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Old 07-10-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
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Swapping out a hitch with a 500LB tongue weight to a class 5 with 1800lb rating

This is my first post since I am now a new RV Owner!! I aquired through a relative that passed and would like to use it when I go racing with my family.

Back on topic Thoughts?

I am towing a car behind my Class A Tradwinds 7370 (37") RV and I would like to put a beefier hitch on it. The hitch that came from the factory is only rated for 500lb tongue weight and I would feel much happier with a higher rating. I know they probably limit it to this size hitch since the RV was not orinally wired for trailer brakes however we will add in a Prodigy controller for the trailer brakes so stopping shouldn't be an issue.
I couldn't find any threads on this so I am sorry if this has been covered in the past!

Anyone done this yet?
Suggestions on ahitch to purchase that actually fits without custom work being done?

Thanks,
Stephen
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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If all you're doing is pulling a car your tongue weight is about 25 pounds. Tongue weight is the vertical load on the hitch. The towing weight for that hitch is probably 5,000 pounds. Keep looking, it's marked on there somewhere. The hitch you have is probably just fine.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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What does the sticker next to the driver say about weights? You have a bunch of numbers you need to pay attention to:
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the manufacturers maximum weight of the fully loaded RV and towed vehicle combined. Full fuel, water, food, passengers, camping equipment, etc.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) The maximum weight of the motorhome fully loaded.
Net Carrying Capacity (NCC)The maximum weight your rig can carry.
Front and Rear Axle ratings This tells you how much each axle can support.
Hitch weight - the downward pressure of the actual tow bar or trailer hitch.
Maximum tow weight - the loaded weight of the actual trailer or vehicle being towed.

It is not wise to exceed or modify the above weights. If your hitch is rated for 500 lb hitch weight, that usually means it's rated for 5000 tow weight. If you modify the hitch to pull a larger load, you might exceed the engineered limits on the axles, brakes, tires, etc. Often on a gas powered MH, the original truck frame doesn't extend all the way to the rear, it's had extensions added on, making it weaker than the original truck frame.

Just some things to learn about your new RV.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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Motor home hitches are generally not an over the counter purchase. They're custom built to the MH manf's specs. Those specs. include limitations due to a TON of different factors, some of which are noted above.

Should you decide to build your own hitch, or pay somebody to modify the one you have - you're the engineer. From that point on if anything happens due to overloading, you might be held liable?

Even if nothing actually lets go, you could affect the structural integrity of the coach. Walls cracking due to stress and other similar failures not unheard of. One coach I saw had bent the frame rails, allowing the floor to pull loose from the rear wall and about 6' up both sides?

Bottom line, I've seen what you're talking about doing done without issue, but I've seen it go the other way too.
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