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Old 03-03-2003, 10:06 AM   #43
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Very possibly. As for the rig, nice. Thanks for the post.

I would say, that even though I like the rig, I would not pull that A/S with it. The reason is not that I think the engine, trans or other things might not be able to take it, they can, but at what price and I don't mean to get it that way, I mean in stresses that the 4.3/trans/gear combo was never designed to do that much. GM transmissions are not built super strong unless you get a truck that is rated for 10,000 lbs pulling power. Most of the bands in the trans are not up to this task and will wear out later, rather than soon, if the owner is very, very, very lucky. Hell, even the LT1 w/ the 4L60e trans isn't either for that matter.

The main reason that I would not tow that large of a rig is mainly because that A/S has to weigh almost 5 tons (10,000lbs) gross. The total gross weight for a standard B-Body is in the ballpark of about 5,000 lbs, some of them even a very bit lower. That's about 2x the tow vehicles weight. Knowing GM brakes too, they really suck(especially in the early 90's as this vehicle seems to be), so this person better have done some substantial brake mods to get that rig to stop, even with trailer brakes.

Just my .02, I know some love what's going on with these underpowered rides, but I don't think they are safe. Sure they may handle better due to whatever magic is installed, but I wouldn't be sold on this until they actually found a way to defy the laws of physics and make the trailer lighter.



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Old 03-03-2003, 02:22 PM   #44
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I've just about had it with all this ridiculous talk of pulling a 10,000 lb 34' with various small vehicles from the disciples of the Can-Am Cult of the Tiny Tow Vehicle... and I gotta say something...

Wayne, for an admitted towing newbie, you sure give a lot of advice considering your experience. And that experience is what? ...towing a Bambi-weight trailer, with an overall length which is reasonable, if not conservative, for a short 110" wheelbase tow vehicle. AFAIK, you've never encountered severe sway or had a trailer jacknife behind you. Some of us have. Some of us have lost trailer brakes or tow vehicle brakes on a downhill grade. While your trailer weight may be 1,000 lbs or more higher than your Quest's tow rating, at least your tow vehicle weighs almost as much as your trailer, which is FAR from the case of these ridiculous rigs you promote for Can-Am.

Seriously overloading a tow vehicle isn't something new and unique to Can-Am. Back in the days when cars had frames, every hitch we sold was custom, made up of a 2" receiver tube, and heavy angle and box tubing. At least we had something more substantial than sheet metal to attach to! We used E-ZLift hitches, primarily with 1200 lb bars. We used something about as absurd as the Hensley video as a sales tool. It was a picture of a front-wheel drive Olds Toronado, with its rear wheels removed, towing an Avion or something like that (don't recall it being an Airstream). The rear brake drums were well above ground level. IT'S ALL IN THE HITCH, we'd tell customers. And we turned out some rigs very similar to the ones Can-Am does. Yeah, we put friction sway controls on them, sometimes two on the bigger trailers, but there's no doubt the trailer could've dragged the tow vehicle off the road. I'm not proud of it, but I've been there and done that. They say it takes one to know one, so I'm more than familiar with Can-Am's tactics. They aren't some new thinking out-of-the-box revelation... irresponsible RV dealers have been doing it for years.

Recently, a newbie posted, "...I spoke with Gordon at can-am-rv.com in Canada (recommended by Wayne F - thanks Wayne!). He felt that with a Hensley hitch, that "Big White" could tow anything....even a 34' airstream, if equipped with a brake controller and a transmission cooler... He mentioned that most towing capacities are based upon a rectangular box, loaded with sand. The manufacturers then tow the box until the driver says that it feels squirrely. They weigh it, then establish the recommended weight as half of this amount."

This should've sent up the "sleazy, lying RV salesman" flag, and not just for the typical "your vehicle can tow anything" statement. I can see the Ford chassis and drivetrain engineers at the test track now. Bubba, behind the wheel, hollers, "dump another scoop in the wagon, Rufus and let's see if she gets squirrely this time!" I can't believe any experienced RV salesman really believes something so stupid.

