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Old 03-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #1
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Flat-towing when limit is 5000 lbs

I am considering buying a 30ft Ford E450 powered Class C motorhome that weighs 14500 lbs and has a flat-towing rating of 5000lbs. Does anyone know if it will be comfortable to tow a Jeep Wrangler weighing 4000lbs? A friend believes it will struggle to tow up hills and significantly increase gas consumption.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:09 PM   #2
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I towed 3,000 lbs with 30 ft Winnebago Itasca Cambria 2008 E450 chassis class C and it did fine even with a flat tow behind it - no problems at all on flat land. It will downshift when going up even 2% grades but after downshift can still maintain speed at low altitudes in the lower gear due to the higher load. Personally I let the speed drop to 55 or so going up grades to use less fuel.

I flat towed at altitude going over passes with 5 % grades at up to 8,000 and it was OK. Could maintain 40-45 MPH going up grades at altitude.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asistobe View Post
Does anyone know if it will be comfortable to tow a Jeep Wrangler weighing 4000lbs?
For 10 years, I had a 22' Class C with a Chevy 350 engine. I towed a 2,000# trailer with a 2,500# Austin Healey in it from Dallas to both coasts several times.

I didn't zip up the hills and lost 1 MPG (11 -> 10) when towing at 60, but it really wasn't a problem. Most of this country is pretty flat. I'd do it again.

Hook up your Jeep and go. Don't worry about it.

Tim

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Old 03-21-2016, 05:43 PM   #4
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I don't believe you need to be concerned with towing 4,000# with an E450. The MH you are considering probably weighs less than 14,500#, which is more than likely the GVWR of the vehicle. Ford has been rating them to tow 7,500# for a number of years. It is the MH builders who have been downrating them to a 5,000# limit. The last few years some MH builders have been rating them to tow up to the Ford specs of 22,000# GCWR, which gives the 7,500# tow rating.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by asistobe View Post
I am considering buying a 30ft Ford E450 powered Class C motorhome that weighs 14500 lbs and has a flat-towing rating of 5000lbs. Does anyone know if it will be comfortable to tow a Jeep Wrangler weighing 4000lbs? A friend believes it will struggle to tow up hills and significantly increase gas consumption.
Years ago I flat towed a Honda CRV at around 3900 lbs behind a 31 ft Class C on a E450 chassis. Towed it through plenty of hills and mountains with no problems. Gas mileage may have dropped a bit but I didn't notice.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:08 PM   #6
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You might loose 1/2 a MPG which when applied to the tow vehicle comes out that it's getting 120 MPG. The coach will be fine. Just stay in the right lane and don't try and be the first one to get to the top of the next hill.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:46 PM   #7
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I have flat towed both of our Cherokees (1999 & 2014) behind our 31' E450 Class C. We drop 1mpg when towing. Have to slow down in the mountains, but has handled 9% grades well.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mich F View Post
I don't believe you need to be concerned with towing 4,000# with an E450. The MH you are considering probably weighs less than 14,500#, which is more than likely the GVWR of the vehicle. Ford has been rating them to tow 7,500# for a number of years. It is the MH builders who have been downrating them to a 5,000# limit. The last few years some MH builders have been rating them to tow up to the Ford specs of 22,000# GCWR, which gives the 7,500# tow rating.
As per the Federal Laws the completed vehicle (RV) manufacturer is who sets the legal limits, not Ford. So, if they downrated it they did it for a reason.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:00 PM   #9
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Hi,

Granted the hitch is rated at 5000 lbs but what is the GCVW rating of the motorhome.

Apparently the people that tow don't know all the correct information and if you exceed the GCVW and have an accident then what just tell everyone my hitch is rated at 5000 lbs.

That same hitch can be installed on a lot of vehicles however if the chassis cannot handle it then what.

Most hitched come stamped as 5000 lbs but vehicle chassis has been a tack welded extension, look under chassis.

Please check GCVW of vehicle.

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Old 03-22-2016, 09:07 AM   #10
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On the trip we are on at the moment with almost 5000 miles from Washington State to Texas and now on the way home with 4-runner in tow weighing right at 4800# we are doing fine. Just dropped from a DP and was worried about the E450 keeping up on mountain passes, it's doing better than I imagined. We are not only keeping up but passing Semi's and a lot of DPs also towing. Fuel flow going up the very steep passes is at 14+ gph where on the flat 7.5 is normal on NORMAL roads. So the E450 will do the job. I have a Minni Winni 31C and over all at about 7-8 mpg with a bit less going into the wind and a bit more with the wind.

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Old 03-22-2016, 09:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by asistobe View Post
I am considering buying a 30ft Ford E450 powered Class C motorhome that weighs 14500 lbs and has a flat-towing rating of 5000lbs. Does anyone know if it will be comfortable to tow a Jeep Wrangler weighing 4000lbs? A friend believes it will struggle to tow up hills and significantly increase gas consumption.
Ford suggests a max GCWR of 22k. The 5k limit for towing for long class C motorhomes is generally due to frame extension. The rest of the motorhome is more than capable.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:35 AM   #12
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"Tom-NC" is correct. "asistobe" needs to calculate the difference between the RV manufacturer's label-plate (or brochure, if the vehicle is not at hand) GCWR and GVWR for the coach he's considering. Whichever is lower, that difference or the hitch tow rating, determines how much you should tow, according to the RV manufacturer. How much you do tow, well... that appears (by many threads on iRV2) to be always open for "discussion." ;-)
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:46 PM   #13
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I have a 2009 E450 30ft motorhome and tow a Jeep Rubicon that weighs 4200lbs. I have been all over Colorado and to Alaska and never had any problems even on a 15% grade in BC.
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