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Old 04-09-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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Towing capacity and frame design

Hello, First I'd like to comment on the valuable information in this forum. I've been reading for the last few days and learned a ton.

I attended a local RV show last weekend that lead me to the Sunseeker model motor home. I've been looking for a Class C that can tow a 7000-8000# car trailer. Other than a Super C $$$ or getting someone to brace the frame and install a bigger hitch I wasn't aware of other options.

The Sunseeker model was advertised at the show as the only Class C (besides the Forester) that has a full frame instead of frame extensions as is used on the other brands. It also now comes standard with a 7500# hitch.

Can anyone tell me if that is true about the frame? Does Forest River purchase a different Ford E450 chassis for the Sunseeker model than other manufacturers?

Are there any other changes to the chassis that increased towing capacity?

I have my eye on the 2700DS. 202" WB and 28'1" total length keeps the overhang to a minimum.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:14 AM   #2
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Towing capacity and frame design

I can't tell you any exact numbers or the specifics on the frame but I can tell you we towed a 6000 to 8000 pound enclosed trailer behind our 06 E450 Sunseeker for 3 years without a single issue. And that was pretty much every weekend from March to November. Do the new ones come with air bags?
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Yes, the new ones comes with air bags.

What model did/do you own? Did you upgrade the hitch from the standard 5000# rated unit?
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:10 AM   #4
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I think the only ones rated are the E450 models
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:24 PM   #5
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We just took delivery of our 2015 Sunseeker 3050S. We had our dealer set up the tow bar, brake controller & lights for my 2013 Jeep Rubicon. I've towed it about 300 miles so far and let me tell you, if it wasn't for the backup camera, we'd have no idea it's back there.

It tracks very well behind the Coach. My Rubicon weights about 4400lbs. IMO, I think as long as you stay within the manufactures guidelines for towing you'll be fine.

Happy Camping!
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
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Yes, only the E450's are rated for 7500#. Good to hear it tows well. That's encouraging.

I'm still trying to find out what is different on the 2013/14 units that allows Forest River to increase the towing capacity.

Are they just bolting a larger capacity hitch on the same old E450 chassis?

Are they using a full frame chassis now instead of welded on frame extensions?
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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It's my understanding that they only had to beef-up the safety chain loops to increase the rating.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:30 PM   #8
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We did nothing really different. Ford increased the GCWR back in 2010??? GCWR minus GVWR equals 7500lbs. We use a full frame extensions (same height and thickness steel that ford uses) all the way to the back. No departure angle (formed steel, smaller height in the back). This allowed us to use a 7500# hitch instead of a 5,000# hitch. Tested our 5,000 first, made some minor adjustments, retested, passed, sticker it for 7,500lbs.

We don't buy a different E450...we simply utilize the capacity they gave us. Of course it has to be tested, which we did and it passed.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:20 PM   #9
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Thank you. That's what I was looking for.

I hear the horror stories about frames flexing in the Class C's after towing a trailer. I want to make sure I'm investing in something that will handle the load. Sounds like they are well built and I shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:23 PM   #10
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Actually on a 06 the hitch was only rated at 3500 pounds. I towed that way for a year before I upgraded to a 6000 pound hitch.

I can also tell you that the v-10 doesn't really care if you tow or not, gas mileage seemed to stay about the same.
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