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Old 12-07-2013, 11:38 PM   #71
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No. Authority is NOT being replaced by another source, it is being replaced by empirical testing. This is how every scientific advance in history has been made. It is called the scientific method. It is very strict. There must be sucessful observable results at each stage in order to proceed.

Thus far, aside from claims that the authority must be obeyed, there has not been a single dissenting opinion containing any data or any evidence defining what the failure will be. "It can't be done," is not a useful claim in a technical or engineering context. It tends to sound like an argument that one is about to sail off the edge of a flat earth, only with fewer specifics. My question remains, how do you account for the hundreds of vehicles and millions of miles of success?

I was in university when we went to the moon. I often wonder how we totally lost that can-do spirit and became mezmerized by authority.
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:07 AM   #72
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"how it destroyed the Honda on their first trip out west leaving them stranded"

It is interesting how we form opinions based on what is really very little information. We have been setting up Odysseys since they were first introduced in 1999 and have now set up several hundred plus a number of Ridgelines, Pilots and Accura's that all have the same basic platform and drivetrain. The Odyssey is the best tow vehicle of all these even though it has the lowest tow rating. The Odyssey rating was set by Lee Ioccoca from Chrysler fame.

One of our customers currently has a 2002 Odyssey that he has been towing a 2002 30' Classic extensively for 11 years now and has over 200,000 miles on it. Certainly if they were dropping like flies we would no longer be recomending them to customers.

In your friends case we do not know the year make and model of trailer, how it was connected, which was likely wrong. Odysseys without the factory tow package need a transmission cooler added etc. We also don't know if he was given any education on how to drive it. You get out west on a 7 mile grade with a box trailer and 30 mph headwind you need to slow down and let the engine run in its powerband not lugging or screaming.

There are a lot of really bad towing trailers out there. We have a 17' 2800 pound square trailer on our lot at the moment. So often the education with a customer that arrives driving an Odyessy or something similar is "no you cannot tow that one" "I know we said you can tow the 5000 pound Airstream and you can"

Remember they don't build square Airplanes with 12" deep steel frames.

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Old 12-08-2013, 06:27 AM   #73
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I am one of Andy's customers who tows with an Odyssey. Our trailer is a 34' International. I can confirm that in our experience the Ody is a terrific tow vehicle, stable, powerful and capable.

I've said this a number of times before, but it bears repeating. I've got an OBDII reader installed that, amongst other things, measures the hp developed at the wheel. The highest output ever registered was 141hp when going from a standing start on a steep hill. Towing on the highway asks for about 50hp, when level and with no headwind.

It doesn't take much power to tow an Airstream. It's nice to have, and torque is even nicer, but you do not need a huge monster of an engine especially when most of it isn't used to lug the TV around.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:03 AM   #74
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I think there is a general misconception arising that since trucks have BOF construction, and cars have unibody construction, the truck must be "stronger" simply by virtue of having a body on frame. Not necessarily true.

Crawl under your unibody car and look carefully at how it is formed. It's not a simple eggshell with some holes punched in it for mounting parts. The frame is literally folded and rolled into the chassis. This unibody chassis idea is used on cars with 600 HP motors. How is that possible if the chassis is not incredible strong?

Let's consider for a moment the Chrysler 300 which has been under scrutiny in this thread. Using the same unibody shell, it comes in many flavors of engines - V6, and two V8s. Let's look at the big 6.2L V8 mounted in this car, and churning out 470 HP and 470 ft.lbs of torque. Same "unibody" that I have with a V6. What might we want to change on the car if we went from a 300 horse V6 to an almost 500 horse V8? How about the suspension components - springs, shocks, brakes and the bits holding them? Imagine punching that bad boy off a dead start. Are the wheels going to fly off the body? Will the body twist up like a pretzel? I don't think so.

