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Old 10-19-2018, 08:16 PM   #321
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Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
Me too. They’re hilarious. If there’s so much concern for “everyone on the highway” you guys should call said dealer and call them out instead of posting on here.



Tomorrow I’ll hook up my 27’ to my Trailblazer and post pics on here just to stir the pot.


Amen! And I’m looking forward to your pics Click image for larger version

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Camp Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

On a steep hillside with gravel road. We had a back in site to a terraced pad. Camp manager takes you into your spot and guides you in backing into your site. He kept telling me when to turn but it wasn’t going well until I said I could do it myself. I’m used to making sharper turns when backing up due to the Hensley and I got right in. He was looking at my hitch with a puzzled look and said he hadn’t seen a hitch like that before and didn’t know I could turn that sharp. People to the left liked our rig and the ones to the right wondered how we were able to tow with “that car”. I was a little nervous about stopping and starting up the steep drive but the SH-AWD worked well with mo more than a split second of tire spin.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-20-2018, 08:22 AM   #322
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Acura MDX towing

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Originally Posted by Lara Me View Post
I agree that a vendor should not have liability in a case where a customer specifically directs the vendor to perform mods.

I think the main issue is educating customers sufficiently to make a choice. If a vendor says nothing, that’s hard to fault a vendor unless the “ask” is so plainly stupid.

But take the OP. My guess by their comments is that the OP has very little knowledge. They go to the vendor and ask: can I safely tow a 6500 lb (loaded) trailer with a vehicle that is not rated to tow a load this heavy?

What should a vendor advise? Andy provides his advise based on his considerable experience. Should he also tell the customer that the car is over its safety rating? Should he get an explicit waiver that the customer assumes responsibility? (actually does he?) should that waiver state that the modification will result in the vehicle exceeding its rated capacity, potentially voiding warranties? And what about insurance riders in which a policy may disclaim coverage for modifications that exceed ratings? (I need to look at my own policy now!)

Armed with this info, the customer is likely to inquire further. They may or may not seek more opinions (hopefully not just from an Internet forum), and they may consider other courses. Or they may do the mods. Their informed choice.

I put these questions out there only because they are relevant to ask. Once answered, I agree the owner should own responsibility unless the modification exceeds any common sense standard (like if a vendor modified the hitch on my old Honda Element in order to tow a FB25 - I think no reasonable person who has ever towed with that rig would ever think that was appropriate).

I am still going to recommend to the MDX owner that they shouldn’t combine an underrated tow rig with speeds that exceed the stock tire ratings, Hensley or no Hensley.


We have definitely killed this subject. You own all of the responsibility of what you drive and tow. I would imagine that the folks up north who make the mods have a rock solid indemnification clause in their sales contract for every vehicle they modify and every RV they sell. Their insurance carrier requires this without a doubt. As has been repeatedly said, tow what you want to tow, how you want to tow it with what you want to tow it with. It’s all on each of us and yes, in worst case scenario, if you are involved in a catastrophic accident and the authorities determine you to be criminally at fault for knowingly exceeding your vehicles intended capacity, then the buck and whatever fallout is solely upon you. (Think too many passengers in a vehicle, vehicle rolls, passenger who didn’t have a seatbelt because there were not enough suffers a fatality, that liability (both criminal and monetary)) falls on the driver for exceeding that the vehicles factory designed and stated capacity.

Keep in mind, I wish this scenario on no one. There is this back and forth here of what is possible in terms of getting X or Y to pull a certain camper. We all acknowledge that with the proverbial duck tape and bale wire, anything is possible - just not advised when considered through the lense of liability and risk.
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:38 PM   #323
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It was interesting a couple of years ago some nice people contacted us from California. They had purchased a new 25’ Airstream just assuming their Volvo SUV could tow it. When they went to pick it up the dealer told them they could not tow with the Volvo to get a truck. They cannot park a truck in their garage so they started looking for other SUV’s and found us through Airforums. We explained we have a long history with Volvo’s several clients with their same model. Fortunately there is a company in LA that can reinforce receivers so they went there and we sent them a hitch system.

Now all set they went back to get their Airstream. The dealer still wouldn’t let them hook up but said they would rent them a truck to take it home.

The customer called to say the drive scared them and they were now seriously thinking about returning the Airstream. I called back thinking they used the Ball mount for The Volvo on the 150 and that caused the instability. But it was worse than that. The dealer sent them home with the F150 just sitting on a ball.

I explained that was the problem and to hook the Volvo up according to the instructions we sent. They did and are pleased with the combination.

The dealer was afraid to send them out with a dialled in setup on a very stable vehicle but thought just sending them out sitting on the Ball of an F150 was safe. They were assuming that the tow rating was all that mattered.

