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Old 09-11-2011, 11:10 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by 27fb2freedom View Post
Andy when you recomend/set up these vehicles towing 2-3x their rated capacity and over gcwr do you accept liability and legal responsibility (accidents, accelerated vehicle wear, and overwieght fines), or advise the owners of implications of operating an illegal combination?
This has been gone over numerous times. There is nothing "illegal" about exceeding manufacturer weight "ratings" since there are no Federal or State guidelines to follow; it is not addressed. The exception appears to be the tire manufacturer weight ratings and/or axle weight ratings (which gets into differences between vehicles) as a matter of prudence. One does not, however, go at this willy-nilly, but with an analysis of both TT and TV.

Were the premise correct, the oil business, and practically all agricultural concerns would come to a standstill tomorrow, as 1-T pickups are loaded with trailers weighing far in excess of "ratings"; 10k-lbs or more on a normal basis in service of these industries. The state may concern itself with weight licensing for commercial haulers, but is not concerned with what a private corporation has to say.

The idea of these ratings having some "force" to them is not only recent, but likely an Internet phenomenon (or vehicle dealer deception) as setting up TV's in the 1960s was not concerned with strict application, but proper hitch rigging based on total load, and load transferred (excuse the less than technical language).

I've made the argument both ways, especially as most are either ignorant of what can be done (and wish to remain so), and that potentially longest vehicle life may come from adhering to arbitrary values. Despite this, 300k miles is an easily achieved "norm" on trucks used as in the above: 22k GCWR "rated" but used 24/7/365 for years on end with 8k-lb trailers loaded to 15k-lbs for a scaled weight of well past 30k-lbs, service far worse than what is seen here. In my family we had cars towing 1.5X their "rating" stay in like-new daily driver service for a dozen years and nearly 200k miles. Cars that were NOT as powerful or had the sophisticated brakes, suspension and transmissions of todays yet are "rated" lower than those dinosaurs.

The argument can be turned the other way: why on Earth would a person choose a tow vehicle that -- when coupled to an aerodynamic, low COG and independently-suspended Airstream -- is the likely cause of a loss-of-control accident? The high COG, straight-axle 4WD pickup has no peer for serious injury rollover accidents. This trailer is far better in road performance than the conventional pickup.

Somewhere in between an F450 Ford and a Mini Cooper is a TV ideal for that person and TT. Because the truck manufacturers want to steer me one direction does not mean that it is an accurate perception, much less honest, about what a well-considered TV can do.

On top of this is the continued escalation of fuel prices. It behooves us to find a happy medium for those -- full-timing or not -- to spec a TV with economical operational costs as the majority of vehicle use is solo.

The days of the default TV choice being a 1/2T pickup are already over (except for those who actually use a truck as a truck, not as a commuter) despite the continued hoopla seen in truck oriented threads.

.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:18 PM   #44
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I'm a customer of CanAm as well as an automotive engineer. I like towing with my minivan; I have towed with a lot of different tow vehicles and it is one of the most stable towing platforms I've used.

The statement about the insurance company refusing to pay is, as far as I can determine, internet myth. Insurance companies pay when you have accidents for reckless driving, or driving when drunk. Seems those offenses would be a more clear case for an insurance company - after all, they are based in law. By contrast, towing over the vehicle's recommended rating isn't violating any law.

Could they pay up and then drop you as a customer? Maybe. But that would happen if I was recklessly driving a F250 and crashed it too.

In other words, I'm not too worried about holding CanAm liable. I've got insurance and I've made a decision based on knowledge and experience.

I'm not going to tell all of those folks out there to give up towing with their big trucks, but somehow that doesn't go both ways in most internet forums. There is an assumption that everyone towing over their tow limit is an uninformed idiot. I'm a bit irked that there is this inference that CanAm is misleading customers. ("What? You mean my Taurus SHO isn't rated to tow a big trailer? You never told me that!") I've talked with other CanAm customers and they're all very informed about the choices they made.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #45
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okay, now that I've joined this site, I'd like to ask a few questions and post some data.

