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Old 08-23-2013, 03:45 PM   #57
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1980 Caprice weighed in at 3800lbs had a whopping 155hp with 240ftlbs of torque with the 305v8 and without a any passengers or cargo it would run 0-60 in 12.6 seconds.It could barely pull itself.
I sold them new,not the best decade for the automobile industry.........
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #58
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So, are todays vehicles made better and more reliable than those of our childhood ??
Yes they are...but are nowhere near as FUN!!!

Especially when combined with Stream'n!!!!

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Old 08-23-2013, 08:31 PM   #59
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Bob....I'll give you that. It was an art thing back then.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:00 PM   #60
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Today with the need to keep weight down the parts are designed to meet a limit and that is it.
Not sure I agree - today's cars are, typically, heavier than their cousins from the 80's and 70's, not lighter. As an example, a 1995 Honda Odyssey weighs in at 3,459 lbs. The 2013 model comes in at 4613lbs for the Touring trim, 1300lbs more.

With better brakes, stronger transmissions, more powerful engines, stiffer bodies (body on frame is not automatically stronger than unibody, quite the opposite, especially with narrow frames).

What I am reading in some posts in this thread, not trying to single anybody out, is that today's vehicles are better in pretty much any old way than the vehicles of yore (yore being the 1980's in this particular example).

And while it was fine to use those inferior vehicles for towing 30 years ago, it's not ok to use much superior vehicles for towing the very same trailers today.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #61
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Andy,
Specs are still derived in the same manner they were then......believe it or not. There is absolutely no logical reason why auto manufacturers would lie to the short side on vehicle capability. It defies logic. QRD (Quality, reliability, and durability) are light years ahead of those old beasts. BUT, capacities are still capacities...or else durability suffer greatly...and some rigs I have seen definitely flirt with, and border on the unsafe.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #62
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Not sure I agree - today's cars are, typically, heavier than their cousins from the 80's and 70's, not lighter. As an example, a 1995 Honda Odyssey weighs in at 3,459 lbs. The 2013 model comes in at 4613lbs for the Touring trim, 1300lbs more.

With better brakes, stronger transmissions, more powerful engines, stiffer bodies (body on frame is not automatically stronger than unibody, quite the opposite, especially with narrow frames).

What I am reading in some posts in this thread, not trying to single anybody out, is that today's vehicles are better in pretty much any old way than the vehicles of yore (yore being the 1980's in this particular example).

And while it was fine to use those inferior vehicles for towing 30 years ago, it's not ok to use much superior vehicles for towing the very same trailers today.
Well you are welcome to disagree but the fact is, excess weight from vehicle components has been removed due to CAFE. Your example is only comparing nameplates not vehicle components. Is the 1995 Honda exactly the same wheelbase, track width, overall length, width and height of a 2013. Does it have the same driveline, the same equipment? The fact that consumers have again demanded vehicles with more more power, more room, more bells and whistles, doesn't negate the validity of my statement.

This growth of size and weight in almost all vehicles is common. A new model is introduced then it gets bigger and heavier as consumers or the market wants more and more and it adds weight. Then a new smaller vehicle is introduced to do the same basic job to maintain CAFE average.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:34 PM   #63
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The mfg tow rating for this 2014 Honda Odyssey you refer to is 3500lbs maximum which is not bad for a mini van.Peak horsepower and torque do not develop till 5700 RPM so she needs to be wound up to work on pulling.This is common on small displacement passenger cars these days.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:04 AM   #64
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The mfg tow rating for this 2014 Honda Odyssey you refer to is 3500lbs maximum which is not bad for a mini van.Peak horsepower and torque do not develop till 5700 RPM so she needs to be wound up to work on pulling.This is common on small displacement passenger cars these days.
Thing is, you don't need peak horsepower. The Odyssey comes with an overhead 6 cylinder cam engine, 3.5 litre, that develops 240hp. 3.5 litre isn't small displacement - at least not outside the US where small, powerful engines have been the standard since the 1950's. When I first moved to North America I was shocked by how little power manufacturers got out of huge eight cylinder engines.

But here's the thing: Steve (MrUKToad) has measured horsepower output during towing and the highest he could get it was 110hp (if I remember correctly) during sharp acceleration, with the average output during towing 80hp. Steve tows a trailer with his Sienna that's heavier than mine.

I was in a situation yesterday where I wanted to accelerate sharply (no trailer in tow) to merge into fast moving highway traffic. There was an 18 wheeler coming up from the back and I didn't want to get stuck behind it.

The Honda's engine revved up smoothly to 5500 to get me up to speed, fast. This didn't put undue stress on the engine, it's been designed to do just that. Once on the highway it settled to a steady 2000rpm at 60mp/h and switched two of its six cylinders off, going into eco mode, where it stayed for the next two hours.

Earlier that day I needed to tow my trailer from a lot into traffic. I waited for a suitable gap and then accelerated smoothly into traffic - the engine never revved above 4500 and then again did what it always does - settle happily at 2500rmp at 60mp/h. It rarely goes into eco mode when towing but that's understandable.

Nobody has yet addressed the fundamental question: People used to tow with vehicles that were less powerful, less capable, had worse suspension, terrible brakes. Yet, they did so without an epidemic of accidents and cars getting destroyed in the process.

