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Old 07-12-2018, 07:23 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
Ford paid because you had an accident? Did them admit a design flaw? Otherwise, how they could be responsible for such accident?
Bono, this thread is getting off topic;

For every accident with injuries, most competent personal injury attorney's will sue in court: (1) the owner of the vehicle, (2) insurance provider for the vehicle, and
(3) manufacture of the vehicle.

No product design flaw of any type is required to convince a jury of your peers to award severe monetary damages .

So to those who think towing a 30' Airstream with a modified Acura MDX tow vehicle, there is an attorney just waiting for you someday to cause an accident with injury.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:58 PM   #58
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Everybody can sue. Only few can collect.

I understand that the US may be regarded a different world in terms of the legal environment than rest of the world (e.g. people very often expect the RV dealer to be responsible for bad TV/TT matching, expect Can-Am to be responsible for accident if the modified vehicle was involved, etc.).

However, I can't believe that Ford or any other manufacturer of the car would let to be responsible for accident, just because injury attorney had a fantasy to sue them. Unless there is design flow, faulty parts were used (tires), etc.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:30 PM   #59
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Yeah, I'll take the Diesel truck towing, Alex.

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Originally Posted by jwpaquette View Post
We just made it from Ohio to Montana, and I mustíve said no less than 12 times, I donít know how people do this in anything but a vehicle designed specifically for towing. I pull a 30 foot flying cloud, with a Silverado 2500 with the Duramax diesel. This trip, and just under 1700 miles so far, made that truck work itís tail off. From the pulls up the steep grades, to the breaking down them, everything that goes into the design of these two vehicles, their engines, cooling systems, brake systems, steering, the list goes on, are designed to be able to handle the weight behind you. Never once did I feel like the tail was wagging the dog, but again, I shook my head repeatedly at how anyone would make this trip with anything less than what I took. The reality is that once you hit the Western states, and the speed limit is 80, the traffic around you is going to be going at that pace. While any of us donít need to speed, we do have to take in the consideration that we are driving on these highways, many of them without shoulders, and you have to be able to manage the risk around you. I donít want to be a Debbie downer either, but there is no way that I would take these trips, in a vehicle that has been modified. Keep in mind that weíre not talking a trip to the local state park here, we are talking the trips that traverse mountains and steep grades. I donít know the folks in Canada that do the tow modifications that are often referenced here. What I suspect though is that somewhere in their documentation, sales receipts, is a disclaimer that while theyíll make the modification, you assume all of the risk and if things go south, itís totally on you as the owner and driver. Look, they are in business to make a buck, their pitch is that they can make your vehicle towed ready for a couple thousand dollars versus buying a new vehicle. I think thereís a market for that if you are going to keep yourself local and in unchallenging areas of travel. As The person where the buck stops, you have to make a determination as to how much liability youíre willing to assume, not to mention the risk that you were exposing yourself and your passengers to by potentially overloading the tow vehicle with a trailer and contents that simply overwhelm the systems required to tow safely.
Yeah, that's about it. Well said jwpaquette.
I would love to pull my AS with my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Hell yeah, jack up the trailer and head up into the National Forest. Even with 4.56 gearing, eh,,,no. Jeeps must roam free and the Dodge Ram with the Cummins must be the beast of burden to tow the AS across this vast nation and Canada. Did I say I really like Canada ? I like Canada.
I like Spruce trees and wide open spaces and the way the nice Canadian women talk in Quebec Love the accent.
But I digress,,
I am always on the look out for a late model D-Ram, extended cab with a Cummins, dually '2wd'. Low like a go cart!
Low center of gravity, and wide. You would have to work really hard to roll that one over!
Yeah, I'll take the truck,
safe travels
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:11 PM   #60
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FWIW

I own a 25FB, a Ford F150, and an MDX. I cannot imagine towing my trailer with the MDX.

I used to own a smaller trailer: about 16 feet and about 2000 pounds. I towed that once with the MDX and did not like how that felt.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:35 AM   #61
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Andrew,

Thanks for all you do, if you would not mind would you please comment on weight ratings and cargo capacity. How do you handle passenger load of say 2 adults, 2 kids, and a dog plus the tongue weight of the trailer.

