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Old 10-26-2017, 07:18 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
Hey Rich, you brought up a good point. The low tow specifications of most SUV tow vehicles are because the manufacturer engineered a poor hitch receiver, in you example capable of a tongue weight of only500 lbs.

It logically follows that when the manufacturer uses 500 lbs as the North American minimum of 10% of the trailer weight then the trailer will be spec'd for only 5,000 lbs, regardless of how much better the suspension, handling and drive train of many SUVs are for towing.

Thus the weak link, from an capacity standpoint, is the poorly designed receiver, especially it's ability to take the torque required to transfer some of the hitch weight to the front axle.

If you go to an experienced and qualified hitch builder you can easily upgrade from your stock Class III to a Class IV receiver for a lot less money than it will take to upgrade to a huge pickup truck.
^
X2

This UPGRADE, was less than $450, incl my own labor.

Bob
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:06 AM   #30
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What if a lot of younger new Airstream owners like the idea of an Airstream, but don’t like the idea of a huge dedicated tow vehicle sitting in their driveway or parking lot?

Is their no technology that would help them have their cake and eat it too?
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:06 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
What if a lot of younger new Airstream owners like the idea of an Airstream, but don’t like the idea of a huge dedicated tow vehicle sitting in their driveway or parking lot?

Is their no technology that would help them have their cake and eat it too?
Custom built hitch receiver, designed and installed by an expert would likely be around $800.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:46 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
What if a lot of younger new Airstream owners like the idea of an Airstream, but don’t like the idea of a huge dedicated tow vehicle sitting in their driveway or parking lot?

Is their no technology that would help them have their cake and eat it too?
Hi

You can modify just about any aspect of a vehicle. Want to go faster? We can drop in a bigger engine. Want to be 1/4" off the ground, we can do that. Need big orange flames shooting out the tail pipe ... ditto. Need better towing capability ... can do.

For most people all of this exists on a different planet. If you happen to live here or there, a lot of it shows up at a car show down the street 13 times a year

The issue is that it's not just a "put this kit on any vehicle and you are done" kind of thing. It's not a bunch of crazy stuff, but you need to put on the *right* stuff for this or that vehicle / TT. Knowing what that stuff is takes a bit of trial and error. Much better to let somebody else do the experiments and then go to them for the upgrades that actually apply in your case.

Bob
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:07 AM   #33
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Hi



You can modify just about any aspect of a vehicle. Want to go faster? We can drop in a bigger engine. Want to be 1/4" off the ground, we can do that. Need big orange flames shooting out the tail pipe ... ditto. Need better towing capability ... can do.



For most people all of this exists on a different planet. If you happen to live here or there, a lot of it shows up at a car show down the street 13 times a year



The issue is that it's not just a "put this kit on any vehicle and you are done" kind of thing. It's not a bunch of crazy stuff, but you need to put on the *right* stuff for this or that vehicle / TT. Knowing what that stuff is takes a bit of trial and error. Much better to let somebody else do the experiments and then go to them for the upgrades that actually apply in your case.



Bob


For example, like the people at Can-Am in Ontario, Canada?
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:06 AM   #34
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Real Weight Matters

Watch out for this spec:

From AS specs: Unit Base Weight (with LP & Batteries) = 'X' pounds

Note that the weight ONLY includes the weight of the batteries and LP.

THIS IS NOT THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF A 'TRAVELING' TRAILER!

One should add "incidentals" such as water @ about 8#/gallon, (depends on how much water is in your tank - did the black and gray tanks get emptied?), and all the gear that you may have added - clothing, shoes, food, cables, etc., etc.

I typically add about 2,000# to the 'spec' weight - but, the best number is found at a truck-stop scale when you're all loaded up and ready to go.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:46 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
Hey Rich, you brought up a good point. The low tow specifications of most SUV tow vehicles are because the manufacturer engineered a poor hitch receiver, in you example capable of a tongue weight of only500 lbs.

It logically follows that when the manufacturer uses 500 lbs as the North American minimum of 10% of the trailer weight then the trailer will be spec'd for only 5,000 lbs, regardless of how much better the suspension, handling and drive train of many SUVs are for towing.

Thus the weak link, from an capacity standpoint, is the poorly designed receiver, especially it's ability to take the torque required to transfer some of the hitch weight to the front axle.

If you go to an experienced and qualified hitch builder you can easily upgrade from your stock Class III to a Class IV receiver for a lot less money than it will take to upgrade to a huge pickup truck.
According to Draw-Tite, a class III hitch can be either weight carrying or weight distribution, depending on the vehicle and hitch type.
http://www.drawtite-hitches.com/lear...towing-classes
"Class III hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 6000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 600 lbs."