The tow rating is based on engineering data that considers chassis design, including brakes, and the torque put to the ground by the engine, axle ratios, and tire diameter. If you look at a tow rating chart, you'll see that GCWR and towing capacity increase with engine power and axle ratio... to a point. That point is often limited by braking capacity. Although the towed vehicle should be providing its own braking, trailer brakes are usually drum type, and can overheat and fade away long before today's 4 wheel disc brakes, leaving the tow vehicle to provide all the stopping power. This is one of the factors engineers use in determining a safe GCWR. You may have noted that the new Ford 6.0L diesel puts out 100 hp more than the 7.3L. And it has a stronger 5-speed auto transmission with lower (higher numerically) 1st and 2nd gear ratios. Yet the GCWR didn't go up this year to compete with Chevy's higher 22,000 lbs. That was no doubt due to having the same brakes and chassis as last year.

Earlier, in response to my post about our local "experts," 3Ms75Argosy said "I don't think anybody here has stated that they are an "expert" on the field of towing." Perhaps 3Ms75Argosy missed this declaration in an earlier post, "It all boils down to the fact of whether one accepts the factory tow ratings as realistic or not. It is a fact that many folks do accept it..... and many folks do not." If that isn't saying, "I'm more of an expert than the factory and don't accept their rating," I don't know what is. Wayne, I hope you never have to depend on the Quest brakes to stop the whole rig on a downhill grade.

I personally believe that the Hensley is, overall, the best hitch design available. That's why I own one. It is much better, if no safer, than the Pullrite when it comes to trailer tracking and backing. However, the Pullrite and Hensley operate on different principles, and in at least one case, the Pullrite is safer. When it comes to towing a large trailer with a small tow vehicle, the Hensley may even make the rig more dangerous than friction sway controls, which can at least be loosened up in wet conditions.

The Pullrite pivots near the rear axle and puts no yaw load on the tow vehicle. A trailer breaking traction and starting a jacknife in a curve cannot turn the tow vehicle sideways, breaking its traction.

The link bars on the Hensley essentially turn the rig into a straight framed motorhome with no pivot, from the trailer's side of the trapezoid. Sway forces are fed through the link bars into the tow vehicle, and the very design depends on the mass and traction of the tow vehicle resisting that yaw to stop the sway from happening. If that mass and traction is insufficient, the sway force can overcome it, and the Hensley can cause a trailer that breaks traction in a curve to also cause the tow vehicle to break traction and turn the tow vehicle with it. A similar thing happened to a member of the Yahoo! HensleyArrowHitchClub, towing a 1983 (back when they were only 4900 lbs dry) 31' Excella with a near 5,000 lb, but only 114" wheelbase Mercury Mountaineer. And at only 40 mph.

The longer the wheelbase, the better it fights the sway forces fed into the tow vehicle by the Hensley, which applies a yawing force about the center of the rear axle. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for adequate wheelbase, especially with Hensley. Overhang is something that usually only comes up from people advocating towing with too little wheelbase.

Honestly, I'm often a little embarassed to admit I own a Hensley. Their "our hitch can make any tow vehicle safe for any trailer" marketing, and their use of the Can-Am video sequence, makes them the both the laughing stock and lightning rod of experienced RVers, many of whom refuse to buy from a company with such irresponsible marketing... and who opt for the Pullrite solution instead.

While I'm at it, let me refute another piece of misinformation... that the wheel width should be the same as tire section width. While that might be getting close to being the case with 40-50 series tires, it is WRONG for most tires. Wheel width should be no more than TREAD width, and if you want the tire bead to have more resistance to coming off the rim from a bump into a curb, pothole etc, you want it to be slightly less than tread width. Look at the "measuring rim width" from the tire manufacturer for the proper rim width for a given tire. Sure, on ultra-low profile tires, section width, tread width, and rim width tend to converge, but this isn't the case for most tires.

The taller the sidewall height, the greater the protection the tire provides the wheel to impacts such as the off side of a pothole, and the greater the section width. Lower sidewall heights often result in bent or cracked rims from potholes and other road hazards, which can lead to immediate and sudden tire deflation. While taller sidewall heights may lead to more tread squirm with passenger car tires, light truck tires have MUCH stiffer sidewalls and run higher pressure. Having to use low-profile, large wheel diameter sports car tires for towing is just a band-aid on the wrong tow vehicle.

There... I feel better.
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Old 03-03-2003, 02:44 PM   #45
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Man, that was a mouthfull!!

How did you keep your message from timing out while typing it?

In my case you are preaching to the choir. I have seen the old Drawtite or Reese ads which show the Toronado with no rear wheels, looks like a David Copperfield Vegas act.