Even with a dialed in weight distribution hitch, weight is still there just moved around. Right?

Do you beef up the springs and shocks? Airbags?

Iím as others are just trying to wrap our minds around it.

Would you also address why 1/2 and 3/4 ton pickup where not designed to tow.

My truck has a receiver, trans cooler, tow mode button on the end of the gear shifter. What design flaws does my truck have that make it not an ideal choice.

PLEASE donít think Iím being passive aggressive, Iím not. I think this info would be good for all.


Hi

The seminar I do to somewhat fully answer these questions takes about 90 minutes and has about 100 PowerPoint slides so this is a summary at best.

The Op has a 2011 MDX. Their vehicle weighs 4500 pounds with a GVWR of 5962 so in theory a payload of 1462 pounds. 4 people is 600 gear etc 300 which leaves 562 pounds for hitch weight. When you do up the weight distribution around 300 pounds will transfer to the trailer wheels. So they are good to 862 hitch weight which is likely a little more than the Safari.

Many vehicles will have a GVWR that is less than the combined capacity of the axles. This can be because they know on most vehicles you wonít add weight to the front wheels when you load it. However with weight distribution you can. So often the 300 pounds we move to the front wheels wonít take away from carrying capacity.

Until Recently a 4x4 3/4 ton Diesel had a 4300 pound front axle, 6084 rear but a gvwr of only 8600. Empty weight of the truck is 7400 pounds so in theory 1200 capacity but in reality much higher.


When all is done with 900 hitch weight we are adding 150 pounds per tire to the vehicle. Even a Civic has much more than 150 pounds of overbuild in its design.

In our track testing the most capable vehicles are generally those that handle best solo. Connecting a trailer to a poor handling vehicle doesnít suddenly turn it into a handling machine. Modern trucks are increasingly geared to ride soft, sit high in the air on primitive live axles. Steering feel is purposely vague because they donít really want you to experience the road feel in a truck. If the the truck manufacturers really understand towing that well why do some of their hitches twist or fall off? Why do they build trucks too tall to fit under a Fifth wheel but put Fifth wheel pucks in it?

In other words if you were designing the ultimate tow vehicle it would not look anything like a pickup. Not that you cannot tow with a truck if you want to. If you want to make a truck handle well though it needs far more modification than the MDX. Even with those modifications if I have to stop fast or make an evasive maneuver Iíll take the MDX, when you actually measure this stuff its really no contest.

When my daughter took 3 of her girlfriends on a trip last year in a 27í Airstream I didnít send her in a truck.

I have a few articles I can send you that go into more detail if you like. Andy@canamrv.ca

I hope this helps.

Andy
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:14 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
Everybody can sue. Only few can collect.

I understand that the US may be regarded a different world in terms of the legal environment than rest of the world (e.g. people very often expect the RV dealer to be responsible for bad TV/TT matching, expect Can-Am to be responsible for accident if the modified vehicle was involved, etc.).

However, I can't believe that Ford or any other manufacturer of the car would let to be responsible for accident, just because injury attorney had a fantasy to sue them. Unless there is design flow, faulty parts were used (tires), etc.
I'm going to tell you a little story about manufacturer liability. The fact that it's true shouldn't diminish the entertainment value. A Google search and a little light reading should verify most of this.

