Towing with a Gas Powered MH

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ronhix

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Feb 3, 2007
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Chicagoland
I am looking to tow a 32' enclosed trailer with a MH.  The trailer weight is about 10,000lbs.  Almost all the MH I have looked at that are a little older show a 5,000lb hitch rating (and GCWR - GVRW = 5,000lb). 

Many of these seem to be upgradable to 10,000lb via an upgraded hitch and/or some welding. 

Since my price range is $40K, I am leaning toward a reasonable priced gas powered unit since the diesel units are very hard to find in that price range.  I will primarily be towing in the flat Mid-West.  If I towed in more hilly areas, I realize that it will be slow-going to climb any hills.

Recognizing the 65' length limitations I am needing to stay under a 35' MH. 

I am having a hard time finding a MH that will meet my needs.

Any suggestions?    ???

 

Tom

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Upgrading the hitch doesn't upgrade the towing capacity of the motorhome. A gas coach will have a tough time towing 10,000 lbs and a tougher time stopping.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You can weld in an improved hitch platform but you are going to have a tough time finding a gas chassis with a GCWR large enough to handle a 10,000 lb trailer.  You won't find one with GCWR-GVWR - 10,000 (I'm sure of that), but you might find one where the GCWR - actual weight is in the 7000+ lb range.  Probably not enough for your needs, though.

You are going to have to go with an older diesel. There are non-slide models around that will get down to your price range if you are buying privately or with no trade. Don't be afraad to bid low, regardless of the asking price.
 

Tom

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Ron,

The towing capacity of that coach is only 6,500 lbs. Just subtract the GVWR (19,500) from the GCWR (26,000). You might pick up a few lbs by having the motorhome loaded with less that the cargo carrying capacity of 3,000 lbs, but not enough to give you a large enough towing capacity for your stated needs. Having a 10,000 lbs hitch in this case is a waste of time and money.

We have an article in our forum library explaining weight capacity calculations. Plug the weights and specs of any motorhome into the example to figure out what you can tow.

For an explanation of the various weight terms (such as GVWR, GVW, GCWR, etc) check out the Glossary of RV terms, also in our forum library.
[edit]Link update[/edit]
 

motojavaphil

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Rio Rancho, New Mexico
If I am guessing Ron will be hauling his bikes, tools and clothing...leathers ect.  If you do get a gasser be gentle on the squirrels climbing into Utah.  Unfortunately diesel is the only way to go and they are not cheap.  Try RVOnline.com and RVTrader.com.  You might find something in there.  If I see anything in my search I will let you know.  Finally, 40' toyhaulers like Alpha's toybox might be good as well as others unless you can only do a motorchome.

Phil 
 

dsolberg

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Jan 26, 2007
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142
Several things affect towing capacity, most of them have to do with weight and as Tom stated GVWR, GCWR, and GAWR.  There is a wealth of information on www.towingworld.com and rvsafety.com regarding weight capacities and towing abilities.  NEVER upgrade the towing hitch that was supplied by the manufacturer.  Take a look under the back end of a gas MH and notice that the chassis rails seldom come all the way back to the end of the coach, rather a series of outriggers and smaller tubular, sometime L-shaped framing extends to the back and you can literally pull the back end of the coach off with starts and stops. (I've seen it!)  Exceeding towing capacity means exceeding engineered stopping distance.  A motorhome generally requires 200 more feet to stop than a car WITHOUT towing anything.  Don't risk it! 

Also, every state has a different law pertaining to length.  Some states allow you to tow two vehicles such as a trailer and a boat!  For specific state laws, visit www.towingworld.com and get the road use laws.  Iowa allows two vehicles to be up to 70'. 

 

Gravana Jim

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Dec 23, 2007
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ronhix said:
I am looking to tow a 32' enclosed trailer with a MH.  The trailer weight is about 10,000lbs.  Almost all the MH I have looked at that are a little older show a 5,000lb hitch rating (and GCWR - GVRW = 5,000lb). 

Many of these seem to be upgradable to 10,000lb via an upgraded hitch and/or some welding. 

Since my price range is $40K, I am leaning toward a reasonable priced gas powered unit since the diesel units are very hard to find in that price range.  I will primarily be towing in the flat Mid-West.  If I towed in more hilly areas, I realize that it will be slow-going to climb any hills.

Recognizing the 65' length limitations I am needing to stay under a 35' MH. 

I am having a hard time finding a MH that will meet my needs.

Any suggestions?    ???

I know it has been some time since this thread was started, but what, if anything, did you find? 

I am in a similar situation.  Looking for a pre-owned 32-ish ft.  Class A Gas with at least 1 slide and the chassis must have at least 7000# towing capability.  I found a 2005 Southwind 32 that I like, but the chassis is only rated for 5000#. 

I am finding that most MH manufacturers are not willing to look up chassis towing capacity info unless it is on a brand new MH.  The dealers in my area are all pretty useless, as well. 

Addiitonally, I have searched many websites and forums and I checked in the library but could not find any sort of a list of motorhome towing capacities.

Any resource references or help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim
 

Jackliz

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Hondo, TX
Please look at Bird Connection.  One can find used Bluebird coaches there, models which are less than 40 ft. Information on the towing ability of these coaches can probably be found on the Wanderlodge forums on Yahoo.

