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Old 11-23-2007, 09:13 PM   #15
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Flame fodder

"The quickest way to prove you are truly an expert is to find a renounded
person in the field with tons of historical data showing it can't be done, then show it can be done." (my Patent Atty)

Low, wide, lots of grip sounds like a good start for a TV. Unfortunately my Jag has too many miles and not enough grunt for my style of towing . Where can we find data that shows a 3/4 ton stops or avoids (lane change) an incident better than any other vehicle?

"when things hit the fan"..ok I started the next reply...

What is the old Porsche advert? The only thing better than surviving an accident is avoiding it.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CanoeStream
Given a problem, I feel my tow vehicle alone will allow me to bring my combined rig to a strong, controlled stop if I drive with a reasonable 3-dimensional awareness of driving conditions and my surroundings.
I believe I read in one of Andy's (CanAm) posts that they tested braking on their TV and trailer combinations on some steep grades (faux mountain pass?) without trailer brakes and found they worked fine in such emergency...I also think it was CanAm that observed that the TV stopped quicker WITH trailer in tow than without?

The triple axel 34' w/6 disc's combined with any modern TV should bring both to a quick stop...pending failure of trailer brakes/controller...in which case the TV should be able to bring the combo to a stop in a reasonable distance...certainly wouldn't set any records.

BTW...where is the "controlled" testing of the common wisdom...side by side like CanAm does?? Oh, I guess since it is common wisdom we all need to accept w/o challenge?

One other thing...I am NOT convinced that CanAm is absolutely correct, but I think they have done more than anyone else to document their position...and they have backed it up with what 50 year of testing and selling...and what other dealer has various TV set-ups available for a customer to "demo".

CanAm does have my attention on the issue of lateral control testing...and that the higher center of gravity TVs w/the very high profile tires MAY be much more subject to instability and roll. Again, read the article about how the Suburban back wheels lost contact with the pavement at very moderate speeds compared to the "un-fitting" TVs which stayed in contact with the pavement and tracked extremely well with much more aggressive test limits.

I am not sure that claimed result should be dismissed w/o further thought??? Like you all like to say...you have to plan for the unexpected...and sudden lateral turns certainly are among the likely possibilities in an emergency manuver (sorry, given that the first choice is to prevent such emergency )

I genuinely have a curious and open mind on CanAM's premise and practice...perhaps w/o the benefit of experience...and perhaps w/o the burden of already having decided...Tom R

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV
Flame fodder
Low, wide, lots of grip sounds like a good start for a TV. Unfortunately my Jag has too many miles and not enough grunt for my style of towing . Where can we find data that shows a 3/4 ton stops or avoids (lane change) an incident better than any other vehicle?
Thank You...Tom R
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:36 AM   #18
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Real world?

When was the last time you had to use the brakes on an open interstate?

When I have had to "USE THE BRAKES" , as in, "LOCK-UP ALL 8"?

The times I had to stop on the interstate there were:

3 cars in the lane to the right
3 cars in the lane to the left
1 car in the HOV lane that "HAS TO MAKE THAT EXIT" or
"Wait, this isn't my exit, I need to merge NOW".

When was the last time you were cut off and it was only you and the idiot that cut you off? Idiot drivers are created by circumstance. That same driver not being able to navigate and handle the stress of real traffic, instant idiot.

Your chance of incountering drastic changes of wind speed and direction?
Guaranteed.
Your chance of successfully using a high speed avoidance manuver?
You are more likely to win the lottery.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druupy
Real world?

Your chance of successfully using a high speed avoidance manuver?
You are more likely to win the lottery.
Not if your tow vehicle was equipped with Saf-T-Tow.

Making it available, once again, is in the works.

Andy
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:51 AM   #20
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I'd like to be able to say I'd driven some of these quite interesting car/trailer combos so as to be able to offer an opinion with experience (oh, yeah, the '76 Cadillac and the '75 Silver Streak on and off over a 12 year period [my parents rig]). The gas mileage was 6-7 and you had to keep WOT throttle for long minutes. So what? The engine and trans were still un-opened and original at 187,000 miles when it was sold.

I'd like to say I've performed emergency lane change manuevers in a big truck; well, I have, and lived to tell about it. My tractor weighed 18,000 and the empty trailer 9,000 for a tare weight of 27,000 (meaning the load would be as close to 53,000 as possible). Think there was any discussion about the TV weighing more, or the wheelbase being longer as a safety item?

I know of more than one rollover where the pickup truck tow vehicle was the likely cause.