A long time ago, in a land called Ohio, there was a family that owned a day care center, that they operated out of their home. The wife took care of the kids, the husband took care of the grounds and buildings.One Summer morning, the husband noticed the lawn was looking a little shaggy, so after his wife put the children down for a morning rest time, he climbed onto their lawn tractor, and proceeded to mow the yard. Part of the yard was on a rather steep hill, and part way up the hill, the wheels started spinning on the wet grass. The husband stopped, and reversed back down the hill to get another start. Unknown to him, however, one of the children had managed to make his way out of the house, and was standing directly behind the tractor when the husband reversed it, and back over the child, killing the child.
The parents of the child were understandably distraught, and in the fullness of time found an attorney to help alleviate the death of their child via monetary remonstration. The day care, of course, had insurance, as expected and required, and the insurance company paid out the limit of the policy. Dissatisfied with that amount, the parents and attorney now turned to the only other entity involved, the company that built the lawn tractor.
It was decided by a jury that the lawn mower manufacturer had been negligent in not inventing a gizmo to prevent the tractor from being placed in reverse while the mower blades were turning, and installing it on their products. Several million dollars were awarded, along with a court order to invent the gizmo, and install it on future lawn tractors.

And that is how that little button next to the ignition key on your new riding lawn mower came to be there. That is also how a manufacturer can be successfully sued in court over the actions of an independent operator of their equipment, even if both the operator and manufacturer had not done anything wrong, other than be involved in a tragic accident.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:16 AM   #63
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Thank you Andy for your time and insight. This clears some air.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:46 AM   #64
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Hi

The seminar I do to somewhat fully answer these questions takes about 90 minutes and has about 100 PowerPoint slides so this is a summary at best.

The Op has a 2011 MDX. Their vehicle weighs 4500 pounds with a GVWR of 5962 so in theory a payload of 1462 pounds. 4 people is 600 gear etc 300 which leaves 562 pounds for hitch weight. When you do up the weight distribution around 300 pounds will transfer to the trailer wheels. So they are good to 862 hitch weight which is likely a little more than the Safari.

Many vehicles will have a GVWR that is less than the combined capacity of the axles. This can be because they know on most vehicles you wonít add weight to the front wheels when you load it. However with weight distribution you can. So often the 300 pounds we move to the front wheels wonít take away from carrying capacity.

Until Recently a 4x4 3/4 ton Diesel had a 4300 pound front axle, 6084 rear but a gvwr of only 8600. Empty weight of the truck is 7400 pounds so in theory 1200 capacity but in reality much higher.


When all is done with 900 hitch weight we are adding 150 pounds per tire to the vehicle. Even a Civic has much more than 150 pounds of overbuild in its design.

In our track testing the most capable vehicles are generally those that handle best solo. Connecting a trailer to a poor handling vehicle doesnít suddenly turn it into a handling machine. Modern trucks are increasingly geared to ride soft, sit high in the air on primitive live axles. Steering feel is purposely vague because they donít really want you to experience the road feel in a truck. If the the truck manufacturers really understand towing that well why do some of their hitches twist or fall off? Why do they build trucks too tall to fit under a Fifth wheel but put Fifth wheel pucks in it?

In other words if you were designing the ultimate tow vehicle it would not look anything like a pickup. Not that you cannot tow with a truck if you want to. If you want to make a truck handle well though it needs far more modification than the MDX. Even with those modifications if I have to stop fast or make an evasive maneuver Iíll take the MDX, when you actually measure this stuff its really no contest.

When my daughter took 3 of her girlfriends on a trip last year in a 27í Airstream I didnít send her in a truck.

I have a few articles I can send you that go into more detail if you like. Andy@canamrv.ca

I hope this helps.

Andy
Andy - how do you determine a vehicleís maximum tow capacity? I understand beefing up a hitch, but other factors determine towing capabilities and limitations.
Also, do you include the weight of fuel when calculating payload?

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Old 07-13-2018, 07:48 AM   #65
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The point is that you hear a LOT of strange/interesting stories in internet. This one does not make any sense for me, unless Ford admitted a design flow.

I thought that this was made clear already that even if you are over mfg spec, in general insurance will not be denied. Sure, there will be a lot of questions, etc., but insurance is just for this purpose, to cover you.
Yes Ford insurance paid. No, was not a design flaw; but they had some liability issues with the tires with Explorer and Expeditions. But, in my case, because of the injury, I was sued as was Ford. Ford took care of the bills as I recall. Below is a thread on that topic I found. The accident involved my son and 5 of his college friends; one of them, a girl, was seriously injured and her parents were the ones who sued to cover medical costs.
My original question is, who is liable for modifying any vehicle to tow beyond it's original specs, should an accident occur?