Class III hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs.

I have always assumed that a vehicle's towing and tongue capacities were a combination of the vehicle's capability and hitch design. Whether you use a class III or class IV, a Corolla is not going to tow a 35' AS.

For the OP, a Highlander has a 5,000 lb. max towing capacity. A class III WC hitch can apparently support 6,000 lbs., so there is some level of safety there. However, will the axles, drive train, brakes, etc. support 6,000 lbs. without doing some damage?

To my thinking, no matter how big or well built the hitch receiver is, the capability of the vehicle, stated by the manufacturer in its specifications, should be the guiding principle.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:44 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
...
To my thinking, no matter how big or well built the hitch receiver is, the capability of the vehicle, stated by the manufacturer in its specifications, should be the guiding principle.
They base the tow rating on the hitch receiver capability, not the capability of the vehicle. IMHO if the receiver is upgraded and you don't go over your axle or tow vehicle GWVR then you are good to go.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:33 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
They base the tow rating on the hitch receiver capability, not the capability of the vehicle. IMHO if the receiver is upgraded and you don't go over your axle or tow vehicle GWVR then you are good to go.
If the new custom hitch does not void the tow vehicle's mfg. warranty, or result in the insurance not covering any resulting damage in the event of an accident.

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Old 10-26-2017, 02:48 PM   #38
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For example, like the people at Can-Am in Ontario, Canada?
Hi

They certainly are one that is worth considering. As far as I know there's nobody any better. If I get worked up enough about this stuff, that's where I would go. That could just be my limited view of the world. There aren't a lot of specialists around that really get into this stuff.

My main point is that Bob down at the local "Super Truck Upgrade Store" may not be the perfect guy for doing this with. He likely can order in this or that part. Knowing what the *right* part is for a specific vehicle / trailer combo ..... maybe not so much. Getting it all tuned up right .... nope.

Bob
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:41 PM   #39
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Only one person posting on this thread has real-world personal experience with thousands of actual setups. That doesn't mean others' opinions are unimportant, but you may want to consider this personal experience accordingly.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:47 PM   #40
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Quote:
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...I have always assumed that a vehicle's towing and tongue capacities were a combination of the vehicle's capability and hitch design. Whether you use a class III or class IV, a Corolla is not going to tow a 35' AS.

For the OP, a Highlander has a 5,000 lb. max towing capacity. A class III WC hitch can apparently support 6,000 lbs., so there is some level of safety there. However, will the axles, drive train, brakes, etc. support 6,000 lbs. without doing some damage?

To my thinking, no matter how big or well built the hitch receiver is, the capability of the vehicle, stated by the manufacturer in its specifications, should be the guiding principle.
The 6000 lb Class III hitch referenced is a Draw-tite Class 3 product, not Toyota's. A hitch can be rated up to that, but not every one is.

In terms of tongue weight, what matters are that the receiver is strong enough, and then you move to axle and tire weight limits. It doesn't help to use a Corolla to support your point, unless that Corolla has sufficient axle and tire capacity for the likely tongue weight.

My (BMW) SUV didn't come with a tow rating. The BMW marketing company in the US sold a hitch kit through their dealers (there was no factory option). That hitch had a 6000 lb tow rating. Other BMW marketing companies in other countries sold hitches with higher ratings, for the same vehicle, even though they were all owned by the same manufacturer. I was limited by that hitch rating if I chose to follow it, but the vehicle wasn't.

If one doesn't know the true vehicle capacity, and suspects that the vehicle may be able to tow more with an appropriate receiver (perhaps because similar models from that manufacturer have higher ratings, with the same powertrain) then relying on experts such as Can-Am would be an appropriate course of action IMO.

As to issues with the vehicle warranty, I wouldn't expect the vehicle manufacturer to warrant a hitch they didn't provide. I would look to the hitch manufacturer for that warranty. At the same time, if that aftermarket receiver was considered by the vehicle manufacturer to have caused a failure, I would ask them to demonstrate it. They don't get to void a warranty because they don't like something. The warranty impact I did run in to more than once was when an aftermarket item like a receiver blocked service access to another component that was being repaired under warranty. In that case there was sometimes a charge for R&R of the aftermarket device to access the component. Using bolted receivers instead of welded ones is a prudent mitigation there.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:19 PM   #41
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If the new custom hitch does not void the tow vehicle's mfg. warranty, or result in the insurance not covering any resulting damage in the event of an accident.

Plenty of modified vehicles on the road.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:54 PM   #42
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If a tow vehicle tows a trailer heavier than its “rated towing capacity” will it tear in half?
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