Towing objects is essentially dragging along items you can’t pack in your vehicle. SUVs, pickup trucks, cars; can haul externally connected cargo, but what about motorhomes? Can you tow with one, and if so, how much weight can you pull with a house on wheels?
The maximum towing weight of a motorhome is different for each vehicle class. Class As can tow a maximum of 15,000 pounds, and Classes B and C can tow 5,000 to 7,500, respectively. All motorhomes can tow, but the vehicle you’re hauling will decide the equipment you’ll use to move it.
The following article will provide you with plenty of relevant information on motorhome towing. Here, you’ll find out the maximum weight a motorhome can tow, what other vehicles can be towed by motorhomes, if all motorhomes can tow, and how to haul with a motorhome.
What Is a Motorhome?
A motorhome is a variation of an RV (recreational vehicle) that can be driven and inhabited by the owner(s). Motorhomes come in various sizes. They can be small enough only comfortably to accommodate two people or can be spacious enough to fit up to eight passengers.
These RVs have different compartments that house beds, a kitchenette, bathroom, and dining area. The beds are typically located in fixed locations or inside of pull-out couches and convertible benches. A basic kitchenette will usually have an oven, stovetop, fridge, microwave, and sink.
What Is the Maximum Towing Weight of a Motorhome?
The average amount larger Class A motorhomes can tow is up to 15,000 pounds (6,803.89 kilograms). So to answer the question succinctly, some motorhomes can pull a lot. However, each class from A to C has different tow ratings.
Keep in mind that it’s a combination of the motorhome itself and its hitch that determines how much it can haul. Adding a larger hitch may help you pull closer to your engine’s maximum limit. It does not mean that you can tow above your motorhome’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR – the maximum a motorhome can weigh).
Class A: 5,000 to 10,000 Pounds
The biggest Class A motorhomes are commonly built on commercial bus chassis and have the highest tow rating amongst the three classes. Smaller, more common Class A homes, however, can only tow anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds (2,267 to 4,535.92 kilograms). Engine size, the motorhome’s weight, and the kind of motorhome are determined what a Class A can haul.
Class B: 3,500 to 5,000 Pounds
Class B’s are the smallest motorhomes and are much less capable of towing objects behind them. On average, the largest B and B+ motorhomes can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The typical Class B can pull 3,500 pounds (1,360 kilograms) to 5,000 pounds due to their smaller motors and chassis – a commercial van.
Class C: 5,000 to 7,500 Pounds
Class C motorhomes are built on Class 3 or 4 medium truck chassis, and at best, can haul 5,000 pounds, although there are a few that can reach a maximum tow weight of 7,500 pounds (3,401.94 kilograms). Class C motorhomes are popular because they’re adaptable and big. They combine the best parts of Class A and B or B+ motorhomes – spacious and functional.
Superclass C homes are absolute monsters when it comes to towing objects, though. These large houses on wheels can haul 10,000 to 40,000 pounds (18,143.70 kilograms) and, to date, have the greatest general towing capacity out of any RV available.
The table below will hopefully simplify how much which each kind of motorhome can tow:
|Make||Average Size||Average Max Tow Weight|
|Class A||29-feet to 45-feet (8.84-meter to 13.72-meter)||5,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds|
|Class B||17-feet (5.18-meter)||3,500 pounds to 5,000 pounds|
|Class B+||18-feet to 18-feet (5.49-meter to 5.49-meter)||3,500 pounds to 5,000 pounds|
|Class C||30-feet to 31-feet (9.14-meter to 9.45-meter)||5,000 pounds to 7,500 pounds|
|Superclass C||32-feet to 44-feet (9.75-meter to 13.41-meter)||10,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds|
Can You Tow Cars, Trailers, and Caravans With a Motorhome?
It depends on what kind of motorhome you’re looking to use, but generally, motorhomes can tow many different types of vehicles, trailers, and caravans. You might be surprised at how handy motorhomes are for towing objects; what your motorhome tows depend on the maximum tow weight.
Class As can commonly be seen hauling tow-behind cars. Tow-behind cars are vehicles that are specifically designed with the ability to be flat towed in mind. Flat towing is when you connect a tow bar to a car and hauling it behind the motorhome.
