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Old 07-16-2018, 06:39 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by AlinCal View Post
Since most cars have independent rear suspension where /how do you come up with the maximum axle capacity? Sorry if this is an obvious Q but I've never given any thought till now how you would approach this.
Rear axle capacity refers to the capacity of the two rear wheels, the rear axle position, whether there is a solid axle or independent suspension. Same for the front.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:55 PM   #142
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Steve,

Although I myself have towed with cars, trucks, and SUVs - I haven’t suggested a specific vehicle for you. However, I have recommended that you familiarize yourself with SAE J2807 because it provides a definition for “safe towing”, and exposes its parameters and ratings to consumers.
I wouldn’t put too much stock in J2807. It is fine as far as it goes. It just doesn’t go very far. I don’t think it defines “safe”. It just gives a set of testing standards so that two dissimilar vehicles may be compared.

More here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ry-130976.html
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:51 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by SteveNdebbie View Post
-- snip - Also will the MDX lose years of life from towing? Will it start to rattle and squeak? -- snip -- Maybe it’s really more about the hitch, the driving style, and just paying attention. -- snip --
Steve - the squeaks and rattles are directly related to how you drive. If you hit railroad tracks and similar surface transitions at speed you will have squeaks and rattles over time. A more conservative approach will net you a quieter life. Towing requires more frequent service intervals, because it is heavier duty service. Develop a good relationship with your mechanic and stay on top of the maintenance. However, the reports posted have indicated that Honda products are delivering good service. Going strong at 200K miles is suggested. One thought. Consider transmission oil service early - 60/75K miles instead of 100-150K miles. You will get different opinions as flushing and replacing fluid puts particles in play that can be problematic down the road. Consult with your mechanic for best plan.

Hitch makes considerable difference. Your wheelbase is short and the PPP hitch compensates for that. Paying attention is key - no distracted driving. All towing must be 100% attentive driving. If you happen to drop a tire off the pavement, do not jerk it back onto the pavement. Slow down smoothly and find a safe place to ease the rig back on the pavement.

Speed makes a real difference. Slower is better than faster. Towing is significantly more of a hazard than driving solo. Note that when you get to California, the speed limit when towing is 55mph. Generally that is ignored, but it exists and you should not be surprised if you get a mandate to donate your $s to a local economy. We have never had the experience, but the neighbor got a ticket for 62 on 395 while towing his boat.

One other suggestion. When we started traveling, we were concerned that 200 mile days might be the norm. We heard lots of stories. What we found was that 50mph was easy to average and a 400 mile travel day was possible. However, if something does not work and you press on, 400 can become 600 and with a rest stop for some shut eye it becomes 800 miles. Don't do it. Limit your days to 300/400 miles and stop. You will enjoy the travel considerably more.

Good luck with your trip. Pat

Edit - one more thing - it's never ending, sorry. If both of you serve the function of driver and your wife is the navigator and observer, both jobs are easier. Swap to gain knowledge, skill, and ability in both jobs. If one of you needs a nap, pull over and both of you rest. A two person team is a great way to travel.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:06 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I wouldn’t put too much stock in J2807. It is fine as far as it goes. It just doesn’t go very far. I don’t think it defines “safe”. It just gives a set of testing standards so that two dissimilar vehicles may be compared.

More here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ry-130976.html
I understand that you used to work for SAE. Why you didn’t participate in making J2807 into the standard you desired puzzles me. Still, recognize that a single person’s opinion will rarely (if ever) override all the time, personnel, and effort that goes into establishing a standard. Could it be better? Absolutely. Will we throw the standard out, or deem it untrustworthy just because it doesn’t meet one person’s expectations? Sorry, but we cannot allow perfect to stand in the way of progress. I happen to believe that J2807 makes a reasonable attempt at defining comparative, safe towing parameters. I also happen to believe that someone with your passion and expertise could help improve the standard vs. tear it down, if you so chose.

