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Pulling the Malibu with a motorhome?


Sunscape fan

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Hello all. I have a Sunscape 23LSV. Probably weighs in at around 6000lbs as most of you know. How many on here pull their Malibu with a motorhome? What type: Class A, class B, Class C? Do you have a diesel or gas motorhome? How long is your motorhome and do you exceed the GCWR of your motorhome. If so, by how much? How do you find it is to launch and retrieve the Malibu with your motorhome?

We really want to get a motorhome so we can bring our LSV along with us. Right now we have a travel trailer and since I don't live in Alberta, I can't tow both the trailer and the Malibu at the same time...lol. I considered getting a truck and camper, but since we are a family of 4, we would need the largest camper they make(two slides etc etc) That necessitates getting a one ton dually. Well that combination just about costs more than a motorhome!! So right now if I want to bring the boat, I am stuck going to our local lake. We are very fortunate to have a beautiful lake only 30 minutes from our house, so I just go home and get the boat. But we want to start going to new lakes, especially in the interior of British Columbia.

Just wondering what everyone on here does. Thanks for the input.

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I know of a few that tow w/ a Class C. You'll need to upgrade the basic Class 3 to a Class 5 and reinforce the rear framing area. Any welder could get that done easily. If it were my rig I'd bag the rear as well.

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We tow our VTX with our 36.5 ft Class A motorhome all the time. We used to tow our 07 VTX with a 24 ft Class C as well.

The VTX loaded is right around that 500 lb mark. We checked and our RV is rated for 5000 lbs. I did reinforce the hitch to make sure we dont run ito issues. I have launched the boats with both RV's. While it is not ideal it does work on some ramps. The ramp at Bayview, Idaho was pretty steep and it was covered in pea gravel. My home ramp is pretty soft in front of the concrete pads and it was quite a sight to see all of 70 ft backing into the water! I should have taken photos. Here are a couple of the rv's towing. Let me know if you have any more questions

Trent

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post-5478-0-66028600-1339014391_thumb.jp

post-5478-0-61889900-1339014402_thumb.jp

Edited by Malibuzer
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I know a couple guys who two with a class A, B & C. As you know the A's & C's come in various lengths. And the longer the length from the rear axle to the hitch, the more difficult it is to back up with the boat hooked up. The longer that part of the chassis is, the quicker the turns happen. So it gets easy to go too far quickly.

Two guys who own the class Bs.... both have 4x4 SportsMobiles. Pretty sweet RV. But I'm sure it's not big enough for kids & families.

I think whatever rig I bought, I'd test drive it with the boat & trailer, take it up some pretty good sized hills & see how it does.

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We tow our VTX with our 36.5 ft Class A motorhome all the time. We used to tow our 07 VTX with a 24 ft Class C as well.

The VTX loaded is right around that 500 lb mark. We checked and our RV is rated for 5000 lbs. I did reinforce the hitch to make sure we dont run ito issues. I have launched the boats with both RV's. While it is not ideal it does work on some ramps. The ramp at Bayview, Idaho was pretty steep and it was covered in pea gravel. My home ramp is pretty soft in front of the concrete pads and it was quite a sight to see all of 70 ft backing into the water! I should have taken photos. Here are a couple of the rv's towing. Let me know if you have any more questions

Trent

Reminds me my bud had a tow ball installed on the front of his 29' Class C to front end back it down. This keep the rear tires out of the water/algae for better traction.

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seems like showing up with a 12 pack at the boat ramp might also get you a lokel yokel to hook the boat to his truck for the last 40' down the ramp?

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We tow our 21' vRide with a 30' Class A motorhome for approx. 1200+ miles a year. It has a class 5 hitch and is rated to pull 5000 lbs. Our boat is 3500 lbs plus trailer/gear, so I figure I'm maxing out the capacity. I make a point of towing it with as little fuel/gear in the boat as poible to ease the weight. The motorhome has the Ford Triton V10 for power, and does reasonably well on the steeper grades we have here in BC. Don't be expecting to set any land speed records travelling through the mountains, but then again my combination is nearly 60' long (which is the max per BC Motor Vehicle Act regulations) and driving slow and steady is always the smart thing to do. I just remember to pull over once in a while and let people pass on the two lane sections (you don't want to be that A-hole who has a line of 30 cars behind him). On the flats you can hardly notice its back there and tows nicely.

