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Old 01-03-2015, 11:15 AM   #85
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Thanks Andrew T, good to see the master at work. Shortened ball mount, hitch head and w.d. bars tilted down, spare (re)moved to accommodate tongue weight for a particular vehicle and customer's needs.
Andy was our hitch guru as well. CampLite 21BHS behind a Ford Flex w/EcoBoost and factory Class III hitch:



EAZLift Elite with Husky sway control at his suggestion.

New hole drilled to bring the ball a few inches closer to the Flex.

Tilted the head just a bit to allow for just one link hanging.

Battery and propane positions swapped to allow chains to be near vertical (at forum member's suggestion).

And more recently, receiver reinforced on our Flex.

We're newbies, but as far as we can tell the whole rig handles really well.

The overall setup - camping at WalMart, no less!

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Old 01-03-2015, 12:04 PM   #86
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Yep, going the way of all tow vehicle threads. People ask for opinions of tow vehicles, then people give their opinion, and other people don't like those opinions because they differ from their own opinion, and arguments start, then escalate.
I don't disagree it often goes this way, but to be fair, the OP didn't ask for tow vehicle opinions. He already has two years of towing experience with his X5d, and stated up front that he was confident in it. He likely has more towing experience with an X5 than most commenting here. He just wanted a hitch recommendation.

Jeff
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:16 PM   #87
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I don't disagree it often goes this way, but to be fair, the OP didn't ask for tow vehicle opinions. He already has two years of towing experience with his X5d, and stated up front that he was confident in it. He likely has more towing experience with an X5 than most commenting here. He just wanted a hitch recommendation.

Jeff
Yes I know, but hitch threads aren't any different, and this thread morphed into a tow vehicle thread.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:21 AM   #88
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The tow ratings that car manufacturers slap on their vehicles is based on engineering principles (leave some wiggle room for marketing). They verify those ratings with J2807 tests. The "empirical" folks on this forum who try to belittle those principles/tests don't have any meaningful argument as their sample size is minuscule -- To put things in perspective, Ford sells 60000 F150's every month. The fact that a few people have good experience with a sedan/minivan is irrelevant.

I am yet to see a J2807 test showing a sedan/minivan is rated more than what the manufacturer says. I am sure a they can tow more, but it does not mean they are rated more, as there are constraints in J2807 tests that must be satisfied. I also question the wisdom of exceeding the manufacturer ratings. Doing a cost/benefit analysis, I believe it is not worth it -- I understand different people might reach a different conclusion. To each their own.

p.s I am a newbie to RVing but am an old time auto enthusiast.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:26 AM   #89
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The OEMs don't test whole classes of vehicles as to towing capacity. J2807 therefore doesn't apply. And, were those classes tested then the tests themselves would change.

What isn't said is more important than what is said.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:46 AM   #90
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For those of you who seem to spend a lot of time pouring over manufacturer specs, car brochures, manuals and door stickers....it ain't all the same.

As an example, the VW Touareg, a vehicle which I have over 8 years of towing experience with, has various sets of numbers for the same vehicles and the same set of numbers for different vehicles. I have seen three different sets of numbers for hitch and tow capacities. I have seen different gcvw numbers for same vehicle and then the same numbers for a V6, V8 and a V10, even though the engine weights alone are all different. I even had a dealer refuse to change out wheel and tires on a new Touareg because changing the tires would change the payload rating and not comply with the door sticker.

Now I am not going to waste my time verifying all of this for you, but my real world experience has shown me that there is confusion and errors in the translation from European specs to American specs for the same car. So all I can add is, don't believe everything you read until you're sure you've read everything.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:55 AM   #91
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What is interesting to me is how diligent everyone is when finding just the right options on say, an F150 pickup, to get the payload and towing capacity they need, such as wheelbase, gear ratio, max payload option, max towing option, etc. Everything is considered down to gross axle weight ratings, tire capacity, and on and on to make sure the truck will not only tow the trailer, but will also not be overloaded. Personally, I view this as a good thing. And lots of people have posted scale weight tickets to prove and insure they are within manufacturer's ratings.

