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Old 11-22-2011, 11:48 PM   #1
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What makes 5000# towing capacity?

As compared to 3500# towing capacity.
I have a 2002 Mckenzie Rogue with 3500# towing capacity and it appears to me the only change made in 2003 to allow 5000# capacity was the receiver hitch. I cannot find any other changes made to the frame/suspension that would help to increase the capacity.

Does this mean I can simply get a 5000# hitch? Or maybe I can do something to strengthen the one on it?
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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Maybe, maybe not. It's up the RV manufacturer to say, not the chassis maker. This is Federal law BTW.
On our DSDP we have a #6,000# receiver, so that's our limit. I called Spartan and they said I could change to a 10,000# receiver and use that, but, legally, it's not allowed as only the completed vehicle manufacturer (Newmar in our case) can change the ratings of the complete vehicle.
I encountered much the same thing after Newmar had Spartan change the front 12,000# axle to a 14,600# one. Newmar had Spartan affix a "modified vehicle" sticker above the original one. That allowed me to load up to 13,600#'s (the tires max) but not the axle rating of 14,600#'s. They did inspect the rig while on the rack and tell me that it was a 20,000# rear axle and there was no reason for it to be derated to 19,000#'s as per Newmar.
I have since changed to larger tires that allow the full 14,600#'s to be loaded, and with Spartans assurance am comfortable loading to 20,000#'s on the rear. The tires are well within their ratings But, legally I'm overweight.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:41 AM   #3
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The towing capacity of a tow vehicle is the lesser of two things.

1: The hitch rating (Which by the away only is valid if the hitch is direct, if you use an extension or a drop or riser you have to "De-rate it) quite a bit)

2: The difference between the loaded tow vehicle weight and it's Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

IE: a motor home loaded to 22,000 pounds with a CGVW rating of 26,000 can only tow 4,000 max. ... And quite nicely I might add.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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The differences between a chassis that can tow 3,500 lbs and one that can tow 5,000 lbs are fairly subtle. Some research on the E 450 chassis shows that the towing capacity is rated for a chassis equipped with the "necessary suspension and drive train upgrades". The "upgrades" include things like a radiator with a few more cooling passages, a slightly larger transmission cooler, a different program for transmission pressures and shift points, slightly more robust sway bars, etc, etc.

The previously mentioned "upgrades" are included as part of a heavy duty trailer towing package. In most cases (depending on the model year) the towing package increases the towable weight by at least 3,000 lbs.

It's possible the first year your motorhome was built (2002) the HD towing package wasn't included. By the following year there were probably either enough requests for more towing capacity, the chassis manufacturer included it, or Monaco decided to upgrade to meet or beat the competition.

In any case I doubt just changing to a larger capacity hitch will give you the results you are looking for. There may be enough reserve capacity in all the necessary systems, but personally I wouldn't take the chance. The systems would have to have a 40% safety margin over the stated capacity to tow the additional payload.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The towing capacity of a tow vehicle is the lesser of two things.

1: The hitch rating (Which by the away only is valid if the hitch is direct, if you use an extension or a drop or riser you have to "De-rate it) quite a bit)

2: The difference between the loaded tow vehicle weight and it's Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

IE: a motor home loaded to 22,000 pounds with a CGVW rating of 26,000 can only tow 4,000 max. ... And quite nicely I might add.
Agree. To put it another way, the tow capacity is the lessor of the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle or the hitch rating.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
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So, if both the 2002 and 2003 are rated at 14050 GVWR, yet the specs on the brakes, suspension, sway bars, etc are the same or 'unchanged' for 2003...it makes me feel it comes down to the hitch. My guess.

The GCWR increased from 17,550 to 19,050.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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I would not guess, I'd find out for sure.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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Call the manufacturer (if still in business) and find out for sure. Sometimes it's just a change in brake size that makes the difference.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #9
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since you have a 24 ft coach, you probably are limited by the hitch. Longer coachs like my 35 ft pace have had the chassis lengthened. That affects the towing capacity. You can buy parts (if i remember correctly, they are called gusset plates) that can be welded to the old hitch to increase the towing capacity. Check with your hitch manuf. and MH manuf.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
You can buy parts (if i remember correctly, they are called gusset plates) that can be welded to the old hitch to increase the towing capacity. Check with your hitch manuf. and MH manuf.
That makes the hitch stronger but doesn't change the towing capacity of the vehicle unless the manufacturer certifies it.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:42 AM   #11
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That makes the hitch stronger but doesn't change the towing capacity of the vehicle unless the manufacturer certifies it.
that is why I advised him to contact the motorhome manuf. Did you read my post?
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