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Old 07-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #15
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I asked this question once when I worked for the Volvo corp. I saw some testing going on with a large flatbed trailer and a wind sail device as well as a heavy box trailer. To me it didnt seem very scientific. What about cornering on wet roads? What about long grades in high temps? I was told by a 20 year old swedish engineering student that the results could vary depending on the way you were using the vehicle.
Hmmm.

You ask where the 80% rule came from? I think it could be from me after hearing that?!

LOL

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Old 07-12-2009, 09:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rangebowdrie View Post
I just had a great idea, I think I'll get one of those new 30'classics, they have a gvw of 10,000 lbs. And, that Tundra, well, it's rated to tow that, it even has brake discs about the same size as the F-350 powerstroke,,,, and it's got 40 more horsepower,,,,, would certaintly be a better TV, right??, I'll bet it rides better too.

Or, I bet if I see those guys up in Canada, they could make me a set-up, so I could tow it with my Trailblazer, or Bronco, and get great mileage too,,,,,yeah, that's the answer.

Right,,,,,NOT

This really isn't contributing to the discussion, but as Gene points out it could tow it...
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
I asked this question once when I worked for the Volvo corp. I saw some testing going on with a large flatbed trailer and a wind sail device as well as a heavy box trailer. To me it didnt seem very scientific. What about cornering on wet roads? What about long grades in high temps? I was told by a 20 year old swedish engineering student that the results could vary depending on the way you were using the vehicle.
Hmmm.

You ask where the 80% rule came from? I think it could be from me after hearing that?!

LOL

Vinnie
I think this may be key " results could vary depending on the way you were using the vehicle."

Some TV may work better than others with the same tow capacity. when or when not maxing out the Tow capacity. As pointed out by Jack..

Also as Gene pointed out sway control and equalizing hitch is key.

And those guys in Canada have had very good success with setting up TV... No matter what people my think..
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:18 PM   #18
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Purman,

In Europe they will tow something with a 1.6L engine. Granted most things are light weight but not always. I have seen a tandem axle enclosed car trailer with a car inside being pulled by a 6cyl Mercedes E 320 and the guys swear by it. Its just different over there. We tend to scream up the hillls so we can pass the slow guy pulling his trailer at 40.. whereas they are the guy doing 40!

Ofcourse you can tow with a Toyota and it will do fine. But in the same respect there is always something bigger and more capable that gives the driver the feeling he can do anything.. (thats the guy im more worried about)
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:25 PM   #19
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Purman,

In Europe they will tow something with a 1.6L engine. Granted most things are light weight but not always. I have seen a tandem axle enclosed car trailer with a car inside being pulled by a 6cyl Mercedes E 320 and the guys swear by it. Its just different over there. We tend to scream up the hillls so we can pass the slow guy pulling his trailer at 40.. whereas they are the guy doing 40!

Ofcourse you can tow with a Toyota and it will do fine. But in the same respect there is always something bigger and more capable that gives the driver the feeling he can do anything.. (thats the guy im more worried about)
I agree, We spend time in England and sweden as my wife and my family are from those counties. And I have seen it all. But then they drive slow and don't have the big trucks.

I'm not saying the 80% rule isn't a good Idea, But it doesn't have to be the end all to a TV as some imply.

I'm just wondering where the idea originated from.

Maybe it a conspiracy theory buy the government to make us by bigger turcks so we have to buy more fuel and pay more taxes.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:36 PM   #20
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The "rule of thumb"

While I am certainly no "expert" and can only offer "opinions", I have always felt the 80% rule of thumb was simply that - a rule of thumb.

I just upgraded my TV. I upgraded because I wanted something that would last for a long, long while, even though 40% or so of the miles will be towing.

Prior to that, I towed a late model 27FB with a Chevy Tahoe. According to the scales, the trailer weighs 6080 lbs as normally loaded for weekend type camping. At that weight, the tongue wt was 710 lbs. That included relatively full propane tanks, empty gray and black tanks, as well as full fresh water.

With a couple of people, a full tank of gas and minimal things in the Tahoe, we were right at the max payload. Our Tahoe was rated for 7900Lbs towing capacity, so we were just a hair under 80% of that figure.

