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Old 06-18-2018, 01:17 PM   #1
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Class C Trailer Towing Capacity

I know there are a ton of discussions on this but search skill are probably lacking.... Please feel free to direct me to other threads if needed. I would love to hear from anyone who has gone down this road.

We are looking at Class C and want to Haul a 2004 Jeep Wrangler TJ on a trailer (not flat tow). We want to use the trailer for 2 reasons - 1) Overall I think hauling on a quality double axle trailer with heavy duty trailer brakes on both axles is safer than flat tow, and 2) Our Jeep is an off-road rig with big lift and big (expensive) tires - have heard off-road rigs can get squirrely in flat tow and it eats up those expensive tires.

Here is what I THINK I know (correct me as needed please).

1. The units we are looking at are all 28' or under and on the Ford E450 Chassis with a GVWR max of 14,500# and a GCWR of 20,000#. This gives me ability to haul 5,500# of Jeep/Trailer.

2. The V-10 drivetrain is a well proven truck based setup that can handle the loads.

3. I have weighed the Trailer/Jeep (fully loaded with all gear while on actual Jeep Trips) several times on commercial scales. Those weights for the Jeep/Trailer ranged from min of 5000# to max of 5,300#.

4. I have not checked the tongue weight but has been estimated at 500# to 600#. I understand that the tongue weight must be included in the GVWR of the motorhome.

5. Based on the above if I do the following I can safely and legally tow the Jeep/Trailer:
Install a Class IV Hitch with proper Frame reinforcement if
needed.
Verify and manage the tongue weight.
Do not exceed the 14,500# GVWR on the Motorhome and do not
overload the Jeep/trailer.

Has anyone gone down this specific rabbit hole and what did you find/decide. If so what exact modifications did you do to reinforce hitch/frame or on any other components (brakes, additional cooling etc.)?

I know there is much debate on this topic. I have years of experience hauling trailers and understand the risks of any towing done at the max limits of the tow vehicle. However it is my impression that the tow ratings placed on Motorhomes are based on the original Chassis as supplied by Ford (or Chevy), not taking into account what the final manufacturer puts on that chassis. Leads me to think that if we stay with a smaller unit (28' or under with no or just 1 slide) and manage the additional payload (gear, water, etc.) we can stay well under the GVWR/GCWR. I know that "other people are doing it" is not a good benchmark, but there are a huge amount of folks hauling bigger loads than I am proposing behind Class C's. I am hoping those folks will chime in with their thoughts.

Fire away. Any and all polite info/advice greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:13 PM   #2
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I've had class C's from 23' to 32' (total of 4 different units). All but one were 450 chassis. The one that wasn't a 450 was a 350. This was from 1999 thru 2011. I flat towed my TJ everywhere I went. Probably over 150K miles and never had a single issue. I just used the hitch that came on the motorhome. Towing on a trailer may be different.

I only weighed the TJ once and if I remember right it came in around 5,400#. I kept it pretty loaded up with stuff.

I can understand the need for trailer if you're a hard core off roader. If you break the TJ at least you can load it up to get it home. We're not that hard core so I was never concerned about breaking it.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:29 PM   #3
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Just my opinion, your gonna need a DP if you want your Jeep on a trailer.

Yeah you can put a heavier hitch on it and reinforce the frame, but me personally I would not want to be towing at the max or over max rating, I like a little wiggle room.

I flat tow my CJ7, it weighs 3850LBS and I just like have an "extra" 1000 lbs of wiggle room

Not sure how modified your Jeep is, but I flat tow with 35" tires and I know people that flat tow with 37" tires, as you know with rock crawling your not going to wear your tires out riding on the road, so not sure why you are worried about wear.

If you are worried about bringing your broken Jeep back home, you could always rent a trailer if needed or borrow one.

Not sure how you plan your Jeep outtings, but were we go, there is limited room for trailers, and yes some people bring their trailers and have a hell of time parking it etc....


For Class C, the Kodiak has a 10,000LBS trailer cap, but according to your OP looks like you want to stay under 28"
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:30 PM   #4
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Most (I believe) including our E450 chassis have a 5k hitch with 500 lb tongue weight rating.

