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Old 03-25-2012, 11:37 PM   #29
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Friday, if you're tired of the questions and discussions stay out of them. I am also tired of you summing up reasonable discussions with certain liability, and dismissing those who question "law" as jackasses.

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Old 03-25-2012, 11:39 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mack-in-nc View Post
the various 'you can tow this' ratings?

My RV books all say that you do not exceed the GVWR. If it is 9300 lbs and you try pulling 9350, you are in deep do-do.

Okay but my Airstream book, "Airstream the History of the Land Yacht' by Bryan Burkhart and David Hunt shows Airstreams being towed by all sorts of vehicles...mostly mid size sedans, station wagons and pickup trucks of the 50s and early 60s (when most of the photos in this book were taken) but also, very early in the book, what appears to be a 19 footer or so being towed by what appears to be a 10 speed english bicycle of what we used to call the 'racer' type!" Now I am sure this was a stunt of some sort, but it does make me wonder..are Airstreams easier to tow that other trailers of the same size or is it that you truly can exceed the GVWR, even if it is not a great idea?
Wiggle Room ???
Very little if you have to talk to an insurance adjuster ... and jeopardizes safety of others sharing your roadway. From a former F/T Leo and Insurance adjuster. You really put yourself in an indefensible position ... maybe, just maybe, you won't get caught for a while; but my experience is that in the long run you will be the one who pays. YMMV

What a huge investment in AS, TV, and lives to put at risk with overloaded vehicles ... jmho.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:28 AM   #31
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One can question the law all you want but it must be obeyed. If you do not like it then go through proper channels and get the law changed. Calling people names only makes your case for pushing the limits that much less realistic. We need to learn to be responsible for our own actions, and not try to rationalize out why we got [caught] when that time comes. jim
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #32
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I am a retired professional truck driver and had to deal every day with the aggrivation of weigh stations. But can you imagine the carnage on the roads if these weight laws werent enforced? Sal.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:06 AM   #33
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I am a retired professional truck driver and had to deal every day with the aggrivation of weigh stations. But can you imagine the carnage on the roads if these weight laws werent enforced? Sal.

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Hi Sal,

The sentiments expressed in the body of your post don't seem to me to match those expressed in your signature line.

What am I missing?

Ken
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:24 AM   #34
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It all boils down to that tight spot..

One can get by most of the time being over the GVW limits,, but that moment when some fool pulls out in front of you at 60mph is when that gray margin becomes very important..

After 120 years of making cars and trucks,, the companies have a good idea what works and what doesn't.. So the door sticker becomes ones Bible as such and should stay within the limits as much as possable..

Now if one watches what gets loaded in the trailer and what stays home is more important than most can see.. No one that I know ever totals up what they stuff in every shelf or corner or under the bed. I starts to add up real fast.

What got me,, was when I was looking at SOB trailers at the RV show last January how many trailers once loaded up with full holding tanks and fresh water and propane are with in 500 to 700 lbs of the load limits already!. It does not take very many cast iron skillets or bags of charcoal to reach that limit real fast..

My dear wife alone packs 150 lbs of hair shampoo and women things.. Main reason I gave up riding a motorcycle on long trips!

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:33 AM   #35
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The phrasing of my original questions seems to led some folks in the wrong direction...so allow me to get in here with some clarification..

I have no intention of pulling a nine thousand lb plus AS down the road with a TV that has no business pulling more than ...say...seven or eight thousand...I shudder at coming down out of the Blue Ridge (or worse yet, the Rockies...) while wondering where my brakes went...

I am not trying or thinking of trying of circumventing the law...I am wondering if there is a 'built in' safely factor..."this thing can really tow 10K but let's say nine, just to be on the safe side.."
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by mack-in-nc View Post
The phrasing of my original questions seems to led some folks in the wrong direction...so allow me to get in here with some clarification..

I have no intention of pulling a nine thousand lb plus AS down the road with a TV that has no business pulling more than ...say...seven or eight thousand...I shudder at coming down out of the Blue Ridge (or worse yet, the Rockies...) while wondering where my brakes went...

I am not trying or thinking of trying of circumventing the law...I am wondering if there is a 'built in' safely factor..."this thing can really tow 10K but let's say nine, just to be on the safe side.."
A few thoughts:
Everything involved in this equation should have been designed by a competent engineer. Sound engineering practice involves designing everything with a safety factor build in. Sound engineering management practice should involve not publishing the safety factor, because someone is going to say, "Well, if there is a 25% safety margin, then obviously I can use it up to rated+24% no problem.

Considering these factors, one should be able to safely use anything up to its rating. If it makes you feel better to leave your own safety margin on top of that, that is fine.

If however someone wants to gamble on operating in the space between the rating and the safety margin, they would be better off to take their money to Vegas and gamble to afford higher rated equipment.

Ken
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #37
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Hi Sal,

The sentiments expressed in the body of your post don't seem to me to match those expressed in your signature line.

What am I missing?

Ken
Example: keeping overweight-unsafe vehicles off the road=good. Doing an inspection on my rig just because you have a gun and a badge and holding meup for 45 minutes and the only thing you find is a burned-out backup light ON THE TRACTOR 40 feet from the tail end. $50. summons. Sal. PS the 10 most dangerous words in the English language: Hi, Im from the government. Im here to help you. Ronald Reagan.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #38
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Tow ratings are decided using factors such as customer demand, the needs of the marketing department and what the competition are doing rather than any mathematical or scientific method.
As an engineer, I beg to differ with that last part. Automobiles are designed by registered professional mechanical and automotive engineers, who work exclusively with mathematical and scientific methods. I have never designed an automobile, but I understand enough about the process of designing machines to know that towing capacity is based solely on mathematical and scientific methods!

