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Old 07-02-2012, 10:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden View Post
True, I should have said towbar SYSTEM, including the receiver. Otherwise, everthng else is the same.
Upgrading the hitch/receiver does not change anything. Especially if you have frame extensions with welds that looks like this, found on a Winnie Workhorse I was looking at. This weld was a good 6-7 feet in from the hitch, imagine the leverage towing 5k+ would put on it.


It's the stuff the hitch/receiver is attached to that is the limiting factor.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #16
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My feelings, observations and recommendations:

First: My feeling is that there is some "Wiggle room" and 260 pounds on a 5,000 is what, just over 5%, (Normally wiggle room is at least twice that).

HOWEVER: you gave us the HITCH rating, NOT the tow rating, which is another thing entierly.

To find the true tow rating of your motor home you need a little device called a scale, Since you need it for other things as well let me point you to RV Safety & Education Foundation and you can visit their site, click on the proper links, and they send a rep to you with scales, they will weigh your rig, each wheel, and tell you the proper air pressure for your tires.

Then you find the max wehight sticker for your rig, I strongly syspect your chassis is rated for a Msximum COMBINED vehicle rating (MCGVW) of 26,000 pounds.

Substract the weight Aweigh we go gives you from that Max Combined GVW and you have your real towing capacity. In my case, that is 4000 pounds, not the 5,000 the hitch is rated at.

Also, if you use any kind of a drop hitch, or extension,, That takes the rating down big time, Big, Big time.

Another issue is liability.. Now I, and many others, know that many RVers tow heavy.. IN fact I said high to one just yesterday who tows way heavier than you are suggesting. (But then he was not towing when I said HI, He was painting, he works mainenance where I'm parked). Should you be involved in an accident, Odds are the officer wont' request a weigh-in but if you should hit a savvy operator. Who knows what I know (And those are many) then the "Victim" in the crash may well ask for said weigh in, he will also check your towed for an aux braking system. and the term "Reckless Endangerment" can be very very costly.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #17
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Here's what happens to a drop hitch pulling a RAV4 (3600#) over the roads in AK
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/i...39048828222658
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Now THAT is downright frightening!! I'd be ashamed of that if it came out of a muffler shop and was gas welded with a coat hanger.

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Old 07-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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If 5,250 lbs is unsafe, why is 5,000 lbs magically safe? Or, is 4,750 lbs really safe for that matter?

What is the real design margin for the trailer hitch rating?

My guess is that if the target weight rating is 5,000 lbs, the design rating needs to be 7,000 lbs or more. The design rating is needed to take into account variances in the metal, the build/install quality and other factors (can't think of any others right now). Without this design rating how can the manufacturer even warranty the 5,000 lb weight rating, otherwise on some rigs it might be 4,750 lbs.

That being said; being under the weight rating is good, the more the better. Being over the weight rating is a calculated risk and the more over, the riskier it is.

If you are going to go over the weight rating of the hitch, it is less risky to go over the weight rating a few hundred lbs, than to exceed the tongue weight by even 50 lbs.

Disclaimer: when I refer to weight rating it is the difference between GCWR (Gross Combined weight rating) minus GVW (Vehicle weight as loaded and weighed). Note GVW is not the same a GVWR (rating).
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
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If 5,250 lbs is unsafe, why is 5,000 lbs magically safe? Or, is 4,750 lbs really safe for that matter?

What is the real design margin for the trailer hitch rating?
Who knows? But if I'm ever in an accident, I don't want some lawyer to find out that I have exceeded the towing capacity.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Who knows? But if I'm ever in an accident, I don't want some lawyer to find out that I have exceeded the towing capacity.
Excellent point.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #22
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My guess is that if the target weight rating is 5,000 lbs, the design rating needs to be 7,000 lbs or more.
Thank you alvinc; this has been my feeling all along. I would think there is some margin for safety, say a minimum of 10% or 500 lbs.
On this particular model (GMC Sierra 4x4) I have seen "curb weights" all over the place with FMCA towing guide the lowest at 4850 lbs. So what exactly is "curb weight?" With fuel and/or passengers?
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #23
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I am surprised at the glib disregard for manufacturers posted weight limits. Is this same forum where people are always complained about the handling of their coaches and forever tinkering with suspension changes to improve ride and handling?

