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Old 05-06-2017, 11:44 AM   #1
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THOR #7389
8,000 lb Trailer Hitch For 23U Cannot Be Used For 8,000 lb Towing

My 2016 Thor Motor Coach 23U was advertised as having an 8,000 pound hitch. The brochure stated “8,000-lb Trailer Hitch with 7-pin Round Connector” (direct quote).
Under no circumstances can the advertised 8,000-lb hitch be used to tow 8,000-lb. Unless you are willing to pay for added modifications depending on what you want to tow.
The unit has a Class IV hitch which should work for up to 1,200-lb tongue weight. However, the tongue weight has been reduced to 500-lb. That is a Class III hitch rating.
Thor Customer Service has denied any responsibility.
I am interested to see what other 23U Class C owners think about the totally misleading advertising and what you see as a solution.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!! I don't have your MH, but I am sure someone, or many owners can help you out.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:59 AM   #3
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In many cases the 8k hitch cannot be used. If the GCWR minus the scaled weight is less than 8k then the full 8000lbs cannot be used regardless of the hitches rating. It is always the "lowest weight of the following". (Or its the GVWR minus the scaled weight being less than the allowable tongue weight.)

A few years ago Thor started installing 8k hitches, before that it was only 5k hitches. (Unfortunately we only have a 5k hitch.)

As with many things on the motorhome I'd guess Thor got a deal on them and simply installed them on all the units--that is cheaper than keeping different parts around.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23U_2016 View Post

......cut......

Under no circumstances can the advertised 8,000-lb hitch be used to tow 8,000-lb. Unless you are willing to pay for added modifications depending on what you want to tow.

.....cut.....
Some of the Class Cs built on E-450 chassis have a GCWR of 22,000 pounds, so if not loaded to more than 14,000 pounds, they could in theory pull a toad that weighs up to 8,000 pounds.

A smaller Class C should also get close to that if nearly empty even if built on E-350 chassis.

I believe that most motorhomes end up towing a toad either with tow bar or dolly, and neither adds much tongue weight. That's the main advantage of having a higher 8,000-pound towing capacity even though tongue weight is limited to 500 pounds.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:22 PM   #5
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This unit is on the E450 chassis and can easily tow 8,000-lb based on the GVWR and the unit weight. The only limitation is the 8,000-lb hitch advertisement as it is not an 8,000-lb hitch.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:06 PM   #6
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What is the hitch rating, if not 8000#
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:43 PM   #7
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THOR #7389
8,000 lb Trailer Hitch For 23U Cannot Be Used For 8,000 lb Towing

The hitch is rated at 8,000-lb but that is impossible with the 500-lb tongue weight rating. That is like advertising an eight cylinder car that only can run on 5 cylinders. Safe towing requires a tongue weight of 10% to 15% which equals 800 to 1200 lbs. The tongue weight rules so the hitch is falsely rated at 8,000-lb.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23U_2016
The hitch is rated at 8,000-lb but that is impossible with the 500-lb tongue weight rating. That is like advertising an eight cylinder car that only can run on 5 cylinders. Safe towing requires a tongue weight of 10% to 15% which equals 800 to 1200 lbs. The tongue weight rules so the hitch is falsely rated at 8,000-lb.
Not really: You can tow a pickup truck four down with minimal tongue weight (less than 50 lbs) and you'll be towing something like 6000 lbs.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:08 PM   #9
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Our 2016 Hurricane 27K came with a "8,000-lb. Trailer Hitch with 7-pin Round Connector," according to the spec list.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #10
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the '8,000lb hitch' actually never means that you can ever tow 8,000 lbs, especially if a trailer with a lot of tongue weight. Manufacturers of RVs look at the GVWR and GVCWR of the chassis, add the weight of the 'house' that they build on top of it, add some CCC weight for people, fuel, water, and stuff, and then find the difference - which would be the maximum towing capability, according to the Chassis manufacturer specs.

If the max tow capability is in the range of 3,000 to 6,000 lbs, then they will add a Tow Hitch that AT LEAST has that capability, not that it will be the maximum that you can tow from what's printed on it's own label. Some coaches will have a 10,000lb hitch, some only a 5,000, some less...