Pickups are certainly marketed to tow but they are not really built to tow. If they were built to tow they would not look anything like a pickup.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:44 PM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
It was interesting a couple of years ago some nice people contacted us from California. They had purchased a new 25’ Airstream just assuming their Volvo SUV could tow it. When they went to pick it up the dealer told them they could not tow with the Volvo to get a truck. They cannot park a truck in their garage so they started looking for other SUV’s and found us through Airforums. We explained we have a long history with Volvo’s several clients with their same model. Fortunately there is a company in LA that can reinforce receivers so they went there and we sent them a hitch system.

Now all set they went back to get their Airstream. The dealer still wouldn’t let them hook up but said they would rent them a truck to take it home.

The customer called to say the drive scared them and they were now seriously thinking about returning the Airstream. I called back thinking they used the Ball mount for The Volvo on the 150 and that caused the instability. But it was worse than that. The dealer sent them home with the F150 just sitting on a ball.

I explained that was the problem and to hook the Volvo up according to the instructions we sent. They did and are pleased with the combination.

The dealer was afraid to send them out with a dialled in setup on a very stable vehicle but thought just sending them out sitting on the Ball of an F150 was safe. They were assuming that the tow rating was all that mattered.

Pickups are certainly marketed to tow but they are not really built to tow. If they were built to tow they would not look anything like a pickup.
Good story Andy. Missing is the data on "who" told them to go home like that...the salesman, the inexperienced service manager, or the owner of the dealership? Also, not sure how far they had to drive...I would not necessarily use my WDH to move a trailer down the block, to a different camp site, or go to the dump station, assuming no highway travel or heavy traffic.

We all know the dealers don't want to loose a sale and they say all kinds of things. In fact, rarely does a dealer or salesman know what the payload actually is on a new vehicle, nor where to find it!

But good point about the ball hitch. We still see from time to time, some folks post on here about their "new truck" doesn't need a WDH, they were told....good luck with that one!
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:49 PM   #325
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few years back, when I was "considering" a 5th wheel, I was at the AS dealer between 2008 25' AS and the 2014 25' model I ended up purchasing. The dealer's "top salesman" told me my 2 year old 2012 F150 EB Platinum 4x4 short bed could be "made" to haul a 30' fifth wheel we were looking at....I couldn't believe it...I am sure they would have found a way to make it work...I ended up going with a new 2014 25' FC Twin instead.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:11 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
My son had taken 5 college classmates on a ski trip to Colorado from Texas...someone else was driving when he hit a gust of wind and rolled.

Not for nothing, but all the questions about loading and cargo during the court case may have been in response to the fact that "a gust of wind" pretty rarely (like, never?) rolls a vehicle, but five college kids **very** often do stupid stuff that does....

Obviously I have almost no information about this, but if I was a lawyer and there were five college kids in a rolled truck, I would move very quickly to the conclusion that something was happening inside that vehicle that directly or indirectly caused the accident. I would ask ALL sorts of questions about loading and cargo to rule out the possibility of a freak wind gust.

I hope everyone involved in the accident wound up okay in the end...
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:27 AM   #327
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Not for nothing, but all the questions about loading and cargo during the court case may have been in response to the fact that "a gust of wind" pretty rarely (like, never?) rolls a vehicle, but five college kids **very** often do stupid stuff that does....

Obviously I have almost no information about this, but if I was a lawyer and there were five college kids in a rolled truck, I would move very quickly to the conclusion that something was happening inside that vehicle that directly or indirectly caused the accident. I would ask ALL sorts of questions about loading and cargo to rule out the possibility of a freak wind gust.

I hope everyone involved in the accident wound up okay in the end...
Well, if you have ever driven in Colorado during high winds, you might understand...they can get some very nasty gusting conditions, even close the highway...not unusual. Happened to us coming back to Texas last year outside Pagosa Springs. On my trips to MT from TX in the winter months, I have seen many vehicles on their sides due to wind in TX, CO, and WY...I mean, a lot...not just semis but small cars as well. Wind can be very challenging especially at night with some snow flurries...

