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Old 02-22-2012, 01:25 PM   #85
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Good for you, jen! (post #82)
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:28 PM   #86
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Marina,

I haven't read this thread, but there are many like it, and I know that the previous posts say:

1. You can tow a 25 or 28' with a 1/2 ton truck.

2. You can tow a 25', but not a 28', with a 1/2 ton truck.

3. You can (or can't) tow either or both with a 1/2 ton SUV.

4. You need a diesel.

5. You need a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.

6. You need big honking brakes.

7. You need (don't need) a ProPride or Hensley hitch to go with that truck.

8. You can go to CanAm in Canada and tow with a car.

9. You need a Ford or a Chevy or a Dodge or a Tundra or a Nissan or a Ridgeline or a Freightliner, ad infinitum.

10 Gas engines are so big now you can tow anything with them.

11. Buy the trailer first because that'll last a lot longer and then see what truck fits it.

The answer is: my truck and trailer are the best combination for anyone, but should you not be willing to accept that wisdom, ignore the posts that say or imply that is where the person is coming from and look at the facts.

Good luck.

Gene
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #87
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I am glad the above members & combos have traveled safely, but I'm loathe to think what would happen if those set-ups were the majority & traversing the country highways, diverse terrains & hazards!
I have no problem with people towing Airstreams with trucks; tens of thousands of people do it and it clearly works for them. Where I do get a bit bent out of shape is with the widely held misconception that not using a truck is somehow unsafe.

If you take, for example, Zlee's Jetta. It's a pretty nice car, strong, low slung and unhitched will outperform any truck in acceleration, braking and through a slalom without difficulty. Indeed, if you were trying to roll a vehicle, which would be easier, truck or Jetta? Trucks are actually dinosaurs in design and build when compared to a Jetta. So why does hanging a trailer on the back make the Jetta unsafe and a truck safe? Sure, you can't just have the factory fit a hitch and hang the trailer on it; you have to make sure the hitch is strong enough, and mounted correctly in order for the weight distribution system to transfer an appropriate amount of weight forward. You also need a good brake controller to make sure the trailer brakes are working with the car and you need to ensure the transmission is sufficiently cooled for the load. But do that, hitch up your trailer, and you still have a car that has excellent handling and braking characteristics, still better than the truck that you've now hitched your trailer to without the modifications. The only things different will be the speed at which it can accelerate and the overall stopping distance, but the truck will have to deal with those things, too, of course. No, the safety argument is specious.

Of course trucks have their advantages. They can carry more load and, with some of the huge HP and torque they can produce, they can, and often do, tow Airstreams at great speed and with great ease. But then we're back to safety; how is it safer to tow an Airstream at 75-85mph (exceeding the speed limit AND most trailer tire ratings) with your powerful truck than it is to tow at 60mph with your Jetta?

As I said, trucks work for a lot of Airstreamers and that's fine. There are alternatives, though, that are usually safer and always more economical. I just think that when deciding on a tow vehicle, people need to look beyond the automatic assumption that a truck is the only solution.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:01 PM   #88
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For me, it's not about brand or vehicle configuration, or whether CanAm does a good job at what they do...it is strictly about specs and ratings.
Professionally, I know, without doubt, that exceeding manufacturers ratings (significantly) will, at a minimum reduce the longevity of MANY components of the vehicle.

Secondarily, you must be willing to accept the possibility of the words in the following article. (there are others out there, google "liability in towing overloaded" or your favorite phrase.)

TRAILER TOWING ILLEGALLY
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:08 PM   #89
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That depends on whether the manufacturer's ratings were made correctly in the first place. Many seem to have been made because that's what someone else did (and that comes from the horse's mouths in many cases).

As for liability, in that case we're all liable for a great many things. As soon as you add a non OEM tire, for instance. And that comes from several different insurance professionals I've spoken to. Legality is an interesting subject, isn't it?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #90
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That depends on whether the manufacturer's ratings were made correctly in the first place. Many seem to have been made because that's what someone else did (and that comes from the horse's mouths in many cases).

As for liability, in that case we're all liable for a great many things. As soon as you add a non OEM tire, for instance. And that comes from several different insurance professionals I've spoken to. Legality is an interesting subject, isn't it?
As an interesting side note, I am wondering if anyone that is using one of the more non-traditional tow vehicles mentioned here, has been through a DOT safety inspection either at a checkpoint or roadside stop. Being an RV, it is unlikely since they are usually intersted in commercial hauling, but I have seen it a few times over the years.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:19 PM   #91
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That depends on whether the manufacturer's ratings were made correctly in the first place. Many seem to have been made because that's what someone else did (and that comes from the horse's mouths in many cases).