An interesting point, though, is that even the manufacturers don't necessarily use either the same weight averages, or don't use the same process to arrive at these hitch weight considerations when they decide what size hitch to add.... for example:

My Palazzo, with a Freightliner XCS chassis, a GVCWR of 30,000lbs, and a 300hp ISB Cummins engine, has a 10,000lb rated hitch, but with my total weight I'm only left with 4,400 lbs of towable capability on my Chassis...

A ForestRiver Legacy, the 'twin' to the Palazzo, with a similar Freightliner XCS GVCWR, but a larger 340hp engine, has only a 5,000 rated hitch (?) go figure... I'm sure those owners wonder why they can only tow 1/2 as much as I can (!) [but in reality, it's probably exactly the same!]

Thor could have gave me a 20,000lb hitch, but it would not make any difference of what the REAL weight I could tow... it would still only be 4,400lbs.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
the '8,000lb hitch' actually never means that you can ever tow 8,000 lbs, especially if a trailer with a lot of tongue weight. Manufacturers of RVs look at the GVWR and GVCWR of the chassis, add the weight of the 'house' that they build on top of it, add some CCC weight for people, fuel, water, and stuff, and then find the difference - which would be the maximum towing capability, according to the Chassis manufacturer specs.

If the max tow capability is in the range of 3,000 to 6,000 lbs, then they will add a Tow Hitch that AT LEAST has that capability, not that it will be the maximum that you can tow from what's printed on it's own label. Some coaches will have a 10,000lb hitch, some only a 5,000, some less...

An interesting point, though, is that even the manufacturers don't necessarily use either the same weight averages, or don't use the same process to arrive at these hitch weight considerations when they decide what size hitch to add.... for example:

My Palazzo, with a Freightliner XCS chassis, a GVCWR of 30,000lbs, and a 300hp ISB Cummins engine, has a 10,000lb rated hitch, but with my total weight I'm only left with 4,400 lbs of towable capability on my Chassis...

A ForestRiver Legacy, the 'twin' to the Palazzo, with a similar Freightliner XCS GVCWR, but a larger 340hp engine, has only a 5,000 rated hitch (?) go figure... I'm sure those owners wonder why they can only tow 1/2 as much as I can (!) [but in reality, it's probably exactly the same!]

Thor could have gave me a 20,000lb hitch, but it would not make any difference of what the REAL weight I could tow... it would still only be 4,400lbs.
Come on now. When Thor advertises an 8,000lb hitch they mean for you to believe you can tow any trailer up to 8,000-lbs. We all understand the GVCWR and if that says okay for 8,000-lbs then we expect the 8,000-lb hitch to work. It dos not unless you are limited to flat tow as you specify. That is flat out misleading advertising by Thor.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:21 PM   #12
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I see nothing 'flat out misleading' by stating that an RV has a '8,000 lb hitch'...

it can tow 8,000 lbs. You may have made your own assumptions, and now you are not satisfied with your purchase, that's understandable... but no manufacturer is going to state a number 'LESS' than what the hitch manufacturer states. Sorry... maybe it'll still work for you - maybe the hitch manufacturer can shed some light on it.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:35 PM   #13
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my hitch reads:

Weight Distributing: 10,000 lbs 1,000 lb tongue weight
Ball hitch: 5,000 lbs 500 lb tongue weight
Dinghy towing: 10,000 lbs
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:26 AM   #14
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The only reason Thor went to a 8000 pound hitch is the hitch manufacturer quit making the 5000 pound hitch. If I am not mistaken they changed their welding process which allowed the 5K hich to be upgraded to 8K towing capacity. My Challenger which was built in Aug of 2014 was one of the first to roll out of the factory with the 8000 pound hitch and I am limited to 4000 pounds of towing due to GVWR and GCWR.

Same thing happened with Forest River when they went from a 5K to 6K hitch a couple of years earlier.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:36 AM   #15
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In some European countries, trailer tongue weight in the 4 to 7 percent range isn't uncommon. With proper trailer design it's possible to achieve stability with less than 10% tongue weight.

