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Old 02-01-2017, 08:52 PM   #1
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Thor Gemini Towing Capacity

Hello all,

Does anyone know if the Gemini can tow a 2700 lb Chevy Sonic Hatchback? I read where the coach rated as being capable of towing 5000 lbs but not sure if that's really accurate.

Thanks,

Jimboe
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:09 PM   #2
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Depends which Gemini you have. We have the 24TX which is on the Mercedes chassis, weighs in a little over 11,000 pounds, and the GVCW is something north of 15,000 pounds. That leaves roughly 4,000 pounds to load and to tow, so if in theory we only add 1,000 pounds in weight, including occupants, that leaves 3,000 pounds to tow. I have towed our HHR with our Gemini, and it does ok, but not great. I won't tow long distances or over mountains. The other 3 Gemini models are on Ford Transit chassis and have lower weight ratings. I believe the 5,000 pounds you refer to, is the hitch towing capacity, which really tells you little. Find your GVCW rating, and you can not exceed that weight with the weight of the loaded motorhome plus the weight of your tow vehicle. We previously had a 41 foot DP and I really never thought about weight, now I have to.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:18 PM   #3
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I'll be pedantic here: it is Gross Combined Weight Rating or GCWR you're looking for.

The other weighting, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR will give you the allowable hitch weight. When towing cars, though, the hitch weight is usually 50 lbs or less.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:29 PM   #4
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Correct, its the gross combined weight number, to not exceed. Salesmen, it seems, will invariably tell you, its the hitch rating that is the limitation, which would be true if you were driving a vehicle with an almost impossible GCVW to reach. Not true with the small motorhomes.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Depends which Gemini you have. We have the 24TX which is on the Mercedes chassis, weighs in a little over 11,000 pounds, and the GVCW is something north of 15,000 pounds. That leaves roughly 4,000 pounds to load and to tow, so if in theory we only add 1,000 pounds in weight, including occupants, that leaves 3,000 pounds to tow. I have towed our HHR with our Gemini, and it does ok, but not great. I won't tow long distances or over mountains. The other 3 Gemini models are on Ford Transit chassis and have lower weight ratings. I believe the 5,000 pounds you refer to, is the hitch towing capacity, which really tells you little. Find your GVCW rating, and you can not exceed that weight with the weight of the loaded motorhome plus the weight of your tow vehicle. We previously had a 41 foot DP and I really never thought about weight, now I have to.

Does your Gemini actually weigh "a little over 11,000 pounds", or are you using the Mercedes Sprinter's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)?

Either way it affects your estimated capabilities. If it's actual motorhome weight that you got from a certified scale, then you have a serious problem because the Sprinter's GVWR is only 11,030 pounds, which means you can't load anything without going over the chassis' load capacity. You can't load 1,000 pounds if it already weighs over 11,000 pounds.

Given that your motorhome should never weigh over 11,030 pounds, and that your Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is over 15,000 pounds, then in theory you should be able to tow a car up to about 4,000 pounds -- assuming the hitch and/or chassis modifications don't derate the maximum towing capabilities.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jimboe View Post
Hello all,

Does anyone know if the Gemini can tow a 2700 lb Chevy Sonic Hatchback? I read where the coach rated as being capable of towing 5000 lbs but not sure if that's really accurate.

Thanks,

Jimboe
Thor specs show GCWR at 13,500 pounds, and GVWR at 10,360 pounds, so in theory even if your motorhome is loaded down close to its maximum weight rating (and I'm not suggesting that's a good idea), you should have up to 3,140 pounds to work with before reaching the Gross Combined Weight Rating.

if you don't pack a lot into your motorhome, then you may have a little more to work with for towing; provided hitch and chassis are rated for it. In this case the 5,000 pound hitch isn't the limit because you'd have to start out with a motorhome weighing only 8,500 pounds, and that's not likely to ever happen.

I'd get the motorhome weighed just to make sure, but you should be OK with a 2,700-pound car. You can also ask Thor to confirm.

Whether you'd be satisfied with available power (or lack thereof) or handling performance, I have no idea.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:35 PM   #7
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With only 185 hp I think towing a car is going to be a little bit of a strain unless you are in relatively flat areas. The purpose of using the diesel chassis was for economy and not towing. Like stated you are going to be pushing the GCVWR after you load supplies, people, fuel, and water. I would do some serious thinking about this.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:47 PM   #8
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Your best bet is like Chance said: Load it up with all your stuff, water, and any people you may carry and take it to the scales (don't know where there is a scale? click here--no affiliation other than there is one a few miles from me that I've used to weigh almost all our vehicles).
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:23 PM   #9
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With only 185 hp I think towing a car is going to be a little bit of a strain unless you are in relatively flat areas. The purpose of using the diesel chassis was for economy and not towing. Like stated you are going to be pushing the GCVWR after you load supplies, people, fuel, and water. I would do some serious thinking about this.

You're absolutely correct that 185 HP isn't much power, but I think I would personally be OK with it for up to 15,000 pounds of combined weight.

