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Old 08-09-2019, 09:30 AM   #1
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Thinking about going to a Class C...

We currently have a 2017 Cherokee Arctic Wolf 265DBH8 fifth wheel that we are pulling with my half ton chevy. I'm not a fan of owning a pickup and the only real reason i have it is because of the 5th wheel.

So, we've been toying with the idea of selling the 5th wheel and truck which would allow me to go back to owning Jeep wranglers. The thought then is to get into a Class C motorhome that is capable of pull a Jeep as we still want to camp but also don't want to be confined to the campground.

As we go on this journey of looking at Class C units, is there an easy way to tell if the motorhome is capable of dollying or flat towing a jeep? I know brand new units typically list a towing capacity, but what about used ones that don't list it. Is there a rough equation i can use based on the unit length and engine size or something?
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:47 AM   #2
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Every motorized RV with a hitch HAS to show the GVCW rating, and the 'dry' chassis GVWR. (generally, a sticker/label either next to the driver area, in a kitchen cabinet/door, on the bottom of the screen door, etc.)
The hitch itself also gives only 'it's' weight rating, but that's not the end of the equation.

Generally, you can use the GVCW and subtract the GVWR for a 'guesstimate' of what weight that is left that the vehicle can then 'tow', but the equation doesn't end there.

The only 'true' way to know what your RV is capable of safely towing, within it's manufactured abilities, is to fully stock your RV with your stuff, food, people, fuel, and water in your holding tank, then take it to a truck stop or CAT scale.
When you know your actual 'weight' for traveling, THEN you can subtract that from the GVCW of your RV to get the true maximum weight that it is built to safely tow.

If the hitch is rated higher than that number, you are fine.
If the hitch is rated LESS than that, the hitch rating is now your 'Maximum' weight you can safely tow.


enjoy!
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:50 AM   #3
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I went from c to A class the c class tires were my problem. They are listed as LT Light Truck tires, when you get loaded and a toad problems begin. Pickup truck tires don't belong on back of that heavy unit.. ... My family and you including my my 2 husky's and sitting on side of road no fun...I know this will open up a can of worms butt that is My opinion sorry if I offend some.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:05 PM   #4
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The class C motorhome’s towing capacity is going to begin with the chassis that it’s built on, typically a Chevy (sorry, don’t know the model), Ford E450 or E350, Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 (or the new 4500), or the Ford Transit 350HD.

For example, if your motorhome of choice is a late model E450, you’ll likely have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (the motorhome itself) for the motorhome of 14,500 pounds, and a Gross Combined Weight Rating (loaded motorhome plus whatever you’re towing) of 22,000 pounds. Your hitch might be rated At 7500 pounds, or less, depending on the manufacturer

So, as explained in post #2, you’d take the loaded weight of the motorhome (which shouldn’t exceed the GVWR) and subtract it from the GCWR. That’s what’s left over to tow, unless you first exceed the hitch rating, in which case your hitch rating is your limit.

The E450 will typically have the highest GCWR, followed closely by the Chevy, then more distantly the Sprinter, and then the Ford Transit. The size of the motorhome is just going to increase your loaded weight, and may or may not reduce your towing capacity, depending on the hitch and chassis.

If a late model E450 with a 22,000 pound GCWR has a 7500 pound hitch, that’s what you’ll be able to tow. All towing limits assume you don’t exceed the hitch tongue weight rating (downward force on the hitch), and have proper brakes on the towed trailer, dolly, or 4-down vehicle.

Lastly, don’t be misled by the marketing brochures that simply give the hitch rating. There’s more to the tow rating than just the hitch rating. Sometimes when only the hitch rating is given, they’re hiding the fact that the tow rating is actually less.

Look for the sticker on the driver door jamb for the vehicle’s weight limits. You won’t likely see a towing limit, but you’ll see the other weight limits.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:12 PM   #5
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We have a 2018 Isata 5 36 DS with the Cummins Diesel and flat tow a 2017 Jeep Wrangle four door. We could not be happier with the performance and just set the cruise control and let it go. Even in the mountains we haven't had a bit of trouble and we hardly know the Jeep is in tow while getting 7-9 MPG regardless if we are towing the jeep or not. Good Luck.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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We have a 2018 Isata 5 36 DS with the Cummins Diesel and flat tow a 2017 Jeep Wrangle four door. We could not be happier with the performance and just set the cruise control and let it go. Even in the mountains we haven't had a bit of trouble and we hardly know the Jeep is in tow while getting 7-9 MPG regardless if we are towing the jeep or not. Good Luck.
Agree can't beat that Cummins Power! We have a 2019 Isata 5 30FW and pull a smart car on a trailer. Can't tell it's back there! Average 10 MPG towing and 11.5 not towing.
We love our Super C and the 4 wheel drive when on BLM land.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:28 PM   #7
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The towing capacity will depend on the model truck it was built on like others have said. You may also want to consider if you want gas or diesel. We went from a 5th wheel to a super c built on the Freightliner frame and couldn't be happier. Setup and teardown is much easer and have much more cc capacity. Good luck with your search.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:50 PM   #8
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On the newer C's, at least with my Forester, the maximum tow rating for the hitch is only 5000 pounds, not 7500. The 7500 rating is only with a WDH and is stated on the hitch sticker.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Most Ford gas powered 450 chassis will pull the Jeep and your average Class C cargo getting you around 9/10 mpg.
Gas engines are easier, simpler, less expensive to maintain than diesel.
I think there are some problems with the Mercedes that I would just avoid if I were buying a smaller Class C.
If you’re going Super C, get the Cummins diesel.
Literature should be available from Ford for any used Class C giving weight ratings.
Winnie and Jayco still build reliable Class C vehicles.
Read lots of forums and reviews before you buy.
FR is not the only mfr of Class Cs.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by GL1800Rider View Post
On the newer C's, at least with my Forester, the maximum tow rating for the hitch is only 5000 pounds, not 7500. The 7500 rating is only with a WDH and is stated on the hitch sticker.
Yes, you’ll need to go by the rating of your particular hitch. On my 2020 Sunseeker (2019 E450 chassis), the hitch is rated at 7500 pounds maximum trailer weight, whether weight distributing or not. Maximum tongue weight is 500 pounds, or 750 pounds if weight distributing.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:03 AM   #11
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Unless things changed a lot since my 1999 wrangler dolly towing in not an option, it is either 4 down or 4 up on a trailer.

I would suggest 4 down and in my opinion I would not worry to much about the class C specs as 4 down only puts half the weight of the tow bar on the camper and the wind drag of the camper is main performance limit. When I had a gas class A I couldn't notice any performance or MPG with or without the toad. You do need brakes on the toad.
If you want to trailer tow I suspect many class C's don't have the capability to do it safely.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:11 PM   #12
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I have another take on the Class C "Toad" question

Doing the math, we figured out that we can rent a vehicle many, many times for what we would have to invest in the equipment and vehicle to tow. This has worked out well for us. Just another idea to consider.
Good luck with whatever you end up doing!
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:46 PM   #13
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Look make it simple if you plan to be a long term camper have a toad, but is you are to be a part time -part time maybe a rent will be your choice. Most campers go out and don't know were there going to be or stay and some go to places way out were there aren't cell services to get cars.
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