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Old 09-15-2013, 07:59 AM   #29
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Folks, the GVW of the trailer is it's weight on the trailer wheels and the jack stand and would include the Hensley or ProPride hitch head if attached. That is the number to be compared to the maximum towing GVW weight suggested for the towing vehicle either in a the manual and/or on the door post. Then that trailer weight number added to the tow vehicle weight only number when loaded for camping (includes the Hensley or ProPride stinger in the tow vehicle receiver, if used) gives the combined vehicle weight which is also shown with the combined vehicle weight maximum value in the manual and/or on the door post.

Connecting the vehicles together allocates some of the shared weight from the tongue of the trailer to both the tow vehicle and a little to the wheels of the trailer. Crossing the scales now reveals the tire and axle loads on both vehicles, but the total weight did not get reduced, the carrying points were moved around.

If the tow vehicle weight now exceeds the published GVW for it or any axle/tire weight rating is exceeded, then the trailer is putting too much weight onto the tow vehicle. Then the choices include: things need to be off loaded, a smaller /lighter trailer acquired, or a stouter tow vehicle needs to be acquired.

Pretty simple really.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:26 AM   #30
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Entertaining indeed. I like to hear the engine/transmission of our Ram 1500 downshift, earning its keep, because it reminds me of the $20,000 I didn't waste buying too big of a truck.

doug
Me too.. I luv shifting gears. I made sure our car (with 5 speed auto) when we bought it had the option of manually selecting gears at will. Not quite as much fun has having a manual transmission but enjoyable for sure.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:56 AM   #31
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Entertaining indeed. I like to hear the engine/transmission of our Ram 1500 downshift, earning its keep, because it reminds me of the $20,000 I didn't waste buying too big of a truck.

doug
When I was younger I too liked the awesome sound of my modified gas engine head for redline up the hill.Now I enjoy the tranquility of my hummin Cummins and not increasing my trip time by so many fuel stops
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:33 PM   #32
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One needs to speak to a professional that is not selling at the same time. The profit motive can color the suggestions made and products recommended, especially if those products are sitting in their inventory.
Or more than one professional.....
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:26 PM   #33
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As Andreass said, we have here the "Canadian School" which follows a seat-of-the-pants practical method for selecting TVs, and we have the "American School" which is strictly by the book (published numbers from auto maker on all aspects of towing and load capacity).

The former yields very interesting variety of TVs from vans to sedans, and the latter tends to yield very large PU trucks.

Something that has never been answered as far as I know, is whether there are more accidents in one method versus the other, since "safety" tends to be the bone of contention between schools.

One thing is for sure, there is a mountain of information available here to read on both! Good luck - the 25 FC is a MAGNIFICENT trailer!
In the states, the latter philosophy is based on what the vehicle is engineered to tow. The manufacturer(the expert on what the vehicle is capable of), along with their engineering teams, vehicle designers and finally, the legal team all came to a consensus on what the specs should be. The safety systems like the abs, the vehicle stability system and on some, the TCS...they are all designed with the manufacturers recommendations on towing limits.

Some who tow in the flat lands may be lucky and never have a problem ignoring those limits. Others will push the envelope and put their safety, along with the safety of others at risk. I personally won't put my life, assets and all of my future earnings at risk, but that is just me. I also have a wife who is an insurance agent, so she deals with the aftermath of accidents all the time.

Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #34
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A little illustration re the value of manufacturer's statements:

I was doing some hitch related research last night and ended up reading a number of articles on the VW Touareg forums.

One poster owned both a Touareg (posted tow capacity 7,700lbs) and a F250 with a posted tow capacity of 12,500lbs.

For reasons unknown (I didn't have time to follow the thread back) he had disassembled the hitch assemblies on both vehicles and came to the conclusion that the supposedly weaker VW setup was stronger in every aspect than his truck hitch.

Quote:
The bumper bar on my Treg is thicker in all dimensions than the one on my F250, the F250 is a class V hitch that is rated for 1250# tongue weight and 12,500# load.
I realize that there's more to tow capacity than a bumper bar, but I was still amused. If we'd believe everything the manufacturers tell us, we'd still be producing the Ford Pinto.

Also, from the same thread on the Touareg forum

Quote:
Since the reinforcement I've towed about 10,000 miles including a trip out to Yellowstone. The Touareg TDI is phenomenal and just blew away the performance of my Excursion 7.3 liter diesel towing the same trailer in the same mountains. Wow.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:11 PM   #35
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The former yields very interesting variety of TVs from vans to sedans, and the latter tends to yield very large PU trucks.
I have no preference for a specific type of tow vehicle. As long as the trailer is within the specs of the tow vehicle, anything goes -- sedan, station wagon, SUV, or pickup.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:23 PM   #36
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In the states, the latter philosophy is based on what the vehicle is engineered to tow. The manufacturer(the expert on what the vehicle is capable of), along with their engineering teams, vehicle designers and finally, the legal team all came to a consensus on what the specs should be. The safety systems like the abs, the vehicle stability system and on some, the TCS...they are all designed with the manufacturers recommendations on towing limits.

