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Old 08-30-2009, 08:05 AM   #61
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I assume when you are talking about aviation, you mean commercial flights with highly trained pilots... and where carriers have a strong profit incentive to keep planes from falling out of the sky. Yes, flying in commercial aviation is safer than driving, but I don't think it's about "public outcry." There are about 28,000 commercial pilots in the U.S. and there are about 200 million drivers. As the number would indicate, it's a little easier getting a driver's license than getting a license to fly a commercial jet. Over 40 percent of driving fatalities are alcohol related. Commercial airlines pilots face strict requirements (and sanctions) related to alcohol or drug use. In short, commercial airline pilots are carefully screened, highly trained, highly paid professionals. If you put the same people behind the wheel of Greyhound buses (and paid them six figures)... I imagine the accident rate would be very low.

The single most important factor in safe driving and/or towing is the operator... not the vehicle. I imagine the real 80/20 rule is that 20 percent of drivers cause 80 percent of accidents... people who drive too fast, people who drive impaired, people who drive distracted (talking, eating, texting, etc.). A relatively small percentage of accidents are due to catastrophic mechanical failure. Sure, if you tow at or near capacity, a vehicle is likely to wear out more quickly... but how you drive is far more important than what you drive, at least in this man's opinion.
Thank you!!! Well said. Adios, John
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:10 PM   #62
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The standards for aircraft are much higher than automobiles. Aircraft parts are ermoved and thrown away no matter what they look like, just because those parts have reach the hour service limit for those parts.

Automobiles are rarely maintained to that standard! Heck they aren't maintained to the manufacturer's service standard. Many automobile operators will drive past the recommeded service interval. Doing this in an aircraft is almost unheard of! On a daily driver do owners check all fluid levels and tire pressure every time before turning the key. Or at least once a day or a week? My guess is commercial aircraft in use are looked at if not daily at least every week.

80% is a good guide for the average vehicle maintained in the average way. However it is not from a manufacturers. Just a nice guide.

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Old 09-11-2009, 06:31 PM   #63
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It just doesn't make sense to me why anyone would want to push it and try to reach 100%. What if the ratings are just wrong? At all -- for any reason -- ever? I am not willing to risk my life or my TV or A/S. I mean what if your tired and not paying as much attention or something changed about your airstream or whatever?

I drive a Dodge 3500 dually with an engine brake and a banks kit and there is no where that I can't take my airstream or 3 horse gooseneck(unless the spots too small). I was always taught that for ever 1,000 ft above 6,000ft - 8,000 ft you can count loosing 1,000lbs towing capacity and if you are going to haul up and down 5%-12% grade (like near Yellowstone in Teton pass or heading to Steamboat Springs from Denver) I would guess you are losing more. I am always glad to be over spec'd never did I think, "I wish I had done this in a smaller truck with smaller brakes...." can't say that thought has ever cross my mind. We hauled the a/s back from AZ to WA and went around the hoover dam and I feel sorry for the guys haulding a larger camper that I passed up a huge hill when it was 98 degrees out. They watched open mouthed as we were able to maintain the speed limit.

I look at that thread where they rolled the airstream down a ditch and were almost crushed in their suburban and think thank god for the dually. You know we all have our areas of expertise and if yours is matching the tow rating on your vehicle to the weight of your trailer and you know your TV can handle it and that is where you find joy -- GREAT! but I think I will stick to passing people with my 34ft excella with an above average tow vehicle and conceeding that I like my extra whatever percent. I bet I am closer to 60%/40%.

BTB I have had engine brakes on both of my TV ( I had a 2500 before that) and I love it. They were like 600$ but it was the best piece of mind money that we ever spent esp for the horse trailer.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:38 AM   #64
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Gee, and I remember crossing Wolf Creek, Monarch and others in a drum brake equipped, less-than-largest-engined sedan pulling 28' trailers. Later, motorhomes near gross with the same poor brake type. Wide open throttle for long distances.

And why would anyone want to maintain the speed limit on a long grade? Extra slow traffic in the other lanes is a sign of caution to slow down; to do otherwise is imprudent.

If the manufacturer errs, it is on the side of caution. Again, the "80% Rule" is for those too involved with a beer and a sports channel to do some investigation and adjustments.

RV'ers need some "help" in this in the form of industry-wide guidelines that are tested. As well, there needs to be a crackdown on all forms of towing where a WDH is mandated yet not used. Annual state inspections would be a good start.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:36 AM   #65
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Towing License?

