Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Increasing towing capacity
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 > Increasing towing capacity

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Larrysr1957

Panama City

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Posted: 01/19/20 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 1998 Fleetwood Bounder 34V it says gross towing weight is 3500 pounds I have a 4000 pound Jeep I want to tow how can i
Increase my towing capacity. My GCWR is 23500 pounds, motor home dry weight (UVW) including fuel is 17250, carrying capacity is 2750 pounds towing capacity is 3500 pounds totaling 23500 pounds. Are there any suggestions on how to increase my towing capacity.

Executive

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Posted: 01/19/20 01:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This comes up from time to time. You will receive "advice" from those that feel limitations only apply to others. I'm not one of them. The people that designed and engineered your coach put a limit on your towing capacity for a reason. (Frame strength, engine/trans limitations etc. etc.) Failing to follow those recommendations may lead you to some serious consequences. I'd hate to tell people I lost my family because I was intent exceeding the limitations of my coach. Also, in the event of an accident where injuries and/or death occur, all that info will come into play. Even if it's not your family injured or killed, you will be responsible...Just my two cents...Dennis


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Alan_Hepburn

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Posted: 01/19/20 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First thing you need to do is to load the RV up exactly as it would be while you're traveling, and run it over a scale to find out the REAL weight - the UVW listed on any paperwork is nothing more than "science fiction". Once you know what the rig really weighs, you subtract that number from the GCWR.

If the result of that math is more than 3500 your next step is to inspect the hitch receiver and chassis. The 3500 lb tow rating is most likely set by the rating of the receiver. That receiver was installed based on calculations done by the vehicle's designers, along with a team of lawyers. Is the receiver bolted on to the chassis frame rails, or is it bolted on to some frame rail extensions installed by the coach builder? If the former, then you MAY be able to replace it with a 5000 lb rated receiver, if the weight you calculated above allows it. If, on the other hand, it's bolted on to an extension then you'll need to know how strong that extension is before trying to increase the receiver's capability.

Or, you could just say "Numbers are for geeks" and go ahead and tow whatever you want...


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 01/19/20 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The very best way to increase your towing capacity is to trade your RV in on one with higher towing capacity. Not only will you wind up with a rig actually designed by someone who knows what they are doing, to get that higher capacity, you'll find it cheaper especially in the long run.

To modify your current rig, you'll need a new (stronger) engine, transmission, drive train including axles and brakes, beefier suspension, and if you want your insurance company to not have an excuse to deny coverage when you need it most, you'll need to have all those mods blessed by experts in advance, too, as well as signed off on by said insurance company.





bgum

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Posted: 01/19/20 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most likely you need a heavier hitch receiver and/or beefier attachment to your MH.

Larrysr1957

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Posted: 01/19/20 02:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The receiver is bolted to an extended frame rails. And is rated at 3500 lbs.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 01/19/20 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Exceed your manufacturer’s max tow weight no matter what you do, have an accident and you’re outa luck financially. Your insurance company pays to the policy limit and you pay the rest. Your post will be used as evidence that you knew you were over.


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Chum lee

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Posted: 01/19/20 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the engineering world, you have to deal with "weakest link" technology. That means FOR YOUR SPECIFIC VEHICLE, you have to analyse the design and discover what the weakest link(s) is/are and make a plan to improve it/them. It could be brakes, cooling, suspension, tires/wheels, weight and balance, frame strength, power limitations, emission control, hitch capacity, durability, etc., etc., etc. Assuming you have a Ford product, the engineers at Ford generally don't like to help you because when/if they do, their neck is on the line should something go wrong. That's why they publish the specifications that they do, then shut up.

I know it's not the answer you want, but, the safest thing to do is buy the chassis with the performance you want, built in, and go from there. That said, there are thousands of people who will be more than happy to sell you something that helps you increase the towing capacity of your vehicle, but none of them will be around when/if you have problems. Or, if they are, they will point the finger at someone else. Your choice. Do you feel lucky?

Chum lee

DallasSteve

Texas

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Posted: 01/19/20 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alternate solution: Get a lighter vehicle to tow or cut 500 pounds out of your Jeep.





AllegroD

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Posted: 01/19/20 05:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Or, you could just say "Numbers are for geeks" and go ahead and tow whatever you want...


I want to point out that I believe the quoted is said as tongue in cheek and for those that hear what they want to and ignore the rest. Do not believe this because it is what you want to hear.

There is no magic wand. Your rig is only capable of it's rating. As others have said, the engineers rated your rig because they know the limits of each component. Is your current hitch rated at 3.5K? Contact the mfgr and determine if your rig is capable of upgrading the hitch to 5K.

Please, please, please, Do not guess. Do not take a nonprofessional's or an anonymous source on a forum word for it It is not only your life and your families lives but those that travel on the same roads as you.

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