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Old 02-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #99
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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)
But I think that "properly rated vehicle" is a rather fluffy term, in actuality. To go through the entire process of rating a specific vehicle on six different areas of concern is far better than just saying "you can tow this much weight." The manufacturers don't do this, and to be fair, they can't afford to do so, there's too many possible factors to weigh. I think each combination should be weighed on its own merits and factors involved. Even wear was covered in my particular scenario; I can't speak to anyone else's.

Not the least because towing an Airstream is not the same as towing an Elements trailer or any other kind of trailer. It's a game-changer in a whole lot of ways. I was definitely warned to stay under a certain length and to look at only two makes of RVs, due to stability and safety issues.

Would I like to have a more powerful (and taller!) vehicle capable of hauling me out of sandpits and over snowbanks? Sure! However, ten more years of saving up for a new TV (20 more like, given what I'd want to buy) and however much the AS I wanted would be in ten more years? Nah. I'll go for safe now with all factors weighed into my decision, including the 42 mpg I get when not towing. I'd rather have thirty more years of twilight traveling than ten because I couldn't afford both an AS trailer and a vehicle.

Unless, of course, if any of you fine people would like to donate about $50k to the cause. That Touareg TDI I saw in the lot last week would be a lot of fun...
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:05 PM   #100
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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?
By the book, I think that if a person is receiving compensation for an activity based out of that toy hauler (competitive MX racer for example), then the trailer would be considered commercial. Not 100% sure though. If that would be the case, then the driver would need a medical card and commercial insurance at a minimum and a CDL if the GCWR is over 26,000#.

I'm not sure about running a business out of a trailer.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #101
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I'm not sure about running a business out of a trailer.
Me neither. Aargh. If the definition is the same as "receiving compensation for an activity based out of that (trailer)", I'm not going to be happy! Something to find out, probably in the fulltimer forums...
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:09 PM   #102
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Again, weight is weight; physics is physics; and ratings ARE determined upon these parameters.

The safety thing.....the lawyers have to figure out if or when anything happens....that ain't my gig.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #103
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"But I think that "properly rated vehicle" is a rather fluffy term, in actuality. To go through the entire process of rating a specific vehicle on six different areas of concern is far better than just saying "you can tow this much weight." The manufacturers don't do this, and to be fair, they can't afford to do so, there's too many possible factors to weigh."

OH YES WE DO! The lawyers do play in my world here...no matter what the cost!
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:14 PM   #104
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Yes, weight is weight, and physics is physics, and that's why taking all factors into consideration is good, otherwise things like weight distribution hitches wouldn't exist. And no, you cannot possibly take all possible factors into consideration in something like this. There's just too many. All you can do is state a parameter in order to lessen liability. That's it.

I've spent too much time working in law, sorry.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #105
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P.S. If what you're trying to say is that liability and law is the same thing as reality, I'm going to have to stop talking with you in case you're contagious.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:24 PM   #106
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P.S. If what you're trying to say is that liability and law is the same thing as reality, I'm going to have to stop talking with you in case you're contagious.
Nope, Just happens that the mechanical world and the legal liability world overlap...for Mfrs and us tow'ers alike. I just want everybody out there to: have TV that will last as long as those who designed it expect it to; have a well balanced setup which is comfortable and non-fatiguing; do not pose a potential safety issue for themselves and others; and God forbid something goes wrong...the lawyers don't have a bunch of numbers to use against you because you didn't do your due diligence or ignored industry established norms and practices.

That's really all....really.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #107
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Well, since all of those things have been covered over and over again where CanAm setups are concerned, you can be all comfy now! Isn't life nice when we can all be comfy?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #108
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Well, since all of those things have been covered over and over again where CanAm setups are concerned, you can be all comfy now! Isn't life nice when we can all be comfy?
Problem is, I don't think you're covered because CanAm did the setup, if something goes horribly wrong.

If so, tell me how.

I don't think they are certified as a final vehicle manufacturer in the US are they?
Did they provide a new door jamb label with US approved modifications to the ratings?
If they did, you're good to go.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:49 PM   #109
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I wonder how many people with light duty tow vehicles have ever towed with a real tow vehicle? Might change their minds. My tv can barely get up the hills and it can barely stop me if the trailer brakes do not work---not my kind safety. jim
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:08 PM   #110
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Problem is, I don't think you're covered because CanAm did the setup, if something goes horribly wrong.
Would you like to tell me how ANYone is covered for anything if something goes horribly wrong? Are you honestly thinking that Ford or Dodge is going to cover someone if they overturn because of an improperly (or even properly) hitched up rig simply because it was under their rated weight?

Okay, you just hit "what if he's contagious?" status!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #111
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Yeah, I probably should've expanded a bit.
In my professional experience from the mfr standpoint, here's what I have seen occur many times.
When an accident occurs and litigation follows, the plaintiffs will name anybody and everybody they can, and let the negotiations, motions, and system sort out the assignment and degree of responsibility.
As the owner of the rig in question, if you knowingly (hell, maybe even unknowingly) operate the rig outside of the manufacturers ratings you most probably will be assigned a greater degree of responsibility. And the other defendants will pile on to try and minimize/eliminate their degree of responsibility.
Where an OEM, a final vehicle manufacturer, a business which modifies vehicles, or an owner/RVer falls in this mix is, of course dependent on the details of the event.

But, I as an individual, don't want to be caught in an indefensible position.

BTW, might want to check with your insurance company on their thought on the matter. I bet they'd be the first to run away from the party (litigation).
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #112
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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
The title of the piece, "Towing Illegally", is a misnomer. Manufacturers tow ratings are advisories only and are not legally enforceable. As to liability, I'd suggest that any lawyer trying to apportion blame would need to establish how said ratings were derived which, as others have pointed out, would be impossible as most tow ratings are either 30 years old or plucked from the air. Can-Am have been producing custom towing solutions for 40 years and have not been hit with any liability claims whatsoever - I, for one, will trust their judgement
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