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Old 05-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #29
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OK, called Winnebago. They said they didn't know why some coaches shipped with a 5k hitch and some with a 10k.
My guess is price. I am sure that someone somewhere gets more money for a 10k hitch over a 5k hitch.

Same reason so many coaches don't come with a smart wheel, even though it's like an $800 option when you build them. Dealers order coaches trying to hit the lowest price.

Steve
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #30
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I have no horse in this race. I like that board members are cautioning not just you, but other readers. They could be worng, but, they are right to share a concern if they see one. I would expect that you would want input, if a safety concern pop's up.

This is an area for a specialist to give you guidance on. If you were in the San Diego area, I would not hesitate to send you to San Diego Trailer supply. In fact, no matter where you are - it is the cost of one phone call, to ask for input. Big Dave runs the shop area - and he knows his stuff... He can at least give you recommended areas to consider, and equipment to look into.

Best of luck to you and the DW as you hit the track!!! Getting their safely, and home, with perhaps a win or two along the way - is what it is all about...
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #31
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My guess is price. I am sure that someone somewhere gets more money for a 10k hitch over a 5k hitch.

Same reason so many coaches don't come with a smart wheel, even though it's like an $800 option when you build them. Dealers order coaches trying to hit the lowest price.

Steve
Also it could have been an availability issue at the time. In the 60's, some Chrysler Corp. cars could come with either Bendix or Lockeed brakes, and either could be one of 3 sizes (width) of brake shoes. It just depended on what they had on the shelf the day it was built.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:14 PM   #32
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I would definitely try to get a confirmation from Winnebago and FL before going ahead. Also check the build date of your mh. According to the fine print in the brochure (http://media.gowinnebago.com/models/...ourney-bro.pdf) until fall 2001, the 2002 Journey DL had a 31,850 lbs GCWR and a 5,000 lbs hitch. It's quite common that mh have mid-year evolutions. Email Freightliner with your VIN and I'm sure they'll be able to get you the specifics on your chassis, axles, etc and tell you if you are good for 5k lbs or 10k lbs. What does the compliance sticker in your motor home say? You also need to find out the tongue weight capacity for your coach.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #33
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Some good points. As previously stated in an earlier post, my coach has the 36,850# GVWR.

Thanks, Smitty for recommending SD Trailer, I'll call Dave.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:21 PM   #34
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My beaver information says don't use weight transfer bars with the air bag suspension. It will just try to compensate. With spring suspension, yes.

I'm pretty sure my MH has a 5000 lb hitch due to ground clearance. All the big hitches I've seen would lower the receiver 3-4", and mine already drags. I'm sure somebody has designed a 10k hitch that's "low profile", but to use the easily available ones you would have to flip it over and cut a hole in the rear cap.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #35
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I tow a Sports2000 in an 18' box Haulmark, along with seemingly every tool I own, 4 sets of wheels/tires, spares, etc. I got the Haulmark used and overlooked the rearward placement of the axles, so it has a bit of a heavy tongue. I'm guessing that it grosses at about 8500 lbs.

We just bought a 35' diesel pusher with a 5000 hitch on the Freightliner chassis. Our local RV / hitch specialist boxed the hitch to the frame and added a couple of stiffeners. and pronounced it good-to-go. We have a weight dist hitch (traditional type with latch-up bars / chains), with no stabilizer and the new combo tows like a dream. I can't tell a difference, other than acceleration. With 4 wheel brakes on the trailer, our stopping distance is essentially the same as for the RV alone. I'm working on the 7 mpg economy (free-flow muffler, MAP spoofing gadget and a K&N filter).

We previously towed with a 28' Southwind P-30 chassis RV. I had to play with front and rear airbag pressures and hitch settings to get it to drive decently, and we had noticeable sag on the 10k rated hitch. The new rig is night and day superior to the old one.

I could be wrong, but I believe the rated towing capacity is greatly influenced by braking, with the assumption that the trailer contributes little stopping power. That stacker trailer probably has 4 wheel brakes if not 6. Your setup may be like mine, in that the trailer is essentially neutral to overall braking performance. That leaves tongue weight and sway control as the big issues. Bring all of it under control and I think you can bump the towing capacity rating w/o diminishing safety.

