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Old 08-21-2002, 08:40 AM   #43
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Re: V6 front wheel drive

Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne F
Bottom Line

Can Am the large "Airstream" dealer in Canada has been testing successfully and recommending front wheel drive V6, V8 tow vehicles for almost 20 years.

Before you "knock" the new age way of thinking TRY IT! You may be surprised.

Oh yes... Can Am does support the idea of Windstars pulling 34 ft Airstreams.
BTW Whose Bottom Line is it anyway ?

If Cam Am has been doing it for 20 years I wouldn't call that a new age thinking it might be incorrect thinking. No matter how you cut it physics is physics and lawyers are lawyers. It takes weight and wheelbase to control a load properly and safely. More important if you do have a accident and the lawyers get you into court none of your arguments will hold up as you are towing out of the manufactures rating. These cases happen every day with floors collapsing, hoist failing and numerous other case of equipment failing due to improper use and loading. It can all be done but when something fails and you are responsible that sinking feeling in your stomach is all your assets going down the drain..

On another note dose Cam Am ask their customers to sign a release or a hold harmless statement after the set up the tow vehicles?
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Old 08-21-2002, 08:50 AM   #44
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Jim,
I would concur with your thoughts. Any vehicle performs well on a straight line level road. It's the exception conditions where your choice of tow vehicles will make the difference. Get into an emergency handling situation and your choice of tow vehicle will become very apparent. That's not new age, that's from the school of hard knocks.

Jack
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Old 08-21-2002, 09:07 AM   #45
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Somehow a 6000 pound trailer pushing a 4000 pound tow vehicle down a 9 % grade doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling!
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Old 08-21-2002, 09:19 AM   #46
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Gwsullivan,

Is that when they call it the tail wagging the dog??
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Old 08-21-2002, 09:31 AM   #47
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Towing with a matchbox

Jim Clark,
That is a beautiful response.

John
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Old 08-21-2002, 09:39 AM   #48
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Ford Motor Company

As an ex employee of Ford Motor Company (Parts and Service Division) I would want to get the opinion of the manufacture of the tow vehicle. Since they spent a pile of $ to develope the vehicle in question that opinion weighs big in my decision.
Ford makes Windstar's and they make F250's. Each of these vehicles has a purpose. Sure the end consumer can do what they want with the unit. The consumer bought it. However, why then didn't a global manufacturer recommend this use? Why doesn't another vehicle manufacturer build this type of unit.

I gotta tell you that Ford, GM, and any other vehicle manufacturer is in the biz to move units. (and not get sued) So if a niche vehicle were possible to tow big vehicles, the big guys would be all over it. Look at the niche of the PT Cruiser! That car will not last for ever and it is not a big seller. However, it fills the mission of moving some more units! If it were possible (legally and safely) the vehcle manufacturers would have done it.

Then there is the REmanufacturer of the vehicle. Do they have test facillties across the country? Are they regulated by DOT? Does the unit even have to comply with any US regs? If something they built went wrong do they have the assets to fix it? What research have they done? Does it take an expert to operate the unit? Does this use adversely affect durablity, and reliablity?

Just a couple of unanswered questions?

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Old 08-21-2002, 12:52 PM   #49
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Bret, you betcha!
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:55 PM   #50
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Yes, but ...

He's talking about 10,000 pounds pushing that 4000# tow vehicle down the hill. I want to be somewhere else.
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:01 PM   #51
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Another option

Actually the Windstar is closer to 3500# and the trailer might be 7500 #.

But there is another alternative for towing the 31' on the flat plain. And I have seen pictures to prove it works. So it must be true.

A bicycle!

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Old 08-21-2002, 03:14 PM   #52
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Windstar

I turned my leased F150 HD back to the dealer and leased a new Windstar. I will not put a hitch on it and will hire someone to tow my 31 ft. A/S 1 km to park it for the winter. Don't worry, you won't see my Windstar hitched to any trailer.

Interesting to see all the coments pro and mostly con. That's what this forum is all about.
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Old 08-22-2002, 08:13 AM   #53
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Thumbs up Windstar / front wheel drive tow vehicle

BOTTON LINE.... Lets try this again! Windstar as a tow vehicle.

Gordon..... "Based on many negative comments re your inquiry
"Old school" thinking is alive and well.

