What Can I Actually Tow?

What Can I Actually Tow?

A very common question for people looking to by an RV is “What can I actually tow?”.  You need to consider more that just towing capacity and don’t necessarily trust the RV salesman, do your homework.  They will have you look at the dry weight of the RV, which is the RV without your stuff and water (fresh, gray, and black).  I had a saleman say to me, “You’ll never put 1800lb of stuff in the trailer”, well I say don’t believe him.

I try to not go over  80% of my capacity.  For instance, I just bought a 2018 F150 XLT with a rear axle ratio of 3:55, 3.5L Ecoboost Engine, 10 speed transmission and the Max tow package.

2018 F-150XLT actual towing capacity
2018 F-150XLT

So here are my numbers.

Max Towing :12,700 lbs
(This is the max amount I can tow behind me in a travel trailer due to the 3:55 rear axle ratio, 20″ tires, 3.5L Ecoboost Engine and Max Tow Package)

Max Payload:1767 Lbs
(This is the max amount of cargo I can put in the truck,  This includes driver, passangers, gear, and and weight on the hitch – tongue weight)

GVWR: 7000 lbs
(This is the gross weight that I can make my vehicle.  I should never make my vehicle weight more than this)

GCVWR: 18100 lbs
(This is the gross weight of my vehicle and whatever I am towing,  Again, My truck and trailer combined should never be over this value)

Max Tongue Weight: 1340 lbs
(This is the max weight that the trailer hitch can handle)

Curb Weight: 4917 lbs
(this is the weight of my vehicle empty, no passengers or driver)

So, when your shopping for a trailer, you need to make sure you don’t go over ANY of these numbers.  For example, one of the trailers we are looking ha the following specs

Unloaded Vehicle Weight 7,324 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 8,995 lbs
Hitch Weight 795 lbs

Therefore, this is easily towable by my truck as long as I don’t overload the truck itself.  If I have Myself, My Wife and my 2 dogs in the truck, that will add up to about 500 lbs.  Since we are part of the payload, I have to add that and the hitch weight together to make sure I don’t go over my capacity of 1767lbs which in this case, I would not.

Marc & Tricia over at Keep You Daydream have a great youtube video and spreadsheet that will help you calculate all of this.


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