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Old 12-01-2011, 07:19 AM   #43
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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. So, unplug your trailer's brakes, go 65 mph (max rated speed for trailer tires), jam on the brakes as if a little kid on a tricycle rolled out in front of you, and tell me how it works out for you.
Don't tell me it can't happen, all it would take is for the umbilical plug to come loose, and you would have no trailer brakes.
Went on a Thanksgiving trip and had an umbilical connection problem with my Tradewind so, no trailer brakes. My F250 was more than adequate to stop the whole rig even on a hill. A smaller, lighter TV and I don't think so.

I also can stop my whole rig with just the standard drum brakes on my Dexters without using the TV brakes at all, not that there is much reason to do so.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:50 AM   #44
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Don't tell me it can't happen, all it would take is for the umbilical plug to come loose, and you would have no trailer brakes.
Exact thing happened to me using a 2011 Durango towing my Argosy. Stopped fine from highway speeds pulling off into a rest area. Only really noticed when I did a walk-around before heading off again...

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Old 12-01-2011, 08:06 AM   #45
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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.
I'm a CanAm client and there was no release of liability.

I have the opportunity to talk towing with many vehicle engineers. Towing rating decisions are made for other reasons than liability or reliability or safety. One manufacturer wouldn't beef up their hitch structure (a common CanAm modification) to increase their rating because adding an extra 20-30 pounds of metal on every vehicle just so that 5% of their customer base could tow more was a bad trade-off. That added weight would affect fuel economy for the other 95% of buyers. (Their towing tests showed that the SUV was plenty capable of handling more weight.)

Another manufacturer downrated their SUV from what it was rated to tow overseas - despite no physical changes - simply because "that's good enough for American buyers." And several years ago, another one rated their V6 truck - which had better powertrain cooling than the V8 truck and similar performance - simply because it wouldn't help sell V8 trucks if the V6 truck towed more.

Ironically, pickup trucks are the vehicles most likely to have stretched-to-the-limit towing ratings. That's because of the compare-the-numbers wars that break out in comparsions and internet forums. Minivan and crossover buyers don't really do that much.

It's amusing that old Airstream brochures from the 80s show a triple-axle AS - similar to the trailer the OP saw being towed by the Enclave - being towed by a Chevy Caprice. The Enclave is heavier, handles well, brakes better, has better cooling, and has more power. The difference: it was more common to tow with cars in the early 80s...

Finally, manufacturer towing validation work is mostly done with white box cargo trailers. They don't have the towing stability of an AS. They also have worse aerodynamics which provides a worse-case situation for powertrain cooling.

Given that Andy Thomson has spent 40 years setting up tow vehicles, has driven thousands of different combinations, and has a large client base of satisfied owners (and even folks who have just benefitted from his advice who didn't buy anything) - I think he knows a thing or two about towing.

Tom
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:33 AM   #46
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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
We're going to have to agree to disagree, Jim.

I'm no lawyer so I couldn't be specific about these things but to my mind, to prove liability solely on an arbitrary manufacturers' recommendation would be a difficult thing to do because the recommendation takes no account of what you're towing or how you're towing it. A parallel issue could centre on the ST tires on your trailer that are rated at 65mph. If you're driving legally at 70mph and have an accident, are you liable because you exceeded the speed rating of the tires? I'd say no because the tire's speed rating is arbitrary and takes no account of the trailer you're using or how you're using it.

CanAm has no liability release, it doesn't need to.

I'd also stick my neck out and say that CanAm's depth of knowledge and experience does rate higher than that of any vehicle manufacturer I know of, but only because those manufacturers do not invest the time and money in towing dynamics that CanAm does, except of those vehicles they produce specifically for towing.

But hey, these are only my opinions and you're welcome, of course, to agree or disagree.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:37 AM   #47
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I don't understand how someone can consider a heavy, solid-axle, high center-of-gravity pickup truck more stable or easier to stop than many of the lighter, modern suspension designs we are talking about, whether attached to a trailer or not.

