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Old 02-21-2003, 07:47 PM   #15
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Up Up and away?

I'm impressed that the Intreped looks so level with the AS! But, how did the car pull the trailer up the hills? Anyone out there drive it loaded in the hills of Canada? I'd really like to stay away from a big truck. Did the motor have enough guts up the mountains? I'd assume that the trailer brakes did a lot of the stopping duties going down?

A four wheel drive caravan would be super, if only it had enough brawn for my 25 footer. I'd worry that a front wheel drive car would spin it's wheels going up a dirt hill to my campsite.

P.s- what did ever happen to Super Dave? I used to love his show as a kid! Didn't he have a motorhome with a "mother in law" seat up top?
Marc
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Old 02-21-2003, 10:55 PM   #16
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I believe he was doing or still is a comedy on the cable channel FX, called "Son of the Beach" I hardly recognized him, almost bald now, but as usual he makes me laugh my a#$ off. I do remember him playing a piano on top of a motorhome before it went through a tunnel, crashing into brick walls, stopping greyhound buses with his body, etc.

Chas
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Old 02-22-2003, 04:44 AM   #17
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I thought I would quote a post that Andy from Can-Am posted in another group about his trip to California last summer.

To give you an idea of what to expect I just returned from a 6,000
mile trip with a 2003 30' Classic Airstream and I was towing with a
vehicle with just slightly more power than your Suburban (234 hp vs
your 210). This is his new Intrepid We went West on Interstate 80 from Ohio to San Francisco
along the coast to San Simion and then we crossed to Sequoia National
park from there we went south to Bakersfield and through Vegas on
I-15 and across Interstate 70 from where it starts in Utah to Ohio.

I needed second gear to climb hills a total of 44 times in 5000 miles
of interstate. In total I towed no more than 60 miles in Second gear
and never below 50 mph. If I could have climbed all these hills at
65 MPH I would have saved a grand total of 7 minutes

I did need first gear on three hills in Colorado, Vail Pass,
Eisenhower Tunnel and Floyd hill, These are 10-11,000 feet elevation.
Near the top of the Donder Pass I needed first gear when the traffic
slowed due to construction. The climb into Sequia where you go from
100' elevation to 7000 feet required first gear for about 12 miles
but it is a twisty 2 lane road with sheer drops I don't think many
people climb it much over 25 mph any way. Though I was in low gear
in these locations I had plenty of reserve power and was by no means
foot on the floor.

For many people this is an acceptable trade off for a smooth quiet
ride and economy of operation. In fact I would have spent more time
in gas stations feeding a 454 than I could have ever saved climbing
hills. Personally I would not have wanted to listen to a Diesel for
6000 miles in 3 weeks and since I occasionally quietly leave
campgrounds a 6 am a deisel is not an option for me. For me the
biggest advantage to owning an Aristream is the flexability of being
able to tow efficently and safely with what you want to.

By no means am I critisizing those who choose to tow with big
powerfull trucks it is certainly their choice and I am sure they feel
secure knowing they have an abundance of power. I just wanted you to
know that it is not a prerequeset to owning an Airstream and to give
you a realistic idea of what performance to expect.


Andy
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Old 02-22-2003, 09:04 AM   #18
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Hi Marc

Good questions. It took me over 6 years of asking questions, test driving various combos, and pondering the front wheel drive concepts before we jumped in and the experience has exceeded our expectations. It didn't happen overnight. This is my understanding as to why it works.

Engine / drive train weight is on the drive wheels. Front / rear ratio is around 55 / 45.
Camping last year ( four weeks in total ) we had no issues with the front wheels spinning. The newer vehicles are even better with traction control. Wheel slippage is more apt to occur with front engine rear drive where the drive wheels are on the light end of the vehicle.

Low centre of gravity: It works for a racing car so why not a tow vehicle. A low centre of gravity and independent suspension gives the vehicle great handling characteristics. Low profile performance tires have no side play and great grip. Also realizing that if you were to get a blow out with the Intrepid the rim would only drop about 2 to 3 inches to the pavement. In a large vehicle with high profile tires the drop would be more like 5 to 7 inches. Low profile tires would appear to be more desireable.

