User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Towing an Imagine XLS 17MKE with an SUV

    Hi all,

    We're newbies to the travel trailer community. After much research and deliberation, we purchased a Grand Design 17MKE and a 2010 Lexus GX 460. We wanted a trailer that we could safely tow a few times a year with a vehicle that is comfortable as a daily driver. Our options were minimal due to towing capacity of our SUV. Here's the breakdown for anyone who might be interested. The bottom line is that we are very pleased with our decision in terms of the trailer 17MKE and the tow vehicle, a Lexus GX460. We are well within the recommended weight limits and tolerances as determined by two stops at Cat Scales to determine the weight of our tow vehicle and trailer. On our first trip from Illinois to Florida, a 2500 mile journey, our towing experience was great in terms of sway control and gas mileage. Our average MPG was just over 11mpg. Here are the details....

    Tow Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GX460
    curb weight 5305 lbs
    GVWR 6600 lbs
    towing capacity 6500 (more with weight distribution hitch)
    tongue weight max 650 (more with weight distribution hitch)

    We have an Equalizer Sway Control / Weight Distribution Hitch. 1000lbs/10,000lbs

    Travel Trailer: 2021 Grand Design 17MKE
    Unloaded Vehicle Weight 4838 lbs according to Grand Design
    (4480 as weighed)
    GVWR 6395 (max loaded weight possible, but we did not need that much)
    tongue weight 480 lbs

    We stopped at a Cat Scale on the way after picking up our Grand Design from the dealer. Our first weighing of the unloaded trailer (2 batteries and full propane) was 4480 lbs (4838 lbs is what GD says)
    Our Lexus GX460 with two people inside (150lbs) and130 lbs) plus fuel 120 lbs was 6080 lbs total (vs GVWR 6600)

    The weight of both the tow vehicle and trailer was 10,560 lbs (max combined is 13,100 lbs)

    During our trip, we stopped again at a Cat Scale to weigh our Grand Design fully stocked with our stuff including 3 bikes, 2 Kayaks, all our food, some fresh water in the tank. We weighed in at (5,120 lbs) vs a max of (6,395 lbs) so we had1275 lbs to spare.

    We also weighed the Lexus with a full tank of gas plus my wife, son plus some tools and stuff in the back cargo area and two Kayaks on the roof rack. We weighed in at 6540 lbs (just under the Lexus 6600 max)

    So, our actual gross combined weight of both vehicles fully loaded was 11,640 lbs leaving 1460 lbs to spare which could have been added to the Grand Design cargo capacity.

    With our fully-loaded weight coming in at 11,540 lbs vs a max allowable of 13,100 lbs it seems that we were 1,460 lbs under. My calculations of all of this show that we were about 11% under the max allowable.

    The trailer towed quite well with no sway issues while traveling at 61 mph (this seemed to be the sweet spot for the Lexus 4.7 liter V* engine in terms of RPM and thus gas mileage).

    Our Miles Per Gallon ranged from 10.8 to 12.1 with an average of 11.1 mpg at our target speed of 61 mph.

    I hope this information is helpful for anyone who might be considering this particular setup.

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Woodstock
    Posts
    1,465
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The gvwr of 6395 for the trailer is the complete trailer including the TW not just the axles


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm confused: it was my understanding that the tongue weight has to be added to the tow vehicle's calculation. We weighed the rig with the trailer attached, resting entirely on one scale was the tow vehicle and resting entirely on the other scale was the trailer. The scale with the Lexus on it weighed 6540 lbs and the scale with the trailer weighed 5120 lbs. That makes our total rig 11,6060 lbs. Am I missing something? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Woodstock
    Posts
    1,465
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by karlgrobl View Post
    I'm confused: it was my understanding that the tongue weight has to be added to the tow vehicle's calculation. We weighed the rig with the trailer attached, resting entirely on one scale was the tow vehicle and resting entirely on the other scale was the trailer. The scale with the Lexus on it weighed 6540 lbs and the scale with the trailer weighed 5120 lbs. That makes our total rig 11,6060 lbs. Am I missing something? Thanks!
    Yes you are correct. The TW is added to the tow vehicle but the gvwr of the trailer is the complete weight of the unhooked trailer