Some who tow in the flat lands may be lucky and never have a problem ignoring those limits. Others will push the envelope and put their safety, along with the safety of others at risk. I personally won't put my life, assets and all of my future earnings at risk, but that is just me. I also have a wife who is an insurance agent, so she deals with the aftermath of accidents all the time.

Good luck!
The primary aim in vehicle design and manufacture is to make a profit, the second is to avoid a lawsuit; call me cynical if you wish but towing specs are way down on the list of design criteria. In trucks that are sold as towing machines, tow ratings get inflated so that the punter will buy the truck with the biggest numbers, and in every vehicle not marketed to tow they're reduced so as to encourage you to buy a high margin pick up truck and to avoid lawsuits. It may be a jaundiced view but it's one that I think is rooted in reality.

As to safety and insurance concerns, please show us some evidence that the "Canadian School" puts you at any greater risk.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:03 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
The primary aim in vehicle design and manufacture is to make a profit, the second is to avoid a lawsuit; call me cynical if you wish but towing specs are way down on the list of design criteria. In trucks that are sold as towing machines, tow ratings get inflated so that the punter will buy the truck with the biggest numbers, and in every vehicle not marketed to tow they're reduced so as to encourage you to buy a high margin pick up truck and to avoid lawsuits. It may be a jaundiced view but it's one that I think is rooted in reality.

As to safety and insurance concerns, please show us some evidence that the "Canadian School" puts you at any greater risk.
You are the one who promotes exceeding the tow ratings. The burden of proof is on you, not the other way around. You should prove that it is safe to exceed the ratings, as it is already established that staying within the rating is safe.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:44 AM   #38
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You are the one who promotes exceeding the tow ratings. The burden of proof is on you, not the other way around. You should prove that it is safe to exceed the ratings, as it is already established that staying within the rating is safe.
If only it were that simple. Hitching up a 2000lbs box trailer badly can and will cause far bigger problems than hitching up a 9000lbs Airstream well, regardless of what the published tow rating says.

Proper weight distribution, brake controllers, a low center of gravity and a decent hitch all work together to create a safe and controllable towing experience.

This is one of the fundamental problems manufacturers face when publishing row ratings and one of the many reasons they are kept artificially low for many vehicles not specifically sold for the purpose of towing. For those that are, they are often equally artificially inflated.

Making unsubstantiated claims about safety without understanding the realities behind this is unhelpful. Many trucks with high tow ratings are far less safe than smaller vehicles with independent suspension, a wide wheel stance and low center of gravity. Size does not equal safety or even capability.

CanAm assess the real capabilities of any vehicle they recommend for towing before modifying the hitch setup. The list of vehicles they agree to work on is actually rather small, the way I understand it, and will always depend on the chosen trailer.

Considering they have been in business for over 40 years, have set up tens of thousands of rigs and consulted with Airstream for much of that time I do trust their judgement and expertise. Were their setups prone to catastrophic failure we should have heard about it by now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:38 AM   #39
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If only it were that simple. Hitching up a 2000lbs box trailer badly can and will cause far bigger problems than hitching up a 9000lbs Airstream well, regardless of what the published tow rating says.

Proper weight distribution, brake controllers, a low center of gravity and a decent hitch all work together to create a safe and controllable towing experience.

This is one of the fundamental problems manufacturers face when publishing row ratings and one of the many reasons they are kept artificially low for many vehicles not specifically sold for the purpose of towing. For those that are, they are often equally artificially inflated.

Making unsubstantiated claims about safety without understanding the realities behind this is unhelpful. Many trucks with high tow ratings are far less safe than smaller vehicles with independent suspension, a wide wheel stance and low center of gravity. Size does not equal safety or even capability.

CanAm assess the real capabilities of any vehicle they recommend for towing before modifying the hitch setup. The list of vehicles they agree to work on is actually rather small, the way I understand it, and will always depend on the chosen trailer.

Considering they have been in business for over 40 years, have set up tens of thousands of rigs and consulted with Airstream for much of that time I do trust their judgement and expertise. Were their setups prone to catastrophic failure we should have heard about it by now.
I would like to see some solid research backing up your claim as none of what you have mentioned so far is a proof for why exceeding the tow ratings would be safe.

You seem to have two arguments:

1) Because exceeding the tow ratings has not caused a serious crash/injury it is safe (we can go back to my cigarette example again). However, because safety standards are so critical, and human lives are at risk, they are determined the other way around. You need to prove its safe -- just imagine using your methodology to determine the safety of airplanes, speed trains, ships, medication, medical procedures, etc.

