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Old 01-24-2014, 05:06 AM   #15
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1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
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If a trailer can't stop itself, then there are mechanical problems afoot that need to be addressed.

The desired scenario is, and I know I am repeating myself, that a well dialed in trainer-tow vehicle combo will come to a stop just as quickly as the tow vehicle by itself.

The only time I did some, highly unscientific, testing myself was when I first owned the trailer and wanted to know just how effective the brakes were. I took it to am empty lot and hit the brakes hard at 10/20/30. I didn't feel comfortable going faster only because of the available space.

There was no discernible difference in stopping distance, to the naked eye, with or without the trailer attached. I also tried braking the entire rig just by activating the trailer brakes and was surprised by their power - but then, my trailer does have six wheels on the ground.

Having said all that, I too drive in a way that should hopefully allow me to stop the vehicle should the trailer brakes ever fail.

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Old 01-24-2014, 05:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
If a trailer can't stop itself, then there are mechanical problems afoot that need to be addressed.

The desired scenario is, and I know I am repeating myself, that a well dialed in trainer-tow vehicle combo will come to a stop just as quickly as the tow vehicle by itself. .....

I believe this is purely wishful thinking on your part.

Nothing mechanically wrong with my trailer brakes now. I make my living maintaining and repairing European cars and I dare say I am competent at what I do.

I would think that the much more positive braking action of Airstreams hydraulic disc brake system would be a different story. Then too, all of this ignores the physics of weight distribution in braking.

The car/truck has the advantage of the forward shifting weight during braking to help the front wheel traction. The trailer does not.

Apples and oranges.

A 3000 pound trailer simply can not dissipate energy at the same rate as a 3000 pound automobile and I believe the drum brakes supplied are simply there to do what they can without causing skids.

Simple "I tried it and it seems to work..." is not enough to sway my thinking here.

I believe it is a safe bet that any Airstream/tow vehicle requires more distance to stop than the parent tow vehicle does alone...

Don't read into this. I make no judgment of your tow vehicle vs mine just that the stopping distance is greater when towing.


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Barely getting by, towing our 16' Bambi with our Ram 2500 CTD "Moby"!
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:26 AM   #17
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Yes sir... I was referring to rear axle and gross payload. Those will be the first limits he will hit when setting up to tow a travel trailer. I use the cousin to the Taco, a Nissan Frontier. Even Nissan in the manual has a back door reference to this idea when they state:

"The vehicle and trailer need to be weighed to confirm the vehicle is within the GVWR, Front GAWR, Rear GAWR, Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and Towing capacity"

.....and again, all this assumes the desire to stay within stated limits of the truck manufacturer. Not everyone agrees that is important.

Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I assume you're only casting aspersions on payload, since 4500 lb is less than 70% of the 6500 towing capacity. Oh, and that's J2807 towing capacity, by the way.

The Tacoma Prerunner Access Cab V6 has a payload of 1360 lb. That's likely including full fuel and a 150 lb driver, that's the common method but I'm making an assumption there. That's pretty similar to most tarted-up "half tons" these days.

Airstream claims a 393-lb tongue weight for the 22 Sport. Let's call that 500 lb, that's more than a 25% excess over claimed. That leaves 860 lb for a passenger, cargo, and the amount you weigh over 150 lb if you're a chunker like I am. I don't think it's too hard to get below that for camping, and you're not likely to be full-timing in a 22 Sport.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:11 AM   #18
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It is suggested here the electric drum brakes are a limiting factor in use of a Tacoma to tow their Airstream, that they are not equal to automobile hydraulic disc brakes and may not be able to stop the rig.

If someone is uncomfortable with that, they can have hydraulic disc brakes installed on their tandem axle Airstream for about $3400 at Jackson Center (or many other shops), less for a single axle Airstream.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:30 AM   #19
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Sorry - whew!

Apparently there are lots of ways to beat a horse!? When I said "you'll get all the help you ever needed" that wasn't far from the truth. Like TBRich, who has the same AS as I do, I was merely giving my opinion which isn't based on numbers it's based on the experience I have and the information I gathered before purchasing my trailer. I've towed utility trailers, horse trailers and consulted this forum as well as one of my best friends who has 30years experience in towing and delivering travel trailers and horses all over the country. His advice to me was don't push the limits of your tv.

I don't care what the numbers say common sense says "error on the side of caution". There are just too many variables and scenarios involved when it comes to towing. I would say TB had it right, no over thinking it, just common sense and his own experience. No matter what anyone tells me, I know from my own experience I would not tow more than 1,000lbs more than I am now. And, by the way my trailer brakes will stop my truck (tested at 25mph) but I'd never count on that.

Take from that what you will. I hope that helps clear things up. Now get out there and find your dream...... Then live it!

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