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Last Post 03 Jun 2010 08:36 AM by  fzust
How ya' towing? Dually vs. Motor home
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Doctor_Fun
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29 Jul 2009 05:54 PM

    I have read through much of the previous threads and did not quite get my questions answered so here goes. I am a second year autocrosser who is planning to go road racing in the near future. I am looking to start towing the car or cars (depending if I continue to autocross as well). I have been attending divisionals and NT's since I started last year but driving the car to the events.

    I am looking at an enclosed 24 ft trailer so that part is easy. How to tow it? I was planning on a newer Ford F450 dually. However, I got to looking around at National Tour events and see a fair number of motor homes towing trailers. If I was only autocrossing, the dually would be the answer. However, the longer days and duration of road racing events requires more at-track comfort for my wife (and me). So, I am considering a 30 ft. Class C with 10K towing capacity.

    Arguments, benefits, problems for or against the dually versus a qualified tow capacity motor home and remember we're going road racing too. Thanks in advance for your input.

    PCalhoun
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    29 Jul 2009 07:35 PM

    For a 24' tag trailer an F450 is overkill and if purchasing a low-cost brand you will pull it apart on the front-end. You could get away w/ an F250 or F350 if you want more flexibility moving fwd.

    The big consideration is what are type of car(s) are you towing and what sort of spares will you carry, tool boxes, atv/golf cart, fuel, etc. Try to best estimate what your total contents will weigh to (a) to get the proper axles on your trailer (5k would be the minimum recommended) and (b) to get the appropriate tow vehicle.

    An RV w/ a 10k towing capacity is going to be maxed out quick w/ a steel framed 24' tag trailer estimated at 4000# empty before any options or interior finishing. Where an F350 Powerstroke is currently rated to tow approx 15k.

    See vehicle tow ratings here: http://www.trailerlife.com/output.cfm?id=42175

    Stan Whitney
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    30 Jul 2009 09:23 AM
    We tow a 20ft enclosed with an F250, and that is a nice combination. The truck, when not towing, is still an ok size for everyday use. A drw F350 or equivalent is a good choice for the added stability, and if you are going with a goose or 5th wheel configuration. The F450 has really short gearing in the 2008 models (4.88) which hurt it's mileage when not towing. 2009 and newer get a 4.30 option, which would not be bad. In comparison, the F250/350 have 3.55's or 3.73's.
    marka
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    30 Jul 2009 12:24 PM

    Howdy,

    Doctor_Fun wrote:

    I am looking at an enclosed 24 ft trailer so that part is easy. How to tow it? I was planning on a newer Ford F450 dually. However, I got to looking around at National Tour events and see a fair number of motor homes towing trailers. If I was only autocrossing, the dually would be the answer. However, the longer days and duration of road racing events requires more at-track comfort for my wife (and me). So, I am considering a 30 ft. Class C with 10K towing capacity.

    Arguments, benefits, problems for or against the dually versus a qualified tow capacity motor home and remember we're going road racing too. Thanks in advance for your input.

    As far as trucks, most any 3/4 ton & above truck will tow a 24' enclosed trailer just fine. We towed ours (24' enclosed, around 9k lbs) with a '98 C2500 chevy (5.7l, auto, worktruck), '03 Dodge Ram 3500 dually (v10, crewcab), and '05 Dodge Ram 2500 (cummins, crewcab, shortbed). All of them towed it fine. The diesel slowed down a little less on hills, but the others were fine as well. Safety-wise they were all roughly the same.

    On motorhomes, the answer gets more complicated. There's what its possible to do, what its rated to do, and your budget. If you have a healthy budget, you want to be looking at an International chassis Super C at a minimum... These are available from a few normal motorhome manufacturers. The next step up is to go with a Renegade or similar "truck conversion" toter. Basically that's a regular class 9 truck that's had an RV body put on it. If you're not doing it yourself or otherwise saving a bunch of money, expect to pay $100k+, even used.

    The other way to go to get the 10k lb capacity from the manufacurer is to go with a diesel pusher motorhome. Not all diesel pushers have the capacity, so be sure to check specs and shop around. These are built on Freightliner, Spartan, and Roadmaster chassis (perhaps others as well). You can typically find one that has a GCWR that's 10k above the GVWR, along with a 10k hitch. These are also available new or used, but the advantage is they've been built for quite a while, so you can find them in the ten year old or so range for $50k or so. However, its not all gravy, as they typically will be longer... 38' or so. That length, plus the trailer (28' for us, bumper to ball), puts you over 65' total length. That's over the combined length limit in many states, though it seems to be rarely enforced. Btw, we pickup our '99 Newmar 38' DP tomorrow.

