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Old 12-04-2014, 02:04 PM   #71
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My tow vehicle spends very little time towing, which is why we didn't want to end up with another van/truck when we upgraded this year. With our van we paid the price in gas all year around, just so we could tow a few times a summer. If you are working stiffs like us who don't get out very often, having a vehicle that can tow AND not break the bank the rest of the time is a huge consideration.
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:35 PM   #72
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RoadRuler,

Suppose a BMW 3 series (or any sedan of your preference) and a Ram 2500 pull the exact 8000# trailer using the exact top of the line hitch up and down a long grade. In your opinion, which would pull/stop better and is more stable up and down the grade?
From a previous post from Andrew T......

"One year a junior engineer from one of the auto companies really took me to task during my seminar at the Hensley rally. His issue was the liability of the stopping distance of Colin Connellís combination. At the time he was towing a 34 Airstream with a Cadillac DTS. The engineer was towing a 32' conventional trailer with a HD 3/4 ton pick-up. I asked him if he had spent time on the proving grounds which he had. I then asked him which would stop in a shorter distance his truck or the DTS as solo vehicles. He had to admit that the DTS would stop in a much shorter distance. Then I asked him if you could stop just the trailers which would stop faster. His with four 12" brakes and Light truck tires or Colinís with six 12" brakes and 60 series, sticky high performance tires. Well it was obvious that Collinís trailer had way more stopping ability and he admitted that. Then asked him why would your truck which needs more room to stop and your trailer that needs more room to stop suddenly stop in less distance when you hook them together? That was without getting into the lousy brake control he had. He then asked about brake fade in mountain driving which again was no contest as the Diesel without an exhaust brake would not be able to control speed like the gas engine in the Cadillac.

I rarely use the brakes in mountains as even the 3.5 Liter Intrepid has enough engine braking to control the combination. After the seminar I took him out for a test drive in the Intrepid and 34' and he just could not believe how it stopped and the violent maneuvers it could handle he had to admit it was likely better than his truck solo. He did buy a Hensley before left.

One of our customers towed his 34' Airstreams first with an 83 Caprice then with a 89 Bonneville SSE then he retired and decided that since he was not driving downtown to work every day that he would try a 97 Suburban which we modified with wider rims, performance tires and gas charged shocks. He is in my opinion a capable driver who has towed extensively for 23 years and has a good feel for driving. He was traveling in the center lane of the interstate and an accident happened right in front of him as he crested a hill. There was no place to go other than median which he did not see as a problem. It turned out to have an increasing amount of a slope. The further he went and he wound up with the trailer on its side and the truck on its roof. He was shocked at how easily it seemed to roll. It was not a jack knife or sway situation it was all still in a straight line. The surprising thing was when we examined the hitch it was the Suburban that rolled the trailer not the other way around. He has towed with a Cadillac DTS ever since and you would never get him back into a vehicle with a high center of gravity."
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
My tow vehicle spends very little time towing...
... which is something that is often overlooked when people are looking for a tow vehicle. Our TV is also our daily driver and tows comparatively little, so we really didn't need a huge truck that would have been a practical and financial liability, hence the choice of our surprisingly capable Minivan. Sure, cars, SUVs and Minivans won't suit all tastes but, despite that, they can very often tow Airstreams just as effectively as their bigger cousins.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:06 AM   #74
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Road Ruler, I'll have to defer to your superior knowledge. But I wonder why in BC, Montana, Idaho, and other parts West, we hardly ever see a sedan towing a trailer. What do all of these other drivers know?

A Cadillac would be the last type of vehicle we would want. I guess we could get it up our steep unpaved driveway, but I wouldn't want to risk it.

One possibility is that it isn't the towing that is the consideration (apart from 5th wheels,) but all the other things people use their trucks for out here. Such as hauling firewood, large beer coolers, gardening supplies, fishing nets and life jackets, or other bulky stuff. Where we live, a truck comes in really handy for non-towing purposes.

