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Old 09-23-2002, 08:44 PM   #1
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towing and the Banks Power Pack

I just got a 1984 345 and am adding the Banks Power Pack. The manual says that I am limited to tow a 2000 lb. car, which really limits my possibilites. Does anyone know how much the Banks should increase my towability? I see Bounders/Pace Arrows with the same engine pulling Blazers & heavier cars. What is the deal with that?
Thanks for any info.
Eric
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:04 PM   #2
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Angry

I am in the same boat with my argosy motorhome. The folks that are towing a 3000 lb car with a bounder or pace arrow are more than likely over their tow rating, compromising all of our safety. Yes the 2K limit does reduce our choices, but you can pick up other capacity. Look at the weight ratings that are in your owner’s manual. If you have the motorhome lightly loaded then you may have additional weight available that could be used for the vehicle. You need to look at the total Motorhome GCVW. There is also the issue that over 2500 lbs you should have a way to actuate the brakes on the towed vehicle for additional safety. I have seen all manner of "toads" but there are many lightweight ones available.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:34 PM   #3
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Just curious.

Is the 2000#lb tow rating due to the 345's frames strength capacity and not the engines ability to pull a "toad"?

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Old 09-23-2002, 10:20 PM   #4
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toads

I'm not sure what the weight limitations are imposed under. I am curious about what people are finding to tow that weighs in under 2000 lbs. though.
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Old 09-23-2002, 11:12 PM   #5
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Ref

I'm not sure of the weight of this car but, by all accounts, the Saturn vehicle seems to be highly regarded as a 'toad'..I've seen quite a few of them behind all types/sizes of MH this past summer.
If you're really limited to 2k then, that's gota be one small car.(IMHO)
ciao
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Old 09-24-2002, 05:15 AM   #6
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Here is a link to autotrader that has weights on new or used cars. Most of the saturns are going to put you over by 300-400 lbs. The ony thing lighter is going to be a geo metro or suzuki swift.

http://www.autotrader.com/research/m...&ac_afflt=none
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Old 09-24-2002, 07:00 AM   #7
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The individual I met in Panama City was pulling a GMC Jimmy (well over 2,000 lbs.) with his 1988 325. He had the stock 454 with no Banks. He also adds a motor-scooter on top of the tow bar. He has experienced no problems. His engine ran 210-220 degrees like mine.

I will be really curious to see how the Banks improves the engine performance and heat and MPG.
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Old 09-24-2002, 08:07 AM   #8
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The Banks system is designed to increase power, the towing ratings are related to chassis strength and load carrying capacity. It will make towing easier but not increase ratings.

But- my 74 Argosy 24ft. (admittedly much smaller but GVW is 12,300 lbs. also) chassis manual does not have this limitation. The manual advises use of a weight distributing hitch with sway control on trailers over 2000 lbs. loaded. It lists a maximum trailer weight of 4000 lbs. The hitch is a Reese and had to be factory installed because it has floor supports welded to it.

Saturns are popular because they are light and the auto trans models can be towed 4 wheels down without any modifications.

John
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:10 AM   #9
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The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) deal with chassis, suspension, axles, and tires, any one of which could be the limiting factor. This directly limits tongue weight which limits towed weight.

While chassis is a factor in Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and Max Towed Weight (which is GCWR minus actual or curb weight), by far the most limiting factor here is engine power, gearing (which determines how power is delivered, how much by torque and how much by rpm), and mechanical strength of the drivetrain, the transmission, transfer case, driveshafts/u-joints and axle internals.

The drivetrain is designed to deal with the torque of a certain amount of power accelerating a certain amount of weight at a certain rate. There's some safety margin built in but that adds to production costs. When you increase the power to increase that acceleration, you're playing in the safety margin and operating closer to, and in some cases beyond, the safety margin. Think about that before increasing power.
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Old 10-19-2002, 10:40 AM   #10
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at one time i had the same questions . i have a 92 s-10 blazer 4x4 and the weight is 3500 lbs. and i to saw the other motor homes pulling larger toads. tongue weight is the not problem for toads.you must have brakes to stop your mh and toad in a specified distance. in most states any towed vehivle over 3000 lbs must have a braking device and a break away system . in some states it is 2000lbs. no body is going to stop you and check to see if you have the required equipment but if you get in a accident then it is too late it is your fault for not installing the required safety equipment. i ask gm about towing my s-10 4x4 and they recommend i not tow. why, they had not tested that model . i think the motor homes is the same story. not tested. i have a 310 AS motorhome i dont know who installed my tow bar. it is pile of 1/4 steel that is welded together and welded to the frame. if that comes off, the rear of the motorhome will go with it. i add this make sure the tow bar is the strongest point . a A S motor home with 454 power will pull all of the smaller toads with no problem . i have changed my thermostat to 180 and my unit runs a lot cooler . i also had the radiator rodded out . i dont know what it would do out in the rockies. hopes that answers some of your questions.
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Old 10-30-2002, 10:30 PM   #11
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Towing a Honda Odyssey

I have a 1989 345LE which I purchased one year ago. I have installed a banks system, a transmission cooler, and a new radiator in that year. In that year I have towed a Honda Odyssey to Florida, Mississippi, Big Bend , Oklahoma, and to Colorado. The major problem I encountered was in the mountains. I managed but very slowly. On the return trip, I unhitched and had my wife drive the van until the land flattened out. I towed in the summer and the thermostat never climbed above 206. However, I do believe that it is probably to heavy to tow if you live in a hilly part of the world. Braking has not been a problem but I have no basis for comparison and a lot of this I due out of ignorance and stupidity. From what I gather, I need a smaller vehicle to tow or an alternate braking system. Does anyone out there have a brake system for the towed vehicle and how does it compare in efficiency to not having one?
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:09 AM   #12
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hi
i have a brake buddy braking swstem in my toad and it has been tested proven that it works. i have had to do a couple of panic stops and i stopped before hitting the idot in front of me . dont know if you are aware of the weight limitations governing toads. in some states mississipi is one you are required to have a braking system if your toad weight is over 2000 lbs about all of the other states it is 3000 lbs. i wasnt aware of this requirement and pulled my toad (s-10 blazer) for about a year. didnt have any problems but did some defensive driving as i was aware i could not stop if i had to do a panic stop. was very lucky.. the local rv dealer bankston motorhomes advised me that alabama law required a braking system in my toad. i didnt know this and i started looking for a system that i could live with . i setteled for a brake buddy. it is a easy in and easy out. i like it works great. it is bit expensive, but it is cheap if it keeps you out of an accident. if you rear end someone and dont have a braking system in your toad you will get a citation if your toad weighs over 2000lbs. their are other braking systems out there. what i saw i didnt like . they all cost about the same give or take a couple 100 . i havent pulled in the rockies but i have in the smokies with no problem . the lighter the vehicle the better. i guess that is why you see a lot of saturns behind motorhomes. hope i shed a little light on the subject.
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