View Poll Results: your towing speed
55mph 167 13.11%
60mph 480 37.68%
65mph 450 35.32%
70mph 144 11.30%
75 mph or faster 33 2.59%
Voters: 1274. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-04-2007, 01:18 AM   #85
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I'll insert the needed tire sanity here. Tires are designed to operate in a particular heat range. Exceed it, and they start to break down. Exceed it by a lot, and they start to break down really fast. Like maybe in a few miles.

Tires can shed some of the heat that build up inside as they roll. Once you get beyond a certain speed though, they build up more heat than they can shed. The longer you drive at that speed, the more heat will build up.

So going at rated speed, the limiting factor of a tire's useful life is usually tread wear. But driving at well beyond the rated speed, the tread will survive, while the tire is coming apart inside, delaminating from its belts and so forth. Thus flats, or worse.

Weight is another factor. A lot of us seem to think that a trailer tire must be like a car tire. Wrong. Not too many cars roll around with a ton of load on each tire, but lots of Airstreams do. So if you're a little over weight, and a little faster than rated speed (typically 65), you may be quickly ruining your tires from the inside out.

Rather than pay for new tires, or the aftermath of a high speed accident, or hand over more of my hard earned cash to some lunatic in a third world country who happens to live near a big oil deposit, I'll stick to 55 while towing.
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:33 AM   #86
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Unhappy Chippies keep us slower

California also only allows 55 mph for towing and CHP is out to make the state some revenue more than ever. I try to sneak around 60, but I need my dough for gas, not tickets.
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:29 AM   #87
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65 mph tire rating, not

Now as to the 65MPH Myths, Legends, Fables and stories

ST's can absolutly go 75 Mph the manfacturer says so.

As long as you don't exceed the load limit of the tire Goodyear for example states

"Based on industry standards, if tires with the ST designation are used at speeds between 66 and 75 mph, it is necessary to increase the cold inflation pressures by 10 psi above the recommended pressure for the load."
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:37 AM   #88
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I posted 70 mph because thats what it takes to stay in the middle of the pack. Overtaking speeds can get scary at either end of the spectrum whether it's overtaking or being overtaken. For that reason I avoid any area/timeframe that is a known autobahn. I also check tire and bearing temps at each stop.
Has anyone else been instructed that the first reaction to abnormal trailer sway is to grab the trailer brakes? That's what all folks that I know do who tow big trailer towers. I can grab the control without looking - I've never had too...
I only know 2 people that suffered rolls. 1 was a airstream, low 20' size, towed behind a '70's station wagon, no trailer brakes, no sway control, big pass from a semi and the trailer ended up laying on it's side. The other was a 30'+ race car hauler, capable tow vehicle, backup driver as the more experenced person took a nap. Big pass from a semi and the driver didn't grab the brakes (the primary driver awoke and was trying to grab them but the ride was already getting wild. It made a BIG $ mess on I-20.

The long, long trailer--"Trailer brakes first, then car brakes!"
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:23 AM   #89
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We tow at 58-60 mph, max..... Safety is more important to us than saving a half hour or so over the course of a day's travel. And then there is the issue of gas mileage.... but that's another subject.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:44 AM   #90
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Safety, Speed, and the US Interstate System

I think most of us here on the forums are striving for safety. But there seem to be two common misconceptions.

One, is that trailer tires are rated for speed. They are rated for speed at load and pressure. Tires at 55MPH with too much load or too little pressure will heat up and fail faster than properly loaded tires at 75MPH.

The other is that a fixed MPH is safer. The safest speed is 'with the flow of traffic'. On the open road I like to go 65 max but on a crowded interstate I drive with the flow of traffic in the slow lane - which might be 55 or 65 or 75. Many of the 'near misses' I see on long drives are cars dodging around big rigs trying to avoid a Winnebago puttering down the road at 50 MPH.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:37 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
The other is that a fixed MPH is safer. The safest speed is 'with the flow of traffic'. On the open road I like to go 65 max but on a crowded interstate I drive with the flow of traffic in the slow lane - which might be 55 or 65 or 75. Many of the 'near misses' I see on long drives are cars dodging around big rigs trying to avoid a Winnebago puttering down the road at 50 MPH.
But like anything else there is a limit, and once you start doing 75mph to keep up with the flow of the traffic, your ability to deal with an emergency situation or one that requires quick reaction is extremely limited....not to count that you are now creating a situation where you have with no doubt exceeded the speed rating of the tires, thus fostering a potential problem.

