Confused over Hitches - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-18-2016, 05:41 PM   #1
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Name: Judy
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Confused over Hitches

I'm frustrated and confused over Class II and Class III hitches for pulling my soon to be built 17 Casita Liberty Deluxe. I have a 2014 Chrysler Town and Country with factory tow package. Even though it has a 2'' receiver, it is a Class II with a 350 pound tongue weight recommendation. My Casita will have a 365 pound tongue weight dry. Even tough I was told my Class II with a weight distribution hitch will be OK and I have spoken with two people who use this setup, all of my contracts and paperwork say I must have a Class III for that model. For liability purposes, I want to do the right thing. I did find today that I can replace my factory hitch with a Curt Class III. The only difference is the Class III has an extra bolt - only on the driver's side. Am I making too much of this or should I go the expense to change it for one additional bolt? The Class III clearly states a weight distribution receiver can be used with it, my factory hitch does not address adding a weight distribution receiver. I should add that my overall towing weight is good, just the tongue weight is problematic.

Any advice will be appreciated!
Judy
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:23 PM   #2
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Name: Darwin
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Just change it out for the right receiver.
2014 Chrysler Town and Country Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com
Not expensive and you can bolt it up yourself.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:47 PM   #3
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Oklahoma
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I'm sorry, but someone has done you a disservice by selling you a trailer with too much hitch weight for your tow vehicle. IMO your minivan would need a custom hitch receiver fabricated with more and stronger attachment points, suspension modifications, and possibly a sway bar or different tires. The Casita may have a 365 lb dry hitch, but once loaded with LP, battery, water, and camping gear it will be more. It could be anywhere from 400 lbs to 550 lbs, give or take some. If you add a weight distribution hitch, that unit could weigh another 50-75 lbs, which means the hitch then must support that much more. The minivan just isn't made for that much weight on the back end. It needs stiffer suspension in the rear and a receiver that won't tear off under load.

If you were up north, I'd suggest going to Can-Am RV in Toronto. But I don't know who in Florida could do the work.

By the way, I've had two class III Curt hitches (rated for 5000/500 lbs) tear apart on me; after holding up for a couple years of constant towing (but never overloaded) the metal fatigued and gave out. I won't buy another.

If you don't want to replace your minivan, my advice would be to change the order to a 16'. They are much lighter on the hitch.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:42 PM   #4
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I have to agree. It looks like the Class 3 hitch recommended for your vehicle is rated for 400 lbs. Most folks I know with a 17 Casita are usually running above that! Our Freedom ran about 410. I wonder if the lighter weight fiberglass propane tanks would help. Not sure how a WDH would work into that configuration. If the WDH would keep your tongue weight on the class 3 hitch to 400 lbs or less it might work...New tow vehicle?
Good luck!
Kathie
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:49 PM   #5
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For the record, the battery and fresh water tank in the Casita are behind the axle.
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:11 PM   #6
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
The Casita may have a 365 lb dry hitch, but once loaded with LP, battery, water, and camping gear it will be more. It could be anywhere from 400 lbs to 550 lbs, give or take some.
My SD17's TW is 364# loaded, two LP tanks and full water tank. Like Mary said, the water and battery behind the axle help lighten the TW. I'd sure like to see what the folks that have weighed in at these higher numbers are carrying.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:57 AM   #7
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Name: Judy
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Thank you to all who responded, I appreciate the input.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:41 PM   #8
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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Go to an RV dealership. They do this stuff for a living and do it safely. You need a professional.

Sometimes it is comforting to deal with a long established professional dealership who can guide you through the entire process. They will evaluate your choice of tow vehicle and let you know if what you want can be pulled safety with your current vehicle with or without modifications.

Buying a travel trailer "factory direct" has its hazards and this is just one of them.
Qualified professional dealerships not only sell you a product but set up your tow vehicle with all the right equipment including weight distribution and trailer brake controllers etc, and then walk you through the learning process of hooking up and un-hooking your dream camper....avoiding the nightmare of making dangerous mistakes using internet hearsay.

Get professional help. Not for liability reasons but for your safety.

Happy Camping !
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:17 PM   #9
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Texas
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Or call your salesman and get this clarified. The folks at Casita Enterprises want you to have a good experience with their product, and they will help you with these questions. They may not do this kind of set up work themselves (although Escape Trailer Industries does for their customers, at least up to a point), but if not I'll bet they can refer you to someone who will. It's not like they sell these trailers and then you're on your own. They warranty their work and have a service department.
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