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How Much Can Your Class C RV Tow? Know Your Limits

How Much Can Your Class C RV Tow? Know Your Limits

Many motorhome owners love being able to get up and go without having to deal with the hassle of hitching up. This is a huge advantage that motorized RVs have over towable RVs. But one disadvantage is not having a second vehicle once they arrive at the campsite. To solve this dilemma, many motorhome owners choose to tow a second vehicle and want to know how much can a Class C RV tow. So, let’s look specifically at Class Cs and learn more about Class C towing capacity numbers. That way, you can determine whether towing a second vehicle will work for you.

class C towing a Car
Planning on towing with a class C? Know your limits

What Is a Class C RV? 

You can easily identify a Class C motorhome by its cabover bed. Because of this feature, Class Cs don’t have the large windshield that Class A motorhomes do. They’re typically shorter and lighter than Class A, too. Class C RVs are generally 20 feet to 28 feet long and weigh an average of 10,000 pounds to 16,000 pounds. In contrast, Class A RVs can be over 40 feet long and weigh up to 50,000 pounds. Class C motorhomes can have a gas or diesel engine.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking specifically for a Class C RV with a diesel engine, check out the 7 Best Class C Diesel RV Motorhomes.

Class C RV
Many Class C RVs can tow between 5,000 and 8,000 pounds.

Can a Class C RV Tow a Vehicle? 

Motorhomes can tow a vehicle. Most Class C RVs are on Class 3 or Class 4 chassis that can tow up to 5,000 pounds. There are Class Cs that can tow up to 8,000 pounds. Super Cs have become popular in the last few years and some are on Class 8 semi chassis and can tow a whopping 40,000 pounds.

How Much Weight Can My Class C RV Tow?

Every Class C motorhome is given a tow rating by the manufacturer. This number can vary from model to model, year to year, and brand to brand. The hitch class, the frame or chassis, and the engine type all affect the towing capacity of motorhomes. This is why Class A and Super C motorhomes can tow more than Class Cs. Class As are on a bus chassis, and a Super Class C is on a semi chassis.

It’s important to find the towing capacity of your particular Class C and not just assume it’s the same as someone else’s motorhome. If you have a gas-powered engine and another Class C owner has a diesel-powered engine, their Class C will probably be able to tow more. That’s because of the increased torque a diesel engine provides.

To determine your Class C towing capacity, check the hitch weight rating, the maximum gross combined weight rating, and the gross vehicle weight rating. As long as you stay under each of these numbers, you’re safely towing a secondary vehicle or trailer behind your Class C.

For example, your Class C may have a hitch weight rating of 5,000 pounds, a max GCWR of 20,000 pounds, and a GVWR of 14,500 pounds. If you subtract the GVWR from the GCWR, this will give you the amount of weight left that you can add or tow. In this case, it’s 5,500 pounds. But the hitch weight rating is only 5,000 pounds, so you don’t want to tow a car heavier than 5,000 pounds.

Pro Tip: New to towing? You need to understand GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings for Trucks & Towing.

Best Class C RV Towing Capacities

The Entegra Accolade and Accolade XL can both tow up to 12,000 pounds. They both come with the Cummins ISB 6.7L 360 HP diesel engine. The Accolade XL is on a Freightliner S2RV front-engine diesel Super-C cab chassis, and the Accolade is on a Freightliner S2RV chassis.

Super C motorhome pulling a trailer
Super C motorhomes are built on semi chassis and have a much larger towing capacity.

The Thor OMNI Super C RV is built on a Ford F-550 or F-600 chassis, depending on the floor plan. These models have the Power Stroke Turbo Diesel 6.7L V8 engine and come with either a 10,000-pound or a 12,000-pound trailer hitch. Two other Thor motor coaches, the Pasadena Mega C and Inception Mega C models, are on an S2RV Freightliner chassis. It comes with the Cummins ISB-XT 6.7L diesel engine and has a 15,000-pound trailer hitch.

How Do You Tow a Car Behind a Class C RV?