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Old 06-04-2007, 11:40 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
Many of the 'near misses' I see on long drives are cars dodging around big rigs trying to avoid a Winnebago puttering down the road at 50 MPH.
Using this logic, the speeders are in the right and the law abiding drivers are in the wrong and unsafe. I'm not buying.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:58 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
Using this logic, the speeders are in the right and the law abiding drivers are in the wrong and unsafe. I'm not buying.
I would wonder if a judge and jury would buy that also? The senario would go something like this:

"But, your honor I DID NOT CHOOSE TO follow the safety guidelines of the tire manufacturer,,,,, SO,,, It's not my fault"!!!

Any attorneys online that would that would care to inject a legal opinion???
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:13 PM   #94
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If I am not mistaken, there's a published list of state law for "towed trailer" speed limit which, is determined by the weight of the towed trailer. (Among other listed requirements, like brakes) Most states allow speed in the 50 to 55 mph speed range, with a few states allowing the higher speed. I would think that it would be prudent for one to check the list for the states that you plan to drive in and, thru...
Drive with care.
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:49 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
If I am not mistaken, there's a published list of state law for "towed trailer" speed limit which, is determined by the weight of the towed trailer. (Among other listed requirements, like brakes) Most states allow speed in the 50 to 55 mph speed range, with a few states allowing the higher speed. I would think that it would be prudent for one to check the list for the states that you plan to drive in and, thru...
Drive with care.
I haven't checked all 50 states, but I have checked the states that I plan on towing in the near future and all of the ones that I have checked, except Texas, IIRC, have the same speed for towing as they have for general traffic on interstates.

None I have checked, including Texas, had weight specific speed limits. That would be a logistical nightmare to enforce. A 25' Safari SE weighs less than a 25' International CCD. A 25' International CCD weighs less than a 25' Classic, if I am not mistaken. To the non-Airstreamer, they all have the same windows and look alike. How could a law enforcement officer know which speed limit to enforce on which trailer? A 30' Safari weighs less than a 30' SOB. How could you enforce different speeds for the different trailers? You would have claims of brand specific discrimination. Based on the weight issue, a tractor-trailer would probably have a speed limit of 20 MPH! Please tell me where you saw this speed vs. weight table so I can make sure I don't speed in those states that differentiate based on trailer weights.

Now I am one that has typically towed on the faster side. I'm not saying that is the safest thing to do if you have an older tow vehicle, a marginal tow vehicle (power wise, or other), an older set of running gear under your Airstream, or older tires on your tow vehicle or Airstream. But, I have felt comfortable towing with the flow of traffic with my Airstream because I have plenty of power with my 3/4 ton diesel, adequate brakes with my towing package, and my Airstream was new when I bought it last year. I keep a close check of my tire pressure and such things as lug nut torque. I also am a very alert driver and try to choose times where traffic is lighter when I tow.

Having said all of that, it doesn't mean that I am justified in towing with the flow. However, good defense or not, I think that 50 MPH Winnebago is far more dangerous on the interstate than I am!
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:56 PM   #96
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55-60.

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:26 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I haven't checked all 50 states, but I have checked the states that I plan on towing in the near future and all of the ones that I have checked, except Texas, IIRC, have the same speed for towing as they have for general traffic on interstates.
In Illinois Campers, Motorhomes, Trailers and Semi's are all restricted to 55 mph, while general traffic is allowed to drive at 65. I think that Illiniois must be much more strict on fines because there is a noticible difference in the speeds from semi's. While many will pass me when I'm doing 55, it looks like most are doing no more than 60. Counter that to the Missouri raceways where these same guys blow by you at 75-80 mph.

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:33 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by jcanavera
In Illinois Campers, Motorhomes, Trailers and Semi's are all restricted to 55 mph, while general traffic is allowed to drive at 65. I think that Illiniois must be much more strict on fines because there is a noticible difference in the speeds from semi's. While many will pass me when I'm doing 55, it looks like most are doing no more than 60. Counter that to the Missouri raceways where these same guys blow by you at 75-80 mph.

Jack
Thanks Jack. I haven't checked Illinois yet, I have stuck to the southern states so far except a trip to JC for body work (deer ran into the side on second camping trip, 3 weeks old). I do seem to remember someone mentioning that Illinois is strict on speeding for trailers & semis, though.
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