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Old 10-20-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
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1961 24' Tradewind
1967 26' Overlander
1973 27' Overlander
Savannah , Georgia
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Towing Speed

I am almost afraid to ask this! So will be taking by 1961 Tradewind to NC in a couple weeks. Has a new axle, wheels, tires (Marathons), brakes, etc. Will be towing with my GL320 diesel and an Equal-i-zer hitch. When I have towed it in the past (prior to new axle) I could barely tell anything was back there. Here is the problem - I have a lead food and readily admit it. Standard speed w/o trailer is usually 78 in a 70 mph zone. What is a reasonably safe speed to look at as a max on flat Interstate? I have never towed an AS this distance (about 700 miles). I do not want to endanger the trailer or other drivers, but also don't need to see the scenery as have made this trip a gazillion times.

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
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Trailer tires are only rated to 65 mph...

I tow very conservatively, usually in the 60-65 mph range. Depending on which truck I am using will push me a few mph one way or the other. Our F150 settles in right around 62 my big dually is happier around 58.


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Old 10-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #3
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60 mph max for me. Good compromise for both safety and gas milage.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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Learn to use the cruise control!

Towing much over 60 mph with trailer tires is asking for trouble. It will add about an hour to your trip, but at least you'll be safe.

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:52 AM   #5
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55-60 for me, but I don't spend much time on Interstates. Road travel is kind of a tortoise and hare thing. I just grind along steadily at a slow pace and am continually amused at how often the same cars pass me more than once. I guess they have smaller bladders than me.

Seems to me that determing how fast you drive is more emotional than logical. Kind of an internal wiring maybe built by where you live. It's laid back here in Bend, Oregon, a lifestyle mountain town, and that's reflected in the way folks drive. Even high-tech entrepreneurs here drive that way.

When I'm on the road I could tell you how close I am to an urban area without maps - the pace quickens nearing urban areas, seemingly in proportion to the population density of the area. Folks seem to get a little frantic in crowded situations.

I used to be pretty fast paced myself and I'd get frustrated at being caught behind RVers. I used to think they drove slowly because they had to because of their big loads. Now that I are one I realize that many drive that way because they can - they just aren't in a hurry.

John & Vicki
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
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I travel down I-95 and back a few times each year (I'm assuming that is your route). I usually get in the right/slow lane and go with the flow of traffic, generally going 60-65 mph. Though in that lane I pass some people and some pass me. I find this less stressful. As a bonus I'll get at least 10% better fuel mileage when I do this, compared to maintaining the 70 mph speed limit or the 75-80 of those in the fast lanes.
When getting into those areas that have only two lanes each way (I-95 through SC), going much slower than the speed limit will create a backed up line of traffic behind.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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Towing Speed

Major highways around here in Canada are 100km/h where average traffic typically runs at ~110-115. I'll usually pull at around 100-105 on CC in the slow lane (~62-65mph), so I'm not aggravating too many drivers . FWIW, I'm not using ST tires.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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as stated, ST tires not > I understand....

Regardless of particular tire though...I think there is a strong conensus on this forum (for whatever that is worth) that we should not exceed 65mph much at all. with most respondents sticking 60-62mph...

I have a thread on this subject as well with tons of interesting/useful responses.

15 pages worth of responses:

I tow at approximately 60-62 constantly when on the highway. I will get up to 64 if on very open road conditions and all looks really good.

I feel that much over 65, it just (for me) feels more unsafe and I have to do what I am comfortable with.

I will exceed my 65 rule if the situation dictates but its not often so far.

I now look for routes with roads that are 55-60 as a preference to highways.

The time difference is mostly unimportant really....your travel time is much more hinged to your stops.

This weekend example...a buddy in his SUV and sob trailer left 1 hour ahead of me...he drives faster than me - about 70mph on the highway...3 hours or so to get to chattanooga area....he had to stope twice (once for gas) - other for bathroom....we did not stop....he beat us by only 10 min.

Also consider the route if you have many redlights to get to final destination, the difference is even less...with redlights being "the great equalizer" as such.

Some argue that you need to go with the flow of traffic and not be an can see those discussions in the thread above...I do not personally find that argument entirely convincing as for me, I simply feel in order to keep me from being up other peoples' butts and/or needing to pass must be under 70...frankly under 65....even at 65 or even 62...I end up having to pass people on 70mph highway...which then....whats the difference anyway? Either way, my priority is maintaining very conservative braking distance....

You need plenty of room to stop one of these things going down the road....

And if you are lead footed and used to going faster...this going 62 or even 65 biz is going to make you nuts at first, lol.....
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 10-20-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
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No doubt our car could probably tow our 23' at 100MPH but that doesn't mean we do or should. Towing at around 60MPH is a reasonable and safe speed if conditions merit.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:17 AM   #10
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60-65. Despite the fact that I run higher speed Michelins, I'm concerned about the extra braking distance required while towing.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:30 AM   #11
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The other advantage of going slightly slower than the general traffic flow is that everyone passes you and you never need to pass anyone. While I've gotten pretty good at judging the distance required to pull back into the right lane, I'd rather not have to do that maneuver any more than necessary.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
The other advantage of going slightly slower than the general traffic flow is that everyone passes you and you never need to pass anyone. While I've gotten pretty good at judging the distance required to pull back into the right lane, I'd rather not have to do that maneuver any more than necessary.
^^^This right here^^^
I tow almost always with the cruise set at 55... avoid the interstate when possible, and take my time and enjoy the ride. If it's obvious that I'm holding up a bunch of cars, I'll pick it up a smidge, but for the most part, I'm sticking to 55. Better fuel economy, don't have to get off the cruise control as often, and I've got a pretty interesting travelling companion to spend the time with, so what's my hurry?

Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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Ojai , California
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I go with the flow of truck traffic. I tow between 55 and 75 (67-72 is the rigs fuel milage sweet spot) staying with the truckers. Give yourself room to see a mile ahead and a half mile behind. Make lane choice decisions early, if someone rally needs to be ahead of you they can go around (and will...). I know this goes against the conventional wisdom here on the forums, but growing up in SoCal the rest of the country drives sane in comparison.
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1988 32' Excella 1000 (Beauty)
1999 White Dodge SLT Laramie 3500 Dually, 4x4, 5spd, 5.9 CTD 260k+ (The Beast)
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:19 PM   #14
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I do not exceed the speed limit while towing. I do drive the limit except in West Texas where I stay around 70. FWIW I switched to Michelin tires. Braking distance is my #1 consideration and I adjust accordingly. I would suggest always staying within your comfort zone while driving whatever you determine that to be.

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