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Old 06-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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towing a cargo trailer

I have a 99 Allegro v-10 Triton with Banks exhaust on a F550 Chassis. Will I be able to tow a 20' 7000# cargo trailer from Chicago to Las Vegas (through the Rocky Mountains)?


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Old 06-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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I have a friend that tows a 20 foot trailer but his unit is a diesel pusher and it is a 2006 model. I would say that if you have had no problems with the engine or drive train it will do the job. May cut into the back pocket some but that goes anyway.

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Old 06-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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I have a DSDP with 350HP.

I tow a 10K 20' enclosed. At speed, it hides in the wash of the much taller RV. Hardly know it is there. Accel is a little slower (but I only notice it when the trailer is not there). Decel is about the same because of the trailer brakes.

Everything picks up speed going downhill more quickly, and I am in the engine braking longer. Uphill, is when I really do notice the difference, a 6% grade will get me to 4th gear no trailer, 3rd gear with.

I have not regretted the enclosed one moment. Our Prius fits, stays clean and dry, plus, we have an 18-gallon bin system that has allowed us to drop having a storeroom somewhere.

Make sure your hitch and chassis is rated. I am SOOO glad I did not go for the much cheaper 7K trailer. The extra 3K capacity was quickly filled, and the much stronger trailer and tires/wheels have meant thousands of miles trouble free.
2002 Dutch Star 4097 Spartan/Cummins ISC
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by terrydarla View Post
I have a 99 Allegro v-10 Triton with Banks exhaust on a F550 Chassis. Will I be able to tow a 20' 7000# cargo trailer from Chicago to Las Vegas (through the Rocky Mountains)?

Well, the answer is maybe no - maybe yes.

First, is your RV a '99 Tiffin Allegro Bay...like this:
`99 ALLEGRO 32` CLASS A, V-10, F-550 CHASSIS For Sale

This ad and your post says it is a F550 chassis...I didn't know they ever called it that. The bare chassis' are now called F53's, but that's just academic.

The real answer can be found on the data plates (stickers) of you RV. One is often inside a kitchen cabinet and the one for the receiver hitch is on or near the hitch.

The first number you are looking for is the trailer weight rating. MOST Class A gas RV's are usually built with a Class III receiver hitch. Those have a max capacity of 5000#...making the answer to your question - no. But if your RV has a Class IV (up to 10,000#), then you are good to go.

If you have the Class III hitch but still want to tow over 5000#, you can still make this work. But, you will have to do your homework by comparing the Gross Combined Weight Rating against the loaded weight of your RV to see if the rig will handle the load. If you have the weight capacity, then you can upgrade the hitch.

I know for a fact that there are RV's just like yours with the V10 pulling trailers that have similar weights...it can be done safely. But, if you want your RV to mechanically survive the task - then be safe and double check the rating numbers.

Best of luck
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 06-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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7000 lbs far exceeds your coaches hitch rating (5000 lb) and probably puts the combination way over the GCWR as well. Exceeding the ratings can lead tobroken hitches, frame damage where the hitch receiver attaches, and vastly increased wear and tear on the entire drive trail.

Whether the V10 & tranny will actually pull it up and down the hills is another question. I suspect it will, albeit not quickly.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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All 1999 F53's had a GCWR of 26,000 pounds (like it says in that ad). There were two GVWRs that year if I recall correctly, 18,000 and 20,500, leaving 8000 and 5500 pounds of headroom between a fully loaded motorhome and it's allowed combined weight.

If yours is like the ad, a 32' no slide model, I suspect it's probably built on the 18,000 pound version and probably even lighter than that, leaving the hitch rating as probably the only reason that it couldn't tow a 7000 pound trailer. (The ad would suggest it only weighs 13,000 pounds I DOUBT that!)

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Old 06-13-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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You will do fine, don't let the weight police freak you out. I did change out my tow hitch assembly from the 5K lb stock one to a 16k lb one, cost was $250 from amazon. PM me if you want me to send you the link.

We pull 7,500 lbs with our V-10 through the rockies all the time. Slowest I have ever dropped to is 45mph going up hill, and am usually passing most DP's. The key is put that skinny pedal all the way to floor.

My only thought is that mine is a 2013, and its my understanding that sometime in the 2000's they upgraded the motor from a 2 valve to a 3 valve and from what I have read, that made a big boost in performance. Yours is obviously prior to that change, so you may see a little less umph.

Good luck!
2010 Fleetwood Discovery 40X
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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I have the same chassis you do, you don't say how long your coach is, mine is 35' with a tag axle. Depending on how much overhang from the end of the frame to the end of the coach and how well the manufacturer built the extension will determine the amount of reinforcement will need to be done to pull that weight. As for the speed going up hill depends on the incline. On a recent trip going up a 8,100 ft summit I was down to 30 mph at 4000 rpm. Going down hill gear down to save your brakes. Even if you up grade your hitch you'll most likely be over the GCWR of the coach. Towing the trailer will be a decision you'll have to make. If you can do a test run locally, see how it feels.

Chuck & Teri, 1999 35 ft. Dolphin 5350, F53 Chassis with tag axle, Chassis build date 1/99 in Mexico, Banks System, Trans Command, Air Lift Air Bags on rear, Koni Shocks, Blue OX TruCenter, TigerTrak track bars front and rear, Roadmaster 1-3/4" rear auxiliary sway bar, 2013 VW Passat TDI SEL Premium, 1994 36 ft. Avion 5th Wheel. FMCA #F430129
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses. I have another option, if you can help me. I have a lead from iRV2 classifieds on a 1996 36' Monaco 275hp/8.3L Cummins. But, Richard said it only has a 5000# hitch rating and he would not recommend towing a trailer thru the Rockies with it. Could Richard(the seller) be wrong? Thanks again, Darla
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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Same problem with the diesel. Not a big enough hitch or enough GCWR.

The 7K trailer will probably have a lot more then 500 lb of allowed tong weight on the 5K hitch.

Even my 99 has a 5K hitch.

Does Richard's MH have exhaust brakes on it?
What transmission does it have? How many speeds?

99 Discovery 34Q ISB
2014 MKS AWD EcoBoost Toad
Fulltime Since "99"
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