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Old 12-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #71
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I think you can tow an Airstream up a hill with a car or I have had some very vivid dreams.

Independence Pass 12100' 1987 Olds 88 3.8 Litre V/6 front wheel drive.

The Lexus 3.0 Litre RX300 on the Alaska Highway it also went to Panama and many other trips.

Taurus SHO and a Mercedes R Class on Appalacian Pass in Vermont 18% grade.
Andrew T
Well, it's obvious lots of things CAN be done, but to any reasonable thinking person, many of the things you guys are doing SHOULDN'T be done.

Most of the vehicles you show in the pictures aren't even rated to carry the WEIGHT of the tongue of the trailers towed plus passengers, much less the absence of adequate tow ratings.

However, at this point it's seems certain you have your mind made up, and no amount of logic, reason, or manufacturer's rating is going to change it. I also have my mind made up, and I gurantee you will not change mine, either.

I've been towing travel trailers since the early 70's, with adequate rated vehicles, have never had a weight rated failure, but have seen some premature wear related to towing. I wonder what would have happened to some of the vehicles you propose if they had seen the same amount of towing service in the same amount of time.

However, you will read no more response posts from me about whatever goofy tow rig you folks want to use in Canada. Good luck to all of you, and I hope you stay safe, because we do share the roads.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #72
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Well, it's obvious lots of things CAN be done, but to any reasonable thinking person, many of the things you guys are doing SHOULDN'T be done.

Most of the vehicles you show in the pictures aren't even rated to carry the WEIGHT of the tongue of the trailers towed plus passengers, much less the absence of adequate tow ratings.

However, at this point it's seems certain you have your mind made up, and no amount of logic, reason, or manufacturer's rating is going to change it. I also have my mind made up, and I gurantee you will not change mine, either.

I've been towing travel trailers since the early 70's, with adequate rated vehicles, have never had a weight rated failure, but have seen some premature wear related to towing. I wonder what would have happened to some of the vehicles you propose if they had seen the same amount of towing service in the same amount of time.

However, you will read no more response posts from me about whatever goofy tow rig you folks want to use in Canada. Good luck to all of you, and I hope you stay safe, because we do share the roads.


It's a shame you have your mind closed to the alternatives, Steve, but you're perfectly entitled to your view, as is everyone else.

If you want to get a handle on what AndrewT is doing, have a look at some of his Hitch Hints columns in Airstream Life or here:

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #73
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It's a shame you have your mind closed to the alternatives, Steve, but you're perfectly entitled to your view, as is everyone else.

If you want to get a handle on what AndrewT is doing, have a look at some of his Hitch Hints columns in Airstream Life or here:

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters
MrUKToad,

I have read Andrew's Hitch Hints, and agree with all of them, actually practice most of them.

It's the tow vehicles.............
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:55 AM   #74
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Re: Headwinds, Grand Cherokee and Towing

I tow our 5675 lb. FC23FB with a 08 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel. Strong headwinds, and strong side winds for that matter, increase my fuel consumption by about 20%. I made these observations on a series of 1/2 tank refills on our recent trip from CO to WA and return. US 93 in calm conditions through Nevada provided the low wind reference (16.5 mpg) and I 84 through Idaho provided the high wind reference (13.5mpg). Steep grades (and I do plenty of 8%) don't affect my consumption that significantly, as what goes up generally comes down. I've done 16.5 mpg between Durango and Great Sand Dunes NP - which includes Wolf Creek Pass and others.

All measurements are at 60 mph cruise control with temporary variation for road conditions.

Wind speeds are rough guesstimates when driving a car, and although I'm a sailor with pretty good feel for wind speed, I can't be more accurate without an anemometer. Altitude and temperature also have effect, but I haven't measured them. It's a travel trailer, not a laboratory

I note that this thread on "Grand Cherokee and Towing" includes many opinions from people who have no actual experience with the Grand Cherokee. All interesting, but to quote a salty philosopher - "Don't try to describe the ocean if you haven't seen it." - Jimmy Buffet.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #75
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Most tow ratings are not worth the paper they're written on; they're not much more than marketing tools and bear little or no relation to the actual towing capability.
I don't agree. Also, it is not true that older cars' weight had nothing to do with towing capacity. I remember as a teenager my father shopping for a '71 Olds 455 Delta 88 as a tow car in the early eighties as they quit producing full framed cars (bodies) to drop weight, etc. Their towing ability dropped too. Truck frames are specifically tested for payload and towing.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #76
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The tow ratings dropped but apparently the towing ability improved.

Andrew T has explained concept many times before.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:42 PM   #77
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We have set up several R Class's now. a 500 but the rest are diesels. It is the best tow vehicle I have driven. 126.5" wheelbase with a really short overhang, independent suspension, nice precise steering and a low centre of gravity. It is really sad they're going to stop building them.

One of our friends that we travel with have one and I have driven it quite a lot and I never really want to give the keys back. Besides the great handling the ride is very comfortable and it is of coarse very quiet.

