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Old 02-24-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
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towing with 2008 Impala 3.9L engine??

remember reading article from canam rv about a 2006? impala towing a 19ft bambi with good results.

was wondering what max trailer might be able to be pulled with this car.

It has good power and likes to pull in the 1500 rpm range when we go through the mountains loaded with kids, coolers, luggage and on on the hitch cargo carrier golf clubs big cooler and more stuff.

i know you have to reinforce the hitch as noted in the article. was thinking about something in the 20 - 22 ft range for TT mainly east cost to southern mid west areas.

can am guys set up a lot of sienna and town and county vans so was wonder about the car i have that is paid for.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
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Speak directly to Andy at Can Am, he'll let you know what can and can't be done.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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If you plan to camp in the mountains, I would expect to spend a lot of time towing in 2nd gear at 3500 rpm around 50-60 mph. I'm not saying it can't be done, but many find it tiring for longer drives.

Definitely contact Can Am for set up advice. I would want a transmission temperature gauge added.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:18 AM   #4
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I'd want to have a spare transmission in my garage to have a quick replacement when the original one goes cabluey.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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I think this is the article referenced in the original post.

RV Lifestyle - Vol. 41 No. 3

My Overlander spent a lot of miles behind a unibody TV with 160 hp and 235 ft lbs torque albeit with a RWD transmission. That van lasted well over 200,000 miles and nearly 20 years.

Use a properly set up hitch, add a good transmission cooler and monitor temperatures and I see no reason that anyone couldn't replicate Andy's experience.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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I would talk to Andy about what he recommends. I know he'll say you need a good (likely modified) WD hitch, and a trans cooler at a minimum. But otherwise you should be fine.

I hope someday to replace our Tahoe with either a van or a sedan/wagon as they are way more fun to drive.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
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In the report at the end of the link you psted (thank you!), it is to note that, while he started with a used $7,500 Impala, he added $3,000 in parts, and of course, the labour to install them. Then, he adds his special style of unibody hitch.

It goes on from there to show a very favourable light on that car as an able towing machine, but my point is, you aren't going to back up your seven-year-old car to tow an Airstream without some specialized modifications.

It does make good sense, though. He gives the numbers for several other combinations of trailers and TVs, and unless you are already sold on driving a pickup, you will see how it can make better sense to buy a used passenger car to tow your vehicle.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:22 PM   #8
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So buy a used $7500 vehicle, put in ( as you pointed out $3000 in parts including labor ) , Then add a HA hitch $3000. Plus a modified unibody hitch ??? $1000.
Vehicle $7500
Parts. $4000
HA hitch $3000
Total. $14,500. For a used passenger car not rated to tow x # lbs.
modified in Canada and not meeting vehicle ratings in the US for public hwy's that manufactures are legally obligated to engineer and produce for the safety of the public at large. Insurance company's and agents are in court all over the US fighting claims on negligent operation and people trying to defraud the company's. No I don't have the case #'s of the cases in Court from the most litigious country on the planet.

Sorry not worth putting my family at risk to save money on fuel. Others may choose otherwise.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle401 View Post
I think this is the article referenced in the original post.

RV Lifestyle - Vol. 41 No. 3

My Overlander spent a lot of miles behind a unibody TV with 160 hp and 235 ft lbs torque albeit with a RWD transmission. That van lasted well over 200,000 miles and nearly 20 years.

Use a properly set up hitch, add a good transmission cooler and monitor temperatures and I see no reason that anyone couldn't replicate Andy's experience.

that's the one i was reading.. now going back i see the car/trailer combo on cover, which is real cool looking TT, is different from one used in article..
in reading the editors letter its noted to be the evergreen elements TT. With a total weight of 5200 and hitch of 410 seem to be in the wheel house of the 3.9L impala TV...

The article was using the Airstream 19ft bambi. Looks like the hitch was modified as well.. I have not been able to find a class III hitch so i am guessing they had to cut off the 1 1/4 receiver and weld on a 2" dude and install an extra bar to extend to another frame point for pulling power and to be able to distributed the weight as well.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMSHIP View Post
So buy a used $7500 vehicle, put in ( as you pointed out $3000 in parts including labor ) , Then add a HA hitch $3000. Plus a modified unibody hitch ??? $1000.
Vehicle $7500
Parts. $4000
HA hitch $3000
Total. $14,500. For a used passenger car not rated to tow x # lbs.
modified in Canada and not meeting vehicle ratings in the US for public hwy's that manufactures are legally obligated to engineer and produce for the safety of the public at large. Insurance company's and agents are in court all over the US fighting claims on negligent operation and people trying to defraud the company's. No I don't have the case #'s of the cases in Court from the most litigious country on the planet.

