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Old 08-03-2021, 02:38 PM   #1
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How to find hitch weight rating with VIN?

Looking to tow our vehicle behind our Class A. Renting a tow dolly but they need the hitch weight rating. We're told it can be found using our VIN, but I am unable to find it (the rating). I've been scouring the internet and keep coming across some Ford VIN link that only sends me to a Ford sales site with no place to enter a VIN or even do a search.
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Old 08-03-2021, 02:46 PM   #2
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For many, many years the F-53 chassis has had the same towing capabilities and those depend on the GVWR and maybe the tire size.

What does your sticker show for GVWR and what is your tire size?

Just about every F-53 chassis has used a 5,000 lb hitch with a 500 lb tongue rating but 2003 was a long time ago so yours might be different.

Have you ever had the fully-loaded-up motorhome weighed on a CAT Scale to show you the axle weights? Hopefully you have at least 500 pounds of spare capacity on your rear axle's GAWR (gross axle weight rating).

Ray
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:26 PM   #3
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Our GVWR is 20,500 lbs.
Tires are 19.5"

We haven't yet gotten it on a scale. We have more to load in first. But we plan to take it out Saturday for a nearby trial overnight. We'll be driving by a Pilot that has scales.

Oh... when I was speaking with Uhaul about a tow dolly for our toad, she said that if she puts in 5000lb as the hitch weight , it kicks it back as too heavy.
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Time2roll View Post
Our GVWR is 20,500 lbs.
Tires are 19.5"

We haven't yet gotten it on a scale. We have more to load in first. But we plan to take it out Saturday for a nearby trial overnight. We'll be driving by a Pilot that has scales.

Oh... when I was speaking with Uhaul about a tow dolly for our toad, they said that if she puts in 5000lb as the hitch weight , it kicks it back as too heavy.
Too bad the hitch doesn't have a label to indicate what Class it is, because I think the Class IS the rating.
I don't believe Ford can tell you anything about the hitch rating because it was most likely added to the chassis rails by Coachmen. You MAY be able to get some help from the current owner of that brand, Forest River. There are a bunch of contact numbers provided in this old post HERE: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f254/coa...ans-61340.html

GENERALLY speaking, the hitch rating should be at least as much as the difference between the GVWR and the GCVWR chassis ratings.
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:51 PM   #5
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Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:22 PM   #6
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As mentioned, all manufacturers are different.... but for comparison....

My class A, F53 chassis with 22.5" wheels, V10 gas engine, and GVWR of 26,000 lbs has a max 5,000 lb. tow rating and 500 lb tongue weight .....
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Old 08-03-2021, 05:57 PM   #7
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How to find hitch weight rating with VIN?

Quote:
Oh... when I was speaking with Uhaul about a tow dolly for our toad, she said that if she puts in 5000lb as the hitch weight , it kicks it back as too heavy.

You're writing "hitch weight" but there really is no such term.

There is "hitch rating" which is how much the hitch can pull horizontally. Example: 5,000 lbs

There is "tongue weight" which is how much "straight down" weight that the hitch can handle. That is normally 10% of the hitch rating. Example: 500 lbs. So that hitch could handle a bike rack but not a motorcycle lift.

What are you trying to tow on the dolly? Perhaps the weight of the vehicle plus the weight of the dolly exceeds 5,000 pounds.

The 20,500 F-53 usually can tow 5,500 lbs unrestricted. That indicates you almost certainly have a 5,000 lb hitch because the next jump above 5,000 lbs for a hitch is 7,500 lbs.

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Old 08-03-2021, 06:15 PM   #8
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Not to complicate things but what Ford rates the chassis for and what Coachman rated the completed motorhome for could be different. If Coachman added frame rail extension to make the chassis longer that would reduce the towing capacity.
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NXR View Post
You're writing "hitch weight" but there really is no such term.

There is "hitch rating" which is how much the hitch can pull horizontally. Example: 5,000 lbs


Ray
Sorry for the confusion. The uhaul rep was the one who said to find out my "hitch weight rating." She plugged "5000 lb" into her program just to see if she could reserve the tow dolly.

We were hoping to tow our Nissan Pathfinder (weighs 4300-4600lb). I'm guessing that that plus the dolly weight (as you suspected) pushed it over the 5K limit.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:33 PM   #10
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How to find hitch weight rating with VIN?

Quote:
Sorry for the confusion. The uhaul rep was the one who said to find out my "hitch weight rating." She plugged "5000 lb" into her program just to see if she could reserve the tow dolly.

We were hoping to tow our Nissan Pathfinder (weighs 4300-4600lb). I'm guessing that that plus the dolly weight (as you suspected) pushed it over the 5K limit.
Per this page https://www.uhaul.com/Trailers/Tow-Dolly-Rental/TD/

Their dolly weighs at least 750 lbs and the towed vehicle cannot weigh more than almost 4,000 pounds and that's only if rear wheel drive. Otherwise it's under 3,500 pounds.

Ray
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:23 AM   #11
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Looks like we'll have to bite the bullet and get a designated toad.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:42 PM   #12
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Looks like we'll have to bite the bullet and get a designated toad.
FWIW, I think that is a good decision. There are very few gassers from that era, IF ANY, that can safely tow more than 4,000 pounds without exceeding their GCVWR.
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Old 08-05-2021, 02:45 PM   #13
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I could not find the needed info for a 2003, but from what I could find on a 2006, you probably have a 5,000# hitch, but might have only a 4,000# difference between GVWR and GCVW. That means that if the coach was loaded to the GVWR of 20,500#, you could only tow 4,000#.

FWIW, I had a 98 Pace Arrow Vision with a tag axle that had a 5,000# hitch, but was rated to tow only 3500#. The hitch does not always tell the whole story. I found that out after towing a 4300# toad for 20,000+ miles.
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Old 08-06-2021, 03:13 PM   #14
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What year make model rv
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