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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a '19 Ascent Limited with OEM hitch. I'm planning on towing a 5'x8' UHaul trailer for a camping trip, but curious what people think about how adding additional people (cargo) to the car affect the math. This is how I figured it...

Specs:

Cargo capacity: 1323 lbs (people + stuff in the car + hitch assembly + trailer tongue weight)
Towing capacity: 5000 lbs
Tongue weight capacity: 500 lbs

Cargo:

4 adults + 3 kids: 4 * 150 lbs + 3 * 75 lbs = 825 lbs
Random stuff in the car: 100 lbs
Hitch: 50 lbs (it's a guess, I couldn't find the weight of the hitch assembly online, just its towing specs)

Trailer weight: 900 (empty 5'x8' UHaul trailer) + 500 lbs (estimate of camping gear in trailer) = 1400 lbs
Tongue weight: 10% of trailer weight (assumption), or 140 lbs

That brings the math for the cargo capacity to: 825 + 100 + 50 + 140 = 1115 lbs, or 84% of max.

Our route is from Long Beach, CA to June Lake, CA and back. Two big hills, one out of the LA area, one after Bishop climbing to June Lake, otherwise mostly flat.

The trailer does not have brakes.

So, doable? I've pulled a few UHaul trailers, but just for local moves, and with other cars, and have never had to consider the math. Curious from the experts out there if I'm going about this the right way, or missing anything. I'm assuming I'll be doing 60mph most of the way, and interior space should be ok considering 3 of the 7 passengers are small kids (I have the bench).
 

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Assuming everyone isnt going to pile into the back seat you should be fine with weight. The rear axle rating of 3296lb gives you a lot to play with even if the tongue weight is assumed solely by the rear. You're way under what the Ascent can pull also. The lack of trailer brakes is a little concern but youre also not towing many thousands of pounds. If you keep your speed down and maintain a good following distance to avoid sudden braking its certainly doable, even if you underestimated gear weight.
 

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Yeah, you will be fine for the towing. But do make sure and leave a bit extra room for braking. The Ascent does have beefy brakes which helps.

I regularly pull 4,500lbs with several hundred pounds of gear in the back :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Now the hard part, negotiating with the kids on who gets to sit in the third row.
 

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With 3 kids in the car for us, whoever sat in the back got the whole row to themselves. They do like that!
 

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Does the uhaul maybe have hydraulic brakes? I'm not sure if that's the correct term. I mean the kind that is actuated when force is applied to the trailer tongue. Per the manual you should only tow 1000 lbs without brakes.
 

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Uhaul's 5x8 doesn't have a trailer brake. Only their 5x10 and 6x12 trailers have surge brakes.

@kimgust, he makes a good point on the Ascent manual. The 5x8 Cargo empty weight is 900 lbs, pretty darned close to the Ascent's stated need for brakes if you load much at all. The 5x10 Cargo empty weight is 1250 lbs, a bit more to tow but it has a surge brake (hydraulically activated when you brake the tow vehicle, by following a compression mechanism on the tow arm). I towed a 5x10 to move a couch, and it was a nice tow, certainly felt the surge brake helping.

F.S.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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I pulled the 5x8 from Florida to PA in August and it was pretty much "invisible" back there. I didn't feel any need for the additional brakes that the 5x10 would have brought. Got 23 MPG, too...
 
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