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Old 12-19-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Not a speed I would tow at . . .

We had occasion to make a quick trip (without Airstream) to the San Antonio area this week. On the way, we missed all the Austin traffic mess by taking Toll Road 130. Posted speed limits, 80 and 85.

So of course I had to see how the Tundra does at 85, legally. Not a speed I would tow at, but really handled well, even in a few places where this "engineered for speed American autobahn" had some dips that you wouldn't expect to encounter at 85.... but the truck hugged the road.

In 80 miles of that highway at speeds between 75 and 85, I only had maybe two or three vehicles pass me, so I guess we know what Texans feel like should be the speed limit.

Overall, I was also impressed because the 275 mile trip down came in at 16.77 mpg, which was a combination of about 35 miles of Dallas city driving, the 80 miles on the toll road and the rest on I35 interstate driving. I had figured that the 80-85 would really drain the gas tank but I guess once I was at speed it moved along nicely at about 1700 rpm.

I also found that my "driving comfort zone" was closer to 77 than 85.

Dana
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:51 AM   #2
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We normally tow across these roads in Texas at speeds in the mid seventies and everything seems to perform fine.

I make sure though that I leave a goodly amount of space between vehicles in front of me just in case a quick stop is required.

I have the feeling that it is safest to more or less keep pace with most of the traffic.


Brian.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
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I don't like this trend towards higher and higher speed. Stuff can go really bad, really fast at that speed.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:18 PM   #4
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Today's vehicles really are much better. Until I drove a modern pickup, I was always amazed that people on the DC beltway would be in the left lane doing 75 or 80 mph with them. After I drove one, I understood - they really are not your father's trucks. Sometime around the turn of the century, the auto manufacturers started upgrading brakes, suspensions, frames, safety, etc.

That said, if anything, the drivers are getting worse, even as the fatality rate drops (maybe people think they can't die behind the wheel). So the higher speeds aren't necessarily a good thing. I often drive a car (not towing) at 80 mph, so I'm guilty too, although I'm not usually passing people when I go that fast; it's just the ambient speed of traffic in an area where enforcement is almost nonexistent. I keep our truck to a lower maximum speed; even though the brakes are excellent it's still a bit longer to stop than a car.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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Dana, you only think you'd be uncomfortable with the SPEED towing the trailer on TX 130. When your toll-tag account gets dinged for the extra axles you'll REALLY be uncomfortable. They charge a 2-axle Airstream as much as an 80,000-lb semi. Logical, right? Sometimes it's still worth the expense to skip towing through downtown Austin, though.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:25 PM   #6
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I stay away from that toll road, friends have encountered wild hogs strolling along the middle of the lanes, since it is not very busy, and the hogs like the warmth of the pavement near dark.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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It was said in the Movie "CARS" that years ago people took to the road to have a good time, not to make good time. It is hard enough to enjoy the view to 55 to 60 mph when towing 5000 to 10000 lbs.. Why does anyone have to travel at 75 to 85 mph anyways. So many things can and will go wrong at any speed, they just happen faster the faster you are going.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:02 PM   #8
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Speed limits are higher in Texas in many places because of the "wide open spaces", and that's a fact. In West Texas most of the limits on the interstate highways is 80, and so most people in cars and light trucks drive 85. I know it sounds unreasonable to a lot of you from different areas, but it's something you just get used to, increase your following distance, and deal with it. (remember the two second rule? Relevant whether you are driving 85 or 55.)

All that said, I don't tow that fast, stick mostly to 65, and I don't see many people towing trailers here driving faster than I. Motorhomes and trucks, now that a horse of a different color. They pass me all the time.

One more thing, about the Austin bypass Toll Road 130....if you want to use it and not get charged, take your front license plate off.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:06 PM   #9
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the comment of being diligent at that speed is right on.... stuff happens very quickly at that speed and time to react is really limited.

David, I know what you mean about the tolltags and trailers,,, we ran into the same thing on PGBT here in Dallas..... fortunately it was just a couple of times going back to storage.

And I'm not advocating for those higher speeds.... I really like towing at 62 and as I said, I found my non towing comfort zone really wasn't much about 75-77.

Good to know about the hogs.... hence the many, many wildlife crossing warnings
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:18 PM   #10
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I was on Tx130 one day and a guy pulling a 26' SOB with a Ram1500 going 90. I slowed down to let that train wreck get waaaaayyyy away from me.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
I don't like this trend towards higher and higher speed. Stuff can go really bad, really fast at that speed.
Agree. Sooner or later the high center of gravity of a pickup will come back a haunting.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:18 PM   #12
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There is no WAY I'd tow ANYTHING that fast. 60-65 is about it.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #13
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I was on Tx130 one day and a guy pulling a 26' SOB with a Ram1500 going 90. I slowed down to let that train wreck get waaaaayyyy away from me.
One of the vehicles that did pass me when i was trying out 85 mph was a Peterbilt truck without the trailer.... a towing company no less.... and 10 miles down the road he was pulled off with his flashers on ..... maybe 90 mph is a bit fast. Wonder what his boss said?
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:58 PM   #14
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Iirc, the toll for a big truck is around $35 from seguin north
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