However, if the tow vehicle considered is a sedan, a sport SUV, a minivan or such, they just say things like "the manufacturer's weight and towing specs are just marking tools, and really don't mean anything".

Then if you ask these same people if they have weighed their rigs to insure they are not over the manufacturer's limits, they say sure I have and it's good, but never is a weight ticket shown.

I think if you check into it deep enough you will find the manufacturer's do a lot more than just throw a number at a vehicle for marketing reasons. They compute how much weight a chassis, or frame can routinely carry, how much weight a bearing can handle, how much weight an axle can carry without excessive flex, how much heat a cooling system can dissipate, how much HP and torque is available thru what gears, and on and on.

Everyone understands these numbers have a safety margin built into them to protect everyone, especially the manufacturers themselves, but to totally ignore the ratings and say, "oh well, I know a guy that has towed X trailer with Y vehicle, and had no problems, so it must be OK" seems a little foolish to me. We all know you can tow almost any travel trailer with almost any vehicle, but for how long, over what road conditions, and with what margin for safety, etc.?

And Andy, if you would like to know my towing experience, I'd be happy to share that info with you in a PM because this post is already too long.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:38 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
What is interesting to me is how diligent everyone is when finding just the right options on say, an F150 pickup, to get the payload and towing capacity they need, such as wheelbase, gear ratio, max payload option, max towing option, etc. Everything is considered down to gross axle weight ratings, tire capacity, and on and on to make sure the truck will not only tow the trailer, but will also not be overloaded. Personally, I view this as a good thing. And lots of people have posted scale weight tickets to prove and insure they are within manufacturer's ratings.

However, if the tow vehicle considered is a sedan, a sport SUV, a minivan or such, they just say things like "the manufacturer's weight and towing specs are just marking tools, and really don't mean anything".

Then if you ask these same people if they have weighed their rigs to insure they are not over the manufacturer's limits, they say sure I have and it's good, but never is a weight ticket shown.

I think if you check into it deep enough you will find the manufacturer's do a lot more than just throw a number at a vehicle for marketing reasons. They compute how much weight a chassis, or frame can routinely carry, how much weight a bearing can handle, how much weight an axle can carry without excessive flex, how much heat a cooling system can dissipate, how much HP and torque is available thru what gears, and on and on.

Everyone understands these numbers have a safety margin built into them to protect everyone, especially the manufacturers themselves, but to totally ignore the ratings and say, "oh well, I know a guy that has towed X trailer with Y vehicle, and had no problems, so it must be OK" seems a little foolish to me. We all know you can tow almost any travel trailer with almost any vehicle, but for how long, and with what margin for safety, etc.?

And Andy, if you would like to know my towing experience, I'd be happy to share that info with you in a PM because this post is already too long.
^
X2

Absolutely on point!!!

I've oft time wondered where the actual weight numbers are for the folks advocating such & such vehicles.

Payload of my Burb?, I'm not really very concerned as long as my weight tickets are not over the axle & tire load ratings. I'm very comfortable with a ticket verified 820lb rear axle and 540lb front axle cushion when hitched and fully loaded.
Same goes for my tongue load when hitched. The Reese Tow Beast has a 1000lb margin.

I've said it many times....
“Its better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you don’t.”

Bob
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:40 AM   #93
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The OEMs don't test whole classes of vehicles as to towing capacity. J2807 therefore doesn't apply. And, were those classes tested then the tests themselves would change.
Of course. Testing is a mean to verify the specification. If the specifications says the vehicle can tow 10000#, the tests need to verify that. If the specification says "Not to be used as tow vehicle", it will be excluded from the test. It makes complete sense why a class of vehicles ("those not designed to tow") are excluded.

