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Old 09-28-2014, 11:04 PM   #1
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preferred toad

What is the preferred toad and weight for a class c?
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
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We have a 26' Class C Thor Four Winds 2014 and tow our 2013 Fiat 500 manual shift. We selected 2013 because when we were ready Demco didn't have the 2014 designed yet. It the easiest we have ever had. Put it in neutral, let the break off and go. It has no steering wheel lock. I have checked mileage with it and without it, and no difference.
Also most states don't required auxiliary breaking because this is a very light car. Good Luck
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:28 AM   #3
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What Automatics are contenders?
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:54 AM   #4
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This is an unscientific survey, but last spring we drove (our car) from Michigan to Florida and back. Since we were thinking about a toad, we played a game and tried to identify what was towing what.

What we found was a little bit of everything, but the #1 vehicle was the Jeep Wrangler, closely followed by the Honda CRV, and in 3rd, the Jeep Liberty (which is no longer made).

Assuming you are considering towing 4 down, your options are limited for an automatic transmission.

For auto transmissions, a few Jeeps, Ford and GM vehicles can be towed, along with the CRV. It is highly transmission dependant. For example, a 2014 Ford Taurus with the 3.5L engine can be towed, but the 2.0L engine cannot. Its because they have different transmissions.

Another example is the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which has three different transmissions; one which must be flat towed, one that must be dolly towed, and one that cannot be towed at all.

I am towing a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am, which shares the same 4T40/4T45 transmission as many Saturns have (many if not most Saturns can be flat towed).

The best way to determine if your vehicle can be towed is to look in the owner's manual for the year and model you are interested in. Most manuals have a section called "Recreational Towing" that will tell you if the vehicle can be towed. And manuals can be downloaded for most vehicles.

Towability changes year by year so one year a particular vehicle might be towable, but other year models might not.

Most class c mohos have either a 3500 or 5000 lb towing capacity depending on chassis (I.e. E350 or E450) and year, but check with your RV mfg's specs to be sure.

Also be sure to add 600lbs or so if dolly towing.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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I have not checked lately but another fairly light car is the Ford Fiesta automatic. We did have a brake buddy and ran power from the RV. We set up all the diodes but I now believe tow lights are so much easier (the magnetic type). Check the annual Motorhome magazine towing list. Thats what I used selecting the vehicle I wanted and could afford to tow all 4 wheels down. I have towed Jeeps, Chevy Equinox and a few others with my Class A Diesel Pusher but personally think the Jeeps are too heavy for a Class C. Your other option to install what I believe is a transmission pump to open up your options but if it's a new car, watch out for warranty fights.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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The smallest jeep wranglers with rag tops are around 3500lb. If towing one of those, especially with a E450, you should have a 5000lb tow capacity.

But I agree that some of the larger 4 door wranglers, grand cherokees etc. might be pushing it.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:54 AM   #7
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Starting with the 2011 model year, a E450 has a 22000lb CGWR, and with a 14500lb GVWR, in theory at least, the rig has a 7500lb towing capacity.

Of course this is degraded by most RV mfgs to 5000lb. Whether this is due to extending the coach, a liability safety net, or simply just because they are cheap and only install a 5000lb receiver, it at least tells me the tires, suspension, engine, transmission, etc are capable of towing more than 5000lbs.

While I am a conservative tower, my 3000LB car is less than 50% of the "theoretical" towing capacity.

It would not bother me at all to tow up to 4000lb and still be within my conservative comfort zone.

Of course, an older E450 (with a 20000lb CGWR), or a E350, or Chevy rig... adjust accordingly.
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
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No question you can tow up to $5,000 but do you want to and to what expense on gas mileage. My philosophy after downsizing from diesel pusher to Class C is to tow the least amount of weight I can with a car that meets my other needs.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:21 PM   #9
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That is why I am towing a 3000LB car. I like that extra margin of safety.

But I'm thinking you would be fine towing a CRV or 2-door Wrangler Sport rag top with an E450, as both are around 3500lb.

Maybe not with a E350 though. Depends on your comfort level.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:09 PM   #10
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We tow a 2014 Ford Focus automatic transmission hatch back behind our Thor 31F Four Winds. The Thor manual says that supplemental brakes should be used with any towed vehicle of 1,000 pounds or more. We use a Blue Ox tow bar and base plate system with an NSA mechanical braking system. I installed a battery cutoff and that helps make the set up quick and easy.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:59 PM   #11
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My understanding when I was shopping is that a C's frame has been modified in a way to make towing heavy loads unsafe. The retailers that told me this did not have Super C's on the lot, so I did not take it as a reason to sell me up. Since I tow over 7,000 lbs, I ended up with the Super C.

For what it's worth, I've owned Jeep Cherokees (the XJ model made from 84 to 2001) since 1999. The 97-01 models are excellent vehicles, and good 4x4's can be purchased for around $3,000-4,000. My daughter is 16, and she got a Cherokee that had been used as a toad all its life as her first car. They weigh just over 3,000 lbs., and most of them are automatic 4 doors.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:25 PM   #12
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For 2015, Thor has increased the Class C towing specification to 8,000lbs. Not sure what they did differently other than perhaps installing a heavier duty hitch.

Not sure I would want to tow 8,000lbs on my coach though. I tend to be a bit conservative when it comes to towing.
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Old 02-10-2015, 02:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z
For 2015, Thor has increased the Class C towing specification to 8,000lbs. Not sure what they did differently other than perhaps installing a heavier duty hitch.

