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Old 11-25-2022, 03:27 PM   #1
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Replace Minnie Winnie tow hitch with something heavier.

We have a 2017 Minnie Winnie 31K. We're thinking of towing a toad. I've read plenty of threads on weights etc and think I understand the various numbers and calculations.

We're going to need a new car soon anyway and have been thinking about the Jeep Sahara 4XE plugin hybrid.

The only problem is that it's about 5400 lbs and the hitch on the RV is rated at 5000 lbs. I know there are discussions where people have basically said "close enough, don't worry about it" but I'm not going to do that. Even if the car was 5000 lbs I'd be nervous about being at the max.

I've seen some suggestion of replacing the hitch with something heavier. Is that a practical and safe option? I have no idea how expensive or difficult that would be. It seems like it would be moving into the "it wasn't designed to have a hitch with that rating" area which might mean other issues.

The other numbers are good. GVWR is 14500, GCWR is 22000 so in theory we could tow up to 7500 if the hitch could handle it. Regardless of toad or not, we need to weigh it fully loaded to see how close we are to the GVWR.

All that said, I'm feeling like we probably won't go with the 4XE but I'm just checking out all the options. The plugin hybrid would be good for our usage but ... it's kind of expensive and the weight issue complicates things. I think we might end up getting a used conventional Sahara. I think they weight about 3500 lbs which is much more comfortable.

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2022, 05:19 PM   #2
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I agree, weigh it fully loaded and see where you're at. If the numbers both pencil out below GVWR and GCWR (with toad) correctly install a class 4 10k rated hitch on it and be done. Not a big fan of some of the class 3 hitches anyhow, even when used well below their rated capacities. Even if you decide to tow below 5k you have a much better hitch. Win Win.
An oversize auxiliary trans cooler never hurts either.
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Old 11-25-2022, 05:42 PM   #3
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When we bought our 2019 31G the dealer tech suggested a local welder to reinforce the rear frame for heavier towing. I checked with the welder he was going to weld some cross bracing where the spare tire carrier is. I would have had to carry the spare tire somewhere else. Since I am pulling a two door Wrangler I decided against it. Plus it would have added more weight to the rear of the motorhome which I did not need.
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Old 11-25-2022, 05:54 PM   #4
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OP,
Show us a picture of how your hitch is attached to the frame.
Here is what I did with 2 x 2 x 1/4" angle and grd 8 bolts, and I regularly tow an 8K # enclosed car hauler.
I know a "Minnie" is smaller, but maybe you could build on this approach.

Mike in Colorado
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Old 11-25-2022, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine36 View Post
I agree, weigh it fully loaded and see where you're at. If the numbers both pencil out below GVWR and GCWR (with toad) correctly install a class 4 10k rated hitch on it and be done. Not a big fan of some of the class 3 hitches anyhow, even when used well below their rated capacities. Even if you decide to tow below 5k you have a much better hitch. Win Win.
An oversize auxiliary trans cooler never hurts either.
and be sure your towbar can handle the weight of the heaviest vehicle you'd be able to tow.
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Old 11-26-2022, 06:45 AM   #6
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Thanks all. It seems like this answers my main question of whether replacing the hitch is at least a practical option or not. If the RV is worth anything by the time we want to sell it, I wasn't sure if a buyer might look at it and be put off by non-standard modifications.

I'd have to find someone who knows what they're doing to do this. I have no ability to do it myself and I wouldn't want to do anything odd, unusual or unsafe.

It's probably a bit wet and cold today to get underneath to take a photo.

I will get it weighed but I don't think that result will change the fact that we could tow at least 7500 lbs with the right hitch assuming we're below the GVWR for the coach itself. The GCWR and GVWR difference is easily enough that we're not going to be in the situation of needing to lighten the coach to give more towing capacity but if we're over the GVWR on the coach then we need to get that down as a separate issue before even thinking about the toad. That's the reason for getting it weighed. If we are over, ideally we just need to get rid of some stuff but I guess there is the option of moving stuff to the toad provided the total stays below the GCWR. At least that's how I understand these numbers.
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Old 11-26-2022, 11:04 AM   #7
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...I will get it weighed but I don't think that result will change the fact that we could tow at least 7500 lbs with the right hitch assuming we're below the GVWR for the coach itself...
being <= the GVWR is NOT the only weight rating you need to check. the weight on each axle needs to be <= the gross axle weight rating. i know from personal experience that it is possible to be overweight on one axle and still weigh less than the GVWR. be safe and load up like you would for a trip and thenget individual axle weights.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:20 PM   #8
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being <= the GVWR is NOT the only weight rating you need to check. the weight on each axle needs to be <= the gross axle weight rating. i know from personal experience that it is possible to be overweight on one axle and still weigh less than the GVWR. be safe and load up like you would for a trip and then get individual axle weights.
Yep, understood. I'll get those axle weights. GAWR is 5000 front, 9600 rear. We might need to move the cats around to balance things up. Especially this guy
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