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Old 07-13-2016, 05:30 AM   #85
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Balance

I quite like reading these debates because we often get down to some fairly wild speculation as to why those smaller vehicles can't tow Airstreams and that they should be discounted when assessing your own tow vehicle choice.

As I said before, I'm in my sixth season with a minivan tow vehicle. Yes it's been modified, sensibly so, and yes my Airstream far exceeds the tow rating of the van. But I'm towing nonetheless. I can stop and start the combination just as well and any other tow vehicle, I can climb grades and go down the other side without mishap, I can drive for long periods into strong head and sidewinds and I have a fairly sensible daily drive when I'm not towing. I'm on the standard maintenance schedule and have had no excessive transmission, suspension or brake wear reported in five years and 60,000 miles.

So why do people still insist that it can't be done (safely - it can always be done)? Sure it's not for everyone; I can't haul huge amounts of cargo, I can't go up hills at 75mph and I have to make sure I get things right on the downhill stretches. In return, though, I have a practical and economical tow and non-tow vehicle.

Instead of publicly saying it can't be done when you're really only speculating, why not open your inquiring mind and try to discover and understand how it can be done?

Just a thought.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:41 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by alphamale49 View Post
Does anyone use a tow truck, with a flat bed, to haul a small car as well as to pull the Airstream? Not worried about gas mileage.
There was a forum member from Toronto called "Smokin Joe" who had a Flatbed Sprinter van on which I carried a Mini and towed a very nicely renovated and equipped Argosy.

I don't think he is on the forum now, as I believe he sold the rig a year or so back.

We met him at a campground in Austin a few years back.

Brian.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:44 AM   #87
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I met some very nice Canadian folks at the International. They had a modern 25 footer and were towing with a highly modified by CanAm Flex. Two years and still smiling. Their only negative about the Flex was that it was a bit short on power in high mountains when towing but nothing they could not deal with.
Some of the CanAm modifications worry me but it is hard to dispute the comments of happy campers.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:50 AM   #88
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I think the real problem with these arguments is that we don't know the real failure rates of each setup. The odds of having a "problem" with one setup may be 0.00001% per mile traveled, and the other setup may be twice as bad at 0.00002%, but we don't have any idea which one is better because most people using any modern car can tow almost any trailer for tens of thousands of miles without any problems whatsoever.

I'm no mathematician, but you'd probably have to look at hundreds of different vehicles traveling millions and millions of miles in order to notice any difference in accident rates.

So, since no one has done the math & no one is going to, nobody has any data to back up any assertions, making arguments like these rather difficult to resolve.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:14 AM   #89
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SAR Sj2807

SAE J2807 darn auto correct got me in the non editable heading.

Manufactures are finally jumping on board with this standardized test of towing:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/f...w-ratings.html

I am a member of various other forums and this conversation is essentially the same as "what rifle I should buy." There is always the firm believers that a sub caliber is better for improved shooter accuracy, then there is the far other side that wants the ultra mag, and then the in between. Most people settle on the in between when wieghing costs to benefits.

In the end we all make our choices and each of those carry costs and benefits. Both my student teacher and I had a great debate, for the benefit of students, on what new vehicle to buy. We see the same age, both with little kids, he has 3 and I have 2; however, we had wildly different ideas of what a "family vehicle" was and also very different ideas of recreation. He claimed that a pickup was ludicrous for a family, I claim it allows us to do more and go more with still having 3 safely installed car seats. In the end he bought a new minivan, and I bought a new pickup.

For the me, I am not willing to rely on a "well adjusted trailer brake" I have been on two trips both as a passenger and a driver when the trailer brakes were smoked or not working.

My grandfather owned a feed store and weekly made a 3 hour trip to get his inventory. On the route were two bad grades coming into and out of Mitchell Oregon. When he had his flatbed gooseneck loaded to the max, before he got an exhaust brake, he would lose his trailer brakes. He did it twice then got the exhaust brake, I was with him once. In 23 miles heading West, you go from one 4,300ft summit to 2,700 and then back up to 4700 ft.

An airstream is different than a flat bed loaded with feed, but an overloaded vehicle is an overloaded vehicle. For him, the engine and suspension were up to the task, but the brakes were not. When the Jake brake was installed all was safe again.

My "well adjusted pendulum brake controller" unadjusted for me when towing my previous and heavier SOB. I didn't realize until it was too late. This was the last time I pulled that trailer and the catalyst for me switching to the an Airstream. I wanted a trailer that the truck could stop on its own. I had 3 years of worry free towing.

