rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: 1984 Chieftain 22 foot  (Read 824 times)


  • Posts: 4
1984 Chieftain 22 foot
« on: June 17, 2015, 05:36:40 PM »
I bought the rig 5 days ago. 65,000 original miles on a GM drivetrain of 454/th400 engine transmission. The rig is fitted with a tow option. Does anyone know what weight I could safely tow with my rig?



  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7976
  • Central IL
Re: 1984 Chieftain 22 foot
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 07:25:34 PM »
Your drivetrain is a factor, and the weight of your RV will impact how much "leftover" capacity remains for cargo (whether towed or carried on board).  It is always recommended that you have your rig weighed on a truck scale, and ideally know each corner weight... but at least the weights on each axle and overall total weight.

As far as the hitch that is installed... are there any markings or stickers in place on the hitch or bracket?  Something of 1980's vintage was not really designed for heavy towing, as nobody had thought much about brings "toads" (a car towed behind your RV) along yet.  At best, the factory Class III hitch is probably rated for 3500# max.  The issue often comes down to how the hitch is attached to the RV.  Usually it's a few bolts or small welds, and I don't think I'd want to trust a heavy vehicle or trailer to that connection.  On my 1994 Class A motorhome, I had the Class III hitch beefed up with the addition of long steel plates bolted to both the hitch and motorhome frame in about a dozen places.

There is a LOT more information in our forum library... click the "Library" link near the top of the page, and scroll down to "Towing and Towables" for a wealth of tow information.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012


  • Posts: 4
Re: 1984 Chieftain 22 foot
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 09:19:51 PM »
Trailer hitch capacity 2000 lbs. Gross maximum hitch ball 200 lbs. The hitch is welded to the bottom of the frame rails. My towing expectations were a trailer with a razor and possibly a small quad. Dual axle trailer is desired. Will investigate the library for correspondence. Thanks


  • ---
  • Posts: 6284
Re: 1984 Chieftain 22 foot
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 09:10:28 AM »
On the GM frames, I have noticed that the towing capacity is always lower than those on the Ford frames, at least in the more recent years. It often breaks down to the way the frame was extended to accommodate the 'house'. But you have to consider the vehicle itself and the ratings assigned by the manufacturer like the CGWR, GAWR's GVWR  (see library above) and the loads (your "stuff") being carried in the Chieftain. You can perhaps beef up the hitch and the attachment but you cannot alter the assigned ratings of the vehicle, which may become important if blame and an insurance company becomes involved for any reason.
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"