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Old 10-14-2018, 06:09 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
So even if you have traded to the large truck dial the hitch in as if you had a Pilot. Feel free to send me an email andy@canamrv.ca and I can send instructions on how to do it.
I took Andy up on his offer and he sent me his instructions on how to set up the hitch. My rig was pretty good before but after following his guide is great. The most significant improvement came from Andy's recommendations to 1/2" bolts on the chains in order to to adjust the chains in 1/3 increments instead of full links.


Neither the manual for my hitch nor any of the other setup instructions I found discussed this method. In my case there was not enough weight transfered to the front axle using the 4th link from the end, but too much using the 5th. With one 1/2" bolt the CAT scales tell me I'm transferring just about 1/3 of the tongue weight, but more importantly, the rig feels much more stable.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:49 PM   #262
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Acura MDX towing

I would be interested to see your weight measurements on the CAT scale, especially the rear and front axle loads. The pix seem to show your rear is low and squat and the front slightly elevated. If the Hensley compensates it would be interesting to see what the hitch weight is now. I think an unloaded 25FB puts 837 lbs on the hitch, so you’d be at max tongue weight if 1/3rd was sent to the tow rig. Add another 100lbs for a loaded trailer and your tongue weight exceeds max allowed. I can see why an upgraded hitch mount would be necessary.

Tow capacity for the MDX is 5000 lbs but per specifications it decreases 250 lbs per rear passenger. Your unloaded 25FB is probably 5500 lbs and add about 750 lbs or more for gear and you are over your rated limits.

I know Andy ignores those limits and I don’t aim to start the umpteenth thread on this issue, but I don’t think an uprated tow hitch or a Hensley magically restores handling for a tow vehicle loaded beyond its specified ratings. I am guessing the trick to making this work is a combination of upgrades coupled with a slower going pace. If that works for you, I am not one to question your choices.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:10 AM   #263
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The pics do show some rear squat even with the reinforcement to our hitch and I wonder if that looks different with two adults in the front seat. It would be interesting to see what the weight measurements are on a CAT scale. Regardless, we did not travel at a slower pace unless we wanted to enjoy the scenery like when we were on 101. On the interstare, 70-73 mph was typical and when the speed limit was 80 we were still comfortable towing at 78-80. Occasionally found myself going 82-83. In California I towed at 55 mph. Can Am does maneuverability and high speed lane change tests on their setups. Actually, Andy did go on a test drive with us after they finished their setup. For this trip it was just the two up us and not much else was in the MDX. Good questions, though.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:52 AM   #264
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I would be interested to see your weight measurements on the CAT scale, especially the rear and front axle loads. The pix seem to show your rear is low and squat and the front slightly elevated. If the Hensley compensates it would be interesting to see what the hitch weight is now. I think an unloaded 25FB puts 837 lbs on the hitch, so you’d be at max tongue weight if 1/3rd was sent to the tow rig. Add another 100lbs for a loaded trailer and your tongue weight exceeds max allowed. I can see why an upgraded hitch mount would be necessary.

Tow capacity for the MDX is 5000 lbs but per specifications it decreases 250 lbs per rear passenger. Your unloaded 25FB is probably 5500 lbs and add about 750 lbs or more for gear and you are over your rated limits.

I know Andy ignores those limits and I don’t aim to start the umpteenth thread on this issue, but I don’t think an uprated tow hitch or a Hensley magically restores handling for a tow vehicle loaded beyond its specified ratings. I am guessing the trick to making this work is a combination of upgrades coupled with a slower going pace. If that works for you, I am not one to question your choices.
Ditto
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:28 AM   #265
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I would be interested to see your weight measurements on the CAT scale, especially the rear and front axle loads. The pix seem to show your rear is low and squat and the front slightly elevated. If the Hensley compensates it would be interesting to see what the hitch weight is now. I think an unloaded 25FB puts 837 lbs on the hitch, so you’d be at max tongue weight if 1/3rd was sent to the tow rig. Add another 100lbs for a loaded trailer and your tongue weight exceeds max allowed. I can see why an upgraded hitch mount would be necessary.