I bought a Hensley precisely because of this issue (rollovers) and spent the first 20-minutes I owned it doing nothing BUT violent lane changes from 35 mph and up (sorry, cat, sorta forget you were back there). I couldn't shake it loose (as I could with the previous hitch rigging at 40 mph) and never gave the 60-day trial period another thought. (And my pains in getting hitch height, etc, correct are in other threads).

Comparing a big rig and a travel trailer pulled by car or truck isn't helpful, they are different in fundamental ways. But it is certainly true that the experience and the skills I learned are applicable in RV towing. In short, distance and speed are everything.

2Air, I'd like to see a source cited about low-profile tires contributing to p/u rollover. The tires spec'd by the OEM's are generally known to be long-lasting and up to what owners might put them through, and this, by itself, doesn't preclude changing them for a specific application -- on or off road -- where performance is bettered. Do you refer to decreased load capacity?

As to brakes, well, NOTHING stops worse than a big truck, loaded or empty. Their braking system is so poor as to be nearly criminal-neglect by our so called "safety nazis" at the DOT.

As to a car, where the axle and gvwr limits are within spec . . I imagine Andy Thomson's old man would have QUIT using cars ca. 1960 if car brakes weren't capable of handling an Airstream in good working order.

What seems to be forgotten is that big cars haven't been produced in this country since 1979: motors with big torque and wheelbases above 120". From that point until about ten years ago trucks were the only vehicles with reasonable power . . and consumers came to like their other utilities despite their propensity to roll over at a rate that should be sobering.

It would be one thing if this towing issue were new to the world of cars & trucks (it ain't), and if the problem being examined were hypothetical (it ain't).

As an exercise, a debate, I don't see facts in contention: court cases and legal rulings; examples of same in other countries (Australia, if I recall correctly, REQUIRES parking brakes on trailers; why don't we?), other governmental regulations or other legislative initiatives citing good reasons to (whatever).

What I do see is a lot of opinion. So here's mine: I've driven both, and the car is demonstrably safer to drive, (that is fact based); easier to live with when not towing, and a heckuva lot more comfortable to ride in.

The advantage of a truck is in it's utility, the reason I own one (business). That electronic engine, transmission, "stability" controls and the rest have made them better is not in question. But the cars that have received them are better as well.

If I want to use a car to pull a trailer then why not just recommend I use the services of Can Am and be done with it. It also appears that they are expert in setting up hitches, and I'd be willing to bet that maybe one or two of us could pass inspection in that regard.

Finally:

So, again, why are aerodynamic, independently-suspended, unibody, low-center-of-gravity trailers superior to boxy, body-on-frame, leaf-sprung trailers with high, uncertain CG?
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:55 AM   #21
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(I am ready for that Saf-T-Tow!!!)
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:29 AM   #22
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Well, what the heck, I'll toss in a few thoughts....

First, I tend to agree with 2Air, that lane avoidence manouvers are less the norm as opposed to "throw-the-anchor-out-lock-the-brakes-up" stops. I've experienced two panic situations while towing in the past three years and in both cases they happened so fast that I didn't have time to check the other lanes and simply had to put the brakes to the floor and stop as fast as I could.

Fortunately I always leave plenty of space between me and the car in front so in the case some unexpected event occurs I have plenty of time to stop and don't have to depend on a high-speed lane-change manouver. So far that tactic has worked well.

The OTHER critical thing I do, is to follow Can-Am's advice and never exceed 60 MPH. Keeping the speed down has many advantages such as allowing you to stop faster, give you more time to react to emergency situations, and reduces the number of gas station stops. Short of mechanical failure or poor setups, I expect that most TT accidents are simply the result of loss of control because they're travelling too fast for the conditions.

As far as the importance of the size/mass of the TV is concerned, the TV brakes are designed to stop a TV up to its GVWR and the TT brakes are designed to stop the TT up to its GVWR. SO long as the towing setup is correct and speed is kept down, the only time a larger/heavier TV would be an advantage is in the case of a TT brake failure. The first thing I do when starting to tow anywhere is test the brakes before I get to the end of the street. I guess it's possible, but to me it seems very unlikely that the TT brakes would suddenly fail while on the highway.

The reason Can-Am recommends low profile tires is simply because nobody makes 10-ply LT tires for sedans, and low profile high perfomance tires are far superior for towing than the mushy 'P' tires that most sedans (and SUV's) are sold with.

In the end, as long as both the TV and TT are within their GVWR limits and the hitch has been setup properly (which is a whole different discussion) and the towing speed is kept down, the risk of towing a TT with a lighter weight TV (within reason) is relatively small, though not zero.

At least that's what I read into the Can-Am philosophy.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield
In the end, as long as both the TV and TT are within their GVWR limits and the hitch has been setup properly (which is a whole different discussion) and the towing speed is kept down, the risk of towing a TT with a lighter weight TV (within reason) is relatively small, though not zero.

