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Travel towing capacity

Unread postby Tom on Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:49 pm

Okay, so partly introducing myself in the forum.

A couple years ago I got a 1974 270 which had gone through a full mechanical overhaul and upgrade in 2005 although the interior was relatively original since a few updates in the 1980s.

Previous owners had upgraded the engine considerably, so it is running a 440 with a lot of performance parts but brakes, steering, other components are original, but all fully functional. An airbag suspension was added to compensate for spring sag both front and rear. A massive rear trailer hitch and motorcycle lift was added and the trailer hitch itself is like what you would find on a farm service truck. 2" receiver, but all done in heavier steel. If it ever scrapes asphalt on an incline, the asphalt always loses.

So I have two tow behind vehicles but one of them I am having some misgivings about for long trips in mountains. It weighs in at around 3500 lbs unloaded, maybe 3800lbs loaded, not likely to break 4,000 without passengers. Really stripped down it is 3200. The other tow behind (A Geo metro) is well under 2,000 lbs, but lacks the off road capability I want on some trips.

As it sits, my Travco fully loaded with fuel and water is around 12,500lbs, GVWR is 14,000.

What's the realistic towing capacity that I should be looking at with this thing?
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Re: Travel towing capacity

Unread postby KB2CRK on Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:36 pm

My understanding is that the towing capacity is 10.000 lbs. I towed a Dodge Journey (3800 lbs) on a dolly From Georgia to Ohio across to Michigan and back home to Georgia last summer. Went up Fancy Gap in Virginia and through the mountains of west Virginia. On the way home we went over Monteagle in Tennessee. The old stock 440 did just fine but I will be adding brakes to the dolly this year. Ours is a 76. Welcome to the forum.
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Re: Travel towing capacity

Unread postby Tom on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:13 pm

Thanks. I have one of those brake buddy systems but have not used it on the open road yet. I am also thinking of installing a regular brake controller so that I can tow the larger utility trailer. On the mountains between California and Oregon I was usually a little faster than the big rigs, but not keeping up with regular cars. A few tough ones had me slowing down to maybe 40mph. Nothing at all taxed the brakes but a few downhill grades freaked me out a bit when I picked up too much speed. Hit the brakes and get steering wheel punching me in the gut. The previous owner made sure they were at 100%.

I saw old pictures of people towing pretty big boats with a Travco but was not sure if that was just on flatlands or if it was false advertising which car companies got famous for back in the day. I respect the 440 that's in it, but it's not like I have some big Cummins diesel pusher either.

In shifting the weight around. Does anybody have any idea what's realistic on adding weight to the front? I am looking at fabricating a big bull bar type front bumper with a spare tire carrier, some extra lights and maybe a relciever hitch that I leave a winch on.
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Re: Travel towing capacity

Unread postby L_S on Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:15 pm

BUMP!

Tom what did you find out? Anyone else have info on Travco GVWR / GCVWR?

Been daydreaming about a Travco project ( 270? 220? ) with plans to retrofit it with more modern drive-train. Would like the ability to pull a heavy trailer legally. Some of the large toy-hauler trailers are rated around 13,000 pounds, would be great to be able to tug something like that around.
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Re: Travel towing capacity

Unread postby raysimmons on Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:38 pm

hi tom, I have a '70 mahal and it weights in at 13,000 empty ! not sure why there is such a difference from yours. my 413 will tow a house but the drum brakes and my old single line (suicide) master cylinder keeps my towing to a minimum. most I've towed was an old Subaru with my "hydro braked" demco tow dolly or my 800 lb Harley with a very light enclosed trailer. (under 2500lbs)
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Re: Travel towing capacity

Unread postby KB2CRK on Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:48 pm

I have been told that the towing capacity is up to 10,000 lbs with the proper hitch.
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