Had that been so, Airstream would be out of business by now.

I've heard a multitude of opinions ranging from "cars were over-engineered" which, having driven cars from the 80's myself have an incredibly hard time agreeing with to "it didn't matter, everybody was slower those days" which is incorrect - if anything, the average highway speed has dropped during the last 30 years. The "body on frame is stronger" argument lost validity some twenty years ago (for passenger cars) when the Europeans and Japanese showed the US car industry just how strong a unibody vehicle can be.

My observation still stands.
  • Today's passenger cars are far more capable than passenger cars from 30 years ago - and I don't think anybody could argue differently.
  • People used these cars for towing with little ill-effects.
  • So, it follows, for me, that a more capable vehicle should have even less of an issue.

I am not trying to be argumentative, or changing anybody's mind, just looking at this as an interesting observation.

It's probably also worth mentioning that I understand that my personal setup isn't right for everybody. Our average trip (one way) is less than 200 miles. We go away for the weekend, perhaps a week here and there, we're not full-timers.

Were that the case I still would not purchase a truck, but I'd get a vehicle with higher payload capacity and more torque.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:14 AM   #65
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Bob....I'll give you that. It was an art thing back then.
I'll give you that Rich, there is definitely something about the look back then.
Especially with something like the Loewy designed 1953 Stude Commander Coupe. Way ahead of it's time. Dad had three, plus a 58 Golden Hawk.


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Old 08-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #66
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Nobody has yet addressed the fundamental question: People used to tow with vehicles that were less powerful, less capable, had worse suspension, terrible brakes. Yet, they did so without an epidemic of accidents and cars getting destroyed in the process.

Had that been so, Airstream would be out of business by now.

I've heard a multitude of opinions ranging from "cars were over-engineered" which, having driven cars from the 80's myself have an incredibly hard time agreeing with to "it didn't matter, everybody was slower those days" which is incorrect - if anything, the average highway speed has dropped during the last 30 years. The "body on frame is stronger" argument lost validity some twenty years ago (for passenger cars) when the Europeans and Japanese showed the US car industry just how strong a unibody vehicle can be.

My observation still stands.
  • Today's passenger cars are far more capable than passenger cars from 30 years ago - and I don't think anybody could argue differently.
  • People used these cars for towing with little ill-effects.
  • So, it follows, for me, that a more capable vehicle should have even less of an issue.
If we were following the safety standards of 40 years ago, yes, your setup (with a minivan more powerful than the automobiles of the 70's and 80's) would have been great. Yet, the safety standards have improved tremendously in the past 30-40 years. Just because something was safe 30 years ago, does not mean that it is safe now. Just because you can, does not mean you should.

The ultimate authority on the tow rating of a vehicle is its manufacturer. They are the one who designed it, developed it, and know its capabilities and limitations the best. If Honda/Toyota rate their minivans as 3500#, then like it or not, that's the towing capacity. Are they being conservative? Maybe. But it does not change the fact that it is rated for 3500#. Nothing good comes out of exceeding the ratings of a vehicle. At best, you put a load on your vehicle that it was never designed to take, and it will wear out quickly. The worst case scenario, god forbid, you'd be in an accident.

Now a days with the focus on fuel economy, many cars and trucks are losing their capability to gain better fuel economy. This is the tend. The RV industry does not seem to be following this trend. They should design light RVs, that can be pulled with small/midsize SUVs and/or minivans (not everyone can/want to buy a truck).

Airstream had the Argosy line in the 70's that were really light (For example, 1979 30 ft with 4200 dry trailer weight and 405 dry tongue weight). Also Argosy's were cheaper than other Airstream products (Think Buick vs Cadillac). I would think there is a (growing) market for lighter/cheaper Airstreams. Besides the Sport model (which are very small, not good if you need a more spacious trailer), there are no light or cheap Airstreams. I really hope they revive the Argosy line or something similar. I cannot believe why they can't build lighter trailers with all the advances in technology in the pst 30 years.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #67
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I really don't have any hard facts or serious comments tonight, I'm just sitting by my campfire surfing.

Here's what I can say. I bought my 05 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins 6 speed manual before I ever even gave an Airstream a passing thought.

I think I should wax and detail it just to say good job Dodge Ram. We'll be hooking up pretty soon and you can do what you were built for, solid towing performance.

Be safe.

Gary
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:26 PM   #68
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I'll give you that Rich, there is definitely something about the look back then.
Especially with something like the Loewy designed 1953 Stude Commander Coupe. Way ahead of it's time. Dad had three, plus a 58 Golden Hawk.


Our Victoria won't match it with style. But makes up for it in originality.


Bob
These are the ones I long for....along with a late 50s or early 60s AS. Someday.........





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Old 08-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #69
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These are the ones I long for....along with a late 50s or early 60s AS. Someday.........
Can't GM just wrap one of those bodies over a 2500 Duramax?? :-)
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:34 PM   #70
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Can't GM just wrap one of those bodies over a 2500 Duramax?? :-)

Well, I'd bet a detuned Duramax with a 4l90e and upgraded rear end could be put in, given no budget. Of course I'd keep the original engine, all rebuilt and painted up in my future man cave to set the beer on and the painted up original axle as an ottoman.

I wouldn't really do it though. Pulling a 1960 25ish footer would be pretty light.
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