Which gets back to one point about Can-Am. We feel really grateful towards them, having bought our first AS from them, and appreciating their helpful service. But southern Ontario is comparatively flat and most of the roads leading to campsites are paved. In fact, our salesman convinced us when we purchased Bambi the First that a single small battery would be just fine for our camping purposes; apparently because he didn't think we'd go boondocking often. (!)

With the truck, we can drop the trailer in an easy-to-get-to campsite as a sort of base camp, and then go off and do fun stuff on roads where we wouldn't take an AS-- or a Cadillac. High centre of gravity? Sure-- to avoid bottoming out. But with the longer wheel base of a truck (vs. some of the shorter SUVs) hopefully we've gained some stability.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:48 AM   #75
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I might also mention that 4WD is not a seldom-used luxury out here, but pretty normal for winter driving.

We made the retirement decision to get by with just one vehicle for all of our uses, and made the right one in getting a truck.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:10 AM   #76
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Is it possible to use a car to tow a 19' or 20' airstream?

The focus on weight of the tow vehicle is not misguided. The issue is mass and momentum, as well as breaking power, stability, traction, and other factors. It is quite easy to imagine a situation where a trailer is being pulled by a vehicle of insufficient mass to prevent the trailer from causing the tow vehicle from being flipped or otherwise forced into an accident. A person I know learned that lesson the hard way when a heavy load he was pulling in a cargo trailer caused his pickup truck to be flipped off the road in an accident.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:21 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
... which is something that is often overlooked when people are looking for a tow vehicle. Our TV is also our daily driver and tows comparatively little, so we really didn't need a huge truck that would have been a practical and financial liability, hence the choice of our surprisingly capable Minivan. Sure, cars, SUVs and Minivans won't suit all tastes but, despite that, they can very often tow Airstreams just as effectively as their bigger cousins.
This gets to why I love our SUV as a TV. Yes it can pull the trailer (23 ft safari) easily up the rocky mountains, often passing the pick ups pulling other brands, and when not pulling, I get 30 mpg on the highway. It drops to 15-18 when pulling but it still rides well. The 7 gears allow engine braking downhill and a decent hitch keeps it stable. I have room in my driveway to park the trailer with a two inch overhang on the sidewalk, and the car stays on the street. It works, and works well. Ask any of the folks towing with new style Mercedes, VW's and even Audi's with the diesel engines, and they all love the vehicles and their Airstreams. Costs about the same as your new pickup. Our ML has four wheel drive, air lift of three to four inches for off road, under frame rock guards, and can go further than I want to go down dirt trails and barely marked roads. It works well for us. (and I drove semis and buses professionally for several years, which gives me some feel for how it works). The room in the suv hauls most of what we want, solar power on the trailer avoids the generator. Biggest negative is no blue boy for long stays, but I easily move it to dump and back when needed. I am one happy camper.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:01 PM   #78
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>But I wonder why in BC, Montana, Idaho, and other parts West, we hardly ever see a >sedan towing a trailer.

Because Americans love trucks. Love em' Starting point for TV Selection is usually whats in the driveway.According to my television all Real Americans already own a truck. Trucks look GMC tough. Some trucks have huge engines which is important when you want to accelerate up the rocky mountians while doing 85MPH both ways. You can use engine breaking to stop in less than 300ft and blow smoke like a coal engine in you mess with the injectors in your RAM.

In a truck you sit higher on bigger tires and feel more important. Also you can drive further over rocky terrain and clear the rear differential until your tires explode. When you hit someone in a little Japanese compact your bumper sometimes ends up in their face.

Even the commercials are more manly. You can powerSTROKE, or duraMAX, haul a huge LOAD of weaponry for your hunting buddies in the CREW CAB, liftgate, COLD STAMPED FORD TOUGH STEEL and bring that elusive sofa that the damsel in distress needs moved in the ads. Or go to Walmart and load the bed with 50,000 twinkies before they're discontinued again. You can get them with a frame so the panels rattle and shake as you go down the road.

