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Old 11-30-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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Amazing Sight! Buick SUV towing ......

I was at a campground in Oregon last week, where I saw one of those Buick SUV thingies hooked up to what I estimated to be a 34' Airstream. It was huge, and had three axles. I was amazed! I looked up the specs on that Buick, and it has a 4500# max towing capacity with the factory tow package. The owner was using a Hensley, but I still think that he is crazy!
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Not to worry. CanAm up in Canada will fix you right up. They claim you can tow just about anything with just about anything irregardless of mfg tow rating. They've got people towing triple axle Airstreams with Dodge Minivans so why not a Buick SUV? Apparently a lot of people do this and get away with it but I can't help wondering if they had a serious accident what their insurance company would have to say about it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
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Where is the picture?
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Where is the picture?
It was raining too hard for me to want to get a picture. I know it doesn't help you here, but that image is burned indelibly into my mind.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Al - K4GLU View Post
Not to worry. CanAm up in Canada will fix you right up. They claim you can tow just about anything with just about anything irregardless of mfg tow rating. They've got people towing triple axle Airstreams with Dodge Minivans so why not a Buick SUV? Apparently a lot of people do this and get away with it but I can't help wondering if they had a serious accident what their insurance company would have to say about it.
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.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #6
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They claim you can tow just about anything with just about anything irregardless of mfg tow rating.
I don't know that that's quite true, as if you suggest something that they feel is not safe or that will wreck your TV, CanAm'll tell you about it soon enough. At least they did me.

I understand Andy Thomson has been doing a very popular series of columns in Airstream Life the last few months, I'm going to have to find back copies and read it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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First off, nice new trailer!

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Originally Posted by easplund View Post
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.
The Enclave uses the same transmission as the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse, which are rated to tow 5200 lbs. (The difference is the hitch, which CanAm reinforced on the Enclave you saw.)

The limitation is based on powertrain cooling tests. Avoid towing uphill in Death Valley with the A/C on full blast at highway speeds and it will probably be fine.

Have to say, I expected a different reaction from someone towing with a ML. Plenty of people will jump in and say that's crazy too. As for the Hensley, the Enclave's longer wheelbase probably benefits its stability.

Andy Thomson talks about his customers' Enclaves here.

Tom
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #8
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First off, nice new trailer!

Have to say, I expected a different reaction from someone towing with a ML. Plenty of people will jump in and say that's crazy too. As for the Hensley, the Enclave's longer wheelbase probably benefits its stability.

Tom
Well, the ML is rated for 7200#, and I am towing only a 23'. That 34' Airstream has got to weigh twice the 4500# max rating of the Buick!
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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I am not sure I would feel very safe grossly exceeding mfg max weight ratings.
I am of the opinion that a safety factor is a wise thing to consider. You can never fully control road conditio.s, other drivers, or other misc factors. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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easplund, the maximum hitch weight is often an issue with light tow vehicles. For example your Int'l 23 is about 720# dry, then add some 250# for your orange hitch. What is the maximum hitch (tongue) weight allowed for your ML?

Andrew Thomson reinforces the hitches on his setups.

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Old 11-30-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
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easplund, the maximum hitch weight is often an issue with light tow vehicles. For example your Int'l 23 is about 720# dry, then add some 250# for your orange hitch. What is the maximum hitch (tongue) weight allowed for your ML?

Andrew Thomson reinforces the hitches on his setups.

doug k
That is something that has concerned me since I got it. The hitch on the ML does not have a weight distribution rating. The only explanation that I have had on that issue is that the Europeans don't use weight distribution hitches, so the manufactures don't bother to test and rate them. Also, how the trailer is loaded can lessen the hitch weight. A full tank of water, for example, will lighten it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:46 PM   #12
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We tow our 34 ft triple axle 2005 classic (Hensley) with a Dodge 2500 TD or with a Yukon Denali (6.0 L gas). We have done a few thousand miles with each and we like the tow with the Yukon significantly better and in our opinion gives a much nicer ride. We have done hills in PA and NY with no problems (slow and steady). Also we had two minor panic stops while towing with the Denali- no issues. The hottest the Denali transmission got was about 200 deg at about 90 deg summer temp. We use a class V Curt hitch and next spring will be traveling to Can Am RV (Andy T) to have the car reinforced and put some extra rivets on the 34 footer per Andy's recommendation. We know Andy and the work he has done and we trust his judgement - no question asked.

Best,

Titu.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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A full tank of water, for example, will lighten it.
That 400 pounds of water mounted between my trailer's front axle and the tongue will most certainly not lighten the tongue weight, quite the opposite. Maybe it will lighten the tongue weight on your trailer, IF the water tank is mounted behind the axles.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:52 PM   #14
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That 400 pounds of water mounted between my trailer's front axle and the tongue will most certainly not lighten the tongue weight, quite the opposite. Maybe it will lighten the tongue weight on your trailer, IF the water tank is mounted behind the axles.
Yes, the tanks are behind the axles on the 23D International. I forgot to mention that little bit.
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