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Old July 31st, 2007, 09:42 AM   #1
Lothos
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Default towing capability

Alright, i need to know some tow abilities for rv's. Going out looking this weekend and wondering about the various chassis/drivetrains. I seem to want to lean more in favor of an e-450 chassis versus the 350 and the v10 vs the 460 that I'm seeing in some and not sure what the chevy counterpart is. The other thing is I don't seem to see any place where they indicate the gearing they have. I would think I want either 3.73 or 4.10 for best of both worlds. Anyway, please help.

looking at probably 7500lbs jeep with trailer possible.

Last edited by Lothos; July 31st, 2007 at 10:28 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 12:15 PM   #2
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I would think the best place to ask is the RV dealer.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 01:23 PM   #3
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I would think the best place to ask is the RV dealer.
I could try, but I doubt I'd get that info from most places.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 01:37 PM   #4
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or even manufacturers websites....
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Old July 31st, 2007, 01:48 PM   #5
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or even manufacturers websites....
to some degree I can get that, but shopping used rv's the data is not necessarily available from the chassis manufacturer anymore.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:29 PM   #6
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to some degree I can get that, but shopping used rv's the data is not necessarily available from the chassis manufacturer anymore.
I thought when Ironman and Whiterhino bought their class A's a couple years ago, the dealers told them the towing capacity or it was in the owners manual. Both RV's where used when purchased. Anyway good luck, If you picked up a V10 or Chevy 8.1L they shouldn't have a problem towing your TJ on a flatbed.

Both Pat and Jim tow their Jeeps in 20' enclosed trailers. Their enclosed trailers weigh twice what a 18' flatbed weighs.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 03:00 PM   #7
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I thought when Ironman and Whiterhino bought their class A's a couple years ago, the dealers told them the towing capacity or it was in the owners manual. Both RV's where used when purchased. Anyway good luck, If you picked up a V10 or Chevy 8.1L they shouldn't have a problem towing your TJ on a flatbed.

Both Pat and Jim tow their Jeeps in 20' enclosed trailers. Their enclosed trailers weigh twice what a 18' flatbed weighs.
That's what I'm thinking. My biggest worry right now is I'll be flat towing for a little bit longer till I can get a trailer and the rear hangover distance worries me as to what it may do to the jeep. Not really a question an rv salesguy i bet is going to know an answer to.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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That is a valid concern. I have seen tow bars broken from that stress. people don't understand it. it's not too bad if you are moving and going down the highway but making sharp right turns is sometimes tough. So is slow speed maneuvers. Most of the rigs with long overhangs run with a dolly that can swivel.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 03:35 PM   #9
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My tow bar is 7 foot long. Homemade by a club member friend. My hope is that the jeep will simply swing out on a turn before following in behind given the length of the tow bar. Not a feat I see the typical short ones performing.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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OK, a little history. My first motorhome was a 94 class C with the Ford 460 & automatic. Don't know the automatic model. It was a 22 ft Jayco. The reason I went with the Ford was because in the shorter class C's, chevy only offered the 350 whereas Ford offered the big block. That unit had a 4.10 gear. When I first purchased it, I was towing with an 18" flatbed, Jeep and toolbox on the front. 7500 gvw trailer and it was pretty much maxed. My jeep trail ready weighs out at about 4600, the trailer was titled at 1800, trailer spare at 75 and all the stuff in the tool box gets you close to 7000. Never a problem.

I then bought a 24' enclosed trailer. One big heavy sum bitch! It was a load but the engine seemed to do OK. My problem came when we went down south in the middle of July. With the van style front end, AND ONLY AT LOW SPEEDS, I couldn't keep the trans temp down. I had specifically added a trans temp gage and I was glad I did. Going into Crawford's camp at Tellico I had to stop halfway up the grade to let it cool down.

I came home knowing I had to do something different.

Next came the new motorhome. It is a 99 Itasca with the Ford Triton V10. I wanted a deisel pusher but the price difference was too much. Quite frankly I went with the Ford again because it is the most common and I talked with folks that had them and liked them. The big push for a new motorhome was not for the towing capacity. I planned to reduce the trailer size to handle that. The bigger reason was 3 fold. First, the passenger seating in the class C front end SUCKS. Period. Small foot room and the seat couldn't recline because the dinette was right behind it. Second, with just the wife & I, we wanted a rear bedroom rather than climbing up onto the bunk over the driver's compartment. Third, needed a generator. We have a cat and dog that travel with us and in the warmer areas, you can't even go into the grocery store without heat being an issue. We wanted to be able to run the generator for the air. The other need for the generator is stopping in truck stops to sleep. Air, coffee and microwave are really NICE. Ours is a 32 ft.

We then bought a new 20 ft enclosed trailer. It is much lighter. If you ever do an enclosed, IT IS A MUST THAT YOU DO THE EXTENDED TONGUE. Otherwise you can jacknife the trailer into the motorhome. (you know that thread going on about how do I know this???) Only broke a marker lense thank God.

The new motorhome has a 5.13 gear. Ironman's is also a 99 or 2000 with the Triton but his is a 35 footer. His gear ration is 5.38. So, top towing speed with these babies is about 65 mph. I put a trans temp on this motorhome and have yet to see a problem. Time will tell.

