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Old 10-06-2015, 09:50 PM   #1
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2014 Axis/ Vegas hitch rating

The 2014 Axis has a standard Draw-tite motorhome hitch. It is rated at 5000/500 lbs total/tongue weight for a normal trailer or 6000 lbs when used with a weight distributing rig.

My question: which rating applies when flat-towing? I would like to flat-tow a Grand Cherokee, but they are 4800+ lbs. Add a tow bar, brake system, and a cooler in the back and it's over the 5000 lb rating. Since there is virtually no weight load when flat towing might the higher rating apply?

Please note, we're great on GCWR, it's the hitch that's limited. With the 2015's and newer they've gone to a 6000 lb hitch. For a second question, does anyone know what hitch they are using? Draw-tite doesn't list a 6000 lb model.

Thanks,

Randy
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:25 PM   #2
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I may be wrong, but recall the new hitch is rated at 8,000 pounds.

The other factor to keep in mind is that Thor may have revised the frame extension at rear where the hitch mounts (if that applies). Just saying the hitch receiver may not be the only limiting item. You'd have to ask Thor if it's only about switching receivers.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
I may be wrong, but recall the new hitch is rated at 8,000 pounds.
Groswald's hitch is probably 6,000 lbs. His unit is most likely manufactured before the cutoff. Like our unit has only a 5,000 lb hitch because it was manufactured before 10/2014.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:37 PM   #4
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You're correct, it is 8k, not 6. Either way, it lets you use the whole 6000 lb. difference between the chassis' GCWR (18,500) and GVWR of 12,500.

Randy
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:17 PM   #5
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Jaime,

Ours is a 2014 with the 5000 lb hitch. Should be the same as yours.

According to Draw-tite's website the rating goes up to 6000/750 lbs with a weight distribution system. Does that apply to flat-towing too?

Randy
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groswald
According to Draw-tite's website the rating goes up to 6000/750 lbs with a weight distribution system. Does that apply to flat-towing too?
Good question. I don't know the answer to that.

Yes ours only has a 5000 lb hitch. It made our decision for a toad a little more difficult. I was originally looking for aluminum car trailers (which are about 1/2 the weight of steel ones). In the end we just got a dolly. The dolly + the car we tow comes in around 4000lbs.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:36 PM   #7
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I have a build date of 8/15. What is my rating? We are looking for a toad now. I/m glad this was posted now.

Phil
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:39 AM   #8
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To be sure there should be a sticker on the hitch that will give you the rating. I remember for awhile there were a mix of 5, 7.5 and 8K hitches coming out of Indiana.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:08 AM   #9
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Axis/Vegas units built after 10/1/2014 have an 8000 lb hitch, before that date its 5000 lb. See here:
Dinghy towing with an Axis/Vegas
(I got the 10/1/2014 date from the Axis website earlier this year when it showed data for 2014 model year, now it doesn't mention that date.)
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Axis/Vegas units built after 10/1/2014 have an 8000 lb hitch, before that date its 5000 lb. See here:
Dinghy towing with an Axis/Vegas
(I got the 10/1/2014 date from the Axis website earlier this year when it showed data for 2014 model year, now it doesn't mention that date.)
Not sure about the Axis but with the Challengers Thor made 2 changes in the middle of a production year. The changes were the hitch rating and the power overhead bunk. The dates however may not have been correct. My coach was built one month earlier than their published and had both items.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by groswald View Post
Jaime,

Ours is a 2014 with the 5000 lb hitch. Should be the same as yours.

According to Draw-tite's website the rating goes up to 6000/750 lbs with a weight distribution system. Does that apply to flat-towing too?

Randy
Ford E-Series are rated to tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped, so a Class IV hitch like the one on my van would solve the problem. However, as I recall looking under an Axis, Thor adds a short frame extension at the tail end of the frame, so the "weak link" could limit towing down to something much lower.

In my opinion replacing the receiver "may" not be enough to get the 8,000 pound rating if other design changes were also made at same time.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:17 PM   #12
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Chance,

Max tow capacity on a loaded Axis is 6000 lbs, even with an 8k hitch. That is based on the chassis' GCWR - GVWR. That doesn't change with the extension.

The extension is actually mid-chassis. They extend the driveshaft too. They cut both in the middle and splice in an extension.

I guess I'll shoot a note to Draw-tite for an answer to my question.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by groswald View Post
Chance,

Max tow capacity on a loaded Axis is 6000 lbs, even with an 8k hitch. That is based on the chassis' GCWR - GVWR. That doesn't change with the extension.

The extension is actually mid-chassis. They extend the driveshaft too. They cut both in the middle and splice in an extension.