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For those of you who seem to spend a lot of time pouring over manufacturer specs, car brochures, manuals and door stickers....it ain't all the same.
Well at least I am consistent. There are folks that ignore the manual when it comes to tow rating, but do the regular maintenance, engine oil type, tire type, brake pads, etc 100% according to the user manual.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:29 AM   #94
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Quite the discussion. My conclusion, after reading the arguments on both sides, is that a European diesel SUV has moved much higher on our list of tow vehicles to replace our Ram pickup.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #95
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My initial thought was to buy a second, heavier set of spring bars so i could re-purpose my existing Eaz-Lift hitch, but the light went off when I remembered that the hook up saddles and sway control attachment point for that hitch are welded onto the 19 foot Airstream. At that point the cost of a second Eaz-Lift hitch was about the same or less than the sum of all those parts.

Which then raised the question: “Well, since you need to buy a new hitch anyway, is there a good/better alternative to the Eaz-Lift? Especially one that incorporates improved sway control properties?” (I use that friction sway control, but its not my favourite).

I was hoping for hitch recommendations, as opposed to advice on a different tow vehicle. I have and will use the BMW X5d. That’s a non-negotiable at this juncture. Who knows about next year?

ProPride is mentioned often. Sticking with an Eaz-Lift is a cost-effective consideration. But what about other good choices? Reese Straight Line, perhaps? Blue Ox Sway Pro? Andersen?

Nonetheless, this has been really informative, and quite entertaining. Much better than Cable or DirecTV, and its free. How cool is that?

Thanks again, its nice to be here.

Rod
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:40 PM   #96
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My initial thought was to buy a second, heavier set of spring bars so i could re-purpose my existing Eaz-Lift hitch, but the light went off when I remembered that the hook up saddles and sway control attachment point for that hitch are welded onto the 19 foot Airstream. At that point the cost of a second Eaz-Lift hitch was about the same or less than the sum of all those parts.

Which then raised the question: “Well, since you need to buy a new hitch anyway, is there a good/better alternative to the Eaz-Lift? Especially one that incorporates improved sway control properties?” (I use that friction sway control, but its not my favourite).

I was hoping for hitch recommendations, as opposed to advice on a different tow vehicle. I have and will use the BMW X5d. That’s a non-negotiable at this juncture. Who knows about next year?

ProPride is mentioned often. Sticking with an Eaz-Lift is a cost-effective consideration. But what about other good choices? Reese Straight Line, perhaps? Blue Ox Sway Pro? Andersen?

Nonetheless, this has been really informative, and quite entertaining. Much better than Cable or DirecTV, and its free. How cool is that?

Thanks again, its nice to be here.

Rod
All the tow vehicle discussion aside, of the ones you have listed above, I would recommend the Reese SC above all of them for function and ease of use. The Andersen especially for your tow vehicle will not transfer enough weight.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by StillRod View Post
My initial thought was to buy a second, heavier set of spring bars so i could re-purpose my existing Eaz-Lift hitch, but the light went off when I remembered that the hook up saddles and sway control attachment point for that hitch are welded onto the 19 foot Airstream. At that point the cost of a second Eaz-Lift hitch was about the same or less than the sum of all those parts.

Which then raised the question: “Well, since you need to buy a new hitch anyway, is there a good/better alternative to the Eaz-Lift? Especially one that incorporates improved sway control properties?” (I use that friction sway control, but its not my favourite).

I was hoping for hitch recommendations, as opposed to advice on a different tow vehicle. I have and will use the BMW X5d. That’s a non-negotiable at this juncture. Who knows about next year?

ProPride is mentioned often. Sticking with an Eaz-Lift is a cost-effective consideration. But what about other good choices? Reese Straight Line, perhaps? Blue Ox Sway Pro? Andersen?

Nonetheless, this has been really informative, and quite entertaining. Much better than Cable or DirecTV, and its free. How cool is that?

Thanks again, its nice to be here.

Rod

Talk to Andrew Thomson at Can Am RV to do the entire lash up of one vehicle to another. He knows the trade offs better than anyone.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:09 PM   #98
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Talk to Andrew Thomson at Can Am RV to do the entire lash up of one vehicle to another. He knows the trade offs better than anyone.
Andy is indeed the expert on this issue, and I will contact him for his counsel.
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