May be worth researching what it may take to tow safely with lower tongue weight. That may allow heavier trailer even though MH is limited to 500-pounds tongue weight.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:42 AM   #16
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THOR #7389
8,000 lb Trailer Hitch For 23U Cannot Be Used For 8,000 lb Towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
I see nothing 'flat out misleading' by stating that an RV has a '8,000 lb hitch'...

it can tow 8,000 lbs. You may have made your own assumptions, and now you are not satisfied with your purchase, that's understandable... but no manufacturer is going to state a number 'LESS' than what the hitch manufacturer states. Sorry... maybe it'll still work for you - maybe the hitch manufacturer can shed some light on it.
Well this has certainly been an interesting thread. However you slice it, Thor could have done a better job in the advertising. The onus is on them not me. It is their product and they apparently intended to create a grey area as it was good for their marketing.
As to the 500-lb tongue weight, that is not disclosed in any marketing or specification. It is on a hitch label.
My unit is a Four Winds 23U which has a GVCWR of 22,000-lb and a fully loaded weight of 10,600-lb so it has the tow capacity of 11,400-lb.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
I see nothing 'flat out misleading' by stating that an RV has a '8,000 lb hitch'...

it can tow 8,000 lbs. You may have made your own assumptions, and now you are not satisfied with your purchase, that's understandable... but no manufacturer is going to state a number 'LESS' than what the hitch manufacturer states. Sorry... maybe it'll still work for you - maybe the hitch manufacturer can shed some light on it.
I understand your posts on weights. When Thor made the change in 2014 with their Challengers hitches mine was one that had the older 5,000 pound limit. So if I am understanding the information you posted, and other facts, then I can't really upgrade, or if I do upgrade to a 8,000 pound hitch it doesn't really increase how much tongue weight or total weight I can handle?
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:44 PM   #18
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Tow capacity is not necessarily GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) minus GVW ( Gross Vehicle Weight). Other limitations may exist, beyond obvious axle capacities and loads, like the strength or stiffness of the frame, etc.

Ford ads I've seen claim E-Series can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped, although I know some people would routinely tow more with standard vans.

The biggest concern I would have with a heavy trailer behind most Class Cs is that the hitch ball can be 9-feet or more behind rear axle. On shorter Cs with a wheelbase of only 158 inches, that long an overhang may compromise stability more than I personally would want.

I agree that RV manufacturers should advertise more clearly, and that stating an 8,000-pound hitch without including more pertinent information shouldn't be done. On the other hand that's the nature of the business in my opinion.

I would rank that right up there with not informing buyers that their chassis are cut, extended, and welded back together. Or that by offering more storage in basement models the motorhome will be less stable and harder to drive.

Full disclosure with negative implications doesn't seem to be their practice. It's more let the buyer beware.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:20 PM   #19
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agreed - its like asking Ford, Chevy, or Dodge to advertise the Minimun that their hitch can tow, instead of the max - but that's not how life works

we EXPECT companies to tell us the 'best', not the worst
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:16 PM   #20
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THOR #7389
8,000 lb Trailer Hitch For 23U Cannot Be Used For 8,000 lb Towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Tow capacity is not necessarily GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) minus GVW ( Gross Vehicle Weight). Other limitations may exist, beyond obvious axle capacities and loads, like the strength or stiffness of the frame, etc.

Ford ads I've seen claim E-Series can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped, although I know some people would routinely tow more with standard vans.

The biggest concern I would have with a heavy trailer behind most Class Cs is that the hitch ball can be 9-feet or more behind rear axle. On shorter Cs with a wheelbase of only 158 inches, that long an overhang may compromise stability more than I personally would want.

I agree that RV manufacturers should advertise more clearly, and that stating an 8,000-pound hitch without including more pertinent information shouldn't be done. On the other hand that's the nature of the business in my opinion.

I would rank that right up there with not informing buyers that their chassis are cut, extended, and welded back together. Or that by offering more storage in basement models the motorhome will be less stable and harder to drive.

Full disclosure with negative implications doesn't seem to be their practice. It's more let the buyer beware.
You are not even in the same arena as you have superimposed the far bigger RV extensions with the 23U model. The 23U (23') is on a Ford made 158" chassis, i.e. no Thor cut and weld extensions, and the rear bumper is mounted on a very short 32" extension. Thor ignored the Ford specification to use a butt welded C channel with a center weld plate for the extension and instead used a self fabricated piece of plate steel bent into a 90 degree angle. Probably saved less than $50 but you know how mighty the buck is.
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