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Old 01-20-2020, 04:34 PM   #1
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Help with some towing math

I've got a 2017 Ford E-450. I'm attaching pictures of my weight and the stickers on the door. I'm trying to determine what my limitation is for tow weight for towing a vehicle 4-down. Can y'all help me with my math?

I had my RV weighed (attached). That weight is with full fuel, full fresh, empty black and grey, no passengers, and some stuff (clothing etc). It shows Gross weight of 11,600 lbs. I think (if I read correctly) that my gross weight has to be no more than 14,500 lbs. The difference is 2,900. Assuming 400 lbs of people and stuff, I could tow a car that is 2,500 lbs? Is that right? Feels low for an E-450 to me. Of course I could increase that by removing water, but my freshwater tanks isn't all that big so it wouldn't get us much more.

There is a label in the door jam that says I can have 3,848 lbs (minus any water etc).

Thoughts?
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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You need to know the gross combined vehicle weight rating (gcvwr)
to properly determine what you can safely tow four down. I don't see that on the incomplete vehicle chassis placard. The body installer is supposed to install a vehicle completion placard including gcvwr.
Looks like you're doing ok on the gvwr on the chassis. Plenty of payload left at this point.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine36 View Post
You need to know the gross combined vehicle weight rating (gcvwr)
to properly determine what you can safely tow four down. I don't see that on the incomplete vehicle chassis placard. The body installer is supposed to install a vehicle completion placard including gcvwr.
Looks like you're doing ok on the gvwr on the chassis. Plenty of payload left at this point.
Ok, here's another label that probably has what you're talking about.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:10 PM   #4
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I believe the GCVWR is 22,000 lb on the 2017 E450 chassis.

My Thor Axis on a E450 chassis has a 8000 lb tow rating.

Here is a link.

https://www.southbayfordcommercial.c...-cutaway-specs
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:20 PM   #5
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Yeah, still not seeing the gcvwr. I'd contact Forest River and give them the vin#. It could be they overlooked installing the gcvwr placard, but all truck/van chassis have one. I could be mistaken but I believe the E450 can safely flat tow about 5k, but don't quote me on that. I'm assuming you probably have a 5-8k rated hitch......but max towing capacity should never be based on hitch capacity alone. The GCVWR is your missing answer.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:39 PM   #6
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They are not required to show GCWR on the federal placards. GVWR, axle GAWRs, tire sizes and inflation, but no GCWR.


Ford rates the 2017 E450 van chassis at 22,000 lb GCWR and 14,400 GVWR.


https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...e_r3_Oct19.pdf
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
They are not required to show GCWR on the federal placards. GVWR, axle GAWRs, tire sizes and inflation, but no GCWR.


Ford rates the 2017 E450 van chassis at 22,000 lb GCWR and 14,400 GVWR.


https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...e_r3_Oct19.pdf
Thanks for the reminder Gary. I can't shake my Utility Truck building days. Commercial vehicles are required to have the Federal GCWR Placards. RVs not so much, although many still do.
So, back to the OPs question, looks like the E450 has a 22k GCVWR, minus the 14,400 gvwr, leaves a towing limit of 7,600.
Yes, always assume you will be at max gvwr.
A good "safety factor" rule of thumb is 80% of 7,600, or right about 6,000 lbs. Don't forget that auxiliary braking system and breakaway too. Happy Toading
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:46 PM   #8
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Hey everybody, thanks for all your help. This is exactly the information I needed. I wanted to be absolutely sure I wasn't overloading.
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