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Old 01-27-2020, 01:53 AM   #1
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THOR #17915
Please advise - determining max tow capacity

Hi,All,
I have a 2017 Thor WindSport J34, The GVWR is 22,000 lbs, I could not find the GCWR for 2017, but for 2020, it is 26,000.00 (link as following)

https://www.thormotorcoach.com/hurricane/specs/

I assume it is the same as 2017 (please let me know if anyone believe it is different for 2017 model).

The dry weight of the motorhome is 16,800. so my calculation is as following:
Max towing capacity = 26,000 - 16,800 (Motorhome Weight) - 2,000 (cargo, passengers) - 420 (water) - 88 (propane tank) - 480 (gas) = 6,212 (lbs)

I would like to flat tow my 2019 Escalade , curb weight 5,856

The motorhome hitch is rated 8,000lbs.

the difference between Max towing capacity 6,212 - Escalade weight 5,825 = 400 lbs.

I understand this is not ideal, I definitely would prefer more than 400 lbs difference between my Max towing capacity and towed vehicle. However it is what it is, I figure I probably will not able to drive 70 miles/hour or even 55 mile uphills.

Other than that, does any experts here see any major problems here? (I would like to drive around north American with this)

Please advise.

Thanks in advance.
John
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:16 PM   #2
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Foremost,
Does your escalade have 4wd low?
Or is it awd or 2wd?

Other Than that,

Look up:
'How towing limit is established by manufacturers.'
Unless you're going up a very specific hill at 115 Fahrenheit, there's no reason to chase those numbers.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnxhc@gmail.com View Post
Hi,All,
I have a 2017 Thor WindSport J34, The GVWR is 22,000 lbs, I could not find the GCWR for 2017, but for 2020, it is 26,000.00 (link as following)

https://www.thormotorcoach.com/hurricane/specs/

I assume it is the same as 2017 (please let me know if anyone believe it is different for 2017 model).

The dry weight of the motorhome is 16,800. so my calculation is as following:
Max towing capacity = 26,000 - 16,800 (Motorhome Weight) - 2,000 (cargo, passengers) - 420 (water) - 88 (propane tank) - 480 (gas) = 6,212 (lbs)

I would like to flat tow my 2019 Escalade , curb weight 5,856

The motorhome hitch is rated 8,000lbs.

the difference between Max towing capacity 6,212 - Escalade weight 5,825 = 400 lbs.

I understand this is not ideal, I definitely would prefer more than 400 lbs difference between my Max towing capacity and towed vehicle. However it is what it is, I figure I probably will not able to drive 70 miles/hour or even 55 mile uphills.

Other than that, does any experts here see any major problems here? (I would like to drive around north American with this)

Please advise.

Thanks in advance.
John
Your numbers look correct to me but with that slim of a margin you need to weigh both your MH and toad all loaded for camping to see where you really are.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Your numbers look correct to me but with that slim of a margin you need to weigh both your MH and toad all loaded for camping to see where you really are.
What happens, physically, if he's over a pound or 100 pounds or 1,000 pounds?
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
What happens, physically, if he's over a pound or 100 pounds or 1,000 pounds?
The same thing that happens if he's under the MAX numbers and the hitch gives way as they have been known to do:

http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f4/...off-13639.html
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
The same thing that happens if he's under the MAX numbers and the hitch gives way as they have been known to do:

http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f4/...off-13639.html
So nothing out of the ordinary happens.

This max weight thing is similar to chasing tire pressure to the ounce and propane off at a gas pump and opening a door so your slide doesn't create a vacuum and having your rv towed to town because you suddenly went over the 3,000 oil change miles?
Let's not forget 360v rv plugs.

I'm just trying to give newbs a break. There's enough to worry about without taking the backseat out of a tow'd to make it under towing capacity.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
So nothing out of the ordinary happens.

This max weight thing is similar to chasing tire pressure to the ounce and propane off at a gas pump and opening a door so your slide doesn't create a vacuum and having your rv towed to town because you suddenly went over the 3,000 oil change miles?
Let's not forget 360v rv plugs.

I'm just trying to give newbs a break. There's enough to worry about without taking the backseat out of a tow'd to make it under towing capacity.
Not even close.

