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Old 04-25-2008, 09:16 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1992 30' Land Yacht
Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 36
Dinghy Towing

Does anyone tow a dingy weighing more than 2000 lbs with their Land Yacht motorhome? What do you tow and what is its weight? Did you replace your hitch, or reinforce it? If you reinforced it, what did you do? Or do you tow your dingy with the hitch as is?
I looked at my '92 Land Yacht's hitch and it looks like a Reese unit, but it plainly says maximum hitch weight of 200 lbs and maximum towed weight of 2000 lbs.
I want to tow about 3500 lbs. any suggestions how I should proceed?

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Old 04-26-2008, 06:50 AM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,137
I'm not sure what the differences are between your Land Yacht and a Classic motorhome but if your frame is a P30 chassis or a variant then you'll probably need to reinforce the hitch.

There are several threads under the Classic Motorhome or else the Mechanics Corner sub forums. You'll find a lot of pictures in various posts showing how their hitches were reinforced. I reinforced the hitch on our Classic 310 and I now feel comfortable towing a 3500 lb trailer with car.

In my mind the bigger worry is braking power. You should seriously consider adding in something like a Brake Buddy to your Toad. There are a lot of threads on that subject as well.

Here is a link to one of the threads on hitches and it contains links to others.

Let us know what you end up doing.


Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:32 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
If you do a search on my name you will find my post on "345 trailer towing".
We have a 345 Classic, but the idea is the same. We went from the 2000lb limit to a 10,000lb limit. We tow a 7000lb race trailer that has it's own brakes. We also tow a 1976 Porsche 912E with a NightShift tow bar. This unit operates the car's brakes.
It's all about making the hitch area strong enough.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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1994 35' Land Yacht Diesel
Franklin NC , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 268
Towing with Land Yacht

Not all Land Yachts are created equal for towing. We bought our for it's towing capacity and the sold our classic GMC that was fun but suffered on hills and on ramps when towing.
Ours is a 35 foot diesel pusher, 1994 Land Yacht. It has plenty of touque and can merge at the top of almost any ramp that's not straight up hill.
We tow:
#1 A 1966 VW Bug, flat towed at any speed we want. Weights less than 1800 lbs. Towed on a simple axle pinned tow bar. You can't even tell it's back there.
#2 A 2006 Saturn Vue, flat towed at any speed we want, has air brakes and
a Blue Ox Alladen Tow Bar. Weight about 3500 lbs. I can feel it but it tows very well.
#3 A 16 foot Aluma Car Trailer with an antique car on it usually at 65 mph or less. Weights 3800 to 5000 depending on what car is on it. Trailer weighs less than 1200 lbs. I like it better with under 5000 lbs, but it does well.
#4 I just bought a 20 foot enclosed car hauler to use as a Storage Pod and to move to NC this fall. The trailer can carry about 7500 lbs plus itself
for a 10,000 lbs total. I do not intend to haul it that heavy.
Anybody else carry that much with a 5.9 diesel? How much?
"The Roadhouse" our Land Yachts name
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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1992 30' Land Yacht
Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 36
Dingy Towing

Thanks guys,for the feedback. Looking at my setup, the receiver, which looks like a Reese unit, is directly bolted to the bottom of the frame rail channels. This setup is very similar to other installations I've seen on other motorhomes and pickup trucks, etc. All the installations attach the receiver to the frame rail channels, and they are rated to tow 5000# or more.
Also, my chassis data doesn't indicate a GCVWR. So I went to the Workhorse website, and they have a spreadsheet with GCVWR for all the chassis they have used, including the P30 with a 454 Chev. engine - exactly same as mine. Their chart indicates GCVWR for this setup was enought to allow about 5000# towing capacity. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:59 PM   #6
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
Don't forget to allow a safety margin. Most folks on this site like 80% of GCVWR. That would give you a 4,000 lb. allowance for the toad so your 3,500 lb. dingy would be well within that range so with the right hitch/reinforcement you should be OK for the chassis and engine. You won't win any hill climbs, but you shouldn't over burden your coach under normal circumstances except maybe when you climb the mountains at the north end of the valley. Then you just need to take it easy and don't push too hard in the heat of the summer.
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
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WBCCI# 4821
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
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1993 34' Legacy 34
olathe , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 20
We have a 1992 34ft Legacy which Airstream states has a max tow capacity of 2000 lb. I called and questined a technicia as to what this was based on; hitch, breaks, engine, etc. He was ver elusive and would not commit to anything. In doing further research I came across information indicating that the restriction was based on the geometry thaking into consideration the distance from the rear wheels to the hitch. Apparently the longer that diminsion the greater the sideway pressure in an emergency lane change situation, and a greater risk of control loss.

