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Old 08-25-2015, 01:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bucky1320 View Post
The geometry of the motorhome wasn't in question from the get-go. The questions was about the hitch rating, which may have nothing to do with the capabilities of the motorhome. Are you an expert on the capabilities of his motorhome? Engineering degree or something?

Just to be clear: If you ever ask anything here, expect to be told you cannot do it yourself. You cannot modify it. You cannot exceed arbitrary limits. You are not worthy.
Possibly. I wanted to increase the rating on our 15,000 lb hitch. I was considering a trailer that was 12,000 curb weight. I spoke with WBGO about reinforcing, etc to increase the weight. Their response was talk to Freightliner. It was their rating and good luck.

I expect most chassis manufacturers will include the highest rated hitch they can. Why would they put on a 5 or 10 thousand hitch when they can handle 15,000. Especially now days when hitch capacity, CCC, GVWR and horse power are big selling features.

If they thought they could include a higher rated hitch I am sure it would be part of the original manufacture.

I worked with engineers for most of my career. While they are a cautious lot they also do not build in 32% safety factors as a matter of practice.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:50 PM   #16
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Just wanted to throw this out for experience/opinion. I keep my adventurer with a triton v10 way under the max weight. My question is my hitch is rated at 5000 lbs but I was considering hauling a car on an auto transport (all wheels off the ground) which would weigh in at a total of 6600 pounds. I know it's under the weight my engine can handle but wondering about the hitch at 1600 lbs over the recommended weight. This is a one time pull for 1800 miles, so a pretty long trip. Any experience in this dept out there? My instincts are to not do it but a guy I know does it with no problems, just would appreciate the help. thx
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:24 PM   #17
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Possibly. I wanted to increase the rating on our 15,000 lb hitch. I was considering a trailer that was 12,000 curb weight. I spoke with WBGO about reinforcing, etc to increase the weight. Their response was talk to Freightliner. It was their rating and good luck.

I expect most chassis manufacturers will include the highest rated hitch they can. Why would they put on a 5 or 10 thousand hitch when they can handle 15,000. Especially now days when hitch capacity, CCC, GVWR and horse power are big selling features.

If they thought they could include a higher rated hitch I am sure it would be part of the original manufacture.

I worked with engineers for most of my career. While they are a cautious lot they also do not build in 32% safety factors as a matter of practice.

My experience is that they often put the hitch on there that is the cheapest. A friend has a DP with lots of available towing capacity. He figures he is great to go pulling his trailer with that capacity. A year or two later the hitch breaks! No incident, but frightening to think of. He investigates the hitch.....5000 lbs. He could find no aftermarket hitch that would fit his pusher that was rated for what the coach would pull. So he reinforced it. Big time! What choices did he have?
My DP came with a hitch with NO rating sticker on it. None. One look at it told me it was not worthy of pulling 10k lbs though. And I am indeed a degreed mechanical engineer with years of design experience as well as fabrication experience. The hitch has since been reinforced.

My professional opinion is that if something is going to fail as you are pulling, you DON'T want it to be the hitch. Let it be the trans or an axle bearing or ANYTHING but the hitch. Have a competent fabricator add strength to it and don't second guess the decision. Or take the path of no risk and don't leave the house.
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #18
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My experience is that they often put the hitch on there that is the cheapest. A friend has a DP with lots of available towing capacity. He figures he is great to go pulling his trailer with that capacity. A year or two later the hitch breaks! No incident, but frightening to think of. He investigates the hitch.....5000 lbs. He could find no aftermarket hitch that would fit his pusher that was rated for what the coach would pull. So he reinforced it. Big time! What choices did he have?
My DP came with a hitch with NO rating sticker on it. None. One look at it told me it was not worthy of pulling 10k lbs though. And I am indeed a degreed mechanical engineer with years of design experience as well as fabrication experience. The hitch has since been reinforced.

My professional opinion is that if something is going to fail as you are pulling, you DON'T want it to be the hitch. Let it be the trans or an axle bearing or ANYTHING but the hitch. Have a competent fabricator add strength to it and don't second guess the decision. Or take the path of no risk and don't leave the house.
Sage advice about the hitch.

Dont quite undertand the relevancy about your friend. It appears he was towing more than the coach was rated for. I am fairly sure the coach manufacturer plainly stated that the coach was rated for 5,000 otherwise they would be liable for putting the incorrect hitch on the coach.

There are many DP out there with a 5,000 rating. Just because it is a DP does not qualify the coach to have a larger rating. If the manufacturer had specced the coach at 5,000 there is no reason to install a heavier hitch.

Was he pulling more than the hitch was rated for when it broke?

What was the coach rated for?

The third option is to:
- follow the rules
- purchase a coach that has the capacity for your toys
- or limit the size of your toys to the capacity of your coach.

