Hitch Receiver On Damon Challenger

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Ray D

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Hitch Receiver On Damon Challenger, 2005.  GCWR - 26,000; GVWR - 20,700; GAWR F - 7,500 ? R - 14,500.

This is going to be a short thread! I?m never going to understand towing, if I can?t understand the simple basics.

My hitch receiver has a placard with the following information on it.

Putnam Hitch Products
Class (Blank) There is nothing written there.
Wt. Dist.  5,000
Tongue Wt 500
Wt Carrying 5,000
Tongue Wt 500

Simple Basic Questions:

So, what class is it? My dealer says it is Class III..

?Wt Dist? and ?Wt Carrying? are the same quantity. So what does each mean? Why bother with the same number twice, since to my uneducated mind they both refer to how much I can tow. ???

?Tongue Wt? appears twice. No Earth shaking importance, that I can see, for listing it twice. I think it means that is the weight I can have pushing down on the tongue, both listings. ???

Now, let?s get highly technical. (We started out, over my head!)

IIRC correctly, from other posts, if I tow something, I need 10% to 15% of the tow weight on the hitch, for stability. I am limited to 5,00lbs. That would put 500 to 750 lbs on the tongue. Limit is 500, so can disregard anything above that. Do I subtract the tongue weight to get the actual weight I can tow? Since the real limit is 500 lbs, does that further limit the gross tow weight? With the 20% penalty for living and camping in the mountains of the NorthWest, am I at 4,000 lbs? Does my tongue wt then go to 400 lbs? Or, for idle curiosity, does it then go to minimum of 400 with a maximum of 500?

I?ll put a Joker in the deck. I weighed the RV loaded, for travel. That included passengers and gear, food etc, full water, propane, and gas, with empty gray and black. I can?t find the weight slip, at this time, but  I was way far under the max weight. I could have been towing 5,000 lbs and still been way, way under. Since then, to save gas, we down loaded a bunch of stuff and only carry what we need for the trip, as planned. I fill the water, half way, fill the propane and gas, full.

Now, if I use the loaded weight, as scaled, and am 1,000 lbs or more below GCWR, do I still need to limit the towed vehicle to 4,000 lbs? ???

Thanks.

Ray D
 

2006F350

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Memphis TN
Class III Hitch

Weight Distributing means that the hitch can tow a trailer weighing up to 5000Lbs on a weight distributing type hitch where the trailer weight is spread out between the trailer and the tow vehicle via weight distribution spring bars or the such. Weight carrying means that it can be used to pull a trailer weighting up to 5000 Lbs without weight distribution spring bars. In both cases, the maximum allowed weight on the ball (tongue) is 500Lbs. These are the maximum your hitch is rated for. Please, for your sake and ours, do not exceed the ratings.

Yes, for stability, you want from 10 to 15% of the trailer weight on the ball. You mentioned disregarding anything over 500Lbs ---- DONT!. That 500Lbs is your upper limit, do not exceed it. Same with the 5000Lbs Dist / Carry Weight - that is the maximum.

Using your figures 26000 - 20700 = 5,300 is the max you can tow, but your hitch further limits that to 5000Lbs. Your 20% would be figured against the 5300Lbs or 1060 Lbs. Now you are running a max of 4240 lbs for your trailer. Of that you want about 424 to 500 Lbs max on the tongue

Larry



As you have mentioned, if the loaded trailer is 1000 Lbs below the GCWR of the tow vehicle, that's great, but the limiting factor here, is that you do not want to exceed the hitch capacity of towing 5000Lbs.

Tongue weight is not a factor in calculating vehicle and trailer weight related to GCWR, it is a reference of how much of the trailer weight will be on the tongue.
 

Ray D

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Thank you.

