Class B motorhomes are great for the size, but some find it a bit small and want to tow additional trailer, toys such as kayaks or a car. Towing with a Class B motorhome is like towing with other motorhomes (class A, C or super C). All motorhomes have a limit to which they can tow partially determined by the hitch capacity, the towing capacity of the vehicle (GCWR), plus the total weight in the vehicle (cargo weight).The typically Class B towing capacity is currently 5000 lbs assuming that there is nothing in the vehicle, however some older models may only tow 3000 lbs. Lets have a look at what can be towed and how much one can tow when the manufacturers say vs real life towing. Plus, what’s the danger in exceeding the towing capacity of your vehicle.
What Can A Class B Motorhome Tow & Not Tow?
You can comfortably tow these with your Class B motorhome if they fit in the average weight and it is stated in your vehicle sticker on the driver side door.
|Flat tow a small economy car||3000 lbs or less|
|Open utility trailer||1000 lbs|
|Trailer & 2 Canoes||200 lbs + 200 lbs = 400 lbs|
|Trailer & motorcycle||400 + 300 lbs – 700 lbs|
|Tear drop trailer||900 lbs|
|Pop up trailer||600 to 2800 lbs|
|Trailer & 2 jet skiis||1000 +1000 lbs = 2,000 lbs|
|Tow dolly with small car||700 + 3000 lbs = 3700 lbs|
|Small enclosed cargo trailer full (4 x 6)||600 + 1400 = 2000 lbs|
DO NOT Tow these with a Class B as it exceeds the towing capacity.
|Flat tow Large vehicle||3500 – 6000 lbs|
|A car trailer with Car on||2,800 + 6000 lbs = 8,800 lbs|
|A large travel trailer||4,500 lbs (empty)|
|Large boat trailer with boat||3000 + 2,200 lbs = 5,200 lbs (empty)|
|Large Enclosed cargo trailer with full load (8 x 20)||3600 + 3400 = 7,000 lbs|
|A horse trailer with 2 horses||3900 + 2900 = 6,800 lbs|
|A toy hauler trailer with car||10,000 + 6000 = 16,000 lbs|
If you are interested in towing anything heavier than 5000 lbs, consider a class C, Class A or a super C which has a towing capacity much higher than a class B. The typical max weights on a Class A is 10,000, lbs or a super C, that can tow in excess of 30,000 lbs. You can read about class C towing here, and more about a super C here, as well as towing with a Class A motorhome here
Where Can I find the Towing Capacity of My motorhome?
The towing capacity of a motorhome will be located on a sticker on the driver’s side door Jam. The sticker will be on the frame or the actual door. You will find the sticker along with the Vin number of the vehicle, GVWR, GAWR, manufacture date, tire information. Here is one from my ford 350 motorhome. This sticker will be on all motorhomes from Class A, B or C and Super C. This can also be found on any truck one is thinking about using to tow a trailer as well.
If the sticker has been painted over or does not exist, one can find the vin number by looking at the windshield and look for the VIN of the vehicle. With the VIN, one can search for the information about your vehicle. This is a good article on using your VIN to find your vehicles towing capacity.
Is it ok to tow at the maximum towing capacity with your Motorhome?
I spoke with several people who tow trailers regularly, and someone who wrote the towing guidelines for Alberta and they all say the same thing. The actual tow weight is less than what the manufactures state and the GVWR. The total maximum towing capacity of your vehicle should never be taken lightly. The true safe range of a total maximum towing capacity is 80 to 85% of what is stated in your owner’s manual. While there are maximum towing capacity amounts stated for each type of vehicles such as 5000, 10,000 etc, the ideal or safe towing capacity is really only towing 80 to 85% of what is stated. So in this case if your motorhome’s safe towing capacity is
|Vehicle||Stated tow capacity||Actual safe tow weight|
|Class A||10,000lbs||8,000 lbs|
|Class B||5, 000lbs||4,000 lbs|
|Class C||8, 000lbs||6,400 lbs|
|Super C||30, 000 lbs||24,000 lbs|
So, I would say to error on the safe side and tow less weight than what your motorhome actually states is the maximum tow load of what the vehicle can actually handle.
What happens if you exceed the towing capacity rating for your Vehicle?
Some people think that the maximum weight of what a vehicle can handle is more of a guideline rather than a fixed warning of what is safe. Exceeding the maximum weight that a vehicle can handle in carrying load of towing load can lead to serious harm to the vehicle and to others on the road. It’s critical to know that your vehicle can handle the weight and towing capacity; it does not mean that it is safe to do so. So, learning all about these new abbreviations such as GVWR, GVW, GTWR, and GTW is very important. You can get into the details of this new terminology and how to use these numbers in calculating the correct towing weight in this article on how much a class C motorhome can tow.