Our church has a 10,000 GVW dual axle trailer for disaster relief. We’ve taken it to Mississippi a number of times post Katrina to help repair homes and into Appalachia on Appalachia Service Projects. We’ve weighed it and it comes in at around 6600 lbs with the tools and equipment we carry.
We’re looking at the possibility of getting a tow vehicle that would also handle passenger duties when the trailer isn’t deployed. A 12+ passenger E350 or GMC 2500 Savannah passenger van comes to mind. Though in looking at this link: http://www.onlinetowingguide.com/guidelines/towing_capacities2010.html the selection of non-pickups capable of towing 10,000 lbs is pretty limited.
If we were to buy a tow vehicle does it need to match the maximum capacity of the trailer or would something that is rated to tow 7500 lbs OK as long as we don’t exceed that on the trailer? Anyone know where I can get the definitive (aka LEGAL) answer? When the van is towing the trailer I would likely not be carrying a full load of passengers. The passenger transport duties would be to pick up aging members from a new local senior citizens village for Sunday services and events at church. This would be the vehicles primary purpose. Given the possible limited mobility issues with seniors we don’t want something like a Suburban 2500 or used Excursion because the third rows are all but useless for senior citizens. We’d also use it for youth group trips to the beach or mountain camps.
In hindsight I wish they would have listened to me when I advocated a smaller trailer that can be towed by a half ton pick-up like an F-150 or Chevy/GMC 1500 series. It has only been recently that the Ford and Chevy half tons have been listed with a 10,000 lb towing capacity. This beast is so big we leave it at home on some of these trips and transfer stuff to a smaller trailer from the Scout troop instead of lugging the beast. Even though we have 2000 members in the church we have a very limited number of F-250/2500 series pickups in the congregation.