We settled on a Honda Fit with a curb weight of 2400lb and able to be towed four down. Can't even tell it is back there in terms of power, control, or MPG.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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1987 32' Excella
Nepean , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,007
My Land Yacht has a Spartan chassis and is a diesel pusher (Cummins 5.9 and Allison 6 speed). This has the capability of towing just about anything you would want behind it. I am quoting a post I made several months ago about my experiences using a tow dolly and then the tow bars. Without a doubt, stay away from a tow dolly and tow four down! Because we sometimes get into a situation where there is no reasonably safe distance to back a car off a trailer, I recommend tow bars. Once the towed car is detached, it can be manouvered easily. Re-attaching it takes only a few minutes.

Originally Posted by blkmagikca
I initially decided to buy and use a tow dolly to tow a VW Passat behind my '94 LY. It turned out to be a huge mistake and a nightmare beyond description. Firstly, if you get into a tight situation and need to back up, you have to remove the car from the dolly (I tried to back up and the whole kit and caboodle jacknifed). This means you also have to have room to back your car off the dolly. If it is wet outside, you will have a messy job removing the tie downs from the wheels, sliding the ramps out, etc.. At one point, we were going through a campground that has large speed bumps made of 6x6 wood. I carefully and v-e-r-y slowly went over them; but that didn't stop one of them from catching the rear fender of the VW Passat (remember, by using a tow dolly, the front is raised up and the rear is lowered) and breaking it off the frame mount - an expensive repair.

On our last trip with the tow dolly, my back spasmed out and I had to dose myself with Tylenol 3's in order to haul out the ramps and move the car off the dolly. I had originally chosen the dolly because I though it was a less costly alternative to the tow bars -- that was not the case.

So I took our old '92 Mazda 323, had a base plate installed and got a set of tow bars made by Night Shift Auto (see RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - Night Shift Auto ) that has a surge brake system built in. It's a 3-minute job to hookup and unhook the Mazda from the tow bars, and it is much easier to handle. Not only that, storage of the tow bars means just slipping them into a storage compartment of the motorhome.

True, the recommended tow vehicle should have a standard transmission, but there are some aftermarket pumps available to keep the transmission oil flowing for an automatic transmission so that you can tow in neutral without damaging the transmission.

My recommendation, based on experience with both a tow dolly and tow bars is forget the dolly and go with the tow bars.

As an addendum, it is highly recommended that there be a braking system for the towed car (the dolly had surge brakes). I shied away from the Brake Buddy and similar electronic brakes as I was concerned that they might engage with greater braking that necessary, which would only damage the towed car's brakes. The surge system that I got aleviates that concern. Not only that, but since it is totally mechanical, the liklihood of electronic/electric malfunction is zilch. As for the cost factor - a new dolly costs more than new base plate, tow bars & installation.
On the subject of brakes for the towed vehicle, keep in mind that a surge braking system is proportional - i.e., it will never exceed that of the motorhome, so there will not be any excess wear. A bonus is that with the surge braking system I used, since it applies the brakes on the car it also causes the brake lights of the car to come on - so your wiring cable does not have to affect the brake lights.

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1987 Excella 32-foot
1999 Dodge Ram 2500HD Diesel
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