In terms of backing up, it's not that difficult. You just need lots of space. With the pivot point so far behind the rear axle it takes a while for any steering input to have effect on the trailer. I've launched a couple times with the motorhome, and while it is doable (depending on ramp), I usually travel with friends with trucks that will do the job. On the rare occasion I've borrowed a fellow campers truck in exchange for beer or a pull out on the water.

Here's a pic of the combination moments before lift off heading to Mabel last year.....

Mike

DSCN2635.jpg

Edited by 09vRide
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I tow my lsv with a 32' class A that only has a 460 V8. As you might think this is less than ideal, but works for our short camping trips, < 3 hrs. It's a dog through any incline and pretty much slows traffic down considerably. on flat freeways it does just fine.

If you are looking at a 30'+ motorhome make sure it comes with a V10. At the time I bough mine there weren't to many V10 so I got the 8.

Most older motorhomes, 95-2005 probably only have a tow rating of 2500 lbs which is something for you to think about. mine is only rated to tow 2500 but I still tow the lsv.

I usually always drop the boat in the water with it and have no problems. It's always funny to see the looks on people faces when I pull up and am done in a couple minutes and there all sitting there scratching there heads because that cant even do it that fast with a truck.

If you plan on doing a fair amount of towing nothing beats a diesel pusher. My brother got a 40' pusher and you really cant tell he's towing anything. I plan on upgrading to a pusher so I can extent my trips as far as I'd like.

Edited by calilsv
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We tow our 21' vRide with a 30' Class A motorhome for approx. 600-700 miles a year. It has a class 5 hitch and is rated to pull 5000 lbs. Our boat is 3500 lbs plus trailer/gear, so I figure I'm maxing out the capacity. I make a point of towing it with as little fuel/gear in the boat as possible to ease the weight. The motorhome has the Ford Triton V10 for power, and does reasonably well on the steeper grades we have here in BC. Don't be expecting to set any land speed records travelling through the mountains, but then again my combination is nearly 60' long (which is the max per BC Motor Vehicle Act regulations) and driving slow and steady is always the smart thing to do. I just remember to pull over once in a while and let people pass on the two lane sections (you don't want to be that A-hole who has a line of 30 cars behind him). On the flats you can hardly notice its back there and tows nicely.

In terms of backing up, it's not that difficult. You just need lots of space. With the pivot point so far behind the rear axle it takes a while for any steering input to have effect on the trailer. I've launched a couple times with the motorhome, and while it is doable (depending on ramp), I usually travel with friends with trucks that will do the job. On the rare occasion I've borrowed a fellow campers truck in exchange for beer or a pull out on the water.

Here's a pic of the combination moments before lift off heading to Mabel last year.....

Mike

Mike, I like your picture. Very interesting. I'm sure you've been up to Alouette lake. Can you imagine yourself attempting to launch your boat with a motorhome up there?? I doubt there would be any way to get around the u-turn and line the boat up with ramp with a total length of 60'. I checked with some coworkers and the actual total length allowed in BC is 65'6" or 20M. What I would like to know is if most ramps are like they are up at Alouette? Are most ramps tight, or is there usually a bunch of room to maneuver?

Malibuzer: Have you ever gotten into a spot where you couldn't maneuver the RV with the boat on the ramp and gotten into trouble? I am thinking about 33-37. Most 33 footers I have found do not have the tow capacity I require. I have found that I need to go up to about 36-37. And most diesel pushers don't have the towing capacity either until they get up to about 37'. And of course by that length the cost is starting to really get up there.

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I tow my lsv with a 32' class A that only has a 460 V8. As you might think this is less than ideal, but works for our short camping trips, < 3 hrs. It's a dog through any incline and pretty much slows traffic down considerably. on flat freeways it does just fine.

If you are looking at a 30'+ motorhome make sure it comes with a V10. At the time I bough mine there weren't to many V10 so I got the 8.

Most older motorhomes, 95-2005 probably only have a tow rating of 2500 lbs which is something for you to think about. mine is only rated to tow 2500 but I still tow the lsv.

I usually always drop the boat in the water with it and have no problems. It's always funny to see the looks on people faces when I pull up and am done in a couple minutes and there all sitting there scratching there heads because that cant even do it that fast with a truck.

If you plan on doing a fair amount of towing nothing beats a diesel pusher. My brother got a 40' pusher and you really cant tell he's towing anything. I plan on upgrading to a pusher so I can extent my trips as far as I'd like.

