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Old 01-13-2022, 11:56 PM   #1
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Flat Tow Assistance

2022 Newmar 3401 - Hopefully brake issue is behind me so to speak NOW as a first timer Class A ( many years as a 5th wheeler) I plan to flat tow. Have a 2019 4x4 Ford Ranger and plan to use Blue Ox equipment. Question - With a 5K rated trailer hitch and the Ranger under 5K lbs, do I use their 7.5K rated Aluminum tow bar @ 32lbs or as I usually do go with the over kill method and use their steel 10K rated tow bar @53lbs. I know nothing of their operation in the field and like the lighter aluminum bar for ease of use but want insurance that the stress of pulling a 4,700 lb truck will not be an issue. ANY EXPERIENCE with these units? I'd appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:25 AM   #2
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7.5 should be enough but remember to keep you toad EMPTY as it will not take much gear to surpass your tow rating on the hitch.

I would weigh the truck first as what the spec sheet says and what the vehicle actually weighs may be different. Also remember that if the gas tank is full on the truck that will add lots of weight.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:07 AM   #3
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I went with 7.5 tow bar.

With it's regular service I will never wear it out. It is now on it's second coach and third toad.
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:06 PM   #4
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I've used Blue Ox tow bars for yrs. My advice, get the 10,000 lb rated tow bar. It will not cost that much more and will wear much longer....more than enough to offset the cost.

I have towed vehicles ranging from a heavy Dodge 3/4 ton 4wd diesel full sized bed, to a lite 2 wd Nissan Frontier.
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:40 AM   #5
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Some "experts" seem to think it is better to use the tow bar with the rating close to the actual towed weight.

Any insight as to why a heavier towbar would be "better"? Some things sure, but bigger/heavier isn't always better/safer.

And the classic " I have always done it that way" with no supporting info really doesn't hit hoe with me.
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:02 AM   #6
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I use the BlueOx Accent 7.5K rated with a Cherokee about 4,200#. I went that route due to the weight. No complaints or issues in 20+K miles. Price was virtually the same for both so that did not play into the decision.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:12 PM   #7
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I had the 7.5 for several years towing a 4500# toad. It was more than adequate. The 5,000# bar would also do the job, as every bar is designed to tow more than the rating. There is no disadvantage for having the 10K bar either, but as you said, major overkill. My last 2 bars are 10K, but my toad weighs 6400#.
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:13 PM   #8
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The weight of the tow bar is meaningless unless you take it off a lot. I always go with double or close to that. A tow bar is subject to a lot of stress from tight turns, rough roads, etc. so I figure why not. My Equinox weighed at 3,700 lbs and I use an 8,000 lb tow bar.

Depending on which 2019 4x4 Ford Ranger you have, it appears your curb weight is around 4,400 pounds. With it being that close to the 5,000 pound hitch I'd be driving it to a CAT Scale, hopping out, and getting it weighed. Options can add a lot of weight.

Fortunately the motorhome in your profile seems to be on the 24,000 GVWR/30,000 GCWR Ford F-53 chassis. That being the case, your unrestricted towing capacity should actually be 6,000 pounds if you get a larger hitch installed by a competent shop.

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Old 01-15-2022, 09:21 PM   #9
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Thank you all, great input that I was looking for. Yes I'm concerned about truck weight, it came with metal roll up bed cover, running boards and soon to be installed tow equipment. I do plan on towing with 1/4 tank of fuel. Based on comments, I set up the CAT app. and on my way there. I plan to change 5k RV hitch. I'll see what my truck weighs before I decide on 7.5 or 10K tow bar. My plan at this time is to have a Demco Stay n Play Duo installed as built in brake system, read about it, talked to one who uses it and sounds like it works well. For a beginner, getting advice and suggestions from those with experience is extremely helpful. Thank you to all
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:35 PM   #10
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Be certain to validate that your motorhome does have the 24,000/30,000 chassis if you do not already know. All of the Ford F-53 24,000 GVWR chassis have the 30,000 GCWR capability.

There is no 6,000 pound hitch which is why manufacturers use a 5,000 lb hitch. The next size up is 7,500 lbs and they know people will try to tow the full hitch rating so they just don't go there.

Planning to tow with a specific amount of fuel seems like a good plan until you can't for some reason. You filled it and have to leave. Someone else filled it for you, etc. Or you need to carry something heavy in the bed "just once".

Once you get it all put together, load the motorhome as you would for a long trip, full fuel, and full fresh water. Hook up the truck and go weigh the whole thing to assure you're still within your limits.

I have the Stay-IN-Play Duo and it works well and is easy to use. The only drawback is the little strip of red LEDs that tell you when the brakes are applied. They are really hard to see in the rear view camera. I found their wireless CoachLink on EBay and it works great but there are other ways to do that as well.

Good luck,

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Old 01-16-2022, 04:47 AM   #11
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From etrailer web site.....

Even though the weight rating of the Nighthawk is 8,000 lbs, it may not be strong enough for a few 3/4-ton and 1-ton trucks. Heavier trucks that push close to 8,000 lbs will be putting the weight rating to the test. A general rule of thumb is to subtract 1,000 lbs from the weight rating and try to not go over that amount. It's good to leave a bit of padding.
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:16 PM   #12
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NXR, thank you. Yes I’m 24k/30k but I want my tow under 5k which is still an unknown until I get to a CAT. Thanks for your use and opinion on the Stay and Play Duo, makes me feel better about having it installed. Your comment on LEDs is something I’ve not read or heard before so I will talk to installer and look up CoachLink, my back camera, visually it’s merely ok not super sharp. Good advice.
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:19 PM   #13
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PSNEELD, good advice on hitch. My plan is tow vehicle under 5k, 7.5k tow bar and change 5k hitch to 7.5k. Appreciate your comments.
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Old 01-17-2022, 03:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donhdm View Post
PSNEELD, good advice on hitch. My plan is tow vehicle under 5k, 7.5k tow bar and change 5k hitch to 7.5k. Appreciate your comments.
I was thinking of a 6000 pound tow bar.

That's a 20% increase above rating, plus the comment about aluminum tow bars made me start investigating...saw some aluminum bars sold have "steel reinforced welds"...not sure what that exactly means...but if true then the working of the aluminum may be addressed.

I have learned in both aviation and boating that most internet comments that "bigger is better" definitely makes sense sometimes...but mostly used by people who do it and claim it's best with no real engineering understanding about the equipment. So I am still investigating but looking for statistics (which need framing anyway), or 3rd party testing, safety recalls for failures, etc...etc...not some weekender opinion.
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