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Old 12-04-2012, 04:40 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
You're right, the slower the speed the less important the drag and the more significant the weight. But how often are you towing up grades like that and going at 30mph?
Frequently, but then I don't live and mostly tow in Ontario, Canada where a hill of 1000 or so feet is called a "peak".
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:04 PM   #62
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Something I haven't seen brought up here is the stability controls that have been added on the new models. They will make the combination handle much safer than the Tv's of yesteryear
Where the German SUV's are tops.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #63
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A tow vehicle doesn't give a tinker's damn about wind resistance when it's towing 8000 pounds up a 8% grade at 10,000 ft AMSL at 30 MPH, all it see is the grade and the additional 8000 pounds.

That's what manufacturer's tow ratings are about, not about going thru a slalom course.
You've never used a car to pull one of these, have you?

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Old 12-04-2012, 05:13 PM   #64
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On the subject of wind resistance, our Honda Pilot had two ratings: one for boats and a lower one for trailers. Seems to me that was because of the boat's aerodynamics.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
You've never used a car to pull one of these, have you?
No, but I've used a couple of SUV's. Have you?

Call it what you will, and I'm sure you will, but I believe the vehicle manufacturer's engineers know more about their products capabilities than any RV retailer.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #66
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I have a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport that I tows my 26' Argosy. I use load leveling bars to help with the tongue weight. I wouldn't take it in the mountains or snow but have towed successfully throughout Florida.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:35 PM   #67
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Hey Brian, Go for the Grand Cherokee, but wait for the Diesel. Oops. You are in the US. Get the Hemi.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:10 PM   #68
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I know a guy that owns both a late model 30-footer, as well as a 60's caravel. One weighs 3-4x the other. He tows with the same tug---gets exactly the same mileage with each trailer. Although the weights are very different, he front profile of both trailers is nearly the same.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:21 PM   #69
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I think you can tow an Airstream up a hill with a car or I have had some very vivid dreams.

Independence Pass 12100' 1987 Olds 88 3.8 Litre V/6 front wheel drive.

The Lexus 3.0 Litre RX300 on the Alaska Highway it also went to Panama and many other trips.

Taurus SHO and a Mercedes R Class on Appalacian Pass in Vermont 18% grade.

One reason for the wear in the Excursion tranny is that it is working all the time even without the trailer it takes a lot to push and Excursion around and the V10 is pretty much the max power for this transmission. Synthetic oil helps a great deal in transmissions and rear axles if you are not already using it.

When you tow with an effiecient vehicle it is taking very little power to move it the 80% of the time it is solo so there tends to be less wear. It is amazing how little trouble our customers have with their front drive v6 tow vehicles. The customers with pickups and conventional SUV's have far more driveline problems. Part of that could be attitude when driving maybe people towing with a car are more in touch with their machinery, they don't go "its a truck it can handle it".

I cannot think of any customer ever turned down for a warranty repair because they were towing with a car mini van etc. Worst case scenario and you were turned down you are still many thousands of dollars ahead of the game.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
I think you can tow an Airstream up a hill with a car or I have had some very vivid dreams.

Independence Pass 12100' 1987 Olds 88 3.8 Litre V/6 front wheel drive.

The Lexus 3.0 Litre RX300 on the Alaska Highway it also went to Panama and many other trips.

Taurus SHO and a Mercedes R Class on Appalacian Pass in Vermont 18% grade.

One reason for the wear in the Excursion tranny is that it is working all the time even without the trailer it takes a lot to push and Excursion around and the V10 is pretty much the max power for this transmission. Synthetic oil helps a great deal in transmissions and rear axles if you are not already using it.

When you tow with an effiecient vehicle it is taking very little power to move it the 80% of the time it is solo so there tends to be less wear. It is amazing how little trouble our customers have with their front drive v6 tow vehicles. The customers with pickups and conventional SUV's have far more driveline problems. Part of that could be attitude when driving maybe people towing with a car are more in touch with their machinery, they don't go "its a truck it can handle it".