In the current environment, I think any manufacturer would be crazy to knowingly overestimate the towing capacity or payload of a TV. The resulting litigation could result in millions of dollars in damages. Even if the marketing folks were to push for it, I still find it difficult to believe there are any material overstatements in any of the listed or published capacities. I think the trouble comes in when the marketing folks emphasize one of the numbers (such as towing capicity) and don't make it easy for you to find the other numbers such as GCVW or payload capicity.

Most 1/2 ton trucks have in the neighborhood of 10K lbs towing capacity. With a typical tongue weight of 10% or more of the trailer weight though, you are unlikely to ever reach that limit because you will run out of payload capacity or you will exceed an axle weight rating.

If you look at a "typical" half ton truck or SUV, the 80% rule makes a great deal of sense. If you stay at 80% of rated tow capacity, chances are you will be within the maximum payload.

All of that goes out the window (and probably isn't relevant for any trailer that comes out of Jackson Center) once you go to the 3/4 or 1 ton rated tow vehicles. Any of them will easily pull just about any Airstream and still be well within payload and towing capacity.

With the half ton truck, I looked at the 80% rule as just giving me a bit of breathing room. If I wanted to load up the trailer for a longer trip or if I bought a few things on the road to bring back home, I would still be in the range of what the manufacturer said.

As you approach maximum recommended towing limits, you simply need to pay a lot more attention to what you are doing. You probably will need to head down to the scales and make sure that actual weights are what you think they are. You will need to pay a little more attention to how you drive, knowing that you are closer to the "limits" than folks towing less weight are. If that means slower speeds or greater following distances then that is what you need to do.

As you get closer to the design limit of anything, wear and tear naturally increases. A little more preventative maintenance will be in order.

It all comes down to math and a little common sense. In the end, the scale is your friend. Use it. Stay at or under ALL of the stated capacities of your tow vehicle and any other equipment you are using such as tires, wheels, hitching gear, etc. That includes the "towing capacity", GCVW, GAWR of both axles and the payload capacity. If you do, then very few people can really say you are being "unsafe". Go over any of those limits though at your own peril. If something breaks, the manufacturer could refuse to provide warranty support. If someone or something gets damaged, you could be on the hook for those damages.

As they say on the inter-web tubes though, YMMV.

Wayne
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:55 PM   #21
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Wayne,

What you say makes good sense and I can live with that answer.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:11 PM   #22
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I think this may be key " results could vary depending on the way you were using the vehicle."

Some TV may work better than others with the same tow capacity. when or when not maxing out the Tow capacity. As pointed out by Jack..

Also as Gene pointed out sway control and equalizing hitch is key.

And those guys in Canada have had very good success with setting up TV... No matter what people my think..
The manufacturers' numbers are recommendations. As the Swedish engineering student essentially said, there is no way they can anticipate different circumstances and combinations. In my experience, at 60 mph on a level highway a 5500 lb Airstream tows easier than a 1500 lb 6x10 enclosed cargo trailer. The Airstream also handles much better, and stops a lot more readily.

In the end, only results and experience will tell what works. Recommendations and ratings are only guidelines to ensure that people are generally safe, and that customer's expectations are generally met.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:32 PM   #23
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You are missing the point.
You get an airstream to;
Look cool
tow fantastic, aerodynamic, independant suspension - with shocks.
and be COMFORTABLE, "did I say that out loud?"

Comfort.

I don't tow at 80% listed limit.

I tow at 50% listed limit.

The only thing I worry about when towing is someone looking at the rig for toooo long and driving into me.

If you have to wory about wether the tow vehicle will do the job,
"we ain't havin fun".

Yes, you can tow a 12,000# boat/trailer with a toyota pickup w/2000 cc motor.
Been there, done that.

Comfort while camping, and relaxation have the same meaning.

Yes, get a small van, pull a big trailer, but I don't think it would be fun.

The goal is fun, relaxation, enjoyment.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:33 PM   #24
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We just picked up our first RV ever. I think we made the right choice to pick an AS.

I had a lot of concerns after I put my deposit down and before I picked up the trailer.

We too have the new model Toyota Sequoia with Tow package. We called with the techs from Toyota and they told us that the towing capacity was plenty to tow the AS 25FB international 09. Toyota told us the 80 % rule is an old wives tale. Even for us in the foothills in Colorado we could maintain the total towing capacity as our real tow capacity.

Now on the payload... when I started looking at those numbers... that really got me concerned. I have only ~1250 lbs available as my payload. My trailer hitch weight is ~800 which leaves 450 for my 2 dogs (125 lbs each) and my wife and myself.
I think my payload is at the 110/-20 level.

