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Old 06-30-2016, 08:29 PM   #43
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I'd love to see one of these discussions use physics - real physics with vectors, equivalent flat plate area, and dynamic loads - as a basis rather than mass and a small piece of paper.

Although I happily concede that a daily routine involving mass and a small piece of paper is no bad thing.
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:46 PM   #44
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The weighed the total weight and compared to the sticker GCVW number. It was over. He lost. No way around it really. It was more total weight then the vehicle was designed for.
Really? Unless his vehicle is licensed as a commercial carrier the law does not apply to him, or recreational Airstreamers.

That's not to recommend towing over GCWR, but these recurring stories evaporate when asked to substantiate with law.
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Old 07-01-2016, 04:45 AM   #45
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Really? Unless his vehicle is licensed as a commercial carrier the law does not apply to him, or recreational Airstreamers.

That's not to recommend towing over GCWR, but these recurring stories evaporate when asked to substantiate with law.
This seems plausible.

If the sticker is the concern, doing a little math and printing up a new sticker doesn't sound expensive.

In our state, the license plates for trucks are sold based on vehicle weight (7000 pounds, 9000, etc.) but vans, minivans, and SUV's may be licensed as trucks or passenger vehicles. Tax by the pound seems to be the deal. As I recall 7000 pound plates were cheaper than passenger vehicle, but 9000 pound plates were somewhat more expensive.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:21 AM   #46
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Towing Capability

I've been on this forum for five years and I've never yet been able to convince the majority that towing an Airstream is so much more than just numbers and weight, and that a pickup truck, actually quite a dinosaur in automotive terms, is not necessarily the default tow vehicle.

I was inducted into the Andy Thompson Hall of Believe-or-Not Towing Fame at the outset and haven't looked back. With a series of videos, written pieces and actual examples, he demonstrated just what a wide open subject the safe towing of travel trailers is, and it most definitely is not tied down to what a vehicle manufacturer claims is the "Tow Rating".

My tow vehicle is a 2011 Toyota Sienna with a manufacturer's tow rating of 3500lbs. My Airstream is a 2011 28' International Serenity weighing it at around 7000lbs when loaded. The Sienna's hitch receiver has been strengthened and I use both weight distribution and friction sway control. It's also been my daily drive for the past five years.

I've weighed the setup only once, when it was new, and the axle ratings on the Sienna, front or rear, were well within spec, as was the payload, even though I calculated the payload myself as the door sticker doesn't mention it.

The setup is not illegal in any Province or State, despite what many people tell me. Browse the laws that apply to privately owned recreational vehicles and I challenge you to find any law that prohibits such a combination.

I do travel quite lightly, no generators, firewood, kayaks or bikes. My normal load is three adults and one teen, plus a Greyhound and assorted bits of camping gear.

I don't travel huge distances when towing, and it's mostly in the relatively flat and cool zones of Ontario. I have towed down to Orlando, through the mountains in Tennessee, and also to Boston, through the mountains again in Mass., and New Hampshire.

My point to this post is to say that while the OP has done an excellent job in his OP, a much broader view needs to be taken when assessing what is and what is not a good, or safe, tow vehicle.

I don't want to suggest that you should all rush out and get a minivan with which to tow your Airstream, but you should look at what else you want that vehicle to do when it's not towing and how you plan to camp (see travel lightly above) in making your choice. The stability of the vehicle and the type of hitch receiver, weight distribution and sway control/elimination
also needs to be factored in. Weight? Well yes, but it's down the list a bit.

We're into our sixth season with the Sienna/Airstream setup and have had trouble free towing all that time. There will always be those who say "You can't tow that with that" (which I hear on almost every trip). To that I would say "Where's your evidence? - My evidence is sitting right in front of you."