Telling an inexperienced tower that his under rated, under powered tow vehicle will pull that trailer "just fine" is not giving him a "break". That's what RV salesman do to close the sale. In fact, it sets the novice up for failure even if nothing breaks because the driving experience will be terrible. And then, when he figures out the truth that he needs a bigger tow vehicle even though he just purchased this brand new truck, he will be out even more money due to the depreciation on the too small vehicle.

It's much better to purchase a fully capable tow vehicle in the first place.


Now if an experienced trailer hauler needed to tow a trailer with a marginal or undersized truck that would be a different situation. I'ved used a half ton truck to transport a 32', 10.5' wide, twin inboard Chris Craft on a triple axle trailer back and forth to a boat ramp on occasion but I knew I was overloaded and I knew what to expect. When I needed to transport that same boat/trailer to it's new home 300 miles away I borrowed my FIL's 3/4 ton diesel.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:55 PM   #8
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Welcome to the site.

You may want to take both vehicles to a Cat Scale. Then you'd have both weights to make your math more accurate.

Weigh your Windsport as you would load it going down the road (passengers, cargo, fluids, etc.).
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:08 PM   #9
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Ace,

Is 1000lbs on a 26,000lb load going to make any difference worth considering?
1000lbs is less than 5percent of the total.
Will 2,000lbs, far less than 10percent?

I'm just trying to get a guideline here other than the hill outside of bullhead AZ at 115.
All that's missing from the towing capacity a manufacturer spits out is the California Cancer Warning.
Towing capacity, like speed limits, are made so the world's worst operator can operate. It's not set for norms, it's set for the abnormally untalented.

Look it up, tell me the reality of that factory test and those numbers.

I'm with staying within parameters, some need set. The ones set aren't religion, they aren't real life.
They're a guideline, not a breaking point.

That's all I'm saying. Use common sense, use the guidelines as a point of concern, not a barb wire fence.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Ace,
The op has the only tow vehicle he'll be using.
Is 1000lbs on a 26,000 load going to make any difference worth considering?
1000lbs is less than 5percent of the total.
Will 2,000lbs, far less than 10percent?

I'm just tryi g to get a guideline here other than the hill outside of bullhead AZ at 115
My entire post #7 was in response to "give a newb a break" and mostly did not apply to the OP's situation. I agree a 22000 lb tow vehicle towing a vehicle at or slightly above the GCWR isn't really going to make a difference but I would certainly look at that hitch in any case as there have been multiple reports of hitch failure even towing under the limits.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
My entire post #7 was in response to "give a newb a break" and mostly did not apply to the OP's situation. I agree a 22000 lb tow vehicle towing a vehicle at or slightly above the GCWR isn't really going to make a difference but I would certainly look at that hitch in any case as there have been multiple reports of hitch failure even towing under the limits.
Absolutely.
A hitch is held onto the exact rear of a somewhat flexible frame and I don't know if I've ever seen one with more than two bolts per side.
Bouncy, flexible, 400lb tongue weight magnified by the fulcrum of a 20ft trailer hitting a 4inch drop off construction zone dickup at 75mph.
I'm surprised hitches are allowed at all.

They require diligent looking at, often.

I guess I just didn't want this to turn into the 360v thread, so I thought I'd open up some reality vs 'what my dad said'.

I'm all for safety.
I believe safety is 'job 2' not job 1.
Job one is getting the job done.
Safety needs addressed, it doesn't need bowed to as the greatest end all of all. Too many ways to do a job safely, too many ways to do the job. Meld them into a compromise.

Typing this is job 1. Putting on my grounding clamp around my finger is job 2.

Edit:
I was in the shop so I thought I'd do a comparison.
The muddy hitch is the one held onto my 26hp gator side x side utility utv/tractor
The other is my 24.1 axis. While it looks like 6 bolts, it's actually 4 to a frame adapter, holding it all to an angle iron adapter that also Mounts the bumper. There's a spot for another bolt on each side, but the holes are empty.

It's comforting to know my sad ass little tractor utv has the same amount and size bolts and nuts as my 8,000 Ford hitch.

Check your hitch bolts.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of your help! Your guys are wonderful!

Here is what I found out from Thor Customer service about my couch by giving them my vin number.

GCWR: 26,000
GRWR 22,000
Vehicle Dry Weight: 16,646.

