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Old 10-25-2012, 08:12 AM   #15
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No one is towing a Sovereign with a Yugo nor cares to, so don't use that sort of thing to back up your statements, they still hold no water.

We are not on our own because we add a w.d. hitch or change our tires or shocks. We do not need a auto engineer to certify it either, because there is no certification to do. We are recreational vehicle operators, not commercial. The "fear" tactic is just another attempt to make a point when there is no other basis in fact.

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All right. I worded my post wrongly. I'm not trying to scare anyone.

My point that aftermarket mods invalidate the manufacturer's recommendations for a stock vehicle remains valid. You can choose to exceed the manufacturer's recommendations if you trust the mods to boost your capacity, but it's still at your own risk. You can't pass the buck to the hitch manufactuer, or the transmission cooler manufactuerer, or anyone else. But if you choose the right base vehicle and the right mods, the risk is small. Choose the wrong base vehicle and/or the wrong mods, and the risk is not so small. Again, exercise your own best judgment.

A registered professional automotive engineer could analyze your vehicle to determine a new load capacity, and because of his registration, that certification would be legal and binding, supportable in court. Anyone else is just guessing. I don't expect anyone to get their vehicle analyzed by an engineer; the cost would be higher than it's worth. BUT, hypothetically speaking, if an engineer DID analyze your vehicle and gave you a new load capacity, and you followed his recommendation, then you COULD pass the buck to him if something went wrong. He would be professionally liable if his numbers were wrong. Since no one would bother going to that extreme, you'e on your own, in that you still can't pass the buck if something goes wrong.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:29 AM   #16
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We can safely tow our Airstreams with a wide variety of tow vehicles and we should not be discouraged from enhancing their performance.

Let's not be ridiculous in assessing someone else's rig, or threaten them needlessly.

And unless we can specifically quote a law being broken, suggesting liability means nothing. Our insurance cannot abandon us for any fault we do, that's why we have it.

Keep the dialog open and we can learn from these efforts. Shut it down with unfounded claims and we learn nothing, a group of fools.

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #17
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Our insurance cannot abandon us for any fault we do, that's why we have it.
You have a much more understanding and compassionate insurance company than I do. My insurance company would be quick to shift blame and refuse to pay out if they thought a policyholder was at fault. They would also terminate coverage for that policyholder after refusing to pay out. Or at least boost the policyholder's rates to the point that they're impossible to afford. I do not live in a "no-fault" state.

In fact, until you said that your insurance company can't abandon you, I had completely overlooked the possibility of '"no-fault" insurance coverage. So, with regard to liability, your mileage may definitely vary, and you are probably at far less risk than people like me.

Perhaps that was part of the source of the misunderstanding between us? Regardless of the cause, I do apologize if I offended you or anyone else.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #18
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Prota' there is no offense felt here, just discussion and that is a good thing.

I don't understand an insurance that would refuse coverage if you do something wrong. What good is it then. If you do everything right you would not need it.

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Old 10-25-2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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I don't understand an insurance that would refuse coverage if you do something wrong. What good is it then. If you do everything right you would not need it.

doug k
Without getting political - AT ALL - I only have to think of the folks with cancer and other life-threatening diseases who've gone recounted, on Capitol Hill, how poorly they were treated by their insurance. These companies consider it a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to pay out as little as possible on claims, and the fact that we're required to have it on our vehicles certainly doesn't mean they have to be cooperative if we're in an accident.

I have zero doubt that if many insurers, even large ones, smell blood in the water (i.e. noticed you were towing over your vehicle's stated limits) they'll at least consider trying to wiggle out from under their responsibility.

I've towed thousands of miles with a heavier trailer than Toyota recommended with our Highlander, and quite safely I might add. I'm now building a custom vintage tow vehicle that will be phenomenal, with a modern Hemi and huge disc brakes. But I'm not deluding myself that if something bad happens on the highway, I may have to fight for every dime I deserve.

Protagonist and Globie are absolutely right to chime in - any comprehensive discussion about tow vehicle ratings should explore the various degree to which legal or financial risks could exist when we pull out of the driveway.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:46 AM   #20
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Prota' there is no offense felt here, just discussion and that is a good thing.

