Towing 5500 pounds?

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Rickoo

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I'm curious if this is unrealistic or not. Looking at options for a tow vehicle for a motorhome. I have a Ford F150 that weighs about 5500 lbs. and wondering if its too heavy a 30-32 foot gas motorhome to pull. (And that's with nothing in it. Would be nice to load up the bed of the truck.) I know it depends on the GVWR of the rig, but not really knowing what I'll end up buying, I'm just curious if this could be doable or not. I'm sure a diesel pusher would have a much easier time, but is it even worth considering with a gas unit?
 

strugglebus

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With the 2021 Coachmen Pursuits as the size gets longer the towing capacity decreases from 7000 to 5000 pounds simply due to the extra weight of the MH. The 27XPS has 7000 but the 29 footers fall to 5000 pounds.
 

Larry N.

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There are a few gas class A units that have sufficient towing capacity, but so very many of them top out around 5,000 lbs. You'll need to check the capabilities of each individual candidate coach to see whether it's suitable for you.
 

Kirk

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I'm sure a diesel pusher would have a much easier time, but is it even worth considering with a gas unit?
Part of the question is if you are shopping new or used? It is much less difficult to find the specs on new models because the manufacturer websites will list all of their models. Since we have no way of knowing how much your coach will weigh when ready to travel, the best figure of what you can tow will be the GCWR less the GVWR. If you look at the website for Winnebago you will find that coaches in the lengths you specify only come in gasoline chassis and they have a GVWR of 18,000# and a GCWR of 23,000# for a towing capacity of 5,000#. Even if you look at their largest diesel RVs they do not have a 5,500# towing capacity unless you load the RV well below it's GVWR.
Tiffin does have an Open Road that has a GVWR of 26k# and a GCWR of 30k# so it would have the capacity you need and is available in 32' and34' lengths on a gasoline chassis. Newmar gas coaches are built on the 22k# GVWR chassis so most likely do not have the capacity to tow a vehicle of 5500#.

Although you will see trucks and other vehicles of similar weight or more being towed by many motorhomes, the design limits usually are not as high as the towed vehicle weight of the heavier vehicles until you get into the highest priced diesel coaches like Foretravel or Entegra, or similar priced diesel coaches. They often argue that they tow a heavier load that rated for just fine, but the issue is not moving it but it is what you can stop or control on a steep grade, in bad weather or in an emergency. It is about what will happen with a child darts out in front of you from between parked cars. Will you stop, or run over him?
 
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Gary RV_Wizard

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As others have stated. many gas-powered motorhomes are limited to 5000 lbs and some even less. However, smaller ones may have more capacity remaining and be rated above 5000 lbs. Ditto for Class C coaches. Super-C models also have greater tow capability and are rated higher. The bottom line is "it depends" and yu need to check the GVWR and GCWR of each one you are considering.

Diesel pushers generally are rated at 10,000-15,000 lbs of tow capacity.
 

ferfer

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Even if you look at their largest diesel RVs they do not have a 5,500# towing capacity unless you load the RV well below it's GVWR.

If you can find a class A with 3,000 lb. +++ carrying capacity and ~5,000 lb. tow rated you can use some of your carrying capacity. You will have to replace the tow hitch bar with a 8,000 to 10.000 lb. rated one. This will likely involve a welding shop fabricate tow hitch bar for safe and secure attachment.

Jennifer
 
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strugglebus

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Had a few minutes so pulled up Ford's basic specs for Class A motorhome. They state that 7000 pound max towing for the 16000 pound homes. Just about all new gas MH's are built on the F53 chassis so you'd have to go with a lighter weight MH. There is some material out there that says up to 8000 pounds but it also says "dependent on the weight of the MH when loaded." I believe the hitches say 7000 max.
 

Larry N.

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In addition to all the info above, keep in mind that, at least on some units, it's the hitch itself (and/or its attach point) that determines the max weight, rather than the chassis as such. Lots of things go into that determination.
 

John From Detroit

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Generally a Gas motor home the hitch rating is 5,000 pounds to a 5500 pound Ford Pickup or my 5500 Pound Jeep is over the limit.

IN addition not many gassers have the CGVW to tow 5,000 pounds (My damon the tow capacity was only 4,000)

That said... I"ve seen gassers towing way over limit.. (Full size 5K+ suv on a trailer over 6,000 total well over his hitch and CGVW limits) only problem he had was a road hazard messed up his tongue jack. I know the hazard it did some damage to me too but nothing I could not fix with a roll of electrical tape. (Cut the umbilical to the car)_
 

Rickoo

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All good food for thought. Thanks for the opinions. Seems like towing a 5500 pound truck is probably not a good idea.
 

Ex-Calif

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Don't forget about the transmission. The original owner of my unit towed a horse trailer over capacity for the RV. Blew the transmission <20k miles since new. Had a new transmission installed and sold the RV.
 

Ray-IN

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In addition; how much weight were you anticipating putting in the bed of the pickup? It's easy to add 1,000# in a pickup bed.
My cousin towed a Chevy surburban with their gas MH. During the years of doing this they replaced the tranny 2x and engine 1x.

For comparison, a friend full-times in a 45' Essex MH towing a Ford Explorer crammed with stuff for over 10 years. To my knowledge he has never had any problems as a result.
 

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