Nothing has a greater impact on changes in ride and handling than excessive weight and balance. You can save lots of money on suspension mods by adjusting how much you carry, tow and where it is loaded. Clearly the manufacturer has to build in some safety factor when specifying 5,000# for a receiver, but that is for new from the factory with no use and is it a couple of hundred pounds or is it 1,000? and how do you measure it. Also I destroyed a 5,000# "rated" receiver driving the Alaska Highway pulling a 3,500# RAV4 (weight according to Flying J scale, not published weight).

I think we should treat weight ratings as upper bounds and not to be exceeded for our own safety and the safety of those around us.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:24 AM   #24
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Get it real weight full of fuel but no passengers since that is how you are going to tow it. BTW were you planning on putting anything in the cargo bed. ( GAs grill, bikes, etc. ) Then you need to get the weight with those items on board.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:34 AM   #25
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Thank you alvinc; this has been my feeling all along. I would think there is some margin for safety, say a minimum of 10% or 500 lbs.
On this particular model (GMC Sierra 4x4) I have seen "curb weights" all over the place with FMCA towing guide the lowest at 4850 lbs. So what exactly is "curb weight?" With fuel and/or passengers?
I'd suggest you get the truck weighed. Then there's no guessing regarding it's weight. I can add to that thought that my Dodge Dakota (supposedly a compact truck?) weighs over 4850, empty! Thinking your truck will weigh considerably more than mine?

The other thing, that weld seen in that picture is NOT all that uncommon when it comes to frame rail extensions. I've spent my fair share of time under these things and welds like that are closer to the rule than the exception.... The body actually contributes a major part of the support for the rear bumper/hitch! Pretty scary eh?

BTW, the Dakota is capable of towing 4 down, but I didn't like the idea of pushing the capacity of my hitch that closely. We went with our 3500lb CRV for that reason, which actually turned out to be a great move for us. Even though it's the only "foreign" car I've ever owned, as well as the smallest, we love it! Consider it one of the best moves we've made to date.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:39 PM   #26
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First off I'm no expert and most of you folks have more miles on your rigs pulling out of the driveway than I have total on mine. I do think that there is a lot of difference in how the hitch is put on the MH when it comes to types and chassie manufactures . I spent some time looking at my hitch today a 2011 FR Berkshire DP 390RB with a Freightliner Raised rail chassie. The frame goes all the way back to the hitch and as far as I could see no welds. It is bolted and looks like it would pull a lot more than the 5000 lbs its rated for. The limiting factors on my MH are axel,suspension,and transmission. I take all these very serious and will be checking and rechecking the weights before I go much further with my MH. My toad is a Enclave and it will be weighed with it ready to hook up. The MH will have to shed some weight and I will be at the factory to solve issues of weight balance to make sure it is safe and within GVW on both axels. Right now I'm over for some reason on the steer axel and that is why FR is looking at it next week. That all being said I would not get overly worried if my toad ends up being 150 lbs over the 5000 lbs hitch limit as long as I was at or under GVWR. The Enclave is rated to tow 4500lbs with now where near the hitch the MH has on it. That may be different with other MH but this one has a very heavy duty hitch. I think you need to look into all your limiting factors before you push your limits even by a couple hundred lbs. There is a thread on here talking about dealer lots and what the dealer will try to tell you what you can tow and that is a bit scary. More scary is go to a campground and watch what people are really pulling and what they are pulling it with.
Please remember what I said about being very new and as such may very eel be full of you know what.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:51 AM   #27
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I would not say we are seeing glib disregard.. I said there is some wiggle room, and I think 260 pounds is likely within the wiggle but I also felt that even 5,000 pounds may exceed the veicle tow limits ( no way to know w/o a scale).

Someone else said he'd hate to be in an accident and have a lawyer ask him about being overweight (I fully agree and often post that myself)

That said. My next door (2 sites over since the one between us is vacant just now) neighbor pulls a 5,000 pound plus car on a trailer with his Worhorsse W-22 and I know for a fact (Since I have a Workhorse W-22) that the hitch (Same one I have) is rated at 5,000/500 same as mine.

He is WAY over the tow limits. And I told him that too. I most heartily do not approve of his hook up.

When my hitch failed I only had about 4,000 pounds back there and perhaps 100 to 150 "tong weight" (I tow 4 down but carry a bicycle on it, Likely less than 100 (half the tow bar, plus bike and bike rack)
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:06 PM   #28
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This has been on here before, but here it is again.

Tow rating is the lower of:


1. GCWR minus RV's actual weight (not over GVWR).


2. Hitch capacity.


3. Coach tow rating.


4. Chassis maker's tow rating.
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