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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope I did not get your hopes up by placing this thread in the Towing section.

I have not really pulled a travel trailer with my 2019 Ascent 8-passenger Premium yet, but I am very, very seriously ‘thinking’ about it.

I have archived several months of research and thoughts about pulling a travel trailer with my Ascent onto my Web server. I did that mainly to protect my work from a computer crash or theft. There are no outside links to this information, so just finding it with a Web search would be highly unlikely.

Since the information is now ‘out there on the Web’, I thought that I would post a link here so that anyone who’s thinking about towing a travel trailer with their Ascent would also have this information available to them.

The information includes my towing background, why I started the research, some general information on selecting a suitable travel trailer, a modified spreadsheet, and how to use it, that I created to speculate on whether a specific trailer might be towable by the Ascent, what we are looking for in a towable and why, possible trailers that the wife and I have considered, and the thoughts about whether or not we really want to do this again.

It is my hope that someone besides myself finds this at least a little useful or thought provoking, but if not, that is okay as well.

Be forewarned that this information is not a ‘quick read’.

The link is:
Thoughts on Towing
 

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Interesting information.

One thing to remember that gets lost these days. The weight recommendation has almost nothing to do with HP and Torque and everything to do with the suspension, transmission and brakes.

When my parents bought a 9,000 lb 30' fifth wheel in 1990, they pulled it with a 1990 GMC 2500, which had a whopping 160hp and 235 ft-lbs of torque. In contrast my 2015 GMC 2500 had 385hp and 385ft-lbs of torque. The pull weight did increase from 9,000 to 14,500 because of the increase in hp/torque, but the first restriction is the suspension.

I had no trouble pulling my 3,500lb pop-up trailer up the mountains last weekend. I wouldn't imagine another 500 to 1,000 lbs would bog it down as I was doing 60mph up the 5-8% grades with no bogging or increase in temps (as read from the ODBLink, not the gauges). I have an hour's worth of data from the pull, but I don't have the full version of RaceRender yet, so can only make a 3 min video. Gotta order that soon!
 

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Interesting stuff. I will say the Ascent was more stable with the Heartland Edge without a weight distributing hitch than the bigger F150 King Ranch is *with* the weight distributing hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for sharing your experience Kevin. It is very valuable 'real world' information. Kevin, would you mind sharing what your trailer is please?

Robert, I totally value your input. You've been a great help so far. :)
 

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It is a 2009 Fleetwood Sequoia with a 3500 GVWR rating. I probably had it at 3200lbs of stuff or so. It's a high-sided pop-up so you don't have to pull up the sink when you unpack it, but that also adds to the weight.

When I pulled it with my 2015 GMC 2500 it felt like it wasn't there. I was happy when I hooked it to the Ascent that I had a similar experience. Most times (except looking in the mirror) it was hard to tell I was towing a trailer. I actually had pay attention to keep my speed under 70mph. I had a large cross wind on the way up Friday and if I got to 75mph it would start to sway a bit. I prefer to keep it around 65mph anyway to limit the load on the trailer tires and help prevent blowouts.

The only time I ever really felt the trailer get squirrely was under heavy braking downhill (someone in a car going 45mph!), but it quickly sorted itself out. Probably another notch or two on the brake controller would sort that out.

I haven't been able to make a video of the towing data, but I did scroll through it all and the engine coolant temp only varied a few degrees either way the whole trip. The oil temp varied maybe +5 to +10F when towing up the steep grades, but again nothing to worry about.

Overall I'm very happy with it as a tow vehicle. When I find a good trailer I'll also use it to tow my race car across town to the local tracks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
My Thoughts on Towing - update

I’ve updated the information and format of my Thoughts On Towing with a 2019 Ascent.

The Link doesn't show as a link, but just click on the words Thoughts on Towing below:
Thoughts on Towing

I have a Website that I use to share my radio controlled, electrically powered, model airplane information. Since I do a lot of HTML coding (Web page coding), I put a lot of the information that I discovered about travel trailers into that format when I was gathering it. I also used that format to present possible trailer options to my wife, so that I didn’t have to keep track of the related manufacturer’s Websites and YouTube videos about each specific trailer.

The project took on ‘a life of its own’ as I gathered more and more information.

I also modified a spreadsheet that I found online to guesstimate whether the Ascent could actually tow the trailers that we were looking at and thinking about.