I cannot think of any customer ever turned down for a warranty repair because they were towing with a car mini van etc. Worst case scenario and you were turned down you are still many thousands of dollars ahead of the game.

Andrew T
Andy:
That is exactly what my transmission guy said about the ex. Your comment is spot on!
I also have an R class, never crossed my mind to tow with it. Any pics of that set up? Was it the 500 or the 350?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:22 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
I think you can tow an Airstream up a hill with a car or I have had some very vivid dreams.

Independence Pass 12100' 1987 Olds 88 3.8 Litre V/6 front wheel drive.

The Lexus 3.0 Litre RX300 on the Alaska Highway it also went to Panama and many other trips.

Taurus SHO and a Mercedes R Class on Appalacian Pass in Vermont 18% grade.
Andrew T
Well, it's obvious lots of things CAN be done, but to any reasonable thinking person, many of the things you guys are doing SHOULDN'T be done.

Most of the vehicles you show in the pictures aren't even rated to carry the WEIGHT of the tongue of the trailers towed plus passengers, much less the absence of adequate tow ratings.

However, at this point it's seems certain you have your mind made up, and no amount of logic, reason, or manufacturer's rating is going to change it. I also have my mind made up, and I gurantee you will not change mine, either.

I've been towing travel trailers since the early 70's, with adequate rated vehicles, have never had a weight rated failure, but have seen some premature wear related to towing. I wonder what would have happened to some of the vehicles you propose if they had seen the same amount of towing service in the same amount of time.

However, you will read no more response posts from me about whatever goofy tow rig you folks want to use in Canada. Good luck to all of you, and I hope you stay safe, because we do share the roads.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #72
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Well, it's obvious lots of things CAN be done, but to any reasonable thinking person, many of the things you guys are doing SHOULDN'T be done.

Most of the vehicles you show in the pictures aren't even rated to carry the WEIGHT of the tongue of the trailers towed plus passengers, much less the absence of adequate tow ratings.

However, at this point it's seems certain you have your mind made up, and no amount of logic, reason, or manufacturer's rating is going to change it. I also have my mind made up, and I gurantee you will not change mine, either.

I've been towing travel trailers since the early 70's, with adequate rated vehicles, have never had a weight rated failure, but have seen some premature wear related to towing. I wonder what would have happened to some of the vehicles you propose if they had seen the same amount of towing service in the same amount of time.

However, you will read no more response posts from me about whatever goofy tow rig you folks want to use in Canada. Good luck to all of you, and I hope you stay safe, because we do share the roads.


It's a shame you have your mind closed to the alternatives, Steve, but you're perfectly entitled to your view, as is everyone else.

If you want to get a handle on what AndrewT is doing, have a look at some of his Hitch Hints columns in Airstream Life or here:

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:38 AM   #73
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It's a shame you have your mind closed to the alternatives, Steve, but you're perfectly entitled to your view, as is everyone else.

If you want to get a handle on what AndrewT is doing, have a look at some of his Hitch Hints columns in Airstream Life or here:

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters
MrUKToad,

I have read Andrew's Hitch Hints, and agree with all of them, actually practice most of them.

It's the tow vehicles.............
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:55 AM   #74
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Re: Headwinds, Grand Cherokee and Towing

I tow our 5675 lb. FC23FB with a 08 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel. Strong headwinds, and strong side winds for that matter, increase my fuel consumption by about 20%. I made these observations on a series of 1/2 tank refills on our recent trip from CO to WA and return. US 93 in calm conditions through Nevada provided the low wind reference (16.5 mpg) and I 84 through Idaho provided the high wind reference (13.5mpg). Steep grades (and I do plenty of 8%) don't affect my consumption that significantly, as what goes up generally comes down. I've done 16.5 mpg between Durango and Great Sand Dunes NP - which includes Wolf Creek Pass and others.

All measurements are at 60 mph cruise control with temporary variation for road conditions.

