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Old 11-15-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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Towing - Winnebago Brave series

Hello everyone,

We have a 1982 Winnebago Brave Series (22 ft). I'm trying to find out if I can tow a Chevy Silverado (with tools and a motorcycle) behind. The truck is 4700 lbs, the extras are probably another 1,000.

Our manual says our entire rig shouldn't weigh more than 12,300 lbs when fully loaded but doesnt give us the weight empty.

The RVs specs: Chevy chassis, Chevy 6.2L diesel engine.

We're hoping to use dinghy to tow it all.

Any information or suggestions you could offer are appreciated.

Thanks, Justin
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
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According to the manual on my '84 Chieftain 22', the "Hitch capacity-Tow Vehicles is 2,000 lbs. and the Hitch Capacity-Ball is 200 lbs.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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When my grandson was killed in a m/c accident we towed his pickup with two motorcycles loaded in it and a full toolbox on a car trailer behind our 22' 1986 Winnie 454 from Phoenix, Az to Mokelumne Hill, Ca. Plenty of power to pull the hills and no problems stopping.

Our second trip to get his belongings we towed a 27' enclosed uhaul trailer full of furniture and clothing. It towed as easy as if it had nothing behind it.

I don't know what the motorhomes stated capacities were, but we didn't have too much of a choice at the time.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:59 PM   #4
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Well, we plan to be on the road full time for at least a year. Do you know what happens if you tow too much for too long?
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:15 AM   #5
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I'd suggest to bring your MH to a welding shop that's familiar with tow hitches and have them beef-up the hitch. If you're towing the toad on all fours, you won't have an issue on the "ball weight" and with that diesel motor, you shouldn't have problem towing..on flat roads. You might on mountain roads though. Also, be sure you have brakes on your toad and allow plenty of "stopping" distance between you and the vehicle in front.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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That 6.2L got a turbo on it? If it doesn't, you might not have enough oomph to get over the hills.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:06 AM   #7
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No it doesn't have a turbo. But would be interested in getting one if it would help get the job done. Cause we plan on doing the full time thing in spring and traveling the U.S.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:56 AM   #8
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Ultimately, exceeding the vehicle's towing, GVWR, cargo capacity, can lead to vehicle damage, loss of control, vehicle safety concerns and failure, etc. A one ton truck might pull a 53 foot semi trailer for some distance, but it will not for long. How long? Who knows.. How long will your setup last? Who knows... The stress and strain on the vehicle is a lot and exceeds engineering design specs. The specs are conservative for liability margins and tolerances, but if there is an accident, and you're over, attorneys will pounce all over it. Be careful
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDubs View Post
No it doesn't have a turbo. But would be interested in getting one if it would help get the job done. Cause we plan on doing the full time thing in spring and traveling the U.S.
Well, first, I'd get on a couple of auto forums and ask if that style of engine can take a turbo (The engine may not be built strong enough to handle boost). I know Chevy had some really poor Diesel designs back in the 80s, one used the 5.7L 350 gas block and converted it to run on diesel.

If it can handle the turbo, having the boost will definitely improve your pulling power and possibly even the fuel economy.

However, engine aside, having a brake buddy in the toad would be mandatory.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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I checked on the Banks website and yes they do make a turbo for my engine. The only thing is it is a little pricey at 2500.00 not including install. I dont no if it would be worth it.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:32 AM   #11
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The other options to transplant a Cummins engine in and junk the worthless GM diesel. But, you need to be good and motor savy and well versed in the cummins engine to do it properly.

It can be done, there's quite a number of antique group that take older trucks and transplant the tried and true Cummins 12 valve 1st gen engine into it.

I know a fellow who transplanted one into an early 70s Dodge pickup truck.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:18 PM   #12
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You can also get a GearVendors over/underdrive unit. Like the turbo, it isn't cheap, roughly the same price as the turbo, and the prices do not include labor for installation. There will be a point at which it would be cheaper to purchase a motor home better equipped for towing. The two add-ons together are the price of a good used car or truck, or nearly 1700 gallons of fuel. That would be enough to drive your toad nearly 25,000 miles following your motorhome. And that doesn't include cost of the labor I mentioned, which could easily top another $2,000.
So, yes, you could add this stuff to help your underpowered RV tow more, but what else is going to break from the added stress? Will the transmission go *poof* going up a hill? Maybe the gears in the rear end will not hold up. Engine and transmission mounts will suffer more strain, and may break. Engine temps will rise from the increased load, maybe the radiator will go South, or the engine may blow a head gasket. Those engines are famous for disassembling themselves while driving, maybe the harmonic balancer will fall off, breaking the end of the crankshaft (known issue).
My suggestion, for what it's worth, is to either drive the toad, or start looking for a more robust motor home.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:44 PM   #13
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Or find a similar period 1-ton truck with the 454 and do a tranny/engine swap? If my memory serves me, that motorhome is built on the same chassis as those old boxy looking roach coach rigs. Alot of those had 454 engines in them, but for the life of me, I can't remember what they're called.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #14
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Hi Justin,

I suggest you get on the Diesel Pages forum that I recommended to you earlier. The people there are very familiar with the GM 6.2 and 6.5 Diesels and the possible modifications. We put 137,000 miles on a 1995 Safari TREK with the GM 6.5 Turbodiesel, and this engine power was marginal when towing a car trailer weighing 5000 lb total. Your 6.2 has less power. The critical issue with the 6.5 TD (and probably the 6.2 non-turbo) is overheating. I had an accurate aftermarket temperature gauge on my TREK, and would sometimes have to go up mountain passes in 1st gear to keep coolant temp under 230 degrees. Our newer TREK has a gas 454 engine and has much more power than the '95 Diesel; of course, there is a mileage penalty to pay...

Also, what does your Winnie weigh?. Our TREK was 14,000 lbs and, with the trailer, the engine had to move 19,000 lbs. The mantra with all diesel TREK owners was to just go slow and enjoy the scenery.

2nd edit: get a transmission temp gauge before towing anything. one reason we didn't have any tranny trouble in the 137,000 miles was that our TREK had TWO transmission coolers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDubs View Post
No it doesn't have a turbo. But would be interested in getting one if it would help get the job done. Cause we plan on doing the full time thing in spring and traveling the U.S.
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