We just bought a Grand Design Momentum 351M and now need to determine how big/strong of a tow vehicle we need to be safe. Please help! —Ann
According to the 2022 Grand Design website, the Momentum 351M is a beast of a unit and you will definitely need some horsepower!
The specification list shows that the unit has a 14,700 lbs. unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) rating and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 16,800 lbs. That means you will need a very large truck to pull this safely. It also lists the hitch weight at 2,900 lbs. All this is an average, so you will need to get the actual weight of the rig you are purchasing and after you load all your “stuff” into it.
I am a firm believer in not loading the rig up to maximum weight capacity, as I do not want to have the maximum weight behind a tow vehicle when I need to stop in the mountains or even on slight hills. I also do not want to be at maximum weight trying to get up an incline. The RV Safety & Education Foundation, which I have worked extensively with, suggests at least reducing the weight by 10% of your tow vehicle’s towing capacity.
The tow vehicle to get the job done
If you look at the 2022 Ford Towing Guide here (pdf), it looks like the only vehicle with enough towing capacity is the F-350 with 6.7L Turbo Diesel. As you can see, there is a wide variety of models, engines, and therefore towing capacity, and it will depend on how you load the rig. If you load to GVWR, you will need something that can tow the 16,800 lbs. plus the 10% safety factor, which means the units with an 18,000 lb. towing capacity will not work.
I would suspect you will probably get close to GVWR as there is only 2,100 lbs. cargo capacity, which is the unloaded weight of the rig and GVWR. Keep in mind, the 2,100 lbs. typically includes any water and propane, as usually the UVWR is dry weight. This unit has a 155-gallon fresh water tank. With water at 8.2 lbs. per gallon, that’s almost half the carrying capacity.
You can view the Chevrolet specs here (pdf). Again, with the weight of the Momentum, you will be in the larger diesel market.
It is important to know your weights and be mindful when you are loading. Do not shove everything into the bedroom and front compartment due to the weight that will add to the hitch and the back of your tow vehicle.
Once you get it loaded, go to a weight scale such as a CAT Scale and get it weighed on the platforms. The best is to have individual wheel positions weighed from RVSEF. You can find teams here.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
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