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Old 11-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Most states have towing laws that say the tow vehicle's brakes MUST be able to stop the entire combination, not just itself.
Overlander,

I don't live in the US so I'm a tad unsighted on this, but when I checked on towing regulations for the states I wanted to drive through to get to Florida, the only rules I could find said that the trailer must have its own brakes if over a given weight. There was no specification that I could see regarding stopping the combination using the tow vehicle's brakes alone. Where did you gather this information from? Is it available on the Internet?
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #30
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Overlander,

I don't live in the US so I'm a tad unsighted on this, but when I checked on towing regulations for the states I wanted to drive through to get to Florida, the only rules I could find said that the trailer must have its own brakes if over a given weight. There was no specification that I could see regarding stopping the combination using the tow vehicle's brakes alone. Where did you gather this information from? Is it available on the Internet?
State Towing Laws for RVs
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:58 PM   #31
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Thanks, Overlander, that's similar to the information I obtained though the AAA/CAA.

On a quick run through I've not been able to find any requirement to stop using the TV brakes alone, except where auxiliary brakes are not required, which isn't relevant here. Were you thinking of any specific state?
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:59 PM   #32
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Thanks, Overlander, that's similar to the information I obtained though the AAA/CAA.

On a quick run through I've not been able to find any requirement to stop using the TV brakes alone, except where auxiliary brakes are not required, which isn't relevant here. Were you thinking of any specific state?
Oops, I meant to say that I'll have a closer look at the whole list tomorrow.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:43 PM   #33
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Have you ever wondered if the towing capacity claimed by the manufacturer of your Super Duty Dually Diesel is realistic?

Or is the measly tow rating of your unibody SUV under rated to lessen liability?

You will soon know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Automotive manufacturers agreed in 2008 to standardize tow ratings as specified in the SAE’s Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2807 to take effect by 2013.

The industry alliance includes Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda, along with several leading trailer and hitch makers.
Until now, each manufacturer was free to test using proprietary conditions ideally suited to a truck’s towing strengths and decide their own maximum trailer rating. They could pretty much advertise whatever ratings they wanted since there was no “apples to apples” comparison between brands or models.
Each company designed its own test, and—surprise, surprise—their trucks always aced the tests. Imagine the EPA didn’t exist, and car companies could just make up fuel-economy figures to boost sales. Kinda like, catch me if you can—on my towing ratings!
Makers would boast about the pounds their pickups and SUVs could tow, and their exhaustive testing used to determine the towing capacity.
But when a new truck claimed a higher number, the other manufacturers would rewrite their spec sheets with increased towing capacity and, as if by magic, match or beat the new kid on the block.
And there was nothing a customer could do, short of bringing a 12,000-pound fifth wheel or travel trailer to a test drive.
Towing capacity measures the maximum weight that a vehicle can safely and legally haul. The rating is as important to many pickup and SUV buyers as fuel economy or horsepower are to minivan or sports-car shoppers, reports the Detroit Free Press.
“Before, you couldn’t say who had the best towing capacity, because you didn’t know how it was tested,” says Mike Levine, editor of Pickuptrucks.com. “This is the first time a customer can do an actual apples-to-apples comparison.”
Major makers of pickups and SUVs have agreed to a standard test to rate their vehicle’s towing capacity. By the end of the 2013 model year, most truck buyers should know—for the first time—how a vehicle performs compared to the competition.
This will allow for apples-to-apples comparisons between trucks from different manufacturers and it’s a really big deal for millions of drivers especially for RVers towing a fifth-wheel or travel trailer.
There are five engineering characteristics that strongly influence any tow vehicle’s performance:
• Engine power and torque characteristics
• Powertrain cooling capacity
• Durability of the powertrain and chassis
• Handling characteristics during cornering and braking maneuvers
• Structural characteristics of the vehicle hitch attachment area

The standard, known as J2807, spells out test procedures and performance requirements that must be met for a manufacturer to assign a maximum tow rating to a particular vehicle. While various trailer configurations are suitable for these tests, the towed unit must provide a minimum specified frontal area starting with 12 square feet for a TWR (Trailer Weight Rating) below 1500 pounds, ranging to 60 square feet for a TWR exceeding 12,000 pounds. There are also specifications for how the trailer’s load is distributed on its axle(s) and how the attachment tongue is configured.
One major change from past practice is what the SAE committee defines as TVTW (Tow Vehicle Trailering Weight). Unlike the past, a driver, a passenger, optional equipment purchased by at least one third of the customer base, and hitch equipment are now included in this calculation along with the base weight of the tow vehicle. Raising the TVTW figure automatically lowers the maximum permissible GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) and TWR figures.
With the demanding test, automakers expect their tow ratings to decrease by anything from a few hundred to more than a thousand pounds. They’re willing to take the hit, because it’s in their interest as well as the customers’ to have credible towing figures.
Toyota was the first to use the standard. It already applied it to the Tundra. The Tundra’s claimed towing capacity decreased, but its credibility grew.
Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and GMC full-size pickups are expected to adopt the test during the 2013 model year, which begins January 1, 2012. Nissan will use the standard someday, but won’t say when or on which vehicles.
Every truck tested to the standard can say its towing capacity is SAE rated. That’s the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when it comes to vehicle performance. The SAE is the leading independent body for vehicle standards and tests.
The towing standard is not mandatory. No manufacturer has to use it. If they don’t, though, the figures they claim for towing capacity will be less credible and more open to challenge than their competitors.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:54 PM   #34
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SAE’s Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2807 to take effect by 2013.