    Finally, you can beef up a smaller motorhome so that you feel comfortable exceeding the rated specifications. On our current motorhome, this involved reinforcing the chassis, adding front/rear spring, swaybar & shock upgrades, tire upgrades, etc. The obvious advantage here is that you can take this path for much less money... You can buy a pretty nice gas powered class A or class C motorhome used for $30k to $40k and older units are correspondingly cheaper. As an example, we'll be asking $8k for our '84 small (26') class A, setup to tow well. Downside is that you're going to be well over the rated specs, plus its a bunch of custom work to do it.

    The one option you don't list there would go well with the F450... a bigger trailer with a living quarters. A 5th wheel / gooseneck with a 20' living quarters and a 20' garage (for instance). Prices here are all over the map depending on what exactly you want and how much you do yourself vs. buy, but you can certainly take this path and tow it with an F450 (or even a regular 1 ton dually). Advantage is that your maintenance on the vehicle is straight forward (compared to motorhome maintenance) and you'll have a vehicle to run back and forth to the store / hotel / whatever. Downside is that the living quarters are usually not as good as a motorhome and that the setup doesn't work as well for the typical "RV vacation" types of things to do. Cost-wise you're going to be in the range of a used diesel pusher / upgraded over its real specs motorhome... You need a decent truck to pull a living quarters trailer and they typically cost a good bit more than a barebones enclosed trailer.

    If I were buying a setup that I was only going to use for motorsports, I'd get a living quarters trailer. If I thought I'd be doing RV vacations I'd either go with a DP or go with an upgraded motorhome, depending on budget. If I could afford to just call up Renegade and tell them what I wanted, I'd have a toter with a stacker trailer. :-)

    Hope that helps. If you have more detailed questions I'd be happy to offer an opinion... I've been living this stuff for the past few years since our son was born and our "at the event" needs/wants have changed.

    Mark

    marka
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    30 Jul 2009 12:38 PM

    Howdy,

    Oh. I don't know of any class C motorhomes of any length that are rated to pull 10k lbs.

    You _may_ be able to get close on GCWR vs. GVWR by choosing a short / light class C on the later F450 or Chevy chassis combined with very careful loading, but even in that case I've never seen a 10k lb hitch on them. Worse, all of them I've ever seen have rear frame rail extentions, and those are pretty much never built to hang 1k lbs of tounge weight on.

    Mark

    mwood
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    30 Jul 2009 01:45 PM
    marka wrote:

    Howdy,

    Oh. I don't know of any class C motorhomes of any length that are rated to pull 10k lbs.

    You _may_ be able to get close on GCWR vs. GVWR by choosing a short / light class C on the later F450 or Chevy chassis combined with very careful loading, but even in that case I've never seen a 10k lb hitch on them. Worse, all of them I've ever seen have rear frame rail extentions, and those are pretty much never built to hang 1k lbs of tounge weight on.

    Mark

    That pretty much sums it up. I went the shorter (24') Class C with the E450 chassis route. The lighter GVWR still only allows a theoretical towing capacity of around 7500# (well below what a 24' enclosed + 3500lbs Mustang + tools, tires etc is going to actually weigh on the road) and even with substantial bracing in the frame extensions/hitch receiver and air bags, I am not willing to take on the tongue weight that type of number would require. But, for towing an open trailer with car (about 5000-6000#, depending on car being used), it works great. That's about as good as it gets with a Class C, unless you can spec out a Super C with a diesel drivetrain and not too many "bells and whistles" (e.g. multiple slide outs), which add GVWR at the expense of GCWR...

    Going the MH route, if I had to do it again, I'd just pick up a used diesel pusher. There are a number of 34' models with the bigger Cat/Allison combo to be had for well under $75k, used. The only trade off is that the little 24' is very user friendly, easier to park, and good bang for the buck (I bought a used 2005 Winnebago 24F in 2006 w/14,000 miles for $40k).

    Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want the vehicle to do. If you like the idea of having a truck, for various reasons, a diesel pick 'em up is a nice thing to have. On the other hand, the MH route, as has been pointed out, provides a nice vehicle for get aways and vacations (I'm taking ours up to the Sierras next week for some mt. biking and fishing...).

    Doctor_Fun
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    02 Aug 2009 07:27 AM
    Thanks for all of the input. You have all given me plenty to think about. I think I will go with the dually and the F450 may not be overkill after all. After discussing it with my wife, she likes the idea of a longer race trailer with the living space. That somehow surprised me. We are on our way to Gateway today to watch Club Racing and look at some rigs. Wish I could afford a new toter home, but the Powerball tickets did not pan out last night. Thanks again.
    marka
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    02 Aug 2009 05:50 PM

    Howdy,

    Doctor_Fun wrote:
    Thanks for all of the input. You have all given me plenty to think about. I think I will go with the dually and the F450 may not be overkill after all. After discussing it with my wife, she likes the idea of a longer race trailer with the living space. That somehow surprised me. We are on our way to Gateway today to watch Club Racing and look at some rigs. Wish I could afford a new toter home, but the Powerball tickets did not pan out last night. Thanks again.

