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Old 05-24-2011, 02:04 AM   #1
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Tow Rating

I'm a little confused. I have a 2011 Winnebago Vista on the 22,000 lbs. GVWR 2011 Ford F-53 chassis. The GCVWR is 26,000 lbs. I thought that meant If I am at maximum GVWR I can still tow 4,000 lb. but if I am under maximum GVWR I can tow that much more (assuming I don't tow more than the receiver is rated for). In my case, I weigh in at about 18,000 lbs. fully loaded. If I am right than I can theoretically tow 8,000 lbs. My receiver is only rated for 5,000 lbs. so in actuality, I can tow 5,000 lbs. ..... if I am right.

I reviewed the Ford towing guide and it shows a maximum tow rating of 4,000 lbs. For the 20,500 lbs. GVWR chassis it shows a maximum tow rating of 5,500 lbs. It is clear the rating is derived by subtracting the GVWR from the GCVWR. Does this mean I am limited to towing 4,000 lbs. despite being about 4,000 lbs. under GVWR? I ask because we are thinking of buying a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited which will likely weigh in at over 4,500 lbs. This would keep us below the 5,000 lbs. receiver limit and well below GCVWR.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:42 AM   #2
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You jeep wrangler will weigh under 5000K. You hitch is rated for 5000 lbs, you will be fine. Additionally towing 4 wheels down does not put any down force on your coach or hitch. You do however need a brake system on your towd for safety's sake. Also Jeep Wranglers tow well and are easy to set up.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:28 AM   #3
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You are basically correct. GCWR minus GVWR is the towing capacity. I would think a manufacturer installed hitch would reflect this. For example, if the towing capacity is 5,000# you would not have a 10,000# hitch.

One thing i am not sure about, if your coach weighs less than the GVWR, then your towing capacity increase buy a like amount.

Jim E
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
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Hi cliff841,
Based on the OP, you can tow the 5K your hitch is rated for. When towing the GCWR and the hitch rating is the key to success. If the coach is light on weight, one can tow more up to the GCWR and hitch rating. Do get a toad braking system.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:09 PM   #5
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Hi cliff841,
Based on the OP, you can tow the 5K your hitch is rated for. When towing the GCWR and the hitch rating is the key to success. If the coach is light on weight, one can tow more up to the GCWR and hitch rating. Do get a toad braking system.
Concerning a toad breaking system. I have heard that some/all states require this. Don't know if that is true or not. Also, insurance concerns. Be that as it may, I would think all MH manufacturers design their coaches to safely stop, if the GCWR is not exceeded, without assistance from an after market breaking system. This is a requirement by all states to operate a vehicle on their highways. That's not to say an auxiliary braking system should not be used. They will, I think, provide an additional margin of safety.

Jim E
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #6
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Hi Pairajays,
Manufacturers design brakes to stop the GVWR to Federal Regulations. Go to The Physics of Towed-Vehicle Braking to learn more.

In addition go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documen...005-21462-0040
Open the PDF file. You'll see a sample of a test conducted, by the Federal Gov't. They test various weights up to GVWR.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff841 View Post
I'm a little confused. I have a 2011 Winnebago Vista on the 22,000 lbs. GVWR 2011 Ford F-53 chassis. The GCVWR is 26,000 lbs. I thought that meant If I am at maximum GVWR I can still tow 4,000 lb. but if I am under maximum GVWR I can tow that much more (assuming I don't tow more than the receiver is rated for). In my case, I weigh in at about 18,000 lbs. fully loaded. If I am right than I can theoretically tow 8,000 lbs. My receiver is only rated for 5,000 lbs. so in actuality, I can tow 5,000 lbs. ..... if I am right.
You have broken the code and are exactly correct.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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Hi Pairajays,
Manufacturers design brakes to stop the GVWR to Federal Regulations. Go to The Physics of Towed-Vehicle Braking to learn more.

In addition go to Regulations.gov
Open the PDF file. You'll see a sample of a test conducted, by the Federal Gov't. They test various weights up to GVWR.
Well, I don't disagree with anything at those sites. They both said the same thing, the more weight, the more breaking ability required. Thats pretty obvious. Where did it say that MH manufacturers build their coaches to stop their GVWR instead of GCWR? There was nothing in either article that disputed what I said.

It may be that most coaches are built to stop GVWR. I just don't know. I have heard that some manufactures build units that the GVWR will not allow passengers, fuel or anything else. I just believe that quality coach builders design their coaches to stop the GCWR, after all, it couldn't add much to the building cost.

