Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-04-2018, 06:36 AM   #61
james.mileur's Avatar
2017 30' Classic
Kalispell , Montana
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 844
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I'm a bit late to the party, but here goes.

I have a Can-Am creation, a 2011 Toyota Sienna Minivan that tows a 7000lb Airstream. Tow rating? 3500lb.

Before getting embroiled in a big debate the derivation of tow ratings, I can tell you how our Minivan is modified to deal with the load.

The hitch receiver is braced with two lengths of steel, welded behind the receiver box and bolted to the van at a point just behind the rear axle. This modification stiffens the whole assembly and counters the torque generated by the weight distribution system. The torque has to go somewhere so it goes mostly to the front axles, but also transmits some back to the axles on the trailer. The net result is a far more even spread of the load over all the available axles.

Can-Am also installed a second transmission oil cooler, and provided the fairly simple Eaz-Lift WD and anti-sway bars.

We're just starting our seventh year with this set up and I can tell you, from experience, that we've had no towing issues at all. The Toyota is my daily drive and it too has had no issues since I bought it new in 2011.

For sure, I don't carry firewood or a generator, or kayaks or bikes; that would be too much load. By the same standard, I can't race up hills at 75mph (even if I wanted to). But, we travel light and the setup suits us, regardless of what others may say or think.

What's the magic? There is none. What about the tow rating? Clearly that was an arbitrary figure provided by Toyota (it's interesting to note that every Minivan, of every make and model and from any year has the same 3500lb rating) because towing 7000lbs doesn't seem to have affected the van in any way. What validity does the tow rating have? Well, it's a guide, really. Toyota could not say for sure that their product couldn't tow over their rating, they just don't advise it. Has it been tested? Unlikely, at least not by the manufacturer, but Can-Am and many thousands of customers test these vehicles all the time.

By the way, exceeding the manufacturers' tow rating breaks no law in any State or Province in the USA and Canada. Liability issues may exist but I've yet to see any documented case going against the owner of an "underrated" privately owned tow vehicle involved in a collision. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but no one has ever come up with the evidence.
Thx for this real life story of a relevant nature to the OP's original question.

James Mileur, HY80-2-Al,
2017 Classic Twin, 2016 RAM 3500 Megacab, ProPride hitch
james.mileur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2018, 12:50 PM   #62
2 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
If you have to use an Internet forum for advice like this, maybe rethink towing altogether.
Gee, Countryboy59, glad you wasted your time with that "advice", especially when I said I was, say it with me...and I quote, "my question is part of my research process". Picking the brains of those who have been there, done that.

What the hell else is a forum for? Considering you've posted over 1200 times, maybe you should spend some time thinking about why you're here...duh...

1000Miles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2018, 02:02 PM   #63

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13,880
Images: 1
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Nope... that's not "about it"... apparent however, you're wanting to ridicule sensibility if it doesn't copy yours.
I still consider WD hitches "band aids". A Band-Aid is a good idea if there's a reason to use one...but it won't make "great big" trailers towed by "itty-bitty" tow vehicles safe. Properly matching TV with TT is good sensibility and to grossly do otherwise...WD hitch or not.... and ridiculing those who match their TV with their TT says all I need to know to stay away from someone. Happy trails and good luck.
No one is ridiculing, your opinion is not fact, just as my opinion is not fact.

If it's your opinion that you're rig is matched w/o WD, I will not postulate otherwise.
BUT... I still don't consider weight distribution as a Band-Aid.😏

Sweet Streams...

"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
W. H. Auden

"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel it’s supposed to be done"…..

ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 08:46 AM   #64
Rivet Master
Boxite's Avatar
2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,582
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
No one is ridiculing, your opinion is not fact, just as my opinion is not fact.

If it's your opinion that you're rig is matched w/o WD, I will not postulate otherwise.
BUT... I still don't consider weight distribution as a Band-Aid.��

Sweet Streams...

My sincere apology if I mis-read your tone.

And not as an argument, but as a discussion point... If a WD hitch is designed to massage a deficiency in a rig-combination.... then how can it not be a band-aid?
Band Aids are necessary when a problem exists, and are appropriate when there is a problem. But would you put one on your finger if your finger had no problem?
My energetic expression of opinion is intended to cause pause... to encourage serious contemplation of the relationship between a tow vehicle and the towed vehicle designs... and to make reasonable choices apparent to the OP who is researching this problem and asked for advice.
A WD hitch will only "massage" the mis-match... not completely correct or cure one. However a newbie who still has the opportunity to properly match any TV with a contemplated TT might find that the widespread, almost universal insistence by RVrs that everyone must have a WD hitch is simply not true, (and not just from the standpoint of avoiding expense and certain added difficulties), ... and that it's possible to make choices up-front that are beneficial rather than stick band aids on a choice believing that there's a magical device that cures the gross mis-match that might have been avoided in the first place.
Sincerely offered.
2012 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4.7L 4X4
Boxite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 11:24 AM   #65
Rivet Master
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,894
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
If a WD hitch is designed to massage a deficiency in a rig-combination.... then how can it not be a band-aid?

