Motorhome questions.. I am thinking about buying a smaller class A motor home for racing. 32’ to 37’. I can’t afford a big pusher, just something to get me there and back since I only tow a 20’ trailer. Trying to learn about them the first thing that comes up is GVW. Most all are only rated for 4000 to 5000 if that. So it seems to me that most everyone towing a race trailer is over GVW? I get checking the frame, reinforcements and 10,000 lb hitch and all, but am I figuring this wrong? Any suggestions what to stay away from or am I totally up in the night here just thinking about this?
Try to find one with the shortest overhang, if possible.
Get the longest wheel base for length possible. some of the A class have no real frame in the back and would need reinforcing. None are rated to tow much. My 28 foot C class has full C channel to the rear with only 2 and a half feet of frame extension. Hitch rating is 7500 on this. Or use a trailer toad. Ford chassis seem to be best.
I had a 03, 31 ft winnebago sightseer, with the Ford chassis. Mine had about 2 ft of extension add to the frame. I used a trailler toad and had no issues. My trailer is a 24 foot, weighing around 9300 loaded. I did nothing to beef the frame up, but in hind sight, it wouldnt have hurt to add some bracing.
Totally agree, I have a 2005 sightseer,
The other thing to consider is the GCWR, (gross combined weight rating), The ford chassis typically have a higher rating than the GM chassis in the mid length class A motorhomes. Mine is 26000 lbs vs the GM chassis is only rated for 22000 lbs.
As others have said, stay with the Ford over the GM. Chassis is beefier and the V10 has good power & decent fuel economy. Stay away from long rear overhangs as the chassis are all one length from Ford and the coach builder extends them, usually with much smaller metal. You will most likely not find a coach rated to tow our trailers & will have to upgrade the hitch and have the back of the frame reinforced. You'll probably want to lighten the tongue weight of the trailer as well if possible - duallies like a little tongue weight for stability when towing but motorhomes don't need it with the much longer wheelbase. I towed a HEAVY 28' Haulmark for 5-6 years with a 2000 35' class 'A' and it wasn't bad at all.
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Agree with most everything here. I have a 2008 32' Class A, the overhang isn't too long and I tow a 28 foot box loaded. One item that I think is important is an equalizer, get something that's at least 10,000 and set it up according to the instructions. It really helps push some of the tongue loading to the front of the RV, increases stability and really isn't that hard to deal with once you get the hang of it. Anything you can do to help the rear extension is a plus and yep, the Ford chassis is a bunch better than the GM that I had previously.
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I think the workhorse chassis was better then the Ford on the earlier model, but on the 07,08s and newer, and the ford chassis seemed very beefy. Not exactly sure on which years though
What you need to look at is the GCVWR...gross combined vehicle weight rating, this is the motorhome and what it is towing. The lighter you can make the motorhome the more you can tow and vice versa. All motorhomes have this listed by the drivers seat usually on the wall. Most gas class A motorhomes are rated to tow 5,000 lbs. with a few exceptions and have a hitch rated for that. I have towed more than that but upgraded the hitch to handle the extra load.The frames are sometimes extended and may need reinforcing...
Opinions Please: I have found a one owner coach, a 1999 Coachmen Mirada 30" with a V10 Ford - It is only the two of us so a small motorhome will work for racing. It has 40K on the clock and has been well taken care of will all receipts from maintenance. Not much overhang. That should be good enough to tow a 20' with an altered I think? Yes-No? Understanding I will need a hitch upgrade and perhaps some reinforcements.
Where should I look on the frame for where they might have extended it?
Thanks to everyone for their advice. It has been a big help.
They extend the frame where the old frame ends obviously but the extension is usually smaller material and sometimes only butt welded...
It really depends on the outfit that built the RV - mine is a Forest River unit and extension is almost the same size as the original frame railing. Biggest (to me) things to look at:
Condition and type of roof.
Age of the tires.
There's always other stuff but most is just the normal maintenance stuff or aged stuff that needs updating. A lot of people modify units to fit what they need to do and it can be as simple as putting a closet rod over the shower to create another area to hang clothes or changing out all the furniture & appliances.
1999 will be a 2 valve v 10 and 2004 and newer will be 3 valve ( 50 more hp). both pose problems with spark plugs. Make sure no exhaust leaks at manifolds ( broken studs) . Sure it will tow what you have. Try and stay away from rubber roof and 1 piece fibreglass is usually best. Fords twin I beam front handles like a dream over a workhose with upper and lower control arms like a 1/2 ton pickup on older units.
Thanks for all the help guys... I found a very nice 2003 Georgtown -V10 - 37K on the clock with a beefed up rear frame and a 10K trailer hitch that fit my budget. I'll be a little slower getting there, but who cares. I think the experience at the track will be much better. Plus no more getting home at 2 or 3 in the morning after the race totally fried. Just pull over at a rest stop and catch some zzz's. I am really looking forward to next year.
Protect that money you spent on that coach by getting a Trailer Toad 3500HD. The motor home will carry none of the weight and you will only pull it and stop it.
No matter how you brace the frame it will flex and in not too many miles you will see the effects of the flexing; sagging interior doors, floor bulges, rear cap loosened, leaking windows as seals flex loose.
THe small coaches tow great, I have used several, but the Trailer Toad protects the coach from carrying the tongue weight.
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Be safe out there!
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