As to the suggestion about a heavier rear swaybar, I don't understand the benefit. As a racer, you probably know that swaybars are incorrectly named and don't really control sway, they just control body roll. Without a weight dist hitch, the trailer cannot impart extra roll to the RV. Even with a wd hitch, the trailer doesn't influence the RV much - the wd bars have no real leverage - they are too close to the centerline of the RV.

There is a chance we will tow down (from Seattle) for CalClub's Pumpkin Run and PCRRC races in October. Royale S2, red, usually #14. Give PCRRC a try - it is a concept worth bringing back, and bring Bruce and his Lola 590 with you.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #36
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Ok, now were talkin... It took racers to really address the issue. Boxing/reinforcing the hitch is exactly what I had in mind, and I'm glad someone who has actually done it chimed in. SD Trailer is going to do the work. I'll go with their recommendation regarding "sway" control, weight distribution, etc.

Thanks again...

Post Script: PCRRC looks great. We'll definitely consider entering our cars.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:19 PM   #37
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The tow rate by the manufacturer takes in the tires and the rear axle, as well as trying to stop the whole package. I would get the weight down to the rating, and take a real long look at a " Trailer Toad ". Google that and see what its all about. Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:48 PM   #38
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Good point. The coach's GCWR is 36,850. "Ready to tow" weight is 24,800. That means "true" tow capacity is 12,050. Estimated maximum trailer weight is 11,000, leaving a good cushion.
The "true tow" capacity is the LESSOR of 12,050 or the hitch capacity.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:56 AM   #39
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The 5000 vs 10000 hitch thing is just that... the hitch.

I have a 2002 Itasca Horizon 39' with the 330 CAT and I tow heavy all the time.

I have a 28' Featherlite trailer that is something like 33' tongue to tail and I load it up with my 66 GTO and electric golf cart, tools and kids toys. I'm pretty close to 10K lbs.

What I did was a few things...

I had my 10K hitch removed and had a local welding shop that specializes in this kind of stuff build and certify a 17,000lb hitch for the RV. It's a massive hitch that has beefy "C" channels that extend up the frame at least 3' and the tongue also extends up probably 5' to keep the tongue weight from shearing off the reciever. (the OEM 10K hitch was rated for I think 500lb of tongue weight and after using it -- I saw it bend down a bit.)

I did all the calling to Winnebago and Freightliner... long story longer - Winnebago just rates them based on the hitch rating.

Freightliner is fine with a higher towing capacity. Typically the issues with towing heavier are the transmission (which if you have a Allison 3000 then you are good for lots more weight than you can tow. The allison 1000/2000/2500 is the 5000 lb towing capacity transmission) and the lateral forces on the frame. Being that I beefed mine up so much and also added some air suspension to my hitch it now tows like a dream.

Air Safe Hitches, Hitch | Air Ride Hitch, Hitches is what I got - their class 5 air bag hitch with a weight distribution setup. (the WDH bars DO help quite a bit with the ride quality and the trailer feeling more "one" with the coach vs. me feeling pushed around by the trailer)

So my .03 is to get a real professional hitch assembly built, not just beef up what is there.. and then educate yourself on safe towing practices like having an excellent brake controller.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:22 AM   #40
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While doing research on lenghts and State laws I found that there are a lot of them that list a combined maximum length of 65'. However most of the 'all 48 state lists' were not accurate. For example, in MD the max (single) length is 40' until you read further on in the statute that Motorhomes are 45'. Same for NJ. If your trailer is 29' and your coach is longer than 36' you have given most HP probable cause to stop you. Then if they see the hitch rating...
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #41
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State Towing Laws for RVs

Example of one incorrect list.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #42
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Interesting thread and I learned something and to me - that is what it is all about. I thought DP's with the 6.7 engine would tow 5, 000 lbs, 8.3 and 8.9 engines at
10, 000lbs and tag axle at 15, 000 lbs. Learned that holy cow, gotta look at the hitch (which I know), but would probably forgot about in the excitment of buying.
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