Regardless, even without the suggested improvements, J2807 is a welcome body of measure over the non-standard that existed previously.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:30 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by gsp_ View Post
Steve,

Although I myself have towed with cars, trucks, and SUVs - I haven’t suggested a specific vehicle for you. However, I have recommended that you familiarize yourself with SAE J2807 because it provides a definition for “safe towing”, and exposes its parameters and ratings to consumers. You may find that information here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ml#post2127262

I suggested this because the gentleman from CanAm is recommending towing arrangements outside this spec - yet I cannot locate any substantive tests that show clear, unbiased testing of his setups.

The second thing I recommended is to either borrow your father-in-law’s truck (as already suggested), or to let him argue the point with CanAm himself. Given how earnestly you have defended towing with an MDX on this forum, one has to wonder why you haven’t responded to him in kind.


I have but to no avail. And at this point it really doesn’t matter except that he seems to enjoy telling other people, when we are not present, that we don’t know what we are getting into. And he doesn’t know that we know that he is saying this to others and could be dealt with by confronting him with this or by letting our experience speak for itself. We decided just to let the matter drop in when he asked us how things went when we came back from Virginia to Ohio on Route 33 we said it went fine and it was a nice scenic drive (actually it is beautiful).
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:17 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by gsp_ View Post
I understand that you used to work for SAE. Why you didn’t participate in making J2807 into the standard you desired puzzles me. Still, recognize that a single person’s opinion will rarely (if ever) override all the time, personnel, and effort that goes into establishing a standard. Could it be better? Absolutely. Will we throw the standard out, or deem it untrustworthy just because it doesn’t meet one person’s expectations? Sorry, but we cannot allow perfect to stand in the way of progress. I happen to believe that J2807 makes a reasonable attempt at defining comparative, safe towing parameters. I also happen to believe that someone with your passion and expertise could help improve the standard vs. tear it down, if you so chose.

Regardless, even without the suggested improvements, J2807 is a welcome body of measure over the non-standard that existed previously.
I didn't work for SAE; as a P.Eng. (Mech) I was a member of SAE. It is a society, a professional association. I used many SAE standards in my work. I used the fuel consumption, hp measurement (J1349), and related standards more than anything else.

I don't necessarily disagree with what is in J2807, rather I disagree with the misinterpretation and misapplication of it.

Some point to the braking test, and claim that this establishes what is a safe towing combination. But look at the speed used for the braking test, and the required performance. Sure, if one vehicle meets it and another doesn't, the one that does has better performance on that specific aspect. But that doesn't qualify it as safe on the road.

SAE J1349 defines a standard for measuring hp. That way we know that one vehicle that is reported to have 200 hp actually has less than another that is reported to have 250 hp. It allows easy comparison between two vehicles. But it doesn't tell you how much hp you need.

Another aspect is that SAE J2807 doesn't report the maximum rating possible for a vehicle. It reports the maximum rating that the manufacturer tested to. If the manufacturer chooses to install a light duty hitch (because the marketing team doesn't believe that a sufficient number of their customers want to pay for a heavier component, and it is all about higher sales volumes and lower unit costs) then they will test to and report a lower number. Those that claim that the standard then shows that exceeding that SAE rating makes it unsafe don't understand that. It simply means that the manufacturer didn't test it to a higher load.

The SAE standard isn't the only one out there. My 2003 model SUV had a tow rating that was based on the German TUV tow rating standard. That included having to start up on a 12% grade repeatedly, in forward and reverse. They were some years ahead of SAE. But that doesn't stop some people from claiming that Euro SUVs aren't rated for towing.

