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Old 04-30-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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Class 5 hitch on 2018 Axis

Has anyone installed a Class 5 hitch on a 2018 Axis? It has the E450 Chassis.Looking at class 4 hitch now looks like frame needs to be reinforced.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
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Just curious...why would you need a Class 5? The biggest difference (other than a 2.5" receiver) is towing and hitch weight capacity which is dictated by the truck chassis. Is your driveline capable of towing 10K+ pounds?
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:05 PM   #3
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class 5 hitch

Tongue weight on trailer being towed is 1350 lbs. Trailer weighs 7500 lbs loaded.And yes vehicle is capable of towing that weight.I'm using weight distributing hitch now.Hitch on Axis has a 500 lb tongue weight max and 8000lb max towing.
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:11 PM   #4
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I see your dilemma. Not sure. That really pushing the limits of the factory hitch.

Can you just beef up what you have (by welding extra support to the existing hitch?).

Any way to shed some weight or shift a little more rearward?

Im just bouncing ideas around - I dont have a clue what you can or cant do.
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
I see your dilemma. Not sure. That really pushing the limits of the factory hitch.

Can you just beef up what you have (by welding extra support to the existing hitch?).

Any way to shed some weight or shift a little more rearward?

Im just bouncing ideas around - I dont have a clue what you can or cant do.
I should clarify that I haven't towed with this mh yet but looking at it's capabilities. Already removed unwanted weight and shifted vehicle in trailer to get that tongue weight. Yes pushing limit on current hitch is not comfortable. Towing trailer with f150 at present.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Glenn Briglio View Post
Tongue weight on trailer being towed is 1350 lbs. Trailer weighs 7500 lbs loaded.And yes vehicle is capable of towing that weight.I'm using weight distributing hitch now.Hitch on Axis has a 500 lb tongue weight max and 8000lb max towing.

WOW...that's up against the wall for sure!! I would probably go to a professional truck body builder (like Reading) that builds flat-bed dumps on single axle chassis' with "GI" hitch set ups. There are tons of them locally, everywhere. You could call a commercial truck dealer like your local Freightliner or International and ask them for a reference. I think, to build what you need, ins't gonna be found on a shelf but rather have to be fabricated. It's the only way I would trust it...especially with a 1350# tongue weight.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Glenn Briglio View Post
Has anyone installed a Class 5 hitch on a 2018 Axis? It has the E450 Chassis.Looking at class 4 hitch now looks like frame needs to be reinforced.
Not all Axis are the same, so maybe share floorplan? Those with shorter rear overhang like 24.1 would require less reinforcement.

As an engineer, the thing that would worry me most is that just because someone installed a Class 5 hitch and hasnít had problems yet doesnít mean itís a good idea or that it wonít lead to a catastrophic failure in the future.

Do a search on this forum and youíll find receiver and frame failures that occurred many miles after initial use. And many were while pulling toads, not overloaded trailers. Just suggesting to be extra careful.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:09 PM   #8
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I would suggest that the size/type of hitch has less to do with 'how much' you can tow as the actual RV Chassis has - it's GVCWR limit is the final say... though I'm sure many are towing more than they are 'allowed', whether due to misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, or even if they know they are.

The Chassis manufacturer designs the chassis for a certain weight limit. The size/type of hitch they, or the RV factory, attaches, can not override this limit, no matter what the hitch limit itself is rated for.

Weigh your coach, with everything you are going to be traveling with: fuel, water, people, stuff, food, etc.
Subtract that from the GVCWR of the chassis, giving you how much 'weight' you can then tow, safely, within the Chassis limits.

If the hitch falls within those limits, then you are good. Attaching another hitch does not change the safety limits of the chassis.


have fun! : )
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:14 PM   #9
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Not all Axis are the same, so maybe share floorplan? Those with shorter rear overhang like 24.1 would require less reinforcement.

As an engineer, the thing that would worry me most is that just because someone installed a Class 5 hitch and hasn’t had problems yet doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or that it won’t lead to a catastrophic failure in the future.