I was duped into buying my first travel trailer by exactly the same type of salesman, "Oh yeah, towing with that Chevy S-10 will be no problem, especially with that whopping 2.8 liter V6 under the hood! Almost lost the whole thing going down a long hill on the freeway, ever sway so bad you could hear the front tires skip from side to side on your tow vehicle?

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Old 03-03-2003, 03:32 PM   #46
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Maurice,

I know that this thread has been a sore spot for you, but I want to be clear with you that my ref's have been half jokingly stated. Do I feel that the Hensley is the best hitch out there, you bet. Do I feel that the Hensley can make an unsafe tow vehicle safe, hell no.

I've always felt that your tow vehicle rating should be 10-15% higher that the GVWR of the trailer. That large disc brakes are also an important factor for the tow vehicle.

I'm glad that you did get this off of your chest , as you did bring up some very valid points. Maybe joking around about the Hensley is such a good idea when newbie's are reading these post and taking them as gospel.

Thanks for taking the time to share these insights, as you always have an understanding of the facts.

John
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:12 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by RoadKingMoe
Wayne, I hope you never have to depend on the Quest brakes to stop the whole rig on a downhill grade.
Hummmmm.

A couple years ago me and 4 other vehicles stopped at a red light. My Mazda was in the middle, 3 cars back from the light. A LARGE TRUCK lost its brakes and plowed mercilessly into the rear of the 5 of us. I don't, and won't go into the fine details of the accident but I will tell you this. It is not the brakes in my Quest that I am concerned about. What scares me most is what happens when the brakes on a large heavy truck fail resulting in massive devastation. The debate of whether a large truck is any safer than anything else?????? I beg to differ!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:31 PM   #48
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Not that I am overly sensitive, but I hope you two are not getting into flame wars over this. I enjoy spirited discussions like the next Joe, and I respect both your opinions on the subject very much.

I have my opinions too.

You guys still buds?



Eric
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Old 03-03-2003, 05:12 PM   #49
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All I'm gonna say is....

Glad I have a 1 ton to pull my 31 footer with! I won't settle for anything less, and wouldn't feel safe in anything less. Ignorance is not bliss in this case.

The picture Maurice was refering to below:
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Old 03-03-2003, 05:20 PM   #50
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Pick,


But think of how much you'll save on tires !!!!!!

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Old 03-03-2003, 06:22 PM   #51
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Re: All I'm gonna say is....

Quote:
Originally posted by Pick
The picture Maurice was refering to below:
That's it! LOL! I'd forgotten about the drag boat! Memories!
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Old 03-03-2003, 07:51 PM   #52
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All that starts well.....

I think what Wayne's referring to is the braking ability of the big trucks vs the small. I've read some of the Boating Magazines braking tests of boats and trailers being pulled by various trucks/suv's, and am astounded by the differences! I don't know why, but the imports sure seem to outstop the domestics, loaded and unloaded.... but again, we're talking 5,000 pounds or less, depending on the tow rating of the vehicles (Boating Magazine tests within their limits). I think it's important to consider the whole package. Ideally, I'd like a car/ wagon with seating for six/seven, diesel engine, and strong underbody. Price around $25,000. Not out there....yet.
Am I a newbie! Sure, but learning all the time. Thanks to all the constructive answers out there..... but I still haven't bought anything yet. While I'd love to have the F-350 dually crew-cab, I really don't have the use for the bed (but I keep working on reasons ). I'm really not sold on the Quest route (I think my trailer is 2 ft and 1000#'s too big)....but am waiting for that just slightly bigger middi-van that can do it.
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Old 03-03-2003, 09:24 PM   #53
 
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I guess, we are back to what I posted at the beginning:
Quote:
Can anybody calculate how fast he will go, the day he loses the brakes on the trailer, let's say downhill on a 10% grade?
And I was talking from experience. And we have about 100,000 miles of towing over 12 years.
No accident, but a few scares.

I, too, was starting to be annoyed at seeing such "great advice" given to newbies:
go ahead, "if it can pull it, it will handle it and it will stop it."

I related before of how we ended up going down what looks more like a 2 miles long ski slope than a road, without ANY brakes on the trailer, with a 1 ton, 146" wheel base van, making a left turn at the bottom of the hill.

Result: we made it because our van could handle it. (with a Reese hitch by the way), and Mike had been driving for 40 years and kept his cool.

That's the main reason we got a bigger truck: we destroyed the van brakes in the process .

I would like to come back to what kamadeca said earlier:

Quote:
...being able to tow efficently and safely with what you want to.
Can I ask again : what make you so sure you can stop it anytime you have to?

