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Old 06-11-2014, 04:04 PM   #1
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I am starting my research into towing a vehicle behind my motor home.
I have a 2014 33' Thor Hurricane with a V-10 gas engine.
I am curious as to what others are towing for vehicles and the method - 4 wheels down, trailer, two wheels up or what?
How many are towing two wheel drive and how many are towing 4 wheel drive toad vehicles?
How was your fuel consumption effected before you started towing compared to towing?
The same concern is to be asked as to power.
Any information you care to share with me will be appreciated.

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Old 06-11-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
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4x4 Jeep, 4 down.
About 1/2 mpg less when towing.
Takes noticeable power to tow, but not so much as to be a problem.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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Flat towing a Miata. No real impact on mileage or power.
2012 Jayco Greyhawk FK
Flat towing 2008 Miata
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:18 PM   #4
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Wow! That's a lotta questions for one post.

I think you'll find that the majority of motor home owners prefer to tow their toads 4-down. Cost a little more initially, but once everything is installed, the simplicity of this method is the overpowering reason.

In most cases such as yours, your limitation of weight towing capacity really limits your choices. Most gas rigs have a max tow rate of 5000 lbs....some only 3500 lbs. So the weight of not only the vehicle but also the trailer (or dolly) will max out the 3500 lb limit and maybe even the 5000 lb.

4-down towable vehicles are limited, due to the transmissions, so you'll have to do some extensive research to find the right one. With a dolly, just about any FWD vehicle will do, and with a trailer....well, limited only by weight. RWD vehicles that are NOT 4-down towable need to be put on a trailer. I have heard of towing them backwards (on a dolly) and have even seen it a couple of times on the highway.....but I don't think I would do it.

As far as fuel mileage....who cares? We get terrible mileage with or without. Seriously, I doubt if you'll see more than 1 mpg difference.
The same goes for power...probably won't even know it's back there.

As for 2 or 4 wheel drive.... 4 wheel drive vehicles are limited by the transfer case. Must have a selectable "neutral" position.

Hope this helps


ps... on edit: I forgot to mention that those vehicles that are NOT 4-down towable, you can install either a drive shaft disconnect system (for RWD) or a lube pump (for FWD) to modify them to be able to be towed 4-down.
Ron, Sandie, and Maggie May
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH
2011 GMC Terrain SLT-2
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #5
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You're wise to be doing your homework on this. As mentioned, weight will be a big factor in what you tow.

A realistic approach would be to have your coach weighed loaded up for travel. Then check your GVWR and CGVWR to see how much headroom you have available. That will give you an idea of how much toad your rig can handle.

Questions about fuel efficiency and power are really completely dependent on the particular coach. My two toads have been a Grand Cherokee and a Ford Explorer... both 4x4. Behind my 400hp 40 DP I can't notice any difference in pulling power and probably about .2 mpg impact.

Good luck

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:32 PM   #6
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I'd go 4 down, 2 or 4 door wrangler. Easy to install tow bracket, proven toads, and fun to drive. I would not go with a tow dolly. My brother did - behind his 33 ft. ACE and is not happy about the major width involved with the tow dolly. He is constantly thinking bout clearance. Towing 4 down, it pretty well tracks behind the motor home. Just my opinioin but try to get a 2012 wrangler or newer - improved motor started in '12. Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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Easy answer

A Topic that has been visited on iRV2 many times...
...Get a light-weight tow dolly and tow any one of hundreds of compact/economy front wheel drive cars.

Lighter-weight = better MPG and more power on the hills and for passing.

A Tow Dolly is cheaper to acquire, light-weight, requires no mods to the car, there's no accrued miles on the lower driveline of the car going down the road, and the car will be safe and happy up-high on the dolly, away from rock strikes.

Is there a difference on hook-up and drop-off, YES, but it is not a big deal. And NO, there is no reason to get on the ground for safety chain hook-up...a chain or cable segment can be added to the car's frame to avoid that.

I even added an inexpensive Class 1 hitch ($139) to the car for the very rare event where I have to tow the dolly away from the destination/campsite.