1. What you guys are doing is actually ILLEGAL in many states.
2. Your insurance can and will refuse to payout if you cause and accident while severly overloaded (ie: towing a 29ft trailer with a Minivan or Jag)
3. I bet you guys are towing with Passenger tires and not perhaps a D or E rated tire (yes, i know Passenger tires can hold similar weights, but they don't have similar stability abilities)
4. I wish you people would give thought to other besides your own selfishness.
5. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Here is a breakdown of the towing laws for each state. Note that many say "Within Manufacturer Spec"
US and Canada Towing Law Breakdown - I'm sure some of the data is out of date. But for the most part...it's correct.
Here is a definition of several key terms
GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Rating
GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Curb Weight
I was going to pick apart all of your tow vehicles and how overloaded they are for the application. But frankly I'm getting bored and you are going to ignore this anyways.

Please rethink your tow vehicles. You are endangering yourselves and everyone around you
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:08 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
Hi Tom

The R Class hitch is a little more involved but not bad, you also have to wire it as it does not come with a wiring harness but it is a fabulous tow vehicle. 125" wheelbase with a short rear overhang. I drove about 200 miles from Western Mass to central New York. We drove across Hwy 20 which has a lot of steep hills and is a much more interesting drive than the turnpike. It played with the hills and was totally stable yet it rides very smooth. Not a lot to complain about.

I have not done an MKT's as yet but I think it should be the same as the Flex performance wise. We did set up a MKX with the 3.7 Litre motor with a 30'. It works very well, I wonder if the Echoboost is really necessary with the 3.7 engine.

Andrew T
Andy,

Was that a BlueTec? I like the concept of the R - lots of room, and the second row seats are essentially the same as the front seats - lots of comfort for full-size people. Used prices are reasonable too, the biggest concern is the poor reputation for reliability.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:10 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post

In other words, I'm not too worried about holding CanAm liable. I've got insurance and I've made a decision based on knowledge and experience.

I've talked with other CanAm customers and they're all very informed about the choices they made.

Tom
I think you've expressed my thoughts on this matter as well!
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:26 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Tylus View Post

Here is a breakdown of the towing laws for each state. Note that many say "Within Manufacturer Spec"
US and Canada Towing Law Breakdown - I'm sure some of the data is out of date. But for the most part...it's correct.
Here is a definition of several key terms
GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Rating
GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Curb Weight
Please rethink your tow vehicles. You are endangering yourselves and everyone around you
Manufacturer spec refers to the GVW of the trailers. For example, the GVWR of my trailer is 6200 lbs, and therefore I cannot legally load it beyond a gross weight of 6200 lbs in those states. In other cases, the states obviously don't care. The same applies to my tow vehicle. It may or may not be illegal to load it beyond GVWR.

(Practically, the ride becomes very poor on rough roads when it approaches GVWR. Stiffer Euro-spec springs would help; the Euro version of my car has a GVWR that is about 150 lbs higher.)

There is no reference to GCVWR that I can see.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:48 PM   #49
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Like Tom, I also get irked at the ill informed people out there who make sweeping pronouncements about legality and safety without knowing the first thing about either. Andy Thompson operates a very successful dealership and he is an expert in the field of towing. His reputation depends on it and his track record with both actual vehicle testing and real life customer experience is there for all to see, and to test of course. There is no way he will send a customer out in a combination that is neither safe nor legal; if he did he'd be out of business in no time. I, and many thousands of happy CanAm customers, will attest to his skill and knowledge; if he says my TV will do the job then that's good enough for me.

Of course, if you want to get into the detail then I'd suggest a visit to CanAm, or Alumapalooza, to drive some of their set ups and to listen to Andy's talks and his technical explanations of how he gets his tow vehicles to do what they do. He may not convince you to ditch your truck, and I doubt that he'd want to, but he will show you that there many more TV options available when towing an Airstream, all of them legal and all of them safe.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:02 AM   #50
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When the states say "IAW Manufacturer Spec" for GVW, they are speaking about the GCWR for TOW vehicle and the trailer as a package. They are not talking about the trailer itself. So you must take the GCWR for your tow vehicle into account.

