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Old 09-14-2009, 01:03 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by finalcutjoe View Post
this sway/jacknife happened with a Ford Excursion, which is a 1-Ton chassis...
The Ford Excursion is a design disaster going somewhere to happen.

My niece rolled her trailer behind an Excursion and when I bought mine I spent several months redesigning the suspension before I felt even close to safe while towing. My first tow with it required all 3 lanes of 295 in south Jersey. Had I not been towing for 40 years I know it would have looked just like the film above. My wife will never drive this truck.

If you question my comments go on any of the Ford truck sites and type in Wandering and you will see what I am referring to. The Excursion was designed for soccer moms. The sway bars require upgrading, the shock require changing, and the steering box should be replaced with an after market one. Even given all this it is still not a good TV
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:23 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by steverino View Post
Good points, Gene; aviation industry is held to a higher standard than motor vehicles with regard to maintenance, inspection, specification, and pilot qualification.

Steve

So are you saying that you would load your plane to max capacity but wouldn't do the same with TV towing an Airstream ? And let me be more specific, a late model truck with a factory tow package rated at 6500 LBS towing a 23' Airstream which would be just about at the limit, probably about 300 LBS under the limit ?

Also, I can't really see comparing planes to truck and trailers, the only thing that they would have in common is that you would want to properly load either one, otherwise it's apples to oranges IMO.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:38 AM   #73
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I am absolutly amazed how some fight the 'oversized TV', now we are reckless, don't know how to drive...

There are idiots driving in all size vehicle starting in the smart car all the way up to 18wheelers.

I choose an oversized vehicle not because I don't know how to drive but because I didn't see any downside to it. I have yet to find one and say geee I wish I would have bought that mini Cooper instead of the 2500 to tow my 25footer...

But I know my setup gets better gasmilage, is safer, more comftable and gets me to my destination faster... Is that really so bad?

It sure seems this discussion is going nowhere...
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:17 AM   #74
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My point with the hapless Excursion driver video, was to show that tow ratings (IMHO) are pretty subjective. That SUV was/is considered an excellent tow vehicle, and boasts a 20,000lb GCWR. ATST, Howie is right, there's a boat-load of info on 'spring-wrap', 'rear-axle steering' problems with the Excursion (besides all the EGR, diesel issues).

So where does that put the weekend-warrior-RVer's relying on published vehicle specs?

Now, that's not to say I completely disregard a vehicles tow ratings. I use a 2500 BB Suburban for my TV (~90% depending, for all you 'ratings-mongers'). I wouldn't have any problem pulling my 30Slide with a 1500 Suburban (somewhere in the 130% range), with the right 'key' upgrades... but that's the real issue, here-- keeping it real.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:49 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
I choose an oversized vehicle not because I don't know how to drive but because I didn't see any downside to it. I have yet to find one and say geee I wish I would have bought that mini Cooper instead of the 2500 to tow my 25footer...

But I know my setup gets better gasmilage, is safer, more comftable and gets me to my destination faster... Is that really so bad?
There are some downsides though:

- Heavy duty trucks have longer stopping distances than light-duty trucks or car-based tow vehicles.
- Not many heavy duty trucks have stability control (that's changing, as it becomes standard on new trucks), and all have a pretty high center of gravity, increasing the chance of a rollover.
- Their typically so-so handling makes it harder to avoid an accident.
- Unloaded, their fuel economy and ride are typically worse (particularly if you exclude the variable of the diesel powertrain) than a light duty truck or car-based tow vehicle.
- Car-based and light truck tow vehicles typically have more passive safety equipment, like curtain air bags, than heavy duty trucks. (Again, that's changing in current model years.) Some trucks, like the Silverado, are mediocre in some crash tests.
- I've driven a lot of trucks and SUVs. I find stuff like a Buick Enclave or Ford Flex is more comfortable and accomodating inside than their company's trucks.

I guess what troubles me most about this thread is that, given a list of accidents, one really doesn't know if a different tow vehicle would have prevented it. (Maybe weight distribution wasn't used. Maybe the sway control wasn't set correctly.)

If someone cuts in front of you on a highway, and you veer into the soft grass median, you can flip a big truck or a Xterra. It can be argued that a big truck's heavier weight would help, or that a lower-to-the-ground vehicle with stability control would have been better....

Tom
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:55 AM   #76
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- Unloaded, their fuel economy and ride are typically worse (particularly if you exclude the variable of the diesel powertrain) than a light duty truck or car-based tow vehicle.
For me, that's a big consideration.

I'm going to estimate that towing will be 5% (or less) of my driving time. Do I want to pay the penalty of driving a truck the other 95% of the time?

For me, the answer is a resounding no. Your mileage may vary...

I would also add that one of our long-time resident experts here constantly reminds readers that a TV that is too heavy for the particular trailer you tow is actually very hard on it, and will literally "shake it to death".
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:46 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
I am absolutly amazed how some fight the 'oversized TV', now we are reckless, don't know how to drive...
Is it reckless to tow an Airstream that is slightly under the factory tow rating for the truck ? That's the question asked, and let's not assume someone is reckless and a bad driver, let's assume the opposite and answer the question. Why is the 80 percent "rule" seemingly taken as gospel so often ? Just because you have a TV that is overrated for the job, that isn't for everyone.