2) You do not trust the ratings published by the Toyota's, the GM's, and the BMW's of the world (with collectively 100's of years of auto design and development experience), yet you put your trust in CanAm. To each their own.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #40
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Your cigarette example supports an argument opposite to the one you're making. There is conclusive evidence that smoking cigarettes kills you, both empirically and anecdotally. The "grandpa smoked a pack a day and lived to be a 100" example is a statistical outlier and understood to be just that.

On the other hand, there is no evidence I am aware of that exceeding the published tow capacity of a vehicle makes for an unsafe set-up.

As far as I am concerned, not all standards are created equal. There are absolute numbers, i.e. if I load this beam with 1000lbs, it will break. Those kind of numbers are used to determine values like axle ratings and they should be treated with the respect they deserve.

Then there are the values that are not absolute at all but come with a risk/reward calculation, for example:

"If we give this vehicle a tow capacity of 6000lbs, which we know it is strong enough to support with proper weight distribution and a brake controller, then we run the risk that somebody will hitch up a 6000lbs trailer without taking these precautions, which will lead to problems and expose us to risk.

Additionally, we know that only a very small minority of buyers of this model vehicle have expressed an interest in towing, making the potential reward very small. Let's be on the safe side and go with a 3000lbs capacity instead."


Once I started informing myself on how these values are arrived at, by talking to people in the industry and researching the matter myself, and found that cars build on the very same platform often carry very different values depending on their intended use, I came to the conclusion that while payload and axle ratings are numbers that are based on sound engineering principles, published payload wasn't.

If you take the trouble to look at the numbers published by the car manufacturers you're putting so much trust in, you can't help but see a common trend: vehicles sold for the purpose of towing are given high tow ratings, ratings the available payload of the vehicle often has no chance at all to support. This is a common issue with 1/2 ton trucks and well documented, in this forum and elsewhere.

On the other had, vehicles that are not sold for the express purpose of towing are given low tow ratings, despite the fact that their payload rating, engine power and axle rating meets or exceeds that of the aforementioned trucks.

Rather than just believing everything the marketing departments tell me, I decided to put my trust in people who actually look into the real capabilities of a vehicle.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #41
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Ok, here's the bottom line.... yea you can tow it but are you willing to carry the stress of seeing your thermostat hitting the red line, the engine turning itself off so as not to blow the engine? Warped engine head(s). etc etc etc....?
FUD, pure and simple. Yes, this is a possibility... it's just as much a possibility in your Cummins if something goes wrong (throws the water pump belt, e.g.) Unless you've experienced this situation in a GX470, your suggestion is simply not supported by evidence.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #42
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The primary aim in vehicle design and manufacture is to make a profit, the second is to avoid a lawsuit; call me cynical if you wish but towing specs are way down on the list of design criteria. In trucks that are sold as towing machines, tow ratings get inflated so that the punter will buy the truck with the biggest numbers, and in every vehicle not marketed to tow they're reduced so as to encourage you to buy a high margin pick up truck and to avoid lawsuits. It may be a jaundiced view but it's one that I think is rooted in reality.

As to safety and insurance concerns, please show us some evidence that the "Canadian School" puts you at any greater risk.

It doesn't matter what the primary aim of the manufacturer is. That is not relevant to the conversation. The only thing that matters is what the published towing limitations are on the vehicle. That same manufacturer will be called as a witness for the plaintiff when a driver who makes the decision to grossly exceed the towing limits of a vehicle kills or injures another person. It will be one more piece of evidence that is used in a civil or criminal suit. Sorry, it is that simple. The plaintiff's legal team won't care what was reinforced or modified on the vehicle.

it is your assets, future earnings, and possibly your freedom at risk. Choose whatever school of thought you wish.

Here is a quote from a towing article online(you can google the text to find the specific page):

"
Law Of Negligence
Trailered loads exceeding the weight-carrying capacity as specified in the vehicle's owners' manuals, must be equipped with a weight-distributing hitch in order to meet the vehicle manufacturer's higher tow rating - and allow you to be towing in a safe and prudent manner. That's really important.
Towing beyond any vehicle's manufacturer's weight ratings-or without regard to the properly-equipped limitations a vehicle's manufacturer places on the towing vehicle-relates directly to the "Law of Negligence", and places you, the driver, bearing the full weight of liability issues.
"A plaintiff who was injured as a result of some negligent conduct on the part of a defendant is entitled to recover compensation for such injury from that defendant," quotes Richard Alexander, a major injury trial attorney in San Jose, California.
"One test that is helpful in determining whether or not a person was negligent is to ask and answer the question whether or not, if a person of ordinary prudence had been in the same situation and possessed of the same knowledge, he or she would have foreseen or anticipated that someone might have been injured by or as a result of his or her action or inaction.

"If the answer to that question is 'yes,' and if the action or inaction reasonably could have been avoided, then not to avoid it would be negligence," warns Alexander. (For more about this subject go to www.alexanderinjury.com.)"
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