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Old 04-05-2010, 06:49 AM   #15
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16' Airstream- maybe, 19' Airstream- ill advised.

It's not rocket science. Mazda states 3500lbs. Trailer stated weight is 4000lbs with 500 of that as hitch weight. You, any passengers, fuel, or any cargo in the car get deducted from that 3500lbs, so right out of the gate you're not only below the stated rating, you've significantly gone south of it before you even pull out of the drive on your first trip. The question is not will the Mazda move the trailer, clearly it will and has the power to move it. Having the power to move something is only part of the equation.

Putting it into another perspective, you crash into someone (God forbid) on the road, and it's a pretty hellish wreck (and it's your fault). The insurance company will pay for your claim, and then most likely promptly drop you when they find out you have exceeded the factory tow rating. That could then be the least of your worries because if someone in the other car is hurt, you could be subject to a civil case and they will look really closely at your rig and setup and they'll be looking at the same thing some are talking about here..3500 tow rating being exceeded.

My take/opinion is if you have the scratch for an Airstream, you should be in good shape for securing a proper tow vehicle.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:45 AM   #16
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Mazda CX-9 Towing Update

HI folks, well here is a detailed answer from Phil (Andy's colleague) from the Can-Am RV Centre in Ontario....

I have learned a lot in the last few days on how to research all of the towing capabilities and formulas for my vehicle, and how to be patient with the information as it is received, a lesson learned on these forums. Now on to the purchase....

Larry

Hi Larry,

Thanks for the email. Andy is away at meetings and asked me to reply to your questions. You're right, the CX-9 shares its architectural roots with Ford's Flex and Edge, both of which are exceptional vehicles for towing an Airstream. Its independent rear suspension makes the CX-9 a very stable platform for towing. The 6-speed automatic transmission has smaller steps between its six forward gears, bolstering performance by delivering the engine's power over a broad range of speeds.

Quite often a manufacturer will publish a conservative tow rating for a couple of different reasons. Sometimes the vehicle in question just isn't being marketed to tow, or Ford, GM etc. wants to steer you into a vehicle from which they realize a bigger profit. Other times, weight limits are imposed because it's the only quantitative guideline they can apply. A lot of factors are out of the manufacturer's control, such as the hitch being used, the brake controller (or whether it even will have one. or brakes at all), sway control, and the aerodynamic profile and height of the trailer. Honda, for example, issues a higher tow rating for a boat (less wind drag) than they give for a standard travel trailer.

The CX-9 will do the job with lots to spare. The Airstream has far less aerodynamic drag than conventional 'box' trailers, leaving power in reserve for climbing steep grades and passing. This vehicle will tow a 19' Bambi safely and comfortably with lots left over. I wouldn't hesitate using this vehicle for a moment. It will make for an excellent combination, not to mention a good looking one.

We would recommend you bring it here for a Class III receiver since we can reinforce it quite nicely on this vehicle. Hoping this helps.

Regards,
Phil

Philip Tipler
Can-Am RV Centre
1.866.226.2678
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #17
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Thanks for posting the results. This is great news, and I'm adding this vehicle to my list of potential tow vehicles for when we retire the mighty van. We have a little less weight to tow so we will be well within it's stated rating, but I am happier knowing it has towing capacity in excess of that, and the things about the stability of the platform is also good to know.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:47 AM   #18
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Again, this is the kind of stuff that mostly you'll only find from CanAm.
Quote:
We would recommend you bring it here for a Class III receiver since we can reinforce it quite nicely on this vehicle. Hoping this helps.
Most hitch manufacturers state not to modify the hitches. They are suppose to be bolt on and go. Look, I realize there is a small following of folks here on the forum that loves CanAm. I personally have nothing against them, but you'd find me hard pressed to accept a significant (read not all) number of their solutions. This would be one of them.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:31 AM   #19
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First off, I'll start by saying that I've used CanAm and am very happy with the results.

The limitations of bolt-on hitches do factor into tow capacity ratings. Vehicles like the CX-9 and my Honda Odyssey have a third row seat; making a bolt-on hitch stout enough to span the long distance across the back of the vehicle, spanning around the well that holds that seat, is difficult.

The CanAm modification is typically to weld and reinforce that hitch, not unlike what a custom shop would do back in the old days. They're just using the existing hitch as a starting point. (And no hitch company is going to recommend modifying their hitch.)

In other words, I don't think that CanAm modifications are going to make a bolt-on hitch worse. Instead, they address a weakness.

Tom
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:50 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
First off, I'll start by saying that I've used CanAm and am very happy with the results.