Fifteen years ago I bought my first mountain bike. It was a heavy duty top of the line brute of a bike that weight in at over 35 LBs. During the years that followed almost every component on the bike either broke, bent, or just wore out from nothing more than casual use. Last year I bought my third mountain bike. The new bike has independant suspension with fully adjustable air shocks front and rear, carbon fibre components, 30% less spokes, silica laced performance tubeless tires, the latest design technology and a light weight frame and components. The new bike is faster, tougher, better handling, quicker, much more forgiving on my body, "safer", and weighs in at just "25 Lbs.

My point here is that the advancement of engineering and technology is evident in all industries. The auto industry is especially included and it now has a major influence on tow vehicle capabilities and tow vehicle appropriatness.

Can Am, the Airstream dealer in Canada are towing specialists, now 30 years in business. They are aware of these advances have under their belt extensive experiance and testing with all levels of tow vehicles from Mamoth trucks to and yes, Ford Windstars. As it was said before by other respondances, give them a call (1 888 226 2678). Get free professional advice. They will be happy to talk with you.

I find it moderately disturbing that many negative comments have been given to you by forum members regarding your request. I would question and be leary of advice given from a person who has just towed with a big heavy rear wheel drive truck. Does that person have experiance of how a modern front wheel drive vehicle would perform as a tow vehicle especially if they themselves have not experianced the "ride"? Safe towing is not just "the weight of a tow vehicle" or the weight of the trailer, or the "75% factor", but a "combination" of tow vehicle, trailer, appropriate connection equipement and quality installation of the above. To sum up... the whole package.

Safe towing is serious business and needs all the respect and expertice available. Take to a towing specialist before making your decision. Good luck with your desicion.
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Old 08-22-2002, 08:58 AM   #54
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Windstar towing

A quick net search picked this off the net from someone who has been there (and gone):

<quote>
I've been there. Have a '95 Windstar and a 3500lb boat. Thought I could get away with towing it but, it was no fun. The van worked very hard on the hills. It was the main reason I bought the truck. I think the Windstars are rated 2000 lbs towing and 3500 lbs with the optional tow pkg. Also, the trans has been suspect in Windstars from the get go. It would be risky to abuse by towing greater than recommended.
If you get anything bigger than a pop-up, consider a different tow vehicle. A '99 isn't exactly a beater.
Anyone telling you they are towing 8K with the van is jerking your chain.
<enquote>

You are comparing your mountain bike, which was engineered to be strong and light, to a van that was not engineered to be a tow vehicle. Apples and oranges!

Engineering only advances when it addresses a specific goal. The goal was clear in the bike example: strong and light. The goal of high towing capacity is nonexistant in the Windstar case: it has been 2000# for years. Not addressed=not improved.

The Windstar has the same cc and hp engine as a Chevy Impala (or my Buick, sans the supercharger). Even with the help of the supercharger, a 3.8L 6 is not a towing engine.

The mention of the Windstar transmission above is interesting. My son in law lost the transmission in his business Windstar twice and he never towed anything.

What would be interesting is the number of CAN-AM customers who started with a Windstar and quietly moved on to something more suitable. I doubt that CAN-AM keeps book on that.
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Old 08-22-2002, 09:02 AM   #55
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More quotes from Windstar users

<quote>
The Windstar will not be able to come close to the task you envision for it. I love my own '99 Windstar as a family car, put I'm
not sure I would trust it to tow more than its own shadow.

Here is a quotation from another person in response to a similar question on a different discussion group...

"The Windstar, like all the other FWD minivans, is passenger car based, meaning it doesn't have a robust structure for towing, including frame, running gear, transmission, brakes. Don't take that 3500 lb. limit seriously, it applies to a base van with driver only, and doesn't take into account the weight of the trailer tongue on the rear springs and wheels. For a deluxe van (A/C, extra seat, lots of goodies) with Mom, Pop, 2 kids, a dog, some cargo, subtract about 1000 lbs. Also look at the tongue weight, which will be at least 10 pct of the loaded trailer weight. A large popup weighing 2000 empty will weigh a lot more by the time you load it up with water, supplies, bedding, battery, propane (yep, these last 2 are not included in the dry weight in the sales brochures). So don't get a large popup or other trailer weighing more than 1500-2000 empty. If you want to really tow, consider trading up to a standard truck-based van. Good luck."
<enquote>
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Old 08-22-2002, 09:06 AM   #56
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By the way

Those last quotes came from a newsgroup called "FORD TRUCK ENTHUSIASTS"!

I would hate to hear what they would say if they were not "ENTHUSIASTS".
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