I now have a new truck with the integrated trailer brake and the most awesome engine brake. Could I have a have an accident because of my less responsive steering? It is a possible cost, but will I have an accident because I have brake fade? Most likely not and that is a benefit. My mom died too young after 3 years of breast cancer and surgeries, and left me a brand new Kia Optima which she bought new in the last year. It steered great and accelerated well, without a trailer that weighed more than it. I never even concidered using it as a tow vehicle and I traded it in for the Ram. I am pretty confident she bought the Kia knowing I would be left with it, and it's payment, and forced trade it for a new pickup. She razed me for years about putting her, my wife, and kids in the "loud old pickup."

Lastly, it is always said that the pickup manufactures trump up their towing capability for marketing because they have the incentive to sell vehicles. Trailer retailers on the other hand have the incentive to sell trailers, and will often insure their customers that a particular vehicle will handle the bigger, heavier, more expensive model that people have their hearts on--especially if they can include an expensive hitch add-on. This happened to my buddy with his F150. I bet him he would have a new truck within a year. One trip over the Mary's Peak summit; a quick 1,000 ft hill up and quicker back down through some great curves--if you are a motorcycle and have room to share with the log trucks. He now drives a Power Stroke, and bought it before head to the Wallowas and over "Cabbage Hill."

In the end, the 7mm-08 guy will still argue for his smaller cartridge, and the 7mm Ultra Mag his, meanwhile most demand will be for the 7mm.', and yet all three will kill an elk.

I am glad CanAm has had a long run of happy customers. They seem like a really great place to do business. I am not confident though that they would have the same number of happy customers if their camping adventures regularly took them over the Cascade, Ochocoa, Siskiyou, Sawtouth, Strawberry, Steens, Coastal, Seirra Nevada and Blue Mountains.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:15 AM   #90
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I would be curious if people that have "smaller" tow vehicles experience a higher rate of trailer tire issues.

I asked because if the vehicle size makes it more dependent on the trailer's brake system to facilitate max braking when stopping or descending does the added heat created by the trailer brakes being active for longer and more frequent period weaken/damage the trailer tire at an accelerated rate. HEAT is by far the most detrimental thing a tire has to cope with and the heat from the trailers brakes (disc or drum) is dissipated out to the rims/tires. The heated rim attacks the tire bead and a bead failure is catastrophic. Race car engineers spend a lot of time and money cooling the brakes/rims to prevent both bead failure and the increases air pressure build up in the tire caused by the heat transfer from the braking system to the rim/tire.

The larger (16') rims and LT tires would in effect allow more air flow thru/around the brakes possibly help to cool it faster. I know one big positive I find with my diesel is the engine brake. I use little to no brake system braking when descending hills at road speed (30-60mph) I only assume a vehicle without engine braking must use the braking system to control speed when descending and if you put your vehicle brakes on your trailer brakes are also on. If you drag the brakes when traveling you will be putting a lot of heat into the trailer tires. Would be an interesting study. Food for thought.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:59 AM   #91
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If German SUV fall into "smaller tow vehicles" category, then they have more efficient brakes than any truck on the market. Using the engine brake is obviously different issue.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:42 AM   #92
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The good news is that there will always be a topic on this forum for discussion and it will never be settled. "Different strokes for different folks."
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:13 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I quite like reading these debates because we often get down to some fairly wild speculation as to why those smaller vehicles can't tow Airstreams and that they should be discounted when assessing your own tow vehicle choice.

As I said before, I'm in my sixth season with a minivan tow vehicle. Yes it's been modified, sensibly so, and yes my Airstream far exceeds the tow rating of the van. But I'm towing nonetheless. I can stop and start the combination just as well and any other tow vehicle, I can climb grades and go down the other side without mishap, I can drive for long periods into strong head and sidewinds and I have a fairly sensible daily drive when I'm not towing. I'm on the standard maintenance schedule and have had no excessive transmission, suspension or brake wear reported in five years and 60,000 miles.

So why do people still insist that it can't be done (safely - it can always be done)? Sure it's not for everyone; I can't haul huge amounts of cargo, I can't go up hills at 75mph and I have to make sure I get things right on the downhill stretches. In return, though, I have a practical and economical tow and non-tow vehicle.

Instead of publicly saying it can't be done when you're really only speculating, why not open your inquiring mind and try to discover and understand how it can be done?

Just a thought.
We'll said.

