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Old 11-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
That brings up another question.

If a computer can take care of all the stability issues of a F-22 supersonic fighter and also a large cruise ship, why not a tow vehicle trailer combination?

Ken
I tow with a 2001 BMW X5 which has "Dynamic Stability Control" wherein it's computer interceeds in under / over steer conditions and pulses the left or right side brakes to correct (makes the vehicle behave like a "tracked" vehicle).

My X5 has a "Towing Module" (part of the OEM hitch) which interfaces with the 7 pin connector and actually notified me on the instrument display that I had a rear trailer running light out but does not act to control trailer braking.

Later models, I believe starting in 2004, incorporated (quote from BMW) "Trailer Stability Control" which is "constantly monitoring the rotation movement of the vehicle using special sensors. If these values exceed the safe limit, trailer stability control activates the brakes on all four wheels via the DSC hydraulics. Simultaneously, the engine output is reduced. The resulting drop in speed brings the trailer back to stability".

There is no mention of the DSC activating the trailer brakes which it probably doesn't do because of the unknown variences between the many different trailer / brake combinations which the DSC probably can't be programmed to compenstate for.

So I guess the answer is: They are getting there, if not already there.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:35 PM   #58
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There is really no replacement for wheelbase and width in a tow vehicle. No amount of engineering can make up for the ability to both control and distribute weight over a larger physical area. Your vehicle just isn't going to magically become wider and longer (and hence, more stable) when you need it most.

Give me my 7,000 pound, 164" wheelbase truck with an 80" width stance and our 5,000 lb-max 24' trailer. At least I know the trailer has to work much harder to upset the truck as compared to the combination you are considering.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:36 PM   #59
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I find this discussion to be very interesting with all the different opinions and viewpoints. Many quotes and interpretations of insurance, manufacturers and government rules, regulations and specifications.

The thing that is not mentioned and seems to be totally overlooked is to me the most important issue, the pile of organic material that occupies the space between the seat cushion and the steering wheel.

Any person of legal age can walk into any dealership and the only requirement to drive away with a multi ton vehicle combination is the ability to write a check. The best engineered towing set-up in the hands of an unexperienced driver is far more of a danger than the marginal set-up in the hands of an experienced driver.

I feel much safer driving next to the guy properly trained to operate a well engineered vehicle combination than the untrained guy who thinks his bigger is better outfit is all that is required to overcome all the challenges that might arise while towing his pride and joy down the highway. I just wish our government regulators felt the same way.

This may not answer the queation can a Volvo tow an AS but it should be part of the answer.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:08 PM   #60
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Why aren't travel trailers made like a wagon?

They will not back up. From my experience in pulling hay trailers, the only way to back up a wagon is to hitch the front of the tractor to the trailer.

Bob
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:48 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
It is regulated from the standpoint of DOT inspections on commercial trucks over 10,000lbs GVWR. If you're over GCWR (per mfr. spec) on the scales, you're grounded and fined. (This 10,000lb level is new, used to be higher).
FMVSS only requires label to have tire pressures, and size, GVWR, GFAWR, GRAWR, and VIN.

For private vehicles, it's not until you have a wreck or other liability situation that you're exposed to problems.

Look, here's the bottom line.

1) Can anybody show us a statement from any DOT saying it is ok to exceed GVWR, GAWR, GCWR or max trailer weight?

2) Can anybody show us the same from ANY Mfr. as well as a statement that their warranty is valid for affected components if these specs are exceeded?

3) Can anybody show us the same from an attorney stating that there is no liability for operating a rig exceeding these specs?

Show me these things and I'll eat a whole pie of crow.
The regulation of GCVWR is news to me. This is a subject that has received a lot of attention on the "other" RV forum.

To my knowledge, only two jurisdictions actually regulate maximum trailer weight. California says (this is from memory) that you can't tow a trailer weighing more than 6,000 lbs with a car weighing less than 4,000 lbs. I don't believe the statute says anything about curb or gross weight of the tow vehicle. As I said previously, it's loosely worded. Saskatchewan says the the weight of the trailer may not exceed the GVWR of the tow vehicle. However, if it's a fifth wheel or you use a WDH, the trailer weight may be 2x the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Regarding questions 1 to 3. I think if you do a little digging, you will get a reasonably clear answer to number 1. A number of law enforcement types seemed to weigh in on the other RV forum. I have had more than one police officer clearly state that there is no law in their jurisdiction prohibiting what I do (5700 to 6000 lb trailer behind a car with a 3250 lb curb weight).

Number 2 - warranty? Who knows? You won't know until you go to the dealer. However, there is no incentive or even a valid reason for the dealer to deny warranty unless the problem is clearly caused by overload.

Personally, the warranty issue doesn't concern me. In over half a million miles of driving, I've had a vehicle under warranty for less than 80,000. Meanwhile, I know that the money I save on gas relative to driving a truck every day would buy a lot of repair work if needed. (In fact, the only towing-related repair I've had was necessitated by a faulty turn signal converter supplied by Volvo.)