Hi, this might ruffle a few feathers, but maybe DMV should have a license and test for trailer owners. I had to take a test to drive my car and I had to take more tests to be licensed to drive motorcycles. I think maybe it's time for a combined vehicle [trailer] license to be added to the list.

No matter what set up you have, whether you tow a 34'er with a Pinto or a 16' Bambi with a Kenworth, DRIVER ABILITY is the most important safety factor. [my opinion]
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:22 AM   #66
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Hi, this might ruffle a few feathers, but maybe DMV should have a license and test for trailer owners. I had to take a test to drive my car and I had to take more tests to be licensed to drive motorcycles. I think maybe it's time for a combined vehicle [trailer] license to be added to the list.

No matter what set up you have, whether you tow a 34'er with a Pinto or a 16' Bambi with a Kenworth, DRIVER ABILITY is the most important safety factor. [my opinion]

with the explosion in size/scope of fed gubmint, I have to believe this isn't far behind.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:32 AM   #67
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With all due respect to our aging population, I think a better idea is to do road tests every two years for drivers beyond a given age. Let's be honest... some folks just shouldn't be on the road.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:02 AM   #68
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The 80% tow rule. Where did it come from?

Not sure, but I suspect the 80% rule was derived based on these facts (anyone notice any common “thread” to these threads?).

Every one of these disasters was with a ½ ton (or lighter) vehicle. Everyone!
It amazes that Folks will continue to split hairs when trying to spec out a TV/TT combination. If you are so close to capacity that you have to count every ounce you are taking with you-stick to backpacking!
There is a reason HD trucks are made. I have not seen a single tail wagging, over loaded, rollover accident reported on this forum that involves a ¾ ton or 1 ton vehicle. The decision to purchase a HD TV usually comes with experience…or those that have the foresight to put the odds in their favor. There are enough factors on the road that we cannot influence. We can make the right choice in a TV/TT combo…

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Old 09-14-2009, 11:32 AM   #69
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If I have to ride shotgun, I'll take a good driver in a 1/2 ton loaded to capacity over an idiot driving any 3/4 or 1 ton truck... loaded or not. I've seen plenty of 3/4 and 1 ton trucks wrecked. I've seen guys tip them by getting a tire onto a soft shoulder. I've seen wreck them by thinking four-wheel drive not only makes them go better in the snow and ice... but stop faster, too.

Here's some economic data for you, Bill. As vehicles have become more safe, the numbers of accidents have actually increased. When people feel safer, they take more risks. This is why one economist wagged, if we wanted people to drive more safely, we'd put a spear on the steering wheel facing the driver's heart (paraphrased). I'd much rather see cautious drivers on the road than some guy who thinks because he bought a one-ton truck, he can haul anything on the planet.

Adequate vehicle + excellent driver > excellent vehicle + adequate driver.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #70
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Every one of these disasters was with a ½ ton (or lighter) vehicle. Everyone!


Bill
this sway/jacknife happened with a Ford Excursion, which is a 1-Ton chassis...

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Old 09-14-2009, 12:03 PM   #71
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this sway/jacknife happened with a Ford Excursion, which is a 1-Ton chassis...
The Ford Excursion is a design disaster going somewhere to happen.

My niece rolled her trailer behind an Excursion and when I bought mine I spent several months redesigning the suspension before I felt even close to safe while towing. My first tow with it required all 3 lanes of 295 in south Jersey. Had I not been towing for 40 years I know it would have looked just like the film above. My wife will never drive this truck.

If you question my comments go on any of the Ford truck sites and type in Wandering and you will see what I am referring to. The Excursion was designed for soccer moms. The sway bars require upgrading, the shock require changing, and the steering box should be replaced with an after market one. Even given all this it is still not a good TV
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #72
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Good points, Gene; aviation industry is held to a higher standard than motor vehicles with regard to maintenance, inspection, specification, and pilot qualification.

Steve

So are you saying that you would load your plane to max capacity but wouldn't do the same with TV towing an Airstream ? And let me be more specific, a late model truck with a factory tow package rated at 6500 LBS towing a 23' Airstream which would be just about at the limit, probably about 300 LBS under the limit ?

Also, I can't really see comparing planes to truck and trailers, the only thing that they would have in common is that you would want to properly load either one, otherwise it's apples to oranges IMO.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:38 AM   #73
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I am absolutly amazed how some fight the 'oversized TV', now we are reckless, don't know how to drive...

There are idiots driving in all size vehicle starting in the smart car all the way up to 18wheelers.