I don't understand an insurance that would refuse coverage if you do something wrong. What good is it then. If you do everything right you would not need it.
Basically, an insurance company is in business to make money, not to spend money. If they can find a way to avoid a payout, that's good for them. A task made easier by the fact that the insurance clauses in the policy contain all sorts of exclusions and exemptions that the policyholder doesn't know about, forgot about, or never understood.

If you do everything right, and have an accident anyway, they'll usually cover you. If you do something wrong and cause an accident, they'll say, "Because you're at fault, we don't have to pay for your mistake, as per clause xx of your policy." And since they can afford better lawyers than you can, it's hard to fight them.

In fact, here in the New Orleans area, there are attorneys who specialize in "bad faith" lawsuits where an insurance policyholder has to sue his own insurance company that refused to pay for an accident that should have been covered under the policy.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:10 PM   #21
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Thanks, it's an interesting discussion. The point of my post was, based on the anecdotal information I found, it is worth investigating what you're getting into if you decide to tow more than you're vehicle is rated for. I used my own experience with another driver this year to illustrate that you can be as safe as possible, but there is always some other idiot out there you can't account for, and you want to be sure your vehicle is controllable under a wide variety of circumstances.

A quick call to the CHP revealed that you will be charged with negligence if you are involved in an accident while towing a vehicle that weighs more than your tow vehicle is rated for.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #22
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Globie, did a quick call to the CHP provide us with an actual violation, or yet anther opinion?

Towing discussions are useful only if these warnings are supported by law as it applies to Airstreamers, not commercial operators, and I believe there is a difference and are they are often confused.

As for insurance companies not protecting the insured, is this really what we have come to, or more speculation?

I have to remain a skeptic because I have seen in many, many discussions that such warnings are never supported.

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Old 10-25-2012, 12:59 PM   #23
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As for insurance companies not protecting the insured, is this really what we have come to, or more speculation?
Insurance companies are regulated by the state, so there are as many as 51 possible answers to that question, if you include DC. States that require "no-fault" insurance coverage tend to have better coverage and fewer disputes over payouts.

In Louisiana, I know from personal experience, not speculation, that this really is what we've come to. As for other states, I'd be speculating.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:10 PM   #24
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Interesting choice here Prota'. I'm in DC right now heading southwest tomorrow, shall I swerve around Louisiana?

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Old 10-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #25
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Sigh. My point is simply this: it is better to be well informed if you're going to tow a heavier trailer than your tow vehicle is rated to tow rather than making a bunch of assumptions about something that involves life safety and a potential for financial liability.

I made clear in my call to the CHP that my question was about towing an RV and not a commercial trailer, the laws differ from state to state.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #26
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Interesting choice here Prota'. I'm in DC right now heading southwest tomorrow, shall I swerve around Louisiana?

doug k
If driving through Louisiana included Baton Rouge and Lafayette on I-10, I would make my route through Omaha.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:19 PM   #27
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Interesting choice here Prota'. I'm in DC right now heading southwest tomorrow, shall I swerve around Louisiana?

doug k
Based on road conditions, I'd avoid I-20. I'd also avoid I-10. However, if you cross the state on US-90, that's a pretty nice drive overall.

Based on the general capabilities of Louisiana drivers, I'd detour all the way up to Missouri, bypassing both Louisiana and Arkansas. Louisiana drivers drive their cars the way the drive their boats, with complete disregard for the rules of the road.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:05 PM   #28
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Based on road conditions, I'd avoid I-20. I'd also avoid I-10. However, if you cross the state on US-90, that's a pretty nice drive overall.

Based on the general capabilities of Louisiana drivers, I'd detour all the way up to Missouri, bypassing both Louisiana and Arkansas. Louisiana drivers drive their cars the way the drive their boats, with complete disregard for the rules of the road.
Yikes!! What an assessment, Protagonist!

I would avoid I-10 around Baton Rouge if at all possible, but we have spent MONTHS in Louisiana over the past 20 years and not had any more problems with Louisiana drivers than those in many other states.


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