Wind speeds are rough guesstimates when driving a car, and although I'm a sailor with pretty good feel for wind speed, I can't be more accurate without an anemometer. Altitude and temperature also have effect, but I haven't measured them. It's a travel trailer, not a laboratory

I note that this thread on "Grand Cherokee and Towing" includes many opinions from people who have no actual experience with the Grand Cherokee. All interesting, but to quote a salty philosopher - "Don't try to describe the ocean if you haven't seen it." - Jimmy Buffet.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:50 AM   #75
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Most tow ratings are not worth the paper they're written on; they're not much more than marketing tools and bear little or no relation to the actual towing capability.
I don't agree. Also, it is not true that older cars' weight had nothing to do with towing capacity. I remember as a teenager my father shopping for a '71 Olds 455 Delta 88 as a tow car in the early eighties as they quit producing full framed cars (bodies) to drop weight, etc. Their towing ability dropped too. Truck frames are specifically tested for payload and towing.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:19 PM   #76
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The tow ratings dropped but apparently the towing ability improved.

Andrew T has explained concept many times before.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:42 PM   #77
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We have set up several R Class's now. a 500 but the rest are diesels. It is the best tow vehicle I have driven. 126.5" wheelbase with a really short overhang, independent suspension, nice precise steering and a low centre of gravity. It is really sad they're going to stop building them.

One of our friends that we travel with have one and I have driven it quite a lot and I never really want to give the keys back. Besides the great handling the ride is very comfortable and it is of coarse very quiet.

Last year we were traveling with three 34's David had the R Class, I was towing with the SHO and Blair has a 2011 Suburban 1500 with a 5.3 and a 6 speed transmission. We did two gas stops in a row at the same station ran one behind the other between them. The R took 14.1 gallons, The SHO 17.4 and the Sub 22.1.

Putting the hitch the R is a little tricky but possible. Attached is a picture of the set up and better shot of the combination.

What model is yours? Does it have springs or Air Ride?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #78
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We have set up several R Class's now. a 500 but the rest are diesels. It is the best tow vehicle I have driven. 126.5" wheelbase with a really short overhang, independent suspension, nice precise steering and a low centre of gravity. It is really sad they're going to stop building them.

One of our friends that we travel with have one and I have driven it quite a lot and I never really want to give the keys back. Besides the great handling the ride is very comfortable and it is of coarse very

What model is yours? Does it have springs or Air Ride?
I have the R 350. The air bags are only on the rear and act as levelers rather than the more dynamic full airmatic system. It is deceivingly big and is a pleasure to drive....it makes the excursion seem like a WWII tank!

Thanks for the pics! interesting setup. How does the benz 7 speed transmission handle the load?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:45 AM   #79
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You have the best suspension, the full air works it is just trickier to set up and not quite as dialed in.

When we try out a new vehicle for towing the transmission is often our biggest concern and the only way to really know is to test it. For example the Taurus SHO we are running at the moment. I am not concerned about the Echoboost as they have really tested it well and the transmisison has proven itself to be completely reliable in all the Enclaves, Edges and Flexes we have done but none of them has anywhere near the torque of the Echoboost.

The 7 speed is pretty well proven, Rich Luhr has quite a lot of towing miles on his. Besides the R class we have a lot of customers with ML's and GL's and so far not a single problem.

I think one advantage with these new transmissions is that they always have the right ratio so they are not loaded up in a compromise gear very often. In the old days first gear had to be tall enough to take you to 30 MPH now it only needs to take you to 10 because there is another gear there so you don't have slip the torque converter way up to pull away. On the otherhand my Jag's ZF 6 speed has quite tall gearing "I guess it is set up for autobaun cruising". I had them change the fluid in it at 65000 Miles and it was still like new and the filter was still clean. The Jag has about 20,000 miles of towing on it so not nearly as some of our other vehicles that often have over 50% of their miles towing.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #80
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mruktoad,

i have read andrew's hitch hints, and agree with all of them, actually practice most of them.

It's the tow vehicles.............

x2!
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