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Old 08-10-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
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55 mph safe?

So I drove my new truck an hour up interstate 59 north with the fam to a drive in movie theatre last night - great fun although kids are still a tad you for a movie starting at 8am outdoors

Anyway - I drove at 62-65mph on the 70mph highway - that wasn't bad really - people were passing of course

But at 55 it would be a bit crazy people passing at 75-85 mph often?

Clearly there are control and other safety and fuel efficiency benefits of this speed - but on such highways can it be actually unsafe?

What speed do you tow in such highways and perhaps share point of view and experience - thanks
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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At the drive in
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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So I drove my new truck an hour up interstate 59 north with the fam to a drive in movie theatre last night - great fun although kids are still a tad you for a movie starting at 8am outdoors

Anyway - I drove at 62-65mph on the 70mph highway - that wasn't bad really - people were passing of course

But at 55 it would be a bit crazy people passing at 75-85 mph often?

Clearly there are control and other safety and fuel efficiency benefits of this speed - but on such highways can it be actually unsafe?

What speed do you tow in such highways and perhaps share point of view and experience - thanks
55-65.
Closer to 55 if temps are over 90F on the flats.
55 in mountains. As a general rule of thumb....downhill shouldn't exceed uphill speed.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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When you are towing, there is this big object hiding the truck from those coming up from behind. Most of the big rigs are being governed to sub 65 speeds for fuel savings. So the public is being conditioned to larger vehicles running slower.

Your pickup or car should, unless the flashers are on to warn folks you are slow, be running close to the speed limit under "normal" weather conditions.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:38 PM   #5
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"Your pickup or car should, unless the flashers are on to warn folks you are slow, be running close to the speed limit under "normal" weather conditions."

Coming back from TEXAS to CALIFORNIA a lot of the time the speed limit is 80mph - running close to the speed limit pulling a 31' trailer? No way Jose!
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:48 PM   #6
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I think he may have meant the pickup or car by itself...
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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My reading of the post was that the cars are conditioned to react to say an AS towing slower fine - but without a trailer run near or at the speed limit..

Correct switz?
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:54 PM   #8
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I tow about 60 and most folks end up passing me. I really don't consider it unsafe since I consider myself readily observable to most folks coming up behind me. I really believe in leaving myself the ability to compensate if adversity presents itself. That's anything from having to make an evasive maneuver, being able to stop if something happens in front of me on the road, or perhaps a blown tire. You have a lot of momentum with that trailer in tow and your vehicle towing is not going to react the same as it does when you are driving it solo.

I had an 18 wheeler in front of me blow two tires. I successfully dodged the flying rubber while towing without any consequences. It scared the heck out me since I just reacted. At the time I was doing 55. I guarantee you that adding 15 mph to my speed at the time would have negated my reaction time and I would have had some considerable damage inflicted by those large hunks of the tire that that truck was peeling off.


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Old 08-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #9
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60 -65.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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With the P3 hitch you should be fine at 70 on flat interstate. Uncontrolled sway and following too close will mess you up. The sway is a non issue with the hitch. I can't drive 55. In the mountains or curvy narrow two lanes then that is different. Learn what your rig is capable of. Make a few quick lane changes and hard stops so you know how the thing will handle at the limits of the envelope. If you are young and have decent reflexes you should not have to drive 55. Don't go out and hit the speed limiter on your truck the first day while pulling the trailer. Work up to it and get comfortable. The Airstream is going to handle better than just about anything out there.

I usually stay around 65. Sometimes on flat FL interstate I will hit 70. I also tend to speed up going down hills so I don't have to put my foot in it to get up the next hill. Momentum is your friend an enemy.


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Old 08-10-2013, 06:50 PM   #11
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With the P3 hitch you should be fine at 70...
DW has a great saying that seems applicable here. "Just because you can doesn't mean you should."

Even with the 3P - I wouldn't recommend much above 60. It's not so much the forward motion as it is the hard stops when some dimwit wants to save 30 seconds and jumps in front of you from your blind side...

You're all adults. Do as you see fit. I'd vote for keeping it slow and safe Brits camping after all - not a night in Times Square :-)
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:58 PM   #12
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With my ProPride I am usually at 65 which is the tire limit speed for trailer tires. I also use a pressure monitor to keep track of tire temps and pressure.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #13
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I drive posted speed limits and outside of the big rigs I am usually the slowest thing on the road, and that is without towing. If I am towing I will slow it down a bit more to give me more reaction time. If traffic is getting too heavy on the interstates I will get off and drive the alternate US highways if they are available. I travel primarily east of the Mississippi so YMMV.

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Old 08-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #14
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1800-2000 RPM, 60-63mph. Find the engines sweet spot.

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Old 08-10-2013, 07:42 PM   #15
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We rarely tow above 60 mph. and stay in the right lane. People see an RV and expect to have to pass you, plus our mpg is much better at 60!
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:44 PM   #16
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i find ay 60 mph there are two kinds of drivers.....
group one wants to do anything to not get stuck behind you and will spot you early.
group two wants to draft behind your trailer to save fuel.
group two no longer wants to save fuel at 55 mph :-)
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:34 PM   #17
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1800-2000 RPM, 60-63mph. Find the engines sweet spot.

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Old 08-10-2013, 08:43 PM   #18
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I always see the big rigs turn on flashers when going uphill at slower than posted speed limits.

My comment was that when NOT towing with either a car or truck, you should have your vehicle warning flashers on at speeds around 45 to 50 mph on highways and interstates so as folks come up behind you they are visually informed there is an issue ahead.

The attached trailer creates it's own message that the combined vehicle could be traveling slower than the speed limit. If the rig's speed is really slower than traffic, turn on the flashers.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #19
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against the tide

I will generally drive the same as if I have no Airstream behind, at least the speed limit, maybe 5-10 over if conditions are favorable. I often find myself accellerating faster than common cars at intersections and traffic lights, these people , grouped together, accell slower than an 18 wheeler, heck no! I also plan hills that might slow me down by getting a good run at the bottom so I can (hopefully) crest at least at the speed limit. I carefully scan from each of the three mirrors and back to front to keep constant information about the traffic around me. I'm not in a race , but do not like to drive slow. That's one of the reasons I own an Airstream and tow with a V8 Ram. John
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #20
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Around 60 mph for me, where conditions allow. Anything above that and the fuel economy is shot. There's also the little matter of three and half tons of trailer becoming progressively more unstable as the speed is increased.

I don't subscribe to the "keeping up with the flow" argument, either. It's up to others to pass you if they want to, not for you to speed up so they don't have to.
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