For example, let's take two vehicles. In this case, since this is the Airstream Forums, take new extended-length Airstream Interstate 3500 class B motorhome and the standard-length Airstream Interstate 3500. Both have identical engines (3-liter turbo-diesel), identical GVWR (11,030 pounds), and identical GCWR (15,250 pounds). They even have the same make, model, and capacity of hitch receiver. The towing capacity of the extended-length Interstate 3500 is only 5000 pounds; the towing capacity of the standard-length is 7500 pounds. One reason for this discrepancy is a mathematical and scientific principle called "moment of inertia." Because the extended-length Interstate 3500 has a trailer hitch that is 16 inches farther away from the rear axle, the effective tongue weight is magnified accordingly; although the actual tongue weight is less, its effect on the rear supension is the same as the higher weight closer to the axle. There are dozens of other factors that all come into play, and every single one of them can be calculated mathematically by someone who has the training and expertise to crunch the numbers.

By the way, this same issue of "moment of inertia" is one reason why a half-ton pickup can tow a fifth-wheel trailer that is so much larger than any pull-behind trailer it could possibly handle. The trailer tongue weight is directly over the rear axle, not several feet behind the axle.

Customer demand and marketing departments only affect towing capacity in one way: if brand X loses business to brand Y because of low towing capacity, then the ruling elite over at brand X will tell their engineers, "Design me a vehicle with towing capacity higher than brand Y." And, lo, in a few years, it will come to pass, but only at the expense of something else (like smooth rides) that had to be sacrificed to get the higher towing capacity.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #39
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"Automobiles are designed by registered professional mechanical and automotive engineers, who work exclusively with mathematical and scientific methods."

Protagonist


Agree fully.....

BUT sadly they are not marketed by said engineers.

SAE

Bob
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:59 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
As an engineer, I beg to differ with that last part. Automobiles are designed by registered professional mechanical and automotive engineers, who work exclusively with mathematical and scientific methods. I have never designed an automobile, but I understand enough about the process of designing machines to know that towing capacity is based solely on mathematical and scientific methods!

For example, let's take two vehicles. In this case, since this is the Airstream Forums, take new extended-length Airstream Interstate 3500 class B motorhome and the standard-length Airstream Interstate 3500. Both have identical engines (3-liter turbo-diesel), identical GVWR (11,030 pounds), and identical GCWR (15,250 pounds). They even have the same make, model, and capacity of hitch receiver. The towing capacity of the extended-length Interstate 3500 is only 5000 pounds; the towing capacity of the standard-length is 7500 pounds. One reason for this discrepancy is a mathematical and scientific principle called "moment of inertia." Because the extended-length Interstate 3500 has a trailer hitch that is 16 inches farther away from the rear axle, the effective tongue weight is magnified accordingly; although the actual tongue weight is less, its effect on the rear supension is the same as the higher weight closer to the axle. There are dozens of other factors that all come into play, and every single one of them can be calculated mathematically by someone who has the training and expertise to crunch the numbers.

By the way, this same issue of "moment of inertia" is one reason why a half-ton pickup can tow a fifth-wheel trailer that is so much larger than any pull-behind trailer it could possibly handle. The trailer tongue weight is directly over the rear axle, not several feet behind the axle.

Customer demand and marketing departments only affect towing capacity in one way: if brand X loses business to brand Y because of low towing capacity, then the ruling elite over at brand X will tell their engineers, "Design me a vehicle with towing capacity higher than brand Y." And, lo, in a few years, it will come to pass, but only at the expense of something else (like smooth rides) that had to be sacrificed to get the higher towing capacity.
I published this before. These are the words of named people in the automotive industry, not unattributed comments. As I said before, it would be good if engineering was used to determine tow ratings but at the moment, they are not.

The Numbers Game: Current Practice & The Ratings - Consumer Feature - Truck Trend
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #41
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Trailer tire max speeds

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Originally Posted by n8andm View Post
Keep in mind the average freeway/ hwy speeds weren't 80mph back in the day those pictures were taken.
Every trailer tire that I have looked at say 65 MPH MAX, as in do not exceed, or you're in trouble but I have seen folks blowing by at 75 on the interstates. Half the fun getting there is the scenery on the way so 60 to 65 suits me just fine.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:14 PM   #42
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As an engineer, I beg to differ with that last part. Automobiles are designed by registered professional mechanical and automotive engineers, who work exclusively with mathematical and scientific methods. I have never designed an automobile, but I understand enough about the process of designing machines to know that towing capacity is based solely on mathematical and scientific methods!
??????

A couple years ago we had a ME post on the forum and it went like this.....
QUOTE:

I'm a ME working under Daimler. Let me tell you, a MAJORITY of the design specifications are not finalized by the engineering department. We can go through rigorous testing to prove the safe limit of a component, and marketing or the lawyers can slap on their veto stamp due to customer demand, perception, and other stupid reasons.

While I have never worked on design for towing, I can almost guarantee that most sedans and minivans are under-rated for marketing reasons. Simple law of physics tell you that the power-weight ratio, handling dynamics, and stopping power of a 3300 lbs, 270hp Altima + 5000 lbs trailer is superior to a 300hp F150 + 11000 lbs trailer.

Tow rig to trailer weight ratio is also largely irrelevant with proper design. Proof: commercial rigs tow trailers weighting many times heavier than the rig itself.
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