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Old 07-07-2005, 01:27 PM   #1
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I am planning on purchasing a USED Class C Motor home to pull a horse trailer. My horse trailer fully loaded will be close to 5,000 Lbs- so I know I want to get the bigger engine and make sure it has the appropriate towing capacity.

I'm quite nervous about purchasing from an individual, but this seems like it is going to be the most economical way.

I am looking to spend around 10-15K, and I want to stay under 28' long.

What are some of the more reliable engines and makes for that price range?

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2005, 01:27 PM   #2
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I am planning on purchasing a USED Class C Motor home to pull a horse trailer. My horse trailer fully loaded will be close to 5,000 Lbs- so I know I want to get the bigger engine and make sure it has the appropriate towing capacity.

I'm quite nervous about purchasing from an individual, but this seems like it is going to be the most economical way.

I am looking to spend around 10-15K, and I want to stay under 28' long.

What are some of the more reliable engines and makes for that price range?

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:43 AM   #3
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Your problem is that most Class C's will not have an adequate GCWR & hitch to tow a 5000 lb trailer. 4000 or less is typical, especially in the older ones you will be looking at.

GCWR (Gross Combined Weight rating) is the maximum allowable combined weight of motorhome, trailer, passengers and gear. Perfromance will deteriorate as you get near the GCWR. Exceeding it is downright unsafe.

Your horse trailer has its own brakes, I hope.
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:19 AM   #4
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I have noticed the majority of the Class C have a 3500 pound maximum. Which is scary; as I see A LOT of horse owners pulling their trailers with these. There are some that are the heavy duty, but they seem few and far between.

My horse trailer DOES have it's own brakes, and it's brand new so they work quite well I may have to move up to a Class A it seems- unless I can find one of the heavy duty Class C.
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Old 07-11-2005, 07:55 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ExtraHorizons:
I have noticed the majority of the Class C have a 3500 pound maximum. Which is scary; as I see A LOT of horse owners pulling their trailers with these. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It depends a whole lot upon where you are going to be hauling. You have lot more latitude in Florida or prairie country, than in mountain terrain.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:15 PM   #6
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I will be pulling throughout Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. I can only think of one hill, and believe me, it's only a hill So I'd say we're in Prairie Country.

I have also been researching the Class A motor homes. However, they are hard to find under 30'. Also, I'd have to buy around a 1990 model to fit into my price range. I really don't want to jump up to a 30' length just to get the larger hitch weight if I could get by with the smaller motor homes.

I suppose I need to visit a dealer, I just prefer to get as much info up front as I possibly can. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:28 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
GCWR (Gross Combined Weight rating) is the maximum allowable combined weight of motorhome, trailer, passengers and gear. Perfromance will deteriorate as you get near the GCWR. Exceeding it is downright unsafe.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How does the GCWR compare to the Maximum hitch weight? It's rather confusing. Most of the specifications list a hitch weight, and the GCWR, but don't say the "maximum towing weight." I think this is what is throwing me off.

What if the motor home is basically empty- with just the essentials for a weekend, and then you're pulling the 5K trailer. I would anticipate less than 500 pounds including passengers and gear in the motor home at a time. Would the 3500 # rated hitches be safe then?
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:11 PM   #8
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ExtraHorizons,

The hitch weight rating is the max. that it is approved to tow. It does not set the gross combined, but is usually matched to it. The gross combined weight is set by the chassis manufacturer. It is based upon the design of the chassis, the rear end, transmission, brakes, engine and cooling system, as well as a lot of other factors. It does not mean that the coach will fall apart as soon as you exceed it, but you are asking for major mechanical problems over time, as well as safety issues in both stopping the rig in an emergency, but also for the transmission to hold everything back when coming off a steep grade, safely. The gross combined is the total of everything in or attached to the chassis, whether riding on the chassis axles or towed behind it.

It is true that you can safely tow more weight if you unload the coach. What you need to do is to take it to a scale and weigh it to see just what it will weigh when ready for travel. You also need to get the weights of the axles so that you know what you can add to the weight on the rear axle since your horse trailer is going to add at least 10% of it's weight to the toung and due to leverage, that will apply about 50% more than the tongue weighs to the rear axle. To be safe you should weigh again with the trailer and the RV loaded for travel. Also, keep in mind that the rating for the hitch is still a limit to keep, no matter what the GCWR is. I do not believe that I have ever seen a gas powered class A or a class C that had a hitch rated for any more than 5000#.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:42 PM   #9
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Thank you very much Kirk- I really appreciate the information.

I don't think a smaller RV is going to be safe enough for me to pull with. I may just end up making 2 trips

Thanks again!
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