Unibody design allows for building the strength parts - e.g. beams, braces, gussets - directly into the body. Folded/welded metal box beams in a unibody will do every bit the work of a closed box steel beam frame member. It's only a question of design, not fundamentals. If this were not true, the racing world would have ended 100 years ago.

The place for scrutiny then, is the parts they attach to this chassis. And this is true for either BOF or unibody. It's certainly fair to question whether the tires, wheels, brakes, shocks, springs and such are "good enough" for this towing application. I think that is the actual engineering question to solve for. One could say, how do I increase my GVWR or my GAWR? And within reasonable ranges, it may simply be some suspension components. Or, maybe it is as simple as distributing the weight. Consider that in the above example of the V6 and V8 Chrysler, there is a difference of 375 pounds of curb weight on the same chassis.

Let's consider safety. The 2012 Ford F-150 gets a 4-star rating, while the 2012 Chrysler 300 gets a 5-star rating. Inherently then, built into the original design, is a higher safety rating for the smaller vehicle? How is this possible in the bigger is better model? It's made possible because good design is not a simple matter of mass or brute force.

You can't judge a book by its cover. Looks can be deceiving. Are there more cliches to toss in? What counts is how a thing is designed, not how it appears outwardly. I think a chassis designed for 470 horsepower motors is an inherently strong design. What remains is to examine the bits that might need changing, and to properly arrange the hitch. And we mustn't exaggerate what is being done. I am not going to add 2000# of payload to a car with a 1000# spec. I am perhaps going to add 1000# to a car with a 1100# spec which may get raised by some added bits to say 1300#. That's the nature of the task here.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:24 AM   #75
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And, one more time, let's talk about the manufacturer's tow rating of this car. It is 1000# stated. How was that specific number determined? Let's look at the possibilities. First, it might have been determined by test. If so, it raises some obvious questions. How did it come out to a round number like 1000, just like dozens and dozens of other cars not marketed as tow vehicles? Why wasn't it 700? or 1300? Next, why isn't it closer to the 3500# or 5000# rating on other vehicles that use similar chassis and components, like minivans and crossovers? Again, look under the cars and study the components. And finally, if it was actually tested, where are the results found? Can anyone produce a test report of any kind? Well, I realize these would be company confidential of course, but the point is, no one can show any DATA regarding the low numbers on cars not marketed for towing.

Another way of assigning the number is to use arbitrary marketing decisions. As Andy T. pointed out in his radio interview, makers are always taking a risk with tow ratings because they only control 1/3 of the towing equation: the car. The hitch and trailer are out of their purview. So, if they are going to take a risk by offering a tow rating like 9000#, they will want a reward to offset that risk. The reward is more sales of those vehicles. Tow rating is a major top 10 spec for selling trucks. Since almost no one considers a sedan for towing, there is no reward available by raising the tow number. It won't sell enough additional units to offset the risk and the cost of testing and conformance.

When you see all sorts of different sedan chassis made by many different makers, and they all carry a "1000#" tow rating, the best assumption is that this is an arbitrary value assigned with no testing, and no particular thought about the usefulness of a towing spec. And it makes perfect sense for them to do that. I would do the same thing, unless I was going to specifically try to aggressively market a sedan for towing. Then I would test it, and then make TV ads showing the car towing the trailer or boat and really sell it. But, I think they know people love trucks for that action, and so they don't bother trying to convert a few hundred people who might like the idea. Mass marketing is always about following the crowd.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:14 AM   #76
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It is incorrect to assume that BOF vehicles are automatically and inherently stronger than unibody vehicles. The opposite is often true, especially for twisting resistance. A narrow frame will twist far easier than a wider unibody vehicle of similar weight.

I suspect that this perception has to do with the visibility of the frame - it looks strong - vs the invisibility of the built-in strength of unibody construction.

