One of the benefits to owning a motorhome is that it can tow heavy loads behind it. This adds to the list of things you can do with your rig. While some folks will actually tow a trailer behind their motorhome, more often than not, they’ll actually be towing a car, or a toad as it’s commonly called.
If you’re looking to upgrade your motorhome experience, adding a toad to your setup might do the trick.
This can help you in many ways:
- Avoiding the hassle of packing up your campsite if you need to run into town for supplies
- Driving your toad to any nearby attractions or parks—no need to find parking for a motorhome
- Saving gas on local trips
- Embracing the “spoke and wheel” setup—use your motorhome and campground as a homebase and take your toad to explore all the area has to offer
If you’re ready to try a toad with your motorhome, here are the questions you need to ask yourself.
What is Your Class C’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GWVR)?
Your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the total weight your motorhome can hold.
This, along with other towing and rating specs, can usually be found on a sticker on the inside of one of your door casings.
When looking at GVWR, you’ll need to include your vehicle weight, the weight of everything in your motorhome (don’t forget water weight, occupants, and everything you’re bringing for your trip), and the hitch weight of your tow vehicle.
Even if your Class C is rated to tow more than your toad (more on this shortly) you can’t exceed your GVWR with everything listed above.
What Is Your Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)?
Another number on the same sticker, the Gross Combined Weight Rating is the maximum total weight of everything in your setup.
This doesn’t just take the road’s hitch weight, like the GVWR. It includes the full weight of both vehicles, everything being carried in both vehicles, and even the hitch connecting both vehicles.
In other words, everything traveling down the road with you. This total needs to stay below your GCWR to make sure your motorhome’s chassis can handle all the weight.
What is Your Class C’s Tow Rating?
This rating is pretty straightforward. How much weight can your motorhome pull?
This is a good time to acknowledge that toads aren’t the only thing commonly towed by RVers. We’ve seen motorhomes tow boats, ATVs, canoes, kayaks, cargo trailers, and even small travel trailers!
The important point here is that all the ratings we’re covering need to be considered. If you’re under your Tow Rating, but over your GVWR, you’re still unsafe.
What is the Weight Rating of Everything in Your Hitch System?
Every component of your hitch system should have a rating, and you just need to make sure you’re in compliance in every link of the chain.
This can include things like the hitch itself, tow bars, and even the pins that hold everything together.
Can Your Toad be… Towed Wheels Down?
Finally, a question that doesn’t involve math!
Some cars can’t be towed with all four wheels rolling. This can damage the transmission and other components.
Before towing with any wheels down, you should consult your car’s manual.
If you can’t tow with wheels down, using a platform trailer is definitely an option—you’ll just need to add that weight to all your calculations.
If you’re looking for a resource for flat-towing, our friends at Motorhome Magazine put out a Dinghy Towing Guide each year.
Safety is the most important thing when it comes to towing any vehicle. Make sure you’re within the ratings of all your vehicles, and you’ll be good to go!