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How Much Can An RV Tow?

One of the joys of owning a motorhome is being able to tow a car, truck, or trailer with you on your trips.

Motorhomes are a classic way of seeing the world, living free, and taking a truly unbelievable trip.

However, you need to know your towing capacities in order to avoid dangerous and costly motorhome mistakes. 

Different classes of motorhomes have different towing capacities.

A Class A motorhome will have the highest average towing capacity while a class B motorhome will have the lowest.

There are newer Superclass C motorhomes which have the highest maximum towing limit of all. 

Here’s a quick guide to get you better acquainted with motorhome towing capacities. 

Class A Motorhome Towing Capacity

class a motorhome

Class A motorhomes are the biggest and strongest of this type of vehicle.

They are designed to handle heavy-duty towing loads.

A Class A motorhome is built on a standard bus chassis which gives it a natural strength for towing. 

You can easily take your car, or truck, along for the ride with this type of motorhome.

A Class A motorhome can even haul some pretty sizable boats! 

However, you probably can’t get away with hauling a car and boat or any other combination of vehicles.

This class of motorhome typically only has the power to haul a single vehicle or trailer. 

Class A motorhomes are rated to haul between 5,000 and15,000 pounds.

This is a wide range and that has to do with the different makes and models that fall into the Class A category. 

The smallest Class A motorhomes can handle 5,000 pound towing minimums while the average in this class will handle between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds of towing

That average is important to keep in mind.

Your Class A motorhome might be one of the biggest that can handle over 10,000 pounds, but it could have a lighter rating. 

Always consult your owner’s manual for the most accurate towing limits and instructions. 

Class B Motorhome Towing Capacity

class b motorhome

Class B motorhomes are the smallest of the bunch.

These motorhomes have restrictive limitations for their towing capacities built into their design. 

Class B and Class B+ motorhomes can only tow vehicles or trailers between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds.

This is because they are built on a commercial van chassis which isn’t really built for heavy-duty towing. 

You shouldn’t let this turn you off of a Class B motorhome.

That 3,500 to 5,000 pounds is still very useful.

These efficient and streamlined motorhomes are ideal for people who only need to haul a small trailer or your average-sized personal vehicle. 

If you want a Class B with the most towing capacity, look for a motorhome that is rated as Class B+.

This is slightly larger, which gives it more muscle for about one or two thousand extra pounds of towing.

This could make or break the difference between being able to haul your truck or having to leave it at home. 

Class C Motorhome Towing Capacity

class c motorhome
image: Motorhomes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now we’re getting into the oddest category of motorhome.

The Class C motorhome is built on a truck chassis.

This is a little deceptive and causes some confusion among motorhome enthusiasts. 

That “truck chassis” could mean a personal vehicle or a commercial truck.

The breakdown depends on the rating of the truck chassis that your motorhome was built on. 

A Class C motorhome that was built on a Class 3 or Class 4 medium truck chassis will have a towing capacity similar to a Class B motorhome.

Your average Class C motorhome has a towing capacity of around 5,000 pounds. 

This means a Class C motorhome is more than strong enough to haul decent-sized trailers and most categories of personal vehicles.

You won’t have to worry about leaving anything behind when you can tow everything and the kitchen sink. 

Things get a little more complicated when we look at the new Super Class C motorhomes.

These are built on Class 5, 6, 7 and even Class 8 truck chassis.

These types of trucks are commercial vehicles and they are designed for commercial loads.

The biggest Super Class C motorhomes can haul upwards of 40,000 pounds.

That’s a motorhome that could haul multiple vehicles or even an additional motorhome! 

As Class 8 trucks get more powerful, these Super Class C motorhomes are going to get some serious towing power. 

What Affects The Towing Capacity?

Towing capacity is affected by the design of a vehicle.

In order to find out how much a given vehicle can tow, we need to look at a few factors.

Motorhome towing capacity is affected by the motorhome’s chassis, engine, transmission, axles, and the overall weight of the motorhome itself. 

Motorhomes also have some limitations related to the type of vehicle they are.

Commercial trucks are purpose-built to haul heavy loads, while your motorhome is designed for comfortable living while traveling on the road.

A motorhome can haul a heavy load, but it’s not strictly built for this job. 

This means your motorhome is towing as a bonus feature rather than a full-time job.

This will limit the size, shape, and types of loads your motorhome can reasonably tow. 

RV pulling a boat

What Can RVs Tow?

There’s a lot you can tow with an RV or a motorhome.

The limits that these vehicles can tow are related to their chassis and class rating.

Class A motorhomes and Super Class C motorhomes can haul the most weight, but what can you even tow with these vehicles?

An RV can tow a surprising amount of equipment, vehicles, and trailers.

The limitation is really just the weight of the object being towed and size restrictions based on the limits for your vehicle’s class. 

This means your RV can haul cars, trucks, motorcycles in trailers, boats, and even a horse trailer!

An RV is also a great choice for hauling trailers full of camping gear and other equipment.

There is one consideration you need to make when hauling cars and trucks. 

If your personal vehicle is an automatic or 4×4, it needs to be on a trailer to be towed by an RV.

Manual transmissions can be hauled without the use of a trailer.

This additional trailer weight needs to be factored in when hauling vehicles with your RV.