Can you pull a trailer with an RV/Motorhome

Can you pull a trailer with an RV Motorhome

Traveling in an RV or motorhome makes any trip you and your family take even more comfortable. However, if you want to tow a trailer it can be difficult to find a way to transport it with you.

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Most RVs and motorhomes are capable of pulling trailers, but your RV will most likely need to be at least Class B+ to pull anything “stable”. Depending on the RV class, engine type and driving conditions, your RV can pull up to 20,000 pounds.

So the next time you travel anywhere in your RV you can take the golf cart or other ATV’s with you too! However, before hooking the trailer, removing the wheel chocks and driving off, there are some safety and logistics factors to consider. Read on to find out everything you need to know about towing trailers behind your RV or Motorhome!

How do you determine the towing capacity of a motorhome?

Subtract the OCCC from the gross vehicle weight rating to get the weight of the empty motorhome. Now calculate the weight of your loaded motorhome, add the weight of the towed vehicle and check whether you are overweight. Your total pound must not exceed the GCWR! + Full water load (The weight of the water is shown on the OCCC label.

  1. Maximum Towing Capacity

This number can be found under specifications for your chassis or by figuring the difference between the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

  1. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

This number represents the maximum weight that the vehicle itself is allowed to have.  The towed vehicle doesn’t count toward this number but the tongue weight of the trailer does count here.  You can find the GVWR number on the tire pressure plate inside the driver’s door.

(Example below GVWR = 11,030 LB)

3. Maximum Available Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).

The GCWR will be listed under ‘specifications’ for your chassis. This number includes maximum pounds of everything combined – the motorhome, the people in it, the towed vehicle, the water in your tanks (every tank), the jumper cables, camping supplies, etc. The total poundage of everything combined must be less than the specified GCWR!

(Example below of window sticker lists tank capacities)

Here’s a visual to help you better understand GVWR and GCWR…

Now look at your RV hitch where you will find the hitch weight rating plate. When a manufacturer tells you that the vehicle can tow 5000 pounds, this ‘hitch rating’ is typically where that comes from.  If the ‘hitch rating’ is lower than the chassis’ Maximum Towing Capacity then your new towing capacity number will be that of the ‘hitch rating.’

Locate the Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC) sticker for motorized RVs only.  This weight sticker is put on by the RV manufacturer (Winnebago normally places it on the inside of the driver’s door).  The OCCC figure is the maximum allowable weight of all occupants, plus weight of all food, tools, full fresh water tanks, full LP-gas tanks and personal belongings.

(Example below OCCC = 1,302 lbs)

Calculations:

Subtract the OCCC from the GVWR to get the weight of the empty RV.

GVWR – OCCC = Empty RV

Now figure the weight of your loaded RV, add the towed vehicle weight and see if you’re overweight.  Your total pounds cannot exceed the GCWR!

+ Weight of empty RV

+ Weight of vehicle being towed (To see if your vehicle is towable and to find the vehicle weight CLICK HERE or see your vehicle owner’s manual for towing specifics)

+ Weight of driver

+ Weight of passenger

+ Full load of water (Water weight is listed on the OCCC sticker.  If you should add this up yourself, be sure to include the water in the water heater).

After adding, if the total pounds exceed the GCWR, you are overweight!  And remember you still haven’t even added in the weight of a full tank of propane, any food, any other cargo, any extra passengers or pets and a contingency in case you have to travel with full black and/or grey tanks.  If you don’t want to do the math simply load your RV up just as you would for a trip and drive down to a local truck scale.

Visit Lichtsinn RV on their website to learn more!

Motorhome / RV Towing Capabilities

As mentioned above, only certain classes of motorhomes can tow trailers. To make matters worse, not all motorhomes can pull the same weight.

So what can a motorhome or RV pull? Items towed behind an RV or motorhomes include horse trailers, boats, cars, small carts, and trailers.

While most motorhomes are already equipped with everything you need to tow a trailer, some models require you to install a special tow package to tow a trailer.

When buying your next motorhome, find out from the dealer which attachment options the have and, if possible, find out how much it costs to install the trailer package. Although it may cost a little more for the dealer, they know what they are doing and you know its been installed by professionals.

Each class of RV can often be seen pulling similar items behind them. For example, due to the larger size of a Class A motorhome, travelers tend to pull a smaller separate vehicle behind them.

This smaller vehicle allows you to travel to tourist attractions and restaurants without having to pack the entire motorhome. Another item that is often seen behind a Class A RV is a golf cart trailer, which is good for anyone staying at a larger RV park and needing a quicker way to hit the showers, or anyone who does travel the country in search of the best places.

When towing objects behind your class A motorhome, watch out for length restrictions in the area. For example, if you are driving a 50 foot RV and want to pull a 15 foot boat (assuming it will fit the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle), you need to make sure that any campgrounds, national parks, or other destinations that plan to do so do not have a visit Length restriction under 65 feet.

Class C RVs are often seen towing boats or smaller cars. These cars also make it easy to find your way around your campsite without having to repack the motorhome every time. Many other motorhomes like the C-class motorhomes carry one or two small off-road vehicles behind their motorhome and longer trailers.

Class B motorhomes are the smallest class of motorhomes, so they can’t pull much more than a few thousand pounds (if any). In some cases, B-class RV owners can pull a small caravan behind the vehicle. This is usually done to provide extra sleeping space (Class B RVs generally only sleep 2-3 people).

In this case, the class B motorhome is used as a “touring vehicle” while the caravan is the actual living space. These RV trailers aren’t much bigger than a pop-up trailer or a tear-drop trailer.

Now we know what is hauled most often behind each RV class.

Can you pull a trailer with an RV Motorhome

Different types of towing Trailers for Motorhomes

Now that you know how to find out your RV’s towing abilities, let’s figure out what to tow! While you can pull almost any type of trailer behind your RV, some companies have started making trailers especially for motorhomes and RV’s.

Open Trailers or Carriers

One of these companies is called Freedom Hauler.

Once known as the Idaho Tote, today the Freedom Hauler Company focuses on building and selling trailers that serve as an extension to your RV.

What exactly does that mean? Well, every Freedom Hauler trailer is not only designed not to add extra weight to your motorhome, but it also has a unique self-steering system.

This self-steering system solves the problem that arises when trying to reverse your motorhome and trailer into a tight space.

For many of you avid RV drivers, this may not be a problem; it is a problem that can prevent others from pulling a trailer behind your RV.

However, as I said earlier, the Freedom Hauler completely eliminates this problem. Sure you don’t believe me? Check out this video, originally created by Idaho Tote, to see for yourself.

Not only is the Freedom Hauler trailer equipped with this wonderful steering mechanism, but it can also be customized to suit your transportation needs!

Not only is the Freedom Hauler trailer equipped with this wonderful steering mechanism, but it can also be customized to suit your transportation needs!

RCT

We own and operate multiple camping and RV Trailer site. Its our passion to see the world thru camping and traveling. There is no bigger pleasure for us then to share with you our readers our experience in RV Travels and Camping.

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