Sorry not worth putting my family at risk to save money on fuel. Others may choose otherwise.
I don't think Andy's business would have survived this past forty years or so if he was turning out unsafe or illegal tow combinations, be it for Canadian or US highways. He certainly isn't fending off liability claims based on his work, nor are his customers, of which there are thousands.

The Impala he set up for the Bambi (in the link in post #5) seemed to perform perfectly well and he was sufficiently confident in his work to have his daughter drive it on the family vacation.

I don't see that there is any more risk in towing an Airstream with a properly set up sedan, SUV or minivan than there is with towing with a truck; they all have their strengths and weaknesses. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that Can Am is never going to send a customer out in a set up that is anything other than safe and legal.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
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I never said people would be suing or bring law suits against Any T. You can't sue a guy when you take your car to someone, ask him to cut the roof off so you now have a convertible, and when it rains you now get wet. I'm sure he's a great fabricator and business guy. I simply think he selling risk. It's up to his customers to trust his engineering. But a blind man should be made aware of a hole with water in it. It's up to him to believe the guy who's leading him, to tell him how deep it is.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:08 PM   #12
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You know there are alot of really intelligent people on the forum. The ones that feel as I do and are smarter then I, which is most, say nothing and move on. No need to discuss this again. I won't do it so I won't interject. Any T is not the one responsible. He makes a product that works. That's obvious. He makes a product for people who don't want to buy a larger vehicle that's rated to tow x # of lbs or tow at all. I'm not saying trucks don't have accidents, it happens, but there in a government approved vehicle rated to tow their rig. If your in a modified vehicle and find yourself on the wrong end of an accident, whether your at fault or not. The first thing their going to look at is the tow ratings for the car your in. If your over loaded, your toast. Insurance won't touch you with a ten foot pole. Andy not at fault, Your at fault. Your responsible for you. Insurance and law enforcement looks at vehicle owner, not the fabricator that did the modification. You are responsible, and down here in the lower 48, people loose homes when insurance won't pay up for accidents they choose not to pay for. Jail for loss of life. People should be more aware and informed of the risks involved in modifying vehicles to use on public roadways. Then they choose to put them selfs and others life's at risk. Someday I would like to meet Andy T, although I most likely wont live long enough to visit his place of business, shake his hand see if he can convince me. Won't work, but a free cup of coffee and a tour would be nice. People like to say, they used passenger cars in the past to pull rigs. Yep, no argument there. We also had no seat belts, smoked with kids in the car, kids laid on the back dash and looked and waved at cars behind them. I would like to think we have made progress in this area and gotten smarter. I can only hope, and protest when I see something wrong.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:08 AM   #13
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I think one has to understand there are risk every day on the road. Pulling a TT does add to the risk as i can not control the other idiots on the road. I would hazard a guess that most TT related accidents are the fault of the other driver 80%+- and fault of the TT driver 20%. +- You have a fair amount of inexperienced drivers that have trouble with just driving a car much less a car pulling a trailer.

I drove over the road Tractor trailers for 5 yrs some years ago so I know about following distances, needed to swing a bit for turns and how to back with a trailer.

I feel a 24ft unit with elec brakes properly set up can be safely pulled by a 3800 lbs car with modest expectations. I tend not to the the fasted up the hill when just loaded with 4 people, a trunk full of luggage and stuff and a 3 x 2 cargo carrier on the back.

Trying to "keep up with traffice" up hill is not smart loaded or unloaded. you burn a hell of a lot more fuel and gain what,, 2-5 mins over someone pulling at a lower speed using half as much fuel..

This was posted to explore the possiblitlies of using my paid for 2008 with 69K miles cars for a bit.. I have a hitch and can add elec brakes controllers and such for less than the stated 3K price they used. heck in 5 or so years when I am ready to go more, that might not work who knows.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I can only hope, and protest when I see something wrong.
How many tow vehicle and trailer combinations have you successfully set up in the past 40 years? Are you qualified to assert that the combinations which you're so fond of criticizing are wrong?
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