Not trying to get off track here from original topic; just wondering about the liability when you do modify...I see many posts about VW's, Porsche, Audie's on this Forum....many more "smart" gear heads than I out there, but still wonder about the liability...

For reference on Ford tire issues:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firest...re_controversy
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:23 AM   #66
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Andrew T said:
"In our track testing the most capable vehicles are generally those that handle best solo. Connecting a trailer to a poor handling vehicle doesn’t suddenly turn it into a handling machine. Modern trucks are increasingly geared to ride soft, sit high in the air on primitive live axles. Steering feel is purposely vague because they don’t really want you to experience the road feel in a truck. If the the truck manufacturers really understand towing that well why do some of their hitches twist or fall off? "

By this logic the best tow vehicle should arguably be a Porche 911. And that's just crazy.

And truck hitches twist and fall off??? Since when? I admit I don't have your experience, and there are a lot of people who seem to love your tow setups. But I have been towing a TT for over 26 yrs, with both Ford and Chevy products, and I've never heard of a hitch falling off of a truck. And the comment that engineers build trucks to drive vaguely and not give road feed Is beyond belief.

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Old 07-13-2018, 09:23 AM   #67
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Anyone with a 1999 - 2013 Chevy product with an OEM hitch should check it for cracks.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:08 AM   #68
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Andrew T said:
"In our track testing the most capable vehicles are generally those that handle best solo. Connecting a trailer to a poor handling vehicle doesnít suddenly turn it into a handling machine. Modern trucks are increasingly geared to ride soft, sit high in the air on primitive live axles. Steering feel is purposely vague because they donít really want you to experience the road feel in a truck. If the the truck manufacturers really understand towing that well why do some of their hitches twist or fall off? "

By this logic the best tow vehicle should arguably be a Porche 911. And that's just crazy.

Mike
No, it is just your logic. I do not understand this that way.

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(...) And the comment that engineers build trucks to drive vaguely and not give road feed Is beyond belief.

Mike
No, it is not beyond belief. If you care about handling, sell the truck.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:40 AM   #69
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No, it is just your logic. I do not understand this that way.



No, it is not beyond belief. If you care about handling, sell the truck.
Yeah. I do plan on selling the '09 Silverado LT, when the wife green lights the Ram 2500 Cummins.

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Old 07-13-2018, 11:43 AM   #70
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And the comment that engineers build trucks to drive vaguely and not give road feed Is beyond belief.
Mike
If you stop and think about it you will realize that the steering has to be vague in order to prevent the truck from losing control. Most modern cars have a very precise steering based on the rack and pinion design. The steering has to be designed to match the handling of the vehicle (i.e. the suspension). You cannot have a very aggressive steering (turn radius and rate of turn) in a vehicle that cannot handle it. If you do you will most likely lose control of the vehicle do to body roll, large balloon tires, soft suspension, etc. With many cars you can adjust the feel of the steering through software and vehicles like Hyundai have this to be user adjustable through their menu system. You can choose sport mode or standard, etc. (by the way on some cars you can even change the suspension feel). This can be easily accomplished since all modern steering systems have a servo motor built into the steering gear. The firmware on board talks with the cars computer system. Many car companies do not allow the systems to be changed (usually a marketing decision since us techies usually like everything adjustable)

The problem is that too many people have too much faith in the car companies. They think that what they decide and build is engineered perfectly. Nothing further could be from the truth. You have no idea what goes on in these meetings and design reviews as well as on the production floor. I've spent the better part of my career working in the field and have working in numerous areas for a host of different companies and vendors (American, European and Japanese).

On my SUV I am amazed how precise the steering is and that the vehicle actually responds to the input given. I would hate to see what would happen if this system was in a pickup. But with an independent suspension and a tight suspension dampening system the vehicle has no issue with it. Mind you in comparison to my cars there is none. I'll take the cars any day of the week. They make the SUV feel like it was from the dark ages.
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