As I got even more ‘into it’, I also created a spreadsheet that assigns point values to the various couple’s trailers that we were investigating. This was done in an attempt to be a bit more subjective than, “Oh wow, that seems like a good one!” Robert’s Heartland Edge M18 is also there for a reference point.

Both spreadsheets are available as downloads in Excel .xls format for you to ‘tinker’ with, if you’d like to.

There are actually three different pages of information.

The introduction page, Thoughts and Research on Towing with the 2019 Ascent, now has a table of contents to make it more useful.

Part 1: My Towing Background

Part 2: Getting Started With the Research - Includes links to Ascent Forum topic notes by people actually pulling trailers with the Ascent and a couple of videos of Ascents towing trailers

Part 3: Gathering Information to Return to Towing a Travel Trailer - Videos and an Internet article regarding real towing capacity and towing weights

Part 4: Using MY Modified Spreadsheet to Predict Weights - My spreadsheet is based on the information provided in Part 3.

Part 5: Figuring Out IF the Ascent Could Pull a Couple's Coach Was Only a First Step - This section includes the link to MY page of informative videos about purchasing, equipping and maintaining a travel trailer. (The link to Information On Purchasing & Maintaining a Travel Trailer That I Found Useful is here. That is a second page.)

Part 6: If WE do decide to do this - The search for possible trailers for US - This section includes the link to the trailers that I have researched and that might be possible to tow with an Ascent. (There are 23 of them that make up a third page with links to manufacturer’s Websites and YouTube videos about each specific trailer.)

Part 7: Do We Really Want to Do This? - Obstacles to Overcome - Reflections on whether this is a feasible or desirable thing to do now at this time in our life.

Since I did a lot of research, I wanted to share it with the Ascent community.

My hope is that someone, besides myself, finds it useful.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update 12/11/2018

I recently found a series of videos of a gentleman pulling a KZ travel trailer with a Hyundai Santa Fe XL. The XL version is quite similar to the Ascent in power and towing capacity.

I added a section to my article, “Thoughts on Towing with the 2019 Ascent. The link is below.
Thoughts on Towing

The new section is titled, “Addendum 12/11/2018 A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE”. His videos are a real world example of towing an almost 3500 lb. loaded trailer from Toronto to Prince Edward Island and back to Toronto.

I believe the videos contain enough useful information to be of use to those of us thinking about towing with our Ascents.

I’ve also added a new page that has a beginning list of things that I must purchase besides the trailer. It is not complete, but a really good start. The page is titled “RV Essentials”. The link is below.
RV Essentials

I’ve continued to do more research on the possible trailers themselves. At this point in time, I can only say that I am extremely disturbed by the lack of quality control of all of the brands that I have researched thus far!
Trailer Research

I’ll keep you updated through this process.

The wife and I are planning on attending an RV show in Grand Rapids, MI, in the middle of January, weather and driving conditions permitting. I’ll let you know about our progress in selecting a possible couple’s trailer as we move along this journey.

Ken
 

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Does anyone think there's any prayer of seeing increased towing capacities on future model years of the Ascent? I've been looking at toy haulers, and fitting under 500 for the tongue weight especially is *really* tight. If there's any possibility they could engineer it up to 6,000 pounds trailer weight and 700 tongue weight that would dramatically increase the list of options available (from, uh, possibly just one to a dozen or so).
 

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It is my understanding that the Ascent rated for 5000lbs. includes a separate additional transmission cooler rated for that purpose.
 

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Does anyone think there's any prayer of seeing increased towing capacities on future model years of the Ascent? I've been looking at toy haulers, and fitting under 500 for the tongue weight especially is *really* tight. If there's any possibility they could engineer it up to 6,000 pounds trailer weight and 700 tongue weight that would dramatically increase the list of options available (from, uh, possibly just one to a dozen or so).
No I doubt it. 500+lbs plus the challenge of the wagon seating of 7-8 with a 3rd row passenger weight situation its a stretch. The 4dr midsized trucks are seeing tow and hitch ratings the highest ever right now. Even out classing the older full sized 1/2 tons from a few yrs ago. At 7500lbs and 1300-1600lb load ratings on the bed which means 700-800lb hitch ratings.

