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Old 05-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
A lot to cover.


And, conventional wisdom says the truck must be weight as much or more than the trailer plus a short wheelbase tow vehicle is dangerous. CW = unproved assertion that looks good until you start thinking about it. CW and "common sense" are the same. Tractor trailers can weigh as much as 40 tons and you know the tractor isn't 20 of them. And the trailer is much longer than the tractor. This question needs objective testing to find out what the truth is.

Now I can ignore this thread for another week.

Gene
This something that I think people overlook when talking about tow vehicles. I asked the question (on here) of a professional truck driver and he reckoned that the loaded trailer was three times the weight of the tractor. Yes, the towing point is like the 5er, over the rear axle, but when I'm told that my tow vehicle needs to be at least as heavy as the trailer in order to stop, then I remind them about eighteen wheelers.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:23 PM   #44
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A axle has a breaking point,a frame has a breaking point,a leaf spring has a breaking point...........Attachment bolts have a breaking point.Brakes can only stop a certain amount of weight safety. The people that design and engineer them test them and post the maximum load ratings for safety purposes.Whether you choose to acknowledge this fact or ignore it that is up to you.
I see very few mini vans or short wheelbase 1/2 ton pickups substituting for a Kenworth or Peterbuilt's as I travel the interstates.And by the way a semi tractor has a massive frame huge brakes and eight rear tires and was designed and tested to pull that large trailer.They are of fifth wheel design for a reason.
In all the rambling about Andy from a few people here,I have not seen any one of them post what was actually done to their vehicle to in some cases triple the payload of their vehicle.I doubt that they even know what he did.

I am just glad Andy does not modify aircraft or bridges...............

If you are going buy a vehicle to pull a Airstream.Just make sure it is designed and tested to do the job without compromising your or my safety.
Moflash,

Have a look at my blog (linked below my signature), I did an eight part entry on how Andy set up my tow vehicle under the title "The Black Art Of Towing".

Can Am has successfully set up thousands of tow vehicles and trailers over more than forty years; I think they know what they're doing.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:39 PM   #45
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Toad

A semi tractor was designed to pull that size trailer.With 10 tires making contact with the road 6 sets of HD brakes plus engine brake as addition.5th wheel configuration for near perfect weight distribution
You can not use this to make your point for minivan that was unfortunately designed for soccer moms Not HD Towing.i don't care what you weld on it it was not designed for the application you have choose to use it for.

You can dig a foundation wit a tablespoon but that does mean its the right way to do it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:39 PM   #46
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You guys up North can rationalize all you want, but it won't change the weight capacity of a bearing, an axle, a brake system, a frame, a suspension system, a cooling system, etc., etc., etc.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:45 PM   #47
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I didn't wait a week. Of course tractors (for big OTR trailers) have more wheels on the pavement and more braking, however, that doesn't mean a tow vehicle for a trailer has to be smaller or larger than the trailer—just makes me wonder.

I don't know what Andy T actually does and don't want to take the time to read Mr. Toad's post. Maybe he welds 1" boiler plate to the undercarriage and puts turbos on the engine. But he does do something and it works for a lot of people. If I didn't need a pickup, I'd look into it.

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Old 05-13-2013, 04:55 PM   #48
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I'll make one last comment on this issue, and then I'm gone....in 1974 believe it was, my father who was towing a 31' Airstream at the time, began having suspension and wheel bearing/axle problems with a 1/2 ton Suburban, 454 engine, tow package equipped truck. The truck was under warranty, and he had been towing similar trailers for years with similar equipped trucks. After a couple of warranty repairs on the truck, the factory rep told him they would no longer repair anything on the truck because he was towing and carrying too much weight with the truck.

He traded the truck for a similarly equipped 3/4 ton Suburban. He never again had a weight related failure on the truck.

More than adequate evidence for me.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #49
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You guys up North can rationalize all you want, but it won't change the weight capacity of a bearing, an axle, a brake system, a frame, a suspension system, a cooling system, etc., etc., etc.
I know you're gone but....

There's no record of failures for Andy's customers - make of that what you will.

It's at this point I should invoke the Andersen Gambit, that is "Don't knock it unless you're trying it", but I don't want to stifle the debate.

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Old 05-13-2013, 07:57 PM   #50
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I agree with Steve on this one. A vehicle has tested limits from the manufacturer and they publish weight tolerance levels for towing and payload. Certainly one can weld a strong hitch and do some minor changes to a vehicle to perhaps beef up its ability but that does not change the vehicle makeup. So it can carry a few hundred pounds more but the vehicle as a whole remains the same. Recently I was reading about Class A motorhomes, how that some of them have improper wheelbase ratios for effective cruising in winds and others have too much rear overhang- never thought of it but perhaps more testing is needed. Pickups are tested and their tolerances are not random.

Regardless of what anyone says, some people will continue to tow with whatever will drag the trailer- if it moves it's good enough, they would say but, for the benefit of all with regard to insurance premiums and safety, I would hope the authorities would nail their butts if a wreck occurred; otherwise it establishes an unsafe and expensive activity for all who tow. "But judge, we had our mini cooper specially outfitted to haul our trailer. We know the tongue weight says 450 lbs but our customizer said it would hold 1000 lbs. easy."

