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Old 02-02-2011, 07:14 AM   #1
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Default hello - and RAV4 question

Hello everyone,
I am hoping to close on a sale of my very first TT and it happens that the one my wife and I love is 189FDS. It's a beauty and I think we're getting a reasonable deal. Now that we are so close to getting it I'm having concerns. I would appreciate your honest feedback as I don't want to make a huge mistake...

My tow vehicle will be a RAV4 (V6 4WD) with a factory installed tow prep. That means I can - supposedly - tow up to 3500lb. The FF is 3270lb. That's cutting it very close. My wife has agreed to using paper plates etc. to cut down on the cargo weight, we have decided to take out grill that comes with the trailer, second matress, etc. We will not be carrying any water.

Still, I know we are so close to the limit it is not comfortable. Especially since tongue weight of the FF is 380lb while RAV4 in that regard is 350lb. Installing weight distribution is something I probably should do but that would add to the towed weight running it even closer to the magical 3500lb, right? Remember you're talking to an absolute newbie and may factors seems a little fuzzy to me.

Can you please speak form your experience? Are there any RAV4 owners with a similar experience? Please help.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:24 AM   #2
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I have a 189fbs about the same dry wieght but I think loaded im running about 4,000 lbs( you will be about the same) remember H20 is at least 200 lbs you will need H20 sometimes .(things add up)

My H3 has a inline 5 Clyinder with 4,500lbs tow weight and it was lugging up those long hills in KS TX + NM. otherwise not so bad and im 500 lbs under tow rating
Im only using a friction sway bar and you dont even know its back there on roads with minimum grades.

You will definatly be maxing out. with fridge stuff,clothes,grill(factory grill is light),H20,kitchen supplys,outdoor chairs , leviling boards,chucks,propane tanks,im not sure but dry weight might not include awning,AC,,propane tanks.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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I don't believe you can massage the numbers enough to do it. While the "empty" tongue weight is actually 400 lbs (according to the website) you will find that with battery and propane, you will be closer to 475 lbs. Add to that the fact that you'll need 12-13% of total TT weight as tongue weight for proper towing and you are looking at a more realistic tongue weight of 520 lbs. and probably at tad more. You then need to account for the weight of your WD hitch, ~100 lbs. You are looking at dropping the equivalent of between 500 and 650 lbs into your RAV 4's luggage area. Your RAV4's vehicle loading is ~1000 lbs max. and that doesn't account for the weight of any options or passengers. My guess is that you'll exceed not only tongue weight, but, maximum loading for the vehicle's frame, suspension and axles.

The trailer itself is rated to 3040 dry weight (that is dead stoned empty) with a max of 6000 lbs. Your quoted weight of 3270 is probably with battery, LPG and options, but, not with even the "required" take alongs; power cable, hoses (drain), fittings (drain) and freshwater supply. The rated full weight for the 189FDS is 6000 lbs. My "guess", is even packing lightly, you'll be a tad over 5,000 ready for the road and that is with empty tanks.

Then we get to the hitch itself... I don't believe the hitch on a RAV 4 is a class IV hitch...most likely a class III or even a class II. You can buy a conversion insert, but, their use will decrease your tow rating by 25%, putting the numbers cited above, way, way over the limit.

I won't even go into "sail area", the amount of horsepower required to overcome wind resistance of the frontal area of the TT while going down the road or the small wheel base of the RAV 4.

I think, if you look at, and talk to folks, about towing with a RAV 4, you will find that it is designed for towing utility (small) trailers, small boat or Jet-Ski trailer or bicycles; not for hard sided TTs. You may be able to tow a pop-up, if kept small, but, IMHO, the RAV 4 trying to tow something as large as the 189FDS is a no-go. Sorry...



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Old 02-02-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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Default Thanks!

Thanks Don,
That was most informative.

BTW, pls pass hellos from my ragamuffins to your ragamuffin.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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You also need to check the gross combined weight rating (GCWR). This is the total weight of the your trucks capacity for the loaded trailer and loaded vehicle and should never be exceeded. Typically the tow ratings assume a minimally loaded tow vehicle, so when starting loading it up with passengers & gear that effectively reduces the towing capacity. The GVWR should be posted somewhere on your vehicle. In the glovebox or on a plate inside a door frame for example.

I don't know your vehicle's specifics but if I had to guess I'd say even with an empty trailer you're probably overloaded.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #6
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Sorry about the bad news... Always hate to burst anyone's bubble, especially a future FunFinder owner. I hope that, maybe, you can swing the trailer purchase and find a used, slightly larger, SUV to tow with. The 189FSD is a fine trailer, it would be shame to have to pass a good deal on one up. I would also like to see ya'll traveling safe and secure.

My Ragamuffin would like to meet your ragamuffins in a CG someday, so don't let the dream die



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Old 05-31-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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Default Towing with a RAV 4

I know this post is a little late, but in case someone else has checked in regarding towing with small to medium SUVs, here are my thoughts. I have towed our 06 FF 189FD with a 2003 6 cylinder Toyota 4Runner hundreds of miles mountains and flat deserts. Although the V6 4Runner is rated at 5000 lbs. towing and is considerably larger and stronger than a RAV 4, I would not recommend towing this trailer with anything less than a V8. I recently moved up to a 2006 V8 4Runner and am glad I did. We just returned from the inaugural camping trip with hills and flat and the 5 speed V8 is mated perfectly to the trailer, whereas, the 4 speed V6 was always struggling.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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My wife has a Kia Sorento which has about the same tow rating as the Rav4. It does a good job of towing my little jon boat and a small utility trailer a few miles and it may tow a small speedboat like a 17ft OK but that would be my limit and even then, I would seriously consider getting a bigger SUV or a truck. You can find tons of used Suburbans and Tahoes as well as other capable towing vehicles for real cheap. A lot of them come from soccer moms not wanting to pay for the high cost of gas and are getting minivans instead.
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