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Old 07-14-2011, 02:26 PM   #29
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I really like the idea. I cannot comment on how safe or unsafe a TDI is because I don't know the specs, the only thing I have used to pull my Cruiser is a f-350; and I could immediately tell that was overkill.


I don't plan on actively pulling my Stream for another two years, but when the time comes I would much rather invest in a vehicle that could get 40+ mpg when I am not pulling vs 20mpg...it is just tempting.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:43 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by kevin242 View Post
Just out of curiosity, what happens when the Airstream's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade when a Jetta is in front?
Just out of curiosity,
  • what happens when the Airstream's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade when an F-250 or a Silverado 2500 is in front?
  • what happens when an F-250 or a Silverado 2500's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade? Will the Airstream's brakes save the day?
Paula
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:02 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Just out of curiosity,
  • what happens when the Airstream's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade when an F-250 or a Silverado 2500 is in front?
  • what happens when an F-250 or a Silverado 2500's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade? Will the Airstream's brakes save the day?
Paula
I wish I'd said that....
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:44 PM   #32
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how do the guys at Can Am work it? I looked at their websites and didn't see anything specific to matching up vehicles to trailers as a service. Is this just something they do for people who buy trailers from them?

I am very curious as to the alternatives to a pickup truck or big SUV for towing a 7,600 lb. trailer with it's own electric brakes.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:54 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
how do the guys at Can Am work it? I looked at their websites and didn't see anything specific to matching up vehicles to trailers as a service. Is this just something they do for people who buy trailers from them?

I am very curious as to the alternatives to a pickup truck or big SUV for towing a 7,600 lb. trailer with it's own electric brakes.
Nope, give 'em a call.
Their on the forums,(Roadruler can hook you up)
surprised they haven't chimed in here. I'm sure they would be more than happy to give you all the skinny.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:09 PM   #34
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I was referred to Andy by Rich Lehr. Andy knows his stuff about hitches and towing!

He setup my MB ML350 diesel and it is a dream to tow my 25' Eddie Bauer. Very safe and comfortable -- have to keep checking that it is back there plus I get 16 MPG at 70 MPH.

There is just so much mis-information out there by everyone trying to sell us stuff!
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:08 PM   #35
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It's interesting to follow this thread.

I simply asked a "What happens when..." question and the answers could simply have been "nothing unusual", or "it could still safely stop with no added stopping distance", but many people are quoting my question - with no real answers, just speculation and criticism for even asking the question in the first place.

I too grew up with cars pulling RV's - I'm just curious how these modern small cars manage to safely pull larger RV's.... hence the question referring to a possible loss of RV brakes scenario involving a Jetta.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:38 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by kevin242 View Post
I too grew up with cars pulling RV's - I'm just curious how these modern small cars manage to safely pull larger RV's.... hence the question referring to a possible loss of RV brakes scenario involving a Jetta.
I guess there's a few ways to look at this:

- Not that many people know how a full-size truck handles stopping an Airstream without brakes because it seldom happens. (Certainly not never, but seldom.)
- Brakes in general have gotten tremendously better in the last few decades. While a lot of folks feel fine towing with (say) 80s Suburbans, something like a Jetta has better brakes. A sports sedan like a Caddy CTS has even better brakes.
- The 3300-lb Jetta isn't exactly a small car. (I get similar responses about towing with my 4500-lb minivan.) Few small cars are really all that small anymore, and no one is towing with a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris.
- If you're towing with a truck, you need to stop the added weight of the truck (heavier than the car) as well as the trailer. Trucks typically take longer to stop unladen than do cars. Some of that is due to weight, some of that is due to tires.
- Most of the trailers that are being towed by Jettas are 19 or 20 foot trailers. The largest trailer I've heard Andy (or one of his clients) tow with a Jetta is a 23' International.

My guess as to a direct answer to your question: You'd stop the car and trailer. Eventually. Adding in some engine braking would sure help. You don't want to do it repeatedly, but that holds true for any vehicle.

