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Old 03-14-2017, 01:43 PM   #1
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Thinking about buying a Berkshire. Wondering how the service is with this company. Also there are several motor options. Which one is better.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:43 PM   #2
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If you will find that pretty much all the Berkshire owners are happy with their rig. Get the biggest motor available for the carrying capacity. Probably the 380 on new ones unless you're looking at the XLT model. The 360 horsepower and up also has the Allison 3000 transmission which is stronger.
We have a direct line to the factory which is very responsive to pretty much anything that we need.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:06 PM   #3
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Bigger motor is also more towing capacity.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:44 PM   #4
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Don't they all have the same towing capacity?
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:55 PM   #5
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No. My 38A with the Cummins 340/Allison 2500 has a 5000 pound towing capacity. I think anything with a 360/3000 has at least 10,000
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:17 PM   #6
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Ok so I want a big motor and a big transmission. I want to tow a car hauler.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:22 PM   #7
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Ok so I want a big motor and a big transmission. I want to tow a car hauler.
What does it weigh? If it's over 5K you want at least a 360 with a 3000.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:41 PM   #8
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Never weighted it. It holds two cars and a motorcycle I keep a refrigerator in it also and some tools and odds and ends. I tow it now with a gas Bounder.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:43 PM   #9
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With pretty much any dealer you are looking at a relationship: good, bad, or so-so. Our experience with forest river itself has been absolutely excellent. We are one of those couples who spent a year studying and comparing motorhomes absolutely to death. I'm talking Intense! When it came down to it, the floor plan, motor, and value for the dollar ended with Berkshire XL with the 380 hp. We pull a Jeep Wrangler all over the mountains of Montana and just got home from a 3400 mile trip up and down I 15 to Laughlin with all kinda weather and roads. All the power we could need the whole way. We love the Berkshire, it works for us very well, and didn't break the bank. One thing we've learned is to suit yourselves and what the next mh next to you is or isn't doesn't matter much, not really. You won't be sorry, if we're any indication.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:15 PM   #10
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Think you need to weigh your trailer loaded with the stuff you normally take. Sounds like more than 10,000 lbs so you might want to look at the Berkshire XLT with tag.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:37 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:38 PM   #12
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Towing capacity is a big misnomer. 5k or 10k, is the capacity of the hitch. Even if your toad is within the hitch capacity, GCWR (Gross Carrying Weight Capacity) rating is what needs to be considered. This is the fully loaded coach plus the toad weight. Transmissions like the Allison 2500 MH limit the GCWR to 33,000 lbs. Even with the Allision 3000MH which is a bear, what you can tow is GCWR rating minus the fully loaded coach weight.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:53 PM   #13
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Towing capacity is a big misnomer. 5k or 10k, is the capacity of the hitch. Even if your toad is within the hitch capacity, GCWR (Gross Carrying Weight Capacity) rating is what needs to be considered. This is the fully loaded coach plus the toad weight. Transmissions like the Allison 2500 MH limit the GCWR to 33,000 lbs. Even with the Allision 3000MH which is a bear, what you can tow is GCWR rating minus the fully loaded coach weight.
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You're close, but not quite there. There is indeed a maximum rating for the hitch, but that's not the issue here, as the manufacturer selects a hitch that will meet or exceed the towing capacity.

Because there sure as heck is a towing capacity for the vehicle. Not a misnomer by any stretch. As you mostly correctly pointed out it is the difference between GCVWR (which means GROSS COMBINED VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING), ie bus plus trailer, and the GVWR (GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING) just the bus. These numbers are the MAX aloowable. In my case, with the 340/2500 it's 5000#. In most Berks with the 360/3000 it is 10,000 Not sure if it goes up with the 380.

And as I pointed out before, the hitch weight comes out of the CCC. (Cargo Carrying Capcity) ie GVWR minus Empty Weight.