Unibody vehicles are routinely designed for far higher speeds than BOF vehicles and, outside the US, are routinely driven at these speeds. In Europe, it is far from unusual to see cars travelling at 120mph and faster. All of these cars are of unibody construction and have zero issues dealing with the resulting demands, be that on the drivetrain, the body or the brakes.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:15 AM   #77
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mstephens has made the case for thinking outside the box. After 25 plus years, I came to the conclusions that there are better alternatives to a 3/4 ton PU to pull a 25' AS. Before setting up my '13 Grand Cherokee, I put it on the lift, took photos and sent them to Andy at CanAm. The way the receiver hitch is bolted to the unibody is impressive. When I ordered my ProPride hitch, I had the actual hitch sent without a hole so that I could get it as far into the receiver as possible. Probably moved the hitch an inch and a half or two inches closer to the rear axle.

We've had a lot of RV's and several sailboats over the years and have made a conscious effort to leave a lot of stuff in the garage that, it turns out, we really didn't need anyway! I've had a half a dozen big tow trucks over the years and we really enjoy the ride, comfort and economy of the Grand Cherokee with a factory tow package, six speed auto and a hemi. As I've mentioned in past threads, the Jeep has more HP and torque that the 2012 Chevy 2500 I traded in.

There are a lot of reasons to use a truck to pull your AS, but there are just as many reasons to think outside the box and look at alternatives to those trucks and big SUV's.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:47 AM   #78
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Denis---
Congrats on the Jeep. Now, do you mean you move the hitch ball closer to the body by drilling your own hole in the shank? I know that was something Andy mentioned that one should get the ball as close to the body as possible.

I am not yet planning (yet) on a ProPride, but I assume the same would be possible with any hitch I choose. It definitely makes sense to get the ball close.

Nice to hear your story with the Grand Cherokee - thanks for posting it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:24 AM   #79
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Is the 3.6 that they put in the 300 the same one they put in the mini-vans?

Here's a fantasy combo: Hemi in a Caravan. Then you'd really have something!
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:35 AM   #80
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Close to the back bumper is a good thing no matter what the TV is.....
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:53 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
Is the 3.6 that they put in the 300 the same one they put in the mini-vans?

Here's a fantasy combo: Hemi in a Caravan. Then you'd really have something!
The V6 I have the is the 3.6L Pentastar. It has 292 HP and 260 ft/lb torque. And yes, it is in the T&C Minivan, although listed at 283 HP for 2012. Anytime you see "3.6L" it will be the Pentastar.

Yes, the Hemi has a bit more power at 325 and more torque, it also has radically more cost in maintenance. IMO, considering the added weight, and added maintenance, the HEMI is a marginal plus. If you got the dough, no problem. If you want plenty of power and a bit better economy, the V6 is really a killer deal. The gas mileage is just fantastic. I am getting better mileage by far than my wife's 2011 Escape 3.0L V6.

I was also excited by the HEMI until I learned of the added maintenance, and I think it takes premium gas too.

Drive one of these new V6 Pentastars and I think you will be impressed.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:54 PM   #82
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Close to the back bumper is a good thing no matter what the TV is.....
Yeah, that is REALLY CLOSE. That's ok?
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #83
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Yes, I had the shank sent without a hole. Used an 11/16" bit and a drill press with lots of cutting oil!
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #84
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Paul laughed and shared his story of their Honda late model Odyssey that was altered to tow their first RV - a trailer they purchased and how it destroyed the Honda on their first trip out west leaving them stranded.
Not attempting to derail this thread, but Honda has had some significant transmission issues in the Odyssey in the past. There was a class action lawsuit against them a few years ago and they extended the warranty and recalled them over the problem.

The Odyssey is a great vehicle and many of our friends own them. Everyone that I know that has one from the recalled era has eventually had to put in a new transmission. None of my friends were using them to tow. Anecdotally there are fewer issues with both older and newer models. Hopefully Honda has corrected the issue.

I wouldn't discount an entire class of vehicles just from one data point from a model with a history of documented problems.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011...-persist/?_r=0
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