• Engine power and torque characteristics
• Powertrain cooling capacity
• Durability of the powertrain and chassis
• Handling characteristics during cornering and braking maneuvers
• Structural characteristics of the vehicle hitch attachment area
All well and good until you alter one or more of the above characteristics, for example if you improve the powertrain cooling capacity (very easy to do), put some different tires and/or shocks on to alter the Handling Characteristics or beef up your stock hitch with some extra steel. The new standard is only good at the point the vehicle rolls out of the showroom...... Oh! and it's not mandatory.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:56 PM   #35
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Somewhere on the Airstream site (I'm sure you can find it if you look) is a pdf that shows how a vehicle towing a properly outfitted trailer will actually stop faster than just the vehicle or the trailer (if you could get the trailer moving on its own to a certain speed) on their own. By a decent percentage.

But I'm sure that one's great big tow vehicles would make one feel safer even though it's been demonstrated that some of the smaller setups are actually safer on the road.

One of the opinions over on one of the TDI forums is that the automobile industry has absolutely no good reason to let people know that you don't need a great big huge gas guzzler to tow. They want you to go out and buy aforementioned guzzler. I'm thinking that's about the way of it, myself.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:37 PM   #36
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On the legal issues, these have already been discussed at length in this forum. It has been established that tow ratings have no legal standing either in the US or Canada so to seek to apportion some liability on that basis is a complete non-starter.
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Towing capacity measures the maximum weight that a vehicle can safely and legally haul.

Mr. mojo, meet Mr. Toad. . .
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:52 AM   #37
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I think Wally started all this nonsense when he hooked up a trailer to his bicycle. Dam him. I wonder what his power to weight ratio was? I think I'll stick to my truck that goes up the faster then 10 miles an hour and doesn't need the trailer brakes to stop my family if they fail. I'm surprised no one had mentioned an effect of bad weather or passing large trucks, the tail waging the dog. I'm done, continue.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:16 AM   #38
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Towing capacity measures the maximum weight that a vehicle can safely and legally haul.
It'll be a bad day for democracy when vehicle manufacturers set the laws.


Hello Mr Mojo
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:20 AM   #39
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CanAm can blow all the smoke they want they don't know more about the vehicles than the manufactures. No matter what a person believes when they end up in court after an accident and they have exceeded the manufactures rated towing capacity or modified the vehicle they will lose. The claim can very easily exceed the coverage and then the lawyers will come after their assets. If they are a user of this forum and especially have been on this thread it would be hard to deny that they were not aware of the consequences of uprating a tow vehicle beyond the rated capacity. I find it hard to accept that CanAm has more knowledgeable engineers and lawyers than manufactures.

I will ask the question again dose CanAm require a client to sign a document releasing CanAm of liability in the case of an accident after they modify a tow vehicle ? It may be on the small print on the receipt a client signs, check the paper work.

Jim
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:33 AM   #40
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It'll be a bad day for democracy when vehicle manufacturers set the laws.


Hello Mr Mojo

This is the guidance provide by the manufacture as to what they believe their product will safely tow. This is provide to a consumer so that they can make an informed decision how to use their product safely and correctly. It also protects the manufacture when the product is used incorrectly or modified.

The law may be that the information has to be provide to prevent the misuse of the product.

Much like stating that this can holds 8 ounces or product.

I have to think you don't believe in any standards or disclosers.

Jim
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:53 AM   #41
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This whole debate comes up time and again and always winds up with people firmly in two camps.

Despite working for 34 years as a Mech Eng., I certainly don't have enough insight into all the aspects of this specific issue to pontificate.

Being a bit of a worry-wart however, especially when it comes to legal issues, I feel much more comfortable being in the camp that respects the vehicle manufacture's tow ratings - and in fact I do believe there is merit in a degree of overkill when it comes to the actual demands placed on a piece of equipments versus its claimed ability.

For my part, I do enjoy my truck and don't begrudge the extra running cost one bit!

Each to his own as they say - I do hope everyone stays safe no matter their choice!


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Old 12-01-2011, 07:11 AM   #42
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Obviously he can do it, because he was. As a Hensley user myself, it probably works pretty well, but I can't imagine that Buick is going to last very long. The transmission will probably go up in smoke in not too long.
This would be my concern, too - I can totally accept that Andy can reinforce the frame and put in a transmission cooler, but unless he's completely rebuilding them to stronger specs, I would worry about the transmission anyway. Someone posted that the capacity of another vehicle with that same transmission is 5200 lbs...that's great, but what about the other ~5,000 lbs that goes into a 34'?

Now, my luck with automatic transmissions has been terrible; I've had trouble with 3 of the 4 I've owned (not counting the truck - we've only had it a few months so far). I don't trust automatics very much.
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