If we look at other diesels in very large luxury coaches, they have even less power for their weight/mass. Thor makes 360 HP diesel pusher with up to 45,000-pound GCWR, and a 450 HP with up to 60,000-pound GCWR. These work out to 120 HP (or less) for every 15,000 pounds, so by comparison 185 HP isn't that bad on the steepest hills.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. I have the Ford Transit Gemini. I've looked into small vehicles and the best candidates are the Smart fortwo and the Fiat 500. The Smart car curb weight is 1800 lbs and the Fiat is 2366 lbs. If I've done the math right the combined weight with the Fiat comes in at about 750 lbs under the limit. This might be too close, not sure. The smart car would seem to be acceptable relative to the combined weight limit but the limitations of the car itself are a concern. Thanks to all for the useful information. Jimboe
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
You're absolutely correct that 185 HP isn't much power, but I think I would personally be OK with it for up to 15,000 pounds of combined weight.

If we look at other diesels in very large luxury coaches, they have even less power for their weight/mass. Thor makes 360 HP diesel pusher with up to 45,000-pound GCWR, and a 450 HP with up to 60,000-pound GCWR. These work out to 120 HP (or less) for every 15,000 pounds, so by comparison 185 HP isn't that bad on the steepest hills.

Its not about the HP with heavy loads and towing. Diesels never have all the much horsepower. Its about the Torque and that has 325ftlbs of torque which should be plenty. You are rated for 15k GCWR so I'm sure you drive train is built and geared for that much weight.

If it was me I would worry about being overloaded. The only way to know for sure is to weigh the rv AND the car. You can pull both onto the scale at once. there are 2 pads on the scale. Put a tire of the rv on 2 different pads so you know your front to rear and then put the car on the third pad.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:59 PM   #12
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Thank you, just located a scale near me. Appreciate your help. Jimboe
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:37 PM   #13
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Its not about the HP with heavy loads and towing. Diesels never have all the much horsepower. Its about the Torque and that has 325ftlbs of torque which should be plenty.

You are rated for 15k GCWR so I'm sure you drive train is built and geared for that much weight. ....cut.....

I agree it should be enough torque, but don't agree that it's not about HP.

Torque numbers at the crankshaft in themselves (by themselves) are next to useless information when calculating performance. What matters is how much torque reaches the driven wheels, and given a certain set of road conditions (like vehicle speed), that's HORSEPOWER.

Objective testing shows over and over again that HP is what is important to accelerate or climb faster, but for some reason "torque" is sensed by drivers as being more important. Drivers swear that torque pulls harder but stopwatches say otherwise. Like MotorTrend stated after a gasoline versus diesel comparison, "diesels feel fast, gas is fast".

Also note that during uphill towing tests of heavy duty diesel pickups that engines run at or close to maximum horsepower RPMs, not at maximum "torque" RPMs. It just shows that more engine power is more productive than more engine torque.

Anyway, sorry to get so technical, it's just that it's one of the first topics covered when studying internal combustion engines.

In real world driving, the reality is that most of us do not want to use the higher RPMs required from a naturally aspirated (non turbo) gasoline engine to develop the needed HP, so we end up settling for less performance than what's available. As long as we drive that way, then I'd agree with you that diesel low-end torque will often outperform a NA gasoline engine.

It's no surprise we are seeing so many turbo gasoline engines lately. Drivers really like the feel of low-end torque whether from gasoline or diesel.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:34 PM   #14
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Chance, I agree that HP is going to show better in acceleration etc. but torque is more important for hauling weight, especially on uphill grades. Torque won't get you impressive 0 to 60 numbers, but will give that steady pulling power. My previous DP was rated at 1250 pounds of torque. Towing the car behind that MH was imperceptible, only way to know it was even there, was visually through the rear camera. The Gemini, does a credible job of towing the HHR, but I certainly can feel it back there. Since towing the car puts it very close to its GCWR I have no plans to tow any distance, or over mountains.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Chance, I agree that HP is going to show better in acceleration etc. but torque is more important for hauling weight, especially on uphill grades. Torque won't get you impressive 0 to 60 numbers, but will give that steady pulling power. My previous DP was rated at 1250 pounds of torque. Towing the car behind that MH was imperceptible, only way to know it was even there, was visually through the rear camera. The Gemini, does a credible job of towing the HHR, but I certainly can feel it back there. Since towing the car puts it very close to its GCWR I have no plans to tow any distance, or over mountains.
I respectfully suggest that in this case you are coming to the correct conclusion for the wrong reason. The danger with that is that when the same logic is applied to other cases it may lead to the wrong answers/conclusions.

A DP and a Gemini are too different to compare much of anything directly, in my opinion, unless we look at data on a specific basis -- like pounds per HP, etc.

In fact, pulling a heavy load uphill at speed is one of the most power-demanding (as in horsepower and not torque) road conditions that vehicles encounter. And the required amount of power is well defined by the laws of physics.

Anyway, this topic is outside the scope of this thread, plus it would get too technical and therefore boring to discuss.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:58 AM   #16
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Hitch weight

Thinking about getting a hitch mounted carrier for my motorcycle. There is a 600 lb version that would handle my 560 lb bike. Just wondering if the hitch can handle the weight. Anyone using this type of carrier?
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JMike View Post
Thinking about getting a hitch mounted carrier for my motorcycle. There is a 600 lb version that would handle my 560 lb bike. Just wondering if the hitch can handle the weight. Anyone using this type of carrier?
You probably CAN do that but I would advise against it. Your hitch probably has at the most a 500 lb tongue weight and 560 lbs would be overload. You also have to look at the distance from the rear wheels to the hitch and think of it as a lever with 600 lbs on the end of it, you'll be putting a lot of stress on the rear of your coach. Best bet would be to get a small motorcycle trailer or a small flatbed trailer.
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