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Old 01-03-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
Motorized GM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol, IN
Posts: 13,725
Solera - Towing Clarification

Because we have had several questions about this, (answered in various locations), I thought maybe I'd sum it all up in one area.

Please note, there is no such thing as an "absolute" towing capacity. One can't say "Oh yeah, you can tow 5,000lbs". There are too many factors involved...for example "is it 4 wheels down or a 2 wheel trailer?". So please, plug in your numbers as you see fit to determine if XX brand car can be towed or XX weight of trailer.

Sprinter Chassis
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) (chassis and tow vehicle combined) is 15,250lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) (The most you can load the coach portion) is 11,030lbs

15,250 minus 11,030 = 4220lbs. In theory this is simplest way to determined towing capacity, if the vehicle you are towing is 4 wheels down.

Now there is no such thing as a 4220lbs rated chassis. Our engineer is conservative, so even though we install a Class III hitch (rated at 5000lbs) we put a sticker on over that rated at 3500lbs.

As others have mentioned before...if you don't load up the coach portion, that leaves you more for towing. We could "what if" this to death..but lets look at two examples.

Example #1 (4 wheels down, no hitch weight).
Solera 24S (Unloaded vehicle weight) 9700lbs (UVW)
15,250 (GCWR) minus 9,700 (UVW) minus 350 (driver/passenger) minus 500 lbs (cargo) = 4700 lbs left for towing.

Example #2 (3000# trailer, assuming 10% hitch weight)
24S (UVW) 9700 lbs. + 350 (driver/passenger) + 500 (cargo) + 3000 lbs (trailer) = 13,550 (so we appear to be under the GCWR) The other thing you must now check is GVWR.

24S (UVW) 9700 lbs + 350 (Driver/passenger) + 500 (cargo) + 300 lbs (hitch weight) = 10,850 lbs. This MUST NOT exceed 11,030 which is the GVWR.

And to further complicate things there are axle weight ratings. The only TRUE way is to take it to a scale and have it weighed...most people aren't going to do that so use these general rules.

I made a neat little excel spreadsheet that calculates all that stuff that I was going to post...and just realized xlsx is not an approved file.
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