Aerodynamics: The Intrepid and Airstream are in tune aerodynamically. Far less horsepower is required to move this combo down the road. A high powered, heavy bulky vehicle would be quicker off the line because of torque and gearing but it looses its advantage with the extra weight and wind resistance as the speed increases.

Hills: Hills were the biggest concern with my rig because I have less HP and torque than the Intrepid / 34 combo. Then again I have half the weight with my 23'. Aerodynamics help. The faster the speed, the more the advantage. With my rig I can respectably climb any hill in Ontario quicker than most 18 wheelers.

I walked past a Dodge Grand Caravan today and noticed disc brakes on the rear. Their large V6 is a proven engine. Can Am however swears by the Ford Windstar ( sport version is preferred). At one of our local RV dealers we recently demo'd a Windstar / 25' Trailite combo and the van pulled it effortlessly. Much more powerful than my Nissan. It would be reasonable to say that there are hundreds of Windstars towing travel trailers in Canada.

There are a number of front wheel drive V6 vehicles towing 34' A/S's. By comparison using one to tow a 23 or 25' A/S would seem very reasonable.

Again...Tow vehicles are personal preference based on likes, needs, or usage. Every one and every case is different and I do respect that. Although I prefere the "V6 / AS thing" the coolest rig I've ever seen was a custom Freightliner pulling a triple axle 5th wheel. Easily a half million dollar rig (cdn funds).


Chas / Marc We had Super Dave but you got Ozzy. What's with those Osbourns?
I think it was "Awesome (Can Am) Andy" driving the Intrepid in JD1's pic.
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Old 02-22-2003, 10:54 AM   #19
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Wow! No wonder cars and trucks cost so much these days! Manufacturers are wasting millions on teams of hundreds of powertrain and chassis engineers and all those big-buck computer systems with sophisticated software to establish vehicle parameters like tow ratings. All they really need to do is come to this forum or visit the Can-Am website. According to our "experts" here, they're getting it wrong by a factor of three to seven times!

For newbies viewing this thread, let me just remind you of this... the Internet is a sample of the entire population... the population subject to the process of natural selection. If you look hard enough, you can find justification for whatever you want to do.

Darwin would like RVs because those who've slipped through the process so far and have already bred, often take their genetic spawn with them when they go. When it comes to matters of health and safety, choose carefully who you and your family follow through this process that we all go through.

For me and mine, we'll tow that 9800 lb, 1000 lb tongue weight, 34' triple axle trailer with a near 8,000 lb truck with 12,500 lb tow rating instead of a near 4,000 lb car with a 1,500 lb tow rating.
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Old 02-22-2003, 11:48 AM   #20
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Hmmmm....

I don't think anybody here has stated that they are an "expert" on the field of towing. I asked a question about people's experiences. This post was about one person's experience with the Intreped / AS combo. Other's had mentioned the combo, others stated disbelief, and here was the actual deal.

True, you DON'T see semi-trailers being pulled by pickup trucks. But you have to agree that this is facinating concept. You are right however, it is up to each person to decide what is right for them. Safety is a HUGE factor in my mind, and I'm sure everyone else's too. Yes, buyer beware, but the more info, the more people can make their own decision.

In the construction industry, people laughed at OSB and steel studs, pretty prevalent here now. In Germany, concrete reins big (brother in law just had his "tract home built" you should see the rafters, 8x8 rough sawn lumber, in a TRACT non-custom home!) and they laugh at our "sticks." They also pull with Mercedes, Audi's and BMW's (I've seen with my own eyes). Each place has their thing.

I don't think I'd pull an 31 ft with a car, but I love hearing about it
Marc
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:34 PM   #21
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Thumbs up Hensley Performance Data

John / JD

I finally found the test data on the Can Am / Hensley performance tests.

Use of the Hensley in every case increased performance.

The use of the 34' Airstream performed better than the 31' conventional trailer ( sandcastle).

The Chrysler Intrepid, top performance
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:41 PM   #22
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Wayne,

Thanks for the going away present !!!

Love it-John
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:29 AM   #23
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There's no doubt the Hensley and Pullrite are much more stable in an emergency manuveur and this shows it.

Let's look at the mechanics of what happens when you are going down the road and a person or animal steps into it from the right side and you crank the steering wheel to the left hard. The front of the tow vehicle moves left with respect to the rear axle and the tail moves right with respect to it.