Tow capacity for the MDX is 5000 lbs but per specifications it decreases 250 lbs per rear passenger. Your unloaded 25FB is probably 5500 lbs and add about 750 lbs or more for gear and you are over your rated limits.

I know Andy ignores those limits and I don’t aim to start the umpteenth thread on this issue, but I don’t think an uprated tow hitch or a Hensley magically restores handling for a tow vehicle loaded beyond its specified ratings. I am guessing the trick to making this work is a combination of upgrades coupled with a slower going pace. If that works for you, I am not one to question your choices.
I think it is interesting to read the posts on this subject. I have asked the question about liability should something happen which gets the insurance folks involved if your over the manufacturers recommended limits towing with a modified TV. Never really got a straight answer but it is a good question for sure. Wondering if anyone doing the modification's would assume any claims against the owner? I understand mechanical engineering capabilities, and that modulus of elasticity could/would play a roll in any mishap, but there are limits set on the original vehicle for a reason; just wondering how/if you would re-certify your TV to compensate for the modifications or if anyone even does that? I guess I am asking if you get this done at "your own risk", your on your own??
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:36 PM   #266
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I disagree. The hitch receiver upgrade makes a substantive improvement to your towing capacity. The towing capacity is not based on the overall suitability of the vehicle but only the receiver capacity.

The towing rating is based on the strength of the receiver in North America. IIRC a minimum of 10% of the trailer weight is the recommendation for the tongue weight. If the vehicle manufacturer engineers and manufacturers a low quality, stamped metal receiver that can only handle 500 lbs then it logically follows that the towing capacity would be 5,000 lbs.

However, if you increase the strength of the receiver to a Class IV (which is capable of handling a WD hitch with 1,000 tongue weight) then, if you stay with the 10% tongue weight rule of thumb, your trailer weight could be up to 10,000 lbs and it could be towed safely (i.e. avoiding sway at up to 65 mph), if loaded correctly.



I'm not sure I agree with these statements and I'm 110% confident a domestic insurance carrier would also disagree if a claim were brought to them. Yes they would pay it, but they would quickly drop the insured and that would leave a black mark on their record making harder and more costly to get insurance after any such event.



You cannot simply reinforce the rear end to accommodate a heavier load and expect to safely move a vehicle more than 2000lbs beyond what the manufacturer specifies. In this particular case, you have not addressed wheelbase, you have not addressed brakes, transmission, etc.


Honda (who manufactures Acura) built that vehicle to serve a certain purpose. It was never designed to safely tow a 25', 7300lb GVWR trailer. Exceeding is ratings in the manner that has been suggested is not only reckless, it's a danger to the owner and anyone on the road near them.


Now if this person was going to tow a 19-20' Bambi, I'd have zero reservations with your comments.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:36 PM   #267
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People modify vehicles all the time by strengthening weak design areas. We’re not talking baling wire and duct tape here. Some modifications are well done and others are not. Heck, you can add a spring leaf to an F250 and get 1000lb more payload.

Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t tow a 25’ with a unibody car especially with welded reinforcements to take the load of a WDH. But I HAVE driven plenty of non-stock cars with way more power than they were designed for.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:01 PM   #268
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You cannot simply reinforce the rear end to accommodate a heavier load and expect to safely move a vehicle more than 2000lbs beyond what the manufacturer specifies. In this particular case, you have not addressed wheelbase, you have not addressed brakes, transmission, etc.

Honda (who manufactures Acura) built that vehicle to serve a certain purpose. It was never designed to safely tow a 25', 7300lb GVWR trailer. Exceeding is ratings in the manner that has been suggested is not only reckless, it's a danger to the owner and anyone on the road near them.
As far as we know, Acura/Honda simply didn't test the tow capability beyond the tow rating of the receiver they chose to install on the vehicle. There is an absence of manufacturer's testing, not evidence of a test that the vehicle somehow failed. If you have test results from Honda's development team that showed they tested various trailer weights, with a variety of hitch designs, etc, and that there was a marked safety difference at a certain cut-off point, that would be interesting, and a valuable addition to the debate.

If the receiver strength is the limiting factor, then absolutely, you can strengthen the receiver and increase the capacity. Not the manufacturer's rating, they aren't in the discussion any more, but the actual vehicle capacity.