Number 3 - I don't know what an experienced lawyer would say about this. However, there's always liability with everything we do. Risk management is the key. I know from experience that my combination is a pleasure to drive and very stable. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be towing it the way that I do. I can't live in fear because of the remote probability that some opportunistic lawyer might someday target me so that his client can win the lawsuit lottery.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:21 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
the volvo in question has axles rated to 2800 lbs and 2600 lbs.

the volvo in question has a gCvwr of ~7500 lbs (less than the trailer solo)

the payload is 1200 lbs (less than the tongue and hitch combined without people)

and so on...

'towing capacity or rating is not a legal/official determination but axle rating and gCvwr are.

using the newly formulated SAE towing tests/standards, TOYOTA has RErated their trucks...

this has resulted in DErating by 400 to 1000 lbs on the newest t'dra.
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for those that don't get it, here is just ONE of the points...

these threads are simply advertisements.

they are basically viral postings/exchanges and do everything that viral media intends...

but without having to pay for the airwaves or air space.

sometime the o.p. isn't even aware that's it is viral...

till the 2 sides start REplie'n
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unfortunately a few totally naive folks may get sucked into the vortex and become customers.

that is after all the entire purpose behind viral media.

most see/realize the ridiculousness of some of these towing combinations...

even if welding makes them possible.
_________


but the single best thing everyone can do who has concerns about marginal or grossly inadequate rigging combos...

is to simply ignore the post/thread or rigging combo question.


cheers
2air'
2air,

Andy doesn't pay me a dime, and I paid full price for the stuff I bought at his store. (While pricing is fair, it's not a discount operation.) He has, however, willingly given of his time to provide advice by telephone and email without charging for it. In my view, what I am doing is correcting erroneous and unfounded assumptions about what constitutes a safe tow vehicle.

I agree that it is quite possible that regulations will change in the future as you seem to be predicting. This would be most regrettable because I would be forced to buy a tow vehicle that I don't want that is:
  • far more expensive to purchase, maintain and operate;
  • uses at least 2x more fuel on a day to day basis;
  • is likely to have an uncomfortable ride;
  • is a nuisance to park in urban situations;
  • has inferior handling and braking;
  • is less safe for both myself and other road users than a well-designed unibody car; and,
  • for purposes of towing an Airstream with a moderate tongue weight, is not really going to be any more effective purely as a tow vehicle, and quite possibly less effective.
So who would gain? Who's advertising for whom?
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:17 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by AlbertF View Post
The regulation of GCVWR is news to me. This is a subject that has received a lot of attention on the "other" RV forum.

To my knowledge, only two jurisdictions actually regulate maximum trailer weight. California says (this is from memory) that you can't tow a trailer weighing more than 6,000 lbs with a car weighing less than 4,000 lbs. I don't believe the statute says anything about curb or gross weight of the tow vehicle. As I said previously, it's loosely worded. Saskatchewan says the the weight of the trailer may not exceed the GVWR of the tow vehicle. However, if it's a fifth wheel or you use a WDH, the trailer weight may be 2x the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Regarding questions 1 to 3. I think if you do a little digging, you will get a reasonably clear answer to number 1. A number of law enforcement types seemed to weigh in on the other RV forum. I have had more than one police officer clearly state that there is no law in their jurisdiction prohibiting what I do (5700 to 6000 lb trailer behind a car with a 3250 lb curb weight).

Number 2 - warranty? Who knows? You won't know until you go to the dealer. However, there is no incentive or even a valid reason for the dealer to deny warranty unless the problem is clearly caused by overload.

Personally, the warranty issue doesn't concern me. In over half a million miles of driving, I've had a vehicle under warranty for less than 80,000. Meanwhile, I know that the money I save on gas relative to driving a truck every day would buy a lot of repair work if needed. (In fact, the only towing-related repair I've had was necessitated by a faulty turn signal converter supplied by Volvo.)

Number 3 - I don't know what an experienced lawyer would say about this. However, there's always liability with everything we do. Risk management is the key. I know from experience that my combination is a pleasure to drive and very stable. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be towing it the way that I do. I can't live in fear because of the remote probability that some opportunistic lawyer might someday target me so that his client can win the lawsuit lottery.
You actually said it in your response #3. Risk management.
1) For a private (non-commercial vehicle), you most likely will not get "caught" unless there is an incident.
2) You won't get "caught" unless there is a mechanical failure. (Dealer does have the responsibility under his franchise agreement, to deny claims where abuse or neglect are in play, and have that "incentive" to make the call due to potential chargebacks by Mfr.)
3) Same answer as #1, and they will swarm around you if there is an incident.

IMO, this isn't risk management, this is risk ignorance (ignoring the risks), and anyone of us on the road could pay for this type of "management".
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:17 AM   #64
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The manufacturer of the vehicle (Volvo) says it can safely tow 3300 pounds, and the Airstream weighs 8000 loaded. Folks this is over 2.4 times the manufacturer stated maximum towing capacity. INSANITY.

This is the equivilent of using my 3/4 ton GMC Diesel powered truck, which is rated to tow 12,400 pounds by the manufacturer, and towing over 29,800 pounds of trailer down the highway. Now who in their right mind would say that would be safe?