Happy travels, one and all. I can publish my travel schedule if you wish, you know, so that you can avoid me on the road
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:05 AM   #47
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". Calling people trolls for having a differing opinion is unacceptable in my book. "

For some here it is their normal response to anyone that disagrees with them.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:47 AM   #48
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". Calling people trolls for having a differing opinion is unacceptable in my book. "

For some here it is their normal response to anyone that disagrees with them.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the case.
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Old 07-01-2016, 03:41 PM   #49
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:33 PM   #50
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My tow vehicle is a 2011 Toyota Sienna with a manufacturer's tow rating of 3500lbs. My Airstream is a 2011 28' International Serenity weighing it at around 7000lbs when loaded. The Sienna's hitch receiver has been strengthened and I use both weight distribution and friction sway control. It's also been my daily drive for the past five years.
MrUKToad,

Is that the extent of CanAm's mods? Any helper springs or airbags? My dealer was telling me about a recent customer who had their Honda Odyssey modified by CanAm and they reinforced the Honda's frame nearly the length of the minivan so that better weight distribution could be achieved.
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:36 AM   #51
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MrUKToad,

Is that the extent of CanAm's mods? Any helper springs or airbags? My dealer was telling me about a recent customer who had their Honda Odyssey modified by CanAm and they reinforced the Honda's frame nearly the length of the minivan so that better weight distribution could be achieved.

My mods are a substantially beefed up hitch receiver (additional steel braces that extend almost to the rear axle), additional transmission cooler, brake controller, WD and sway bars. No helper springs or airbags.

I'm a little confused about the Odyssey story, though. It's a unibody, so no frame, and the bracing on the hitch receiver will be much the same as on my Sienna - about three feet of additional steel welded behind the receiver box and bolted onto the car's body at some point just behind the rear axle. Or rather where the axle would be as it's fully independent suspension on the Honda. No bracing for the length of the vehicle, that's for sure. I've not seen underneath a CanAm modified Odyssey, but those mods tend to follow a pattern.

CanAm has lots of minivan customers and I've yet to hear a single complaint from them.
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:42 PM   #52
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Towing capability basics.

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Another thing to remember is modern trucks (2010 and newer) are nowhere near what trucks from 2007 where like. They drive like cars, super smooth, loaded and unloaded. Are much more capable on the road than ever before. Making them even better tow vehicles as well. Older trucks bounced around at the smallest imperfections and had rough rides. Any of the big 3 built in the last few years rides as good if not better than any sedan I have been in. They really are that good now.

I agree with your assertions. But that nearly half century old car is still a better TV than a modern pickup.

And, simple physics is the primary difference: Low center of gravity. Wins every time. A car will spin out or skip sideways versus a pickup rolling over. And taking the trailer over with it. Dark blinders around here on that possibility. Can't happen to them, etc.

And I find it pretty funny those "worried" about ascending a grade at 35-mph. I do it sometimes several times weekly. Adult diapers recommended for those outside of their experience.

Should be worried about the descent.

Trailer disc brakes and best possible hitch + lash-up. That's the discussion with very few threads, not to mention examples. Plenty of low hanging fruit.

Ran 3100-miles past seven days from Midwest and back from Southeast, and presently in Florida. Counted eight modern Airstreams in tow. Only one was level. One.

Several hopped independently of the TV. New or brand new pickups. Looked hilarious in front of 23' and smaller AS. A big pickup HAS to be the answer to avoiding learning how to hitch. Eliminates that (right).
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:05 PM   #53
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...But that nearly half century old car is still a better TV than a modern pickup...
I see nostalgia here and nothing more. Those 60's or 70's sedans had HORRIBLE brakes (solo, not even towing), very inefficient engines and zero cabin accouterments. Auto industry improvements come so fast, the changes in the past 5 years are unbelievable, let alone the past 50 years.
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:29 PM   #54
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What you know about cars, much less brake, isn't in the least impressive. Which doesn't surprise anyone.

The four-piston BUDD calipers on the discs of the front of that car (and huge drums in back) stopped it extremely well.

Big changes from 1965 onwards on all full size and luxury cars. I've been around big Mopars (and Ford and GM) my entire life, thus am not relying on memory.

I recommend you consult lowly Wikipedia or ALLPAR as to Dodge (police spec) brakes.

TIRES were the problem.

Still are, to some extent. The best tires to make a pickup handle are otherwise a compromise of its main mission. (Should be a clue to reasoning. Capable of following the logic?).
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:34 PM   #55
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Opinions vary on so many of these things. Hashed and rehashed by the same two or three people.
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:06 PM   #56
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Opinions vary on so many of these things. Hashed and rehashed by the same two or three people.
And none belong in a thread about towing basics.

Towing with a vehicle out of spec should not be considered "basic". Anyone reading this thread in search of the topic should disregard these discussions and focus on edits the OP may make to his original post based on thread feedback.
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