There are some I have heard that can go up to 7500 but they have to do some frame strengthening to get that.

If you are looking at a class 4 hitch and the frame strengthening it would appear you are looking at things correctly.

As long as you donít go over gross combined for the frame and have braking etc on the trailer the logic looks correct.

I flat tow also so a little less complicated for me.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:54 PM   #5
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My 2000, 30 ft, E450, Class C Gulfstar has a 3500 lb tow limit.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hohenwald48 View Post
I've had class C's from 23' to 32' (total of 4 different units). All but one were 450 chassis. The one that wasn't a 450 was a 350. This was from 1999 thru 2011. I flat towed my TJ everywhere I went. Probably over 150K miles and never had a single issue. I just used the hitch that came on the motorhome. Towing on a trailer may be different.

I only weighed the TJ once and if I remember right it came in around 5,400#. I kept it pretty loaded up with stuff.

I can understand the need for trailer if you're a hard core off roader. If you break the TJ at least you can load it up to get it home. We're not that hard core so I was never concerned about breaking it.
Did you use supplemental braking when flat towing the TJ? If not did you ever feel like you needed it? If you did what setup did you use?

Thanks
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:48 AM   #7
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I think at the weight you are with the Jeep the braking is required in most, if not all, states.

The other thing you get is the disconnected braking of the Toad. If it somehow disconnects from the towing the brakes stop the vehicle to prevent shooting across highway etc.

Some will disagree but I would not tow a vehicle without it.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVJeeper18 View Post
Did you use supplemental braking when flat towing the TJ? If not did you ever feel like you needed it? If you did what setup did you use?

Thanks
I did and do use supplemental braking.

On the TJ I had a system that was electrically operated by a large solenoid mounted under the driver seat. I can't remember the name brand. It was similar to the SMI Stay N Play but was electrically operated instead of air operated. Maybe someone can figure out what I'm talking about.

I currently I use a ReadyBrute on my JK. Simplest system made.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumpster808 View Post
The other thing you get is the disconnected braking of the Toad. If it somehow disconnects from the towing the brakes stop the vehicle to prevent shooting across highway etc.
A lot of folks don't know you can install a Ready Stop break away system (about $100) on any vehicle regardless of the kind of supplemental brake system used. It can even be installed on a vehicle with no supplemental brake system.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:28 AM   #10
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You want to put a 5000 lb jeep on a trailer which is going to weigh ??? but I guess a minimum of 3000 lbs for a total towing weight of 8000 lbs. You might want to start looking at diesel Super Cs or Class A diesels (which have to have the Allison 3000 transmission) for your tow vehicle.

Your best bet is to tow your jeep 4 down which simply means it can be pulled by a much wider range of RVs. Not sure why you think 4 down towing is not as safe as a trailer but you need to overcome that fear. Parking that trailer when you get to where you want to go is going to be a big issue as well.

Want to re-think how you are going to do this? Lots of people here to help.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:33 AM   #11
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If you look it is my understanding that a few C's now come rated to tow 8000 lbs. That is a regular Ford E-450 not the super C's. Look around as I do not know the models, just have seen comments.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
You want to put a 5000 lb jeep on a trailer which is going to weigh ??? but I guess a minimum of 3000 lbs for a total towing weight of 8000 lbs. You might want to start looking at diesel Super Cs or Class A diesels (which have to have the Allison 3000 transmission) for your tow vehicle.

Your best bet is to tow your jeep 4 down which simply means it can be pulled by a much wider range of RVs. Not sure why you think 4 down towing is not as safe as a trailer but you need to overcome that fear. Parking that trailer when you get to where you want to go is going to be a big issue as well.

Want to re-think how you are going to do this? Lots of people here to help.
You might want to re-read the original post #1 that started this thread. Here's a couple of exerpts from it.

"2) Our Jeep is an off-road rig with big lift and big (expensive) tires - have heard off-road rigs can get squirrely in flat tow and it eats up those expensive tires."


"3. I have weighed the Trailer/Jeep (fully loaded with all gear while on actual Jeep Trips) several times on commercial scales. Those weights for the Jeep/Trailer ranged from min of 5000# to max of 5,300#."
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