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Old 09-18-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
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Towing

I'm a newbie, so please excuse what may seem to be a basic question. I have a Georgetown 320ds. The spec. Sheet shows it has 4830 pounds of cargo carrying capacity. If I flat tow a car behind, must I subtract the full weight of the towed vehicle from the cargo carrying capacity?
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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There's cargo capacity. That pushes down on the suspension (up/down).
There's towing capacity. That puts a strain on the drive train (longitudinally front/rear).
You have a cargo capacity AND a towing capacity.
My towing capacity is 5000 lbs. Part of that puts a vertical load on the suspension (let's call it tongue weight since it is the weight of the trailer's tongue). The tongue weight shall be considered as part of your cargo. So whatever that tongue weight is needs to be subtracted from your 4830. If the tongue weighs 300 lbs, you can only put 4530 lbs of "other stuff" in your rig.
While making sure you don't exceed the cargo capacity (4830) by loading up the RV with water, gas, people, food, clothing, AND tongue weight, the total weight of the car plus the trailer must not be more than the max towing capacity of the RV.
In summary, you have TWO (2) numbers to keep an eye on (cargo cap. & towing cap.).
Hope that is understandable and helpful.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovair
There's cargo capacity. That pushes down on the suspension (up/down).
There's towing capacity. That puts a strain on the drive train (longitudinally front/rear).
You have a cargo capacity AND a towing capacity.
My towing capacity is 5000 lbs. Part of that puts a vertical load on the suspension (let's call it tongue weight since it is the weight of the trailer's tongue). The tongue weight shall be considered as part of your cargo. So whatever that tongue weight is needs to be subtracted from your 4830. If the tongue weighs 300 lbs, you can only put 4530 lbs of "other stuff" in your rig.
While making sure you don't exceed the cargo capacity (4830) by loading up the RV with water, gas, people, food, clothing, AND tongue weight, the total weight of the car plus the trailer must not be more than the max towing capacity of the RV.
In summary, you have TWO (2) numbers to keep an eye on (cargo cap. & towing cap.).
Hope that is understandable and helpful.
Thank you Ovair. That helps a lot but I can't find a towing weight capacity. I have a gcwr of 26000# and a gvwr of 20500# and a cargo capacity of 4830#. Is the difference between the gcwr and the gvwr the towing capacity? If so is that difference, 5500#, the maximum combined weight of the cargo and tongue weight plus the towed vehicle? The reason I'm concerned is that towing a 3000# vehicle doesn't leave much room for fuel, water, passengers and all the stuff in the motorhome if that is the case.
I appreciate for help.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #4
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Let me butt in if I may...Subtracting GVWR (20500) from GCWR (26000) is indeed your tow rating according to your Chassis manufacturer (Ford), but your hitch may have a lower tow rating (5000# perhaps..still ample for towing a 3000# vehicle). Also, cargo cap. and tow rating are two separate numbers. If your GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is 20500# and your cargo cap. is 4830# then the base weight of your RV is around 15670#.
4830# is a pretty high cargo rating. You'll probably run out of places to put things before you exceed that.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by raoulwv
Let me butt in if I may...Subtracting GVWR (20500) from GCWR (26000) is indeed your tow rating according to your Chassis manufacturer (Ford), but your hitch may have a lower tow rating (5000# perhaps..still ample for towing a 3000# vehicle). Also, cargo cap. and tow rating are two separate numbers. If your GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is 20500# and your cargo cap. is 4830# then the base weight of your RV is around 15670#.
4830# is a pretty high cargo rating. You'll probably run out of places to put things before you exceed that.
Thank you raoulwv. Very helpful information. I guess that means I can tow a vehicle if I choose. Still not 100% sure I want to do that. For the few times I need a car when I'm on a trip, it might be easier to rent one.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:19 PM   #6
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If you won't need a car often, renting is an good option. If you are thinking of "flat towing" a car, the equipment you would need (tow bar, tow bracket for car, auxiliary lighting and braking) can cost 2k or more, and you would need a car that is flat towable, which you may not already have.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:02 PM   #7
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If you won't need a car often, renting is an good option. If you are thinking of "flat towing" a car, the equipment you would need (tow bar, tow bracket for car, auxiliary lighting and braking) can cost 2k or more, and you would need a car that is flat towable, which you may not already have.
Good advice. I probably would not like the car needed for flat towing as well as what I drive now and I could rent cars for quite a few days for 2k. You've convinced me.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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I wasn't trying to convince you one way or the other. I personally tow because I prefer having my own car to use.
Your vehicle may already be flat towable. If you would like to find out, go to MotorHome Magazine-Motor Home Reviews, Dinghy Towing, RV Travel & News and click on the dinghy towing link (a towed vehicle is called a dinghy in case you didn't know). You will be able to download a towing guide from there.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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We finding towing our car the best way. Yes there is the upfront cost for the tow bar etc. However it's so nice to have our car with when we want to travel around the area or just run to the store to get a Sunday paper. Don't know how people get around who don't have a car, just can't see breaking up camp everytime you want to go someplace.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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We have gone both routes. We towed a Mini Cooper Convertible and we have been renting the last two years. Each one has its pluses and minuses. Having your own vehicle is nice when you get to your own destination. Setting up the tow vehicle and taking it down can be a time consuming issue. We did not have to get either auxillary lighting or brakes on the Mini due to its size and the dealer hooked up the wiring directly to the car's electrical system. On renting we have usually used Enterprise and found that deals are out there if you are willing to search. First I would look at my own vehicle to see if it can be towed. If not, then you may be a renter for a while. If it can then see about weights and equipment that will be necessary for the toad.

I hope this helps.
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