Those laws apply to Semi trucks as well. Notice how many states refer to the Bridge Law calculation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
Like Tom, I also get irked at the ill informed people out there who make sweeping pronouncements about legality and safety without knowing the first thing about either
really? I am not making any sweeping announcements. I provided you information to the various state tow & weight laws.

Almost every single vehicle in this thread alone is 2x or 3x over it's max tow rating. There was talk about a Navigator. Even it would have been overloaded, but it at least would be much closer to the legal limits.



so you advocate towing a 10-11,000 wet weight TT with a 4,097 lb Wrangler 4 door, with a GVWR of 5,250 total, and a GCWR of 7,500 lbs?
seriously? That vehicle is overloaded with 7-8,000 lbs (~11,000 lbs trailer - 3,500 rating)of weight behind it. Hell, the tongue weight of the trailer alone puts the Wrangler over it's GVW!

I don't care how much strengthening is done, or how little overhang the rear has. Anybody can throw airbags on a vehicle to prevent squatting. That trailer is over 2x the fully loaded wieght of the Wrangler. Not to mention the Jeep has inadequate brakes, and inadequate tires.
Sure you can make the argument that the trailer has brakes. I'm with you 100%. But then again, I'm sure you've never seen a vehicle getting pushed by its trailer due to trailer brake fault/failure, or even just poor road conditions
Or, lets talk about the Town & Country the OP "hooked up".
Didn't catch the year, but it looks like a late model 2007+. So I used a 2008 model specs

Curb Weight - 4,500 lbs
GVWR - 5,700 lbs
GCWR - 7,000 lbs
29' TT - ~8-9,000 lbs

pretty much the same situation as the Wrangler above numbers wise

Salesmen will do/say anything to get a sale. I'm sure that the OP is having fun towing overloaded and endangering everyone around him. I'm sure all of you who do the same firmly believe you are 100% safe. Frankly you people scare the bejesus out of me.

You guys should really step into the RV forums. These guys are essentially driving Semi trucks and they worry about little things like towing something the size of a Honda Civic, or a small SUV.
If you read up, you'd realize that weight and safety ratings have alot to do with the entire towing experience than simply "making the hitch work" and putting a WD hitch on there.


As I'm sure to get banned, I'll leave you with this. Please notify everyone around you when you are out gallavanting with your rigs. I, and 99% of the people around you will appreciate the heads up so that we can safely get out of your way before the inevitable happens. Happy towing, please get a better Tow vehicle
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:05 AM   #51
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I See You Live In Honolulu , Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tylus View Post
When the states say "IAW Manufacturer Spec" for GVW, they are speaking about the GCWR for TOW vehicle and the trailer as a package. They are not talking about the trailer itself. So you must take the GCWR for your tow vehicle into account.

Those laws apply to Semi trucks as well. Notice how many states refer to the Bridge Law calculation.

really? I am not making any sweeping announcements. I provided you information to the various state tow & weight laws.

Almost every single vehicle in this thread alone is 2x or 3x over it's max tow rating. There was talk about a Navigator. Even it would have been overloaded, but it at least would be much closer to the legal limits.



so you advocate towing a 10-11,000 wet weight TT with a 4,097 lb Wrangler 4 door, with a GVWR of 5,250 total, and a GCWR of 7,500 lbs?
seriously? That vehicle is overloaded with 7-8,000 lbs (~11,000 lbs trailer - 3,500 rating)of weight behind it. Hell, the tongue weight of the trailer alone puts the Wrangler over it's GVW!

