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Thread: Motorhome towing

  1. #1
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    Cool Motorhome towing

    Hey all, I'm trying to find the "right" Class A (or Class C if I must) motorhome that will be capable of towing my Jeep (2009 JKU) on a trailer, without breaking the bank. I'm fine with a little older, say 2005+ or maybe even 2000+, just having a really hard time finding the GVWR/GCWR/hitch rating info on each coach.
    I figured that I would ask you all, hopefully someone has some advice for me on a coach you use to haul that kind of load (I'm guessing 7,500-ish) behind a Class A or Class C motorhome.

    Thanks all!

    PS, Yes, I know that the hitch rating does not necessarily mean that I'll be able to pull that much with a fully loaded coach... I know the math with GVWR and GCWR, just can't always find all that info online, so I'm looking for real-world experience and suggestions...
    i.e. a friend of mine has a 2005 Coachman Cross Country 354MBS, it's got a 300HP Cummins engine and I'm told it struggles a bit with hills when towing his Jeep on a trailer and that I should look for 315+HP if I go with a diesel.

    That's the kind of info I need. =)
    --
    K6JPE
    2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
    SoCal

  2. #2
    Nothing but a Thing Labricon's Avatar
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    I am new to the motorhome game. We bought a 2007 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37c GVWR of 24,000 lbs and GCWR of 30,000 lbs with gas 8.1 litre and Allison transmission. I just got back from flat towing my Jeep Winnipeg MB to Kelowna BC. It did the job but there were some steep grades in mountain passes where top speed was 30mph. As it stands my Jeep is just around the 5,000 lb mark. In the flat lands and small hill portions of the journey easily maintained 60 mph and at times 70. IMG_0921.JPG


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  3. #3
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    Thanks, I really appreciate the insight, that lines up with my math and findings. Did you happen to actually weigh your loaded rig by chance? I'm curious to know if people tend to travel right around the GVWR =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Labricon View Post
    I am new to the motorhome game. We bought a 2007 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37c GVWR of 24,000 lbs and GCWR of 30,000 lbs with gas 8.1 litre and Allison transmission. I just got back from flat towing my Jeep Winnipeg MB to Kelowna BC. It did the job but there were some steep grades in mountain passes where top speed was 30mph. As it stands my Jeep is just around the 5,000 lb mark. In the flat lands and small hill portions of the journey easily maintained 60 mph and at times 70.

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    K6JPE
    2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
    SoCal

  4. #4
    Nothing but a Thing Labricon's Avatar
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    I did not weigh the rig. We were travelling pretty light as we have not come anywhere near taking up all of the available storage space. And I made a point of not carrying more than half a tank of fresh water and dumped the black and grey water before travelling.


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  5. #5
    Been Around the Block RSQCON's Avatar
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    Merlin I can't point you in the direction of any particular model as everything we are looking at is newer. I've done a lot of research on this topic so here is my take. I like towing on a trailer vs flat towing for a variety of reasons (able to get a broken Jeep home, saving miles on expensive tires, etc) however that comes with a price (trailer means more weight, overall length limit, will you have a spot for the trailer once you get to your destination, etc). Sounds like you are past that decision making process so now let's talk about the trailer. You can easily find yourself with a 4K lbs trailer like I have. Now the trailer I purchased I wanted to be able to fit a crew cab pickup so I opted for a 102" wide (drive over fenders for the Jeep axles) 24' long which brings me to an issue. The RV I'm looking at is 39' 1" and the trailer is 24' plus the tongue which is another 5' 6". I will be over the 65' length limit of most states but the compromise for me is the RV we want is rated to pull 20k. In my mind I'd rather be under weight and over length then the other way around. Moral is really consider the specs on both the trailer and RV. Now here is the most important thing to consider in the equation...motor home drive train. How much you can pull is not determined by hp numbers it's a combination of the motor, transmission, brake system, axle capacity, frame rail size, etc. Again I can't speak to RVs that are 10-15 years old but in researching this topic in general stay away from Cat diesels (specifically the C11 and C13) and you'll want an Allison 3000 series or higher transmission. It's not surprising that you're having a hard time finding the numbers on older rigs as the salesman is looking for a commission check and most RV owners don't care, or even know, they are driving down the highway over weight or axle capacity...that is until they are involved in a fatal accident and the highway patrol is investigating why you lost braking control going down a 6% grade. You think your insurance company is going to honor that policy?