Plus - Brakes can be added to any Tow Dolly for little money (if it is not standard equipment). Brakes on the tow set-up are not required in many places, but it is safer and smarter to have brakes and a break-away set-up. Braking systems on a Flat-Tow are expensive and complicated.

I have a car that cannot be Flat Towed - so, despite owning a full-set-up to Flat-Tow, I use a Dolly. SO EZE to use
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance, Samuel Coleridge
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
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Been towing a trailer for years. Just took delivery of a 2014 Fleetwood Storm. Sold my KZ Spree and 2006 Denali XL tow vehicle all in one week. I picked up a one owner clean 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4X4 with 100K miles for $3000. I have been working on setting it up to tow with Blue Ox equipment. Finished everything except running the breakaway wire to the Patriot Brake system, that I picked up on the internet from a gentlemen that sold his RV. Brand new in the box latest 12 series model for $500. Finding deals on the internet is what I do for a hobby. Putting the Blue Ox base plate on the Cherokee was so easy, I did it on my back in the driveway. Running the independent light kit to the tail lights wasn't that bad either. Blue Ox has very good directions and diagrams for everything. Their customer service is the best for phone questions. I ran a 4 wire kit and use a Blue Ox coiled 7 to 6 connection cable. The Blue Ox tow bar is top quality. I discovered i needed a 4 inch drop receiver to be save. Picked one up from Roadmaster for a third of the price that Blue Ox wanted. 6000 lb rated and made very well. So I tested my lights today and all worked after I replaced a bulb I broke installing it. All is good! Total investment, about $4414 Jeep included. In my opinion Jeeps are the best to tow 4 down and fun to drive. Good luck
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
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As mentioned, you'll need to be conscious of the weight you tow. I've typically flat towed Jeeps, but circumstances (garage space) dictated a change in my daily driver car. Our MH is rated to tow 15,000# so weight wasn't a consideration. The Jeep Grand Cherokees I towed were in the 5000# range which would be borderline, at best, for your MH.

With the downsizing of our house and garage space, I'm driving a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST now. It is not flat towable, though all other Fiestas are. The car weighs roughly 2700# and the dolly weighs 400#. Something like that is most likely a combination your MH could easily handle.

Our coaches weigh a lot, so the added weight of a toad isn't much of a factor. The effect is minimal on performance and fuel economy.

My first toad was a 2001 Jeep Cherokee with lots of miles. It was a dedicated toad that got little use other than our trips. After a couple of years, I decided I'd just get a daily driver Jeep that was towable and not bother with two vehicles.

Sites like Motorhome magazine have dinghy guides dating back to 2000. Make sure you verify their information as specific models (like mine) may differ from their information.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:36 AM   #10
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I have the 2013 Hurricane 29X and tow a chev. sonic LS 1.8 liter four down. handles well and good gas mileage. If considering this toad, avoid the 1.4 turbo. It is not flat towable. very happy with this setup.
henryn,2017 thor Freedom Elite 23H, Smithfield NC
Hank, and Murphy( our four legged little guy)
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:48 AM   #11
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Think it through

I went through same question couple years back, outcome: I flat tow a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu, Blue Ox base plate and tow bar, wired for lights, switch installed to avoid pulling fuse every time.

Some days wish I went with Tow Dolly, but would have to deal with hassle of strapping car on, parking dolly, etc.. but gives flexibility of taking different vehicle without expense of base plate, etc..

Regarding towing, hardly know it is there, minimal impact on gas mileage, probably 1/2 mpg, definitely know it is there on acceleration but not significant. Thing that always has to be in the back of your mind is, NEVER back-up. Don't get into a situation where you need to back up! I have had to "emergency unhook" twice when in situations where I have to make 3-point U-turns.

