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Old 01-05-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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Thor ACE - Motorcycle Carrier on Tongue

My wife and I think we've identified a Thor ACE as the Class A that fits our needs...and dogs. I've managed to get quite a headache researching all the glitches in this new line and am trying to make this 'journey' an enjoyable one.

One of the question marks I have is that I want to put a motorcycle carrier (Versahaul eg) into the tongue. Now it says it has a 500 pound rating which is fine for the carrier and a 3-400 pound bike.

Aside from the impact on the Cargo Carrying Capacity of the ACE (which is something I still can't quite figure out) would this weight on the tongue be concerning while driving? Front end wanting to wander?

I have slightly less than a thousand questions but don't want to annoy everyone right out of the gate..

Thanks in advance

Ron
Vancouver Island BC
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
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I use a Tilt-A-Rack motorcycle carrier to carry my scooter on the rear of my ACE. My scooter is fairly light (254 lbs wet) so between the scooter, helmets, and Tilt-A-Rack I have just over 300 lbs hanging off the rear end. I've noticed no ill handling. In fact, I can't even tell it's there. If anything, it's helped my overall weight distribution. Before adding the scooter and rack I typically ran about 6300 lbs on the front axle (only 200 below GAWR), but I had over a ton of excess CCC on the rear axle. With the scooter loaded, my front axle weight is in the 6150 range, giving me a greater margin there, and I still have lots of margin on the rear axle. As long as you mind the total 500 lb tongue weight limit I think you'll be just fine.

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:37 AM   #3
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Outstanding! Now just under 999 more questions to go....

Would you happen to know what the Cargo Carrying Capacity is on that 29.2? I've read many threads which have different way to calculate it which have all left me scratching my head. Fresh water counts or doesn't, fuel yes fuel no....ad nauseum.

I couldn't seem to find that rating on the Thor site let alone how they would calculate it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvik View Post
I couldn't seem to find that rating on the Thor site let alone how they would calculate it.
Here's how to calculate CCC:

1. Start with the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)

2. Subtract the vehicle's unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) -- The UVW is a manufacturer provided weight measurement of the vehicle that includes a full tank (or tanks) of fuel, coolant and oil

3. Subtract the weight of the sleeping capacity weight rating (SCWR) -- The SCWR is another manufacturer provided weight measurement (a maximum weight) determined by multiplying 154 pounds times the number of sleeping positions

4. Subtract the weight of the propane fuel (LP gas) -- Propane weighs 4.2 pounds per gallon

5. Subtract the weight of the fresh water on board -- Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon

The result is the cargo carrying capacity (CCC) of the vehicle.

You can usually pick up a few extra pounds of CCC from the SCWR. For example, if the sleeping capacity of the motorhome is 6 people, that's a total of 924# for the SCWR (6 x 154#). But, if there are only two people traveling in the RV and their total weight is 350#, then there is an additional 574# that can be added to the CCC. By the same token, if you always travel with an empty fresh water tank, or only a partially full fresh water tank, you could pick up that difference, too (be careful with this one, though, since there may be times when you'll have to travel with full fresh and black water tanks).

Unfortunately, many manufacturer's websites (including Thor's) don't include the information regarding CCC. If Thor's website included the UVW, you could at least "guesstimate" what the CCC would be, but they don't include that information, either.

And, on the two 2013 A.C.E.'s we've seen on dealer's lots (30.1 and 29.2), the tag that's supposed to be posted on an inside cabinet somewhere, was missing! I thought it was the law that these were supposed to be in all RVs, so don't understand why they would be taken out. But, before buying, I'd have the vehicle weighed with full fuel and propane tanks and either a totally empty fresh water tank or a totally full fresh water tank, and myself and my husband inside. From that information, I could then calculate CCC.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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You might want to re-think the tongue hitch. That is not really meant to hold a motorcycle rack and they are very unstable. We found a motorcycle still attached to the carrier in the middle of I-10 last year. The welds had broke and it was in pieces. Because they slide into the receiver there is play which allows them to move and wear and put strain on the brackets. The one we found had 2 receiver tongues and both were broke.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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Because they slide into the receiver there is play which allows them to move and wear and put strain on the brackets.
A high quality receiver carrier will come with an anti-rattle bracket that eliminates the free play that can strain the bolts/weld.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:44 PM   #7
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500# of a static load is a lot different than 500# of dynamic load. Imagine that the 500# is at the end of a 2 or 3' lever arm and is swing, starting and stopping as you run down the road. The hitch receiver will have considerably more load applied to it than the 500# static load.

