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Old 04-13-2015, 05:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
My plan is to not do something stupid.
Agreed. And I don't want to encourage stupidity with this thread. I have learned a great deal about engineering a good towing solution on this forum. (We just got back from CanamRV :-) I wanted to make sure that insurance wouldn't get in the way of good engineering.

Introducing this discussion here was to find out if there is real evidence of an actual insurance problem behind people's anxiety about manufacturer's tow ratings.

I have no problem being totally open up front with my insurance company. If they don't like the risk then they will either charge me more or deny coverage and I will go elsewhere. USAA did neither in my case.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:14 AM   #16
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"Introducing this discussion here was to find out if there is real evidence of an actual insurance problem behind people's anxiety about manufacturer's tow ratings."

No anxiety on my part.

Manufacturers numbers are not a guideline and are to be adhered to.

If you don't want to do that, or otherwise convince yourself that they are nothing more than a suggestion or marketing fluff, be anxious and do your own thing.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Manufacturers numbers are not a guideline and are to be adhered to.
If, as you state, manufacturing tow ratings are not guidelines then what do you believe they are exactly?

Do you have any facts to support your statement?
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:27 AM   #18
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If, as you state, manufacturing tow ratings are not guidelines then what do you believe they are exactly?

Do you have any facts to support your statement?
well, here is an example, and you can can accept these as "facts" or anything else you may like to call them. These comments were copied from the towing owner manual for my Nissan. These are just snips from a manual that goes on for 27 pages.
==========

NEVER EXCEED THE ESTABLISHED TOWING CAPACITY
Towing capacities vary from vehicle to vehicle......


MEASURING VEHICLE WEIGHT
The key to safer, efficient towing has to do with weight. Your vehicle — SUV, crossover, truck or passenger car — is capable of carrying and towing only a certain amount of weight. You must compare your vehicle’s tow weight ratings with the combined weight of the vehicle, trailer, and their contents. This will help ensure that the total weight does not exceed any of
your vehicle’s tow weight ratings.
There are four weights to consider when towing:
􀂊 Gross Vehicle Weight
􀂊 Gross Axle Weight (Front and Rear)
􀂊 Gross Combined Weight
􀂊 Trailer Tongue/King Pin Load
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:54 AM   #19
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Very similar statements in all GM owner manuals, relative to all specs (GVW, GCWR, etc.)
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:00 AM   #20
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Read It Again

Airfoiler,
Plz re-read what dznf0g has written. They are not "guidelines" that can fluctuate to the applicants liking. They are the LIMITS. And obviously the limits should be adhered to. It's not rocket science, just rules of engagement.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:01 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by AirFoiler View Post
So I called my insurance company, USAA, and asked them a test question:
When did USAA start RV coverage? When I called them last year, they forwarded me to Progressive.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:38 AM   #22
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The internet is full of excogitations on importance (or not) and bedrock solidity (or rubbery elasticity) of manufacturer's towing and gcwr ratings. All I can say for sure is that I've seen, over the years, some unsafe combinations that followed the rules and some safe combinations that didn't.

There are even people who say you have to derate the manufacturer's tow ratings according to some set of rules they've dreamed up.

I'm pretty sure, though, that for noncommercial towing of recreational vehicles, there is no jurisdiction in the U.S. where the manufacturer's GCWR or towing capacity has the force of law. No different than the manufacturer's recommended tire size or brand of transmission fluid.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:48 AM   #23
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My thoughts on this subject why would anyone want to exceed the vehicle manufacturers tow rating. the first person to arrive at the scene of a potential accident will be you!

it just doesn't make sense to buy a tow vehicle that is not rated to tow the actual load in my opinion.

I guess some folks want to tow big loads with small vehicles and hopefully nothing will go wrong but if you modify the vehicle and you injure someone other than your family I am sure a ambulance chaser may be paying you a visit. I personally would not want to trust my families safety to someone modifying vehicles for profit.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:21 PM   #24
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I also find it ironic that some of the same folks who ignore the user manual when it comes to tow rating specification, religiously follow the same manual for maintenance intervals, engine oil type, filter type, etc.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:39 PM   #25
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one things certain, and that's eventual government regulation

and we'll have all the hair-brained RV'ers towing with ridiculously outclassed vehicles to thank

nanny-gubmint to the rescue
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:34 PM   #26
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When did USAA start RV coverage? When I called them last year, they forwarded me to Progressive.
I'm not sure. At least by late January 2015 when I called them for coverage.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:04 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirFoiler View Post
I have read posters who have claimed that exceeding the TV manufacturer's maximum tow weight rating will cause problems with insurance but I didn't find any posts with specific data.



So I called my insurance company, USAA, and asked them a test question:



"If I was stupid enough to tow a 10,000 lb trailer behind a vehicle only rated to tow 1,000 lbs, would you cover any and all accidents caused by my stupidity?"



The USAA insurance person said she needed to check, put me on hold for 15 minutes, and gave me an answer I wasn't expecting:



1. USAA will cover liability and damage to my tow vehicle and trailer resulting from any accident with either vehicle even if the direct cause was exceeding the towing capacity.



2. However, USAA would not cover any direct damage to my vehicle caused by the excessive tow weight such as bending the hitch.



Note that USAA insures both my TV and trailer.



I would be curious if others have asked similar questions of their insurance companies.



I'm hoping to keep this thread focused on sharing data and not opinions. Thanks.

I think there are a few things to consider with your thoughtful post. While I work at an insurance carrier, the answers I'm sharing here are not the opinions of my employer and I'm not speaking on their behalf...

1) what kinds of "problems with insurance" are we talking about? Denying coverage for exceeding tow ratings? Highly doubtful as you heard from USAA. However, if you could have reasonably foreseen that exceeding tow ratings could contribute, you will most likely be dropped or have your rates driven through the roof. While there may be no insurance problem, that doesn't mean you aren't subject to civil suits for damages caused by alleged negligence. Then again - there are lots of civil suits opened every day, that doesn't mean they have merit.

2) Sharing real data is a challenge. It's said that if you've seen one claim, you've seen ONE claim. It is practically impossible to speculate on exactly what might happen because the facts of every case are unique to that case and ultimately determine what claims are paid or denied, whether there is criminal negligence or the possibility of civil liability - and each jurisdiction can have local nuances (you may be based in one state and think you understand how a decision would be made but that can be very different at your destination in another state and even different in the states you pass through to get to your destination).

3) I am not aware of any criminal statutes in any states for drivers of RVs that exceed tow vehicle published limits (that doesn't mean they don't exist but if they do I'm not aware of them) so the exclusion about being in the act of a crime wouldn't apply either (again, criminal vs civil standards are two very different things).

In short - with the myriad of caveats that apply since the facts will determine the outcome - your claim most likely would be paid and your insurer would most likely defend you in a liability case. It would likely be your last claim with that carrier and your ongoing cost of insurance with any carrier is going to be exceedingly high.

Whether that's the most important stuff to think about in terms of adhering to manufacturer recommendations may be a good topic for a different discussion.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:20 PM   #28
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Do whatever makes you happy. If you feel confident you are covered by your insurance, and you are confident your rig is set up safely, then you're all set. I'm not sure what is intended to be gained in these endless debates. No one is forcing you to tow with an under-rated tow vehicle.

I am exceeding the towing capacity of my vehicle, and I believe I have a very safe combination, properly setup, and I do not lose any sleep over it, neither should you.
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