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Old 03-06-2020, 06:51 AM   #1
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Class A Research

Good day all. I am a new member looking for some input. My wife and I were fifth wheelers for many years. We sold the trailer and truck recently. My wife is retired. I will be in just under two years. We live in northern Minnesota. Here's our plan: purchase a used class a with somewhat low miles, an Allison transmission and a 8.1l workhorse motor. We want to tow our FWD Equinox with it using a dolly and spend the first winter traveling in search of warm weather, return to Minnesota when the ground doesn't have 6 feet of snow over it and store it after that for future winter's. A question I have is being the Equinox is a little on the heavy side, am I better off looking for a shorter, lighter RV? Would this give me more towing capacity going with a 26 foot than say a 34 foot? Any thoughts would be great! Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:23 AM   #2
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You shouldn't have a problem we towed a 4200lb suv behind our 2005 38ft bounder with 8.1 workhorse and allison transmission. Ended up trading it, floor plan didn't work so good, so make sure the floorplan is want you want. Enjoy
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:47 AM   #3
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As Wrapped said, the floor plan is the most important factor. We towed our 4700# Durango for 15 years behind our 37' Southwind with the 8.1/Allison combo. The only thing I would worry about there is that Workhorse has been out of business for more than a decade now and some parts may be hard to find. I have driven the newer Ford V10's (we had a '99) and they are much better than they used to be with the old transmission. Good luck in your search.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:38 PM   #4
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the 8.1 is a vor-tec engine 340hp 455 torq
the workhorse is the chassie either w20 w22 or w24
the allison can be the 3000 or 3100 series

i have the 8.1 with the w24 and the 3100 series in my 39 ft i tow a 8.5x20 enclosed car hauler with a roll away tool box bolted to the floor a mini cooper my harley and things like ladder salon chair (so the wife can cut my hair) ect. i did have to added extra leafs to the leaf spring pack since it exceeds 10000 lb along with a custom daul anti sway weight distribution hitch and i also went with a full banks power system to help with power for going though the rockies the black hills and the smokies. we did each last year 7000 miles 7 months 23 states loaded we were able to pass going up hill and in south d where the speed limit is 80 mph we even went 83 mpe but i would not recommend that, so you will not have any issues
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:49 PM   #5
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I think the dolley is what you'll dislike the most. Flat towing is a bit less work.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:43 PM   #6
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Floor plan.

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Old 03-06-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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We tow a CR-V behind our 35' Bounder on a Workhorse/Allison combo with no issues. Find the RV you want then check to see it it can tow the actual weight of your Equinox. Then you can make a decision about using your Equinox as a toad.

While I (and others here) recommend you tow it 4 down, if you insist on using a dolly, you need to add the dolly's weight into your calculations. I think you will be better off using the tow dolly purchase $ towards your base plate and braking system.

Motorhome builders typically buy the minimum chassis needed to carry the weight of the RV and so going shorter will not increase your towing capacity via unused GCVW. Our trusty old Bounder is rated to tow 4,000 lbs and we are a few hundred lbs under. My advice for extended travel time is buy the bigger RV!
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:26 PM   #8
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We pulled a 11 Taurus (4K lbs) with a 03 Brave 34D (8.1L) for 3 years after selling our home. Left home with the Taurus on a dolly, went about 3 miles to a local campground. Sold the dolly and ordered base plates. The problem with the Taurus on the dolly was strapping the wheels onto the dolly with very little fender clearance for the ratchet to operate and then had to use a tire iron to release them. Id vote for flat towing your Equinox for the same reason. I just finished today setting up a new to us 18 Equinox FWD 8k mi. with base plates, tail light diode kit and battery charge line kit. Already had a brake system. Have about $600 in it and 3 days time. Lots of good how to video online at etrailer. .

As for finding a finding a nice Workhorse 8.1 chassis, I think the last of those were around 2008 or so. At least for the Winnebago line which is what we were searching for also. Most of the ones we looked at were pretty well used and neglected. As said, find a floor plan, do your homework on the good, the bad, pros and cons. Sounds like times on your side, set your sites and be patient. We looked for 13 months until last October and found a 2011 Winnebago Adventurer 37F with 21k. Its a Ford F53 with the old reliable slide system. There out there, maybe even your Workhorse.

Good luck and Happy Trails.
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:38 PM   #9
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I tow an Equinox all four wheels on the ground. I will never consider using a dolly. Hooking up takes about 5-7 minutes including setup of braking system.

Even if you use a dolly, you will need for the dolly to have a braking system. The weight of an Equinox would necessitate a braking system to be used in most states.
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:28 PM   #10
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Equinox power steering electric or hydraulic?

Equinox power steering electric or hydraulic?
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:57 PM   #11
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Thank you very much for the info. I will definitely be giving more thought into floor plan as we get more serious. My only thought of a dolly verses a bar was the extra wear on the drivetrain towing 4 down.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:12 PM   #12
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Class A Research

I would look for a W24 chassis. It has the heavier Allison transmission. I tow a 2018 Chevy Colorado that weighs approximately 4,600# with my W24 Newmar. It tows it very well.
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