Most cars now, however, aren’t made to be flat towed. Cars with continuously variable transmissions (CTVs – cars with more gears to maximize fuel efficiency) can’t be towed on four wheels as it will destroy the transmission. You might be wondering, “Why not find a newer car without a CTV?” Good luck. Most newer cars come with a CTV.
Class A motorhomes can tow trailers too. Before hauling anything with your Class A, you should check length requirements before heading out. Let’s say you’ve got a 30-foot motorhome and you want to tow a 15-foot trailer. If the state you want to visit has a 45-foot length restriction, you have some adjustments to make.
Class Cs are mostly used to haul small cars and boats, while Class Bs are the smallest class of motorhome and therefore aren’t able to tow much. B+ motorhomes, on the other hand, can tow small caravans weighing less than 4,000 pounds (1,814.37 kilograms).
Can All Motorhomes Tow?
All motorhomes can tow, but what they can tow varies from Class and model. The question is less “Can I tow with a motorhome?” and more, “What can I tow with my motorhome and how?” To avoid rehashing what we’ve already discussed previously, know that if you have a motorhome, you’re able to tow small vehicles and trailers at least.
Can You Find Your Motorhome’s Towing Weight?
Finding a rough estimate of how much your motorhome can tow isn’t quite as easy as reading a few numbers painted on the outside of it. It’s going to take the application of everyone’s favorite subject: math. The following are what you need to know to figure out your wheeled house’s maximum tow weight.
Maximum Tow Capacity
Your maximum tow capacity can be found under chassis specifications or by subtracting the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
The GVWR is the maximum amount the motorhome can weigh. The towed object doesn’t count toward this measurement, but the tongue weight–the weight a trailer puts on the hitch ball of the towing vehicle–does. Your motorhome’s GVWR will be located in the interior of the driver’s door on the pressure plate.
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
The GCWR can be found under the chassis “specifications” and includes the combined maximum total weight for everything in and on the motorhome. The water in all the tanks, the amount of passengers it can hold, camping supplies–everything the motorhome can carry has to be less than the total GCWR given.
Your motorhome’s hitch rating can be found on the hitch weight rating plate. Let’s say that your vehicle is cleared to tow 10,000 pounds; that’s the motorhome’s hitch rating. If the hitch rating is less than the maximum towing capacity for the vehicle’s chassis, the hitch rating is your new towing capacity.
Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC)
There will be a sticker inside the RV–the sticker will only be found inside motorized RCs–denoting the maximum allowed weight of every passenger, food, water and gas tanks, personal items, and tools. The OCCC needs to be subtracted from the GVWR to figure out how much the empty motorhome will weigh.
Once you’ve done this, figure out how much the motorhome weighs when fully loaded and add the weight of the towed vehicle. To specify, you need the weight of:
- The object being towed
- The empty RV
- The driver
- The passenger(s)
- The water (including what’s in the water heater)
If the total of all of this is more than the GCWR, your motorhome is overweight, and you should adjust accordingly.
How to Tow Something With a Motorhome
People tow other vehicles behind their motorhomes for various reasons. Pulling cars is helpful because they allow you to explore your surroundings and make running for groceries and other items more convenient. Motorcycles, snowmobiles, and boats are towed for the same reasons; to (mostly) explore and run errands.
Towing is not a one-and-done deal, though; there are plenty of towing equipment you can use to take your vehicles along with you.
Did you know that hauling a vehicle can add miles to it? Using a trailer is a great way to mitigate that. Transmission damages and wear from being dragged along the road are reduced too. Trailer attachments can be awkward to maneuver with, but you can back up. Your trailer will also need separate storage once you’ve arrived at your destination.
Tow dollies are two-wheeled trailers that hoist two of your car’s wheels off the ground. To use a tow dolly, you first attach it to the motorhome and drive your vehicle up a ramp to attach it to the trailer. These trailers can be used by all vehicles but cost a lot and need a license for use in most states; they also need separate storage after reaching camp.
Tow bars consist of the tow bar and base plate; the latter piece connects to the chassis of the vehicle you’re hauling. There are two types of tow bars; self-aligning or A-frames. If your car has no base plate, you’re going to need one made to attach the tow bar, which can get pretty pricey.
This method of hauling cars uses all four wheels on the road so that it may add mileage to your vehicle. A-frames are more robust and cost-effective than self-aligning models, but they can’t be connected to your car without help. You can mount self-aligning tow bars to the vehicle or motorhome, they’re versatile, and you can attach them yourself.