Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Towing
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Larrysr1957

Panama City

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Posted: 09/08/19 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My question is has anyone pulled a full size pickup with a 35 ft gas motor home I have a 1997 Fleetwood Bounder 34V with a Ford 460 engine and my tow limit is 3500 lbs my truck is 4900 lbs.

rk911

Wheaton IL

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Posted: 09/08/19 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

is this a one-time thing or will you be doing this on a regular basis? either way someone will likely be along to tell you towing 1400-lbs overweight is ok. i'm not that guy. can you pull the truck? sure. but can you stop as quickly as you could if you were towing nothing or a 3500-lb truck? nope. the brakes on your MH are engineered to stop the GVWR of your MH. even with an aux braking system your braking distance will be dramatically lengthened. you're going to stress the suspension, hitch, possibly the tow bar itself if it's not rated for the weight of your truck. weight ratings exist for a reason. you can probably get away with it once, maybe more, but IMO it's like playing with matches.

all that being said i do have a good friend who towed a park model from northern illinois to northern wisconsin with a 6-cyl pickup. this was 30-odd years ago so i don't recall the specifics but i recall him telling me that it was quite the experience and he was glad it was a one-time thing. we were all young and dumb at one time. most of us survived. my unsolicited advice is the same i gave my good friend...please think twice about doing this.

good luck.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 09/08/19 09:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What others do or did shouldn’t guide your actions. Thirteen hundred pounds over is too much. That’s not “close.”


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happy2rv

Huntsville, AL, USA

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Posted: 09/08/19 09:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've seen full sized pickups towed behind motorhomes of varying lengths, so yes it can be done. I'm not sure exactly what you are asking. If you're asking can your motorhome tow your full size pickup, I think you've already answered your own question. According to your posts, you will be grossly over weight and therefore not legal. Could you "get away with it"? Possibly. I just watched a YouTube video of an electric F150 towing a "1 million" pound train. It didn't try to stop it and it was on rails, it also didn't try to tow it up a hill. I'm not the "weight" police so often referred to, but I would say use common sense (is there such a thing anymore?).

There are motorhomes that are properly equipped to tow that much weight. I don't believe most 90's model RVs, especially gas chassis models, are though. There was a major shift in RV chassis design in the early 2000's to address significantly under rated chassis of previous models. The workhorse chassis had significantly higher weight capacity than the P-series GM based models. I didn't keep up with the Ford chassis, but I'm pretty sure almost all of the 90's models weren't up to the task of hauling the coaches built on them. Maybe others have a different experience or more insight into Ford chassis. Again, my experience lies with the GM based chassis. My BIL had a 90's P-Series chassis Bounder. When we bought the 2004 Bounder on the Workhorse chassis, he drove it and the first time he stopped he nearly threw us all through the windshield. His comment was "wow yours has brakes".

* This post was edited 09/08/19 09:42pm by happy2rv *


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dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 09/09/19 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your probably limited by the hitch at 5k lbs. if you weigh the MH you can then figure out what you can safely tow. Since you will probably be flat towing there is virtually no tongue weight. Start with weighing it ready for a trip. If your OK for that weight then look for a hitch rated for 7k lbs.

I ain't saying it's right but came across this coming back from Colorado on I80.

[image]

* This post was edited 09/09/19 05:48am by dodge guy *


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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 09/09/19 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you asking if it's ok to tow a vehicle when you are knowingly 1400 lbs over? No, it isn't.

gswcgi

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Posted: 09/09/19 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you get into an accident while towing that much over your weighted limit your insurance company will probably tell you to get lost !!


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RLS7201

Beautyful Downtown Gladstone, MO

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Posted: 09/09/19 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ford rated your 17,000lb F53 chassis to tow 8,000lbs. Fleetwood derated your chassis when they installed frame extensions and installed a 3500lb receiver. If you take a look at the installation of the frame extensions, it may scare you. Have those frame extensions beefed up and add a 5000lb receiver and you'll be good to go with that truck.

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tropical36

Southwest Florida_USA

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Posted: 09/09/19 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Larrysr1957 wrote:

My question is has anyone pulled a full size pickup with a 35 ft gas motor home I have a 1997 Fleetwood Bounder 34V with a Ford 460 engine and my tow limit is 3500 lbs my truck is 4900 lbs.

Where is the weak link and for possibly correcting it or for at least being aware of it's limitations?
We pulled a ton over, all over the country, as most of these specs. are made for the worst of conditions.
In our case it was the GM tranny, so we had to be careful and for knowing a few tricks, when climbing long 6% grades in hot weather.
Otherwise, we never knew it was back there, just like our present coach, regardless of the terrain.


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Trumpet Player

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Posted: 09/10/19 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RLS7201 wrote:

Ford rated your 17,000lb F53 chassis to tow 8,000lbs. Fleetwood derated your chassis when they installed frame extensions and installed a 3500lb receiver. If you take a look at the installation of the frame extensions, it may scare you. Have those frame extensions beefed up and add a 5000lb receiver and you'll be good to go with that truck.

Richard


Unfortunately, the recommendation to "beef up the frame extensions" is frankly one really bad piece of advice.

As most probably know, the required federal certification sticker as issued by the completed vehicle manufacturer sets the maximum limits allowed for each vehicle. The fact is, if you were over the allowed gross combined weight (as you would be based on your description), having the modifications made as recommended above would actually work against you, if God forbid there were to be an accident. See, a first year law student could present the idea that clearly you knew you had an over capacity/weight issue and you attempted an unapproved modification to try and compensate for the conditions. That would then be turned on you to prove gross negligence on your part. You would also likely see your insurance carrier wash their hands of any liability coverage as a result.

Sorry, that is just the way it works. I have testified many times on issues like these as a SME (Subject Matter Expert) and seen it happen.


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