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Old 06-12-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
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Hitch capacity

I am getting mixed answers to my towing capacity so I thought I would throw this out there. My hitch on my Fleetwood Fiesta 34B says it has a 5000 lb capacity. Does this mean the total weight it can tow or is there some other calculation? My toad weighs 5400 lbs. Strangely enough I spoke with the service mgr at Camping World and he beat around the bush and couldn't answer the question. I am wondering if it is necessary to upgrade to a Class IV hitch. thanks
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:27 PM   #2
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The hitch capacity is not necessarily the towing capacity of your Motor Home.
If the capacity is 5000 pound for the hitch, does it say that figure is for weight carrying or weight distributing? If that's the total maximum, I'd look at an upgrade, the last thing you need is to have your toad pass you up one day.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
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Your tow capacity is limited by the lesser of three factors. The two main ones are the hitch receiver rating itself (apparently 5000 lbs on yours) and the GCWR of the chassis (Gross Combined Weight Rating). GCWR is the maximum combined weight of the coach and whatever is towed. On a Fiesta, this is likley the limiting facotr.

The third factor is how and where the receiver is attached to the frame of the coach. Sometimes it is on a relatively flimsy frame extension that cannot support the full 5000 lb rating of the receiver. A limit of 3500 lbs is common in this case. It should be in your coach documentation, but you could also check with Fleetwood or retrieve the brochure for your year Fiesta from the Fleetwood site.
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronswank View Post
I am getting mixed answers to my towing capacity so I thought I would throw this out there. My hitch on my Fleetwood Fiesta 34B says it has a 5000 lb capacity. Does this mean the total weight it can tow or is there some other calculation? My toad weighs 5400 lbs. Strangely enough I spoke with the service mgr at Camping World and he beat around the bush and couldn't answer the question. I am wondering if it is necessary to upgrade to a Class IV hitch. thanks
I'd take it to someone who will know more about hitches than CW. You definately do not want to take chances or trust to guess work on this matter.
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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I agree with RV Roamer. The limiting factor in your case is likely to be the GCWR. You'll need to weigh your coach, loaded as it typically would be for an outing. In any case, you can not pull your 5400lb toad with it. After weighing your rig I'm guessing you'll be toad shopping.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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hitch capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmh462 View Post
The hitch capacity is not necessarily the towing capacity of your Motor Home.
If the capacity is 5000 pound for the hitch, does it say that figure is for weight carrying or weight distributing? If that's the total maximum, I'd look at an upgrade, the last thing you need is to have your toad pass
you up one day.
Actually I don't think the gross weight of the coach and the toad are the problem. I contacted the Fleetwood factory and they pulled the production records. The coach weighed in at 17,216 coming off the production line. The toad weights in at 5400. The gross weight capacity is 26,000. We are not full timers do i don't think we have over 3,000 lbs of weight including fuel and water. My concern is that the hitch is the weak link. In reading some of the replies, I think I will weigh both togather and see about going up to a class iv hitch and even reinforce it if necessary. Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
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Sounds like the hitch is the limiting factor here, based on your last post. Keep in mind, it was likely specified by the engineers based on a myriad of factors, GCVW being only one. Another would be the rear frame structure, as example. I would not be comfortible simply 'upgrading' the hitch to a higher rated one.

Something else, that's not been mentioned, performance. More weight, less performance. I always councel "trying" to stay 20% below rated weights whether we're talking towing a trailer or driving a MH (can be a challenge). Your equipment will last longer and your performance will be much better, as will your fuel economy.

My humble opinion: You're asking for trouble trying to pull 5400lbs.

Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:45 PM   #8
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Appreciate everyone's experienced input. Talked again to Fleetwood and they cautioned that pulling over 5000 lbs could damage the frame. I guess I will just buy a used Ford Ranger and play it safe. My Sierra White Diamond edition is too pretty to bounce rocks off of anyway. I will just leave it at home in the garage. Thanks again.
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