cscarlson

How Low Can You Go (With A Drop Hitch)?

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My name is Carl, and I have a question for experienced RVers. My wife and I just bought our first motorhome. We have RVed for 15 years in a fifth wheel, and decided to upgrade to a Class A. We are about to embark on our first extended trip. We will be towing our Chevy Malibu. Our coach is a new Bounder 35K. I bought all the towing equipment from Blue Ox, and have read the manuals. The receiver on the Bounder is 24 inches above ground and the attachment points for the tow vehicle are 12 inches above ground. We bought and installed the maximum 10 inch drop receiver adapter. This will bring us within the safe \zone of =/- 3 inches to level. The two bar will be about 12 inches above the ground. Blue Ox says we must avoid hitting ground with the receiver adapter and/or tow bar, as it will compromise the integrity of the equipment and possibly lead to safety problem.

Here's the question. Given the usual ups and downs of RVing across country, are we going to be able to keep from bottoming out in most roads, railroad tracks, gas station entryways, etc.? Is 12 inches sufficient for most travel? I calculated that with the wheel span of the Bounder, if the front wheels go up 18 inches with the back wheels staying level, the low point will bottom out. It comes to 7 degrees.

What do you think?

Should we get another tow vehicle that would have a higher attachment point? I hope not, but we want to do the right thing.

Thanks very much for any advice or comments?

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In most places of reasonable travel you should be fine, just remember when entering driveways and the like you will need to be mindful of the fact that the receiver is down pretty low. Best to go to some of these types of places without the toad and have the wife or friend to watch for you as you slowly make an approach to these types of dips, if it is going to bottom out, don't force yourself to drive on. Just a couple of these attempts will let you know what to avoid while on your journeys. You will also find that the angle that you make these approaches is also helpful in avoiding a situation. Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your new endeavors.

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cscarlson,

Welcome to the Forum!

Good questions and analysis on your part.  The problem I see is that your rear tires will not always be on a level plane when you are going in and out of driveways such as fuel stations, markets and large parking lots.  You'll also have to consider the "dip" and overhang from your rear axle to the low point on the hitch.  As your rear axle gets to the low point of the dip your drop hitch is going to be closest to the pavement.

I'm mindful of going in and out of driveways and entrances.  If I see a lot of scrape marks and gouges on the concrete or pavement I hit the air ride height adjustment to raise the coach.  Not sure if you are able to do that on yours.  I also enter or exit diagonally when I encounter the same.

Of course a tow vehicle with a higher hitch point would be best but you'll have to decide on that.

Blake

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12 hours ago, cscarlson said:

My name is Carl, and I have a question for experienced RVers. My wife and I just bought our first motorhome. We have RVed for 15 years in a fifth wheel, and decided to upgrade to a Class A. We are about to embark on our first extended trip. We will be towing our Chevy Malibu. Our coach is a new Bounder 35K. I bought all the towing equipment from Blue Ox, and have read the manuals. The receiver on the Bounder is 24 inches above ground and the attachment points for the tow vehicle are 12 inches above ground. We bought and installed the maximum 10 inch drop receiver adapter. This will bring us within the safe \zone of =/- 3 inches to level. The two bar will be about 12 inches above the ground. Blue Ox says we must avoid hitting ground with the receiver adapter and/or tow bar, as it will compromise the integrity of the equipment and possibly lead to safety problem.

Here's the question. Given the usual ups and downs of RVing across country, are we going to be able to keep from bottoming out in most roads, railroad tracks, gas station entryways, etc.? Is 12 inches sufficient for most travel? I calculated that with the wheel span of the Bounder, if the front wheels go up 18 inches with the back wheels staying level, the low point will bottom out. It comes to 7 degrees.

What do you think?

Should we get another tow vehicle that would have a higher attachment point? I hope not, but we want to do the right thing.

Thanks very much for any advice or comments?

Carl, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new Bounder. I used a setup very much like yours when I was towing a dolly. It looks low and should drag but didn't have a problem. You need to pay attention to steep ditches or curbs and not hit them square but at an angle like others have posted. Have fun on your trip and keep us updated.

Have you looked at Bounders of America? There may be a chapter near you. http://www.bounder.org/

Bill

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manholt   

The safety margin between front of Toad hitch point and coach is +/- 15 degrees....that's assuming your bent on having a head on with a car or tree. :) Then yes it could cause your toad to go under your coach or into your closet .  Have a friend who's Jeep went into the engine of a DP...he was rear ended. :blink::o

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I want to thank all of you who responded to this issue. You have provided much needed perspective. Based on your feedback and other information, we decided not to tow our Chevy Malibu, and instead purchase a tow vehicle that will allow a higher hitch up to the tow bar. Love this forum!

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