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Hitch load question

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Topic author
marco10
I am smitten with my van
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:06 pm

Hitch load question

Post by marco10 »

My hitch is rated at 200/2000 weight carrying and 750/6000 weight distributing. I tow a trailer with no weight distributing hitch and my trailer is 290/2700. The question is ... am I exceeding the hitch capacity? :-k

FYI, 200/2000 means 200lbs tongue weight/2000lbs trailer weight.

tripplec
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Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:31 pm

Rating

Post by tripplec »

Technically yes you are.

Tongue weight of 200lbs sound like a Class I hitch, used on small cars. I would be embarrassed to put on on my truck. You should use nothing less than a Class II for anything other than very light trailering.

If you are using it for very short distances. Hauling a few miles up and back to you location it's unlikely you'll have a problem but. Who installed this. If it isn't bolted to spec's it could rip off and then you in deep sh....t.
Astro AWD LT 1996
315,000km,
rear leaf, tranny cooler, Hercules HP 4000 235P-70/15
CLASS III hitch
Markham, ON, Canada

Topic author
marco10
I am smitten with my van
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:06 pm

Post by marco10 »

Believe it or not it's a class III. Factory install. Do I need a higher rated carrying hitch?

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LiftedAWDAstro
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Location: New Haven, NY

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

My '03 has the same hitch ratings. I think it has more to do with how the vans will handle with more tongue weight. I personally have towed 3500# with mine and the hitch has no problem with the weight. Your trailer will be fine behind the van.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

tripplec
I am smitten with my van
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:31 pm

Post by tripplec »

marco10 wrote:Believe it or not it's a class III. Factory install. Do I need a higher rated carrying hitch?

Image
Ok, I likely got the same thing. My buddie does hitches for a living for couple of decades and he put mine on. I have forward the info over for his professional feedback. But offhand you have nothing to worry about. The receiver extension you slide in will likely say 500lbs tongue weight and around 5000lb towing. As for the sticker certainly not near it's capacity nor the vehicles either. I'll get back and post the answer.
Astro AWD LT 1996
315,000km,
rear leaf, tranny cooler, Hercules HP 4000 235P-70/15
CLASS III hitch
Markham, ON, Canada

tripplec
I am smitten with my van
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:31 pm

Here you go

Post by tripplec »

This is a direct copy and paste quote of the reply.

"Liability man… it is exactly what it says… it’s what the manufacturer is willing to “liable” for… in this case…

Weight carrying capacity is: 2000lbs with 200lbs tongue weight

Weight Distributing Capacity (with bars) is: 6,000lbs. with a maximum tongue weight of 750 lbs of tongue weight.

…and when they say maximum… it means when that thing BREAKS… there is not much safely built into it!!!

In English though… it means 2000/200

And 6,000/600… the extra tongue weight (750) is to allow for the propane bottles on a house trailer…

Does that help?" End of quote.

With our without an equalizer setup. If it's rated a 600lbs it still is but you will suffer a saged rear end with that weight I am sure.
Astro AWD LT 1996
315,000km,
rear leaf, tranny cooler, Hercules HP 4000 235P-70/15
CLASS III hitch
Markham, ON, Canada

tripplec
I am smitten with my van
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:31 pm

Follow up from the expert

Post by tripplec »

"Yes… the hitch capacity is being exceeded, because although the hitch may pull it… to be “legal” you must abide by the sticker on the hitch. If the Ministry pulls you over for any reason… that is what they will be looking at and it doesn’t matter what any of us say otherwise. The onus will be on you and that sticker..

Nowadays “Class 3” usually only indicates that the unit has a 2” receiver on it, because these days the term “Class 3” is so loosely used. The factory sources the cheapest component in many cases… caveat emptor. Yes, you will need to remove that hitch and install another aftermarket unit. A premium branded Class 3 hitch on THAT vehicle IS rated for 5000lbs weight carrying with 500lbs tongue weight. You get what you pay for. However, in terms of cost, you really only require a Class 2 hitch, which will give a 3500lb capacity without a problem! I hope that helps!"
Astro AWD LT 1996
315,000km,
rear leaf, tranny cooler, Hercules HP 4000 235P-70/15
CLASS III hitch
Markham, ON, Canada

Rufus
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Follow up from the expert

Post by Rufus »

tripplec wrote:"Yes… the hitch capacity is being exceeded, because although the hitch may pull it… to be “legal” you must abide by the sticker on the hitch.
Yes, you will need to remove that hitch and install another aftermarket unit. A premium branded Class 3 hitch on THAT vehicle IS rated for 5000lbs weight carrying with 500lbs tongue weight. You get what you pay for. However, in terms of cost, you really only require a Class 2 hitch, which will give a 3500lb capacity without a problem! I hope that helps!"
You don't have to remove anything. You should add a WD hitch to your trailer which will give you the higher tongue and load ratings you need.
Understand that even though the hitch will then be rated for 6000lbs, your van is NOT.
You don't give any details on your axle ratio or if you have AWD, so follow this:

3.73 ratio = 5500 lbs
3.42 ratio = 5000 lbs
3.23 ratio = not recommended for towing
On AWD models these figures DROP by approximately 500 lbs due to added friction and power loss in the drivetrain.

As you have already figured out, tongue weight is an important issue that you must also abide by.
A 4000 lb load with a 500lb tongue will be overloading your standard hitch.
Using a WD hitch on your trailer for this same load will be within spec.
Towing capacities INCLUDE everything IN your van including passengers, fuel, luggage, etc. If you're towing with 6 men in your van, you have taken up 1000-1200 lbs of your towing capacity.
A full tank of gas will use 200 lbs of your towing capacity, etc.

I keep reading people say "heck I towed a Mack truck behind my van... you'll be ok towing that semi".
Just because you "did", doesn't mean you "should". Follow the rated towing capacities of your vehicles before you kill someone!!
Towing a tree stump a few miles down a rural road is one thing. Towing a travel trailer that is too heavy for your van down the Interstate is plain irresponsible and dangerous. If something happens you will be totally at fault and liable for the incident.... and personally I'd sue the crap out of you.
As any commercial truck driver will tell you, the driver is totally responsible for a safe load. You can't use the excuse that "my boss told me to haul/tow this". You as the driver are totally responsible for what your towing/hauling...no one else.
97 Astro LS Passenger Van, 4.3L (newly rebuilt)
New Orleans, LA
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