Just curious because in my previous post, my Chevy Traverse TR is 5200# with the tow package, and doing the climb with my FC19 to BigBear SoCal backway , at around 9p, with outside temp below 60, and my heater blasting to the floor, my engine temp was at 2 o'clock (temp gauge reads 6 to 12 from the right) nearly tapping out the engine going 15mph, how could a minivan or a sedan do that? That was my curiosity of seeing a non conventional TV with a far lower tow rating achieve that. Because my wife doesn't want to do that again with my current TV. If you are saying that any TV can tow any trailer regardless of weight, what should I be looking out for to making as safe as possible? I am not disagreeing with your findings, I want to understand it. Thank you.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:00 PM   #94
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[QUOTE=cazual6;1819441]Well, My FC19 is using a Chevy Traverse for a TV. I learned from Bigbear it is not enough. So I have been shopping for a TV with around 10k TC. The wife is leaning towards F150/F250. Now, the argument becomes, whose money is gonna buy it? Mine or hers? I prefer to spend my money on the 2nd Amendment, while she prefers a purses.

I believe a TV with tow as part of the design is the way to go.[/QUOTE

While you are shopping, maybe take a Ram 1500 with an EcoDiesel for a spin as well as the Nissan Titan with the new little V8 Cummins

The Eco Diesel is a sweet sipping and purring machine. I seem to keep passing a fellow Airstreamer around here with a Ram 1500, not sure if it is the Hemi or Eco since I always see him heading the other way, but he seems to be pulling all the same hills I am with a newer 23 or 25 footer.

I haven't done a lot of research on the Nissan, but it's Cummins, so I would have certainly looked at it if I were looking in the halfton class.

I like the 3500 because I have other stuff to haul and pull, mainly annual firewood collecting, and I never want to rule out a chance of buying a mini yacht... j/k
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:13 PM   #95
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Not again...

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If German SUV fall into "smaller tow vehicles" category, then they have more efficient brakes than any truck on the market. Using the engine brake is obviously different issue.
No they don't! Just stop with this will you? Again, here is the formula for calculating braking energy dissipated.

E =(1/2 mv^2)/d
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:38 PM   #96
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You are funny ))))

Quote:
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No they don't! Just stop with this will you? Again, here is the formula for calculating braking energy dissipated.

E =(1/2 mv^2)/d
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:41 PM   #97
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We'll said.

Just curious because in my previous post, my Chevy Traverse TR is 5200# with the tow package, and doing the climb with my FC19 to BigBear SoCal backway , at around 9p, with outside temp below 60, and my heater blasting to the floor, my engine temp was at 2 o'clock (temp gauge reads 6 to 12 from the right) nearly tapping out the engine going 15mph, how could a minivan or a sedan do that? That was my curiosity of seeing a non conventional TV with a far lower tow rating achieve that. Because my wife doesn't want to do that again with my current TV. If you are saying that any TV can tow any trailer regardless of weight, what should I be looking out for to making as safe as possible? I am not disagreeing with your findings, I want to understand it. Thank you.
I don't think I can offer you a fair comparison as the grades I've pulled have been fairly short, in the 1 to 2 mile range, and all at low altitude. I have, though, pulled down the Autoroute Jacques Cartier between Quebec City and Montreal at 62mph and into a 40mph headwind for a little over two and a half hours in temps exceeding 30C (around 90F). That is a tough call for a so called smaller TV. The ScanGuage had the HP output at 110 to 130, where it normally runs at around 70 to 90. The gas consumption was showing around 10.5 mpg, against the usual 12 to 13. The engine temp was around 97 to 100C, which was around 7 to 10 degrees Celsius hotter than usual. However, despite these figures being raised, none of them was anywhere near out of the normal operating range.

Clearly the Sienna, with it's additional transmission oil cooler, is coping adequately with some of the stress we put it under, especially as nothing has yet appeared in the servicing program that has given the Toyota techs anything to worry about over the past five years.

I'm not sufficiently qualified to say that any TV can tow any trailer regardless of weight, but I can say (with some years of road experience behind me) that the Toyota Sienna, suitably modded, is certainly capable of pulling my 28' Airstream, safely and without any problems. Weight is not the key determining factor in assessing a tow vehicle and tow ratings are not as important as the manufacturers would have you believe.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:01 PM   #98
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No they don't! Just stop with this will you? Again, here is the formula for calculating braking energy dissipated.

E =(1/2 mv^2)/d
I'm not familiar with this formula, but does it mean that a lighter TV that has less mass, but good brakes will stop before a heavy truck with the same sized brakes?
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