You can either flat tow a vehicle or use a tow dolly when towing behind a Class C RV. Most vehicles can’t be flat towed, which means all four wheels can’t be on the road. It’s important to note whether or not your vehicle can be flat towed, so you don’t damage the transmission. If you do have a vehicle that can be flat towed, you need to purchase specific equipment. That includes a towbar, a base plate kit installed on the tow vehicle, a tow bar wiring kit, safety cables, and a supplemental braking system. This can be quite costly upfront.

If you’re going to tow with a trailer or dolly, it requires less equipment and is generally cheaper upfront. Besides the dolly, you’ll need to purchase a security chain, a set of ratchet straps, and a safety chain. You’ll need to make sure to factor in the weight of the tow dolly with the weight of the vehicle when determining if your Class C motorhome can safely tow the combination.

Class C RV towing Jeep
If you want to tow a second vehicle, you have two primary options: flat towing or using a tow dolly.

What Is the Easiest Vehicle to Tow Behind a Motorhome?

The smaller the car, the easier it is to tow. Plus, it’s more lightweight. You have more options if you choose to tow a sedan than a truck. Some people don’t like the hassle of a tow dolly. They would rather flat tow, so there isn’t bulky equipment to store away once they’ve arrived at a campsite.

Other people don’t have vehicles that can be flat towed. Therefore, the only option is to tow with a trailer. So the easiest vehicle to tow behind a motorhome will vary depending on the RVer. However, we will say that Jeeps are a popular option.

How Much Weight Can a Class C Motorhome Carry? 

The cargo carrying capacity (CCC) is the amount of weight you can safely put inside the Class C. Once you’ve loaded up all your belongings and filled your fuel tank, you’ll want to find a CAT scale at a truck stop to weigh your RV. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount of weight allowed. This is the cargo plus the weight of the motorhome.

If your motorhome is over the GVWR, you’re overloaded and risking damage to the RV. Sometimes you’ll see the dry weight listed on a manufacturer’s website. This number isn’t significant because it’s the weight of the RV empty. The CCC factors in all the weight you can safely add. Then, the GVWR is the total weight of the cargo and Class C motorhome.

Learn The Proper Way To Load And Tow With Your RV

The Class C towing capacity is the amount of weight the RV can safely tow behind it. The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is important here. The weight of your Class C, fully loaded, plus the weight of the towed vehicle, shouldn’t exceed the GCWR. The weight of your towed vehicle (plus the tow dolly if that’s your towing method) should also be below the towing capacity for the Class C and hitch weight rating.

Is Towing With a Class C RV Worth It?

There are many numbers to factor in when considering towing with a motorhome. You have the GVWR, the CCC, the GCWR, the hitch weight rating, and the towing capacity. But all of these numbers are important to ensure safe driving. If you get into an accident or have a roadside problem, insurance may not cover the damage if you exceed these parameters. You may void the warranty if you ignore them. So stick to driving safely by understanding how much you can tow.

For many RVers who own motorhomes, having a second vehicle is really important. They don’t want to have to pull in a 30-foot Class C to go grocery shopping. They don’t want to have to drive a 28-foot Class C to a national park and then find adequate parking. Having a second vehicle is convenient and allows for easier sightseeing. 

Class C RV towing Jeep
Many RVers think it’s worth it to tow with a Class C.

So is towing with a Class C worth it? You’ll have to decide for yourself, but many RVers would answer with a resounding “Yes!”

Think you can’t go off-roading in a Class C RV? Think again! Check out The Best Off-Road Class C RV Motorhomes for Comfortable Adventuring.

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Not So Free

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

One option would be a small scooter or motorcycle. If you keep the weight reasonable, you could carry it on a "hitchhaul" type carrier. Of course the weight limits must be checked. Many small scooters are under 300#, and many MC carriers are well under 200#. The tongue weight rating is the first thing to check. And remember, there is a lot of *rear end* behind the rear axle, which must be figured in. (leverage)

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