I could have stated my last question better. Clarify with the following. Can I trade a reduction from the GVWR for an increase in the real tow vehicle weight, from 4,000 lbs back up to 5,000 lbs, and still retain my safety margin. Or, put differently, if the scaled trailer weight is 5,000 lbs and the scaled wt of the motorhome is well below 19,700, (as compared to the GVWR of 20,700); the total scaled weight of the two, less than 25,000 (as compared to GCWR of 26,000); have I retained my mountain safety margin?

Could have stated tongue wt limit issue better. I said, "Limit is 500, so can disregard anything above that."? I meant that I should disregad any number above 500. My reason for this question is that if I tow 5000 lbs, then both the high and the low limit on the tongue is 500 lbs, exactly. If I was inclined to increase the tongue wt percentage to closer to 15%, for better stability, then I must do that by reducing the total weight of the trailer, to substantially increase the tongue weight percentage. If my math is correct, that would put my maximun trailer wt at 3,333 lbs, to maintain a 15% tongue wt, for maximum improved stability.

To put the latter as a practical problem, neither of our cars can be made towable. So, if I get a car hauler that weighs 1,100 lbs, that would limit the weight of the car to 2,200 lbs. Both of our cars weigh more than 3,000 lbs. Even without allowing extra tongue weight percentage, our cars cannot, really, be hauled. If I can gain back my safety margin, then I can haul either car. If I understand the limits, I cannot actually approach a 15% tongue wt with present cars and hitch. Does the question make better sense, with this help?

Ray D
 

BernieD

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Ray

You should also verify that the factory installed hitch is indeed a 5k# hitch. I bought a new Damon UltraSport in 1998 that had a chassis capacity for a 5k# hitch but Damon installed a hitch with a 3,500# capacity. When I brought it to their attention, they put a new 5k# hitch on.
 

Ray D

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Thanks, Bernie.

How do I do that? So far, I have read the placard on the hitch and asked the maintenance supervisor at my RV store. Looks pretty sturdy to me, but I wouldn't know a hitch class from a zebra! Is there some simple way to tell?

Ray D
 

Tom

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Ray,

It sounds like the placard you read was put on by the hitch manufacturer (Putnam Hitch Products) rather than by the coach manufacturer. I'd be inclined to believe they know the ratings of their own hitches, but you could contact them for confirmation. Their web site: Putnam Hitch. You might also check with Damon to ensure their attachment system (welding, bolting, etc) is also good for 5,000 lbs.
 

BernieD

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Ray D said:
Thanks, Bernie.

How do I do that? So far, I have read the placard on the hitch and asked the maintenance supervisor at my RV store. Looks pretty sturdy to me, but I wouldn't know a hitch class from a zebra! Is there some simple way to tell?

Ray

If the placard on the hitch from the hitch manufacturer says 5k you are good to go. By the way, is your coach on a Workhorse or Ford chassis? You should double check with them to make sure the chassis is rated for 5k also.
 

Ray D

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It is a Workhorse. The weight information in my first post came from the placards above the driver's seat, in the coach. Actually, there are two of them. One of the placards is a Workhorse chassis placard. The other is from Damon. The weight rating numbers on the two are the same. The Damon placard also gives tire inflation information that is not on the Workhorse placard. The coach is rated for 5,300 tow weight but the hitch is 300 less. By the placard on that, the tow weight is 5,000.
 

BernieD

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Ray D said:
The Damon placard also gives tire inflation information that is not on the Workhorse placard. The coach is rated for 5,300 tow weight but the hitch is 300 less. By the placard on that, the tow weight is 5,000.

Ray

Ok you are good to go towing 5k. HOWEVER, ignore the Damon tire inflation information. You should have your coach 4 corner weighed to determine the actual tire pressures needed for your load. The sticker pressures are the pressures needed to support the maximum GVWR of the coach. If your actual weight is a couple of thousand pounds less those pressures will give you an unneccesarily hard ride, longer stopping distances and greater tire wear. Use the sticker pressures for now as a safety margin but get the coach weighed ASAP.
 

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