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Old 01-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #1
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Class C Towing capacity wars

Previously I shied away from the van based Class C's because they ALL had 5,000lb towing capacity and given the vehicle that I would be towing, I wanted more capacity in order to tow safely.

Now I see manufacturers Claiming 7,000 and 8,000lb towing capabilities on the E450 based Class C's. This made me sit up straight in my chair as I could get a smaller less expensive Class C and safely tow my family hauler(need seating for 6). However I too work for a manufacturer and well lets hust say the marketing departments sometimes get ahead of themselves and the sales guys view that as gospel and shout it from the rooftops.

Because the hitch may be rated at a cetain rate does not mean it is always a great idea to tow that weight.

As I am new to this, and there are several experts here, How can we determine the safer towing capacity? Myself I want to know numbers for the Forester 3171DSf.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...2014_LoRes.pdf

This says See manufacturer, but the page before it claims up to 7500lb.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:03 PM   #2
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X2 but for Sunseeker3170DS. I just bought an old Suzuki Samurai to tow 4down. Weighs about 2000 ins, but I remember someone posting about rear axel weight being a problem with this model. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:04 PM   #3
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2000 lbs!
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:37 PM   #4
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We normally tow our Focus (3,990 GAWR), but have towed our Jeep (6,800 GAWR) without any issues. Obviously prefer the lighter -- especially in the mountains.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:06 AM   #5
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From what I've read, the weak point was always tongue weight and not towing capacity due to the long overhang from the rear axle to the point on the frame where the hitch is mounted. Therefor, since you could only hang 500 lbs off the hitch, they kept the towing weight at 5k. Those two numbers usually go together on a class three hitch. So, since they are upping the tongue weight capacity, there must be some frame reenforcing going on to accommodate it. All this really doesn't apply to your scenario though. You are towing 4 down without much tongue weight. So, if the manufacturer says it's capable, I certainly wouldn't sweat it. Most people question ratings and want to push them and go higher. Your post is quite unique as you question them and want to go lower. LOL. I'd go for it and
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #6
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I wish four down was an option, but alas the Ford Transit Connect requires at least a dolly for non-emergency towing.

I am wondering what the real capacities are and how to back into those numbers.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlb View Post
I wish four down was an option, but alas the Ford Transit Connect requires at least a dolly for non-emergency towing.

I am wondering what the real capacities are and how to back into those numbers.
Ah, I misunderstood. I can't imagine a dolly having much tongue weight either though....
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:39 AM   #8
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Correct me if I am wrong, but the 7500# 750 tongue weight on the 2015 Forester/Sunseeker is with a WDH from what I read on the hitch.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlb View Post
Previously I shied away from the van based Class C's because they ALL had 5,000lb towing capacity and given the vehicle that I would be towing, I wanted more capacity in order to tow safely.

Now I see manufacturers Claiming 7,000 and 8,000lb towing capabilities on the E450 based Class C's. This made me sit up straight in my chair as I could get a smaller less expensive Class C and safely tow my family hauler(need seating for 6). However I too work for a manufacturer and well lets hust say the marketing departments sometimes get ahead of themselves and the sales guys view that as gospel and shout it from the rooftops.

Because the hitch may be rated at a cetain rate does not mean it is always a great idea to tow that weight.

As I am new to this, and there are several experts here, How can we determine the safer towing capacity? Myself I want to know numbers for the Forester 3171DSf.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...2014_LoRes.pdf

This says See manufacturer, but the page before it claims up to 7500lb.
Unlike most of the other manufactures, Forest River does not make their towing capacities readily available. The are also one of the few if not the only one that also uses the 6.0 Liter Chevy chassis, on larger Class C's,. The Chevy engine and transmission is really not much good for towing. If they were to provide those numbers side-by-side with the Ford, they would never be able to sell the less expensive Chevy.
In taking a look at the Itasca Cambria 30J (32.5 ft.) and sister Winnebago Aspect 30j, who uses the Ford 450 with Triton V10, they show 5,000 towing capacity.
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