As NO3Put said though, a trailer, two cars, a fridge, tools and a bike is well over 10,000 pounds. Sounds like OP was WELL over the limit.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by I-RV View Post
Towing capacity is a big misnomer. 5k or 10k, is the capacity of the hitch. Even if your toad is within the hitch capacity, GCWR (Gross Carrying Weight Capacity) rating is what needs to be considered. This is the fully loaded coach plus the toad weight. Transmissions like the Allison 2500 MH limit the GCWR to 33,000 lbs. Even with the Allision 3000MH which is a bear, what you can tow is GCWR rating minus the fully loaded coach weight.
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I'm with you man. I know we have owners that a 5000 pound Car Plus what they have loaded in their motorhome would put them over 33,000 pounds with their 2500 Allison.
But of course those are about the 2011 models.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:20 PM   #15
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What's wrong with the 2011 models? Something I should avoid? I heard the 2011's were really good. I looked at a really nice one but couldn't close the deal.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by I-RV View Post
Towing capacity is a big misnomer. 5k or 10k, is the capacity of the hitch. Even if your toad is within the hitch capacity, GCWR (Gross Carrying Weight Capacity) rating is what needs to be considered. This is the fully loaded coach plus the toad weight. Transmissions like the Allison 2500 MH limit the GCWR to 33,000 lbs. Even with the Allision 3000MH which is a bear, what you can tow is GCWR rating minus the fully loaded coach weight.

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Thanks that makes sense.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:10 PM   #17
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What's wrong with the 2011 models? Something I should avoid? I heard the 2011's were really good. I looked at a really nice one but couldn't close the deal.
There were some models around the 2011 year that were near maximum capacity even before being loaded. Upon request Forest River has done upgrades to the front suspension and all tires. If you are looking at used then you should see about the dealer or previous owner having it weighed and find out if the suspension has been upgraded.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:28 AM   #18
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+1 for FR customer service! They are great! We bought a new 2017 XLT 43B and have had great support from FR for a couple of issues we've had. Also, it has a 15k lb rated hitch and a 450hp motor.

We came from an Itasca with a 360hp V10 gasser, and man what a difference!! We can now pull hills with our tow car while maintaining the speed limit (or close to it), whereas we'd be going a lot slower before. And we are getting better mileage while doing so! Yes, diesel fuel is more expensive than gas, so it balances out...would much rather have all the torque and HP, and a longer lasting motor (that isn't revving at 4-5k RPM at the sight of a hill) for the same fuel cost overall. Plus, we can now use the diesel fuel lanes at truck stops!

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Old 03-15-2017, 07:58 AM   #19
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I have an Allison 2500MH with 33,000 lbs towing capacity, which is also my GCWR. My GAWR front was upgraded to 12,000 lbs and my GAWR Rear is 17,500 lb. I am always fully loaded and therefore my GVWR is 29,500 lbs.

This means I can tow 3,500lbs. So if I went with the so-called Towing Capacity of 5,000 lbs; I'd be over.

Sorry to get the weight police activated, but I feel there is a lot of misunderstanding concerning towing capacity.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:32 AM   #20
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I have an Allison 2500MH with 33,000 lbs towing capacity, which is also my GCWR. My GAWR front was upgraded to 12,000 lbs and my GAWR Rear is 17,500 lb. I am always fully loaded and therefore my GVWR is 29,500 lbs.

This means I can tow 3,500lbs. So if I went with the so-called Towing Capacity of 5,000 lbs; I'd be over.

Sorry to get the weight police activated, but I feel there is a lot of misunderstanding concerning towing capacity.
Hank
X2- if you are towing that big trailer with a Bounder gasser, I would certainly imagine you are well overweight. Gassers really don't have a lot of tow capacity.

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Think you need to weigh your trailer loaded with the stuff you normally take. Sounds like more than 10,000 lbs so you might want to look at the Berkshire XLT with tag.
Yep! Our hitch is rated for 15K Loaded to the gills, towing the Jeep we are still several thousand pounds under our max weight.
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