At least that's what I read into the Can-Am philosophy.
I think it is more accurate to say that it is Can-Am's philosophy - based on their testing - that towing with a car based TV is safer. They may be right.

Car based unibody SUVs and minivans (emphatically NOT truck body SUVs) are currently the sweet spot of automotive safety. The have car like handling characteristics, sufficient mass to survive collisions, and unibody frames which crumple on impact.

To look at three vehicles I had been considering for my next TV:
Toyota HiHy....14 deaths/million vehicle-years*
BMW X5.........19 deaths/million vehicle-years
Ford F-150....118 deaths/million vehicle-years

A number of people have been saying "But what happens when the trailer brakes fail." Here are the TV brake results:**

Toyota HiHy....135ft 60-0 dry (ABS, ESC, traction control)
BMW X5.........130ft 60-0 dry (ABS, ESC, traction control)
....................142ft 60-0 wet
F-150............153ft 60-0 dry (ABS)
....................190ft 60-0 wet

The slightly greater weight of the F-150 (about 10% more than the X5) can't account for its poor stopping distances (particularly on a wet road).

*IIHS Status Report Vol.42 #4 April 19, 2007
Toyota results are for all Highlanders
Two low volume F-150 models were broken out separately and showed 40 and 58 d/mvyrs
** Consumer reports (HiHy taken from motorweek)
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:49 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Garfield
Well, what the heck, I'll toss in a few thoughts...
nicely put garfield, and GREAT information.

the importhant thing to remember with c-m customers is they have self selected to go this route.

they buy into the philosophy and hopefully follow ALL the basic tenets...

i met a guy 2 years ago in oregon towing a 90s 31 footer with a newer fwd caddie sts...

we discussed his set up and he allowed me to look over everything.

receiver, haha, tires, controller and so on.

he was very happy and reported ZERO issues.

then i asked him how long it took to get from ontario to oregon...

6 weeks was his reply, one way! and every stop was a groomed rv park.

no boondocking, no muddy pot holed koa-s, as many 2 lane roads as possible, 60 on the interstates and so on.

and he was carrying NONE of the crap i do. no bikes, no genset, no ladder, no compressor, and so on.

so camping styles are different, driving styles are different and driver needs are different.

the issues really are significantly different north/south of the border, and east of the big river.

lets not forget features these big awkward trucks include. the things that make them clydesdales for towing but clumsy daily drivers in city life.

coming down long mountain passes the tranny braking features of 'tow command' are significant and when touching the brakes does little but generate heat.

and while trailer brake failure may be uncommon (hopefully) 7 pin connector issues happen frequently, IF you travel much.

when a fuse pops or the connector wiggles loose, it's nice to have a big dog to guide the trailer off the road safely.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:37 PM   #25
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I find this CanAm stuff very interesting. My husband thinks we should head on over there and have them set up a PT cruiser for us to pull our wee little caravel with. Now, admittedly, I have the smallest trailer around, and I can see why you folks with 30 ft trailers would debate until the cows come home. But to me, if CanAm feels confident delivering all sizes of AS with a PT cruiser, certainly one could handle towing our trailer around the few times a year we take it out, and it would be a heck of a lot more comfortable than the van, better gas milage, and more fun to drive when the trailer is parked at our destination.

Heck, I wouldn't want to make an emergency lane change in my E150 van by itself, let alone with a trailer behind us, but we have had a few close calls. There's something about matresses in the NW, people are always losing their matresses on the freeway! Of course safe driving is always the first step to avoiding an accident, but after those precautions have been taken, wouldn't it be nice to know the setup you have has the best chance of staying in control?


I think it's a very interesting article, and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Like everything I've read about CanAm and their towing setups, it sounds like they put a lot of thought into how the whole system works together. I wouldn't want to just grab a PT cruiser and a HA and stick it all together myself, but I would trust them to get it set up and do it right.

Too bad they're on the other end of the continent!
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:59 PM   #26
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hey stef,

you do realize the cruiser is basically a neon with the retro body?

now make that pt cruiser a convertible and i'd go for it too!

lucy and desi never had it so good........

cheers
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Old 11-24-2007, 03:37 PM   #27
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I do know that - I'd take one with the SRT4 turbo engine, thank you very much

I jest, a bit, I'd take just about anything if we didn't have to drive our gas hog, rides and steers like a brick, reliable as a ford, E150!
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:20 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I find this CanAm stuff very interesting. My husband thinks we should head on over there and have them set up a PT cruiser for us to pull our wee little caravel with.
Andy Thomson told me they recently set up a PT cruiser turbo for towing. You might want to give him a call.
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