Quote:
Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
There are idiots driving in all size vehicle starting in the smart car all the way up to 18wheelers.

This statement is of course correct, but there are also excellent drivers in all size vehicles so whats the point ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post

I choose an oversized vehicle not because I don't know how to drive but because I didn't see any downside to it. I have yet to find one and say geee I wish I would have bought that mini Cooper instead of the 2500 to tow my 25footer...

Of course you're going to the extreme here, how about a truck rated at around 7500 lbs to tow your 25er, not a mini cooper, what about that ? That's the question asked here. Is that reckless ? I would say it isn't.




Quote:
Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
But I know my setup gets better gasmilage, is safer, more comftable and gets me to my destination faster... Is that really so bad?
Nobody is saying it's bad, but is it necessary ? Once again, a good driver pulling an airstream and being around 95 percent of capacity, I would say that a good driver could drive either setup with equal comfort and safety.



Quote:
Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
It sure seems this discussion is going nowhere...


Why do you say that ? I'm finding this thread interesting because I've wondered about the origins of this 80-20 "rule"
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:02 PM   #78
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I travel (towing) about 6-7 weeks a year. Add a couple of weekends now and again. I cringe at the pumps as it is since I am moslty driving to work or the grocery store. Finding a ballance between all of the activities I would like to do is really my concern - not finding the biggest, best, baddest tow vehicle. I tow my AS without any issues. I don't climb or go down the mountain passes in BC at 60 mph and probably wouldn't if I were driving a Kenworth.

My opinion is that it is more about the driver than the tow vehicle - assuming your not way over your limit.

Alex
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:08 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by bambi for me View Post
Is it reckless to tow an Airstream that is slightly under the factory tow rating for the truck ? That's the question asked, and let's not assume someone is reckless and a bad driver, let's assume the opposite and answer the question. Why is the 80 percent "rule" seemingly taken as gospel so often ? Just because you have a TV that is overrated for the job, that isn't for everyone.
i was reffering to someone earlier essentially saying drivers in oversized TV's are dummies and the guy in the 1/4 ton is the smart and good driver... (i am exaterating...)

no scenario is reckless as long as the driver knows the limits and capilities of their TV. the wrecks described in those other threads where all drivers fault and could have been easily avoided by driving the proper speed and knowing the impact of wind, trucks and downhill








Quote:
This statement is of course correct, but there are also excellent drivers in all size vehicles so whats the point ?
the point is, the driver and his/her cabilities are just as important as the TV





Quote:
Of course you're going to the extreme here, how about a truck rated at around 7500 lbs to tow your 25er, not a mini cooper, what about that ? That's the question asked here. Is that reckless ? I would say it isn't.
no it's not as long as you stay within your limits. however a lot pack more wheight than they think and i like to have full fresh water tank with me for example...

i went to fremont peak state park the other day and i was glad i had the extra pulling power getting into the campground

to each their own i guess...






Quote:
Nobody is saying it's bad, but is it necessary ? Once again, a good driver pulling an airstream and being around 95 percent of capacity, I would say that a good driver could drive either setup with equal comfort and safety.
most everyone thinks they are the best driver out there...





Quote:
Why do you say that ? I'm finding this thread interesting because I've wondered about the origins of this 80-20 "rule"
because we are split between the one side saying big is bad and the other side saying big is good with no resolution is sight...
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:16 PM   #80
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There are some downsides though:

- Heavy duty trucks have longer stopping distances than light-duty trucks or car-based tow vehicles.
the 3000lb car pulling a 7000lb trailer is stopping faster than a 7000lb truck pulling a 7000lb ? i would like to see that....

Quote:
- Not many heavy duty trucks have stability control (that's changing, as it becomes standard on new trucks), and all have a pretty high center of gravity, increasing the chance of a rollover.
true

Quote:
- Their typically so-so handling makes it harder to avoid an accident.
i think thats offset by the-heavier-the-TV the more controll you have in other ways...

Quote:
- Unloaded, their fuel economy and ride are typically worse (particularly if you exclude the variable of the diesel powertrain) than a light duty truck or car-based tow vehicle.
true, i was fortunate enough to consider my TV just for towing, for my work commute i have a CNG car with 40mpg... i think i am the exception on that one

Quote:
- Car-based and light truck tow vehicles typically have more passive safety equipment, like curtain air bags, than heavy duty trucks. (Again, that's changing in current model years.) Some trucks, like the Silverado, are mediocre in some crash tests.
true, but we are talking AVOIDING an accident before it happens...

Quote:
- I've driven a lot of trucks and SUVs. I find stuff like a Buick Enclave or Ford Flex is more comfortable and accomodating inside than their company's trucks.
matter of taste i guess...

Quote:
I guess what troubles me most about this thread is that, given a list of accidents, one really doesn't know if a different tow vehicle would have prevented it. (Maybe weight distribution wasn't used. Maybe the sway control wasn't set correctly.)