  6. #6
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    Great write up, thank you! You're right that those reasons are all the same (wear on tires, getting broken Jeep home, etc) I have also considered length, since our storage limit on-property for the RV space is going to be about 35', and the trailer I am planning is 18', not really worried about length. The biggest numbers I'm looking at are Curb Weight, CCC, GVWR and GCWR, as I understand it, the difference between gross combined (GCWR) minus what's in the coach (Curb weight plus cargo - which includes fuel, water, etc - and passengers) gives you the towing capacity. So if a curb weight of 18k, and I'm figuring 1,500 for the normal stuff, plus another 500 in passengers, the coach should weigh 20k. If the combine weight rating is 28k, and the hitch rating is 7,500+, then I'm thinking I should be good. I'm aware of the Allison 3k transmission being preferred, the latest one I was looking at is a 2004 GULF STREAM CRESCENDO 8356 that has a 330hp CAT engine and should be rated at 10k towing. I wasn't aware of any preference against CAT, although I think I heard something about having a CAT engine in California might be problematic in the future with some emissions laws or something... hmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by RSQCON View Post
    Merlin I can't point you in the direction of any particular model as everything we are looking at is newer. I've done a lot of research on this topic so here is my take. I like towing on a trailer vs flat towing for a variety of reasons (able to get a broken Jeep home, saving miles on expensive tires, etc) however that comes with a price (trailer means more weight, overall length limit, will you have a spot for the trailer once you get to your destination, etc). Sounds like you are past that decision making process so now let's talk about the trailer. You can easily find yourself with a 4K lbs trailer like I have. Now the trailer I purchased I wanted to be able to fit a crew cab pickup so I opted for a 102" wide (drive over fenders for the Jeep axles) 24' long which brings me to an issue. The RV I'm looking at is 39' 1" and the trailer is 24' plus the tongue which is another 5' 6". I will be over the 65' length limit of most states but the compromise for me is the RV we want is rated to pull 20k. In my mind I'd rather be under weight and over length then the other way around. Moral is really consider the specs on both the trailer and RV. Now here is the most important thing to consider in the equation...motor home drive train. How much you can pull is not determined by hp numbers it's a combination of the motor, transmission, brake system, axle capacity, frame rail size, etc. Again I can't speak to RVs that are 10-15 years old but in researching this topic in general stay away from Cat diesels (specifically the C11 and C13) and you'll want an Allison 3000 series or higher transmission. It's not surprising that you're having a hard time finding the numbers on older rigs as the salesman is looking for a commission check and most RV owners don't care, or even know, they are driving down the highway over weight or axle capacity...that is until they are involved in a fatal accident and the highway patrol is investigating why you lost braking control going down a 6% grade. You think your insurance company is going to honor that policy?
    --
    K6JPE
    2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
    SoCal

  7. #7
    Been Around the Block RSQCON's Avatar
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    Based on the number you provided my concern would be the weight of the trailer and Jeep being over 7500lbs. I'm guessing the trailer is going to be somewhere between 1700-3000 lbs. then factor the weight of your Jeep 2 or 4 dr plus spare, tools, full tank of fuel and any other equipment. I dunno you might be able to make 7500???

  8. #8
    Hooked
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    I will be towing a Unlimited Rubicon on an aluminum trailer behind a 36ft Class A motor home. I plan on being out west in the mountains. The motor home has a V-10 ford motor. It should do great on the flats and if the climb gets to tough in the mountains, I will off load the jeep and hook the trailer to the jeep. The wife will drive the Jeep if needed. We will be retired, so time is not an issue.

  9. #9
    Been Around the Block RSQCON's Avatar
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    The time spent offloading the Jeep then switching the trailer would be better spent just cruising up the hill at whatever pace you can maintain.

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