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Old 06-26-2017, 11:22 PM   #1
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Towing Vehicle w/Class C Coach

I'm planning to tow a small economy car (2,600 lbs.) behind my 2018 Class C Thor Quantum PD-31. Is their a specific type of tow system I should be looking at? I've observed different style types but looking for a user friendly but safe system if such exsits. Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.

Collen
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:40 PM   #2
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Looks like you have an E-450 (14,500 lbs GVWR, and 22,000 lbs GCWR)*.

The first thing you should do is take it to a scale and get it weighed--that will tell you how much you can tow (you probably have the 8,000 lb hitch) the amount you can tow will be the lessor of the hitch rating or (GCWR - scale weight).

Once you get it weighed you'll know how much you can tow, then your next decision (if you haven't made it already) is flat tow or dolly tow. From there you can figure out the vehicles you can tow (unless you already have a vehicle in mind--if you do look in the owner's manual to find out if it can be towed).

That should get you started down the path of figuring it out....

* GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, GCWR Gross Combined Weight Rating.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:56 PM   #3
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So if I'm towing a Ford Fiesta that weighs 2600 lbs and the GVWR of the Class C coach is 14,500, and the GCVW totals 22,000 lbs. I'd be at 17,100 lbs, 4,900 lbs within my 22,000 GCVW. Am I figuring correct?
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Kieffer View Post
So if I'm towing a Ford Fiesta that weighs 2600 lbs and the GVWR of the Class C coach is 14,500, and the GCVW totals 22,000 lbs. I'd be at 17,100 lbs, 4,900 lbs within my 22,000 GCVW. Am I figuring correct?
The GVWR is the maximum the coach can weigh (including tongue weight). As a back of the envelope figure, yes you should be ok but I'd still take it to the scales--you may get a surprise and find that the coach is already over GVWR (its happened).

Looks like the Fiesta can be flat towed so you should be good to go once you get all that setup--if you want to flat tow (I dolly tow so can't advise much more about flat towing).
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:28 AM   #5
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What's the difference between flat towing and dolly towing? I assume dolly towing is like what you see cars transported on those U-Haul car carriers.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Kieffer View Post
What's the difference between flat towing and dolly towing? I assume dolly towing is like what you see cars transported on those U-Haul car carriers.
Flat towing - towed vehicle has all four wheels on the ground - connected via a towbar to the MH... Requires a compatible transmission/transfer case to allow the wheels to spin at highway speeds without the engine running. (typically - but not always - 4WD with transfer case neutral or manual transmission...)

Dolly towing - towed vehicle has front 2 wheels off the ground on a dolly connected to MH. Rear wheels of towed vehicle remain on the ground.
Requires a compatible transmission/transfer case to allow the rear wheels to spin at highway speeds without the front wheels turning or the engine running.(typically - but not always - FWD vehicles)

Trailer towing - towed vehicle is completely on a trailer - all four wheels off ground and stationary. Can be used to tow any vehicle as long as vehicle + trailer stays within weight limits of the RV (GCWR and tongue weights) - and of course within weight limits of the trailer.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:57 AM   #7
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Your 1st order of business is to confirm for yourself that whatever vehicle you plan to tow is in fact able to be towed, DO NOT take anyone else's word.
If you truly didn't know the difference between flat towing & dolly towing, you also need to do some serious research before attempting either.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
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Your 1st order of business is to confirm for yourself that whatever vehicle you plan to tow is in fact able to be towed, DO NOT take anyone else's word.
...
Absolutely... and your source is the owners manual... under 'Recreational Towing'. A link to an example from a 2013 Fiesta - very specific procedures to follow to flat tow the automatic transmission versions to prevent damage - but is supported. (link to page 168 - description rolls to 169)
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/57...age=168#manual
Check the equivalent for your particular model year and features - as the requirements and compatibility DOES CHANGE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Kieffer View Post
So if I'm towing a Ford Fiesta that weighs 2600 lbs and the GVWR of the Class C coach is 14,500, and the GCVW totals 22,000 lbs. I'd be at 17,100 lbs, 4,900 lbs within my 22,000 GCVW. Am I figuring correct?
Yes - assuming you are under your GVWR when you weigh the unit (as you should be...)
You will add a little more weight for either towbar and accessories - or tow dolly... but should be safely below your GCWR of 22,000 lbs.

Many threads here talk about the differences between flat tow and dolly tow - you will find people that prefer one over the other (in both directions)... and choice is often dictated by the vehicle to be towed (though some permit either method...) It is a matter of personal preference and what your vehicle will allow.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:57 PM   #9
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Then you come to cost, flat towing will require face plate be installed,
tow bar, cables and a brake unit.

When I went shopping for this stuff the price range is wide. I bought
a Blue Ox set up installed was about $3100. CW sell Roadmaster but
they wanted $5200 installed for that.

If you go with a tow dolly they will run you $1000 to $2000 depending
on if you buy new or used. At a campground you will need to unload the car from the dolly then unhitch the dolly and manually move it into the
camp space before you back the MH into place.

Flat towing a car you can not back up unless you unhitch.

Tow dolly really has the same problem.