As for my son's accident, they were all sleeping when the driver at the time encountered the gusting conditions...they had skis and a luggage pod on the roof, but were not overloaded. Just a freak wind and perhaps the tires...Firestone was having issues with Ford SUV's back then. (lots of data and lawsuits on this). One of the passengers, a girl, had a serious back injury and thus the parents lawsuit to cover damages. Still friends with the family to this day. Ironically, the other passengers stayed around the hospital for day or 2 until the parents told them to continue on their ski trip; they rented a car and about 100 miles further, they ran into a herd of elk! Wrecked that car also...then they headed home (they flew)....did not want to push their luck. Lawsuit followed a month or so later...
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:27 AM   #328
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Update on MDX towing. This June we took a trip from Ohio to the upper peninsula of Michigan. Prior to this trip I contacted Can Am about getting new tires for our MDX. Here was his recommendation:Click image for larger version

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We did go with the Pirelli Scorpion XL tires and Andy was correct in that we were able to tow in a higher gear and our mileage improved. We got 11.3 mpg when traveling 60 mph and the handling of the MDX seemed even more precise. When traveling 70-75 mph our fuel economy did drop to about 9.5 mpg. I was able to drop into 5th gear more often (although thus was a flat route) but we had more passing power in 4th gear than before.

This trip was about 1500 miles in going from eastern Ohio to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, then to Milwaukee and through Chicago to Coldwater Michigan. We highly recommend against driving the Indiana toll road due to the high cost of $36 for our 4 axels and the road was very rough. Construction from Milwaukee to Chicago made for very narrow lanes and the winds were gusty. Still our rig tracked well and no sway. We did see some serious sway in other rigs with ultralight trailers who were traveling slower and pulling off due to the winds and narrow lanes. Trucks were to stay in the left lane due to the right lane having bridges causing sudden narrowing for the lane.

At 125k miles on the MDX still towing well. We did have an all wheel alignment done when we got the new tires and our local mechanic aligned for our MDX being a TV. Click image for larger version

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Safe travels,

Steve
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:47 PM   #329
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Huh, I guess that Andy guy up in Ontario knows his stuff; and you haven't knelt to the howls of 3/4 ton people saying you're a menace for towing with a SUV.

Happy trails to you both.

Cheers
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:19 PM   #330
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Huh, I guess that Andy guy up in Ontario knows his stuff; and you haven't knelt to the howls of 3/4 ton people saying you're a menace for towing with a SUV.

Happy trails to you both.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony


Yeah, it seems that everything Andy told me is true. Those crazy Canadians at Can Am seem to have a really good understanding of the physics of towing. As far as being a menace for towing a 25’ AS with our MDX you are correct - but not on the road to others but to the towing truths some people had no problems telling me about.

Thanks, Tony, and happy trails to you as well

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Old 07-07-2020, 10:32 PM   #331
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My wife and I drove to Iowa a few years back from Oregon, and drove back a few years later a different way. on the way out we went thru Yellowstone and down through Nebraska, on the way back we went through Badlands, Montana, Northern Idaho. The Rocky's are steep and tall, but relatively short especially near Jackson hole into Idaho.


If you stick to the Freeway, the grades are never all that bad you shouldn't see more than 12%. in Oregon as long as you stay on I-84 the steep grades are fairly short, the rest are pretty gradual, usually 6% is typical before you get to the Columbia gorge. Once you get to the Columbia you don't have to climb any real hills. if you go out to the coast, you can take 101 down, to California and avoid most hills. Or if you don't want to go to the coast, Take 97 down to California.



Both routes are very different. Almost all the state parks in Oregon are along the Coast, there are RV parks every where, but Camping in Central or Eastern Oregon often means forest service, or BLM, and that means pit toilets no power, and only the popular spots have water available. Also in September you might want to check that campgrounds in central and eastern Oregon are not closed for the season yet. Along the coast there are many state Parks or County campgrounds, or RV parks that will all have power, water and showers, and most are at least partially open all year. it will rain quite a bit at the coast that time of the year, and be fairly cool everywhere, but the rain shadow can help keep central Oregon drier.



I've only been to Cleveland and Wooster Ohio, but if you haven't been to this northwest corner, there's not a lot of ways to get from one place to another. compared to the mid-west being laid out in a grid. sometimes you will just have to skip some destinations as it would mean driving hours out of your way. Our friends from Iowa that came out thought we drove too fast on narrow windy roads, so be prepared to feel pushed to drive too fast on the state highway passes, there just aren't enough places to put passing lanes on many of them to suit most people.



My wife has a 2012 MDX, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't consider towing with it, but give it a good try. We're both very curious to find out how it goes.