Those are beefy full frame mid sized trucks. The new Bronco based on the Ranger will likely be a 7 passenger 2-3-2 seater on the Ranger platform. I doubt it will get the ranger 7500lb rating most likely it gets a 5000 or maybe slightly higher rating. My 05 Sequoia is rated 5000, 500 hitch but with load leveling its listed as 5600lbs max. I’ve hauled a 4500lb boat with it and I can say with lots of confidence that I would not drag 4500 with that truck on any long trips. It does well in the 2500-3500 range though!

On the flip side we do quite a bit of camping and I find at least out west that keeping the foot print as small as possible greatly increases the site availability options. Which is one thing I struggle with I’d love to increase our season range by going at least partial hard side for colder temps. Right now we run a super basic Lifetime tent/utility trailer setup which is great during spring/summer/fallish. We also fit in tight tent only sites which is a boon regarding sold out campgrounds. Were 12ft hitch to tail lights right now. 13-14ft is about max fit for tent only options. After that your number of sites decrease exponentially with length. Which stinks especially when you find even out of the way lesser parks are booked solid 4-5 months out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update: 01/07/2019

My Thoughts and Research on Towing with the 2019 Ascent
Thoughts on Towing

I have collected a lot of new information that should be useful to those thinking about returning to the RV lifestyle, as well as first-time folks.

With the table of contents at the top of my homepage, it is easy to navigate the information.

There are several auxiliary pages that supplement the original information along with many new links to a lot of useful information.

My notes regarding the two videos and the article in Part 3:, Gathering Information to Return to Towing a Travel Trailer, have been moved to a supplementary page to make reading through that section a bit less tedious.

A Practical Example was added to this section using a series of YouTube videos. A Canadian gentleman pulled a couples type travel trailer, a KZ 180QB, from Toronto to Prince Edward Island using a Hyundai Santa Fe XL 3-seat SUV. I provided the information to compare it to the Ascent.

Part 7: Do We Really Want to Do This?, has a lot of new, updated and valuable information provided.

My wife and I are planning on attending a couple of RV shows with a specific list of trailers to view and get the feel of. We’ll also be gathering information on campgrounds in Michigan.

We will not be purchasing a travel trailer at any of the shows we attend, as that is a really bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update of info 02/21/19

Hi,

I’ve done a lot of updates to My Thoughts and Research on Towing with the 2019 Ascent Website.

Thoughts on Towing

The Index has a new section that links and describes the other pages on the site.

A lot of new information has been added to the homepage itself, a lot!

All of the auxiliary pages have been updated as well.

There are now 26 trailers noted on the Trailer Research page.

The links to RV Videos relating to the purchase and maintenance of travel trailers has had several new links added.

I hope some of you are finding this information at least thought provoking and possibly useful.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Updates 03/10/19

I’ve recently cleaned up spelling and grammatical errors in the My Thoughts and Research on Towing with the 2019 Ascent page.
Thoughts on Towing

I’ve updated the RV Essentials and Wants page. This is a generic page with no pricing
RV Essentials

A new page has been added; My RV Essentials and Wants. This page has sources and pricing. It also demonstrates that most people will need an initial amount of between $3000 and $4000 if they do now already have a travel trailer of some type to obtain what they will need to add to the trailer. I am actually at about $4250 right now on top of the price for the travel trailer.
My RV Essentials

New video links have been added to the RV videos page.
RV Videos

New information has also been added to the trailer research page.
Trailer Research

More information has been added to the Summaries page.
Summaries and More

I hope some of you are finding this research helpful.

Sincerely,
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update 04/28/2019

I recently updated My Thoughts on Towing page
Thoughts on Towing

There is a new section on doing your own Pre-delivery Inspection, PDI, as well as other updates and changes.

We have a deposit on a new Forest River/Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB at Haylett RV, in Coldwater, MI.
The trailer is similar to this one, except that it has the Summit package with the front windshield.,
https://www.haylettautoandrv.com/rv...+traveltrailer/12309/coachmen+apex+nano+187rb

I've gotten my Tekonsha P3 brake controller installed.

Once the weather breaks here, I plan on checking out my Haul Gauge. I'll let you know how that goes.

It sure has been quiet here on the Towing section.
I had hoped to see more reports from folks on what they've purchased and that are towing now.
 

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Picking up my second rental (same trailer) in a couple hours! This one is solo, bringing it up for an annual lakeside guy-trip. Less than 4 hours drive if I get an early start. Otherwise it will be 5+ hours, through LA traffic (which is an experience I really don't want to log).

Congrats on the purchase!
 
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