Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-07-2014, 07:31 PM   #43
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Question rating the hitches v. weight max

I've been hoping that the generic recommendation that Smartstream posted above means I can tow about 2500 lbs with my 345. "There is a chart in the Chevrolet Motor Home Chassis Service Guide that lists the 454 engine with a 4.56 rear having a GCWR of 19,000 lbs." My GVR is 16,500.

But then, as some here have been saying, I just read in the owner's manual that the maximum loaded trailer weight is 2000 lbs with a maximum tongue weight of 200 lbs.

And then there's this:

"The allowable passenger and cargo load (GVW) of this vehicle is reduced by an amount equal to the trailer tongue load on the trailer hitch." By which they mean a max of 200 lbs? Oh, and is GVW different from GVR in this case?

It seems like a lot of people here are towing a lot more than 2000 lbs. I'm not sure how much to be concerned about this.
__________________

__________________
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 07:27 AM   #44
Rivet Master
 
DaveFL's Avatar
 
2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,479
Images: 15
IMHO:Four wheel down toads don't have a tongue weight, it is connected and the toads entire weight has to be stopped when the MH stops, that is why brakes on the toad are required by most states.
For those that know legal or better definitions please post and while you are at it give credit to the source, maybe even which state or country you are talking about.
__________________

__________________
DaveFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 11:16 PM   #45
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
I keep thinking I've responded to this but it didn't seem to post.

I like the conclusion about the tongue weight, I don't know if it's true, I'm hoping others will have info about this.


I just discovered that I was actually towing 2700 lbs -the Mini Cooper S - but the performance really suffered on anything but the mildest grades. I suppose we could each drive one of the vehicles in the hills, if necessary, but I'd like to do what I can to shore up the whole situation. Maybe add a transmission cooler, but I don't know exactly what that would contribute. And does it help to improve the hitch if you've got 345 with a middle bath?

Maybe my hitch is so old and rusty looking because it basically started to fail.
__________________
sent from my hipflask
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 01:32 AM   #46
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,371
I will try to simplify some of the discussions. Gross Vehicle Weight, GVW is another way of saying GVWR or Rated to Gross Vehicle Weight. Usually there is also a gross axle rating. In other words if your vehicle is rated at 16,500 lbs. the front axle might be rated at 5,000 lbs. and the drive axle 10,000 lbs. and the tag 1,500 lbs. These numbers are just a guess to use as an example. Now if you tow a 2,000 lbs. trailer the tongue weight might be 300 lbs. and this 300 lbs. must be added to the weight on the rear and tag axle to make sure they are not over their rated max weight. If you tow a car 4 down the tow bar actually only adds a couple of pounds to the weight on the hitch as Dave mentioned.


When you tow you have the weight on the ball but you also have the push and pull on the hitch from stopping and starting and a side to side effort while turning. Rolling down a level highway does not require much effort but starting from a stand still or going up a grade or going down a grade and stopping adds a great amount of effort. The factory rather then state a rating for towing 4 down and another rate for towing a trailer with a heavy tongue, they just give a generic number to cover their backside. It is up to you to interoperate their intensions as to how much you want to tow. There is no doubt that you can exceed the ratings and drive down the highway. You may do this for many miles however a panic stop or evasive maneuver may stress or fracture some part of the structure or drivetrain. Maybe blocks or many miles later that part may fail and then you have a problem. This is the "weak link" mentioned above.


In addition to the above towing also affects the performance of the engine. The more work the engine has to do the slower the acceleration and the slower going up grades. What is acceptable to some will not work for others. This is also something the engineers consider when they "rate" the vehicle.


As I mentioned before the hitch on my 280 was pretty bad in my opinion. Others have said similar things about the hitch on the 345. It would be easy for the factory to build a better hitch but that would cost money and if they gave a higher tow rating they might also have strengthen other parts of the unit. Somewhere somebody just makes a decision and it is what it is.


I hope this makes some sense and you can see why it's hard to just say change this and all will be fine. Go one step further and you see the all the states have different rules for towing and when you need brakes. Some states require brakes on a 1500 lbs. trailer and some don't require brakes until 3000 lbs. Even the powers that be can't agree on towing requirements.


Above all else if you are still confused keep asking questions, hopefully somebody will be able to explain it in a way that makes sense to you. At least we will keep trying.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 05:26 AM   #47
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Thanks so much Smartstream, this makes complete sense. I also just read some on Blue Ox's website.

The difference is about 500 lbs between what Airstream recommends and what I want to tow. I don't know how much it costs to replace the hitch with something heavier duty than factory-installed, but if doing that would allow me to tow the heavier, about 2500 lbs, safely, I'd be inclined to. I understand this puts greater strain on all components, but if a new hitch would allow me to tow more safely in highway conditions, then maybe we'd just each drive a vehicle in terrain with steeper grades.

