Towing with a motorhome, what should I look for before I buy? - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

Go Back   Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest > 4x4 Talk > Tow rigs and trailers
GL4x4 Live! GL4x4 Casino

greatlakes4x4.com is the premier Great Lakes 4x4 Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Search
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:26 PM   #1
Bones
skillicous
 
Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-06-05
Location: Dearborn Heights, MI
Posts: 11,445
iTrader: (37)
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to Bones
Default Towing with a motorhome, what should I look for before I buy?

I'm somewhat in the market for a motorhome... I will want to tow with it, so I am curious what I should know before I make a purchase.

Are some motorhomes inherently poor at towing? Can some of them not support the weight of a trailer? Most everything I am looking at is Class A, but have found a few nice Class Cs as well. I have to imagine the class C is already at it's limits without a trailer and wouldn't support a trailer at all.

I would be looking to tow about 8-9K lbs.

I just don't want to buy something and then find out they are terrible at towing.
__________________
Inviscid Motorsports

Special Thanks and Recommendations to;
Motorcity Machines
Ironman Offroad
Branik Motorsports
Maxxis Tires

Raceline Wheels
PAC Racing Springs
Joint Clutch and Gear
Bones is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:32 PM   #2
Ironman Offroad
Cool parts peddler
 
Ironman Offroad's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07-29-10
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Posts: 1,512
iTrader: (11)
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Default

Jump right to a toter!
See Becks in St. Johns
Ironman Offroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:38 PM   #3
Bones
skillicous
 
Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-06-05
Location: Dearborn Heights, MI
Posts: 11,445
iTrader: (37)
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to Bones
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman Offroad View Post
Jump right to a toter!
See Becks in St. Johns
not going to happen... I am amazed how cheap class A units from 1988-1998 that are in good shape are going for.
__________________
Inviscid Motorsports

Special Thanks and Recommendations to;
Motorcity Machines
Ironman Offroad
Branik Motorsports
Maxxis Tires

Raceline Wheels
PAC Racing Springs
Joint Clutch and Gear
Bones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 03:05 PM   #4
mschaffer66
Senior Member
 
mschaffer66's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: West Bloomfield, MI
Posts: 9,206
iTrader: (17)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

If I remember correctly truck chassis Class A's don't have a very high tow rating.
mschaffer66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:07 PM   #5
Haggar
Covered in mud...
 
Haggar's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-06-05
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 17,617
iTrader: (55)
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Default

I thought the truck/van style are class C. FOr those, definately look at the frame, often are not extended very well at all and can't tow much...
Haggar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:21 PM   #6
joe_jeep
welfare wheeler
 
joe_jeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: 03-03-06
Location: hazel park, mi
Posts: 5,693
iTrader: (37)
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to joe_jeep
Default

most class c's are rated to tow 3500lbs or less. hagger is correct, the frame extensions are junk. people that seriously tow with them have them beefed up alot. some class a's have some room in the gvcw area(not 9k though), but the frames/hitches cant handle towing 9k. if you found a small light weight class a on a strong p chassis or a workhorse chassis you might be able to. you will need to beef up the rear frame/hitch to hold the weight. the tires might need to be upgraded to comercial grade load range g stuff, possibly rims too.

what are you going to tow thats 8 or 9k? you realize almost all of them are 454 or 460 gas and get 8 to 10 mpg empty. your gonna be looking at 6.5 to 7mpg while towing anything. hope your not going far with our gas prices. better get used to 55mph and 7mpg.

it possibly could be done?? you will be over gvcw for sure. basically its a bad idea!

Last edited by joe_jeep; May 2nd, 2011 at 06:26 PM.
joe_jeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:38 PM   #7
trailrail302
Im going FAST!!!
 
trailrail302's Avatar
 
Join Date: 02-22-07
Location: north of the equator
Posts: 3,267
iTrader: (10)
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_jeep View Post
most class c's are rated to tow 3500lbs or less. hagger is correct, the frame extensions are junk. people that seriously tow with them have them beefed up alot. some class a's have some room in the gvcw area(not 9k though), but the frames/hitches cant handle towing 9k. if you found a small light weight class a on a strong p chassis or a workhorse chassis you might be able to. you will need to beef up the rear frame/hitch to hold the weight. the tires might need to be upgraded to comercial grade load range g stuff, possibly rims too.

what are you going to tow thats 8 or 9k? you realize almost all of them are 454 or 460 gas and get 8 to 10 mpg empty. your gonna be looking at 6.5 to 7mpg while towing anything. hope your not going far with our gas prices. better get used to 55mph and 7mpg.

it possibly could be done?? you will be over gvcw for sure. basically its a bad idea!