I suggest that it would be a good idea, if the above was your approach, to deal with a supplier that had done this several thousand times on that type of vehicle. Oh, wait....

You are assuming that when a manufacturer specifies a receiver with a 500 lb tongue weight (and which conveniently relates to a 5000 lb towing capacity), then somehow every other system on the vehicle has been designed to peak at that same rating. That is an interesting assumption from an engineering standpoint. Maybe the manufacturer just specified a 500 lb tongue weight, calculated that that was 10% of 5000 lbs, and went with that. If not, do you think they make the brakes smaller so that they are unsafe with a 5500 lb trailer, or is there a chance that the brakes are what they are? How about the transmission, did they size the cooler based on the 5000 lbs? In what ambient? With what frontal area for the trailer? The lack of manufacturer specificity around those issues is very revealing. They don't appear to have paid attention to any of them. So their rating is what it is, but to assume that it represents the acme of the vehicle's inherent capability stretches the bounds of credibility.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:18 PM   #269
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I'm not sure I agree with these statements and I'm 110% confident a domestic insurance carrier would also disagree if a claim were brought to them. Yes they would pay it, but they would quickly drop the insured and that would leave a black mark on their record making harder and more costly to get insurance after any such event.



You cannot simply reinforce the rear end to accommodate a heavier load and expect to safely move a vehicle more than 2000lbs beyond what the manufacturer specifies. In this particular case, you have not addressed wheelbase, you have not addressed brakes, transmission, etc.


Honda (who manufactures Acura) built that vehicle to serve a certain purpose. It was never designed to safely tow a 25', 7300lb GVWR trailer. Exceeding is ratings in the manner that has been suggested is not only reckless, it's a danger to the owner and anyone on the road near them.


Now if this person was going to tow a 19-20' Bambi, I'd have zero reservations with your comments.


110% confident sounds overly confident to me, about 9% above the standard accepted scale where 100% is absolute confidence. Where would that 9% leave you? (Just poking fun)
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:54 PM   #270
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I modified a 96 Impala SS to tow my 25er. Factory rated it at 5000lb towing capacity. I upgraded the brakes, engine mods, cooling, suspension and you know what, I towed my Safari 5x and that didn't stop the rear body bushings from shearing off of the steel frame. Car had gobs of power. Not even going to get into the high winds where the trailer would push the car around. Got a Suburban and it was a night and day difference. Little more power than the SS, longer wheelbase and a 9600lb tow rating. Guess what, no busted off body bushings either. No more tail wagging the dog either.



JCL, you are making some serious assumptions here. Unless you work for Honda you have no idea how they rated that SUV and could be taking a fairly significant risk taking a vendor's comments on a forum at face value. Read my paragraph above this. I do have some exp modding a car, and like you went down the path you appear to be taking. The V6 engine has more than enough power in that Acura to move that rig, but there are far more factors to consider that simply beefing up the rear end and engine power. I would suggest in the strongest possible terms that you rethink your decision to continue down this path.


StevenDebbie, I have 4 friends deep in the insurance business. They have told me flat out, if something bad happened, they would be on the hook to pay it out, however, if there was a major event, loss of life, multi-million dollar lawsuits, besides paying and dropping the client, there is a very good possibility a major carrier might haul the company that modified the car and attempted re-certify a cars capacity exceeding what a manufacturer outlines to share the liability. Also keep in mind most insurance policies are 100/300/50, 100/300/100, 250/500/200. In a major accident that included loss of life, significant personal injury and a fair amount of property damage, which could easily happen at interstate speeds with this kind of combined GVWR this could be woefully insufficient for taking a risk like this. Even if you had a 1,000,000.00 liability add on, loss of life claims due to negligence could evaporate just as quickly.


I would ask at the very least that you call Honda or Acura and actually have a conversation with a higher end engineer before proceeding further. Specifically ask them how they rated the car and what they say about putting a 7300lb RV on the back of their vehicle, reinforced or not.


Be safe!
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:12 AM   #271
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Honda (who manufactures Acura) built that vehicle to serve a certain purpose. It was never designed to safely tow a 25', 7300lb GVWR trailer. Exceeding is ratings in the manner that has been suggested is not only reckless, it's a danger to the owner and anyone on the road near them.


