Author Topic: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior  (Read 254 times)

Offline FarPoint

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  • Posts: 47
  • I’m so far behind, I thought I was out in front
  • Member since: 2020
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1997
  • Make: Winnebego
  • Model: Warrior 25RU
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« on: March 02, 2020, 12:16 PM »
I was just looking at the parts diagram for my Warrior, and it clearly states that I have a Class II hitch installed from the factory.
It’s a frame mounted hitch, with a 2” receiver. Most sites I visit state that a class II hitch system is a 1 1/4“ receiver.
I’m remote from the vehicle for a few days so can’t crawl under to look for any stamped in info.
So from what I can find out, a Class II is limited to about 3500lbs GTW and about 300lbs TW, and smaller than what’s installed on my unit.
Is there a misprint on Winnebago parts catalogue?
Standards changed since 1997?
Given my recent strengthening of my frame extension, I might end up towing something a bit heavier than 3500lbs. Short distances and not up huge hills in the heat of the day.
And of course I’ll check my allowable total weights.
I just want to eliminate a weak link if that is actually a Class II hitch.
We the Willing
Led by the Unknowing
Paid by the Uncaring
Have been doing so much
With so little, for so long
That we are now qualified
To do anything- with nothing at all.

Offline Rickf1985

  • 6 year member
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  • Posts: 5855
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 10:34 AM »
Mine has a class 3 hitch but the towing specs are as you said. 300 tongue weight and 3,000 towing. They were designed for pulling a light toad and not for trailers. With your mods you would be fine with a heavier hitch but I was thinking the other day, you only did one side didn't you?

On mine the passenger side has a deep compartment at the rear so there is NO frame rail on that side!!! They ran a couple of Angle irons straight down from the frame in front of the compartment, then ran a support back along the bottom of the compartment and up the back of it. This all mated to a double back to back angle iron that welds to the frame and runs through the top of the compartment and out the back and all of this mess welds to a short section of frame rail to make it look like it is a real frame. The main problem is all the 90 degree welded angles. There is NO strength in those at all so there is nothing I can do on mine. I ended up going with a Trailer Toad.I would love to know who designed that stupid idea and how it ever passed any kind of structural inspection. Even with the trailer toad I plan to add some sort of bracing so the tension is transferred from the hitch forward to the main frame ahead of the welds.

Offline FarPoint

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  • Posts: 47
  • I’m so far behind, I thought I was out in front
  • Member since: 2020
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1997
  • Make: Winnebego
  • Model: Warrior 25RU
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 01:48 AM »
Hey Rick - I did do both left and right frame rails, but only showed pics of the right side. I used 3/8” plates with 12 bolts on the right side and 11 bolts on the left. (The generator interfered with the mag drill on the left side and I still had to drill one free hand- NOT recommended!)
It would have been better to have used a channel inside the frame rails but the inside surfaces weren’t even and the spare tire carrier was in the way.
The spare tire tire carrier is welded in pretty well, so it  ties the left and right side frame rails together laterally.
I plan to install  a Class III hitch - just in case I end up towing something a bit heavier than 3500 lbs.
Also, I have a Trials motorcycle that weighs about 150lbs, and the heavy duty carrier weighs in at about 70lbs - so I’m getting close to the max on the existing tongue weight if I also hook up a small boat. I’ll rig it up and post a pic this weekend.
We the Willing
Led by the Unknowing
Paid by the Uncaring
Have been doing so much
With so little, for so long
That we are now qualified
To do anything- with nothing at all.

Offline Rickf1985

  • 6 year member
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  • Posts: 5855
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 08:48 AM »
Oh man! only 11 bolts on the other side?!!! That is sure to fail!!!! :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao
I am going to put this in here even though it is not much of a concern in your case. But in my case I have probably 10 feet of frame behind the rear axle. You can reinforce the frame as Far Point has done and it will hold a tank but you have to keep in mind that the farther back from the rear axle you go the more the tongue weight affects the overall vehicle. It will add significant weight to rear axle since it is so far behind the axle, it is pushing down and trying to pivot up the front. That tells you it is also taking weight off of the front axle, think less traction on the front tires.  So if you put a 1,000 lb.s on the hitch now that your frame is up to holding it you have just grossly overloaded the rear axle. Consider that 99% plus of all of these P30 chassis motor homes are already overloaded without a trailer and then add to it. A Dana 60 is a really strong axle but they do have their limits. Now instead of the frame being the limiting factor the suspension and axle are. If the suspension bottoms out on a dip at road speed you just shocked that axle with many tons of downward force. They will not usually break right away, they will bend. The you start destroying differentials. The side gears in the differential are what is taking the load now since the axle is bolted to the hub which will now be pointed just a hair down. This is usually not noticed until BANG! The side gears break and you coast to a stop.

Online TerryH

  • 6 year member - Full time RVer
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  • Year: 1992
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  • Model: Brave 27RC
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  • Engine: 454 Dual Fuel
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 05:46 PM »
Hey, FarPoint, FYI, a new member signed up yesterday, down island from you in Sooke.
island-winnie, Charter Member.
“Who is more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?”
Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars, but very current.

Offline FarPoint

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  • Posts: 47
  • I’m so far behind, I thought I was out in front
  • Member since: 2020
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1997
  • Make: Winnebego
  • Model: Warrior 25RU
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2020, 09:21 AM »
My rear axle weight is 2450 kilograms. Or 5400 lbs. The front axle is slightly less, at 2200 kg, or about 4800 lbs. Half tank of water. Half tank of fuel. My fuel tank is 40 gal capacity. Can’t remember the water. Probably about the same. If I do upgrade the hitch to Class III, the actual weight and tongue weight would only be slightly above the existing Class II hitch capacity. As the water tank is directly above the rear axle, I could always travel with an empty tank. Water not much of a problem in my area.
I can certainly see the leverage issues that additional tongue weight will cause.
Kinda glad I got this short of a Class A - at 25ft I think a lot of my potential issues are not as critical as they may be on a longer heavier unit with more overhang behind the axle.
We the Willing
Led by the Unknowing
Paid by the Uncaring
Have been doing so much
With so little, for so long
That we are now qualified
To do anything- with nothing at all.

Offline FarPoint

  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • I’m so far behind, I thought I was out in front
  • Member since: 2020
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1997
  • Make: Winnebego
  • Model: Warrior 25RU
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2020, 09:39 AM »
The only time a motor home will achieve a perfect 50/50 front to rear weight bias is when it’s on its roof.
We the Willing
Led by the Unknowing
Paid by the Uncaring
Have been doing so much
With so little, for so long
That we are now qualified
To do anything- with nothing at all.

Offline FarPoint

  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • I’m so far behind, I thought I was out in front
  • Member since: 2020
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1997
  • Make: Winnebego
  • Model: Warrior 25RU
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Class 2 hitch on 1997 Winnebago Warrior
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2020, 12:33 AM »
Class 2 hitch is gone. Got a screaming deal on a new Class 5. Bit of work to get it in there but I’m glad I did. Not that I’ll ever tow anywhere near the capacity of a class 5 - but the original was bothering me. And this one is SOLID!
When I put my motorcycle carrier on the original it kinda rocked around - despite a good anti-rattle device. I was was under the max tongue weight - but it seemed marginal.

We the Willing
Led by the Unknowing
Paid by the Uncaring
Have been doing so much
With so little, for so long
That we are now qualified
To do anything- with nothing at all.

 

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