So you need to know where you are going so you do not end up on a
dead end road.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:21 PM   #10
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Thank you for all this good info & advice. I really do need to evaluate how often I'll need a car at a particular RV park/destination. I'm not parking our coach at an RV park for months at a time where a tow vehicle may be needed. Our usage is pretty much limited to day trips and at the most 2-3 weeks at a time on the road visiting Nat'l parks & baseball stadiums. It's not like we'll be living out of our Class C.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

Much appreciated

Collin
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Kieffer View Post
Thank you for all this good info & advice. I really do need to evaluate how often I'll need a car at a particular RV park/destination. I'm not parking our coach at an RV park for months at a time where a tow vehicle may be needed. Our usage is pretty much limited to day trips and at the most 2-3 weeks at a time on the road visiting Nat'l parks & baseball stadiums. It's not like we'll be living out of our Class C.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

Much appreciated

Collin
Baseball stadiums? Kids tournaments or are you doing the MLB tour? (We're on park #19 of 30 on the MLB tour).
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:11 PM   #12
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"So you need to know where you are going so you do not end up on a
dead end road"

Phil Saran, you are on the money with that statement. Happened to us, only once so far, that GPS sent us through the country and, you guessed it, we had to unhook the toad. 4 down 2006 Honda CRV behind our Class C with Blue ox set up so wasn't a big deal.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:47 AM   #13
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We flat tow and have the hooking and unhooking thing on our Focus down to 5 min for each. We pull that with our Class C 31W and barely know it is there. Flat towing adds no tongue weight so it is best when you are already close to your GVW. We are maxed out on GVW but have plenty of combined weight left, that's where flat towing is better. We use Blue Ox system and it works very well, aluminum bars, again for weight.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:19 AM   #14
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Best decision I made was to flat tow my 2006 Honda Element. I wanted to spend this time in Colorado Springs. But the closest spot I found was 30 miles south in Pueblo, CO. The freedom it gives me is worth the cost. Yesterday I drove 90 minutes up into the Rockies. It would have been a pain to pack up the RV and drive up and down the mountain. Pulling a toad makes life so much easier. It also serves as an extra storage space.

And btw, it doesn't effect mileage too much. I am getting about 8.7 MPG in the mountain passes. (Although the last pass was closer to 8. It was the only time I have spent time in 2nd gear). I am getting close to 10 MPG on the flats. How do I know? I have a Scangauge II. A very useful tool.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:08 PM   #15
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I am not wanting to highjack thread but I think this may be pertinent information for us all.

I have a tow dolly with a motorcycle platform in front to take both. My thought though is a health issue utilizing dolly and part of the decision making process. I bought the dolly last fall but have yet to use/need it.

I am 67 with a bad back and neck. I cannot handle a lot of bending or especially pulling on something while bent. My assumption is I am going to take on a lot of risk of injury by using dolly. Especially when attaching/tightening the car tire winches down on the dolly immediately raises that risk. And, this is always at the start or return home. I do not want to ruin time w GKs by nursing back and neck while there. Plus, driving when hurting is a real downer.

My other assumption is 4 down towing should be much easier on back and neck.

Just thinking this should also be considered when deciding dolly or 4 down towing. Opinions? Thx Dennis.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budman View Post
...
I have a tow dolly with a motorcycle platform in front to take both. My thought though is a health issue utilizing dolly and part of the decision making process. I bought the dolly last fall but have yet to use/need it.
...
My other assumption is 4 down towing should be much easier on back and neck.

Just thinking this should also be considered when deciding dolly or 4 down towing. Opinions? Thx Dennis.
Certainly one of many considerations...

For 'four down' - the towbar itself isn't light - but can often be left attached to the MH (or toad depending on type).
With a towbar that allows for 'unaligned' vehicles to connect/disconnect - then 'four down' should be easier on back/neck to hook up...

Personally I think it is easier than wrestling with straps around tires, etc... been a while since I've done so..

BUT... the towbar won't get both your motorcycle and toad there... and of course many vehicles can't be flat towed.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:03 PM   #17
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Certainly one of many considerations...

For 'four down' - the towbar itself isn't light - but can often be left attached to the MH (or toad depending on type).
With a towbar that allows for 'unaligned' vehicles to connect/disconnect - then 'four down' should be easier on back/neck to hook up...

Personally I think it is easier than wrestling with straps around tires, etc... been a while since I've done so..

BUT... the towbar won't get both your motorcycle and toad there... and of course many vehicles can't be flat towed.
Yea I didn't mention the tow bar since I already have a Blue OX aluminum telescoping arm type. U can leave attached to the RV even when not in use. So, unless removing or installing I only will be picking up half the weight of an arm since other end still attached.

So far I have pretty much known when I need a toad, bike, or both. But we have rented cars when needed both and that has only been 2 times in 5 years.

I need to replace my wife vehicle so I can pretty much buy what is needed. As far as both, I have considered a small pickup like Ford Ranger class. But they quit making and not too many PU's on toad lists. Or, they are the full size truck which puts us higher that weight limit will work. Thx, Dennis.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:51 PM   #18
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I flat tow my Honda but have no brake unit. Hmm, I wonder...
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:23 PM   #19
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I flat tow my Honda but have no brake unit. Hmm, I wonder...
Some states require it. A ticket while RVing would be no fun. Check here.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:51 AM   #20
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I flat tow my Honda but have no brake unit. Hmm, I wonder...
My brake buddy stealth added approx $1200, out the door, to the cost of towing my CRV. Keep an eye on your motorhomes additional brake wear.
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