The limitations of bolt-on hitches do factor into tow capacity ratings. Vehicles like the CX-9 and my Honda Odyssey have a third row seat; making a bolt-on hitch stout enough to span the long distance across the back of the vehicle, spanning around the well that holds that seat, is difficult.

The CanAm modification is typically to weld and reinforce that hitch, not unlike what a custom shop would do back in the old days. They're just using the existing hitch as a starting point. (And no hitch company is going to recommend modifying their hitch.)

In other words, I don't think that CanAm modifications are going to make a bolt-on hitch worse. Instead, they address a weakness.

Tom
...and that sort of proves my point really. If the hitch is not strong enough and has to be modified to accommodate a need for a vehicle, you most likely either have the wrong hitch or the wrong tow vehicle. I've seen the cars and mini-vans with the hitch that has to go around the exhaust, sure these work for jet skis, pop-ups, smaller U-Haul kind of stuff, but they are not designed for 5k trailers and more importantly, many times neither are the vehicles themselves. Are there folks that do it and get away with it? Sure. Doesn't make it right and clearly won't be an asset if you get into an accident and it's your fault. I don't say this from a lack of exp. I've been towing for nearly 2 decades and I've done some hair brained things in the early years. It's great that you have this forum for folks to share some of their exp so you can make a good decision either way you go.

Can you imagine an 18 wheeler doing something like this? No, you wouldn't or you shouldn't, yet here we have on a much smaller scale the same thing being done. Get the right tool for the job (meaning a better tow vehicle). If you don't so be it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #21
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HI folks, well here is a detailed answer from Phil (Andy's colleague) from the Can-Am RV Centre in Ontario....
For what its worth Phil was one of the pro's there that was involved in our current set up. I had a chance to observe and talk with him during the receiver platform build up and installation.

Watching and listening to these guys really is a wake up call to just how much specialized knowledge there is re this subject.

Thinking I learned more about professional set ups and towing in the few hours I spent there than I had towing a trailer for many years.

IMHO the design and HD construction of their receiver/platform hardware puts a stock GM factory receiver at the level of a mechano set.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:53 AM   #22
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Thinking I learned more about professional set ups and towing in the few hours I spent there than I had towing a trailer for many years.
I'm sure they have accumulated a lot of knowledge of what works and what doesn't based on all the rigs they have set up for customers over the years. Far more than any of us could have from privately towing our own rigs. I would certainly be inclined to trust them. Though many people on this forum seem to be skeptical of their abilities to set up a safe towing rig, it seems like the actual CanAm customers are pretty happy with their results.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:02 PM   #23
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IMHO the design and HD construction of their receiver/platform hardware puts a stock GM factory receiver at the level of a mechano set.
No disagreement there, though it doesn't really do their design justice as the GM OEM receiver is (or was--not sure on the new models) a certified POS.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:42 PM   #24
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. I've seen the cars and mini-vans with the hitch that has to go around the exhaust
Yup, I have seen them too. They don't impress me much either.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #25
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Yup, I have seen them too. They don't impress me much either.
Seems like it would make a lot more sense to re-route the lightweight, non-critical component...
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:12 PM   #26
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We thought about down sizing our Tahoe awhile back but I started thinking when I am towing going east on the I 10 freeway towards Palm Springs and there is almost always a tail wind and 18 wheelers passing us, I would not want something light as a tow vehicle! I thought about a GMC Acadia but when I read about the hitch needed to be modified and re-enforcing areas of the Acadia that was recommended to be re-enforced I said nope I like my Tahoe.
As was mentioned before to each their own.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:14 PM   #27
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Seems like it would make a lot more sense to re-route the lightweight, non-critical component...
When we went to Can Am to get our hardware designed and installed the first thing I asked Andy was how do you build a receiver assembly with the large muffler/tailpipes in the way. He just smiled and said there were many options without disturbing the original equipment.

In our case they just avoided the obstacle ( muffler/tailpipes) and designed the assemble in the available free space. Works great.

We just assume the custom receiver looks like and are installed like a conventional one but it is not always the case...
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:11 PM   #28
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You can, but you may not!

Hi, this is all great and dandy. Andy seems to be a very talented person, but neither he or you can change the factory rating on a vehicle. Mazda says 3,500 lbs, and that is what it is, no matter how you modify it. You can tow anything you want, with any vehicle you want, but when you're involved in a fatal accident, the tab is on you. If you live to tell about it, everything you own and then some will be gone instantly. I'm not a gambler or big risk taker, are you? Just because I CAN pull a 747 with my Lincoln, doesn't mean that I should.

YOU CAN, BUT YOU MAY NOT!
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