Not sure I would want to tow 8,000lbs on my coach though. I tend to be a bit conservative when it comes to towing.
They only installed a 8,000lb hitch (since 10/1/2014). They did not increase the towing specification. The amount any coach can tow is obtained by taking the GCWR value and subtracting the coaches weight.
In my case that math comes out to: 18,500 - 11,500 (I had it weighed) = 7,000lbs. (Except that my unit only has the 5,000lb hitch on it.)
In addition, you also have to make sure that the tongue weight of whatever you are towing does not make you exceed the GVWR value.

The amount you can tow being the lessor of all the variables (GCWR, Hitch ability, GVWR).
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Old 02-10-2015, 02:13 PM   #14
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Interesting, I might have been fine with a class C, especially considering all the money I'd have in my pocket. I do love the 6.7 diesel though.

My tongue weight is typically 700-800 lbs. It's variable because I don't always hit the same exact mark when loading.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:51 PM   #15
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Manx dune buggy. So light you can't even feel it... no need for brake assist... and a $75 VW tow bar instead of an expensive tow set up
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:04 AM   #16
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They only installed a 8,000lb hitch (since 10/1/2014). They did not increase the towing specification. The amount any coach can tow is obtained by taking the GCWR value and subtracting the coaches weight.
In my case that math comes out to: 18,500 - 11,500 (I had it weighed) = 7,000lbs. (Except that my unit only has the 5,000lb hitch on it.)
In addition, you also have to make sure that the tongue weight of whatever you are towing does not make you exceed the GVWR value.

The amount you can tow being the lessor of all the variables (GCWR, Hitch ability, GVWR).
I see your point. I kind of had my blinders on, and I was thinking of primarily the E450 which is what I have, and the CGWR is 22,500, and the GVWR is 14,500, so it does have a 8,000lb theoretical towing capacity.

However, if you base it on using CGWR - GVWR, the E350 is only 6,000lbs, and the Chevy 4500 is 3,700lbs.

In your calculation, you might be able to subtract the CGWR from your actual weight rather than the GVWR, but the conventional formula I think is subtracting GVWR from the CGWR. I'll admit that I don't know if you can "borrow" from the excess capacity under the GVWR or not.

The published formulas I have seen from the vehicle manufacturers use CGWR - GVWR rather than actual weight. Whether this is a liability issue or some other reason I have no idea. I don't know if there is a difference between towed weight and hauled weight. Perhaps it depends on the particular vehicle.

On the other hand, my Dodge RAM 1500 had a published 8,000lb tow rating but it was factory supplied with a 10,000lb hitch; so I guess the manufacturers rely on the owner to be educated to the point that they do not overload their rig.

Kind of strange though that I could not find where Thor actually publishes towing capacities, they just publish the vehicle's GVWR and CGWR and state the coaches are equipped with a 8,000lb hitch. That is a bit deceptive in my view.

What is even stranger is that Curtis Mfg. (trailer hitch mfg) states that their Class III hitches range from 3,500lb to 8,000lb capacity. That is weird.
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:27 AM   #17
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If you think about the specs themselves: GCWR is the max combined weight allowable for the vehicle thus you should be able to subtract off the weighed weight to come up with what you can tow at this moment.
I think the manufacturers use GVWR because that gives you the most conservative estimate (assuming the vehicle is loaded up).
Its perfectly reasonable for Thor to not publish a towing capacity: They don't make the chassis and don't want to be on the hook for bad math, or users loading it up wrong--they can just point the finger at Ford (something they seem really good at: pointing the finger).
Look in the trailer/5er forums and you'll find endless discussions on this very subject!
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:50 AM   #18
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I towed my 2012 Ford Fiesta 5 speed standard from Ohio to Niagara Falls twice, Florida once, Myrtle Beach twice, Williamsburg once, Chicago and Maryland behind our old 2003 Sunseeker 3100SS class C over the past 4 years without one problem. No extra braking either; going up and down the hills of Tennessee. Did not even know it was back there until you feel the extra bounce when driving over a bridge overpass.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:10 AM   #19
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--they can just point the finger at Ford (something they seem really good at: pointing the finger).
No doubt.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:11 AM   #20
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I towed my 2012 Ford Fiesta 5 speed standard from Ohio to Niagara Falls twice, Florida once, Myrtle Beach twice, Williamsburg once, Chicago and Maryland behind our old 2003 Sunseeker 3100SS class C over the past 4 years without one problem. No extra braking either; going up and down the hills of Tennessee. Did not even know it was back there until you feel the extra bounce when driving over a bridge overpass.
The only thing strange when towing my Grand Am (about 3,000lbs) is when going around curves at highway speeds, I sometimes get the sensation the coach is being pulled to the side from the rear. Hard to tell from the rear view camera whether the car is on the same centerline as the RV around the curve.

Not as bad as when I pulled my last trailerable boat though. It weighed more than my pickup, and I had to be very careful when taking corners, especially with gravel on the road. The boat wanted to push the truck forward as I went around a corner. I always got the sensation I was about to jack-knife the truck.

But the geometery of pulling boats is a lot different than a travel trailer. The boat/trailer weighed about 6,500lb, but like most treailerable boats, it didn't require an equalizer hitch as the tongue weight is a lot less, due to the tail-heavy weight of a V8 engine in the back of the boat. The trailer was a tandem and coupled with a V8 in the back of the boat, the tongue weight was pretty light.

It just made for a squirrelly feeling when towing. Towing the car with my motorhome feels a lot more like that boat than a typical travel trailer.
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