We had a Equal-I-zer installed but I think that didn't help. It seems that the ball was installed way low. They put in about 10 washers.. I'll go and re-install the thing myself before I will do any serious towing.

Anyway, we did make it home. Pulling our first ever travel trailer. All the way from Tampa, Florida to Littleton, Colorado (1900 miles). Most freeways we drove ~ 70 mph even over the mountains around Chattanouga, TN.

Our MPG dropped from 17.2 to 9.8 (no trailer to trailer).
We pulled ~90% of our max and 110% on the payload, and we did not feel that we were reaching our limits yet. The steep uphills the car was in 3rd and 4th gear but we were never forced to slow down because the TV couldn't pull it.
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:18 AM   #25
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80% rule, American invention.

Hi, the 80% rule is an American invention; Americans tend to want to max out everything. My trailer will hold about 850 lbs of junk, but I know I will never need to carry that much weight inside of my trailer. People on this forum have stated that their trailer weighs at, or more, than it's rated GVWR. What are you carrying in your trailer? These must be the people who buy those cast iron cook wear sets at Camping World. Same with their tow vehicles, maxed out. I like the idea that I can't carry so much useless stuff in my trailer or tow vehicle. We don't need to carry six months worth of water and drinks with us. Bring about a weeks worth and stop at Wal-Mart and buy more on the road. I would like to know what people who have a 25'er that is rated 1,000 lbs higher than mine put in their trailer to max it out. Everything we bought for our trailer and many things we didn't had to do with it's weight.

My tow vehicle is rated to tow 8,900 lbs and my trailer is rated at 6,300 lbs. And this is where I like it.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:46 AM   #26
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Thumbs up Different agenda, different requirements..

We surely pack differently when the objectives warrant.

We will be leaving shortly for two weeks of 'dock'n at the Lake, this requires a lot more "stuff" be included. Boat, motor, fishing gear, storage tents, generator, chairs, grill, etc..etc. Thankfully some of this "stuff" can be put in the Burb, which is still under it's load carrying rating. Under these circumstances we are at or above the GVWR of the AS. I would feel a little more comfortable had AS installed 4000lb axles rather the 3500's. (GVWR of the Classic, 7300lbs). The mitigating factor here is these trips are usually under 1500mi round trip.

On sightseeing excursion's we are well under the GVWR of the coach. I would assume this is true for most of us.

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Old 07-13-2009, 08:50 AM   #27
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The real story

Many years ago up in Northern Ontario 5 guys hooked up their trailer and gear, piled in the cab of their pickup truck, and started out down the highway.

It was a tight fit with those 5 burly guys and the driver had trouble handling the rig.

He finally pulled over. They drew straws and the looser got tossed out on the side of the road and got left behind.

Now with only 4 guys in the cab (80%) there was room enough to carry on in relative safety.

Sorry folks, getting married in a a couple hours and getting a little punchy..lol
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:36 AM   #28
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dunno, but

I do not know where that guideline came from, and I do not claim to be a gear head. Having said that, here is why I think it is a good idea.

To start with, I am pretty sure that the towing capacities are determined under fanciful conditions (sea level, flat, no need for sudden stops, ect). So it might be the case that under optimum conditions, you can safely tow the payloads advertised.

On the other hand, I tow well above sea level (less O2 = less power), in somewhat less than even terrain. All to often this involves starts that are up steep inclines, and stops on the other side. It can involve sudden stops for wildlife or maneuvering around bikers. Add to this, weather conditions can further add to the challenge. Even at lower elevations there are challenges. On the plains winds can be an significant challenge. When I was towing with my 91 F150, it was not uncommon to be reduced to 40-45 mph ON THE FLATS by wind. Even with my powerstroke (which incidentally is WAY over powered for the job) I notice the wind.


So, while it is sort of true that you can get the maximum tow rating out of a vehicle under optimum conditions, real world towing presents less than optimum situations. Traveling with marginal equipment exposes you to increased chance of mechanical failure. Its like heading out on the road with exactly the amount of money needed for food, camping, and entrance fees; you technically have enough money- provided absolutely nothing goes wrong. I have traveled with a marginal tow vehicle, and with marginal money. In my opinion, it is far, far better to have more vehicle capacity and more money than actually required for a trip planned on the margins.
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