There are many out there who try cheap out on the critical items claiming the engineers probably overbuilt the unit or understate it capacity. As an engineer you would know that there is likely a component somewhere in the unit that determines the capacity specifications. It most likely is not the hitch. It is unlikely the manufacturer would try to save on a 100 dollar item when there are numerous more expensive places that would limit the capacity.

I recently put a hitch on my truck. The difference from a 10,000 lb hitch to a 15,000 lb hitch was around $50.00.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:26 PM   #19
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My point was that the coach was rated for much more (10k I believe) than the hitch was rated for (5k) Pickup trucks leave the factory ALL THE TIME like this.(mine is rated for 10k, but had a 7.5 k hitch from the factory) You have to go by the weakest link, which in this case was the hitch. The only way to alleviate the weakest link was the modify it unfortunately.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:24 PM   #20
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If you were just making a short one time drive that would be one thing, but 1800 is pushing it. The things you have to worry about are dragging driveways and other unusual conditions along the drive that would add undue stress to an overloaded situation.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:59 PM   #21
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I agree with your instinct. To be honest, I'm a little surprised that with a gasser you have 1600# of available CCC to toss away unless it was a solo trip with minimal stuff in the coach. If the route was as smooth as glass I would be less concerned but that would be impossible. LOL

If you get talked out of your instinct...

1. Make sure you have a good brake system on the trailer.
2. Double check your tongue weight and balance the weight on the trailer as evenly as possible.
3. Consider a welding shop to re-enforce your hitch or see if a bolt on hitch of higher rating is an option.
4. Obviously, do not exceed your GCVWR. (OK...not much anyway.)
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:21 PM   #22
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I'd have a shop you trust put a hitch in it and enjoy the trip. But I'm just a crazy drag racing engineer.

I've towed with the factory 5k hitch in mine 4 times locally, but upgrading this winter.

Enjoy.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:08 AM   #23
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I'd have a shop you trust put a hitch in it and enjoy the trip. But I'm just a crazy drag racing engineer.

I've towed with the factory 5k hitch in mine 4 times locally, but upgrading this winter.

Enjoy.
I agree. He is! LOL. Takes one to know one I guess.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:24 AM   #24
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Let me put it this way:
Can you tow more than 5,000 pounds: Likely yes.. but read on
Can you SAFELY tow more than 5,000 pounds.. NO in fact I doubt you can safely tow 5,000

Can you LEGALLY two 5,000 pounds.. See last can you (Safely) same answer

What is the Maximum CGVW of your RV?
Subtract from that the Gross Weight of the RV as measured by a scale

THAT, if less than 5,000 pounds is your maximum safe and legal tow limit, not 5,000 (Unless the math comes out higher)

and 5,000 assumes a straight hitch, if you need a drop/rise hitch adapter 5,000 can be come 2,000 downright quick.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:12 AM   #25
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The hitch isn't the only thing to be concerned with. You didn't say what year your Adventurer is. Up until a few years ago Winnebago added frame sections to increase the length of the body that could be attached. The sections they added were lighter material than the original frame and contribute to the maximum amount of weight that can be towed.


Also there are things like the braking capacity of the motorhome, cooling capacity of the radiator and transmission cooler, and amount of torque required to move the load from a stopped position.


All of these things need to be taken into consideration.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:34 AM   #26
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Just a comment here. Years ago in the olden days, say 1962 before all the rules and regulations, dad purchased a Chev 1/2 ton pickup put overloads on and a good sized slide in camper, put the boat behind it maybe 6000# on a bumper ball hitch and we towed it all over mountains desert what ever no problem. But that was before anyone KNEW better. All kinds of people were doing the same, no problem. JMT

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Old 09-05-2015, 10:49 AM   #27
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The hitch isn't the only thing to be concerned with. You didn't say what year your Adventurer is. Up until a few years ago Winnebago added frame sections to increase the length of the body that could be attached. The sections they added were lighter material than the original frame and contribute to the maximum amount of weight that can be towed.


Also there are things like the braking capacity of the motorhome, cooling capacity of the radiator and transmission cooler, and amount of torque required to move the load from a stopped position.


All of these things need to be taken into consideration.

You are correct that it could be more than a Hitch install. However, typically when this conversation comes up among my friends and fellow racers, it is implied that the frame should be evaluated and strengthened where needed (if needed) when installing the hitch.

So.... Have a trusted shop evaluate the frame and strengthen as needed and install the appropriate hitch.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:28 AM   #28
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I had the same question for my 5000 lb hitch. I took it to a very reputable hitch/blacksmith shop in Grand Rapids MI. He told me that if a customer came in wanting a 15000 lb hitch installed on there MH that he would use the same hitch that I have.
I also talked to the engineering department at the MH manufacturers and he told me the hitch is the exact same as the 10000 hitch the put on a different model. They are derated because of the GCVW.
The GCVW would and should be of more concern than the hitch which is most likely derated also. Check with the MH manufacturer for mire info.
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