If you are going to seriously carry that much weight on the back and your weight ratings do not overload the rear axle, I'd have a double 2" receiver added and use a carrier that fits two 2" receivers.

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:53 PM   #8
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Thoughts.....

I own a Versahaul carrier and use it to carry a 305 lb. scooter. Including ties, a ramp and a chain lock the load may be 350 lbs. The center of the ramp (where the load would be measured) is 21.5 inches from the hitch pin. The carrier is rated by the manufacturer for 500 lbs. based on a 500 lb. minimum tongue rating on your hitch. As far as I can discern the company is not asking the user to make the bending moment calculations based on distance from the hitch pin before loading the carrier.
I am also thinking that drawbars (eg. towing a trailer) can vary in length from roughly 12 to ? inches (pin to ball). Physics would predict this length reduces available tongue weight.
One last point. Is the load on a motorcycle carrier really dynamic compared to a trailer tongue?

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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MC Carriers

I see this is becoming almost as confusing as the different manufacture calculations for CCC at times.

I get what has been said about the movement of the carrier inside the receiver sleeve and the resulting strain but there are more than a couple of manufacturers of this type of MC carrier out there with people using them on the back of RV's and vehicles of all types.

One would think that if this carrier set up was problematic their businesses would have gone under long ago or at least cautions against using it on the net.

More research required I guess....
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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I think these type carriers are meant for small mopeds or scooters and not for anything over 250 lbs. They may have a limit of 500# but do you want to load them up that much? I'll bet that guy who lost his on I-10 wishes he didn't buy one. The one in the picture above looks to have a 1 1/2 inch single alum. receiver. How much is that going to hold before it bends and snaps off?
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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I carry a 300# bike with a 45# STEEL carrier. I do not trust aluminum because it can tear without warning. Steel will bend and give you a warning long before it fails

I carry on a CRV as well as my DP. At least 10K miles and no problems.







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Old 01-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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Does anyone use a single wheel type trailer that would attach to the reciever to help hold up a heavier bike ? Our mh would not comfortably pull a toad, (her car would be excellent) , but with a 350 under the hood,,,,, I do have a Harley Sportster, that weighs about 550 lbs.. It would be nice on longer trips to have a second mode of transportation, just in case.... Sure you can use a small trailer, but then backing up becomes a problem. I can back a trailer about anywhere, As Long As I can see it,,, which of course I could not behind the mh. (no back up camera) ... Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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For Rear Lifts have your front & rear axle weighted when loaded for travel. Then you can add on the extra weight of a lift by below.
Measure the distance from the center of rear axle to the center of the lift
Divide that number by the RV’s wheelbase. Multiply the result by 100 to get percent.

That percent of the load is added to the load and becomes the total load added to the rear axle.

That percent of the load is subtracted from the front axle weight and unloads the front axle by that amount.
800 lb bike, Lift 100 lb=900 lb Center axle to rear 120” wheelbase 240” 120 divide by 240=0.50 X 100= 50% Weight is 1350 lb added to rear axle Front axle will be 450 lbs lighter
Make sure your rear axle is not overloaded. Gas RV's usually have less carrying capacity then a DP.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:49 PM   #14
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I just went 2448 miles to Disneyworld with my 325# Dual Sport motorcycle on a 600# capacity steel hitch carrier. Bought on Ebay for $100. No problem what so ever. I did take all the play out of the sloppy fit between the receiver and square hole. I also added 2 turn buckle hooks off the top of the steel bumper to the outside edges of the carrier to reduce sway and vibration. Worst part is the bike is so high it takes 2 people to load and unload. Used the ramp off my M/C trailer as the supplied one was way too short. I also checked my hitch attachment to the frame which was reinforced by Fleetwood.
No problems with handling/steering either. I'm lightly loaded.
Using the carrier saved .1-.3 mpg over my small M/C trailer. Due to reduced wind drag and tire rolling resistance.
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