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Old 08-22-2015, 02:54 PM   #113
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As I have stated, in my working life I was a machinist. The last ten years I was also in management, and was a trainer in the shop. As a manager, I spent more hours than I really preferred to in meetings with engineers and other managers. One thing I learned about engineers, is they, as a group, look at the big picture. The WHOLE THING, when designing a system. I suspect the engineers at GM, Ford and the rest, have considered the entire scope of vehicle dynamics when they designed their trucks and cars, and gave consideration to all of it when they specified "ratings".

Again though, this is the beauty of, or fault of, depending on your view, of our system: you get to choose what to buy based on whatever criteria you see fit.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:11 PM   #114
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And how do we judge the difference in travel trailer stability, which can be dramatic, that we hitch our properly rated tow vehicle to.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:36 PM   #115
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And how do we judge the difference in travel trailer stability, which can be dramatic, that we hitch our properly rated tow vehicle to.
Each trailer handles differently, depending on lots of things, from design, to how it's loaded. The real point is, does the driver have the skill set necessary to understand the differences, and drive in a manner that is prudent to maintain control ?
Here's an extreme example: I have a gooseneck equipment trailer. I could whip that thing around a road course like a crazy man if it were empty. But load it with 144 bales of hay, and it becomes a totally different situation.
It's up to the driver to do things correctly.

Sorry, but I'm not impressed with videos of slalom course runs. I've had a drivers license since 1966. I honestly cannot think of one single time, not once, that I have needed to do a slalom manuever on the street. It's so foreign to me, I don't even know how to spell it !

So to answer your question, we judge the handling of the trailer by experience. And good sense says that we make an honest attempt to keep it under "the edge".
One of the things I learned when racing motorcycles was it's difficult to know exactly "where the edge is", until you step over it. So most folks work their way up gradually to try to find the limit, while still being able to pull it all back into control before crashing.

When I installed the blueox WD hitch on my Nissan, I hooked up the white box camper, and went out did some testing on some roads in a local industrial park on a sunday morning. Dropping the right wheels off the side of the road, and pulling back up onto the pavement. Abrupt lane changes, etc.
I don't know how you have done it Doug, with your Ram and your Airstream, but that's how I did with my camper. One thing I found when done, was that some drawers inside the trailer got opened up
I also discovered I can get pretty darned aggressive with it, and it follows right along like a puppy.

EDIT: a further point would be that we all need to "practice" certain crash avoidance manuevers to remain proficient. That's one of the major things that is hammered home in motorcycle and car racing schools: practice your skills regularly. A "school" where RV folks could go to practice would be great. Driving schools in general are money well spent. I took oldest daughter to the Bondurant school when she was 17....best money I ever spent on her.

EDIT two: that "dropping the wheels off the edge" of the pavement thing.... I saw that on the Hensley website. They show an old Blazer IIRC towing a camper, and they do that in the video. I thought....that's cool.... I'm gonna try that.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:43 PM   #116
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I love watching that video. Does anyone really drive their rig like that? AND, it proves nothing. I want to see a person walk in front of this rig and see what happens when the driver has to slam on the brakes as he is turning. How much control will he have now?
I really think in that situation a heavier vehicle will have more control.

Bruce
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:51 PM   #117
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And how do we judge the difference in hitch stability, which can be dramatic, that we install between our properly rated tow vehicle and trailers with dramatically different stabilities.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:52 PM   #118
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I love watching that video. Does anyone really drive their rig like that? AND, it proves nothing. I want to see a person walk in front of this rig and see what happens when the driver has to slam on the brakes as he is turning. How much control will he have now?
I really think in that situation a heavier vehicle will have more control.

Bruce
That "turning combined with hard braking" is where ABS on both trailer and truck would pay dividends. The idea on full on braking in a violent swerve is one of the exercises they did at the Bondurant school ( without a trailer obviously ). The exercise was intended to get the student to trust the ABS while in a swerve. It was fun to watch because the first few times thru the exercise, my daughter was tentative on the brakes. After several tries, she just cranked the wheel and stood on the brake pedal hard. She was shocked at how quickly the Mustang stopped while making the lane change/swerve.
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Old 08-22-2015, 04:01 PM   #119
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And how do we judge the difference in hitch stability, which can be dramatic, that we install between our properly rated tow vehicle and trailers with dramatically different stabilities.
Doug, you seem to be trying to just throw a lot of different arguments out there for some reason or another ? I'm missing your point. You know as well as I do there are many variables, from road surface, tire type, size, tread design, compound, suspension design ( spring rate, shock damping values, among other things ), hitching design, whether the hitch is properly set up, etc, etc.

MANY variables, which is why in the end, it make sense when considering a LOT of these variables to STAY WITHIN LIMITS....so as not to step over a boundary that may cause loss of control.

Staying with manufacturer stated weight and towing limits is one example of something we "can" exercise some control over. By deferring to the judgement of educated and professionally certified engineers, we likely improve our odds of success.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:54 PM   #120
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We "can" also exercise control over trailer, hitch, and tow vehicle design as well. To miss that point is to misunderstand why thousands of good combinations such as Tito's Touareg and Airstream perform exceptionally well. Let's not miss the opportunity to learn.