Agreed!
trailrail302 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:46 PM   #8
redline8300
Redline8300
 
redline8300's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-14-07
Location: Now Schererville, IN
Posts: 243
iTrader: (0)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

What about one of those "Super C" Kodiak Chassis motorhomes with a duramax?
redline8300 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:46 PM   #9
94rangeron35s
bought a Jeep
 
94rangeron35s's Avatar
 
Join Date: 09-06-06
Location: North Muskegon, Michigan..
Posts: 4,436
iTrader: (17)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to 94rangeron35s
Default

my parents have a 40 foot luxura georgie boy built off the work horse chassis with the chevy 8.1 liter and allison trans will do 80 all day long pulling our cherokee on an 18ft tandem axle car trailer and gets consistanly 7mpg with or without a trailer
94rangeron35s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:54 PM   #10
Tab
Senior Member
 
Tab's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: Freeland, mi
Posts: 4,814
iTrader: (29)
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Default

I have a 35' class a on the workhorse chassis and the 8.1. The best I can tell is that its rated to tow about 5-6k. That being said, my jeep is about 5200# on a steel tilt bed trailer so I'm probably around 7-7500# total. It tows it great and I can run at whatever speed I want and it towed the I-70 pass through Colorado just fine. I also have the allison 5sp with hill descent control.

Kitson has an older model (05 or so there was an upgrade) ford v10 and he also had no issues with the mountains. Although he did just rebuild his tranny.

The Endura super c's are nice and they have a Duramax with the 5sp allison but I think their tow rating is still in the 7k range. You won't get a 10k rating until you get into the diesel pushers and even then it has to be the larger ones.

Last edited by Tab; May 2nd, 2011 at 07:03 PM.
Tab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:20 PM   #11
Bones
skillicous
 
Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-06-05
Location: Dearborn Heights, MI
Posts: 11,445
iTrader: (37)
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to Bones
Default

I would be towing my buggy in an inclosed trailer with spare parts and tools. Most people would say that is only 5 or 6K, but I know better. It's closer to 9K.
__________________
Inviscid Motorsports

Special Thanks and Recommendations to;
Motorcity Machines
Ironman Offroad
Branik Motorsports
Maxxis Tires

Raceline Wheels
PAC Racing Springs
Joint Clutch and Gear
Bones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:25 PM   #12
chevotass
Senior Member
 
chevotass's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-02-06
Location: goodrich
Posts: 6,386
iTrader: (21)
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to chevotass
Default

sounds like its school bus time !!!!! get becky on that band wagon to cause i want one.
chevotass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 08:40 PM   #13
mschaffer66
Senior Member
 
mschaffer66's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: West Bloomfield, MI
Posts: 9,206
iTrader: (17)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tab View Post
You won't get a 10k rating until you get into the diesel pushers and even then it has to be the larger ones.
x2
mschaffer66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2011, 08:41 PM   #14
Rockstar
sɐƃǝʌ sɐן
 
Rockstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07-25-07
Location: Taylor,Mi
Posts: 8,504
iTrader: (11)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

its better to buy a dog house and cheaper too..
Rockstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:12 AM   #15
joe_jeep
welfare wheeler
 
joe_jeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: 03-03-06
Location: hazel park, mi
Posts: 5,693
iTrader: (37)
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to joe_jeep
Default

getting an aluminum open trailer is an option. or tow the enclosed with a dually p/u and set it up with living quarters inside.

towing 7k with a class a is heavy, but not unsafe if done correctly.

10k is really pushing the limits of safety.

the diesel enduramax is an option, but its an awfull expensive option.

the added weight of the diesel drivetrain is subtracted from the total gvcwr, in turn often lowering the actual tow rating.

im not the weight police. i was way over weight on my p/u and tc when towing. my superduty was 15,500 to 17,000 k gross when loaded heavy.

the problem with the class c's and class a's is more frame, hitch, and length, then power or suspension. it could be done, but you need to research rigs, pick the right combo, and load it properly.

Last edited by joe_jeep; May 3rd, 2011 at 06:17 AM.
joe_jeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:26 PM   #16
TopHeavy
Yikes!
 
TopHeavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: New Hudson, MI
Posts: 1,415
iTrader: (3)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

I saw this at Gingerman last week. It made my pants tight.


__________________
Buy My CJ7
TopHeavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:31 PM   #17
Smiley
Senior Member
 
Smiley's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12-26-05
Location: Byron Center
Posts: 804
iTrader: (1)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

I have a 1998 Damon Daybreak 30 foot class A with a 454 Chevy Workhourse chassis. I beefed up the frame addon to make sure the overhang could handle a trailer with jeep of about 8k. But I'm not happy with it's capability to tow on hilly interstates, you see 2nd gear 4500 rpm many times. In the mountain passes last year it was a real struggle, I thought I was going to see 1st gear a few times!