Band Aids are necessary when a problem exists, and are appropriate when there is a problem. But would you put one on your finger if your finger had no problem?
I suggest it depends how you define the problem. You seem to be focused on rear axle load capacity. I propose the problem is that for a typical travel trailer, the hitch point is aft of the rear axle. That means that any weight carried by the hitch ball reduces load on the tow vehicle front axle, compromising handling and safety.

One could always select a tow vehicle that is so big and heavy that the unloading of the front axle is minimal. This is the definition of a bandaid solution IMO. It is like using a sledgehammer to hang a picture. Sure, it is possible. But it is not an optimal solution.

Perhaps it is easier to visualize if we take the trailer out of the example. Let’s say you want to carry a 1000 lb load in your pickup truck, similar to a typical tongue weight. Use 800 lbs if that fits better. You could put it on the tailgate. Leave aside issues of securing the load for a moment. How could carrying that weight on the tailgate, with the resulting degradation in vehicle handling, be a good idea? Any competent driver would shift the load forward, at least to the rear axle centreline, and potentially to a point midways between the axles. And that is exactly what a WD hitch does. 100% front axle load restoration (FALR) means that the virtual load is right over the rear axle of the tow vehicle. Greater than 100% means that the virtual load is between the tow vehicle axles.

Would you say that any truck not capable of carrying that point load aft of the rear axle without handling degradation is unmatched to the load?
jcl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2018, 06:00 AM   #66
Rivet Master
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,987
Originally Posted by 1000Miles View Post
Hi Everyone!
My question is part of my research process, and in no way reflects the potential for doing/having done anything stupid!

The background:
Yesterday, my husband decided to buy a 2016 Jeep Patriot. Last fall, he hit a deer, which brought us down to one car, which worked (sometimes) because we both work from home (IT biz).

We don't own any trailer. Airstream is my dream, but we might start with a cheap "practice" trailer to be sure RVing is a hobby we want to pursue. As an aside, I think cleaning the black tank is preferable to potential bed bugs in "nice" hotels, so I think RVing is in our future.

So my question is in regards to some hitches/companies that offer the "magic" solution to a car that is not beefy enough to tow the trailer the owner wants. How does a company like Can-Am, for example, get a car & hitch to a place where they're safe to tow a trailer above their capacity?

Medieval architecture is a hobby of mine. I know that buttresses were put on buildings to push the energy away from the main structure so it didn't collapse upon itself. In that vein, I'm presuming that for some hitches, there is distribution of the trailer's weight that pushes some of the weight energy away from the TV and allows for both stability and going over tow capacity?

I recently saw a PT Cruiser towing a smaller Airstream in a video (not sure who was the hitch provider), and as a former PT owner, I found that too good to be true.

We are planning to get a beefier vehicle in the future, but more heavy duty comes with a cost that we couldn't afford as new biz owners, hence the Jeep.

Ideally, I'd like to get a starter RV (an no, not a Teardrop) and use the Jeep. But, I don't want to be snowed by any company's claims--hence why I'm picking your brains. We've all seen RV wipeouts on the side of the road; I don't want that to be me.

Thanks in advance
Has someone suggested you modify the Patriot to tow a trailer? You mention CanAm, did you actually talk to them? Just curious because you mention not wanting to be “snowed”.

I would talk to a good dealer or upfitter and see what they have to say about the Patriot first. Personally I wouldn’t tow anything with a front wheel drive vehicle (not own one but that’s my preference) as the drivetrain is not heavy duty enough for towing. The payload sticker will give you a good place to start.

Casting for opinions on here is OK but I would get some advice from someone who actually sets them up and drives them. All you’re going to get on here is opinions from people (like me) who tow with 1 ton trucks but somehow know all about every other tow vehicle lol.

By the way, people crash with trailers all the time. It is usually related to driving skill, not the truck/trailer combination. Whatever you get, hone driving skills.
Countryboy59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2018, 07:20 AM   #67
Rivet Master
MrUKToad's Avatar
2011 28' International
Chatham , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,376
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 13
Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post

Personally I wouldn’t tow anything with a front wheel drive vehicle (not own one but that’s my preference) as the drivetrain is not heavy duty enough for towing.
That's not been my experience over the past six years. My FWD van has had no issues with the drive train. On two occasions, the FWD has hauled me and my Airstream off wet grass without so much as a slip while RWD trucks were struggling for grip. I'm not suggesting that FWD is the only way to go, but with a well set up weight distribution package, it doesn't need to be discounted when assessing your choice of tow vehicle.
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
MrUKToad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 05:06 AM   #68
Vintage Kin
slowmover's Avatar
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,009
Images: 1
WD a bandaid. That’s a good one.

When hitched, what’s the weight value change on the tow vehicle steering axle? Lighter or heavier?