Regarding towing capacities. I could not find any manufacturer that would put on a hitch capable of 10,000 trailer weight. So, we modified and beefed it up. I had to do it on my class C and Ironman had to do it on his. KB8YMF also has the same chassis as me but I think he is using the factory hitch since he is towing a flatbed trailer. Figuring towing capacities goes like this. Inside the cupboards of the motorhomes is a sticker with all the weights and capacities. (water, fuel, towing, dry weight, etc)
Your vehicle has a vehicle weight which is the weight of the base vehicle. I think mine is about 12,000. The GVW which is the weight of the motorhome fully loaded. I think mine is 18,000. So, I have about 6000 capacity for food water, passengers, cargo, etc.

Next it has a CVW which is the combined vehicle weight. This is the weight that the total rig can be. I think mine is 24,000. So, subtract the 18,000 from the 24,000 and you have the weight of the trailer. You will see that I am only good for 6000 pounds and my total trailer weight is close to 8000. (all these numbers are from memory) But there is a bit of a play on numbers since I am not necessarily loaded to my max 18,000 in the motorhome.

I actually need to get the entire setup weighed to figure all this out a little bit better. And of course, never forget your trailer brakes.

Mileage. With both motorhomes I get between 6 and 7 mpg while towing the jeep and close to 9 empty. I have the Banks exhaust & intake on mine & I just did a performance tune. I have driven it without the trailer after the tune & it looks like I am getting over 10. (watching the fuel gage) So, I am curious to see if it improves when towing. Headwinds make a huge difference in mileage. Seems like every Friday when we go to the dunes the wind is out of the west and when we come home on Sunday it is out of the southeast. Go figure.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 04:37 PM   #11
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I have yet to officially weigh my jeep, but i'm fairly certain I'm in the 4500lb range with all the armor I've added. when i get a trailer it will definitely have brakes. good to know on the extended tongue. i would've thought that would be standard, but I guess you should pay attention to it. I am defiantely leaning towards the v10 Ford 450 rather than the chevy 454 setup which i've rented in the past. mileage I kinda assumed was always going to be in the 6-9mpg range. Maybe that tornado thingy only works on rv's :)

Still need my concern laid to rest with the flat towing though.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 05:01 PM   #12
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i just want throw in my 2 cents on this... if you plan on towing, the smaller the motorhome the better... my 37ft sun voyager on a workhorse 22 chassis is only rated to tow 4500 lbs. while it does have the power, the chassis cannot handle the added stress since the hitch is attached to frame extensions...
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Old July 31st, 2007, 05:04 PM   #13
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i just want throw in my 2 cents on this... if you plan on towing, the smaller the motorhome the better... my 37ft sun voyager on a workhorse 22 chassis is only rated to tow 4500 lbs. while it does have the power, the chassis cannot handle the added stress since the hitch is attached to frame extensions...
i want a short one more for the ease of driving into tight locations. 25-30 foot max really.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 08:25 PM   #14
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Yeah, my goal was to get a 30 footer max. KB8YMF's is a 30 ft and the only difference between his and mine is that mine has a bit more of a sweeping nose.

With my 20 ft enclosed trailer I am 57 feet long. Pretty tight at times.

Are you looking for a class A or class C?

Back to the extended tongue. Not an issue for a flatbed. Just an enclosed.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 09:13 PM   #15
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Lothos.....don't know what year RV's you are looking for. But there are many newer ones '01 or '02 with the Chevy 8.1L instead of the 454. I'm not 100% sure if those had an Allison behind them or just the 4l80E. I would assume an Allison.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 09:18 PM   #16
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I'm sticking to class C's right now under $35k. If a 2007 falls in that range, i'm happy. Don't really care Ford vs Chevy so long as it is in good shape and was maintained.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 09:40 PM   #17
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I am an RV dealer, but I only sell towables. I have sold motorhomes in the past though. Most any reputable dealer should be able to answer your questions about towing capabilities for a specific MH. If not though, look for the GVWR tag. On that tag will also be a GCWR (gross comined weight rating). Inside you will find a tag usually in a kitchen cabinet, it will also list UVW (unloaded vehicle weight). Use those figures with the following formula:

GCWR ... 17,500 lbs.
Subtract - UVW ... 9500 lbs.
Subtract - Cargo ... 1500 lbs. (remember to take into account any water, gas, etc.)

Balance - in this example 6500 lbs. max towing capacity. These are hypothetical figures.

You should be able to find a good late model MH in your price range. Both the Ford V10 and the Chevy 8.1 are good towing rigs as long as you don't go too long. For best towing results you should probably stay closer to the 25 ft range. I personally wouldn't go over 28 ft.

Hopefully this helps you out.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 07:41 AM   #18
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Lothos, contact Ironman. He has friends (Paul & Wendy) who may have one for sale right up your alley.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 07:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadhouse View Post
Lothos.....don't know what year RV's you are looking for. But there are many newer ones '01 or '02 with the Chevy 8.1L instead of the 454. I'm not 100% sure if those had an Allison behind them or just the 4l80E. I would assume an Allison.
workhorse chassis came with the allison
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Old August 1st, 2007, 08:08 AM   #20
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Lothos, contact Ironman. He has friends (Paul & Wendy) who may have one for sale right up your alley.
Lothos Paul and Wendys has the 8.1L. If I remember correctly its a 24' or 25'.
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