Hi All,

Well, almost exactly two years since my first post. Happy to say we are at 140K miles on our 2011 MDX and have towed 10-12K miles without any mechanical problems and no white knuckle driving. Besides the big western trip we have done a number of smaller trips including several to Virginia. I must say that the eastern mountain roads have steeper grades than our western roads except 101 along the coast. Really great time to own a travel trailer during the pandemic. Always safe lodging, restroom, etc. Click image for larger version

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Safe travels,

Steve
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:06 PM   #332
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We just traveled from Ohio to Pohick Bay Regional Park campground near DC (414 miles today) to move our daughter and future son-in-law into their new apartment in DC. We were going to stay at a hotel in DC and rent a u-hail trailer but they cancelled out reservation due to COVID. So on to plan B. I was a little hesitant loading our 25’ AS to its GVWR of 7300 (and possibly over a little) and towing with our MDX with four adults. We carried minimal fresh water, switched our our propane tanks with the smaller tanks from our grill, and packed with the heaviest items over the wheels. Even with the Hensley I measured a 2 inch drop from front wheel well at 18 inches to center of wheel and 16 inches in the rear.

What surprised us is that the rig towed even better than before, feeling very secure to the road, so I towed at our normal speed. Gas mileage was even a little better at 10.5 mpg instead of 9-10 mpg. Anyone else tow I70 to 279 around DC? Fun times 🤪 and the speed limit doesn’t matter. Travelled about 70 mph.

Can’t explain it but the MDX hummed right along with no problem. I did run the tire pressure higher on the MDX Pirelli Scorpions to 50 psi and bumped up the tires on the Safari from 50 to 60 psi.

Thank you Andy and CanAm

Steve
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:10 PM   #333
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:53 PM   #334
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Everything you did to adjust for the trip worked in your favor. Weight in the tow vehicle biased forward improved stability and suspension as did reducing tongue weight. If you didn't have a Hensley going light on tongue can be a problem. Increasing rear axle and trailer tire pressure also helped improve stability and feel. Next time don't increase front tire pressure as that work slightly against you. Glad to hear it went well! Be on guard for oversteer in unexpected hard cornering when towing heavy.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:32 AM   #335
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Everything you did to adjust for the trip worked in your favor. Weight in the tow vehicle biased forward improved stability and suspension as did reducing tongue weight. If you didn't have a Hensley going light on tongue can be a problem. Increasing rear axle and trailer tire pressure also helped improve stability and feel. Next time don't increase front tire pressure as that work slightly against you. Glad to hear it went well! Be on guard for oversteer in unexpected hard cornering when towing heavy.


Thank you for you insights. At one point I had higher pressure in the rear tires which I thought needed lowered due to it going above max pressure (54 rear, 49 front) so I lowered the rear pressure tire to 49. The control seemed better before I lowered the pressure. I will lower the tire pressure in my front tires next time. Our tongue weight is naturally heavy (25’ FB) so I fiddled around with the spring bar pins and the amount of tension to see if I could get more weight to the front tires but it didn’t seem to make a difference.
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:09 AM   #336
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Your best bet is to follow OEM guidance and then increase rear by 5-7 psi as long as you stay under max sidewall pressure specification. If not just go to max sidewall on the rear.

Hearing about unfiltered experiences like yours on combinations that push the limits helps keep people like me honest.....
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:56 AM   #337
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My regular tire pressure is 32 / 32. When towing I am running 50 (max for my tires) in the back and 37 in the front. I did not notice difference in handling depending on front preassure, however, if lower preassure in the back makes difference.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:44 PM   #338
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Indeed you won't perceive much difference with front tire pressure under normal towing circumstances since much of the towing related dynamics occur in the rear axle area. It will only clearly become apparent were you to approach cornering critical speeds. It bears repeating that both of you should watch your speed and be vigilant for signs of oversteer. Minimum front tire pressure required for the axle load and higher rear pressures help. You are both very wise to have hitches with superior sway control.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:32 PM   #339
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Indeed you won't perceive much difference with front tire pressure under normal towing circumstances since much of the towing related dynamics occur in the rear axle area. It will only clearly become apparent were you to approach cornering critical speeds. It bears repeating that both of you should watch your speed and be vigilant for signs of oversteer. Minimum front tire pressure required for the axle load and higher rear pressures help. You are both very wise to have hitches with superior sway control.


We bought our 2006 Safari 3 years ago and it just happened to come with the Hensley Hitch. No wisdom there, just luck or Someone watching out for us. There was a learning curve, but I couldn’t imagine towing without it now. Never had a white knuckle towing experience due to sway. As for tires, Andy recommended when we went to replace our P255/55R x 18” with P235/55R x 18” XL for more sidewall stability. He suggested Michelin Primacy or Pirelli Scorpions and did let me know that the speedometer would read 3% faster due to the smaller size, but I have additional power in 4th gear.
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:37 PM   #340
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I had great luck with three sets of Pirelli Scorpions on a similar size and weight BMW SUV. Don't recall if they were the XL. The first set was a BMW-specific tread pattern and compound IIRC; the two replacement sets were not.
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