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Old 08-28-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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Rookies wanting to tow

Hello all, we are new here as we are looking at a 2004 T370. Wondering why this MH is only rated at 5K towing when it is a 350 HP big block. Anyone here have one of these babies and tow more ? What do I need to do to tow 7-8K lbs ? Also anyone have any input on what to look for when we inspect this monster this weekend---thanks in advance Mike N Cindy.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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Assume you are referring to an 04 Tropi Cal T370. The main reason for the 5K rating is the hitch is only rated for that amount. I suspect you could upgrade the hitch but if that is an issue I would look into it before purchasing. We had an 04 T396 and a toad of right at 5K and it was no problem to tow with the 350. You won't win any races going over the hills but it gets a solid 7.6 mpg. Got into a panic stop situation and learned in a hurry that aux braking is a necessity though. I was not a fan of the Freightliner XC chassis in that year. Ours would roll side to side horribly when just pulling off to the side of the road when you dropped off the pavement or pulled into an uneven lot. There are after market devices to help correct this but it gets spendy. Perhaps the T370 will be better since it is on a 24" shorter wheel base.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying Brian, yes it is a Tropical---I thought this was the National RV board. The difference between the GVWR and the GCVWR is 5000 lbs, some say you cant go over that with the risk of frame cracking etc. It would seem to me that 2000 lbs more would be a fudge factor from the factory but I dont know. My local RV place is hesitant to recommend anything so I am hoping for an expert to chime in here. Mike
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:32 AM   #4
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Hi Mike & Cindy, welcome to the forum. The Freightliner site shows that a CAT C7 330 hp. See: http://freightlinerchassis.com/image...C0308-2004.pdf The towing capacity is going to be determined by the hitch that Itasca put on it. At that weight you will definitely need and auxillary braking system on your toad.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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As already said, the 5000 lb rating is the capacity of the hitch. You'd have to beef up the hitch and perhaps the frame rail anchor points to legitimately increase capacity. Also check the actual weights of the MH to be sure it could handle the whole package. If the GVWR (Gross Vehicular Weight Rating) will be exceeded, the bigger hitch won't do any good.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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Hi Mike & Cindy! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the bunch here! Can't help with your question. Good luck & God bless!
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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I believe your question has been answered.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARDINAL905 View Post
Thanks for replying Brian, yes it is a Tropical---I thought this was the National RV board. The difference between the GVWR and the GCVWR is 5000 lbs, some say you cant go over that with the risk of frame cracking etc. It would seem to me that 2000 lbs more would be a fudge factor from the factory but I dont know. My local RV place is hesitant to recommend anything so I am hoping for an expert to chime in here. Mike
If you really have your heart set on this unit you really need to be talking to a hitch manufacturer.

My take on hitches and this is only mine is, that a lot of the 5K rating has to do with hitch weight. A general rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight will be the hitch weight and loaded it usually exceeds that; sometimes by quite a lot. This places a strain on the hitch at all times. Towing a toad is entirely different. With a tow bar there is no hitch weight so that is not an issue. Turning with the extra weight might place a strain on the frame sideways but a good hitch guy should be able to brace for that. The main issue is setting the tow bar up correctly at the right height and making sure you have an excellent aux braking system. If you are going to tow 7-8K get a good air brake system like the Air Force One or something similar. We have the AF1 and love it.

Exceeding the GCVWR is a decision only you can make but I would venture to assume over half of us are overweight at least when we first set out on a long trip.

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Old 08-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdpreece View Post
A general rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight will be the hitch weight and loaded it usually exceeds that; sometimes by quite a lot. This places a strain on the hitch at all times. Towing a toad is entirely different. With a tow bar there is no hitch weight so that is not an issue.

Brian
When CARDINAL905 said he wanted to tow '7-8K lbs ' I was assuming it was a trailer. A Hummer H1 weighs 7500 lbs, I didn't think that's what he wanted to pull.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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When CARDINAL905 said he wanted to tow '7-8K lbs ' I was assuming it was a trailer. A Hummer H1 weighs 7500 lbs, I didn't think that's what he wanted to pull.
Had not given it much thought but you are right. A full size pickup only runs around 6K. So does a full size Ford Expiditon. I just assumed a toad. Shows what happens when you assume. Suspect you are right that it is a trailer of some type.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:27 PM   #11
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Thanks to all, yes I want to tow an enclosed car hauler occasionally. Talked to a local guy that does hitch work and he said he will beef up that rear frame section and we will be good to go. Things are happening quick today and I am going to post a "Value" question. Looks like a lot of knowledge and experience here !
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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Big debates on this but IMHO...do NOT become a test crash dummy and exceed your hitch weight. I don't care how much you beef it up so it doesn't fall off. If you have an issue and go to court they will look at your vehicle specifications and ask you if you made an approved modification. The answer will be, "No". Even if you do not exceed the GCWR, you are in a bad position to defend your actions. You could even void your insurance. Heck, if your rig cause damage to me, I would be going after your hitch expert friend also.

You will probably find it difficult to exceed your hitch weight and stay below GVWR too. That doesn't even take into account control issues.

Think this out carefully. There will be many folks that say, "I have never had a problem..." Good for them. Just because they didn't die or cause damage/death to others is not evidence they were smart. Going cheap isn't always the best or economical way to go.

I don't mean to rain on your parade. I know it sounds that way. Just make sure you understand that you are putting a lot on the line to exceed manufacturers specifications and if you do, you are on your own.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
As already said, the 5000 lb rating is the capacity of the hitch. You'd have to beef up the hitch and perhaps the frame rail anchor points to legitimately increase capacity. Also check the actual weights of the MH to be sure it could handle the whole package. If the GVWR (Gross Vehicular Weight Rating) will be exceeded, the bigger hitch won't do any good.
That may or may not be true!
The rating is due to the LOWEST rating of many components like tires, brakes, axles, frame, engine, transmission and hitch to name a few.
The only one that can legally change the weight ratings is the manufacturer of the complete vehicle which is what happened to us. Newmar had Spartan change the front axle from a 12,000# unit to a 14,600# one. They then issued us a modified weight sticker that was placed in above the original sticker. Spartan even had to affix the sticker, they wouldn't let me do it!
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
When CARDINAL905 said he wanted to tow '7-8K lbs ' I was assuming it was a trailer. A Hummer H1 weighs 7500 lbs, I didn't think that's what he wanted to pull.
I've seen a H1 being towed by a gasser once. He was going about 20 miles over the speed limit (50 mph limit). Didn't want to be close to him if he had to stop suddenly!!
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