This is not an endorsement for anyone to randomly exceed any ratings; it is an attempt to urge others to look beyond the ratings and understand the importance of good, stable design of travel trailers, hitches, and tow vehicles.

There are a lot of rigs out there within ratings that are within a gust of wind on a downhill curve from loosing control due to bad trailer, hitch, or tow vehicle design. Safety is not all in tow vehicle ratings, and they may not even be a good starting point.

That is my point.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:04 PM   #121
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The final drive ratio is 3.27, not 3.21, according to VW. There are two overdrives, not one; the final two gears are .83 and .69. First gear has a 4.97 ratio. This is an eight speed Aisin transmission with a very wide range, so an analysis of final drive ratios should include that. You could take a five speed, which many are more used to, and see what the equivalent final drive ratio could be to get the same overall range, as Aisin does on their web site. Looks like the 3.27 with a five speed, is equivalent to a 3.59 final drive at the low end, and a 2.38 final drive at the top end, when using the 8 speed, from a quick calculation.

The payload is 670 kg, so about 1470 lbs, not 716 lbs. 716 is rated tongue weight.

Instead of analyzing the statistics, we could refer to the first post, where the OP noted that it worked well. Isn't that what should matter?

I think that manufacturer's ratings do count, they are a great starting point. I personally wouldn't want to ever exceed axle, or tire loads, and would be very cautious about exceeding GVWR. The tongue load rating is very likely being exceeded here, which makes reinforcing the standard hitch a good idea.
As a matter of point, after seeing this post responding to what I posted I looked up the vehicle stats at VW again since I did not make up the 3.21. What I found was three different final drive ratios for a 2015 published - 3.21, 3.27 and 3.70. Reason unknown all listed as diesel model. What I meant about this information was that the rear numerical number is low for pulling. While the torque is high, that lower number would balance out against say a high torque gasser with a 3.92, or 3.75 rear. The second point related to this is the RPM at highway speed. That diesel's transmission is set up for MPG. When towing a load at its max as most are discussing here, it isn't going to be able to hold those lower overdrive gears and pull too, especially in hilly conditions. add to that the increase in RPM. Regardless of gear range, you are subject to engine RPM and torque when pulling.

There is no doubt at all that the little Touareg can tow but I am posting because I am questioning WHAT it can tow. BTW, I mentioned the 10,000# Classic as a poster before me stated that model exactly as a consideration for his purchase. I stand corrected to your point as the cargo capacity of 1400#; however, with even the International, tow capacity, tongue weight and GCWR are all violated as per VW figures. As I stated, my Airstream tongue weight is listed as 860# but is 990# CAT weighed. You said specs matter then turned around and said that the OP said it worked well so shouldn't that matter.

When I bought my first truck to get an Airstream just four years ago, there were people on here who told me that I was shaving it close with a 4.6L 3V. I thought they were wrong. It did well for me in FL on flat ground. It could have gone anywhere but perhaps a bit slower with lots of revs. This summer in W VA I realized the limitations driving out on country roads with steep inclines curves and descents. I was still in specs but at near limits for payload and nearly there on towing capacity. I cannot imagine violating by 1200-2000 lbs. It is more than just welding a few bars to the rear. What about the transmission and cooling systems?


Since being on the forum I have seen people post about towing with their Ranger, Dakota or Colorado and it just amazes me. Can it be done? Yes. Should it be done? I agree with some saying to stay in the areas we have control.

I believe the Touareg is an excellent tow vehicle for moderate towing. It is one of the few choices Europeans have to tow their also limited choice of smaller trailers with. The pics at the thread's beginning for some reason to me look to be a shorter trailer but again, get what you want and enjoy camping.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:34 PM   #122
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What about the transmission and cooling systems?
I don't know, what about them? What did the OP say his experience was with 12,000 km of towing this combination? Are we saying that all these happy SUV owners posting about towing larger trailers are replacing transmissions and engines in between their posts of how happy they are with their rigs?

I haven't towed with a Touareg, my experience is with BMW, but the vehicles are very similar in concept. It seems there is a lot of discussion of why these vehicles can't tow, while those who have them are out towing.

Jeff
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:38 PM   #123
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I believe they can tow. I do not mean to say they cannot. My point is that if the manufacturer says up to 7700# towing and 716 tongue- stay within that limit or potentially suffer issues and if discovered, legal issues in this crazy world we live.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:52 PM   #124
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This debate can go on and on between the north and the south .

Have fun north of the 49th just don't let the cool aid spill south of the 49th.

We are a bit litigious down here so exceeding ratings can be a bit of a problem when things go wrong south of the border.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:57 PM   #125
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We are a bit litigious down here so exceeding ratings can be a bit of a problem when things go wrong south of the border.
LOL I believe many are litigious anymore. "Hey, you served me coffee that was too hot and your food I selected bought and ate made me fat!"
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:01 PM   #126
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For those interested in capacities and quantitative estimates!

Here is a spreadsheet developed years ago by I can't remember who, but he is appreciated. It calculates towing capacity based on a number of realities, such as vehicle capacity, weight of passengers, gas, etc...

Take a look! If you make the calc's at least you have one quantitative opinion. My example is at:TowingCapacityWorksheetTundra.xls
That's for a Tundra, but you can change it...
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