I guess I'll shoot a note to Draw-tite for an answer to my question.

Regards,

Randy
Yes Randy, that's correct; I'm aware all Axis/Vegas have their wheelbase extended -- at least a foot or so. The splice is close to front -- just behind transmission.

Again, I may be recalling incorrectly, but I thought that the very back of Axis/Vegas chassis is also extended in area where receiver mounts. But to be honest, I've looked at so many motorhomes lately trying to find just the right one that I may have it confused with another model. Having said that, it seems most motorhomes have some rear extension as well. I've assumed for years that that extension may limit tow rating some of the time otherwise Class As on Ford F-53 chassis (essentially a truck chassis) could have larger receivers, but usually don't.


Please let us know what they say about hitch rating when applied to flat-towing a toad. I've never seen it addressed and it is of interest.
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groswald View Post
Jaime,

Ours is a 2014 with the 5000 lb hitch. Should be the same as yours.

According to Draw-tite's website the rating goes up to 6000/750 lbs with a weight distribution system. Does that apply to flat-towing too?

Randy
Has anyone ever seen a weight distribution system for towing cars? I have never seen nor heard of one.

Might call Remco or Blue Ox and ask is such an animal exists.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov
Has anyone ever seen a weight distribution system for towing cars? I have never seen nor heard of one.
Thinking on it a weight distribution system for cars doesn't make sense.

The whole point is to distribute the tongue weight further back into the trailer and further forward into the tow vehicle. Since flat towing (or even using a dolly) puts virtually no tongue weight on the tow vehicle what is left to distribute?
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Thinking on it a weight distribution system for cars doesn't make sense.

The whole point is to distribute the tongue weight further back into the trailer and further forward into the tow vehicle. Since flat towing (or even using a dolly) puts virtually no tongue weight on the tow vehicle what is left to distribute?
That is correct. When starting with very little tongue weight (essentially zero when flat towing) the result would be to lift some of the weight off the back end of the motorhome and shift it to the front wheels of the toad. And while it could physically be accomplished it would make no sense.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:39 PM   #17
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The Answer

Draw-tite was great and got right back to me. Unfortunately, the answer was not the one I wanted...

Randy,

The weight carry rating applies. 5000#

Thank you for contacting the Technical Group.

Cequent Performance Products
This sure doesn't make sense, the hitch has to withstand 6000 lbs of tug even with weight distribution. Oh well, I know zip about the physics of towing. I'll certainly take their word for it!

So now the question becomes, can the current hitch be economically replaced with one with higher capacity - hopefully with the same bolt pattern as the Draw-tite.

For any of you with a newer Axis - if you have the opportunity would you take a gander at your hitch and let me know who makes it? And if you want to earn my undying gratitude, tell me what the bolt-pattern is, assuming it is bolted on. On mine, each side has three bolts spaced about 3 inches on center.

Draw-tite does not list a heavier version of their motorhome hitch, but perhaps it is one of theirs.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:20 PM   #18
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Growald, if it turns out you have to drill through frame it's not as difficult as it sounds. Most frames are mild steel and with a good quality bit you can go through it fast. I've done it a few times and it was easier than expected. Frame rails are usually 1/4" or less in thickness.

Regarding bolt pattern, I would suggest that if you can't get an exact match, then it would be best to ensure the new hitch has bolt pattern that is different enough that you don't end up drilling new holes right next to old ones. That would concentrate stresses which you'd want to avoid.


Thanks for updating on their reply.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groswald View Post
Draw-tite was great and got right back to me. Unfortunately, the answer was not the one I wanted...

Randy,

The weight carry rating applies. 5000#

Thank you for contacting the Technical Group.

Cequent Performance Products
This sure doesn't make sense, the hitch has to withstand 6000 lbs of tug even with weight distribution. Oh well, I know zip about the physics of towing. I'll certainly take their word for it!

So now the question becomes, can the current hitch be economically replaced with one with higher capacity - hopefully with the same bolt pattern as the Draw-tite.

For any of you with a newer Axis - if you have the opportunity would you take a gander at your hitch and let me know who makes it? And if you want to earn my undying gratitude, tell me what the bolt-pattern is, assuming it is bolted on. On mine, each side has three bolts spaced about 3 inches on center.

Draw-tite does not list a heavier version of their motorhome hitch, but perhaps it is one of theirs.

Regards,

Randy
How about one for the 350 and or the 450??? Pick up trucks
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:24 PM   #20
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Randy:

Mine is 2015 Vegas. Looked all over hitch and found no manuf label or stamp anywhere. Took pix for you don't know if bolt pattern is clear enough for you. Basically there are three vertically and 2 lateraly through frame both sides. Also took pix of tow limit decal.
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