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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Class A towing Information

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oldbrown

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Posted: 07/29/12 02:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am sure this subject is common so I apologize if its a pain. We are looking to purchase an older class A (1987-1995)in the next year and want something that can tow. We would at times be towing an enclosed traier with ATVs (guessing about 5500 lbs loaded) and occassionally a car to the dragstrip only 30 minutes away (guessing 7500lbs loaded). My thought was a shorter unit (24 to 28 foot)since it would just be 2 adults and 2 small kids. I am hoping by shortening the overhang, this could increase capacity. This shorter length seems not as common as the 30-35 footers.

Are there certain models to look for or do I need to look at each RV's hitch and owner's manual? I know I see a lot of people do it but I want to make sure it is safe. I know a lot of class C's are limited in towing that is why I am researching the class A. Thanks in advance.

daveshan

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Posted: 07/29/12 02:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at the owner's manual, the hitch may be rated higher than the frame/motor home is designed for. Tow capacity has several limiting factors, frame strength, hitch strength, braking ability, how having 5k lbs hanging off the back affects handling, and Combined Gross Vehicle Weight minus actual weight for just a few.

BTW, we started out looking for something using just about the same parameters you are. i.e. towing my Jeep/trailer every so often, by the time we found one that could do it we ended up with much more MH than we initially wanted but are very happy with it and the way it performs.

I can give you a little hint, you will NOT find a shorter unit in that age range that will tow 7500lbs safely.


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Usually towing an '01 Wrangler, lifted/locked on 35"s or a mildly built '98 Cherokee on 33"s (only one locker)


Executive

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Posted: 07/29/12 02:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave has given you some very good information. Most motorhomes of that vintage including many DPs have 5000 lb hitches.....Dennis


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oldbrown

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Posted: 07/29/12 02:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Dave for your input and experiences. I see you do it with your motorhome or truck camper. I have successfully did what I want to with a truck camper but a motorhome makes life easier for kids and wife.

driveby

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Posted: 07/29/12 03:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

and to add, the likelihood of a gas powered unit with a 7500+ tow capacity is pretty slim to none. I'd be concentrating on a DP as you'd have more options. *most* gas coaches have 5000 limits and some in the age range you've listed are as low as 3500. Most can't/won't allow a weight distribution hitch either.

Good luck on your search and before you lay down cash prove it documentation wise, I've met one too many person who doesn't understand all the limits (as noted above) that affect towing!


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driveby

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Posted: 07/29/12 03:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Side note, there are a few Super C with 10K ratings. Although those appeared in the 2005ish era so none in your age range. Also there are the racing conversions. Lots of tow capacity there and they've been around 'forever' so you could possibly find something like that.

search some Kibbi or Renegade coaches.

webhannet

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Posted: 07/29/12 04:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The rating of the hitch means NOTHING. The capacity of the coach will be the limiting factor. Look for a rating sheet inside a closet or cabinet. As was said, no gasser has that capacity - BUT, I think you've calculated your needs too high. A weiht ditributing hitch DOES NOT CHANGE the tow vehicle capacity - it only increases the hitch rating - again, that means nothing.

The 1994 Ford has almost 100 HP less than a newer one - just a thought. Entry level diesels of your time period are (mostly) low power too.

rowekmr

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Posted: 07/30/12 01:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our 98 Forest River Georgetown on a (1997) F53 chassis with 460 engine has a placarded empty weight of 14K, a gross weight of 17K and a gross combination weight rating of 25K. I don't haul or tow with it but theoretically it can carry 3K of passengers/cargo and tow a 8K trailer.


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ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 07/30/12 07:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most of those short motor homes have way to much rear over hang to be safe. I once took a small one with a big motor from Baltimore to NC towing my race car and it handled so bad I flew home, got my truck and another driver, and retrieved it. The distance from the rear wheels to the hitch make a big difference when towing.....You really need to look at something over 30ft with at least 325hp. There is a lot of BS about what you can and what you can't tow on this site. You need to ask people that have done it for a long time and often----not someone that is a "book expert". I tow my race car 12-15,000mi a year and have for over 50 years and some of the things I read on here make me laugh. You PM me a email address and I'll send you a pic of my current set up which is legal here but many seem to think it is to long. There are some real deals on Craigs list in the Carolinas on smaller DPs right now and some real nice older ones.

Blaster Man

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Posted: 07/30/12 11:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Work the numbers, the tow rating is the lower of:

1. GCWR minus RV's actual weight (if it's not over GVWR).

2. Hitch capacity.

3. Coach tow rating.

4. Chassis maker's tow rating.

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