If someone cuts in front of you on a highway, and you veer into the soft grass median, you can flip a big truck or a Xterra. It can be argued that a big truck's heavier weight would help, or that a lower-to-the-ground vehicle with stability control would have been better....

Tom
can't agree more with you on that, so many factors and a lot of guessing anbd what ifs...
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:52 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
because we are split between the one side saying big is bad and the other side saying big is good with no resolution is sight...
Discussion here isn't dependent on counting up sides. We make a point, some agree, some don't, some change their minds, others just read it and quietly make up their minds. At some point everything to say is said, and the thread dies, maybe to be resurrected some time later.

There will not be total agreement on just about anything including a thread called "Do Airstreams Look Good?"

I think it's an interesting question and one I wondered about before purman posted the original question. The larger question surrounding it is about conventional wisdom.

Gene
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:07 PM   #82
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Returning the subject, I don't know that anyone can say where exactly the 80/20 rule began. It's not an 82.17 percent rule or a 78.65 percent rule. My guess is that someone said, "If the manufacturer says 10,000 pounds... I'm going to take 20 percent off 'just to be on the safe side.'" And someone else said, "Yeah, that sounds about right." Add water, stir briskly... boom, you have "rule."

I'm the first to admit my wife is a much driver than me. She can shame NYC cab drivers with her moves. On unpaved roads, snow, rain or towing, I'm a better than average driver because of my experience and caution. In heavy, or even routine traffic, I'm a worse than average driver. I just don't have the patience or urban instincts for the work.

Unlike many drivers, I know about how vehicles work mechanically. I think about things like brake fade. I understand compression braking. I know when something sounds or feels "not quite right." I actually install gauges (rather than idiot lights) and even look at them. I do a "walk around" before pulling out with the trailer hitched up. Everything gets checked.

This isn't going to save my backside if some idiots cuts me off or runs into me. Neither is a one-truck truck. The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of auto accidents are caused by driver failure... not mechanical failure. Booze kills more people than bad brakes. Distractions like cell phones, make up, eating, radio fiddling, etc., kill more people than a smaller horsepower engine. Running a vehicle at its legally rated capacity probably wears it out faster. It probably means going up hills slower... and hopefully down them slowly as well. It means having to drive more carefully and cautiously. I simply don't think shaving 20 percent off the rated capacity changes the towing dynamics of a safely operated vehicle towing a legal load to the point where it makes a statistically significant difference in avoiding or surviving accidents.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:21 PM   #83
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I guess what troubles me most about this thread is that, given a list of accidents, one really doesn't know if a different tow vehicle would have prevented it. (Maybe weight distribution wasn't used. Maybe the sway control wasn't set correctly.)

Tom
Throwing my 2 cents in .....

I believe there are 3 factors.
The driver and his or her skill
The equipment that is going to be used
And how that equipment is set up and maintained

Seeing a graphic video is eye grabbing, however to make a stement as to why the accident occurred based on the vid is to make a decision with out all of the parts and pieces. For all we know the drive may have been reading a map and did not have his full attention on the road.

I personally have a decaded daily driver that is used for that purpose. If one is using (or buying) one vehicle to do a daily commute and tow a 5000 # + load, then think of all the money you saved by not buying (or having) a second vehicle. In my opinion you will need to pony up to a vehicle that will handle the largest load expected. And if that means the MPG is poor. Well consider the $5,000 to $20,000 you saved in not having the 2nd vehicle. RVing isn't necessarily cheap.

As to load capacity - I do not exceed the rated capacity of my TV. However I am way over 80% of the rating. I am also the guy driving at or 5 mph below the speed limit getting nasti-grams from the dude that wants to fly by at 5 to 15 over the limit. I expect my equipment to handle the load the manufacture states, and set up the TV and trailer to travel level. I also maintain everything better than the schedule. And never drive with liquids if at all possible.

Just my opinion

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Old 09-15-2009, 02:49 PM   #84
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the 3000lb car pulling a 7000lb trailer is stopping faster than a 7000lb truck pulling a 7000lb ? i would like to see that....
Comparing 1/2-ton trucks to 3/4-ton trucks, the 1/2-tons typically have shorter stopping distances. Same goes for the typical car-based, 5000lb SUV vs a 5500lb truck-based model. Stuff like tires and suspension weight transfer when braking play a role, not just big impressive looking rotors and calipers.

Although your example is obviously extreme, stopping 10000 lbs of mass is easier than stopping 14000 lbs. A F-250 weighs nearly 2500 lbs more than a F-150, which doesn't help matters.

Properly adjusted trailer brakes are, of course, a help here - old Airstream brochures I have brag that the tow car + disc-braked trailer stopped in the same distance as the tow car (a 3500lb late-70s Chevy Impala) did solo.

There are so many variables here beyond tow rating: we passed a SOB (which is a lot higher than a typical AS) being towed by a newer Silverado 1/2-ton recently. No sway control, no weight distribution - it was wagging down the road, nose in the air, even at the speed limit. That rig was likely 2000 lb or so below the tow rating of the truck, yet was inherently less stable than my minivan towing my Minuet with weight distribution and anti-sway.

Tom
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