Trucks have tougher names too, F-You series, HD2500, RAM, Ridgeline, Tundra, GMC, Max, Sierra, Dodge, Ram, Shove

Granted they have a high center of gravity and some of them seem to have rear suspension taken from a model T, sometimes they don't stop and sometimes they rollover and don't get up. Hit or miss stability and the gas mileage is nothing to write to Grandma about.

But nobody lives forever right ?
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:03 PM   #79
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Timhortons - you wake up on the wrong side of the floor today :-D

Enjoy your truck :-)
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:01 PM   #80
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Here's an old thread on this very topic, read it and decide for yourself. The argument has come up weekly before and since this one with the same discussion repeated over and over and over . . .

Start from post #1 and read it through.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...tml#post739789
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:37 PM   #81
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Was in Alabama at a Home Depot loading a bunch of 2x4s for a home project onto the totally inadequate roof rack of my beater Volvo sedan, cussing under my breath in the heat.

A good'ol boy passing by noticed my irritation, stepped over and drawled, "A real man's just gotta own a pickup truck, y' know..."

When we finally moved back to California, my wife, who witnessed that exchange, bought us a nice shiny new Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab long bed pickup--with HER money. I guess she was as embarassed as I was...

Yeah, if you do anything with home improvement as intensely as I do, a pickup is vital...
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:45 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timhortons View Post
>But I wonder why in BC, Montana, Idaho, and other parts West, we hardly ever see a >sedan towing a trailer.

Because Americans love trucks. Love em' Starting point for TV Selection is usually whats in the driveway.According to my television all Real Americans already own a truck. Trucks look GMC tough. Some trucks have huge engines which is important when you want to accelerate up the rocky mountians while doing 85MPH both ways. You can use engine breaking to stop in less than 300ft and blow smoke like a coal engine in you mess with the injectors in your RAM.
.........
Fair enough for the Yanquis, timhortons, but notice that I also said BC. We live in Canada, too, eh?

Come on down to the east Kootenays, where trucks are much more common than sedans in the typical parking lot. People do use them for hauling stuff. Maybe they're not remodeling the basement, collecting firewood, or hauling hay bales everyday, but enough to make a truck look more functional than a Yaris.

Maybe it's a macho kind of thing for the guys at the saw mill or coal mine, and possibly many of these trucks pull monster 5th wheels (way more popular than "bumper" trailers, let alone Airstreams out here.) Truck bed campers are popular, as well, because you can tow a boat or toy-hauler behind it.

Maybe it's a cultural thing. Our Tacoma was nearly too big to drive in Vancouver. We realized that we probably couldn't comfortably handle Vancouver's high-traffic narrow streets in the new Tundra.

And we do not need the Tundra to drive to the local Timmie's for a box of Timbits.

Oh well. Different strokes.....
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:24 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Was in Alabama at a Home Depot loading a bunch of 2x4s for a home project onto the totally inadequate roof rack of my beater Volvo sedan, cussing under my breath in the heat.

A good'ol boy passing by noticed my irritation, stepped over and drawled, "A real man's just gotta own a pickup truck, y' know..."

When we finally moved back to California, my wife, who witnessed that exchange, bought us a nice shiny new Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab long bed pickup--with HER money. I guess she was as embarassed as I was...

Yeah, if you do anything with home improvement as intensely as I do, a pickup is vital...
Not as vital as one thinks. We find mini vans much more versatile compared to a pick up. Better gas mileage, better ride, better at towing our Airstream, and better at hauling things from Home Depot (nothing gets wet when it rains).
When we had a landscape business the van worked great. Doing a home reno for the last 4 years, and towing the Airstream, wonderful.

Towing Airstream, taking loads to the dump, hauling drywall from HD, and a garden tractor...... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...5/IMG_5011.jpg
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:43 AM   #84
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Smile

If someone says this, don't common rules of civility require that it be follow up with a genuine offer to help? Surely during trips to the hardware with your long-bed Tacoma you're on the lookout for a Volvo in need of assistance?

A good'ol boy passing by noticed my irritation, stepped over and drawled, "A real man's just gotta own a pickup truck, y' know..."
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