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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Changing from 3500lb hitch to 5000lb.

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dougrainer

Carrolton, Texas

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Posted: 12/26/11 06:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

chucl66 wrote:

Thanks to all of you that answered my question.
To the one person with the 20 ton, example. I didn't ask about the size hitch I could install, just if I needed to have any chassis mods., to reinforce frame, to be able be safe with the extra capacity hitch.

Thanks to all,

Chuck


Chuck, YES, you did. You stated you wanted to go from a 3500 to a 5000. Now, Class A chassis already have the LARGEST Hitch that the OEM has determined can safely be installed for that chassis. The Chassis maker has NO input on the size hitch. It is up to the OEM RV maker to determine the capacity of the hitch they install for the RV they build. So, when you want to upgrade to a larger capacity hitch, you will have to have a certified welder check out the frame and make and install additional gussets and support members to accept a larger hitch SAFELY. Even tho a larger capacity hitch may bolt up to your frame, does not make it a safe addition. Doug

chucl66

Milton, Florida

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Posted: 12/26/11 07:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all your replies. I will just find a toad, that is under the hitch weight I have now.
So we can end this thread now.

Chuck


Chuck & Laraine


michahicks

Waterford/Gaylord, Mi

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Posted: 12/26/11 07:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bsinmich wrote:

Every time I read one of these posts I think of a Class A that I ran across in the UP of Michigan several years ago. He had gone over a little dip in the road while towing a heavy trailer and had broken the frame of the MH. It did look a little strange with that rear end hanging low and the big crack in the sidewalls. I always have a camera with me and somehow didn't stop. We were heading in the opposite direction at the time and I didn't think it was worth turning around for.


I was "that guy" one time. I had an old '72 26' Champion that had seen better days. I was young, and not shy about taking it anywhere. This must have been in the mid-late 80's. We hooked up a 4 place snowmobile trailer to it one snowy morning and headed north with it - with 5 snowmobiles loaded on it, and obviously overloaded. Several hours of difficult driving conditions later, the PU that was following us pulled up next to us and started pointing wildly to the back of the motorhome. Looking in the mirror, it was easy to see the trailer was there, but something wasn't right. We pulled off at the next exit, got out, and the problem became much more apparent. The RH frame rail extension had not only broken off at the joint, but had separated from the floor as well. The LH frame rail was twisting, but was holding the entire load by itself.

Back then you could still get repairs done at many gas stations so that's where we headed. The mechanic was gone for the day, and our problem was pretty apparent to the station attendant, so he let us rent the shop's arc welder to allow us a shot at repairing it. I remember this VIVIDLY, as I was laying on a creeper with the motorhome dripping on me, holding the extension in place with one hand, and trying to weld with the other. Soaking wet, every time I struck a weld I would be shocked lightly the entire time the bead was run.....

Anyway, we were able to make a temporary repair that held long enough for us to continue across the Mackinac Bridge and up to the Lake Superior coast destination. Obviously an experience I'll never forget. I can share the fact you do NOT want to be "that guy" much more clearly than most!


1997 38' HR Endeavor, 275 Cat, Freightliner
2003 CR-V Toad, Blue Ox, Ready Brake

racer99

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Posted: 12/26/11 07:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chuck for what it is worth I tackled the same problem on my own by drilling holes in the frame and putting 1/4 " square plates on both sides of the chassis-My weld was cleaned and checked but I wanted to see for myself that there were no cracks or bends-5 -- 1/2 bolts on each side sandwiching the frame may or may not help but I would hope it helps some-I'll be towing a Ford Ranger with two ATV's on the back on a Demco dolly with brakes-I'll weigh it before we head to Fl-Took the class 3 hitch off checked for cracks and put back on with grade 8 bolts--83# on hitch ball-Rich

ClassAGeek

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Posted: 12/26/11 08:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

chucl66 wrote:

Thanks for all your replies. I will just find a toad, that is under the hitch weight I have now...
Chuck


That's more like it.

I have a 5K hitch on a 35' F-53. I bought a 3000 lb car to stay well under both hitch and GCWR limits. All things considered, the weakest link the F-53 drivetrain is likely the transmission. With a 3000 lb car, I have 3500 lb GCWR cushion.


----
Happy Ford F-53 Class A Owner (2008 Gulf Stream)
2010 Ford Fusion Toad (with 6 speed manual transmission - the only way to tow)
Brake Buddy Vantage, Blue Ox Aladdin Tow Bar,
TST RV 507 TPMS, Power Master Voltage Controller

newxmar

East Otis, MA

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Posted: 12/26/11 08:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chuck

Chuck, YES, you did. You stated you wanted to go from a 3500 to a 5000. Now, Class A chassis already have the LARGEST Hitch that the OEM has determined can safely be installed for that chassis. The Chassis maker has NO input on the size hitch. It is up to the OEM RV maker to determine the capacity of the hitch they install for the RV they build. So, when you want to upgrade to a larger capacity hitch, you will have to have a certified welder check out the frame and make and install additional gussets and support members to accept a larger hitch SAFELY. Even tho a larger capacity hitch may bolt up to your frame, does not make it a safe addition. Doug

Think that the chassis maker has some concern about towing weight. What about cooling capacity, braking capability, tire capability, axle rating, and drive line strength with higher than rated towing capacity?????

With the rated towing weight specification the chassis manufacturer designs the chassis!


Overload may void the warranty (if any is left) and short change safety and reliability.

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