Upgrading from TT to MH

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Volfan

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I am new to this forum and would like some advice.  I currently have a 2008 26BH and would like to get a Class A around 29 - 31ft. The reason for upgrading is my son does a lot of racing on the weekends and the TT does not do us any good unless we drive two vehicles.  I have looked at toy haulers but the ones with separate living quarters you need at least a 2500. 

I want something that also my wife would be able to handle driving since my job takes me away from home a lot.  I would really appreciate your feedback.  I purchased the TT and am currently upside down so I am trying to make a better decision this time.

Also I will be towing a 6X10 enclosed trailer behind the MH.  Thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You need to think about the weight of that trailer and make sure whatever you buy has enough GCWR, and thus enough tow capacity, to handle it. Gas chassis motorhomes are typically in the 3500-5000 lb range for towing, so a heavier trailer might dictate that you get a diesel Class A. They are typically rated for 10,000-15,000 lbs.
 

Volfan

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Thanks for the reply.  I just looked at the 2013 Thor today 29.2 and the brochure says GVWR 16,000 and GCWR 26,000.  I really liked the layout but I do want something that will tow a boat or trailer.  I will look at the diesels just never been very fond of them.
 

Tom

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What's the weight of the trailer or boat/trailer you plan to tow?

I just looked at the 2013 Thor today 29.2 and the brochure says GVWR 16,000 and GCWR 26,000.

Those numbers suggest a towing capacity of 10,000 lbs but, as Gary said, gas motorhomes usually have a much lower tow rating. Being curious, I looked at theThor web site, and this page shows a different GCWR for the 2013 29.2, although still a higher towing capacity than we'd expect.

Even if the numbers suggest a tow rating of 7,000 or 10,000 lbs, the hitch may well have a lower rating, and that would be the limiting factor.
 

garyb1st

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Gary RV Roamer said:
You need to think about the weight of that trailer and make sure whatever you buy has enough GCWR, and thus enough tow capacity, to handle it. Gas chassis motorhomes are typically in the 3500-5000 lb range for towing, so a heavier trailer might dictate that you get a diesel Class A. They are typically rated for 10,000-15,000 lbs.

Gary, I've seen you mention the limited towing capacity of gas chassis motorhomes many times.  Is there anyway to increase that by 1000-2000 lbs? 
 

Alfa38User

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Not Gary but FWIW:

There are at least two limitations: the first is the strength of the hitch/chassis connection. Many motor homes are built on a stretched chassis, that is, the chassis has been extended to accommodate the house. The method of extension will dictate which class of hitch the manufacturer decides to install and they come in various capacities (lbs). Even when chassis has not been extended the MH manufacturer has decided what class of hitch to use, probably based on the assigned chassis GCWR.

The second  limitation is the GCWR  that the chassis manufacture has assigned to the chassis, and that number includes the total loaded weight of the chassis and the loaded weight of towed vehicle or trailer that this vehicle can legally tow. It is related somewhat to the engine, chassis and brakes provided.

As far strengthening the physical connection of the hitch by changing the receiver and beefing up the chassis, it can be done but the GCWR number originally assigned cannot (legally) be exceeded.
 

garyb1st

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Stu, thank you.  What prompted my question was a misunderstanding of the towing capacity of a Thor gas motorhome in another thread.  The poster stated it was 10,000 lbs.  Tom linked the specifications page from the Thor site and the towing capacity was actually only 5,000 lbs confirming Gary Brinks comment.   

When I look at motorhomes, I always check the GVWR and GCWR.  While the gassers I've looked at all have rating or 4,000 or 5,000 lbs, I did come across three that had an 8,000 lb delta between GVWR and GCWR.  They had 26,000 GCWR with 18,000 GVWR.  Not sure if they were misprints.  Seems rather pointless and likely increases the cost of a motorhome without really increasing it's capability.  They didn't advertise or even suggest that the towing capacity was more than 5,000 lbs, but I have to ask why not.  If a different class hitch is used is it possible to increase the towing capacity on one of these units up to 8,000 lbs.  If so, I may have to reconsider gassers.
 

Tom

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The poster stated it was 10,000 lbs. Tom linked the specifications page from the Thor site and the towing capacity was actually only 5,000 lbs confirming Gary Brinks comment.

For clarification, the linked specs showed a 7,000 lbs delta between GCWR and GVWR, and I questioned whether either 7,000 or 10,000 lbs could be the correct towing capacity; I suggested the OP check ratings on the hitch, irrespective what the stated delta (GCWR-GVWR) was.

Meanwhile, Stu gave a good answer to your question.
 

garyb1st

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Thanks Tom.  I checked the Thor site again and couldn't find anything on towing capacity.  The only reference to towing I could find is under Tow Package:  5000 lbs.  Trailer Hitch (500 lbs. Tongue)      Me thinks the legal department is heavily involved in drafting their literature. 
 

Tom

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Thanks Garyb; You dug a little deeper than I did to find that towing package info.

Generically we think of towing capacity by using a simple formula:
Towing capacity = GCWR - GVWR

However, as you've discovered in this discussion, there are other limiting factors, including those delineated by Stu, which restrict the actual towing capacity of a given motorhome or chassis/powertrain combination.

Looks like we might need to add another explanation to our Glossary of RV Terms (link in the toolbar above).
 

muskoka guy

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I TOO RECENTLY UPGRADED TO A 37 FT MOTORHOME FROM MY TT. MY FRIEND HAS HAD AN RV FOR MANY YEARS AND THIS IS HIS ADVICE. BUY A PUSHER WITH REAR MOTOR IF YOU CAN. THE NOISE FROM THE MOTOR IS FAR LESS AND ALSO THE HEAT UNDER YOUR FEET CAN BECOME AN ISSUE ON HOT DAYS IF YOU HAVE A FRONT ENGINE. HE SUGGESTS SOMETHING IN THE 30 FT RANGE WITH AT LEAST ONE SLIDE OR MORE TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST AREA OF THE LONGER COACHES. MY 37 CAN BE A LITTLE TRICKY TO GET INTO SOME PLACES. ALSO IF YOU WANT TO TOW A LOT OF WEIGHT MY GAS MH IS ONLY RATED FOR 5000 LBS WHERE HIS DIESEL IS RATED FOR MUCH MORE. HE IS A DIESEL MECHANIC AND HE SAYS HE WOULD NOT NECCESARILY BUT ANOTHER DIESEL AS LONG AS IT HAS HIGH TOWING CAPACITY. YOU HAVE TO CHECK WHICH CHASSIS THE COACH IS BUILT ON. THE DIESEL IN GENERAL HAVE HIGHER TOWING CAPACITY BUT SO DO GAS ONES IF THEY HAVE THE RIGHT CHASSIS.
 

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