ECU. FIXED.
 

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Nice pictures. Great idea! Gota love a road -trip!

You look way heavy in the back man. I probably would have left some things behind but since you have "Anne of Green Gables" on your trailer you should be fine.

I love travelling by road. Can't wait until our trip next year back to the south.

Keep on truck'in! Keep an eye on those tires. (More weight - More heat.)

"Man, that John Denver was full of s#!t!"

M.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah, a little heavy in the back! I already did leave about 300lbs of stuff behind!!! I have the essentials ... computers, stereo with all but 2 huge speakers, clothes and a cedar chest for my sister who I'll be living with ... I couldn't get rid of much more!
Ya know though, the aussie version of the rav4 is rated for 3000lbs of towing with trailer brakes, without its at 1500lbs ... so if I'm about 600lbs over, I just need to watch the brakes, right? I hope so!!!
I'm about 4-5 hours from Aspen now ... now I have the tough part, climbing the hills ... I plan to take it SSSLLLOOOWWW & easy ... the rav is such a great work horse!!! Man!
 
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