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Old 05-09-2014, 10:31 PM   #1
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Towing weight questions & comments

Hello all... I am a newbie to the RV world. I'm sure this has been discussed to death and, I have searched other forums but, they seem to focus more on toads than anything else. The MH is a Winnebago Vectra w/400HP Cummins.

I have a Porsche 356 historic race car and one of my thoughts in semi-retirement was to take it around the country to various tracks from Coronado, to Willow to Laguna Seca and out to Connecticut to Lime Rock, NY - Watkins Glen... you get the idea.

Locally (SoCal), I've been using my 2007 Chevy Avalanche 1500 towing a 20'Box Carson Racer Trailer (Towing Capacity 7,500lb stated)... Car is about 1,800, Trailer about 3,400 + tools. The Avalanche has been "OK" but, the trailer does own the this truck. I put load leveling bars and that made a ton of difference... but, this is white knuckle to be sure.

Here's what I really want to do, and have seen sooo many do. I purchased a lightweight 20' Box stacker trailer keeping me legal in length. looking to put the 356 on level 2 and get something like a Mini Cooper for lower level. 356... 1,800, Trailer ~ 4,500 & Mini @ 2,400 brings to 8,700Lbs then add coach loading, and it's real close. I understand that the load distribution bars have an effect of increasing the 10K hitch to an effective 13KLbs...

So, really, and practically what is the limiting factor on whether you have a 10K hitch or, by means of what would "seem" to be relatively simple hitch replacement to 15K, or triangulated reinforcement on the 10K from the receiver forward to each of the left and right frame, thereby distributing the load of forward momentum or rearward pull.

Long and short, would the MH itself not really be capable of this tow weight? There seem to be many at the track who do just this. I'd appreciate any objective and practical input to this otherwise... It's BACK TO WORK for me...
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:55 PM   #2
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Just cause there are a lot of others doing it doesn't make it , right , safe , or legal.
Chassis manufacturers , design loads, GVWR; GCWR , are the way the laws are written , and what an insurance company with go by , in order to deny any claim generated by the accident your in; or cause.
A modified hitch becomes the liability, responsibility, of the person who modified it.
You must have concerns or you wouldn't be asking . Are you willing to risk everything you have to run with the crowd.
JMHO: Find a way to get there within the weight limits provided, by the chassis manufacturer.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:57 PM   #3
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I'm a little confused by your post. You talk about putting together a 20' trailer with a total weight of 8700 pounds and then increasing a 10K hitch to 15K because of what you'll load in the RV???

If you keep the trailer at 8700 pounds, any 10K hitched RV will tow it. If you add more weight to the coach, it has nothing to do with the hitch rating. Your total GCWR is all that is important. GCWR = Coach + Trailer
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:17 AM   #4
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Thanks ... I'm not one for "running with the crowd" but rather, are there things that can be done to enhance the tow-ability of the MH that I am not thinking of... Perhaps I should be looking in the vintage racing forums... See, vintage racers are very much (generalized) conservative and thoughtful of how to use and have fun in the safest manor... one of the reasons I got into it a while back. So, seeking for more wisdom and knowledge or knowledge of improving the hook-up is all.

As for the total weight being less than the 10K, in practice, it will approach that number by virtue of tools etc. If anyone were aware of 15K retrofits, it would put a fair amount of safety margin there... Now, if the mechanical components of the MH (motor/trans) can't handle it then that's another question. The MH's with 15K hitches still run the same or very similar running gear. Again, just looking for what's been done in the past... not intended to break laws which, I don't see how I would be.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:53 AM   #5
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Tubby.....not trying to give you a hard time......but if you're trailer and tools are still going to be under 10K.....why are you looking for 15K retrofit. Even if you hit 10K on the head or went over by 200 pounds, you would still be okay with a 10K hitch.

If you intend to actually tow 15K, I think you'll find that 10K is kind of the cut off for most coaches. You generally have to get into the large truck/chassis or conversions to get a hitch higher than 10k. Even if you retrofit a 10K coach to a 15K hitch, I think you'll really be pressing the limit in terms of power, braking, tongue weight and frame stress.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:21 AM   #6
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First, check with the chassis manufacturer to see if they recommend a 15,000# hitch on your frame. If not, you are stuck with the 10K one which sounds like it will work anyway. My coach came with a 10K, but after confirming with Tiffin, I replaced it with their 15K hitch. I'm pulling a 12,500# trailer now. I've known people to modify their hitch and have been ok, but it could be a lawyers dream come true if they are ever in an accident.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:25 AM   #7
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Thanks... I don't see being over 10K but I never like working the limits of "specification" which would very likely have "some" headroom on design specification but obviously that should not assumed... The #s all work, I agree but, if there were other pearls of wisdom as relates to MHs I didn't think of here's the place to vet it. Of course, there's the F350 route (15K) but I haven't found one with a shower ;o) ... I'm really looking forward to the adventures and with the weight of the MH, the overall over the road stability should be nice.

Good point on the Modification/Lawyers... should the hitch fail. That brings to point ALL those hitch fabricators out there, and there are a lot. I wonder what testing and certification is done (for specific installations) by the name brand manufactures as well as the implied liability. If not supplied AND mounted by the manufacturer are you left in the same position from a liability point...

Regardless of what we're all towing, it should be taken very seriously and consciously. It's an exercise in physics at the very least.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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Please allow me the opportunity to start over.
Welcome to iRV2.
In reading your original post , I latched onto , " hitch modification " and ran off on my rant.
I should have re-read your post and approached my response , with more diplomacy as , Don , has.
If your , coach has a 10,000# tow rating & a 10,000# hitch , your trailer has a 10,000# GVW. and your only loading to 8,700 #. I'd say your off and running. The thing I would say is pay careful attention to trailer side to side loading weights, and hitch weight as a % of the total. Trailer tire balancing; a lot of people say it's un-necessary, but from personal experience , well worth the few $. Metal valves for any tire that requires more than 50 psi. is also a big.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #9
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This site was designed for buying rv's and trailers but the formula works for anything you tow:

Before You Buy RV Compatibility Verifier
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:57 PM   #10
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Hi Tubby356,
Welcome to iRV2. Can you put some of the physically small items in the coach basement? Coaches are great weight carriers.
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