Do a search on this forum and you’ll find receiver and frame failures that occurred many miles after initial use. And many were while pulling toads, not overloaded trailers. Just suggesting to be extra careful.
25.2 Axis has rear slide only. 7.5 rear overhang with 194" wheelbase. 22,000 GVCWR. Yes rear frame will need to be modified for additional weight.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:43 PM   #10
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Our 24.1 on e450 chassis has a lot of excess GCVW capacity. The initial scale trip showed tongue weight high, moved car back on trailer and shifted trailer items to get to 500. Trailer is 5300 now with 500 tongue. I do frequently check hitch/attachment/frame rails for any change as we are at limit. It tows fine in this configuration due to the Vegas being heavier than previous tow vehicle. The light tongue would have allowed previous tow vehicle to be steered by trailer.

I stayed away from enclosed trailer due to loss of GCVW and associated performance.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:03 PM   #11
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:15 PM   #12
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Without weight distribution the 1350 tongue weight will add right around 2000 pounds to rear axle which will likely exceed axle and tire ratings.


The GCWR or GVWR are not necessarily the weak link. You can not go by this alone, or rear axle weight for that matter.

The Axis frame isnít all that strong at the rear to start with, and itís already stretched before Thor builds motorhome. Placing a load that far back could stress frame rails too much. Iíve seen truck frames broken in two just above axle.

Weíre talking a dynamic load which bounces up and down, creating forces over 2,000 pounds easily. The frame extension can be reinforced but itís not practical to go forward too far in order to also reinforce the E-450ís chassis rails.

Iím very familiar with this because I reinforced my frame and built my own sub-frame, hitch and receiver setup on E-350. My frame has similar properties but I didnít have to deal with motorhome frame extension which makes it worse.

I think it helps to visualize things, and 1350 pounds is almost the weight of a couple of large motorcycles. This would most likely overload the rear axle and tires anyway, but even if it didnít, I personally wouldnít do it even if within GCWR and GVWR.

My 2 cents .....
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:22 PM   #13
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Without weight distribution the 1350 tongue weight will add right around 2000 pounds to rear axle which will likely exceed axle and tire ratings.


The GCWR or GVWR are not necessarily the weak link. You can not go by this alone, or rear axle weight for that matter.

The Axis frame isnít all that strong at the rear to start with, and itís already stretched before Thor builds motorhome. Placing a load that far back could stress frame rails too much. Iíve seen truck frames broken in two just above axle.

Weíre talking a dynamic load which bounces up and down, creating forces over 2,000 pounds easily. The frame extension can be reinforced but itís not practical to go forward too far in order to also reinforce the E-450ís chassis rails.

Iím very familiar with this because I reinforced my frame and built my own sub-frame, hitch and receiver setup on E-350. My frame has similar properties but I didnít have to deal with motorhome frame extension which makes it worse.

I think it helps to visualize things, and 1350 pounds is almost the weight of a couple of large motorcycles. This would most likely overload the rear axle and tires anyway, but even if it didnít, I personally wouldnít do it even if within GCWR and GVWR.

My 2 cents .....
I do have a weight distributing hitch and yes it's asking alot.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:24 PM   #14
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Personally with all of the mods you would need to help your situation it would be easier and much safer to get a lighter trailer.

What are you towing inside this trailer? Can you get buy a flatbed trailer instead? Or change what your hauling inside of it?
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Personally with all of the mods you would need to help your situation it would be easier and much safer to get a lighter trailer.

What are you towing inside this trailer? Can you get buy a flatbed trailer instead? Or change what your hauling inside of it?
24 ft All aluminum Intech car trailer. 3200lb race car that is not going anywhere.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:18 PM   #16
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Oh, ok, Cool.

Im assuming its an enclosed trailer since its so heavy?

Any pictures of the car and trailer?
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:29 PM   #17
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Yes enclosed trailer
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:24 AM   #18
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Trailer Toad

Man save the money and weight and look into A Trailer Toad. You have very little tongue weight (450 or less) and can tow up to 10,000 lbs. I have sean guys toe a double stack with a 28ft., good trailer brakes. Thr top of thr line Trailer Toad is around $4000.00
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:18 PM   #19
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Man save the money and weight and look into A Trailer Toad. You have very little tongue weight (450 or less) and can tow up to 10,000 lbs. I have sean guys toe a double stack with a 28ft., good trailer brakes. Thr top of thr line Trailer Toad is around $4000.00
No tongue weight measured is 1300 lbs.Trailer toad is one more thing to store with no room for it. The reason why I got a small Rv. $4000 is alot compared to reinforcing frame of Rv.
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