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Old 01-29-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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Class IV Hitch on F53...tongue weight 700lbs.

I've noted past discussion on towing capabilities of the F53 chassis.. my question is about TONGUE WEIGHT capacity.
Several of the coaches we are looking at have the F53 18k GVWR 23k GCWR chassis...and a class III 5000/500 lb tow/tongue weight capacity.

We need about a 700lb capacity tongue weight which would mean a type IV 1000lb. hitch. The current F53 brochure shows wiring for class II, III and IV hitches. https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...2013_LoRes.pdf
I assume this means that Ford thinks Class IV hitches may be used with their chassis.

Does anyone have a class IV on their F53?
Does anyone see any problem fitting one and loading 700lbs of tongue weight (assuming no chassis extensions used by coach mfr. )??
Will I need to do anything to beef up the rear end of the suspension if I keep the rear wheel weight below the rated 12k lbs? (I'm concerned about 700 lbs 3 ft. behind the bumper and the lever effect.)

I will NOT be towing anything so this will be the total load on the hitch/chassis.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:39 PM   #2
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Given that the standard of 10% of the gross weight of the trailer is the tongue weight, you are asking if a motorhome built on an F53 chassis could tow a 7,000 lb. trailer. The answer is NO, unless you have the 16,000lb. chassis.

If you read a little further in the Ford F53 spec sheet it says:

Maximum trailer weight for the 16,000 lb. chassis is 7,000 lbs.

Maximum trailer weight for the 18,000 lb. chassis is 5,000 lbs.

Maximum trailer weight for the 20,500 lb. chassis is 5,500 lbs.

Maximum trailer weight for the 22,000 lb. chassis is 4,000 lbs.

Maximum trailer weight for the 24,000 lb. chassis is 6,000 lbs.

Maximum trailer weight for the 26,000 lb. chassis is 4,000 lbs.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response... At the risk of sounding like a putz... I don't think the issue of tongue weight is related to towing weight the coach is capable of...even though the ratio would make it seem so. It seems to me that the tongue weight is more related to the hitch specs and components used since that is a function of the CLASS of the hitch.
I know I could easily carry 700 lbs in the rear of the coach....I know I can carry 500lbs on the tongue as it is. I know Ford has provided for a class 4 hitch which spec wise itself carries up to 1000 lbs. Downward force from the weight of the cargo is obviously not directly related to 10% of pulling force from the engine/tranny from a physics standpoint.
Not saying you're wrong about whether the chassis can support it...just saying I don't think your analogy holds & would like some other confirming or denying opinions and especially comment from anyone who has a class 4 on an F53.
Thanks again for responding!
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
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One thing that should be checked out is if the body builder added onto the rear of the factory F53 chassis rails. Many times the body builder will add rails to the factory frame to give it more length. This can reduce the amount of weight the hitch can carry because it may be weaker than the factory rails.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesrxx951 View Post
One thing that should be checked out is if the body builder added onto the rear of the factory F53 chassis rails. Many times the body builder will add rails to the factory frame to give it more length. This can reduce the amount of weight the hitch can carry because it may be weaker than the factory rails.
Thanks James...absolutely true...fortunately...I'm looking at 27-29' Class A's so am not running into this issue...but good to note for others!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:10 AM   #6
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The hitch limitation should be noted by the coach manufacturer who will take into account the loads that the motorhome that they built puts on the chassis along with frame extensions if any exist. The bigger problem even if you beef the suspension up is the weight that will be unloaded from the front wheels by 700 lbs of dead weight canterleavered off the receiver which can leave with some bad front end drift or even lift in a cross or head wind
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
The hitch limitation should be noted by the coach manufacturer who will take into account the loads that the motorhome that they built puts on the chassis along with frame extensions if any exist. The bigger problem even if you beef the suspension up is the weight that will be unloaded from the front wheels by 700 lbs of dead weight canterleavered off the receiver which can leave with some bad front end drift or even lift in a cross or head wind
Yup...unfortunately the mfr. I'm favoring right now has told me that they cannot/will not respond to that request and that I need to consult a hitch shop.
I've been thinking that a pair of air spring helpers might be necessary to control the cantilever action of an additional 200 lbs over design...even with a class 4 hitch...but my main concern is the structural integrity of the frame and whether the F53 can handle it.
Thanks!
****************

Does anyone here have a class 4 hitch on an F53 chassis??
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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For those who may have some interest...I spoke to a tech at the Ford Motor Company today who is knowledgeable about RV's and the F53 chassis and he was most helpful if a bit equivocal without specific details from me as one would expect. So here is what I learned:
1. Yeah...you can use a class 4 hitch with an F-53 chassis ...but it needs to be on the frame...not some welded on extension the coach mfr. added.
2. Class 4 lets you pull up to 10000 lbs with the hitch or 1000 lbs on the tongue... but that is what the hitch itself can stand...not the coach. The coach can support a tow weight equivilent to the GCWR of the coach. So if your tow vehicle weighs 6000 lbs but the GCWR has not been exceeded...AND your hitch can do 6000lbs. ...then you can pull the car.
3. Tongue weight is a bit more complicated because if the coach has significant overhang on the frame (say 3-4 feet) then that weight is also considered tongue weight. Stay tuned.
4. Also...tongue weight subtracts from the Cargo Carrying Capacity of the Coach. If when loaded, you've only got a few hundred lbs. of CCC left...then you can't carry a bunch of weight on the tongue...and weight on the tongue is worse than weight between the axles in terms of CCC....so don't be tempted to push it.
5. Air Spring helpers for the rear leaf springs can help with coach handling when a lot of weight is in the rear. At least 35% of coach weight should be on the front axle and that should be measured with the air bags deflated.

The bottom line for me is that I CAN carry 700 lbs of scooters and lift on the back end of my prospective coach IF the frame extends nearly to the end of the coach.
The standard class 2 hitch will need to be replaced with a class 4...and my 3200 lbs of CCC should give me reasonable leeway. Air Springs will be in the plan.

Hopefully this will all work out some months down the road...and I'll report on future events.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:49 PM   #9
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What are you putting on the back of you MH? I am thinking about a motorcycle that weighs 300lbs..
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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What are you putting on the back of you MH? I am thinking about a motorcycle that weighs 300lbs..
Most coaches will be fine with that as long as the carrier itself does not weigh substantially over 50 lbs.

I have a 2001 Winnebago Adventurer 35U on the F53 and while the hitch itself is rated by the maker to have a higher tongue weight (verticle load) as installed it is only rated for 5000 lb draw and 350 lb verticle load so it does not matter that what is stamped on the hitch itself is much higher nor will it make a difference if I put a heavier duty hitch in its place unless I have the frame extensions replaced with heavier duty ones.

This is why when you go into some motorhomes there is a hump and downward angle to the floor once you walk past the bathroom and towards the rear of the coach. The rear frame extensions were overloaded and have started to sag taking everything else behind the rear axle down with it. I have seen where the cross member over the rear axle had stress cracks in it due to this on quite a few coaches I was considering on dealer lots. Some of them were nothing more than accidents waiting to happen.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:04 AM   #11
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The 700 pounds on the hitch will effectively remove more than 700 pounds from the front wheels. My coach has a garage in the back and I put my 700 lbs cycle back there. First trip out my steering was real light and sensitive. I moved as much weight forward as possible using all basement and inside cabinets to get steering back to normal. Remember what Ford states.
At least 35% of coach weight should be on the front axle. It really does make a difference.
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