Now if this person was going to tow a 19-20' Bambi, I'd have zero reservations with your comments.
Has anyone actually spoken with the engineers or is this based on reading the specifications page of the owners’ manual? Some of you guys should go to the proving grounds and see the sleds they actually tow during testing. Also, some pics of the frame modification and even a free body diagram of the loads on the frame from the WD would help.

I wouldn’t tow with this combo, don’t like small cars but as far as concern for “everyone else on the road” I worry more about some lifted pickup doing 80 with a 5th wheel attached then one of these small SUVs being carefully driven. Not sure I’d advertise doing 83 mph with it though lol.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:37 AM   #272
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Has anyone actually spoken with the engineers or is this based on reading the specifications page of the owners’ manual? Some of you guys should go to the proving grounds and see the sleds they actually tow during testing. Also, some pics of the frame modification and even a free body diagram of the loads on the frame from the WD would help.

I wouldn’t tow with this combo, don’t like small cars but as far as concern for “everyone else on the road” I worry more about some lifted pickup doing 80 with a 5th wheel attached then one of these small SUVs being carefully driven. Not sure I’d advertise doing 83 mph with it though lol.


Well, actually I happened to find myself going 83 mph on a stretch of I 80 that was flat with new pavement. The speed limit was 80 but traffic was moving at 85+ mph and was light. I was just moving with the flow of traffic but then I did slow down to 75-78. Click image for larger version

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ID:	325336I then came upon someone going 55 towing a small uhaul which was fine, but what are people to do who don’t feel comfortable driving fast towing? Cars were almost running into them.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:44 PM   #273
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Well, actually I happened to find myself going 83 mph on a stretch of I 80 that was flat with new pavement. The speed limit was 80 but traffic was moving at 85+ mph and was light. I was just moving with the flow of traffic but then I did slow down to 75-78. Attachment 325334Attachment 325335Attachment 325336I then came upon someone going 55 towing a small uhaul which was fine, but what are people to do who don’t feel comfortable driving fast towing? Cars were almost running into them.


By the way, these pics show the receiver reinforcement.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:52 PM   #274
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I modified a 96 Impala SS to tow my 25er. Factory rated it at 5000lb towing capacity. I upgraded the brakes, engine mods, cooling, suspension and you know what, I towed my Safari 5x and that didn't stop the rear body bushings from shearing off of the steel frame. Car had gobs of power. Not even going to get into the high winds where the trailer would push the car around. Got a Suburban and it was a night and day difference. Little more power than the SS, longer wheelbase and a 9600lb tow rating. Guess what, no busted off body bushings either. No more tail wagging the dog either.
What were the axle ratings and actual load on the Impala? How much weight redistribution back to the front axle were you able to achieve?

Not a great platform to start with. Lots of rear overhang, and body float, causing control issues. Body bushings were also a known problem with that vehicle. I looked it up, and see that the police version came with more body mounts, but they left them off the civilian version, and so there were issues with shearing, breaking mounts, etc. It wasn't necessarily related to towing. If it was related to towing in your case, did you attach your hitch to the body (thereby putting the load on the mounts) or to the frame (in which case the mounts don't appear to come into play)?

Sounds like you had issues with set up and weight distribution as well, per your comments on control issues.

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JCL, you are making some serious assumptions here. Unless you work for Honda you have no idea how they rated that SUV and could be taking a fairly significant risk taking a vendor's comments on a forum at face value. Read my paragraph above this. I do have some exp modding a car, and like you went down the path you appear to be taking. The V6 engine has more than enough power in that Acura to move that rig, but there are far more factors to consider that simply beefing up the rear end and engine power. I would suggest in the strongest possible terms that you rethink your decision to continue down this path.
I was challenging your assumptions. I haven't been to Honda's development centre. But I have led engineering teams working on vehicle product development and testing.

The concept of a rate determining step, or weakest link, is pretty straightforward. All I said was that if you resolve the weakest link, you move up to the next weakest link. That then becomes the weakest link. You assumed that all the links had the same strength, that when you reached one limit you reached all the limits, at the same moment. That is the assumption I challenged.

