Max towin with a motor home

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by BigClay, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    So a friend has a 1990 southwind 32 feet motor home with a gas 454 motor. What would be a safe towing weight for that? Would it pull my TJ and trailer? How slow is a 454 in something that big?
     
  2. Stuntman Autoworks

    Stuntman Autoworks Instigator of things

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    Sanford NC 27330
    Tow rating should be listed on the RV data tag somewhere. Or in the chassis mfg manual.
     
  3. Tails

    Tails Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Location:
    Fayetteville
    Not sure about that old, but was at a rv show in Raleigh this weekend and was told just in the last few years have class c motor home went above 5k lbs so I’m guessing the answer for you is no. Hence the reason we are selling the TJ.
     
  4. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    Yeah, all I was reading online was 5k lbs, and that is not gonna cut it.
     
  5. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Wallburg
    Nope. F450 class c forest river can have 7500 or 10,000 depending on length

    Screenshot_20180827-195131_Chrome.jpg

    Older ones though....yeah I'd bet 5k is the max.
     
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  6. GubNi

    GubNi 8 lug disc brakes?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Jonesborough, TN
    I feel I need diesel power to haul my buggy with a pickup. A motor home weighs a lot more. I would never dream of towing with a gas powered one.
     
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  7. LBarr2002

    LBarr2002 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    SC
    It depends on how the frame is made behind the rear axle. One piece frame with a relatively short overhang can have decent capacity, but it's probably a frame extension.

    454 with th400 and 4.10 or 4.56 gear would pull ok.
     
  8. zuke

    zuke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    Stafford, VA
    My tow rig is a retired 89 Chevy V3500 Ambulance with a 454, and the engine is not a problem hauling around the rig (I would bet the Ambo weighs about the same as a 32' RV) and heavy equipment (2400lb) trailer with a TJ on it, but when I tow the JKU, it starts to suck... it isn't really the engine that's a problem though, it's the transmission (700R4) It downshifts way late, and with no lockup in the torque converter, it gets hot fast on hard grades... That is likely the Tranny that's in the Southwind too...

    Tongue weight is probably why so many RV's flat tow the support vehicle rather than trailer it....
     
  9. mcutler

    mcutler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Location:
    mt.airy nc
    Had no problems towing two buggies on a 24' deck over behind a '1994 32' Itasca sunrise with a 454, th700, 14 bolt, p- chassis. Towed weight was over 12k. Total combined weight was around 24k. Certainly wasn't fast on the uphill, but always got me there and back home.

    Iirc, towing capacity was around 10k. And I know the previous owner towed a v8 ton jeep on a smaller tag trailer, all over the country.

    Won't say it was the best set up; it was a bit squirrelly, so much overhang behind the axle, and then the distance from the ball to the center of the trailer tandem made for some funky movements between the two- the air bags helped. Brakes were certainly undersized, but it was manageable. I wouldn't recommend (my exact setup) to someone who isn't very experienced in towing heavy; I'm approaching 1.2 million miles since I was 18.

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    Cutler

    Sent from my SM-G925R4 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  10. benmack1

    benmack1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Efland, NC
    If you want the real number per mfg it's probably 3500# is my guess. Perhaps up to 5k but not more I doubt. Seems stupid low I know but it's all about the ass end frame limitations on those. Ford's f53 and chevy's p30 chassis from that era often were lengthened by the RV folks and further limited things. Either way, look inside the closets and cabinets on the back of the doors. Should be a sticker with the info you are seeking. Odd place I know but should have been there at some point in history for what it's worth.
     
  11. benmack1

    benmack1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Efland, NC
  12. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
  13. rodney eppes

    rodney eppes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Mt.Holly NC 28120
    Don't forget to carry an unlimited Fuel supply! Thank goodness it's a TBI. That helps a tad!
     
  14. 89wrangler

    89wrangler Not a new member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bostic,NC
    I was the the previous owner of the one Matt Cutler has/had. It is as well rated for 3500 lbs. But as Matt said, I have pulled my Jeep and trailer thousands of miles with no issues at all. Just make sure you have good trailer brakes. I would not be afraid to hook a Jeep and trailer behind the SOUTHWIND and roll on. ( but hooking two Jeeps behind...o_O ) The 6-7 MPG does kinda suck though.
     
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  15. BigSouth

    BigSouth Doesn't play well with others!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
    You do have to consider the implications of an accident if one were to occur. Will your insurance company leave you high and dry because you exceeded safe limits? Can the LEO charge you with involuntary manslaughter if you knowingly exceed limits and someone dies as a result of your negligence? Not worth the risk to me.
     

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