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Old 04-26-2018, 08:59 AM   #1
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Massaging the tow limits

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
Jennifer
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:08 AM   #2
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While Andy at CanAm has many satisfied customers on here, I don't think he is an approved vehicle outfitter who has the authority to change the towing limits on a vehicle he modifies. A vehicle with his modifications may tow just fine but if the day ever comes that it is involved in an accident (at fault or not) my concern would be that if a quick review of the towed trailer and vehicle specifications by law enforcement or a third party's attorney indicated an overload condition, there would be consequences. Personally I am risk adverse and that's one risk I choose not to take.

In your case I would choose a "starter trailer" that was within the limits of the TV I had and upgrade both if I decided to continue, but that's just me.

Edit: I just checked for the towing capacity of the Patriot - only 1000#, 2000# properly equipped - so my suggestion would place severe limits on your RV experience.

Al
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:19 AM   #3
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I can empathize with you on hitting a deer with the car and having to do the ensuing car shuffle with my wife. Also a family member who travels for their job had the bed bug experience and for that reason bought a trailer.

If I were in your shoes I would rent an RV for a trip whether it be a motorhome or a truck and trailer combination and see if it is something you would like.
If it fits your lifestyle then consider a second vehicle (used) more apt to towing a trailer. It doesn't sound like you drive a lot of miles so having a second hand pickup truck or SUV wouldn't cost nearly as much. There are many tow vehicle/trailer combinations that work but it would be more important to agree on a budget, size and floor plan of the trailer and finally the appropriate tow vehicle.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:58 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Hi Jennifer. We are somewhat experienced Airstreamers (1,900 nights/180,000 miles towing). My main concern with towing a relatively heavy Airstream travel trailer with a light weight tow vehicle is not so much whether the tow vehicle can pull the trailer as it is the concern about the tow vehicle's ability to handle the rig in a severe downgrade situation. I have experienced what i refer to as the "runaway train syndrome". Sometimes the tow vehicle can be overwhelmed by the weight of the tow vehicle in these situations. When this happens, it is downright scary.

You might take a look at the new Airstream Nest. I believe that a Jeep Patriot could handle a Nest.

Brian
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:42 PM   #5
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IMHO...
Whatever the Patriot is rated to tow, find a trailer that is at least 1000 pounds lighter. Equip the rig with a quality hitch that incorporates weight distribution and sway control.
Then practice practice practice, Camp Camp camp. 👍

Of course if the Aluminitis has already set in,, all bets are off.😂

Bob
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post

In your case I would choose a "starter trailer" that was within the limits of the TV I had and upgrade both if I decided to continue, but that's just me.

Al
Yep, we weren't going to get an Airstream for the Jeep. My question was more of the technical, how's-it-work. Maybe I threw too much background at everyone.
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
IMHO...

Of course if the Aluminitis has already set in,, all bets are off.��

Bob
����
Yeah, we're going to get a more powerful vehicle in the future when the aluminumitis sets in .
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Hi Jennifer. We are somewhat experienced Airstreamers (1,900 nights/180,000 miles towing). My main concern with towing a relatively heavy Airstream travel trailer with a light weight tow vehicle is not so much whether the tow vehicle can pull the trailer as it is the concern about the tow vehicle's ability to handle the rig in a severe downgrade situation. I have experienced what i refer to as the "runaway train syndrome". Sometimes the tow vehicle can be overwhelmed by the weight of the tow vehicle in these situations. When this happens, it is downright scary.

You might take a look at the new Airstream Nest. I believe that a Jeep Patriot could handle a Nest.

Brian
Hey Brian--we weren't going to go with the aluminum just yet; that's down the road. The Nest--and Basecamp for that matter--don't appeal. Hubby and I need a bit more elbow room when sleeping.

I definitely don't want to go through the 6 percent grades in the Rockies with an RV behind a wimpy tow vehicle!
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
If I were in your shoes I would rent an RV for a trip whether it be a motorhome or a truck and trailer combination and see if it is something you would like.
If it fits your lifestyle then consider a second vehicle (used) more apt to towing a trailer. It doesn't sound like you drive a lot of miles so having a second hand pickup truck or SUV wouldn't cost nearly as much.
We considered renting last summer, but for what you pay for a week, you could have a nice down payment on a new, or even get a used.

And yes, we'll get something more powerful to drive in the future.
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:31 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone--Edit to original post

I wanted to clarify something in my question about "massaging the tow limits". I think I threw out too much info and in fact it was a physics question. I wanted to understand how hitches worked in relation to the weight, and how performance can be maintained with an overweight trailer.

Hubby and I aren't in the market for a trailer--we're methodical, research-type of people. Just doing my homework before we go for it.
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:37 PM   #11
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Stay within the published tow rating of any vehicle. There are numerous factors that go into a tow rating, including engine, transmission, brakes, frame, etc, etc. A weight distributing hitch does not increase a vehicles tow capacity. Many vehicle maximum tow ratings are attained only when using a weight distributing hitch.
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:55 PM   #12
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You may find that going to the manufacturers website helpful. Hensley, Blue Ox, Propride are names you will hear plus a few other.
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:11 PM   #13
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lite

You might try a Casita. They are very nice and lightweight. The Patriot might be ok with it. Heck I saw a Ford Ranger pulling one once.

Yeah new, hobby, new camper, you never know, you might see a good deal on a slightly used 16 foot, 'Bambi' . Stay in the flat lands you would be ok.
Maybe some LT tires, new shocks, but that maybe struts. so you may need those 'airbags' to help. Good hitch.
yeah its all exciting !
have a good one !
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:15 PM   #14
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Tyvekcat, sorry, this is totally off topic but...I love your “trick”. Cracked me up. Too true!
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