Saturday, September 23, 2023


The cargo carrying capacity of my Class C is only 630 lbs.! Can I tow a trailer?

Dear Dave,
Please excuse my newbie question, but I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere yet. I recently learned, after our first-ever RV purchase last year, that our Class C has an OCC of only 630 lbs. After getting us both on the bathroom scale and realizing that not a lot of room is left for necessities (i.e., food and clothing, not to mention any RV equipment), I was wondering if we might use a trailer? With a tow capacity of 5000 lbs., is it possible and perhaps better to pull a small trailer for things like a grill and electric bikes? How does the towing capacity relate to the OCC? Thanks, Dave. We’ve learned a lot from all your articles! —Lew, 2019 Tiffin Wayfarer 25RW

Dear Lew,
Your Wayfarer is a Class C on a Mercedes Cutaway Chassis with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 11,030 lbs. This means the unit cannot exceed 11,030 lbs. once passengers, water, propane, and cargo is put in the unit. The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is 15,250 lbs., which is the maximum weight of your unit and what is being towed. So if you max your GVWR in the motorhome, you only have 4,220 lbs. to tow even though it has a 5,000 lb. hitch. Plus, most experts such as the RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) recommend deducting 10% from maximum GVWR, as you do not want to be at maximum weight trying to stop in hot weather, mountain driving, or other weather conditions!

Cargo Carrying Capacity

This is a similar rig to your Wayfarer. Something that you will seldom find in the brochure or print material is the data for Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC), which is how much the owners can put in the unit before reaching GVWR, or what we call the Dry Weight. That is what the unit weighs coming out of the factory with no water or propane.

You indicated OCC, which I assume you are referring to as Cargo Carrying Capacity. (Or perhaps you meant OCCC, which is the Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity.) This has been an issue, in my opinion, with these Class C units on the smaller cutaways having limited CCC. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) does require a weight sticker that has some of the weight information you need. However, I’m not sure what was required in 2019, but I would believe it would look something like this.

As you stated, two people getting into this unit and a few gallons of water at 8.2 lbs. per gallon puts it close to the GVWR. Not much capacity for food, bedding, clothes, and/or anything else! You also need to find out if the dry weight includes fuel, which I do believe it did according to RVIA code. However, I would get it weighed with a full tank of diesel, as that will add 6 lbs. per gallon.

Trailer would be a good option

In my opinion, a trailer would be a good option, especially if you are planning longer trips and taking items like bikes and grills. The weight factors you need to consider are GCWR, which would be 4220 lbs. if the motorhome is at maximum GVWR, as well as hitch weight, which is the maximum weight that can be placed on the motorhome hitch. Typically, that would not be a factor in a smaller trailer being pulled, especially if it is a tandem axle trailer that has very little hitch weight. Make sure it has trailer brakes and you add the trailer brake controller to the Mercedes, as that is not typically a standard feature and you will be traveling on the high side of weight ratings.

 You might also enjoy this from Dave 

Should I carry a spare tire for my Class C, and is the added weight worth it?

Dear Dave,
How do you change the inside tire of a dually? I carry a spare, but is the added weight worth it if I can’t change the tire? What about the jack you have to carry? I have a Class C. Are those tire warranties from third party companies (think: Good Sam) worth it? —Jeffrey

Read Dave’s answer.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

Read more from Dave here


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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
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. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


  1. Just my opinion that RV manufacturers making these units with completely inadequate capacities intentionally do not communicate this deficiency in their literature. This small of a capacity really makes the unit unfit for its intended purpose.

  2. Wow! 630 pounds is nothing?! Those poor people, they essentially bought a very large car. Yikes! Thank you, Dave, for sharing their story.

  3. I grow tired of people thinking about the amount they can pull because they see a tow rating & yet neglect to consider ALL the added weight of other things . Dave is correct to point out tongue weight. You need a fair amount of tongue weight (10-15%) to help with stability

  4. A trailer kinda defeats the purpose of having a very expensive (relative to larger rigs) small class C, the entire purpose of which is ease of driving, parking, etc.

    It’s really unbelievable that Class C would have so little capacity. We haven’t shopped those but appreciate the heads up that we really might not be happy if we did!

    I can’t even imagine a class B.

  5. And don’t forget that trailer tongue weight counts as cargo against your motorhome GVWR so a 4000 pound trailer might have 400 pounds of tongue weight which pretty much puts you over your weight ratings. This kind of rig is a poor choice if you want to carry anything at all. Buyer beware. I bet the person selling it never mentioned OCCC.

    • Put differently: This kind of rig is a poor choice if you want to carry food, water, bedding, and clothing. Lol


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