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Old 05-24-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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Well, I don't disagree with anything at those sites. They both said the same thing, the more weight, the more breaking ability required. Thats pretty obvious. Where did it say that MH manufacturers build their coaches to stop their GVWR instead of GCWR? There was nothing in either article that disputed what I said.

It may be that most coaches are built to stop GVWR. I just don't know. I have heard that some manufactures build units that the GVWR will not allow passengers, fuel or anything else. I just believe that quality coach builders design their coaches to stop the GCWR, after all, it couldn't add much to the building cost.

Jim E
In my experience most (if not all) manufacturers have a statement in the owners manuals to the effect that auxiliary braking system is required for a towing vehicle greater than 1000 or 1500 lbs

Check with the manufacturer of your RV

PHE
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:09 PM   #10
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In my experience most (if not all) manufacturers have a statement in the owners manuals to the effect that auxiliary braking system is required for a towing vehicle greater than 1000 or 1500 lbs

Check with the manufacturer of your RV

PHE
I have a Beaver Marquis, there is no towing capacity specified. I had a 1994 CC Concept and a 2002 HR Endeavor. Not specified. What do you have that specifies no more than 1000# or 1500# without an auxiliary breaking system? I think I heard or read somewhere that those are Canadian requirements.

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Old 05-24-2011, 11:43 PM   #11
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One thing i am not sure about, if your coach weighs less than the GVWR, then your towing capacity increase buy a like amount.

Jim E
No, you can't move the ratings around and tow more than the towing capacity just because your MH weighs less than the GVWR.
What you can tow is the LESSER of the hitch rating, the towing capacity or the difference between the GCVWR and the GVWR.

With a Ford or Workhorse chassis you will find that supplemental brakes are required if you tow anything that weighs 1,500#'s or more.

With a diesel you will find that if the MH and towed weigh more than the GVWR then you will need supplemental braking as the chassis is only certified to stop the GVWR, not as some people think the GCVWR.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:48 PM   #12
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I have a Beaver Marquis, there is no towing capacity specified. I had a 1994 CC Concept and a 2002 HR Endeavor. Not specified. What do you have that specifies no more than 1000# or 1500# without an auxiliary breaking system? I think I heard or read somewhere that those are Canadian requirements.

Jim E
Check the owners manual or chassis manufacturer's information. Both Ford and Workhorse state that the maximum you can tow without supplemental braking is 1499#'s, at 1500 you are required to have add'l braking.

I can never figure out why people are so reluctant to add brakes, but want more HP/torque when a toad is added. The laws of physics don't change, it takes more HP/torque to move more weight and it takes more braking to stop it. I've never heard, after someone has avoided an accident, say "gee I wish my brakes weren't so good".
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:58 PM   #13
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I just believe that quality coach builders design their coaches to stop the GCWR, after all, it couldn't add much to the building cost.

Jim E
Federal Law requires the manufacturer to have braking power to stop the GVWR, nothing more.

If you're talking Newell or Prevost then yes, that may be true, but otherwise probably not, it's the GVWR and nothing more.

If you "believe" otherwise then you need to contact the RV manufacturer and find out for sure. I did that with my Spartan chassis, it's only rated to stop the GVWR of the chassis, nothing more.

When Spartan replaced the 12,000# front axle with a 14,600# unit the first thing I noticed was how much better the braking was at the first stop as I left the Spartan factory!! Glad I had my seat belt/shoulder harness on and tight!!
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:09 AM   #14
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Concerning a toad breaking system. I have heard that some/all states require this. Don't know if that is true or not. Also, insurance concerns. Be that as it may, I would think all MH manufacturers design their coaches to safely stop, if the GCWR is not exceeded, without assistance from an after market breaking system. This is a requirement by all states to operate a vehicle on their highways. That's not to say an auxiliary braking system should not be used. They will, I think, provide an additional margin of safety.

Jim E
Braking requirements vary by state, there is no reciprocity on this. You must be legal in EVERY state you go through. So if even one state on your trip requires supplemental braking then you are required to have it. It's not like drivers licensing where your home state license is good in every state.

I WA, OR and CA the requirement is a performance spec when towing a motorized vehicle, stop from XX mph in XX feet and you don't need add'l braking.

But, since add'l weight ALWAYS takes more braking effort to stop I won't tow a toad without supplemental braking! I've avoided two wrecks so far because I had good brakes, enough to lock up all four wheels on our old Jeep GC to avoid an idiot that pulled over in front of me then hit the brakes when he realized he was about to pass his exit! Full air horns, towed brakes locked up and my ABS doing it's best.
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