But the real issue is that all this comes down to prospective purchasers focusing on a tow rating, when there are other things that matter much more in terms of safety, IMO.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:18 AM   #147
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My wife drivers a large Cadillac Escalade ESV with a 6.2ltr tows a 23 foot and it is awesome until some fool decided to stop on the end of the highway entrance ramp to see if there were any cars coming. You can imagine what happened. It was like she was driving on ice. Most of her caddy survived and the trailer was ok. The driver who stopped at the end of the entrance ramp to the interstate didn’t fair too well. However the police gave my wife the ticket because she couldn’t stop 🛑 in time. Now she drivers a GMC 3/4 ton truck and might go to a 1 ton in the future
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:25 AM   #148
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... she couldn’t stop �� in time. Now she drivers a GMC 3/4 ton truck and might go to a 1 ton in the future
Sorry, but a large truck is not going to decrease your stopping distance. Because of the added weight of the truck vs the Cadillac it will actually increase the stopping distance and also a truck has less stability creating a greater risk for a loss-of-control rollover in a similar circumstance.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:21 AM   #149
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Steve - the squeaks and rattles are directly related to how you drive. If you hit railroad tracks and similar surface transitions at speed you will have squeaks and rattles over time. A more conservative approach will net you a quieter life. Towing requires more frequent service intervals, because it is heavier duty service. Develop a good relationship with your mechanic and stay on top of the maintenance. However, the reports posted have indicated that Honda products are delivering good service. Going strong at 200K miles is suggested. One thought. Consider transmission oil service early - 60/75K miles instead of 100-150K miles. You will get different opinions as flushing and replacing fluid puts particles in play that can be problematic down the road. Consult with your mechanic for best plan.

Hitch makes considerable difference. Your wheelbase is short and the PPP hitch compensates for that. Paying attention is key - no distracted driving. All towing must be 100% attentive driving. If you happen to drop a tire off the pavement, do not jerk it back onto the pavement. Slow down smoothly and find a safe place to ease the rig back on the pavement.

Speed makes a real difference. Slower is better than faster. Towing is significantly more of a hazard than driving solo. Note that when you get to California, the speed limit when towing is 55mph. Generally that is ignored, but it exists and you should not be surprised if you get a mandate to donate your $s to a local economy. We have never had the experience, but the neighbor got a ticket for 62 on 395 while towing his boat.

One other suggestion. When we started traveling, we were concerned that 200 mile days might be the norm. We heard lots of stories. What we found was that 50mph was easy to average and a 400 mile travel day was possible. However, if something does not work and you press on, 400 can become 600 and with a rest stop for some shut eye it becomes 800 miles. Don't do it. Limit your days to 300/400 miles and stop. You will enjoy the travel considerably more.

Good luck with your trip. Pat

Edit - one more thing - it's never ending, sorry. If both of you serve the function of driver and your wife is the navigator and observer, both jobs are easier. Swap to gain knowledge, skill, and ability in both jobs. If one of you needs a nap, pull over and both of you rest. A two person team is a great way to travel.


Hi Pat,

Thanks for the advice. Our MDX has 104K miles on it, but I have owned other Honda’s including an Accord, a CRX, and an Integra GSR. Usually the engines are good but the Honda rust consumes the vehicle. We were planning on about 400 miles a day and taking byways when possible, especially around Chicago (btw, what is a good way around Chicago if we’re going from northeastern Ohio toward Sioux Falls Iowa). We were looking at taking the byways to slow our speed down. People drive crazy fast on the interstates and when we drove though Michigan I kept our speed around 70-73 to keep from being run into. US30 and US24 look appealing.

Steve
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:25 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by tojimmiller View Post
My wife drivers a large Cadillac Escalade ESV with a 6.2ltr tows a 23 foot and it is awesome until some fool decided to stop on the end of the highway entrance ramp to see if there were any cars coming. You can imagine what happened. It was like she was driving on ice. Most of her caddy survived and the trailer was ok. The driver who stopped at the end of the entrance ramp to the interstate didn’t fair too well. However the police gave my wife the ticket because she couldn’t stop 🛑 in time. Now she drivers a GMC 3/4 ton truck and might go to a 1 ton in the future


Glad just vehicle to vehicle damage.

