Class C towing (newbie)

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by neibaur, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. neibaur

    neibaur New Member

    I am upgrading from at TT to a 31ft Class C with a slide out. I am concerned about towing a 4500lb van with the MH.

    The dealer says (taken with a grain of salt!) it should be no problem but is not quick to offer specifics.

    My two concerns are 1.) How good is the ford V10 and pulling up to 20,000 of weight (van, tow dolly and MH) and 2.) how the heck will I be able to stop with all that weight behind me!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


    P.S. Why are Saturns such a popular "toad"?
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Class C towing (newbie)

    Your 2nd concern should be your first concern. If you are within the rated capacity of the Class C, and you have an auxillary braking system in the van activated by the MH brake pedal, you should be OK. Just find out what your actual stopping distance is, and drive accordingly (ie, leave more room before you and the vehicle ahead where practical). Going down hills will probably be your most troubling times, so learn about downshifting and other downhill techniques.

    Your new 2nd concern should be what is the maximum towing capacity of your rig. For a first pass, find out the GCVW and LOADED weight (best way is to actually weight it ready to travel) of the Class C. If the latter is not practical, you can use the GVWR (maximum weight of the MH). Subtracting the RV weight from the GCVW will give you an initial estimate of what you can tow. While you are at it, check out the difference between the 'dry weight' and the GVW, to see how much stuff you can carry. Class C's sometimes have almost no cargo capacity left...

    Another thing to check is the rating of the hitch on the MH. If it won't tow what you need, than it makes no difference what the MH can tow. And finally, make sure you don't exceed the GVRA weight (the maximum that the rear axel can handle). Don't forget that the trailer adds some weight to the MH or to include the total trailer weight when computing GCVW.

    If you are within specs on all that, then you can worry about your old concern 1. I don't have any experiance with the V10, but I can tell you that the Chevy 6L V8 has trouble pulling only half that much weight up hills, even with 'good' (410) towing gears in the rear axel. Small gas engines just don't have what it takes to tow (at highway speeds, anyway). 'Large' gas engines can do the job sometimes, and diesel rules when towing.

    Probably the number 1 reason Saturns are popular 'toads' is that they are a popular car. A large percentage of people 'tow what they have'... Perhaps also it is 'tow friendly', ie does not have transmission problems or odometer movement when towed.

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