As for liability, in that case we're all liable for a great many things. As soon as you add a non OEM tire, for instance. And that comes from several different insurance professionals I've spoken to. Legality is an interesting subject, isn't it?
Zlee, I am afraid those are consoling words commonly shared among those who wish to believe that it's is OK to exceed manufacturers ratings. I do have first hand knowledge of the durability testing which at least one manufacturer performs. They are not numbers just pulled out of the air. The discrepancies that you may refer to come from the fact that there is not one industry wide (yet, it's coming) set of parameters under which ALL manufacturers perform their testing. That is, however "performance" testing....not durability testing....two very different animals. The proposed common "performance ratings" will keep some manufacturers from OVERSTATING their tow ratings, not understating them.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:22 PM   #92
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I am wondering if anyone that is using one of the more non-traditional tow vehicles mentioned here, has been through a DOT safety inspection either at a checkpoint or roadside stop.
That'd be interesting to find out--I suppose if states continue to need to make more money, they might decide more trailers beside commercial would be liable for a DOT inspection. Since this might mean that many people who tow RVs would probably not be able to pass a DOT physical and the paperwork would be immense, I tend to doubt it would happen, though.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #93
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I do have first hand knowledge of the durability testing which at least one manufacturer performs. They are not numbers just pulled out of the air.
Actually, from what several auto and truck engineers have told me, they are. So who's right?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #94
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Actually, from what several auto and truck engineers have told me, they are. So who's right?
I guess you would have to spend some time at the proving grounds. I work daily with commercial accounts who load, modify, and tow things that we RVers can't even imagine. Because of this, I do have to interface with engineering often to try and keep and sell my product over brand X.
I'm not here to try and convince you, just tell the truth.

The ratings, obviously have to default to the least common denominator whether they be brakes, frame, engine, transmission.....etc. Thus there is some compromise in all overall vehicle ratings...but that's a far cry from just making up numbers. In addition does it really make sense in a competitive market to publish numbers inferior to you competitor???

"My truck is better than your truck because it has less HP"
"My truck is better than your truck because it has less towing capacity"

It's a counter-intuitive position.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #95
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I think where you're going wrong is thinking that I'm saying my tow vehicle is better than a truck, or even as good as a truck. I'm just saying it's sufficient to be safe.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:36 PM   #96
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That'd be interesting to find out--I suppose if states continue to need to make more money, they might decide more trailers beside commercial would be liable for a DOT inspection. Since this would mean that many people who tow RVs would probably not be able to pass a DOT physical and the paperwork would be immense, I tend to doubt it would happen, though.

The reason I ask is, I have witnessed what appeared to be a full on DOT inspection on RV trailers twice in the last year or so. The first one was here in PA at the Donegal interchange on PA turnpike. DOT officer had a gentleman with a Rapter toy hauler towed by an F-250 pulled over and was giving it an inspection. The rig didn't look to a commercial so I sort of caught me by surprise. The one thing that I do know that PA has been cracking down on is combination plate registration, and that may very well have been the case.

The other was at the first weigh station as you enter Florida on I-95 south. There, a DOT officer had a family with a Subaru Outback pulling a ~22' travel trailer pulled off and was giving them the full deal. No guess as to why they were picked, but again it caught my attention.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #97
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The toy hauler is interesting; perhaps the DOT thought maybe he was a competitor? (Because those are considered commercial, from what I understand, right?)

I wonder now...if you run a business out of your trailer (as full-timers often do), does that make you commercial and therefore liable to needing a DOT license?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:46 PM   #98
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I think where you're going wrong is thinking that I'm saying my tow vehicle is better than a truck, or even as good as a truck. I'm just saying it's sufficient to be safe.
No, I do know what you're saying...I'm just saying that loading or towing over the manufacturers ratings are, at best, going to reduce the longevity of TV componentry....and at worst could open up some other potential non-product issues.

I am not proposing that a truck is better than a car either. I believe, rather vehemently, from (again) professional training and experience that matching loads and trailers to the properly rated vehicle is the correct thing to do from an economic, durability, and safety standpoint. I don't believe in over-spec'ing either. (although the risks are less)
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