Tow ratings

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Mike B

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Joined
Sep 21, 2022
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4
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Indiana, USA
I just sold my class B, partially because of the low tow capability. Were now looking at 30 to 34 ft. class A motorhomes. The sellers all think that their coaches will tow anything. They all just look at the hitch rating. I'm a little paranoid about this, and try to do the math, as I understand it, to come up with the actual tow rating. So far, nearly all that we've looked at, come up to 3500 pounds when I do the math. What coaches are more likely to give me a 4000 to 5000 tow rating? THANKS
 
What math, look at the vehicle's data plate, it's there in black and white. The hitch rating is the rating for the hitch, not the vehicle. Installing a 10k rated hitch on a vehicle rated to tow 5k doesn't change the vehicle's tow rating. Installing a 3.5k rated hitch on a vehicle rated to tow 5k likewise doesn't change the vehicle's tow rating, it only means it can tow no more than 3.5k with that hitch.
 
Most gas-chassis Class A's in that size range and built after about 2002 will have a realistic 5000 lb tow capability, i.e. a hitch rating and GCWR that allow for it. A few may come up a bit short on GCWR if the coach is loaded to its full GVWR, which might limit them to 4000-4500. Diesel pushers will be solidly in the 10,000-15,000 range.

For example, this 2002 Winnebago Adventurer has a 26,000 GCWR and a 5000 lb hitch, but the GVWR depends on the size & chassis options and some configurations will have a 22,000 lb GVWR, limiting the towing if the coach is fully loaded. Winnebago has a great library of brochures/specs you can research.
 
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At times I'd like to tow our BMW Z4. BMW states that all 4 wheels must be off of the ground, which means a trailer. The car only weighs 3000 lbs, but any trailer capable of hauling it weighs over 1000 lbs, most are closer to 2000. That's still not a lot of weight, but nearly all of the 30/32 ft. class A's I've looked at are rated at 3500. I came up with that by subtracting the weight of the motorhome, water, people and propane from the gross combined vehicle weight. So far, I have never, not once seen a "tow rating" on the vehicle stickers or papers posted inside, usually in a cabinet near the front. It seems that the rating of the hitch usually is higher than the rating of the coach.
 
At times I'd like to tow our BMW Z4. BMW states that all 4 wheels must be off of the ground, which means a trailer. The car only weighs 3000 lbs, but any trailer capable of hauling it weighs over 1000 lbs, most are closer to 2000. That's still not a lot of weight, but nearly all of the 30/32 ft. class A's I've looked at are rated at 3500. I came up with that by subtracting the weight of the motorhome, water, people and propane from the gross combined vehicle weight. So far, I have never, not once seen a "tow rating" on the vehicle stickers or papers posted inside, usually in a cabinet near the front. It seems that the rating of the hitch usually is higher than the rating of the coach.
That's not the case, as Gary pointed out the overwhelming majority of Class A MH's in the ~ 32' range are going to feature a 5k tow capacity. You'd be up against it with your configuration but if you mind your GCWR you'd likely be good.
 
Then you did the math. I just saw an article about the Tesla CyberTruck in a drag race with a Porsche 911, but the Tesla was towing a trailer with a Porsche 911 on it. Point is, that trailer was right around 1000 lbs. Aluminum trailer. BTW, the Porsche won, but not by much.
 
nearly all of the 30/32 ft. class A's I've looked at are rated at 3500. I came up with that by subtracting the weight of the motorhome, water, people and propane from the gross combined vehicle weight. So far, I have never, not once seen a "tow rating" on the vehicle stickers or papers posted inside, usually in a cabinet near the front.
That's correct. The RV specs will have a GCWR and a hitch rating. Whether you can fully utilize the hitch rating depends on the actual loaded coach weight, i.e. the GVW. If you must tow 5000 lbs, then it's your responsibility to keep the GVW down so that GCWR-GVW is equal or greater than 5000.

You need to look around more. I have no trouble finding 31-32 foot gas coach models that have enough GCWR to always have 5000 lbs available or ones that are close enough that the GVW can be very close to GVWR and still be OK. Here is a 2016 Winnebago Brave 31c (32 ft) that has a 23,000 GCWR and a 18,000 GVWR. That's a guaranteed 5000 lb tow unless you overload the RV itself. There are others like it, but maybe not on a dealer lot near you..
 
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