With a conventional hitch, when you turn left, the trailer first turns right toward what you are trying to avoid, then with further forward motion, gets pulled back across the straight line of former travel to the left. In essense, it has made the bottom half of an S turn that can initiate sway, and at the same time has gotten closer to what you are trying to avoid.

With a Pullrite hitch, pivoting at the rear axle, the trailer remains in forward motion until the tow vehicle rear axle begins moving left of the straight line of former travel. Regardless of how hard the swerve, the trailer remains in a straight line until time to turn left.

With a Hensley, the front of the hitch moves to the right with the rear bumper of the tow vehicle, while the rear of the hitch stays with the trailer in a straight line (that's how a Hensley turns... the front of the hitch moves opposite to the directionof the turn).

When you straighten out in the left lane,

With a conventional hitch, the pendulum (trailer) still swinging to the left will overshoot the tow vehicle's path and then overshoot it again going the other direction. With sway damping, these oscillations should dampen out and the trailer get back behind the tow vehicle. However, during that time, the trailer is using the lever arm of the distance behind the tow vehicle rear axle to yaw it back and forth in the opposite direction from the trailer.

With a Pullrite hitch, the trailer may also overshoot the tow vehicle's path and may oscillate a few times as above, but this has absolutely no effect on yawing the tow vehicle, which remains stable as a rock in a straight line.

With a Hensley, as the trailer approaches the straight line path of the tow vehicle, the link bars prevent it from overshooting, as it transitions into "motorhome" mode (i.e. a straight frame vehicle with no pivot point). It may move the whole rig, in a straight line, over in the lane to a path parallel to the tow vehicle's straightline path, but the vehicle operator can steer to the right to counter this, just as he would in response to a crosswind.
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:59 AM   #24
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That's what the brush guard is for! No need for evasive maneuvers!

Seriously, don't you have to relocate your spare on most all pickups to install a Hensley? My truck does double duty as my service vehicle and tow vehicle, no room in any other place to mount the spare. Hensley is the one with the big radiused steel track under the rear, correct?

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Old 02-25-2003, 10:22 AM   #25
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Chas,

Nope the Hensley fits into a standard 2" receiver. I think the pull-rite is the one with the big sweep underneath.

Malcolm
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:04 AM   #26
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Malcolm is correct... that's the Pullrite that requires spare tire relocation and/or exhaust modification. However, Pullrite now has "custom" hitches that require neither... unless you have oversize 4WD tires.

The Hensley mounts entirely on the trailer tongue and as long as the drop bar is the correct height, any tow vehicle with a 2" receiver can be used to pull that trailer with the Hensley.
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Old 02-26-2003, 02:12 PM   #27
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Hensley consumates marriage of Airstream & V6 Windstar

Hensley

Also in the News Letter along with the Intrepid, Hensley tests was this blurb of another V6 - Airstream story. I'll paste it here for anyone who is interested

We bought a Ford Windstar to pull our 34' Airstream trailer. The only modification we made to the Windstar was to fit low profile tires, and a transmission cooler fitted by Can Am. If we had any doubts about the ability of the Windstar to pull a 34' trailer they were dispelled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. We took an alternate route in the mistaken belief that alternate meant that it was a truck route with less hills. How wrong we were, we soon found ourselves going up and down 10% and 12% hills. As an added bonus, between some of the hills would be a small village with a stop light to ensure we tackled the 12% hill leading out of the village from a standing start. But the Windstar never faltered and even had some power to spare.
The Windstar, Airstream combination is very stable and tracks very well. We have had no problems backing it into campsites or negotiating city streets. Our best gas mileage when towing has been 16.5 mpg. Of course once we are set up in the campground we have a very comfortable minivan in which to explore the local area, plus the added bonus of gas mileage in the 18 -28 mpg range.


The story goes on to tell of a great vacation to the east coast and then down to the Carolinas.

You can see the Hensley in the image.
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Old 02-26-2003, 02:59 PM   #28
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ya know, the thing I'm always thinking about in this recurring debate is the fact that any not-so-overzelous cop could pinch you (but good) for driving a rig like this: "oversized load". perhaps this only applies to commercial vehicles....but it shouldn't.
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