The only person I know personally who lost control in side wind and had the whole rig destroyed was towing his new 28' Airstream with an F-250 diesel (with sway control/w.d.).

I would suggest legal b.s. aside, the question ought to be which is really safer.

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Old 12-01-2011, 08:39 AM   #48
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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.
I think that is a concern of most people who tow a trailer, be it at the smaller or larger end of the TV or trailer scale. Real world experience comes into play here and, if you're considering towing at all, check to see how others have managed first. In this case, I don't think that the Enclave has any long term towing issues, at least not that have been posted, but that's where we all need to pool our experience.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:40 AM   #49
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We're going to have to agree to disagree, Jim.

No problem, just be safe.

Jim
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:41 AM   #50
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I'm a CanAm client and there was no release of liability.


Given that Andy Thomson has spent 40 years setting up tow vehicles, has driven thousands of different combinations, and has a large client base of satisfied owners (and even folks who have just benefitted from his advice who didn't buy anything) - I think he knows a thing or two about towing.

Tom
We form up behind the barricades again, Tom.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:52 AM   #51
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No problem, just be safe.

Jim
Thanks Jim, I will.

We towed our 2011 28' International down to Florida and back (by way of New Orleans) in the summer with our 2011 Toyota Sienna Minivan. The combination worked perfectly and the only problem we had in three weeks was a flat on the Sienna, which cost all of $18 to fix. The parts I didn't enjoy were the pavement surfaces in Michigan (bouncy, bouncy!) and some construction work in Tennessee where for 15 miles I had to drive very close up to the temporary concrete barrier on the left because there was a 4 inch drop on the right hand side of the pavement and the trailer's wheels kept dropping down it. Checking my mirrors, I noticed that all the heavy transport was tucked up close to the barrier so that's what I did; a bit scary but at least the trailer tracked cleanly.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:59 AM   #52
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Obviously there are two schools of thought and opposing sets of facts to support both. You can't convince the other with words alone.

With that said, I will add that now that I have two tow vehicles, one a F150 Ecoboost with max tow package and the other a Touareg which is at it's max towing, the Touareg does better than the truck at handling, maneuvering, stopping and lane change avoidance maneuvers. The truck is a hauler and can haul more toys and stuff for long trips. The truck is no slouch mind you, but the VW is much easier to tow with and I have 40k miles towing to back it up. To each their own...
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:02 AM   #53
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Given that Andy Thomson has spent 40 years setting up tow vehicles, has driven thousands of different combinations, and has a large client base of satisfied owners (and even folks who have just benefitted from his advice who didn't buy anything) - I think he knows a thing or two about towing.
Double ditto, I've seen some of Andy's TVs, including a small rig towing a 34 footer. The owner's were more than happy with Andy's work, and, after I crawled underneath the TV, I was more than impressed!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:58 AM   #54
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And given the thousands of setups CanAm has done over a period of decades, where are all of the dissatisfied owners with wrecked TVs? If it was honestly unsafe and that awful for the tranny, you can bet there'd be angry former customers with ruined TVs screaming their heads off about it on the interwebz.

That said, CanAm recommended only two brands of TT to me given my TV, and their other recommendation was a distant second to the Airstream, due to its remarkable stability and handling. They also refused to countenance over a certain length and weight even of the Airstream.

CanAm is hardly recommending that anything can tow anything.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:13 AM   #55
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No problem, just be safe.

Jim
You know, even though there are different solutions to this issue, just the fact that both sides put a lot of thought into towing and optimizing set-ups is a plus.

Given the number of rigs out there with improper chain hook-up, no weight-distribution or anti-sway, tires of unknown age and origin, seldom-maintained brakes - I think we're all doing better by merely having this discussion and thinking about it.

Tom
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:19 AM   #56
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We have seen some coaches (including Air Streams) that were swaying so badly, we took the next offramp, not wanting to be a part of a horrible accident.
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