So, is that worth doing on a 345? Or is there something about the superstructure of the coach or the axles that makes this a bad idea? As I said, I'm planning to tow 4 wheels down, which would minimize the tongue-weight problem. Looks like Gunner has done this on his 345. Would other 345 owners do the same? And if so, any balk-park estimates of what a new hitch, installed, might run me? My 345 is a 1986, BTW.
__________________
sent from my hipflask
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #48
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,371
There are several threads here about reinforcing the hitch on a 345 if you can figure out the search function, I can never find what I'm looking for. The next item I would consider would be a larger transmission cooler. Coolers are inexpensive and transmissions are very expensive. Beyond that conservative and common sense driving is probably the most important thing you can do.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2014, 09:24 PM   #49
Rivet Master
 
crazeevw's Avatar

 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,687
Images: 28
Elio??

So,
I have this co-worker who's already put a deposit on the new Elio. It's a 3-cylinder front wheel drive 3-wheel vehicle.

I queried Elio when this thread started, asking if they planned on producing the Elio so it could be towed all wheels down. This is their response.

"Wondering, has anyone at Elio Motors planned on whether this vehicle could be towed 3-wheels down behind a motorhome? Thanks, Derek Wilkins"

Hey Derek!
Thanks for reaching out.
Yes, Elio owners will be able to flat tow their vehicle although the details of how this will work our currently being finalized on our end. We have several ideas on how this will work best, and we will be prepared to share these details with our future Elio Motors customers in advance of production time next year, so please stay tuned into our website in the meanwhile! Thanks so much for your time and question.

Best,
The Elio Team
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Elio.png
Views:	39
Size:	216.7 KB
ID:	211813  
__________________
crazeevw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 12:03 AM   #50
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Cool! They claim to have tandem seating. Now, have you also considered the T-Rex at 10 times the price? I still like the Carver but that's, what? five times the price. And then there's the guitar problem.
__________________
sent from my hipflask
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 02:15 AM   #51
3 Rivet Member
 
Roquefort's Avatar

 
1975 29' Ambassador
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 202
Hi dear all,
We are "brand new" airstreamer's from Germany! We installed a Banks Powerpack to our "big baby" to improove gas mileage (now about 9,5 mpg) and gain horsepower and torque. While we drove her from Iowa to Baltimore port to ship to germany, we realized, the 454 did his job very (!) well, in Combination with Banks.
We climbed every hill in 3th. hear, we could allways be faster, than it was allowed.
We bought here a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible, turbocharged! What a funny car! You can buy them in germany for very cheap money, we payed for our very (!!!) good maintained one with only 30k miles and ALL options only 6500,-Ä, about 8000,-$ (?).
Two things about Smart: use it as a joke, than it's great, but so not expect a car!!!!
It's an uncomfortable, noisy and incredible small gadget, NOT A CAR!
The 2 CV is a funny, roomy and incredible comfortable "art de vivre", means "style of life". The "car" is very light, very, very easy to repair, you can get EVERY part you might need for ridiculous prices, even a total new (galvanized) chassis is available for less then 1000,-$. i own myself several vintage CitroŽn's, so also 2 CV's. A baseplate to tow is available from "systeme bleu / cadre a tracter" in France, you may google this.
Will give you a helping hand, if needed!
__________________
Roquefort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 02:20 AM   #52
3 Rivet Member
 
Roquefort's Avatar

 
1975 29' Ambassador
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 202
Hi, did you check "gear vendor" under-/overdrive? This make's your 3 speed tranny into a 6 speed tranny, works very well, even withoutvtowing anything. Enginespeed becomes much lower and gas-mileage better!
You need to check your axle ratio, before ordering the kit!!!! (crawl under the rig, there is a plate on the rear axle).
An additional coolng fan and transmission oilcooler is very helpfull also.
__________________
Roquefort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2014, 03:38 PM   #53
3 Rivet Member
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 157
Images: 12
It took a while to find a good one, but we still tow and are happy with a 1990 Geo Tracker behind our 310 diesel. It is a very simple, light vehicle, parts are cheap and easy to work on.
__________________
dljosephson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #54
Rivet Master
 
Vycan's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 803
Blog Entries: 1
the late 90's and early 2000's S series saturns are awesome. Four down tow design. 30mpg on the low end, 36mpg on the high end, and even made a station wagon option for those with families who need extra space. Simple, cheap parts, and reliable.
__________________

__________________
1994 36' Classic Diesel Pusher
Vycan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« 1983 300 | Top | RV covers? »

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
TOADS (toweds) Smart Car jpalamaro Land Yacht/Legacy Motorhomes 7 08-24-2010 09:35 PM
Toads - maybe a Beetle? gypsychris General Motorhome Topics 25 04-02-2008 02:45 PM
Any Saturn Toads out there? Jim & Susan General Motorhome Topics 11 06-18-2007 12:04 AM
Kissing Toads Alumaholic Buyer Guidelines 24 07-04-2006 12:55 PM
Toweds, Toads, or Dinghys and stopping. thenewkid64 Airstream Motorhome Forums 13 02-16-2003 08:06 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.