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Old 07-25-2011, 07:06 AM   #1
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3500lb trailer hitch rating?

1998 Winnebago Chieftain...F53 chassis...
Really? When would 3500lbs ever have been enough? Hard to believe Winnebago even bothered with this standard hitch...
With a dolly, I don't think there are many toads that can safely be under this limit..My Pontiac G6 is 3450 lbs...Will this be a major upgrade?
$$$$$$$
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:26 AM   #2
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My old 99 Saturn S1 model weighed 2580#'s
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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My 1990 Jeep Cherokee only weighs 2850#'s
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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The maximum towable weight for the chassis is GCWR - loaded motorhome weight. Next issue is how strong the frame is at the rear of the coach.

If you can actually pull more than the 3500# limited hitch, you can have a hitch shop install a 5000# hitch.

Ken
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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3500 lbs was a common hitch/tow rating in the 90's and there were more than a few cars that worked with that constraint. We towed a Chevy Tracker with a 99 Southwind with the same 3500 rating, and there were others who towed Saturns, Honda CRVs & Civics & Accords, Ford Festivas & Aspires, Jeep Wranglers, Suzuki Samurais & Grand Vitaras, Dodge Neons, etc.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
The maximum towable weight for the chassis is GCWR - loaded motorhome weight. Next issue is how strong the frame is at the rear of the coach.

If you can actually pull more than the 3500# limited hitch, you can have a hitch shop install a 5000# hitch.

Ken
Not really, the usual determining factor was the frame strength and only the motorhome manufacturer can determine and certify that. You could have a frame shop reinforce the frame extensions and change the hitch but that's usually illegal even though done everyday.
And you can't move weight around by lightly loading the RV to make up for an overweight toad. If the limit is 3,500#'s then that's the total amount you can tow, period.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
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It's not illegal to attempt to beef up the frame on your privately owned vehicle, but it sure is risky. Your own mods don't change the manufacturer ratings, so you are solely liable if anything goes wrong with it and causes damages to others.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:16 AM   #8
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Gary, as a new RV owner and new to this board, I appreciate yours and all others input. It has mostly been very helpful. However, I am solely responsible for this 13 year old Winnie even if I towed within it's range and the frame extension fell out..There are many extended frames out there that have a higher tow rating than this RV...In fact, my local Camping World used to beef these F53 frames up and hang class three hitches on them...The job, if done by a certified welder, is safer than the lousy weld job Winnebago did back in 1998. I would never find some half assed joker to do this job..CW gave me two shops in my town that are certified to perform this task...Ive made an appointment with the one nearest me. You need not worry about me coming down the road towing my 5000lb load...It will be safer than most.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:58 AM   #9
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Gary, as a new RV owner and new to this board, I appreciate yours and all others input. It has mostly been very helpful. However, I am solely responsible for this 13 year old Winnie even if I towed within it's range and the frame extension fell out..There are many extended frames out there that have a higher tow rating than this RV...In fact, my local Camping World used to beef these F53 frames up and hang class three hitches on them...The job, if done by a certified welder, is safer than the lousy weld job Winnebago did back in 1998. I would never find some half assed joker to do this job..CW gave me two shops in my town that are certified to perform this task...Ive made an appointment with the one nearest me. You need not worry about me coming down the road towing my 5000lb load...It will be safer than most.
For someone fairly new to this forum, you sure copped a quick attitude.

You asked a question, you received input. That's what this forum is about.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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My attitude is not the issue here. I have a right to interpret and respond to feedback in any polite way I choose. As a community moderator, I doubt your qualified to advise on liability issues as it may relate to 50 State regulations. That said, please accept my apology if my final response seemed flippant and disrespectful...You're right, I'm new to RVing and should be more open minded as I interpret any feedback received.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:00 PM   #11
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As has been stated on here many times, the actual tow capacity of any vehicle is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow (loaded), or the capacity of the hitch, whichever is lower. If a vehicle is going to be "beefed up" that work needs to be documented and the weights "officially" changed...otherwise the original numbers are the ones that count.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:25 PM   #12
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I can't seem to find out what my GCWR is. It is not on the plate by the drivers seat and not in any of my documents I have. I know the hitch is a 3,500# one. I have a 95 Winnebago Brave 27'
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:43 PM   #13
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As has been stated on here many times, the actual tow capacity of any vehicle is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow (loaded), or the capacity of the hitch, whichever is lower. If a vehicle is going to be "beefed up" that work needs to be documented and the weights "officially" changed...otherwise the original numbers are the ones that count.
And the ONLY one that can change the official weight ratings is the original vehicle manufacturer and I don't think any of them will take that responsibility any more. Newmar did issue us a modified vehicle sticker after they had Spartan replace the 12,000# front axle with a 14,600# one, but when I tried to get that one modified or a new one after I changed tires to allow the full 14,600# rating they refused.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:19 PM   #14
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I can't seem to find out what my GCWR is. It is not on the plate by the drivers seat and not in any of my documents I have. I know the hitch is a 3,500# one. I have a 95 Winnebago Brave 27'
This web site for Thor says your GCWR is 16,000 lb chassis GVWR 12,300 lb
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