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  1. #1
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    RTV400ci

    Default Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    I have read with interest the posts about the RTV 500's performance. They range from claims that it will climb a tree in low range to assertions that it is so underpowered that it won't even climb a steep hill without a load. I don't know what to believe.

    The RTV 500 is the perfect size for me, as I will have to trailer it from my house to my acreage about 30 minutes away. I really cannot buy anything larger.

    My question is whether the RTV 500 will handle my only access to a neighboring river -- a 200-yard path on a hill of about a 20 - 24% slope. The path is mostly packed red chirt with some ruts and occasional loose (but small) Ioose stones. My Honda Rancher AT 420 eats it up but is too light to tow much. It would be great to have the ability to pull 800 - 1000 pounds up the hill (building materials and equipment).

    I will try out the machine on site before purchase but am interested in hearing your advice.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Elite Member timswi's Avatar
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    Beaver County Pa
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    Kubota BX23 & RTV1100

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    Quote Originally Posted by Travieso5 View Post
    I have read with interest the posts about the RTV 500's performance. They range from claims that it will climb a tree in low range to assertions that it is so underpowered that it won't even climb a steep hill without a load. I don't know what to believe.

    The RTV 500 is the perfect size for me, as I will have to trailer it from my house to my acreage about 30 minutes away. I really cannot buy anything larger.

    My question is whether the RTV 500 will handle my only access to a neighboring river -- a 200-yard path on a hill of about a 20 - 24% slope. The path is mostly packed red chirt with some ruts and occasional loose (but small) Ioose stones. My Honda Rancher AT 420 eats it up but is too light to tow much. It would be great to have the ability to pull 800 - 1000 pounds up the hill (building materials and equipment).

    I will try out the machine on site before purchase but am interested in hearing your advice.

    Thanks.
    An RTV500 will certainly climb a tree in low range...Not sure about that much tow weight though..my RTV1100 is only rated for 1100#....You'd have to try it and be very careful when you do..Over 800# is getting near the weight of the machine and that's dangerous...You' run out of traction in Low before you'll run out of power.

    My RTV500 did everything I asked of it and then some...You just might have to make a few more trips
    BX23TLB & RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow

  3. #3
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    RTV400ci

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    Thanks, timswi. I hear you on the safety issues. My Rancher has the power to pull a few hundred pounds up the hill but is too light to maintain traction. My hope is that the RTV's added weight, lower range, and superior drive will increase my ability dramatically. I never get over 20 MPH on this property. It's all about climbing, descending, and pulling.

  4. #4
    Elite Member timswi's Avatar
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    Kubota BX23 & RTV1100

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    Quote Originally Posted by Travieso5 View Post
    Thanks, timswi. I hear you on the safety issues. My Rancher has the power to pull a few hundred pounds up the hill but is too light to maintain traction. My hope is that the RTV's added weight, lower range, and superior drive will increase my ability dramatically. I never get over 20 MPH on this property. It's all about climbing, descending, and pulling.
    Take it a little bit at a time until you get the right balance....Be careful.
    BX23TLB & RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow

  5. #5
    Elite Member timswi's Avatar
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    Kubota BX23 & RTV1100

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    Quote Originally Posted by Travieso5 View Post
    Thanks, timswi. I hear you on the safety issues. My Rancher has the power to pull a few hundred pounds up the hill but is too light to maintain traction. My hope is that the RTV's added weight, lower range, and superior drive will increase my ability dramatically. I never get over 20 MPH on this property. It's all about climbing, descending, and pulling.
    Welcome to TBN!!!

    BX23TLB & RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow

  6. #6
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    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
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    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    I have an RTV500 with optional wide Turf Tires. I have pulled a single-axle, 350 pound, Canadian MUTS trailer, with standard (15-psi max) wide tires, over-loaded with 1,000-1,100 pounds of dirt on LEVEL asphalt private road without too much strain, although it takes the combination a while to reach 15 mph speed. I am doubtful that an 800 pound load plus a 350 pound trailer is do-able up a 20-24% rough grade. There are no brakes on ATV trailers. A loaded trailer trys to push the towing vehicle when there is any "slack" in the tow and there is potential for jack-knifing the combination possibly turning over either trailer or towing vehicle. Also, you will likely be in LOW range/4-WD so momentum will not be available as an assist. You are hoping for too much from 15.8 horsepower.

    I have backed up the MUTS loaded with 500 pounds of spoiled wood and brush up a rough burn pile embankment for 25 feet before tipping the load and this has been fine.

    The trailer + wheels/tires you use will make a big difference. I bought the MUTS because it carries the load LOW, between the wheels, so loaded trailer is stable; MUTS comes standard with very wide low-pressure tires. Half the ATV trailers sold, in contrast, carry the load on a flat bed above the wheels. While I have no experience with the latter, the load being above the axle must make the loaded trailer more "tippy".

    Reviewing my RTV500 specs I see kubota gives a towing max of 1,102 pounds, which would INCLUDE weight of the trailer, for the 1,300 pound RTV. I wonder if this allows for the tools you will soon accumulate in the vehicle bed? See photos.

    With the appropriate trailer I would think 400 pounds + 350 pound trailer (( NO PASSENGER)) up the slope would be safe. Only my opinion, not a recommendation. Any reason you cannot make multiple trips?

    TRAILER LINK:

    http://www.muts.ca

    Have you done a search here on T-B-N for RTV500? There are 49 "TITLE" posts.
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    Last edited by jeff9366; 01-16-2013 at 07:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    Thanks, guys. I would rarely be towing that much weight -- just threw those numbers out to see what the consensus would be. It would be nice to have that capability, but, as you say, I can always make another trip. Your responses do suggest that the 500 is probably stronger than I thought. I hope to put one through its paces on Friday.

  8. #8
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    I have an RTV 1140.... more horsepower, heavier, I've pulled amazing loads with it...well in excess of specs and, some would say, sanity.
    biggest so far is loaded 1000 gallon metal tank trailer filled with water...you do the math...but not up such a long slope...but I did pull it up a hill, had advantage of slope to get run at it....beware of no brakes on trailer...you might try a more powerful RTV if you are serious about towing.

    Mine has done all I asked of it, and much more!
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    What "makes" the RTV500, in my opinion, is the HST transmission. Not sure you will find it exceptional during a test drive but when you begin to tow, pull or harrow the HST tranny is most impressive.

    Get the optional $250 wide turf tires. They give better traction than standard, smaller ribbed tires and the ride is less jolting. Money well spent.

    I have had my RTV500 in commercial use for 18 months and nothing has fallen off, nothing has broken. ( I rarely let anyone else drive it.) Turf tires hardly show wear.

    kubota quality.
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    Last edited by jeff9366; 01-16-2013 at 07:55 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kubota RTV 500 Uphill Pulling / Towing

    Thanks again. Given the limitations on size, the only other machines I've considered are the JD Gator XUV 550 and the Kawasaki Mule 610. Both are belt-driven and use carbs. What I'm hearing is that the RTV 550 will at least perform on par with those machines and will certainly last longer.

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