For me decision was convenience, I can hook up, un-hook in seconds. That is nice in bad weather, cold, whatever. Towing guides for many years available online to help in car search to find what can be towed 4 down. I found mine in the classifieds on this site. Paid a premium but it was set up and ready to go, sweet
Tom and Patty
The "Rode Crew"
2004 National RV, Seabreeze 1341, F-53 22K, Chevy Malibu toad.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:36 PM   #12
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First: with a gas motor home odds are you can tow LESS than 5,000 pounds,, Your limit, if NOT using a drop hitch adapter is the lesser of the tow system rating (Likely 5000 pounds) and the (Max Combined Gross Vehicle Weight) minus (Loaded vehicle weight)

Example.. My MCGVW is 2600, my loaded weight 2200, Hitch 5,000, so I can tow 4,000, an do tow 2500

This kind of limits you cause if you put a thousand pounds of dolly or even more of trailer back there.. It comes right off the tow rating.

Thus I tow 4 down

What would I like to tow: 4WD JEEP with manual transfer case, actually bought one and drove it for FOUR days, But alas we had to change campgrounds before the tow bar came in so wife drove it as me moved, She drove straight (Well zig zagged a couple times) into a tree at about 50 MPH so if you have a spare wife lying about who'd like to full time in an RV.. I could use one (Kind of joking there, not loking for WIFE but would not mind a partner).

What I have towed, 4,000 pound Chevy Lumina APV this unit towed for free, that is to say with the Axle Lock (Which turns it into a real trailer. With the axle lock one drive wheel turns free, thus you tow with the transmission in PARK, no miles rack up on teh old mechanical odometer (it was a 1992) and it tows very easy) the weight of the vehicle was offset by the effect it had on the motor home's "Slip stream" (It is called spoiling the air flow).

What I tow now: A 2001 Dodge NEON with remco LP-1 Lube pump.. This ride tows in NEUTRAL, Miles still do not rack up due to the fact it's an electronic odometer and it's not counting with ignition turned off. But for all of it's 2,500 pounds it tows "Heavy" compared to the lumina APV.. I loose between 1/2 and 1 MPG when I tow it.

I am turning more gears in the transmission (More than zero which Is what turned in the Lumina) and the different shape does not do as well at "Spoiling" the air flow.

Some day I'll get another Jeep.

Finally, it is important when towing that the tow bar be as flat as possible (or the tong on a trailer or dolly) for tow bars it is recommended that the two ends be within 3 inches verticle (Bit of wiggle there between up and down but we will use +/-3 for this post) this means using a DROP receiver on many Motor homes.. This puts TORQUE on the cross bar and yes, it ripped it right off my Motor home when was towing the Lumina. Thankfully little secondary damage (one bent bracket, easily straightened) Total damage in the 50 dollar range (rebuilt the cross bar mounting brackets, extra heavy, professional rebuilder)

Inspect your hitch gear often including all brackets from frame rail to frame rail, the tow bars, receiver and adapters, and the base plate on the towed.. (lost a bolt or two there, DID Not loose towed or base plate NO damage, found during inspection and fixed)
Home is where I park it!
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:21 PM   #13
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Looks like you have the lesser powered E version V-10. I'd go 4 down towing at 3000# or less and could be near your max. I choose a Jeep Patriot because it's -600 lb lighter than a Wrangler.

E, 2 valve V-10 = 305 hp, 420 tq.
F, 3 valve V-10 = 362 hp, 457 tq.
2016 Thor Tuscany 34ST XTE, Freightliner XCR, ISB 360hp/800tq. Allison 3000, Koni FSD shocks, Roadmaster 1.75" front sway bar, Safe-T-Plus, DYI air bag flow control valves.
2015 Jeep Willy's Wheeler Wrangler Unlimited Toad, Ready-Brute-Elite tow system.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by IdahoSRT10 View Post
Looks like you have the lesser powered E version V-10. I'd go 4 down towing at 3000# or less and could be near your max. I choose a Jeep Patriot because it's -600 lb lighter than a Wrangler.

E, 2 valve V-10 = 305 hp, 420 tq.
F, 3 valve V-10 = 362 hp, 457 tq.
The OP has a 2014 Hurricane 32A - per the Original Post and profile...looks like one of these (the profile pic need updating)

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Stats show it should have a 5,000 receiver hitch

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance, Samuel Coleridge
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