Coworkers of mine in 2005 bought a new travel trailer to be towed with their Honda Odyssey mini van. They spent quite a bit of money having the mini van set up for towing their 26 foot trailer. (they were told it would be fine and would work) It ended up a nightmare - transmission overheating, control issues. Finally, they sold the van and the trailer and bought a class C motorhome 29' that they currently own. When they found that I was going to buy a trailer they were absolute in their negativity on trailers. They are horrible. We had a nightmare. They are too dangerous, wind will blow you all over the road, etc. I took the advice as based on an inadequate tow vehicle.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #51
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Steve, don't go. I want to challenge your post. Comparing an experience with a 1974 Suburban with recent model trucks does not seem valid. In the 70's, US manufacturers were slowly going downhill and selling bad vehicles, thus allowing the Japanese to enter the market here. I remember 2 cars my father owned—a late '60's Buick that would make me sick because of the strange motions of the suspension on any road, and an '85 Toronado that was a crappy car that I eventually inherited (I should have sold it to a senior citizen in Fla. where it was registered).

But moving on…

The debate over what Andy T does seems to boil down to:

1. It can't work. Those vehicles aren't made for towing big trailers.

2. It works and there have been no lawsuits or complaints from 1,000's of customers.

#1 ignores the fact that any vehicle can be modified to do more and some can be modified to do a lot.

#2 has the difficulty of proving what hasn't happened. Perhaps Andy gets sued every day, but settles every case before there's any publicity. Andy would have to be independently wealthy to do that, however.

I don't remember ever seeing any posts by disgruntled customers of Andy. It seems what he does is worth giving some credence to. I leave it to a committee of owners of 3/4 ton trucks to investigate this issue with open minds.

Gene
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:41 PM   #52
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The debate over what Andy T does seems to boil down to:

1. It can't work. Those vehicles aren't made for towing big trailers.

2. It works and there have been no lawsuits or complaints from 1,000's of customers.

.....

I don't remember ever seeing any posts by disgruntled customers of Andy. It seems what he does is worth giving some credence to. I leave it to a committee of owners of 3/4 ton trucks to investigate this issue with open minds.

Gene
Very good, Gene. Nicely summed up as usual; I wish I had your clear sight.

A year or two back I had a short debate with a man at a campground in the US about my Toyota Sienna pulling my 28' International. He told me it couldn't be done. I said that surely the presence of both on the same camping site in the southern United States (given the Ontario tags) was proof enough that it could be done, but he still spent ten minutes telling me the error of my ways. And that sums up some of the debate here - we're doing it without fuss and in as much safety as anyone else and yet still we see posts saying that it can't be done.

I don't mind, though, I enjoy the debate. That is when I'm not writing letters of complaint to Mr Thompson......
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:12 PM   #53
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See posts under
"Towing with a TDI VW Jetta"

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Old 05-14-2013, 01:09 AM   #54
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The Cat scale tickets do not lie. They are legally accepted proof of the axle weights and total rig weight.

The label on the door of a vehicle states maximum weight axle ratings and the total gross weight of the vehicle. If those numbers are NOT exceeded and routine maintenance is preformed and documented, then the warranty remains in effect if there might be a mechanical issues with the driveline or suspension.

As I posted earlier, my 2007 Mercedes brought the new EMPTY 25FB International Serenity home. The unit had additional weight from when it rolled out the factory door due to a solar panel on the roof, almost a 100 pounds of ZipDee awnings on the rear and street side of the trailer and a Hensley Arrow hitch on the front. While the factory literature states the tngue weight out the door is 833 pounds, the Shureline scales reported 1,150 pounds at the dealership.

After I changed the tires to Michelins and then crossed the scales. the Cat numbers showed the I did not overload either axle or the GVW of the car. I did have a greater weight trailer (about 5,500 pounds with a target GVW of 7,300 pounds) that exceeded the recommended max tow weight of 5,000 pounds.

After putting most of our "stuff", a full fresh water tank, a jack with stand and air compressor in the rear of the car, my wife and I crossed the Cat scales. We now exceeded the front axle rating, the GVW car rating and definitely exceeded the recommended maximum tow weight. The engine and drive line made a different sound even on the level, it was working much harder with the additional weight on behind (the tongue weight was higher as well).

I now had a legal document showing that I exceeded two out of the three maximum permissible weights posted on the door of the vehicle. My insurance agent stated that as long as the vehicle was RATED for the load, there would be no coverage issues for liability.

Thus the search began for a vehicle that would have adequate weight reserves and capability for towing this much trailer weight plus the other things that were not even in the Mercedes that we wanted to have with us.

That mission is now accomplished and I realize this truck is no Porsche for handling, but it does have much larger brakes plus engine exhaust braking and is rated to tow the largest Airstream plus the truck loaded with our "stuff". A strong defensive driving attitude and reasonable speeds will enable a safe trip with our combination.

I have seen farm tractor axles break from turning up the power on the motor or working with too large an implement. I could expect the metals in a tow vehicle to preform in a similar manner if overloaded.

YMMV
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:02 AM   #55
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No matter what tow vehicle you have there will be those that say it can't be done. My boss just doesn't believe my Tundra with the 5.7 motor will do it. He thinks I need a 6.6 Duramax diesel and Allison transmission. He thinks the engine will blow itself up and I cannot use cruise. I told him yesterday the next time I have my Tundra and 30' Classic at work he needed to drive it. I will make a believer out of him. Specs on paper is one thing. Real life is another. My so called 5.7 liter 381 horsepower engine feels a lot stronger and accelerates harder than his so-called 6.2 liter 425 horsepower Chevy. I do agree that the 6.6 Duramax and Allison transmission are awesome, but I can't afford another truck and my current truck with 11 payments to go has 26,000 miles. I don't need another truck. The one I have is doing great. I bought a used 2007 Classic Duramax diesel with an 8' box for the business yesterday. This truck has 102,000 miles and it is CLEAN. I wouldn't be ashamed to own it. Put my Harley in the 8' bed, hitch to my Airstream, and away we go. These good old trucks are still $20,000. I owe $6,600 on my Toyota.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:02 PM   #56
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Well said Switz and Jace ... similar experiences here, too ...
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