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  5. #5
    Setting Up Camp
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Katy, Tx
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think karlgrobl was just clarifying something. Unless you disconnected the trailer and put tongue jack down on the scale your trailer weight did not include the weight being placed on the tow vehicle.
    when weighing in at a scale and the tow vehicle wheels are on scale #1 and the trailer is on scale #2 . the result will be. 1 + 2= GCW gross combined weight. #1 = GVW gross vehicle weight of Lexus which is loaded vehicle plus tongue weight, #2 is basically useless at this time unless you know the curb weight of your TW. since #2 = GVW of trailer minus tongue weight.

    IF this weight doesn't include the tongue weight you are over the Lexus GVWR "We also weighed the Lexus with a full tank of gas plus my wife, son plus some tools and stuff in the back cargo area and two Kayaks on the roof rack. We weighed in at 6540 lbs (just under the Lexus 6600 max)" you only have a payload of 1295 lbs. Tongue weight 480 + gas + family + everything else = GVW. You are likely running close to GVWR.

  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It looks like you are assuming that the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of the tow vehicle is equal to the GVWR plus the maximum towing capability. That is normally not the case, because the max towing isn't measured at the max vehicle weight.

    For example, on an SRW F-350 diesel like I have:

    GCWR = 30,000
    GVWR = 11,500
    Max conventional towing = 20,000

    Notice that GVWR + Max towing is 31,500, but the GCWR is only 30,000. You should try to find out the GCWR of your tow vehicle to determine if you are over that limit.

    With all that said, if it is towing well that is a good sign. A more conservative measurement would be to use curb weight plus max towing capability to estimate the GCWR. If you did that you would still be under that limit. You may have an issue being over GCWR if you are stopped and your vehicle is weighed, but that is a whole different discussion.
    Last edited by BobKilmer; 04-13-2021 at 01:29 PM.
    2019 Grand Design Momentum 381M, Flex Air pinbox, Roadmaster Slipper Springs and Comfort Ride Shocks, Bolt It On tie down system
    2019 F-350 CC SRW Diesel, LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Plus with EZMount, Andersen Ultimate Hitch

  7. #7
    Setting Up Camp
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Katy, Tx
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What I find that appears legit. Tow capacity 6500, GVWR from a door tag 6600, Curb weight from Lexus brochure 5305. So payload is limited to 6600-6305=1295. GCWR is unknown but it has to be between 11,805 (Curb+Towing) and 13,100(GVWR+towing). I think you are fine but really need to focus on limiting the payload. Put extra stuff in the trailer, keep tanks empty when possible. You wrote the first weigh in was 4480 + 6080 = 10560 then a second weigh in with a bunch of stuff 5120 + 6540 =11,660. If anything try to reduce the load being put into the SUV. Good Luck.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, thanks!

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this post, including Rancher 350, Bob Kilmer, and NB Canada, I appreciate all the help. It has been quite an education trying to ingest all of the information regarding weight distribution, towing capacity, GVWR etc. (Bob Kilmer, I checked the sticker in the door frame but it does not list GCWR. I did however find numbers for a 2009 Lexus GX470 which is arguably almost the exact same vehicle, and it has a GCWR of 11,521 lbs, so perhaps my combined weight of 10,560 lbs is within recommended parameters) In any case, for the sake of safety, gas mileage, and legality, I'll do my best to keep cargo to the minimum, and when possible, mostly in the trailer rather than the tow vehicle. I'll also stop at the scales on my next trip to check again. Any additional input from you guys is appreciated. Safe travels, Karl

  10. #10
    Left The Driveway
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    towing capacity 6500 (more with weight distribution hitch)
    tongue weight max 650 (more with weight distribution hitch)

    For clarification: A WHD doesn't increase capacities, it distributes them and increases control.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

DISCLAIMER:This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Grand Design RV, LLC or any of its affiliates. This is an independent site.