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Old 07-08-2019, 08:25 AM   #1
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Towing a car hauler

I did a search on the forum but multi-word searches just don't work well. If there's a trick, please let me know.

Anyhow, I'm considering a 16ft. car hauler to tow behind my motorhome. The reason is because I have a muscle car and a tractor that I need to move from time to time with my truck so it would fulfil multiple needs. I have a 5000lb tow capacity so I can find a vehicle that will fulfill the weight limit of both hauler and vehicle combined. I also have a 500lb tongue weight limit and I have no idea if I should be concerned about maxing it out.

My question: What are the negatives about this plan besides the extra space requirement when staying in an RV park? I fear that I am missing something since it's not referred to in any of the posts I've read when pulling a vehicle with a motorhome.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:03 AM   #2
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I have a motorhome and a car hauler. I haven't used the motorhome to pull that trailer, but I'll give you some thoughts.

1. Weight. The weight of the car hauler may eat up most of your tow capacity. Mine is a steel frame with a wood deck and weighs 2,400 pounds according to the local scale. My particular trailer is rated for 10,000 pounds which is way higher than you would need, but the lighter duty ones I looked at weren't much lighter, like 2,100 pounds. If you go with a open center model, or an aluminum one you can save some weight.

2. Mobility. With the high tongue weight, you have to be pretty good lining up the motorhome to the trailer, you can't easily bring the trailer to the motorhome. The tongue jack is usually a flat plate, not a wheel.

3. Trailer brakes. To be legal in all states, all the axles on the trailer will need brakes. I've seen manufacturers list trailers with only brakes on one axle.

4. Brake controller. You'll need an electric brake controller in the motorhome to stop the trailer.

5. Tools, chains, etc. When shopping, consider the weight of whatever you'll use to attach the car or tractor to the trailer. I carry a toolbox on the tongue that easily weighs 200 pounds with chains and straps in it.

6. Trailer tire ratings. Make sure you have some cushion in the ratings of the tires on the trailer. My trailer came with cheap tires rated exactly 2,500 pounds each. When I loaded the trailer to capacity at 9,940 pounds, I suffered TWO blow outs in the same day in the same tire position because my load was off center by 4 inches so the tire loads weren't equal.

One nice thing about a trailer rather than a dolly or flat towing is that you can back up! That takes some stress out of getting in and out of places. With a 25 foot motorhome, you shouldn't have much trouble maneuvering.

Edit: Keep in mind to tow 5,000, you need to sacrifice 1,000 pounds of your cargo capacity. In other words you have to load your coach so it weighs 1,000 under your GVWR so you're within GCWR when towing.

I can't find data on how much your coach weighs from the factory to tell if you had 1,000 pounds cargo capacity available.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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We have towed small sports cars for 40 years on 3 different trailers and behind 4 motorhomes. I learned some time ago that driving with one flat tire will soon damage the other tire on the same side so I carry 2 spares. Also, bought a 10 sensor TPMS a few years back and really like the peace of mind from knowing the state of the trailer tires.

Our current trailer is an open Aluminum Featherlite. I highly recommend this brand if you can stand the $$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockbottom View Post
I did a search on the forum but multi-word searches just don't work well. If there's a trick, please let me know.

Anyhow, I'm considering a 16ft. car hauler to tow behind my motorhome. The reason is because I have a muscle car and a tractor that I need to move from time to time with my truck so it would fulfil multiple needs. I have a 5000lb tow capacity so I can find a vehicle that will fulfill the weight limit of both hauler and vehicle combined. I also have a 500lb tongue weight limit and I have no idea if I should be concerned about maxing it out.

My question: What are the negatives about this plan besides the extra space requirement when staying in an RV park? I fear that I am missing something since it's not referred to in any of the posts I've read when pulling a vehicle with a motorhome.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:14 AM   #4
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A muscle car and trailer are going to weigh 5000+ lbs. The 500+ lbs of tongue weight is going to put 750+ lbs on your rear axle and with only a 11K GVW you will more than likely be over your rear axle rating. Adding half of your GVW to what is probably a overloaded rig is going have the tail wag the dog and take you to the scene of the accident.

Just because the Trek above has done it does not mean you can. He has a GVW of 16,500 (more than your combined) and his combined is 21,500 plus using an alum trailer and a small light vehicle...probably 4000 lbs.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:46 PM   #5
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Thanks BCarp for spelling out so nicely the things to consider.
Looks like I have to take the 4 down route.
Thank you all for your insight!
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:41 AM   #6
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My 18 foot steel deck trailer weighed 5,800 lbs with my 1969 AMX on it. The AMX was around 3k lbs, pretty light by muscle car standards, but I do have a soft cover on the trailer that adds about 200-250 lbs to the trailer weight.

I think you'll need an aluminum trailer to get under 5k lbs, depending of course on what kind of car you're hauling.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #7
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As George states, consider buying an aluminum trailer. I currently have my 17 foot Featherlite for sale, as I plan to buy a longer one.
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