Must be something in the water in Canada.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:11 AM   #65
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...In my view, what I am doing is correcting erroneous and unfounded assumptions about what constitutes a safe tow vehicle...
and imo (which is completely irrelevant) you do a great job at that ...

your postings on this topic, rigs, towing and so on are the MOST sensible/logical provided here.

with factual basis for many of the towing teaching points.

and i suspect you are a very patient, careful traveler who really is aware of the issues.
_______

you also reference "moderate" tongue weight, again sensible.

your stream appears 2b 35 years old, a narrow body and 1000s of lbs lighter than a new 28.

no doubt your set up catches a lot of looks, but when the parameters (and setup) are considered...

it isn't that far out of spec and no doubt better rigged and better driven.

and your modern tow vehicle is much better designed, built and equipped that the 70s mules once used.

but the op in this thread is looking at 1000-1300 lbs at the tongue, which is hardly moderate.

now consider they may add solar, more batteries and other bits.

and consider what appears to be ZERO rv'n experience.

perhaps they live close enough to canam 4 weekly tutelage and follow up...

but if they live at a distant u.s. location, real support changes.

like 100s of the other viral/triggering threads, which promote this biz, the details are sufficiently vague.

this isn't about minor tweaks in factory specs, it's about totally discounting all manufactures specs...

and not just from one manufacturer (vehicle, trailer, hitch, tire, wheel, even lug nuts) but all of them.

while volvos are well known for crash protection or more vaguely "safety",

that doesn't mean those carefully engineered and tested systems are designed for 2-4 times the published parameters...

or being tied to a 28 foot 7000 lb accessory.

earlier the shop owners sez...

"This car weighs 3900 pounds with a light aluminum engine and transmission that means that most of the weight goes into its structure"

this is beyond nonsense and an example of perverted thinking at the core of some of these mutant combos...

it is a clear example of true true and unrelated non-logic and reveals a defect in critical thinking.

a 'light engine' in no way translates/results into a 'heavy structure'...

much of the weight could be (and is) safety bits, creature comforts, vibration isolation, glass and so on...

and structural mass designed to protect the occupants (crush/impact zones/bags)...

doesn't translated into load carrying strength/stiffness/structure ...

unless the engineers intentionally addressed that parameter and there is NO evidence of that.

the gCvwr for the volvo in question is ~7300 lbs.

once one decides they can completely ignore all material specs as 'marketing department info'...

it is very liberating on a personal level, like deciding traffic signs are merely suggestions for other people.

but promoting that personal view to customers, selling it to the unsuspecting and poorly informed and so on...

is a dangerous practice.

and most of these truly ridiculous rigs taint any of the sincere efforts to improve towing combinations.
________

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:32 PM   #66
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I don't think its good to assume a man is a scam artist because you disagree with his work. But its a free country and you can say all the stupid things you want.

For my part CanAm's work is very interesting and useful to those who are not satisfied with a large pickup as a tow vehicle. I do know the handling characteristics of pickups are lousy. The stopping distances are not as good as most cars. If he can set them up so they handle better than a truck, and stop quicker, the assumed danger fades quickly.

I suspect this topic will reappear often and certainly hope it does.

Doug
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #67
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I don't think its good to assume a man is a scam artist because you disagree with his work. But its a free country and you can say all the stupid things you want.

For my part CanAm's work is very interesting and useful to those who are not satisfied with a large pickup as a tow vehicle. I do know the handling characteristics of pickups are lousy. The stopping distances are not as good as most cars. If he can set them up so they handle better than a truck, and stop quicker, the assumed danger fades quickly.

I suspect this topic will reappear often and certainly hope it does.

Doug
Well put Doug and I would agree.

Some of these long winded, "drama queen" posts remind me of the Orson Wells broadcast of "War of the Worlds". Fear mongering at its best from one who has a great imagination, but in the end........
"all fiction"
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:34 PM   #68
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wow

WOW! Really? surely there's more going on here than sincere understanding og science and reality!

2air....HELP. Am i Just stupid and getting sucked into an alternative universe, or have all the rules of reality changed?

This is just Ridiculous?
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:38 PM   #69
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The problem within this thread (and others on assembly combinations) is that some posters feel it’s necessary to get demeaning, personal and up in another’s face to make their point, wagging their finger in great disdain to justify clinging to their old ways. This serves absolutely no purpose other than the finger wagger’s perceived feeling of superiority.

Let’s offer facts, analysis and experiences. Let’s disagree, but do so without getting demeaning and personal.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #70
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The problem within this thread (and others on assembly combinations) is that some posters feel itís necessary to get demeaning, personal and up in anotherís face to make their point, wagging their finger in great disdain to justify clinging to their old ways. This serves absolutely no purpose other than the finger waggerís perceived feeling of superiority.

Letís offer facts, analysis and experiences. Letís disagree, but do so without getting demeaning and personal.

Hmmmmm...To whom do you speak? I haven't seen any demeaning, only very real concern for product durability, and safety. Please don't try and scare people off of a valid discussion for fear of being...politically correct ....perhaps...I'm not sure why you say this????????
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