I went to a lighter trailer this year and it is better. But I'm thinking I need to get a Kodiak based class C in order to be happy towing cross country.
Smiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:28 PM   #18
joe_jeep
welfare wheeler
 
joe_jeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: 03-03-06
Location: hazel park, mi
Posts: 5,693
iTrader: (37)
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to joe_jeep
Default

thought about a used international dt466 with a small box on it(20to24ft). build your own living quarters in it? it should tow 10k no problem. used they are pretty cheap.
joe_jeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2011, 08:57 AM   #19
whiterhino
I'm not old, honest...
 
whiterhino's Avatar
 
Join Date: 03-07-06
Location: Davisburg MI
Posts: 21,064
iTrader: (21)
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Default

Where to start? I looked into aluminum trailers (2 months ago) and surprisingly, they only save about 400# and are triple the cost.

You don't want anything older than 1999 in a Ford Chassis. That's when they went to the wide track front suspension. Much better ride. Between 99 & 04, the GM driveline was a higher HP/torque. But in 2005, Ford upped the Triton to be on par/ a little better than the Workhorse. Basically, either one works.

Mine is a 99 Ford, 32 ft Class A, no slides. Our recent trip to Moab was a great comparison. Tab's 35 ft'r has the higher hp but is also heavier with 2 slides. On the grades it appeared that they were about equal depending on who hit it at the right speed and gear. There were times I felt he did better against the wind.

I have pulled my 20 ft enclosed trailer since 2007. My jeep weighs 4600#, trailer title is 3400# and with all the shelves, tool boxes, work bench/vise, etc., I am pushing the envelope. Another way to compare, my CGVW is 26,000#. While at Bundy Hill last year I had it weighed, tanks were mid level and I didn't have my spare tire carrier rack installed. I was 25,850#. In other words, MAXED out. I have pulled this combo from Canada down to TN. I came to the conclusion that I was not comfortable pulling the enclosed to Utah this spring so I bought a new flatbed with a wt of 1460#. I figure that between the title wt difference of #2000 and all the crap I really didn't need, that I saved 3000#. IT WAS WELL WORTH IT. I was down to 24 mph, running 3800-4000 rpm for MILES at a time on the big passes.

Looking back, I would NOT pull my enclosed out west with my current MH. I am also convinced that Tab would not do a whole lot better pulling an enclosed.

RE rebuilding my trans; I started pissing tranny fluid some time last summer. It would only happen while at super slow speeds. I actually found that it was happening while trying to maneuver in tight places while using reverse. A discussion with Tranny Tom concluded that the Ford trans doesn't like high loads in reverse. I considered a PM rebuild last fall but it didn't happen. This was another reason I opted for the flatbed prior to Moab. I had no trans problems on the trip other than a few drips that amounted to about a pint of oil each way. But when I got home after dark, the jockeying around to back into my driveway resulted in pissing a solid quart of oil onto my driveway. So, I decided to pull it. Tom found that the torque limiter had started to "balloon" and there were signs of heat on the bands and clutches. I am currently in the process of installing an additional trans cooler with dedicated electric fan to assist in cooling at slow speeds.

Frame. Yes, you will need to beef up your trailer hitch and possibly the frame depending on what you buy.

Deisel. Lots of cash. Don't waste your money on the lower hp/torque units.

I had a 24 ft Class C. I would not go back to it for a couple reasons. The visibility in a Class A is worth it alone. The van style cockpit is much tighter, especially footroom. Ours would not allow the passenger seat to go all the way back due to cabinet interference.

So, what to recommend KNOWING that you will be hauling an enclosed?
Class A as short as possible. 32-35 ft is more than enough.
No slides to reduce weight and offset your CGVW.
2000 or newer Workhorse.
2005 or newer Triton.
__________________
GLFWDA member since 1979.
Member Southern Michigan Rock Crawlers.

Last edited by whiterhino; May 5th, 2011 at 09:01 AM.
whiterhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2011, 11:37 AM   #20
Smiley
Senior Member
 
Smiley's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12-26-05
Location: Byron Center
Posts: 804
iTrader: (1)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

Thanks for your details Whiterhino, I'm going to be looking for a newer class A later this fall and now I know which chassis will work better.

Do you know if the Workhorse chassis went to a wider track front? My 1998 was terrible in cross winds on the trip to Little Sahara OK over Easter and it was due to the narrow front suspension. Damned bread truck!
Smiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest > 4x4 Talk > Tow rigs and trailers

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:51 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright 2000 - 2012, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Page generated in 0.35771 seconds with 82 queries