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Old 12-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #1
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Towing w 8.1 gas - reasonable TOAD weight

We have a 2005 35' Scottsdale and I'm looking for a flat tow. I've got a 2011 Silverado which would be easy to set up but it weighs in at 5820 lbs empty except for driver. If anyone has towing experience with this coach and engine I'd appreciate hearing from them. Is there a "perfect" vehicle for towing with my setup?

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Old 12-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hagenl View Post
We have a 2005 35' Scottsdale and I'm looking for a flat tow. I've got a 2011 Silverado which would be easy to set up but it weighs in at 5820 lbs empty except for driver. If anyone has towing experience with this coach and engine I'd appreciate hearing from them. Is there a "perfect" vehicle for towing with my setup?
Pretty simple really. Tow hitches have a weight limit for a reason and it's called safety. Your pu will be way over what your mh hitch is probably rated to tow by the manufacture and that will probably be 5000# max.

04 Newmar DSDP 4015-Cummins ISL 370hp-Spartan MM Chassis-2013 Chev Equinox AWD Towed-Ready Brute Elite Towing System-FMCA 402879-SKP 120487
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:44 PM   #3
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The simple answer is NO there is not a perfect tow vehicle. Obviously the first hoop to jump through is staying under what weight the chassis is rated to tow. Second, you can pick from the limited selection of vehicles that allows for towing 4 down with no modifications. Next, pick from the much larger selection of toads that require modifications, ie. like Remco products. Finally, what requirements do you personally have for a toad like; 4 wheel drive, pickup truck, large leg room, good mpg, etc.

I personally tow with an 8.1L, pulling an old plastic Saturn SL2 car. It weighs 2600lbs. and requires no modifications to pull 4 down. It would not be my choice of vehicles if I lived in a sticks and bricks. But it has followed me dutifully for 11 years fulltime.

You can begin researching here
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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Generally the hitch they put on a Workhorse gasser has a limit of 5,000 pounds. and it is very doubtful that the motor home has enough towing capacity to tow even that much.

Thus, I'd go for a smaller lighter towed. (And I did too, sitting here on top of a Workhorse 8.1)

To figure out how much you can tow.

Find your ratings sticker, check the maximum Combined Gross Vehicle Weight rating. Scale the Motor home loaded for travel, Subtract that from teh MCGVWR and the tow limit is the lesser of that number. or the rating of the hitch itself.

In my case that is 4.000 towed that for several years, now tow 2500

OH.. While weighing the RV, get 4 corner weights, that way you can inflate the tires according to the load they carry (The proper way) instead of over or under inflating them like so many do.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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If you want a suggestion I would offer the Honda CRV. There has been size increases, with accompanying weight increases over the years. I prefer the 2003 size over the previous 2002 models. (6"3",230lbs) Wheel size and ground clearance has also improved. I haven't followed the transitions to the 2014 but I think it is still around 4,000 lbs and more to my size liking.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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The perfect vehicle for you would be one that weighs a proper amount for you to even consider towing, would fit your needs and lifestyle, would adapt easily for towing, would be affordable for you and then comes the intangibles such as color, model etc;

The most popular tow vehicles right now are the Honda CR-V and the Jeep Wrangler because they fit in the above categories for many people. And given the limitations, weight being the most predominant, they can be adapted relatively easily to towing.

I suspect your towing capacity is #4000 based on GCVWR, you need to verify that but there is your starting point because it is inviolate from a safety stand point. It could be lower, but it cannot be any higher than the capacity of your hitch which is most likely #5000.

The remainder of the choices you make will be based on personal preference and needs but weight will automatically be a limitation you cannot modify wisely.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:49 AM   #7
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A perfect tow for me is a HHR. Weighs in at around 3,200 lb.
Gets good MPG and many used ones available at a good price.
Pull or put a switch on #2 fuse, put in it N, key on ACC, and pull.

No need to run engine a certin time or go through a certain gear pattern to get ready to pull.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
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If you like to go exploring with your toad then perhaps a Jeep Wrangler. I can be towed 4 wheels down and if it is a 2008 or later the key can be removed from the ignition, No fuses need be pulled. People in the club we belong to have Chevrolet Equanox's, Buick Enclaves, Honda CRV's, Saturns HHR's, ETC. The Jeep Wrangler we have weighs around 4100 pounds and we have had no problems towing it for over 40,000 miles.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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In 2012 we towed a 2009 4WD Ranger from TX to AK and back with a 8.1 liter Pace Arrow 37C. Coach weighed 21,900 and Ranger was around 3700. It definitely wasn't a race horse but we had no problems and I never felt the engine was straining going over the high mountain passes. We would drop to 40-45 mph, turn on the hazard flashers, and fall in behind a semi.
That being said I would not even think about towing 3700 lbs without an aux braking system on the towed!
Robert & Leslie
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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I've pulled three different cars with mine. A 2004 Suzuki XL7, 1991 Mazda Miata and a 2000 Lexus RX300.

The Miata was the lightest at about 2,200 lb and the Lexus RX300 the heaviest at 4,020lb.

I've pulled the Lexus all over the country and do ok on the many mountains here in the west.

I think it will be pushing the limit though with anything much heavier.

Perfect???? The lighter the better.

You will need supplemental brakes on your toad no matter what it is.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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The 8.1L V8 was installed in many different weight capacity chassis. Each one has different gearing in the rear differential (plus some other parts) to get the GVWR/GCWR of that chassis.

You would need to have the numbers off your RV's mfgt label and compare that to your RV's actual weight (getting a weigh-in at a moving yard, public scale or similar).

Like said above, the RV probably has a Class III receiver (rated at towing 5000lb or less), but if you have the capacity between your RV's weight and the listed GCWR, then you can upgrade the receiver and tow a larger dingy.

It's all in the numbers.

Safe travels
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #12
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Thumbs up

I have a stock 454 4 barrel gas no upgrades and I tow a 99 deville on a KarKAtty SS. I will tell you I have no problems pulling away at a stop light or setting the cruise @ 58-59 and go.
I haven't had her in the mountains as of yet but what gasser goes 55-60 up a mountain side with a toad behind? I would sure like to see it.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #13
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We just purchased a 2013 Chevrolet Spark with the 5 speed manual transmission to tow behind our 2006 Allegro with the Workhorse chassis with the 8.1L engine. Weight is around 2,300 #'s. No fuses to pull. Instructions say to put the transmission in neutral, turn ignition to accessory position and make sure the brake is off.

We won't be doing any off road exploring with it.

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:28 PM   #14
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Our toad is a 2011 smart car. It only weighs 1800 lbs so it tows like it's not there. No auxiliary brakes as they are not required in most states. We don't off road but we do many roads that are gravel or dirt with no problem. It Carries the two of us and two dogs in the back and gets 45 mpg running around and cost only 10500 msrp. This is a good little toad.

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gas, toad, towing, weight

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