When I “hitch” this 11,000-lb tanker (empty or loaded) the steering axle weight increases on this Kenworth. The percentage is adjusted by moving the fifth wheel (as a 12,000-lb Steer Axle IS a legal limit). Someone towing a fifth wheel TT has a hitch that preserves the solo steer axle weight value or just barely increases it.

Get it?

WD restores the solo values (percentages) to some extent. Spreads the hitch forces evenly.

What is missed by nine of ten is that the static “weight” of a hitch is just a stand-in for the dynamic forces at work while underway. The hitch point is the end of a lever. The force at that end of the stick can go far higher than the static, scaled value.

WD spreads this over three points instead of one.

Which in turn makes a wide range if Tow vehicles possible as axle limits are the deciding factor. Choosing the one based on how you AREN'T using it makes no sense. But that’s the direction in which the herd stampedes.

The follow-up joke is that a pickup “is designed to tow”.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2018, 11:49 AM   #69
james.mileur's Avatar
2017 30' Classic
Kalispell , Montana
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 844
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Tow limits aren’t anything but the recommendation of a private party. No force in law. Follow that path and wind up with a bad combination. It’s a guarantee. A great deal more than weight or payload matters. Those are not problems.

One respects the axle/wheel/tire ratings. A WD hitch redistributes the heavy weight from one point and spreads it over three. The forces are dissipated thus. Done. Fini.

Of WD hitches there are two types. The Hensley patent licensees, and all others. Of the second class hitches, the Reese Dual Cam (the original) is still the best.

I second the recommendation of a Casita or similar. They’re well-built and have strong customer support. Entry to ownership and experience is easier. They retain their value and should sell quickly.

A tow vehicle is first and foremost family transportation. That’s the single important metric. Properly hitching a TT (rarely done well around here, but important) isn’t rocket science. Nor are fears expressed, justified. The real problems are in steering, handling & braking. A TV that is compromised in these is the bad choice.

Luckily there are many great choices. Fully independent suspension and short rear overhang are the two easiest to ascertain. Engine power, etc, is a non-statrter the past dozen years. Today’s passenger vehicles are far better in this line than what was available forty or more years ago.

Andrew Thomson (in his posts here, and columns in RV Lifestyle “Hitch Hints” are a good beginning. See their website at Can Am RV) systematized all the categories we had to go thru a half century back. A consultant to both SAE and Airstream. More than 10,000 tow rigs set up.

Is a pickup the default choice? Only for the ignorant (when it has no business miles, etc), so take your time. It shouldn’t be so easy to shoot down, but there’s plenty of fact to make good decisions.

A loss of control accident is the usual problem. Adverse winds and driver over-correction are the problem when towing. The better TV is at least as stable as the TT. Would you prefer the one which initiates an accident?

An AS is best (search the reasons, it’s engineering) and a Casita only needs a change to torsion axles to be similar.

The worst TVs are bought on emotion. “Fear” just isn’t accountable when reason offers plenty of line entries for examination.

Slowmover, what a great post!
James Mileur, HY80-2-Al,
2017 Classic Twin, 2016 RAM 3500 Megacab, ProPride hitch
james.mileur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2018, 05:57 PM   #70
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,051
I think the OP has given up on us, nevertheless I want to add a few thoughts.

So far no one has mentioned what the factory tow ratings for a 2016 Jeep Patriot are. Several web sites say 2000 pounds for the 4 wheel drive versions, towing not recommended for the 2 wheel drive versions.

With that in mind, you could tow a tent trailer or a small fibreglass trailer like a Trillium, Boler or Casita, although the Casita is a little heavy at 2200 - 2400 lbs.

There are things you can do to improve towing performance.

Install a transmission cooler if you have an automatic, and use high quality synthetic fluid which will protect the trans at higher temps

Go down a size in tires. If your tires are 70 series, go to 60. If they are 60 go to 50. This makes the handling a little more stable and it lowers your gearing by 5% to 7% reducing the load on the drive train and making it easier to maintain speed, climb hills and accelerate.

Get a really good, rigid hitch receiver and weight distributing hitch and take the trouble to set up the tow vehicle and trailer correctly. This is not so important with a very light trailer which may not even need a weight distributing hitch. If you want one, the Anderson is a good one for light vehicles.

You need trailer brakes even with a light trailer.

These are general principles, you may not need any of them with a Patriot and tent trailer, although the trailer brakes are always a good idea.

With a Patriot with its 4 cyl, 180HP engine you are limited to quite a small trailer, still a young couple can have a lot of fun with a simple rig. Lots of people started out with a VW and a tent in the old days, camping and enjoying the outdoors on very little money.

Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tow Limits CV-8 Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 185 08-30-2018 05:59 AM
Airstream Speed Limits? silversled On The Road... 109 01-04-2018 10:01 AM
Tow vehicle limits? Fritzdog Tow Vehicles 29 10-28-2017 07:48 AM
'98 30' Excella 1000 Weight Limits - Walt & Lyn Driver1 Member Introductions 25 09-10-2006 05:32 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.