Regards,
Liz Pearce
 

Tom

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I doubt you'll find many gas coaches with a towing capacity greater than 5,000 lbs. Many of them will be limited to 3500 lbs. If you need that 7000 lbs towing capacity, you'd best look at a diesel coach, although the 32 ft criteria will limit your choice of diesel coaches.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Tom is right - you are unlikely to find a gas chassis motorhome with a hitch rated above 5000 lbs.  Some may have enough GCWR to handle a 7000 lb trailer, though.  If you can find a 32 footer on a Workhorse W20 or W22 chassis, it will have a GCWR of 26,000 and the motorhome is probably light enough (well under 19000 lbs) to leave the 7000 lbs of GCWR needed to tow a heavy trailer and still have some carrying capacity for your gear. However, the hitch will still be a 5000 lb model. It may be possible to get the receiver and the structure it is bolted to beefed up to handle 7000, though you probably won't get Workhorse to approve a mod like that. You could call and ask, though. Never hurts to try?

You would be much better off with a small diesel rig, though. Look for a Winnebago Journey 32 - there aren't a lot around but they are a really nice package in that size motorhome.
 

Gravana Jim

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Jackliz- Thank you for the link.  I just did a search and found a few dream coaches.  A good friend has a Dynasty that I thought was high-end, but Wow!  The ones that I found that I like are more than my first house and 40' long. LOL!  Instead of stating 32-ish, I should have been more concise in my size.  30'-36' is my range.  Sorry about that.  I would love to have a larger MH, but some of the facilities I go to limit your options for spots based of the length of your RV.  We like to be on the water and quite often, 36' is the max to get beach-front. 

Tom- You have validated my research.  I have found that the Ford chassis with the V-10 offers only 5000# regardless of length for every model I have found.  I did find a few 34'-35' W-24 chassis models that offer a 6000#, but most are 5000#.  I just performed a search for 30'-36' Diesels with slides in my area (CA, AZ, OR, NV, NM, WA) and found 42 models under $100k that are less than 8 years old.  I was under the impression that diesels pre-owned MHs have significanty higher resale values.  However, after comparing some of the gas and diesel models, I am seeing only a few thousand ($4-8k) dollars difference when I compare "like" models. Thank you for the suggestion.  It has opened my eyes.


RV Roamer- Thank you for the heads up.  I builds products for GM, so I have already been down a few roads with GM engineers about WH load capacities.  The chassis structure can actually handle towing 10K-lbs with a proper hitch set-up, the driveline, cooling system, suspension and brakes are not validated to handled the additional load.  It is funny you mention the Journey.  There is one for sale @ 25 miles from me.  It is a 2001 Journey DL 36GD with a single slide, 330 Cat & 6-spd Alli.  $85k OBO.  I plan to look at it after the holidays. 

Thanks again for all of the feedback!  I will happily report what I find in my search.  I hope to have something before April.

Jim
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I mentioned the Journey specifically with regard to the 32 foot model. It's one of the nicest small diesel packages around on the used market. If you are willing to go for 36 feet there are more makes & models to choose from.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
I have not seen a gasser with a 10,000 tow rating,  Seen a lot with 5000, I think mine is 4000, (So is my towed)

The hitch is rated 5K but the chassis says 4.  Seems to be holding well, inspected often.

I do not suggest exceeding your tow ratings by enough to say "I'm over" (10 pounds. How accurate is your scale? 1,000 pounds over, TOO HEAVY)
 

Marsha/CA

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I have seen a 10,000 lb hitch on a gas engine.  When Tim and I first started looking for a coach, I found a Coachman Mirada with a 10,000 lb rating on it.  Because we pulled a horse trailer fully loaded at 7,500 lbs, I was looking for the larger rate.  The hitch was beefed up and the sticker on the coach listed the 10,000 lb rate as well.  It was on a ford chassis and was a 450.

It was 30' and no slide.  Tim wasn't interested as he wanted a bigger and better built coach....but it was rated at the 10,000 lbs.

Marsha~
 

Jackliz

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Re: Towing with a Gas Powered MH
? Reply #12 on: December 23, 2007, 10:17:22 AM ?
Reply with quote
Jackliz- Thank you for the link.  I just did a search and found a few dream coaches.  A good friend has a Dynasty that I thought was high-end, but Wow!  The ones that I found that I like are more than my first house and 40' long. LOL!  Instead of stating 32-ish, I should have been more concise in my size.  30'-36' is my range.  Sorry about that.  I would love to have a larger MH, but some of the facilities I go to limit your options for spots based of the length of your RV.  We like to be on the water and quite often, 36' is the max to get beach-front. <<<

The Bluebird Forward Control coaches can be had in 31, 33, and 35 foot lengths. I think that the SP model is a 36' length. Good luck on your search, there are lots of coaches out there.  :)

Regards,
Liz
 

Marsha/CA

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Ron,

That's exactly why Tim and I went to a diesel pusher.  Before we bought the coach we had a Chevy 1 Ton dually 454 with a slide in camper.  We pulled the horses with that and it crept up the hills...I mean crept.  We just couldn't believe that the Coachman would do any better job.

At that time we were so new to all this stuff that when I looked at the Coachman, I didn't do the CGVWR and all the other calculations.  I bet had I looked into it further, I would have found that pulling the horse trailer at 7,000 would have been over the CGVWR even though it was rated for the 10,000 lbs.

Marsha~
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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I towed with 3 different 460s and you're fooling yourself unless you have a complete Banks System. Certainly wouldn't recommend a Coachman for that type of usage.  The body will be in shambles but the chassis would hold up,  Been there done that. Go diesel even if it's an older unit of an at least a 36' or shorter with at least a 300hp but preferably 400hp.
 
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