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Old 09-28-2008, 01:17 PM   #29
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I have a GMC Sierra Denali pick-up and found it to be very fuel efficient wiht it's 6 liter 345 hp engine. If I drive conservatively, I can get 16 mpg in stop and go traffic. I picked up my new axels from the warehouse that was about one mile fron the interstate and 25 miles from my house. The route does have some traffic lights but is relatively stop free with speed limits ranging from 30-65 mhp. On that trip not going over 55 mph, I got an amazing 21 mpg.

I chose this truck because of it's power but very efficient engine - very tight tolerances manifest in the owners manual stating several times to only use 5W30 oil no matter what the conditions (summer.winter). I beleive that it is because of it's low profile compares to the other brands or the newer units with broader faces. It also makes a difference when towing under strain to shift the automatic transmission to the tow mode - pushbutton electric shift ont he end of the shifter.

I towed my unit from Chattanooga, TN to Clearwater on the old axels with new tires (Marathons) inflated to 65 psi and got 12 mpg at 55 mph. I replaced the axels (thanks Andy at Inland for the advice) and pulled my beauty back to Tennessee driving 65 mph whenever possible on the highways and averaged 13.6 mpg. I beleive I will get close to 16 mpg if I drive 55 mph with slow starts and minimal braking by timing stops to conserve momentum in the areas where stops are necessary.

I quess what I am saying is that driving characteristics matter, aerodynamics matters and total unit efficience matters. Keep the tires filled and the bearing greased on the truck and the trailer. Engine oil changes also seem to make a difference as well as maintaining an expensive peice of equipment. UPS has shown that a clean vehicle saves gas in their jets so why not go clean and style a little.

Just my thoughts but I do see frugal as a positive trait. Save it when you can and spend it on things you want.

Joe
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:42 PM   #30
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Hi Tom

Your Odyssey is a great tow vehicle for an Airstream. We have set up over 240 since 1999. Some of our customers have 200,000 miles on them with no serious problems. Most are towing 25-30' Airstreams and Lite trailers. Like the flex it has a short overhang to wheelbase ratio, independent suspension, a wide stance and relatively low centre of gravity.

When we set them up we use a standard bolt on receiver but we extend it forward to between the back wheels so that it can properly transfer the torque of the equalizing hitch. Air Bags in the rear springs, brake control and wiring with a zero load taillight convertor. If it does not have the towing package we add a transmission cooler.

Andy
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:10 PM   #31
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Andrew T, what sort of hitch do most of these smaller rigs use? Do they have to have a hensley, or do you find other hitches work just as well?
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:13 PM   #32
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Since Andy hasn't replied yet, I thought I'd take the liberty of responding since his people sold and set up my hitch, and he personally test drove my combination and fine-tuned it at no extra charge.

If a tow vehicle is stable, Can Am will typically sell an Eaz-Lift hitch with 1000 pound bars (to provide enough tension to effectively transfer tongue weight onto the front tires of a softly suspended passenger vehicle) and a pair of friction sway controls. The shank is typically re-drilled to get the ball as close to the bumper as possible to minimize rear overhang. When welded ball mounts were still available from Eaz-Lift, they were used because they are shorter. Hitches are set up as precisely as possible (head height, head angle, and torsion bar adjustment), because seemingly minor changes can have a significant effect on stability.

(With my hitch, a half link out of adjustment (half link increments are achieved by overlapping links and inserting a 1/2" bolt and nut) makes the difference between a noticeable "push-pull" effect from passing trucks, and hardly feeling anything at all.)

Hensleys seem to be typically sold with 34' Airstreams, or to deal with the instability of some cars and many SUVs.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:39 PM   #33
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Hitches

Thanks Albert

You have it pretty much right on. Very few trailer and tow vehicles are connected optimally I would say more than 50% have very poor hitch set ups. The hardware may be there but it is rarely ajusted properly.

I should explain why we use Eaz-Lift conventional hitches. We use the Eaz-Lift because it allows the closest ball to bumper distance. We like the Eaz-Lift torsion bars because they have more travel which is easier on the structure of the car and trailer.

A Hensley is almost always better than a conventional hitch but the more stable the tow vehicle the less difference it makes. By a more stable tow vehicle I do not necessarily mean larger.

I hope this helps.

Andy
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:41 AM   #34
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For lightweight trailers, the Honda Ridgeline is truly remarkable. Since it has 2.5x the rigidity of other TV's in it's class, it tows well without sway control and Honda does not recommend using a weight distributing hitch. After a year of using one under all kinds of conditions including elevations up to 9,000' I think we have a great combo.http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1222875502
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:51 PM   #35
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Hi Ahab

We have set up several Ridgelines and they perform quite well. You really should have an equalizing hitch and a sway control. Though I know it tows pretty well without it you will notice quite a bit better ride and more stable handling with weight distribution. The bigger concern is that without it you have less than half the capability to handle and emergency maneuver.

The only reason that Honda does not recomend weight distribution is that they do not understand it. It is not generally used in Europe or Japan so the engineers do not have exposure to them so they are not comfortable recomending them.

When we tow larger trailers with the Ridgeline we do strenghten the factory receivers but it would be fine for the Sport as is.

Andrew T
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:07 PM   #36
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Honda Pilot as TV?

Andrew - I was wondering about the towing capacity of the Honda Pilot? We have a 22' Argosy Minuet w/a 95 Tahoe & at this time, no sway bars or Equilizer (Hensley or EZ sway). We hope to rectify the hitch situation soon, as I dont want to drive w/o one, & my husband doesnt feel I should if there were to be a situation calling for one. Meanwhile, our TV is getting on up there in mileage & we were also looking for better gas mileage up here in the Colorado mtn. I like the Pilot, but wasn't sure if it would work as a TV?
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:24 PM   #37
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Hi Leigh

The Pilot will not have any trouble at all with the 22'. Performance will be comparable to your 95 Tahoe but the handling will be more precise. Unfortunately fuel economy may not be a great deal better.

Another vehicle to take a look at is the Buick Enclave or GMC Acadia. They have a great performing 3.6 litre from the Cadillac CTS and it is mated to a 6 speed transmission. The wheel base is longer than the Pilot or your Tahoe. They ride and handle fantastic and fuel economy is very good for a 4WD.

One more vehicle is the Ford Edge which performs comparable to the Buick but if you can wait until next year it will have an available turbo charged 3.5 Litre which might be better considering the altitude you are in regularly.

Andrew T
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