How do I increase the towing capacity of my motorhome? (15 tips)

In this article, How do I increase the towing capacity of my motorhome? We will discuss 15 ways of increasing the towing capacity of a motorhome and give you additional tips on towing safely!

How do I increase the towing capacity of my motorhome?

There are several ways to increase the towing capacity of your motorhome. Here are our suggestions: 

  1. Do not overfill the motorhome tanks;
  2. Instal a trailer on your motorhome;
  3. Invest in a bigger motorhome;
  4. Remove or replace certain components and accessories of the motorhome;
  5. Remove what you do not or little use;
  6. Replace some elements with lighter ones;
  7. Become a minimalist;
  8. Don’t take unnecessary tools and objects;
  9. Don’t leave with too much water;
  10. Avoid duplicates!
  11. Weigh the generator set;
  12. Ditch the camping furniture;
  13. Change dishes;
  14. Become addicted to e-books;
  15. Do not stock, buy local!

Below we will discuss each of the above tips in more details so that you know how to easily increase the towing capacity of your motorhome and become a pro and RV-ing!

But first, let’s see what can happen if you tow too much weight. 

What happens if you tow too much weight?

If you tow too much weight, the rear of the car will be pushed up and the front is pushed in. The result is that the grip deteriorates, the trailer becomes more unstable and the range of the low beam is shortened.

A car with a trailer is more difficult to drive and control than a car without a trailer. This is because the weight and length of a car with a trailer will increase, which affects both steering and braking.

We must thus remind you of the safety rules, and that exceeding towing capacity is never recommended, as it can represent a great risk especially on a long road.  The weight makes your car less agile and less balanced, especially if you carry a lot of weight in the trunk, in the rear, if you have a roof rack, a trailer or any other accessory to carry more cargo.

If the weight is poorly distributed on the trailer and it suffers a blow, the vehicle loses control.  This, on a busy road and at a high speed, could cause a fatal accident, so we emphasize the importance of dedicating the necessary time to properly place the load on the trailer and stop considering it an unimportant process. 

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15 tips to increase the towing capacity of your motorhome

  1. Do not overfill the motorhome tanks:  You can save a few pounds on your payload by filling your tanks to 30% of their capacity. 
  1. Install a trailer:  Another way to increase the payload of your motorhome is to add a trailer to your vehicle. You must check that your vehicle is equipped with a hitch. If it does not have a hitch, you will need to check the registration document, if it is possible to install one.
  1. Invest in a bigger motorhome: It may sound silly, but if you need to increase your payload all the time, your motorhome is not suited to your needs. It is smarter to invest in a larger and better equipped motorhome so that you can travel more peacefully.
  1. Remove or replace certain components and accessories of the motorhome. The payload of a motorhome is how to put it … reduced. It’s the motorhome itself that weighs the heaviest, I’m not telling you anything. But you can lighten it. But for that, it takes some sacrifices and clean cuts.
  1. Remove what you do not or little use. Motorhome accessories alone do not necessarily weigh very heavily. But cumulative is something else. So get rid of what you don’t use.
  1. Replace some elements with lighter ones. What if you replaced your heavy automatic antenna with a manual antenna? You would certainly gain 5 pounds or more, but you could also make some money by selling it.
  1. Become minimalist. Becoming minimalist may be a bit extreme, but the idea is to do without the superfluous to save weight and space in your motorhome.
  1. Don’t take unnecessary tools and items. Your attachment is understandable, but you should also understand that some tools are heavy. People carry all the gardening essentials: shovel, rake, branch cutters, etc. Not to mention the complete toolbox and the drill/driver. I advise you to take only the essentials and tinker with your motorhome outside of the trip!
  1. Don’t leave with too much water And yes, water weighs. If you fill a water tank of 200 litres every ⅔, you reach almost 150 litres! If you plan your trip well and know when you can fill your tank, you may be able to leave with a little less water and avoid the extra 50 pounds that will make you overload.
  1. Avoid duplicates. Once again, take only what is necessary according to the number of people in the motorhome. Is it really necessary to have two sets of quilts and a pillow “just in case”?
  1. Weigh the generator set. A generator is sometimes essential, so as not to strain the batteries too much or when you do not have a solar panel type recharging means but you are looking for maximum autonomy. Obviously, a portable generator only weighs about ten kilos, but you can quickly gain weight with a more powerful (and noisy!) set. 
  1. Ditch the camping furniture. Tables, garden chairs, umbrellas, decorations or even barbecues, all help to add weight to your motorhome. Weigh each item and only carry the ones you are sure to use.
  1. Change dishes. You can easily reduce the weight of your dishes by 3, for the same amount, by purchasing melamine dishes. And you also avoid the problems of stalling and noise from dishes.
  1.  Become addicted to e-books. Magazines or books quickly add weight to a motorhome. You can literally put a library in an e-book for a few tens of grams on the scale. And the autonomy is just infinite. 
  1. Do not stock, buy local. You will always find on your way a local producer who will have his fruit or vegetable stall on the side of the road. 

Conclusions

If you are trying to figure out how to increase the towing capacity of your motorhome you will probably wonder if it is possible to increase the GVWR of a motorhome. The answer is yes, it is possible,  but it is a long and complex operation. It will be necessary to switch from a light vehicle to a heavy vehicle, that is to say, reclassify a light vehicle. 

To do this, check that your motorhome is equipped with a heavy-duty chassis. You should approach a dealer who will assess the modifications to be made and the total cost. It will also be necessary to carry out a heavy vehicle homologation on the vehicle.

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions about increasing the towing capacity of a motorhome. 

FAQ on How do I increase the towing capacity of my motorhome?

What happens when you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity?

When you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity you bring a series of consequences for your card, such as engine overheating; tire failure, overloading the drivetrain, CO2 emissions increase among others. 

What percentage of max towing capacity is safe?

A percentage of 80% or 75% of max towing capacity would be safe and recommendable. 

How do you know if you tow too much weight?

You know you are towing too much weight when the rear of the truck will appear hunkered down and the front end will feel light.

References 

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