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Old 04-09-2014, 09:36 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 04-09-2014, 11:14 PM   #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, 06:19 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, 09:10 AM   #4
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I think the only ones rated are the E450 models
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:24 AM   #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, 05:55 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, 07:30 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, 09:30 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, 10:20 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, 04:23 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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Old 04-11-2014, 05:07 PM   #11
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I'm trying not to think about what the gas mileage is going to be like. At least if it's consistently bad, there won't be any surprises.

I found another thread on here and a post on the FB Facebook page saying the same thing about simply taking advantage of the capacity already built into the Ford chassis.

Now I have to figure out my weights. Looks like the dry weight of the 2700DS is 11260#. I think my trailer with car is right around 7500 so that leaves my wife around 3000# of stuff from the house to take on a trip. You should see this woman pack!

Thanks for the help and information everyone.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #12
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Seems ours ran best at 63 mph. My best advice is never use the cruise, get use to how far you can press the gas without the tranny kicking down, and when your towing help it out by picking up speed before the inclines.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:57 PM   #13
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I have a 2012 3010 DS now with the upgraded hitch with help from Mr. Clemens. It looks very nice and 7500 lbs is a perfect amount to be able to tow. I'm towing about 5400 lbs. The old hitch was probably fine but at least now I have the peace of mind knowing the hitch meets and exceeds my needs.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:30 PM   #14
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Just brought home our new 2014 3010 and the rear hitch is rated per the sticker @ 7500 lbs. so fr started on some 2014 models
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:35 PM   #15
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Mine has the 7500 and I picked mine up in October '13.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #16
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Picked my 3170 up in March 2013 and has a 5000# hitch. :-/
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:58 PM   #17
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I am new to the FR forum as I just got my first MH in December, but from what I can tell most everyone here tows something, either a car or trailer with their class C MH. Do you see any difference in how the MH drives and handles when towing?
I have towed large 5ers and many utility trailers in the past so hauling with a truck is easy, but I am concerned about having a tow vehicle that is much larger than my trailer I am towing.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAWDWCamper View Post
I am new to the FR forum as I just got my first MH in December, but from what I can tell most everyone here tows something, either a car or trailer with their class C MH. Do you see any difference in how the MH drives and handles when towing?

I have towed large 5ers and many utility trailers in the past so hauling with a truck is easy, but I am concerned about having a tow vehicle that is much larger than my trailer I am towing.

It's actually not bad at all. The trailer follows right behind the camper when turning so it's not like a 5th wheel where you need to allow a little extra room. We towed a 16' V-nose enclosed trailer so it was about 22' overall. For whatever reason the RV felt more stabile in windy conditions with the trailer. Really the only thing that's more difficult is backing up. Some smaller trailers are hard to see back there.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:45 PM   #19
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Thank you MotocrossCamper, I was hoping you would give me some feedback. It sounds like your trailer is similar to the one I plan on towing.
Your experience is extremely helpful as I was concerned about the pivot point and turning radius. The backup camera should assist in the event we would need to back up.
We are trailering our golf cart over 1k miles to Disney and I want to make sure I know what I am getting myself into before I am half way there.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:15 PM   #20
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No problem! Some people have ask about needing a anti sway hitch. I never had one nor did I ever feel the need for one. I don't know if it's because the RV is taller and wider then the trailer and the way the air flows around it but even under extreme conditions I never had any sway from my trailer.
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