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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes  >  Class C

 > Towing Minivan with car dolly

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Pearland

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Posted: 06/12/19 10:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have 2004 30’ Fourwinds 5000 on Ford E450. Been towing a RAV4 with a car dolly, but the kids are getting bigger. Thinking about upgrading to a minivan, but it’s slightly over the RVs towing capacity of 5000lbs. Looks like most mini vans are 5600-6000 lbs. Anyone towing a minivan? Any issues? Any other vehicle I could consider? Thanks everyone.

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 06/12/19 10:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are including the weight of the dolly as part of the equation correct? Stay within your legal limits for starters, consider another vehicle and tow four down, thus eliminating the dolly. Yes, I know it's expensive to set up 4 down but having fun is expensive, especially when it starts with the two letters R and V.

PartyOf Five

Wheaton, IL

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Posted: 06/13/19 05:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The new Jeep Wrangler can be towed easily, holds 5, and should match your Rav4 pretty well. Plus it adds extra off-road capabilities, only mentioned since the "kids" are getting older.

DM if you want to sell the dolly in the next 2 weeks. Or if anyone else does...


Da Moose - 2001 Dutchman 31' on E450

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 06/13/19 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How are you calculating your towing capacity? Just because your hitch is rated at 5k does mean you can actually tow that much. In any event it sounds like the minivan will push you over at a minimum of 1,000 lbs. That's a LOT on A class C. Calculate the amount you can actually tow and stay within the limit.

Tow capacity is the LESSER of these:
The hitch rating OR GCWR minus the actual weight of your RV loaded for travel (fuel, water, food, people, etc). What's left over is the amount you can safely tow. You'd be surprised how many RV's out there have a 5k hitch but by the time they are loaded for travel have really nothing left for capacity.

rjstractor

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Posted: 06/13/19 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IIRC the op's motorhome chassis has a GCWR of 20,000 lbs. So if it has a 5K hitch it can tow the 5K. Base curb weights on minivans I looked up are about 4500 lbs, so with tow dolly weight it would be a little over 5K. A hitch upgrade could mitigate that, but like has been said, that's a lot of weight to tow.

way2roll

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Posted: 06/13/19 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rjstractor wrote:

IIRC the op's motorhome chassis has a GCWR of 20,000 lbs. So if it has a 5K hitch it can tow the 5K. Base curb weights on minivans I looked up are about 4500 lbs, so with tow dolly weight it would be a little over 5K. A hitch upgrade could mitigate that, but like has been said, that's a lot of weight to tow.


Without weighing the RV loaded, it's a guess at what the tow capacity is.

If the GCWR is 20k, but loaded you weigh 18k, then it doesn't matter that you have a 5k hitch, you only have 2k capacity left. Even if you only weigh 16k, you still only have 4k. Add the weight of the dolly and you really don't have a lot of tow capacity.

A hitch upgrade makes no difference unless you make the appropriate chassis upgrades as well. I can add a 15k hitch to my rig, it doesn't mean the chassis and the brakes, drivetrain, everything else can handle it. GCWR is based on the chassis, not the hitch. That's why the tow capacity is the LESSER of the two.

carringb

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Posted: 06/13/19 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd be looking at a Ford Transit Connect. Empty weight is about 4,000 pounds.

And for this, I an ACME tow dolly would be a good pairing.

I would avoid a turntable tow dolly because the fenders will likely smack the doors on turns, carrying a minivan. Steerable dollies are nice, but heavy. The Acme is a fixed dolly, and should work fine with the lighter Transit Connect. If you went much heavier, then I'd probably stick with a steerable dolly.


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
2015 Ford Focus ST


Jayco-noslide

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Posted: 06/13/19 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No question that you could tow it but should you is a different matter. Factor in steep grades, head winds and maybe heavier contents than you expect. Also braking capacity is just as important as power. We did flat tow a 2700 lb. Chevy Sonic with our 30 ft. Class C and that was OK but still a load you could feel. Now it's a 3000 lb. Ford Focus. Personally, I would not tow anything close to 5000 lbs. and probably wouldn't go over the Focus much if any. I found the "tow limit" hard to find and confusing in my manual but seemed like they were saying it really wasn't built to tow a load?


Jayco-noslide

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 06/13/19 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As an afterthought, having a toad with all that extra space is very tempting to fill it up with extra items. And if towing four down be sure and have a breaking system on the toad.
Interestingly enough, the tow bars of yesteryear were very basic .Saw many Jeeps being towed to the desert recreation areas and beyond and no brakes on them, not sure when it became a law.
So if you tow with a dolly that has no brakes how do you explain that gray area. You have 5K behind you with no brakes but if it was 4 down you would get scolded on here for not having a braking system.
Discuss and get back to me....[emoticon]

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 06/13/19 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

klutchdust wrote:

As an afterthought, having a toad with all that extra space is very tempting to fill it up with extra items. And if towing four down be sure and have a breaking system on the toad.
Interestingly enough, the tow bars of yesteryear were very basic .Saw many Jeeps being towed to the desert recreation areas and beyond and no brakes on them, not sure when it became a law.
So if you tow with a dolly that has no brakes how do you explain that gray area. You have 5K behind you with no brakes but if it was 4 down you would get scolded on here for not having a braking system.
Discuss and get back to me....[emoticon]


Lots of models of dollies with brakes.

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