Last year we were traveling with three 34's David had the R Class, I was towing with the SHO and Blair has a 2011 Suburban 1500 with a 5.3 and a 6 speed transmission. We did two gas stops in a row at the same station ran one behind the other between them. The R took 14.1 gallons, The SHO 17.4 and the Sub 22.1.

Putting the hitch the R is a little tricky but possible. Attached is a picture of the set up and better shot of the combination.

What model is yours? Does it have springs or Air Ride?
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:28 PM   #78
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We have set up several R Class's now. a 500 but the rest are diesels. It is the best tow vehicle I have driven. 126.5" wheelbase with a really short overhang, independent suspension, nice precise steering and a low centre of gravity. It is really sad they're going to stop building them.

One of our friends that we travel with have one and I have driven it quite a lot and I never really want to give the keys back. Besides the great handling the ride is very comfortable and it is of coarse very

What model is yours? Does it have springs or Air Ride?
I have the R 350. The air bags are only on the rear and act as levelers rather than the more dynamic full airmatic system. It is deceivingly big and is a pleasure to drive....it makes the excursion seem like a WWII tank!

Thanks for the pics! interesting setup. How does the benz 7 speed transmission handle the load?
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:45 AM   #79
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You have the best suspension, the full air works it is just trickier to set up and not quite as dialed in.

When we try out a new vehicle for towing the transmission is often our biggest concern and the only way to really know is to test it. For example the Taurus SHO we are running at the moment. I am not concerned about the Echoboost as they have really tested it well and the transmisison has proven itself to be completely reliable in all the Enclaves, Edges and Flexes we have done but none of them has anywhere near the torque of the Echoboost.

The 7 speed is pretty well proven, Rich Luhr has quite a lot of towing miles on his. Besides the R class we have a lot of customers with ML's and GL's and so far not a single problem.

I think one advantage with these new transmissions is that they always have the right ratio so they are not loaded up in a compromise gear very often. In the old days first gear had to be tall enough to take you to 30 MPH now it only needs to take you to 10 because there is another gear there so you don't have slip the torque converter way up to pull away. On the otherhand my Jag's ZF 6 speed has quite tall gearing "I guess it is set up for autobaun cruising". I had them change the fluid in it at 65000 Miles and it was still like new and the filter was still clean. The Jag has about 20,000 miles of towing on it so not nearly as some of our other vehicles that often have over 50% of their miles towing.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #80
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mruktoad,

i have read andrew's hitch hints, and agree with all of them, actually practice most of them.

It's the tow vehicles.............

x2!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:22 AM   #81
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Actually, Andrews rigs should be very popular down here in South Texas.
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.They all look like Low Riders.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #82
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It's really great to see the progressive/creative camp, like Andrew, using empirical methods to develop good TV options. This is the essential element of good science - the basis of the scientific method. It's how progress is always made. From everything I have read thus far, the evidence is real, plentiful, and strongly supports the ideas that are being employed by these "radicals."

When I first got my trailer, I was completely unaware of this camp's thinking and results, and I followed the conventional wisdom and got the Suburban. I like it a lot and have few complaints, but when it is time to retire the Sub, I will definitely be looking in the progressive camp to see what they are up to, and hopefully end up with a good TV that is both a pleasure to drive and competent at towing - and with better gas mileage to boot. That Lexus SUV looks really great!

It appears that the people towing with these "progressive" rigs are not in fact demolishing school buses, rolling over on the highway, losing their brakes on grades, or twisting off their receivers with half the back end of the car. Rather, I seem to be reading about thousands of towing miles with comfort and reliability and confidence.

This information is not very common. I didn't see any of it when I first started out looking for a TV. I relied then on the CV to inform my choice. So, I hope you progressives and empiricists will continue to post your results (even through the scoffing), and your details and continue to creatively search out more options!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:46 PM   #83
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mstephens.....
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #84
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It's really great to see the progressive/creative camp, like Andrew, using empirical methods to develop good TV options. This is the essential element of good science - the basis of the scientific method. It's how progress is always made. From everything I have read thus far, the evidence is real, plentiful, and strongly supports the ideas that are being employed by these "radicals."

When I first got my trailer, I was completely unaware of this camp's thinking and results, and I followed the conventional wisdom and got the Suburban. I like it a lot and have few complaints, but when it is time to retire the Sub, I will definitely be looking in the progressive camp to see what they are up to, and hopefully end up with a good TV that is both a pleasure to drive and competent at towing - and with better gas mileage to boot. That Lexus SUV looks really great!

It appears that the people towing with these "progressive" rigs are not in fact demolishing school buses, rolling over on the highway, losing their brakes on grades, or twisting off their receivers with half the back end of the car. Rather, I seem to be reading about thousands of towing miles with comfort and reliability and confidence.

This information is not very common. I didn't see any of it when I first started out looking for a TV. I relied then on the CV to inform my choice. So, I hope you progressives and empiricists will continue to post your results (even through the scoffing), and your details and continue to creatively search out more options!
Excellent stuff! The irony is that it's more regressive than progressive but hey, what's in a name?
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