By towing probably at least double your RV tow rating, how does it handle on the road? Does it wander, is the back end squatted down? Have you done anything to the suspension? I would like to stay within the tow rating for the unit to stay safe and legal.

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Mike, I like your picture. Very interesting. I'm sure you've been up to Alouette lake. Can you imagine yourself attempting to launch your boat with a motorhome up there?? I doubt there would be any way to get around the u-turn and line the boat up with ramp with a total length of 60'. I checked with some coworkers and the actual total length allowed in BC is 65'6" or 20M. What I would like to know is if most ramps are like they are up at Alouette? Are most ramps tight, or is there usually a bunch of room to maneuver?

Malibuzer: Have you ever gotten into a spot where you couldn't maneuver the RV with the boat on the ramp and gotten into trouble? I am thinking about 33-37. Most 33 footers I have found do not have the tow capacity I require. I have found that I need to go up to about 36-37. And most diesel pushers don't have the towing capacity either until they get up to about 37'. And of course by that length the cost is starting to really get up there.

I stand corrected on the MVA regs - you're correct. I guess I can get that LSV after all :thumbup: Maybe my wife won't notice if I order up a black one that kinda looks like the one I have now :whistle: When I looked up the regulation I was also reminded that you're only allowed 8'-6" wide. My trailer is 9'-3" wide at the guide poles, and when I know I'm going down narrow mountain roads (ie road to Otter Lake) I'll remove the guidepoles and put them in the boat until we arrive.

You're right on the Alouette Lake ramp - no way you'd launch with a motor home there. My crew cab pick-up is tight in that round about (that is the dumbest boat launch design IMO). If you plan on towing with a motorhome, you definately need to pre-plan you're trip a bit more. If possible, scout out the area you're going to in advance. If that's not an option, park it and walk into the campground before committing to driving in so you can plan your approach. Patience is key. When I do it I remind myself that I'm on holidays, slow it down, relax and consider all my options.

It's been mentioned to put a receiver hitch on the front bumper. I have that, and although I use it for the bike rack, it would be useful on the launch (never done it yet though).

I sent you a PM with my number. Call me and I can give you a more in depth account of my experiences. :cheers:

Mike

Edited by 09vRide
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By towing probably at least double your RV tow rating, how does it handle on the road? Does it wander, is the back end squatted down? Have you done anything to the suspension? I would like to stay within the tow rating for the unit to stay safe and legal.

It's doesn't sag in the back and I haven't done anything to the suspension. I think it drives better when towing the boat, a lot less sway. With no boat It wanders and sways a lot, kinda a handful to drive. Mine is a 96, so I sure a lot has changed in suspension setups since then.

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We pull our VTX with our 30' class A MH. Before the VTX we pulled our VLX with it. We had another 30' class A before our current MH and it pulled the VLX just fine as well as our SS VLX. Both MHs had/have a Ford Triton v10. They had no problems pulling up over the Cascades, but we weren't about to set any speed records. You just sit back and enjoy the scenery on the way up. I also always try to anticipate stopping ahead, even more so than when pulling with the Tahoe.

I have never tried to launch with the MH. We have always gone camping with friends who bring a vehicle that we can use to launch the boat with.

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We have only launched a couple of times with the motorhomes. The noce thing with our longer unit is the axle is quite far from the rear. This allows the rear tires to be quite a ways out of the water when the boat floats off. It sure does work hard to pull up the ramp on the way out though. We are rated for 5000 lbs as well. I do have the Firestone air bag system on the rear suspension of the rv.

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  • 1 year later...

I know I started this thread a while ago. Well we eventually bought a motorhome..it's a 40' diesel pusher. More than enough towing capacity and power to get up and down the hills with an exhaust brake etc. Then we sold the boat :Doh: But now we are on the verge of getting another 23LSV. So who has pulled with a 40 footer? Anyone afraid to launch using to because you might not get off the launch?

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My brother has a 40' diesel pusher and we launch with no problems, you'll get up most launches just fine. As far as towing it's almost like nothing is back there.

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Reminds me my bud had a tow ball installed on the front of his 29' Class C to front end back it down. This keep the rear tires out of the water/algae for better traction.

I've heard of this, but what gets me is that you then need to back the whole way back up the ramp and to your parking spot, which, depending on the lake, can be quite a ways.

Or do you do a 60 point turn on the ramp a la Austin Powers, and drive back out forward?

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