    For the living quarters trailer, be aware there are some options... A full living quarters will have fresh, grey, and black water tanks, along with propane. That will be attached to a stove, propane furnace, propane/electric fridge, sink, toilet, shower, etc.

    That stuff all adds money and weight. Lots of people at racetracks (where there are bathrooms, usually showers, sinks, etc.) probably could get by without the sink, shower, and toilet. Doing so means no fresh/black/grey tanks, no plumbing, no 12v pump, etc. Typically people don't care about the stove either, but a fridge is _really_ nice to have and that'll require propane to run when not hooked up to electric. And, of course, you'll want A/C and some type of heat (either propane furnace or perhaps electric, if you'll have good power).

    The options here range from doing it yourself with surplus RV parts (Elkhart, IN has a bunch of surplus places to buy things) in a bare trailer all the way to calling up a Pace dealer and specing out a full living quarters. The thing I don't know is how receptive the normal places are to someone saying "I want propane supply, fridge, generator prep, but don't want fresh/grey/black, sink, or toilet."

    Anyway, for a motorsports use only, I think some type of living quarters trailer is the way to fly.

    Mark

    PCalhoun
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    02 Aug 2009 06:36 PM

    If you are in St. Louis and looking for a race trailer w/ or w/out LQ call Alan Cape at Flying A in Cuba. He is the largest race trailer dealer in the area and carries many of the major brands; including Pace, Vintage, Classic, & Renegade.

    http://flyingamotorsports.com/index.phtml

    800-222-4004

    rjohnson
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    02 Aug 2009 08:07 PM

    FWIW, I have a GMC C6500 / small CAT 3126/Allison with a 44' LQ United gooseneck.

    LQ is complete, self contained. Rig is in Lansing, MI and is $30k firm. I will separate for

    a premium. There is detail / pics in the 'For Sale' section of SCCA Forums.

    -Roger Johnson

    419 340-3255

    rejohnson@bright.net

    pace_owner
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    25 Aug 2009 09:54 AM

    DO NOT BUY FROM PACE AMERICAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We purchased a 40' Pace trailer in 2005 and now, in 2009, had the roof come off. Yes - the entire roof. The roof was not fastened to the trailer properly. Unfortunately we were not aware of this as new buyers. We contacted management at Pace in Indiana and they said they would not do anything about it. They said that it is our problem now. Tell me - what kind of effort would it take to re-rivet the roof back on? They do not care about their customers at all.

    Very poorly made product.

    boxboy
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:512


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    25 Aug 2009 10:05 AM

    Which one came off? The one on your 35' trailer or your 40' trailer or both? Can you post some pictures?

    -Andy M.

    atcovan
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    25 Aug 2009 08:13 PM
    pace_owner wrote:

    DO NOT BUY FROM PACE AMERICAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We purchased a 40' Pace trailer in 2005 and now, in 2009, had the roof come off. Yes - the entire roof. The roof was not fastened to the trailer properly. Unfortunately we were not aware of this as new buyers. We contacted management at Pace in Indiana and they said they would not do anything about it. They said that it is our problem now. Tell me - what kind of effort would it take to re-rivet the roof back on? They do not care about their customers at all.

    Very poorly made product.

    Spoken like a true compettitor... trailer company, I mean. You site both a 35' and a 40' trailer, which is it? Then, you don't have a profile or signature and just joined this community. I don't need to live in Washington D.C. to smell male bovine fecal matter.
    Steve Hoelscher
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    26 Aug 2009 08:42 AM
    pace_owner wrote:

    DO NOT BUY FROM PACE AMERICAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We purchased a 40' Pace trailer in 2005 and now, in 2009, had the roof come off. Yes - the entire roof. The roof was not fastened to the trailer properly. Unfortunately we were not aware of this as new buyers. We contacted management at Pace in Indiana and they said they would not do anything about it. They said that it is our problem now. Tell me - what kind of effort would it take to re-rivet the roof back on? They do not care about their customers at all.

    I am always suspicious of such posts. New registration, no name, few specifics... If you are going to make such statements, put your name on them. Give specifics.

