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Old 04-16-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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Differences between a 5000 and 3500# hitch

Well besides the obvious- towing capacity.

I have done as much research as possible on my RV which was a limited run. I believe Monaco only kept the McKenzie Class C line for 4-5 years. The '02 Rogue's had a 3500# hitch and the '03+ Rogue's had a 5000# hitch.

There were no other changes to suspension, brakes, engine, transmission, etc between the two model years. The only difference I have found between the two is the two different hitches.

So, does this mean I could merely purchase a 5000# rated hitch for an '02 Ford Econoline E-450? Or I have heard of some guys taking their RV's to a weld shop and having their 3500# hitches reinforced.

Basically what is the difference in the actual design of the hitch that allows an extra 1500# towing= a heavier toad?
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:07 AM   #2
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If it were me I would have the heavier hitch installed. If nothing but for insurance reasons if something was to happen and they see a 3500# hitch that was towing something heavier I don't think they'll cover you. Regardless of what kind of modifications they do to that 3500# hitch it was still not designed or documented to haul anything heavier and that's probably what they would stand on. I guess the heavier one would give you better piece of mind as well. At least it would for me.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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The legalities of it are that only the manufacturer of the RV can change the weight rating of the hitch on a vehicle. In some instances the 3,500# hitch and the 5,000# may be the same unit just carrying a different rating.
You can probably use the higher rated hitch with no trouble, but, technically it's not legal unless the RV manufacturer recertifies the vehicle.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #4
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I actually got in communication with someone at Monaco that was still familiar with the Rogue.
The only change between the '02 and '03 in towing capacity was the hitch receiver itself. In '03 they changed to a 5000# rated receiver.
So, I just purchased a Curt class IV receiver with a rating of 10K/1K for $185.
I certainly will not try to tow 10K# with my RV. But I should now be set for 5K.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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I actually got in communication with someone at Monaco that was still familiar with the Rogue.
The only change between the '02 and '03 in towing capacity was the hitch receiver itself. In '03 they changed to a 5000# rated receiver.
So, I just purchased a Curt class IV receiver with a rating of 10K/1K for $185.
I certainly will not try to tow 10K# with my RV. But I should now be set for 5K.
The hitch is only part of the equation. As has been said on here many times before, your tow capacity is the MH's GCWR minus it's weight when ready to tow, or the hitch capacity, whichever is smaller.

Do the numbers, then you'll know for sure.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGT View Post
I actually got in communication with someone at Monaco that was still familiar with the Rogue.
The only change between the '02 and '03 in towing capacity was the hitch receiver itself. In '03 they changed to a 5000# rated receiver.
So, I just purchased a Curt class IV receiver with a rating of 10K/1K for $185.
I certainly will not try to tow 10K# with my RV. But I should now be set for 5K.
Unless a situation were to arise and a good attorney finds out that you changed the hitch to one with a rating higher than what the manufacture certified for that chassis. Just remember "it is what it is" unless recertified. Several years ago, I was faced with the decision of trailer towing a vehicle whose combined weight would have put me at 500# over max tow weight. Would my mh have handled it; probably. Did I do it ; no. I know to many lawyers from my past years in the legal field and know what the results could be by fudging just a little bit.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #7
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In addition to the already mentioned, I guess my concern would be more about what the hitch is bolted to? The stongest hitch available will be worth nothing if it's bolted to tin foil? Class C/Mini's use frame rail extensions that are often quite "creative" in design. A simple reinforcement at that juncture or change in material thickness/cross section from one year to the next (possibly after uncovering a previosly unforseen problem?) could make all the difference in the world regarding what you want to do. Bottom line - I wouldn't put a lot of extra confidence in the towing capacity after this hitch swap. That's me though.... and the fact maybe I've seen to much happen back there while I was working on them might have something to do with that caution.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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I see what you are saying but let's analyze this...

If both the '02 and '03 models are EXACTLY the same frame, transmission, engine, brakes, etc as confirmed by tech support. And the only change made between the two years to increase the towing capacity from 3500# to 5000# was to change from a 3500# hitch receiver to a 5000# hitch receiver why is there reason for concern?
I think what you guys are not reading is that I spoke with a tech support rep from Monaco and he confirmed there were no changes made to the '03 Rogue from the '02 Rogue other than a hitch receiver.
A change in frame design, brakes, engine, etc would be noted and not something just to slip by from one model year to the next.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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How can you ever truly know they are exactly the same from year to year? Not just the mechanicals, but the method of the hitch mounting to the chassis. Often the reason for a rating is simply the attachment of the hitch receiver to the frame - or more likely a frame extension on a gas chassis motorhme. It is common to extend the rear of the chassis to support the coach body, and that means the hitch is on a less solid mount.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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How can you ever truly know they are exactly the same from year to year? Not just the mechanicals, but the method of the hitch mounting to the chassis. Often the reason for a rating is simply the attachment of the hitch receiver to the frame - or more likely a frame extension on a gas chassis motorhme. It is common to extend the rear of the chassis to support the coach body, and that means the hitch is on a less solid mount.
I don't know. I am merely the buyer.
I would just think that motorhomes would be along the same lines of production as automobiles, motorcycles, etc. These things are made on assembly lines from a manufacturers spec sheet.
I know coming from experiences on cars and motorcycle the manufacturer knows the exact parts used each and every year. They can tell you who manufactured the frames and if the specs changed from one model year to the next. Unknown specification changes between model years tells me the company has poor quality control.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
How can you ever truly know they are exactly the same from year to year? Not just the mechanicals, but the method of the hitch mounting to the chassis. Often the reason for a rating is simply the attachment of the hitch receiver to the frame - or more likely a frame extension on a gas chassis motorhme. It is common to extend the rear of the chassis to support the coach body, and that means the hitch is on a less solid mount.
I agree with Gary on this one..IMHO theres a reason they limited it to 3500, and its most likely the frame extensions not being beefy enough to handle more. They also most likely changed to the 5000lb the next year because of a design change making the coach capable of handling up to 5000 lbs without ripping the hitch off, bending the frame extensions, popping windows out, or stress cracking fiberglass. And lets face it, a 25ft C is on a short wheelbase.... you try and hang more than 3500 on the back of it and haul down the interstate, it won't handle well. Im curious if the longer wheelbases offered the 5000 hitch instead ? If so, therein lies your answer..... but, long story short, I'd STRONGLY advise against changing it. As for design changes between years being poor quality control, no....thats when all the changes happen, even in the auto industry.Poor quality control is when your cabinet doors are mounted crooked from the factory..
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricGT View Post
I actually got in communication with someone at Monaco that was still familiar with the Rogue.
The only change between the '02 and '03 in towing capacity was the hitch receiver itself. In '03 they changed to a 5000# rated receiver.
So, I just purchased a Curt class IV receiver with a rating of 10K/1K for $185.
I certainly will not try to tow 10K# with my RV. But I should now be set for 5K.

I think you're all screaming at the backside of the bucket, It's already been dumped.
K.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:01 AM   #13
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There is another reason they may change the tow rating. That is Marketing! If they think it may sell a few more RV'S and the engineers agree, the rating will change!
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:13 AM   #14
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Shorter wheelbase? I thought all the models 25', 29' 35' were on the same wheelbase. I also thought the shorter models were better to tow with than the longer models due to less extension added????

I purchased a hitch receiver for an '02 E450 but I didn't fit. The holes didn't match up. So, now I am back to square one.
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