I choose an oversized vehicle not because I don't know how to drive but because I didn't see any downside to it. I have yet to find one and say geee I wish I would have bought that mini Cooper instead of the 2500 to tow my 25footer...

But I know my setup gets better gasmilage, is safer, more comftable and gets me to my destination faster... Is that really so bad?

It sure seems this discussion is going nowhere...
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:17 AM   #74
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My point with the hapless Excursion driver video, was to show that tow ratings (IMHO) are pretty subjective. That SUV was/is considered an excellent tow vehicle, and boasts a 20,000lb GCWR. ATST, Howie is right, there's a boat-load of info on 'spring-wrap', 'rear-axle steering' problems with the Excursion (besides all the EGR, diesel issues).

So where does that put the weekend-warrior-RVer's relying on published vehicle specs?

Now, that's not to say I completely disregard a vehicles tow ratings. I use a 2500 BB Suburban for my TV (~90% depending, for all you 'ratings-mongers'). I wouldn't have any problem pulling my 30Slide with a 1500 Suburban (somewhere in the 130% range), with the right 'key' upgrades... but that's the real issue, here-- keeping it real.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:49 AM   #75
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I choose an oversized vehicle not because I don't know how to drive but because I didn't see any downside to it. I have yet to find one and say geee I wish I would have bought that mini Cooper instead of the 2500 to tow my 25footer...

But I know my setup gets better gasmilage, is safer, more comftable and gets me to my destination faster... Is that really so bad?
There are some downsides though:

- Heavy duty trucks have longer stopping distances than light-duty trucks or car-based tow vehicles.
- Not many heavy duty trucks have stability control (that's changing, as it becomes standard on new trucks), and all have a pretty high center of gravity, increasing the chance of a rollover.
- Their typically so-so handling makes it harder to avoid an accident.
- Unloaded, their fuel economy and ride are typically worse (particularly if you exclude the variable of the diesel powertrain) than a light duty truck or car-based tow vehicle.
- Car-based and light truck tow vehicles typically have more passive safety equipment, like curtain air bags, than heavy duty trucks. (Again, that's changing in current model years.) Some trucks, like the Silverado, are mediocre in some crash tests.
- I've driven a lot of trucks and SUVs. I find stuff like a Buick Enclave or Ford Flex is more comfortable and accomodating inside than their company's trucks.

I guess what troubles me most about this thread is that, given a list of accidents, one really doesn't know if a different tow vehicle would have prevented it. (Maybe weight distribution wasn't used. Maybe the sway control wasn't set correctly.)

If someone cuts in front of you on a highway, and you veer into the soft grass median, you can flip a big truck or a Xterra. It can be argued that a big truck's heavier weight would help, or that a lower-to-the-ground vehicle with stability control would have been better....

Tom
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:55 AM   #76
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- Unloaded, their fuel economy and ride are typically worse (particularly if you exclude the variable of the diesel powertrain) than a light duty truck or car-based tow vehicle.
For me, that's a big consideration.

I'm going to estimate that towing will be 5% (or less) of my driving time. Do I want to pay the penalty of driving a truck the other 95% of the time?

For me, the answer is a resounding no. Your mileage may vary...

I would also add that one of our long-time resident experts here constantly reminds readers that a TV that is too heavy for the particular trailer you tow is actually very hard on it, and will literally "shake it to death".
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:46 AM   #77
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I am absolutly amazed how some fight the 'oversized TV', now we are reckless, don't know how to drive...
Is it reckless to tow an Airstream that is slightly under the factory tow rating for the truck ? That's the question asked, and let's not assume someone is reckless and a bad driver, let's assume the opposite and answer the question. Why is the 80 percent "rule" seemingly taken as gospel so often ? Just because you have a TV that is overrated for the job, that isn't for everyone.





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There are idiots driving in all size vehicle starting in the smart car all the way up to 18wheelers.

This statement is of course correct, but there are also excellent drivers in all size vehicles so whats the point ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post

I choose an oversized vehicle not because I don't know how to drive but because I didn't see any downside to it. I have yet to find one and say geee I wish I would have bought that mini Cooper instead of the 2500 to tow my 25footer...

Of course you're going to the extreme here, how about a truck rated at around 7500 lbs to tow your 25er, not a mini cooper, what about that ? That's the question asked here. Is that reckless ? I would say it isn't.