Quote:
tow with big powerfull trucks....they feel secure knowing they have an abundance of power
just to let you know that big and powerful are not synonymous: our truck has only 195 horse power. It's slugguish, but it is reliable and it has plenty of brakes.

And, NO:
we do not feel secure knowing we have to share the roads with the type of riggs being advocated here.

I am not of course suggesting that everybody should get a truck like ours. But I would like to hear more of the type of smart advice given by people like Maurice, Eric-Silvertwinkie, ....(and a lot more people who are showing some mature responsability.)

Malfunction and accidents happen. How will your tow vehicle handle them ?

Chas took the words out of my mouth earlier:
Quote:
Unfreakin' believable.....if either one of these setups ends up killing some innocent person there will be hell to pay!!

What scares me the most is we have to share the road with ___________drivers______towing_______
[fill in the blanks, no name calling allowed]

I hope my harsh words did not offend anybody, but it's my life I'm concerned about here.

Chantal
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:49 AM   #54
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Agree, Bigger is Better.

East of Cleveland, Ohio where I live, is considered "out in the sticks", and is horse country, as well as the "Snow Capitol". Drive through the town I live in, (Chardon) and you will think you died and went to "SUV/Pickup Heaven". Trucks and SUVs outnumber cars 2 to 1, especially on Saturdays! Some days I feel inferior driving around in my 1 ton gas powered 4X4 surrounded by diesel powered crew cab duallys rumbling through town However, on thing I have noticed is you seldom see these testosterone filled vehicles towing anything. A large number of the hitch recievers still have paint on the inside, never being used.

Now, we have come full circle here. We have a group of folks contemplating a suicide mission, trying to tow 34 foot travel trailers that weigh up to 5 tons with vehicles powered by overgrown lawnmower engines, with marginal braking power. My this is a country of extremes
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Old 03-04-2003, 09:39 AM   #55
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Wow, the person that posted this one got some serious Karma points! ;-)

Well, in the end, no matter what is said here on the subject you can be sure that something will be setup on the end of the user.

I think the forum provides a great balance of info and in the end, no matter what is said, you can only prepare your vehicle in the best possible manner to protect yourself, your friends, family and other human beings from any possible accidents up to a point. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all the answers or think that I'm right 110% of the time (maybe only 99.98% ), that's why I'm here to get balanced info on subjects.

There are no 100% gaurantees either way. For me, I'm not a real book smart person (see my post that 1350kg is about 5000lbs), but I have a crapload of common sense. I am, to this forum a "newbie" per se, but I have been camping since I was a kid with my family and our 24ft rig. I've been pulling a 2700lb boat for about 10 years now. This 4,600(gross) Bambi is an extention of all the experiances and info I have collected on trailering over the past 25 years. I've seen a bunch of trailering things in that period of time.

Reader's digest version of all this is simply to each his or her own. I cannot change the world, but can only share my thoughts and prepare accordingly. Hopefully others are as sensible too. For me, you would not catch me cold (dead) in one of those rigs. My Caprice seems to be just about the right match (for now). Any larger tralier and I would certainly err on the safe side and get a tow vehicle that not only has the right engine and gear to pull, but the right stuff to stop. Going is good, maintaining is key, but stopping is deadly important IMHO.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-04-2003, 09:48 AM   #56
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When I have 4 1/2 tons of trailer axles thinkin' they wanna go somewhere I don't want them to go, it's nice to have 4 1/2 tons of truck axles telling them no.

I feel sorry for Wayne's little Mazda, but my son and daughter were in their little Escort waiting to turn left off the main street onto ours. Two cars stopped behind them, and they were all hit by a FORD RANGER! The two cars in the middle, especially the third, looked like Wayne's Mazda, and both were totalled. My daughter had her foot off the brake and the wheels still pointed straight ahead, so the Escort bounced off the end of the line, just like those hanging balls, with minimal damage. Even a small car or truck can do massive devastation.

While any vehicle's brakes can fail, and that's a pretty rare occurance, the brakes on a large truck are designed to stop a large load while those on a soccer mom grocery getter aren't. They're designed to stop the vehicle with passengers, and at most, a couple of jet skis behind it. I'm very impressed with the brakes on my truck. Without the trailer, they haul that beast down from speed almost as quickly as those on my Acura Integra GS-R. That's a heck of an accomplishment considering the weight difference.
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