Anybody gone over trailer brakes with a fine tooth comb?
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:51 AM   #151
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-- snip -- what is a good way around Chicago if we’re going from northeastern Ohio toward Sioux Falls Iowa).-- snip -- 70-73 -- snip -- US30 and US24 look appealing. Steve
The PPP hitch gives you stability at 70-73. I would encourage you to back off a bit to 60-65. Easier to stop, less forces in play for a fast lane change, and more time to react. Many speedometers are a bit over stated. A speed of 70 mph is often only 67-68 mph, so maybe 62-67 is the right target. You will figure it out. Just stay conservative and keep lots of following distance.

Now about that getting run over thing........drive your own drive. They are not going to run over you. Much more likely you won't stop in time if you follow too close. Use the #2 lane when the #3 is getting lots of merge traffic. Stay out of the #1 lane. Hit metro areas outside of rush hour.

Chicago -- the answer is as far away as possible. We have only towed that area once. We came off I90 and stayed West, dodging toll roads, until we got South of Chicago near Joliet. Then we headed East and picked up 30 to go to Jackson Center. It was a great run with the exception of a tire gater that added some patina to our passenger side rock guard. It is four lane and varies a bit in surface condition. You may need to adjust your speed for best ride.

Best plan for traveling is to have a series of places you want to visit along the way. It may be a set of Passport America RV CGs, some historic sights, several National Parks for which you want to stamp your RV passport, or whatever trips your trigger. Wife is a quilter, so we stop at every quilt store that looks interesting. Other ASers are Walmart shoppers, state park campers, or COE lovers. A plan, rather than just a route to make miles is much better, at least if you have the time. Some folks don't or or won't take it. When we first started traveling, we had a very hard time slowing down the pace. That tire gater was toward the end of a long day. If I'd been fresher, following a bit further back from that truck, or traveling a bit slower our patina would be less.

Enjoy your adventure. Those miles can make a lot of smiles. Go out and get your share. Pat
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:26 PM   #152
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Just a couple of things. 50 PSI in the trailer tires is plenty. How old are they? There is a date stamp on the tires. If they are more than 6 years old I would suggest replacing them with Michelin P235/75R x 15 Defenders.

When going down steep hills 12% or more you will likely need first gear at 4000 rpm for engine braking. Turning the AC on helps as well. Often drivers start riding the brakes when the engine reaches 2500 or so. If you need the brakes to slow for a switchback that is fine but let the rpm go back up between them.

For fuel range when I head west I carry a 3 or 4 gallon Jerry can behind the LP tanks on top of the batteries that I almost never use. This allows me to use the entire fuel tank in the tow vehicle. So if my distance to empty read out says I have 60 miles left and there is a town in 50 I can go ahead and drive the extra 50 miles knowing I’ve got 50 miles more in reserve.

Andy


Hi Andy,

I did lower my tire pressure from 65 to 50 and that did help the trailer ride better. The tires are stamped 1214. Our MDX tires say max load 2270 lbs. at 50 psi. What pressure do you recommend for the MDX? I have Click image for larger version

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I really appreciate your advice. Thank you!

Steve M.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:02 PM   #153
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When going up our steep gravel driveway it seemed front may occasionally spin a split second but then maybe the MDX redirects power to the rear?
Accura has a pretty advanced AWD system compared to many systems. I suspect you are seeing the system transferring power to the rear, as you say. See for a decent overview.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:04 PM   #154
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Accura has a pretty advanced AWD system compared to many systems. I suspect you are seeing the system transferring power to the rear, as you say. See for a decent overview.


Wow! Thanks for the video. I never knew. We did realize that the handling in heavy rains on the highway was very secure. No hydroplaning. We also have a Toyota RAV4 (sons), a Subaru Outback (mine), and a Subaru Impreza (stars) currently at home. We liked our Toyota Sienna but could never get it up our driveway in the winter when it snowed. It would make it part way and get stuck since it was front wheel drive but heavy. We sold that and bought the MDX in 2013. When we bought The MDX we had no intention or idea that one day we would be towing an Airstream.
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