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Old 10-27-2020, 06:56 AM   #1
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Suggestions on best vehicles to tow.????

Would love recommendations on best tow behind vehicle for us as newbies to our new FR3 30 foot motorhome. To be driven by both husband and wife as well! My car is a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox but I feel that may be too large to tow behind the motor home? Any suggestions are most appreciated! Deb and Charlie
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:56 AM   #2
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A quick Google suggests that you can probably tow your current vehicle, which is what I would recommend unless you want something different for other reasons.

Check in your car's manual to verify that it can be flat-towed (your manual may refer to it as "dinghy towing") and see what its GVWR is. Then look at the hitch on your FR3 to see what your tow rating is. As long as the manual says your car can be flat-towed, and it's below the GVWR of your hitch, you are good to go.

Out of curiosity, why do you worry that your Chevy might be too large?
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:06 AM   #3
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I think the Equinox is a great size for towing. Has a great area for storage.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:15 AM   #4
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I am not aware of any motorhome on the Ford F53 chassis that cannot tow at least 4,000 pounds. I'm guessing you have the FR3 30DS? And that "new" really means "new" and not "new to you"? If it does mean "new" you can use the link below. Otherwise you need to look at the weight sticker in your motorhome for the GVWR and GCWR numbers.

https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/class-a-motorhomes/fr3

Look at the second and third line on the SPECIFICATIONS table for your exact model and do a bit of math: GCWR in pounds minus GVWR in pounds.

The answer is the minimum amount of weight your motorhome chassis can safely tow IF the hitch has the correct rating. Many motorhomes have a 6,000 pound "GCWR minus GVWR" rating but only had a 5,000 pound hitch installed at the factory. (In reality, that number is also pretty close to the maximum amount you can tow for a gas motorhome due to how they're usually loaded.)

For us it's 4,000 pounds and we tow a 2020 Equinox with ease (about 3,700 pounds towing weight). We have a 5,000 pound hitch as you almost certainly do.

A properly equipped Equinox is very easy to connect and disconnect. I'm slow because I triple-check everything and it's maybe ten minutes from start to finish including the light tests.

"Properly Equipped" is often a matter of debate but will include:
  • A properly sized tow bar. I use a Roadmaster Nighthawk non-binding 8,000 pound capacity tow bar.

  • A baseplate, the thing the tow bar attaches to on the car. I use the Demco while a lot of people prefer the Roadmaster or Blue Ox baseplates.

  • A supplemental braking system. Your motorhome brakes are designed to safely stop just the motorhome, not "motorhome + thing being towed". I use a Demco Stay-IN-Play DUO permanent system. Others prefer a portable system, one that needs set in front of the driver's seat and hooked up before each trip and removed before you can drive the car. It's not difficult but needs done each time.

  • Some type of system to provide brake lights, turn signals, and tail lights on the Equinox. Some people use a magnetic light bar, some people use a kit to install separate light bulbs into the existing tail light lens and others wire directly into the existing car lights. Because I have LED tail lights I had to use the latter. The last two are the most convenient because there are no separate wires needing run and hooked up. The wiring for the lights is part of the cable between the motorhome and the car.

  • A drop hitch. This is a kind of Z-shaped adapter that slides into the FR3's hitch receiver with the car's tow bar connecting to the other end. The tow bar to the car must, must be within 2" or 3" of perfectly level (depending on the tow bar model). The drop hitch provides that "drop" to get your tow bar to level.

  • Some type of battery charging line from the motorhome. This is mandatory for the Equinox due to how it gets configured for flat towing. The wiring for battery charging is part of the cable between the motorhome and the car.

FYI, the procedure in the 2010-2017 Equinox Owner's Manual for towing has been superseded by the attached PDF. It changes which fuse must be pulled for safe towing.

HTH,

Ray
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Equinox Terrain revised flat towing.pdf (17.9 KB, 3 views)
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Check in your car's manual to verify that it can be flat-towed (your manual may refer to it as "dinghy towing") and see what its GVWR is. Then look at the hitch on your FR3 to see what your tow rating is. As long as the manual says your car can be flat-towed, and it's below the GVWR of your hitch, you are good to go.
"GVWR" means Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, which is the absolute maximum the vehicle can ever weigh.

Typically the GVWR is a thousand pounds or more than the "curb weight" rating. That's because a vehicle normally carries a driver, passengers, fuel, and junk. When towing, the weight of the driver and passengers are not present so GVWR is not the correct rating to use. Hitches are rated in pounds, not GVWR.

"Curb weight" is the absolute minimum weight of a vehicle because it does not include any options, etc., but it is closer to the actual weight being towed than GVWR is.

"GCWR minus GVWR" is the minimum amount that can be safely towed IF the hitch has the correct rating. Many motorhomes have a 6,000 pound "GCWR minus GVWR" rating but only had a 5,000 pound hitch installed at the factory.

HTH,

Ray
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:50 AM   #6
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Jeep Wrangler 4X4 so you can place the transfer case in neutral and flat tow it.
I saw a 30DS towing a new F-150 4X4 crew cab short bed the other day... didn't get to ask them how they liked the setup.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Travco View Post
I saw a 30DS towing a new F-150 4X4 crew cab short bed the other day... didn't get to ask them how they liked the setup.
My F150 weighs over 5000 pounds empty.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:28 PM   #8
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Equinox towing

Have towed a 2011 V6 Equinox since new. Weight is 4000 and change. Complicated wiring for brake lights, and front end problems due to dealer installed 19 wheels. Power steering pump is different??, steering ratio is different, etc,. etc,. Other than that which was a weird problem. 80k miles plus. Don't like weight, but other than that no real problems.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasdau View Post
My car is a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox but I feel that may be too large to tow behind the motor home? Any suggestions are most appreciated
We have a 31 foot Class C on a Chevy chassis and we tow a 2011 Equinox 4 cylinder.
We have towed it over 10,000 miles.

I installed the Roadmaster base plate and wired the tail lights.

Easy to hook up, easy to tow.

Tim

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Old 10-27-2020, 02:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Reid View Post
Have towed a 2011 V6 Equinox since new. Weight is 4000 and change.
I had read that Chevrolet went on a weight reduction kick for the later Equinox models. I'm seeing 300 to 500 pounds lighter on the later models in some searches. I wonder what they did.

Ray
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:50 PM   #11
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Has anyone ever towed a Lincoln Navigator?
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