My flat towed vehicle is 4x4

I will probably only load 1/4 of my fresh tank( I am camping at fully hookup camp site 100%) , that will reduce the load by 300 lbs.

The Weight of the whole family(assuming everyone in the family goes): 860 lbs

Since I am not a full time I do not believe I would carry more than 500 lbs of luggage with me (if I do, I will make reduce it to 500)

Also the curb weight of my towed vehicle DOES include the weight of the driver (165 lbs) since no one will be at towed vehicle when it is flat towed , the weight of my towed vehicle is only going to be 5,856 - 165 = 5,691

So What I can tow is as following:
26,000 - 16,646 (Motorhome Weight) - 860 lbs (passenger) - 500 (cargo) - 100 lbs (1/4 of fresh tank water) - 88 (propane ) - 480 (gas) = 7,334

7,334- 5,691(towed vehicle weight ) =1,643

So looks like I still have 1,643 lbs buffer to play with. Even I fill the whole fresh water tank, I still have 1,343 lbs buffer.

That makes me very comfortable.

Thanks again to all of you
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:44 PM   #13
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Also the Motorhome hitch is rated 8,000 lbs
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:32 PM   #14
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I think you have put a fair amount of thought into your situation. That is a good thing as a lot of folks are running down the street overloaded and don’t even know it.
I would suggest 2 things.
1st as Jamie suggested hit a truck stop and weigh your set up. Weigh it with full tanks and all your gear and family. I did that and found out we were over by about 2% on our gross vehicle weight (about 300 lbs + or -) and we were under combined weight by 2500. This told me if I was worried about the 300 lbs in the coach I could transfer some weight to the toad such as firewood, cases of beverages etc. I could also drain 1/2 the fresh water and pick up 200 lbs.(Personally if I’m within 500 lbs of gvw I call it good)
2nd and this one IS important take a look underneath at how the hitch is bolted to the frame. Make sure all the bolts are installed and tightened. You would think this shouldn’t be an issue but I have read on forums of guys finding loose or missing bolts. Also I have not gone to this extreme but one poster pulled all the factory bolts and nuts and replaced with grade 8’s. He claimed the factory bolts were not case hardened.You would think factory hitch bolts would be hardened but these RV mfgrs saving a couple bucks and using 5s wouldn’t surprise me.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:44 PM   #15
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Just throwing out a question for the O.P. Does the 4WD Caddy have a 2 speed transfer case that can be put into neutral? Some 4WD vehicles do not and cannot be towed. More importantly does Cadillac say your particular model can be towed 4 down? What GM says about your model is your determining factor.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:13 AM   #16
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I agree check the owners manual. Which looks weird to tell you the truth. My Colorado with 4WD and a two speed transfer case with neutral can be either flat or dolly towed. But for the Escalde it says only flat towing for the 4WD??? Weird.
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Old 01-28-2020, 03:26 AM   #17
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Yes, I will definately weight the couch once I load it up.

I just checked the screws, it seems to be fine and tight.

GM stated the all 2019 4x4 Escalade can be flat towed, no sure what kind of transfer case I have, there is a knob with the following setting:
2 up
auto
4 up
4 down
N

It matches the vehicle manual on the recreation vehicle tow.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnxhc@gmail.com View Post
Yes, I will definately weight the couch once I load it up.

I just checked the screws, it seems to be fine and tight.

GM stated the all 2019 4x4 Escalade can be flat towed, no sure what kind of transfer case I have, there is a knob with the following setting:
2 up
auto
4 up
4 down
N

It matches the vehicle manual on the recreation vehicle tow.
Looks like a two speed transfer case but the legacy terminology is high and low, not up and down.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:45 PM   #19
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Welcome to the forum, and kudos to you; for putting some serious thought to this!
Do you have an option for obtaining a Toad that is smaller, and weighs less?
(One less thing to worry about...)
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:37 PM   #20
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Unfortunately no, got 4 kids , wife, (some times mom-in-law). Two high school kids may not going with us most of time, but in the summer they could, so I need a 7 passenger car, Navigator, Escalade & Lincoln MKT are my only options. MKT is also over 5k lbs but is much smaller, no that much weight difference between Navigator & Escalade ...
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