Tom
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
how do the guys at Can Am work it? I looked at their websites and didn't see anything specific to matching up vehicles to trailers as a service. Is this just something they do for people who buy trailers from them?

I am very curious as to the alternatives to a pickup truck or big SUV for towing a 7,600 lb. trailer with it's own electric brakes.
I'm one of CanAm's clients. While I bought my used Argosy from them, they'll happily set up a tow vehicle if you don't buy a trailer from them. Andy is rather good with giving advice - he's seen and driven lots of different tow vehicle combos.

I know that Andy tows trailers like you describe with his Jaguar XJ. Other clients tow trailers like that with minivans (very stable tow vehicles due to their design) or SUVs like the Buick Enclave.

Tom
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Just out of curiosity,
  • what happens when the Airstream's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade when an F-250 or a Silverado 2500 is in front?
  • what happens when an F-250 or a Silverado 2500's brakes fail on a 10% downhill grade? Will the Airstream's brakes save the day?
Paula
Well, since I put 4 wheel discs on our Tradewind, it stops like a dream - very quickly. It will easily stop my truck w/o touching the truck brakes (although I've not tried this on a 10% grade). The opposite is also true; I towed our Airstream home w/o brakes when we bought it (the truck outweighs the 'Stream by 2500 lbs or so). Good brakes are a joy; I grew
up driving a '65 1/2 ton Suburban w/ drums all around and no trailer brakes. The 'burb would do one stop from 70 mph before the brakes faded to uselessness.

Keep in mind, folks; if you double the weight to be slowed down, you double the energy that needs to be dissipated. If you double the speed, the energy goes up by a factor of 4. So it takes 2 times the brakes for the
Jetta to stop from 120 mph w/o a trailer than it does from 60 mph w/ a 3000 lb trailer. The Jetta has a speed rating in Germany of 128 mph, and is governed not to exceed that speed.

- Bart
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:18 PM   #39
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Well, hell, I fer shure ain't gonna tow my Airstream with no danged Jetta if we're gonna be limited to 128 mph.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:55 PM   #40
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Some of that is due to weight,
almost all of it is due to weight.

more weight=longer to stop.

The mistake people make is the assumption that "big truck/big brakes=small car/small brakes". It doesn't work that way. The heavier you are, the longer its going to take to stop. even with perfectly functioning tv and trailer brakes. Without one or the other, you've got a problem.
I think people tend to think of trucks as having "excess capacity" in all measures. they do have excess capacity in some areas; but it doesn't apply to their braking.
for example, I can drive my pickup around carrying only myself. 10 others my size could suddenly jump into the bed, and the truck wouldn't even feel it. But I can't stop an extra 10k lbs in the same distance as when empty.

fwiw, I have had the trailer brakes fail, and stopped it with the truck; and I have had the truck brakes fail, and stopped it with the trailer. neither was fun; but it is nice to have a spare set of brakes.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:27 PM   #41
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Kevin,

I really don't think there are a lot of people around here with any first hand experience to answer such a Jetta question.

Our first TV, 85 Jeep Grand Wagoneer overheated it's front brakes on a long downhill run, cheep pads...my bad!!
The single axle drums on our 63 Safari and the Jeeps Parking (in this case, emergency) brakes kept things under control until the Jeeps front discs cooled down, our one and only brake thrill in 23yrs of Streaming.

IMHO If you ignore normal brake maintainence, they may ignore you.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:40 PM   #42
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how do the guys at Can Am work it? .....
I had the opportunity to take in Andy’s seminar at Alumapalooza. He gave everyone a lot to digest. A couple of people were recording the presentation. I hope it ends up on You Tube someday.
The primary focus was to explain the way they set up the tow vehicle, WD and Anti sway systems. Reinforced or custom receivers, better tires and suspension upgrades, the correct way to set up the WD bars and why they are so critical to handling. Check out the vids on the Can–Am site.
To back up his claims he was giving test-drives in this combo.

Tom.
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