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Old 06-30-2015, 01:00 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Ohio
Posts: 12
THOR #1607
Towing upgrades suggestions

Hi

We have been trying to camp and have been flooded out AGAIN and its time to hit the road.

We are leaving this weekend from Toledo Ohio area for Lake Kentucky which is about 450 miles

Our 2016 Vegas 25.1 has just over 1000 miles on it and has been great with no issue except a little loose steering at mid speeds only. We are having the wheel allingment done in which that should help out.

Question 1
What other upgrades would you consider to improve ride/handeling

Question 2
We are going to tow a 3500lb boat and this is where I want to make sure I'm prepared.
Not sure if the engine has a tranmission cooler or not and if so I need to get a gage installed to keep a eye on it.
With towing a 22ft boat is there something else I should consider. Air bags in rear?

Was told the engine and RV both are fine but salemen tell you what is needed to get the deal.

Thanks for any input you could provide to help me arrive safe and enjoy the drive

Will post once we hit the road on how it travels with the boat

Patrick and Renee
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:31 AM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
Posts: 1,273
THOR #531
You should not need a transmission cooler. Your RV is built on a stripped Ford E350 chassis, and has a 18,500lb GCWR. When comparing that to the E350's GVWR of 12,500lbs, it should give you a theoretical 6,000lb towing capacity.

Other than the typical e-series suspension suggestions of adding stiffer sway bars and similar gadgets, one thing some motorhome owners that haul larger boats do is to add a front hitch receiver, specifically for putting the boat in the water.

With a longer boat, you might find you have back the RV too far into the launch ramp, and you might find you are getting the tail end of the motorhome wet.

I used to tow a 6,000lb 22ft cuddy cabin with a Dodge RAM 1500, and often the ramps were pretty shallow in my area, so much so that the rear tires usually were in the water. I can't imagine trying to launch that boat with my motorhome.

Putting a hitch receiver on the front usually solves that problem. It is usually not needed with smaller boats though.

The problem you may have though is finding a front trailer hitch. You can find them for a standard E series Class C motorhome, but a Class A, I am not sure if those are available.

You could probably have one custom made, or perhaps a commercial one for the van front end modified, but since that is a lot of trouble, you might want to try it first conventionally.

Some E series owners can feel the rear swaying when towing. I feel this with my coach when towing my 3,100lb vehicle. But it might be due to the 4 wheel orientation of the vehicle wherein the front wheels are steerable. Not sure if a 4 wheel boat trailer would have the same effect or not.

This is a commonly reported issue and a rear track bar (such as a Tiger Trak) seems to be the solution.

I am considering putting one on my rig as I can feel the sway at highway speeds. It is not a tilting sway (my sway bar upgrade fixed that), but rather a left-to-right sway. If I am not careful, I can get the car/motorhome to oscillate so that it wags between the centerline and edge of the road. Kind of like the tail wagging the dog.

But I think this is due to the steerable front wheels in my tow vehicle. I am thinking that a boat trailer might not do that, so I would not consider a trak bar in your situation until I was sure it was needed.
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Old 06-30-2015, 03:05 AM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Ohio
Posts: 12
THOR #1607
Thanks for the great info
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Old 06-30-2015, 03:19 AM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 9,243
THOR #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z
Other than the typical e-series suspension suggestions of adding stiffer sway bars and similar gadgets, one thing some motorhome owners that haul larger boats do is to add a front hitch receiver, specifically for putting the boat in the water.

With a longer boat, you might find you have back the RV too far into the launch ramp, and you might find you are getting the tail end of the motorhome wet.

I used to tow a 6,000lb 22ft cuddy cabin with a Dodge RAM 1500, and often the ramps were pretty shallow in my area, so much so that the rear tires usually were in the water. I can't imagine trying to launch that boat with my motorhome.

Putting a hitch receiver on the front usually solves that problem. It is usually not needed with smaller boats though.
A few thoughts:
  • The Axis/Vegas lines have a much shorter overhang in the rear than the traditional Class C units thus it may be a little easier to launch a boat (a little probably not much but its worth mentioning)
  • The windshield washer pump/tank is about right where a hitch would go and thus will have to be moved to add a hitch
  • Thinking on that there is very little ground clearance in the front of these units--the hitch will have to protrude through the front bumper (and not under it)
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:16 AM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.2
State: Idaho
Posts: 532
THOR #1944
We drag a little over 4100lb jeep and the first trip out was quite a wild ride at times. After that outing the Axis got an alignment with some increase in caster and a track bar. Now it's a pleasure to drive. For sure I still think some characteristics could be improved, though it'll take many more miles and condition types before I'll pinpoint what my next move might be or if I do anything. In the late 90's a custom tuned suspension with a bit of net lift on a previous E350 class C resulted in an amazing handling transformation! Can't help but think about doing the same for the Axis someday.
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