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But I know my setup gets better gasmilage, is safer, more comftable and gets me to my destination faster... Is that really so bad?
Nobody is saying it's bad, but is it necessary ? Once again, a good driver pulling an airstream and being around 95 percent of capacity, I would say that a good driver could drive either setup with equal comfort and safety.



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It sure seems this discussion is going nowhere...


Why do you say that ? I'm finding this thread interesting because I've wondered about the origins of this 80-20 "rule"
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #78
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I travel (towing) about 6-7 weeks a year. Add a couple of weekends now and again. I cringe at the pumps as it is since I am moslty driving to work or the grocery store. Finding a ballance between all of the activities I would like to do is really my concern - not finding the biggest, best, baddest tow vehicle. I tow my AS without any issues. I don't climb or go down the mountain passes in BC at 60 mph and probably wouldn't if I were driving a Kenworth.

My opinion is that it is more about the driver than the tow vehicle - assuming your not way over your limit.

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #79
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Is it reckless to tow an Airstream that is slightly under the factory tow rating for the truck ? That's the question asked, and let's not assume someone is reckless and a bad driver, let's assume the opposite and answer the question. Why is the 80 percent "rule" seemingly taken as gospel so often ? Just because you have a TV that is overrated for the job, that isn't for everyone.
i was reffering to someone earlier essentially saying drivers in oversized TV's are dummies and the guy in the 1/4 ton is the smart and good driver... (i am exaterating...)

no scenario is reckless as long as the driver knows the limits and capilities of their TV. the wrecks described in those other threads where all drivers fault and could have been easily avoided by driving the proper speed and knowing the impact of wind, trucks and downhill








Quote:
This statement is of course correct, but there are also excellent drivers in all size vehicles so whats the point ?
the point is, the driver and his/her cabilities are just as important as the TV





Quote:
Of course you're going to the extreme here, how about a truck rated at around 7500 lbs to tow your 25er, not a mini cooper, what about that ? That's the question asked here. Is that reckless ? I would say it isn't.
no it's not as long as you stay within your limits. however a lot pack more wheight than they think and i like to have full fresh water tank with me for example...

i went to fremont peak state park the other day and i was glad i had the extra pulling power getting into the campground

to each their own i guess...






Quote:
Nobody is saying it's bad, but is it necessary ? Once again, a good driver pulling an airstream and being around 95 percent of capacity, I would say that a good driver could drive either setup with equal comfort and safety.
most everyone thinks they are the best driver out there...





Quote:
Why do you say that ? I'm finding this thread interesting because I've wondered about the origins of this 80-20 "rule"
because we are split between the one side saying big is bad and the other side saying big is good with no resolution is sight...
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:16 PM   #80
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There are some downsides though:

- Heavy duty trucks have longer stopping distances than light-duty trucks or car-based tow vehicles.
the 3000lb car pulling a 7000lb trailer is stopping faster than a 7000lb truck pulling a 7000lb ? i would like to see that....

Quote:
- Not many heavy duty trucks have stability control (that's changing, as it becomes standard on new trucks), and all have a pretty high center of gravity, increasing the chance of a rollover.
true

Quote:
- Their typically so-so handling makes it harder to avoid an accident.
i think thats offset by the-heavier-the-TV the more controll you have in other ways...

Quote:
- Unloaded, their fuel economy and ride are typically worse (particularly if you exclude the variable of the diesel powertrain) than a light duty truck or car-based tow vehicle.
true, i was fortunate enough to consider my TV just for towing, for my work commute i have a CNG car with 40mpg... i think i am the exception on that one

Quote:
- Car-based and light truck tow vehicles typically have more passive safety equipment, like curtain air bags, than heavy duty trucks. (Again, that's changing in current model years.) Some trucks, like the Silverado, are mediocre in some crash tests.
true, but we are talking AVOIDING an accident before it happens...

Quote:
- I've driven a lot of trucks and SUVs. I find stuff like a Buick Enclave or Ford Flex is more comfortable and accomodating inside than their company's trucks.
matter of taste i guess...

Quote:
I guess what troubles me most about this thread is that, given a list of accidents, one really doesn't know if a different tow vehicle would have prevented it. (Maybe weight distribution wasn't used. Maybe the sway control wasn't set correctly.)

If someone cuts in front of you on a highway, and you veer into the soft grass median, you can flip a big truck or a Xterra. It can be argued that a big truck's heavier weight would help, or that a lower-to-the-ground vehicle with stability control would have been better....

Tom
can't agree more with you on that, so many factors and a lot of guessing anbd what ifs...
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