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StevenDebbie, I have 4 friends deep in the insurance business. They have told me flat out, if something bad happened, they would be on the hook to pay it out, however, if there was a major event, loss of life, multi-million dollar lawsuits, besides paying and dropping the client, there is a very good possibility a major carrier might haul the company that modified the car and attempted re-certify a cars capacity exceeding what a manufacturer outlines to share the liability. Also keep in mind most insurance policies are 100/300/50, 100/300/100, 250/500/200. In a major accident that included loss of life, significant personal injury and a fair amount of property damage, which could easily happen at interstate speeds with this kind of combined GVWR this could be woefully insufficient for taking a risk like this. Even if you had a 1,000,000.00 liability add on, loss of life claims due to negligence could evaporate just as quickly.
I don't believe anyone has claimed that the vehicle has been recertified. I don't even think that the vehicle is certified for the original manufacturer's recommendation. To me, certification implies control over a large set of variables. That isn't the approach with towing weight recommendations. It does apply to tire ratings, and axle ratings, where the test procedure is defined by a standard test procedure.

The problem with focusing on something like a vehicle rating to such an extent is that it causes people to take their eye of the real risks, that of set up and operation. Turn it around for a moment. Let's say you caused a crash towing a 5000 lb trailer with a vehicle that had a 5000 lb rating for towing. Do you believe that you can transfer some liability to the manufacturer because they "certified" the vehicle you purchased? Sounds incredible to me.

I would never drive a vehicle, let alone tow a trailer, if I was limited to a 100/300 type of liability policy. I carry several million in liability, simply to protect myself and my assets. I also carry underinsured motorist protection, so that if I am in a crash that is caused by someone with such a limited policy, I have the benefits of several million in coverage for my own claim against them.

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I would ask at the very least that you call Honda or Acura and actually have a conversation with a higher end engineer before proceeding further. Specifically ask them how they rated the car and what they say about putting a 7300lb RV on the back of their vehicle, reinforced or not.
The answer to that is clear. They almost assuredly haven't tested it above the planned use case. Why would they? It would be a disservice to their shareholders. A waste of money. So how could they answer the question? They would tell you not to do it. Not necessarily because they believe it is dangerous, which they may or may not believe, but because they don't have grounds to say otherwise. That is where we go back to a supplier with a solid reputation who does have the experience. When Porsche, who has buildings full of very competent engineers, wanted to set up one of their SUVs for towing an Airstream, who do you think they hired?
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:52 PM   #275
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Acura MDX towing

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When Porsche, who has buildings full of very competent engineers, wanted to set up one of their SUVs for towing an Airstream, who do you think they hired?


Is this a trick question? In Canada, they go to CanAm of course.
Read the hitch hints article in the linked magazine.

http://rvlifemag.dgtlpub.com/issues/...2013-02-28.pdf
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:17 PM   #276
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This thread is off the rails. These straw man threads always end up that way.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:27 PM   #277
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This thread is off the rails. These straw man threads always end up that way.
Over 24,000 views. Seems people are interested, on or off the rails.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:41 PM   #278
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I wonder how many here are biting their tongues wanting to give their say on this but being civil?
Just because something is paid for does not make it the right TV.
83 mph towing 3+ tons of trailer and you have a blow out or need to take evasive action for whatever reason, don't need much imagination for that.
I MIGHT to our 19' with it but no way in the land of the devil would I put our 25' back there.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:22 PM   #279
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I wonder how many here are biting their tongues wanting to give their say on this but being civil?

Just because something is paid for does not make it the right TV.

83 mph towing 3+ tons of trailer and you have a blow out or need to take evasive action for whatever reason, don't need much imagination for that.

I MIGHT to our 19' with it but no way in the land of the devil would I put our 25' back there.


83 mph is not my towing speed. I happened to be going 83 and when I noticed I backed down. My gas mileage would truly suffer at that speed. I found that 70 mph was a reasonable speed for 4th gear and my mileage was actually better than same speed 5th gear most times due to wind resistance. But, 70 mph blowout with MDX towing double axel vs Tundra pulling single axel blowout? IDK
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:19 PM   #280
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Good Lord, if you see it coming pull over if you’re scared. Geez. Can’t protect yourself from everything.
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