I don't care how much strengthening is done, or how little overhang the rear has. Anybody can throw airbags on a vehicle to prevent squatting. That trailer is over 2x the fully loaded wieght of the Wrangler. Not to mention the Jeep has inadequate brakes, and inadequate tires.
Sure you can make the argument that the trailer has brakes. I'm with you 100%. But then again, I'm sure you've never seen a vehicle getting pushed by its trailer due to trailer brake fault/failure, or even just poor road conditions
Or, lets talk about the Town & Country the OP "hooked up".
Didn't catch the year, but it looks like a late model 2007+. So I used a 2008 model specs

Curb Weight - 4,500 lbs
GVWR - 5,700 lbs
GCWR - 7,000 lbs
29' TT - ~8-9,000 lbs

pretty much the same situation as the Wrangler above numbers wise

Salesmen will do/say anything to get a sale. I'm sure that the OP is having fun towing overloaded and endangering everyone around him. I'm sure all of you who do the same firmly believe you are 100% safe. Frankly you people scare the bejesus out of me.

You guys should really step into the RV forums. These guys are essentially driving Semi trucks and they worry about little things like towing something the size of a Honda Civic, or a small SUV.
If you read up, you'd realize that weight and safety ratings have alot to do with the entire towing experience than simply "making the hitch work" and putting a WD hitch on there.


As I'm sure to get banned, I'll leave you with this. Please notify everyone around you when you are out gallavanting with your rigs. I, and 99% of the people around you will appreciate the heads up so that we can safely get out of your way before the inevitable happens. Happy towing, please get a better Tow vehicle
I see you live in Honolulu , Hawaii. I've lived there myself some years ago; was a Lifeguard at Waianae while in the Army. In the last 2 years I've spent over 4 months on Oahu with a friend who lives in Kapolei.

You know, there's not much need for a travel trailer in Hawaii; as a matter of fact I really don't recall ever seeing a travel trailer on Oahu (I'm sure there are a few). There's no place to park one; no rest stops; no RV parks; most homes are on such small plots of land that it would be difficult to store/park a travel trailer.

Additionally, why would one want a travel trailer in Hawaii? You drive very far in a straight line and you fall off into the Pacific Ocean!

All that being said, I don't see why you have crashed this forum when your chance of having an accident involving a travel trailer is essentially nil in the state of Hawaii!

Me thinks you may just be a very unhappy individual who likes to spread it around
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:59 AM   #52
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I was going to pick apart all of your tow vehicles and how overloaded they are for the application. But frankly I'm getting bored and you are going to ignore this anyways.
Indeed we disagree with you - but we're not going to scream "Who will think of the children" and ask you to stay the heck off of the road with a long-stopping-distance, rollover-prone heavy-duty truck. You can quote weight tables - or you can listen to an expert in towing who has set up 1000s of vehicles over the last 30 years.

BTW, I'm within payload limits (1500 lbs) on my van - I would be when towing a 25-27 trailer too. No need for airbags as properly setup weight distribution levels it out. And no one is saying that a Wrangler can tow a 28-31' trailer; the aforementioned CanAm client was towing a 25'.

Have a good day.

Tom
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:20 AM   #53
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"I don't have an Airstream yet-but am in the looking/planning stage....it is something I have become extremely interested in AFTER I purchased my current vehicle last November-a 2011 Buick Enclave w/o factory installed towing package"

Hi Lauri We have set up a lot of Enclaves and the related GM Vehicles. We have a lot of customers that have done extensive towing with them, we have never had a reliablity issue with one. They are one of my favorite tow vehicles. Very stable suspension with a solid body structure. Fuel economy as you have already found is very good.

We have a set up a few that do not have the factory towing package, it is pretty simple for us to add a transmission cooler that is larger than the factory one. Wiring is also part of the factory package but this is also simple to add afterwards.

What is not as inexpensive or easy to add is the larger radiator that comes with the factory package. If you plan to travel in the north in the summer and south in the winter the standard radiator is fine, if you want to go to the South West in the Summer you will need the larger radiator.

There is not a strong enough off the shelf hitch receiver for this vehicle but it is easy for us to strengthen one. If you are due for new tires in the near future there is some benefit to slightly changing the size when you replace them. This is not nearly as important on the Enclave as it is on some Pick-Ups and SUV's

Is your Enclave a 2 or 4WD?

Andrew T
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