    Pace is an SCCA sponsor and Peter Calhoun (long time SCCA autocrosser) is in their sales/marketing dept. (if I remember correctly). I don't own a Pace and don't work for the company but I can't imagine that this is the whole story, assuming there is one.

    marka
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    26 Aug 2009 09:38 AM

    Howdy,

    Yes, I'd also be interested in hearing the details of this failure. I own a competitor trailer (Vintage) but helped purchase a Pace trailer for our local region. In my opinion, the Pace was the better built of the two. I've also never really heard anything bad about Pace.

    Not to say they couldn't have built a bad trailer or had poor customer service, of course, but a random post like this from someone new with no details just doesn't seem very credible to me. Post up the details.

    Mark

    Ryno
    Basic Member
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    29 Aug 2009 05:00 PM
    Doctor_Fun wrote:

    I have read through much of the previous threads and did not quite get my questions answered so here goes. I am a second year autocrosser who is planning to go road racing in the near future. I am looking to start towing the car or cars (depending if I continue to autocross as well). I have been attending divisionals and NT's since I started last year but driving the car to the events.

    I am looking at an enclosed 24 ft trailer so that part is easy. How to tow it? I was planning on a newer Ford F450 dually. However, I got to looking around at National Tour events and see a fair number of motor homes towing trailers. If I was only autocrossing, the dually would be the answer. However, the longer days and duration of road racing events requires more at-track comfort for my wife (and me). So, I am considering a 30 ft. Class C with 10K towing capacity.

    Arguments, benefits, problems for or against the dually versus a qualified tow capacity motor home and remember we're going road racing too. Thanks in advance for your input.

    One of the main things to consider is does your race car meet your transport needs once you get where you are going. I love the 5th wheel setup for this reason. Plus we can take our setup places you would never consider taking a Motor home. Plus you now have two vehicles if needed.

    Now for the downside, with my '08 F450 I get around 6 mpg towing my big trailer this with the 4.30 year end. I also have a 22' haulmark car hauler as well but still only get 8-9 towing this. 10-12 mpg around town with no trailer.

    All this being said we may sell our setup and get a Motor home. Probably not as I would still need at least an F350 for work. It just drives me nuts stopping every two hours to fill up, this with a 38 gallon tank.

    FYI this 5th wheel has a 17' Garage.

    Doctor_Fun
    New Member
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    01 Sep 2009 12:42 PM
    Ryno wrote:
    Doctor_Fun wrote:

    I have read through much of the previous threads and did not quite get my questions answered so here goes. I am a second year autocrosser who is planning to go road racing in the near future. I am looking to start towing the car or cars (depending if I continue to autocross as well). I have been attending divisionals and NT's since I started last year but driving the car to the events.

    I am looking at an enclosed 24 ft trailer so that part is easy. How to tow it? I was planning on a newer Ford F450 dually. However, I got to looking around at National Tour events and see a fair number of motor homes towing trailers. If I was only autocrossing, the dually would be the answer. However, the longer days and duration of road racing events requires more at-track comfort for my wife (and me). So, I am considering a 30 ft. Class C with 10K towing capacity.

    Arguments, benefits, problems for or against the dually versus a qualified tow capacity motor home and remember we're going road racing too. Thanks in advance for your input.

    One of the main things to consider is does your race car meet your transport needs once you get where you are going. I love the 5th wheel setup for this reason. Plus we can take our setup places you would never consider taking a Motor home. Plus you now have two vehicles if needed.

    Now for the downside, with my '08 F450 I get around 6 mpg towing my big trailer this with the 4.30 year end. I also have a 22' haulmark car hauler as well but still only get 8-9 towing this. 10-12 mpg around town with no trailer.

    All this being said we may sell our setup and get a Motor home. Probably not as I would still need at least an F350 for work. It just drives me nuts stopping every two hours to fill up, this with a 38 gallon tank.

    FYI this 5th wheel has a 17' Garage.

    This is nice rig - my wife loved it. I assume the Shelby would fit. I hate the gas mileage of the F450 but we are racing and spending crazy money anyway. Thanks for the pic and info.

    Stan Whitney
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    01 Sep 2009 01:18 PM

    Consider an in bed auxilliary fuel tank to help extend the comfortable range. I use one from Northern (RDS 51 gal tank/toolbox combo) that works well. You can set them up for gravity feed, or via electric pump - something to use those aux swithces for! They should be shallow enough to still work with the 5th wheel/goose.

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/..._200370680

    01 FS Z28
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    01 Sep 2009 02:05 PM
    17' is a little short I think for a Mustang. It might just fit, but it'll be really, really tight.
    jdchristianson
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    02 Sep 2009 05:45 AM

    I don't know, but what is the payload capacity of the garage? Aren't most of these toy haulers built with motorcycles in mind? Would a mustang be too much weight?

    Jeff Christanson

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