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Old 09-14-2020, 01:13 AM   #1001
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Wonderful story

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARF View Post
Happy to share my experience (not opinions).

We have been towing our 2017 27FB since mid-2016 with our 2015 Audi Q5TDI. We bought our AS from Can-Am and they set up our Q5 with a custom hitch ball assembly, WD, and anti-sway bars.

We full-timed for a year, traveling all around the US, and now live in Summit County, CO. We have towed well over 30K miles in a variety of weather conditions, and over numerous passes. Living here in the High Rockies, we have to cross the Continental Divide (sometimes 2-3 times) just to go anywhere.

With proper planning and precautions, we have never felt unsafe. If there are bad road conditions due to inclement weather, we re-route or wait until conditions improve. We go down passes at the same speed we go up. If there are high winds, we slow down.

There are some things we have to sacrifice:
- In order to lower hitch weight, we do not carry a spare TT tire. We upgraded to the Michelin XT tires and have never had a flat.
- We go up steep passes at about 45 mph, so add about 10-15 minutes to our daily travel time.
- The Q5 has lower ground clearance than a larger SUV or pickup, so this limits our ability to get to some off-road boondock sites.
- We store our bikes (sometimes two singles and a tandem) in the trailer and/or on the roof of the car.
- We don't carry a generator - but once I upgrade to Lithium batteries, saving about 60 lbs, we can put a generator on the A-frame. Can-Am developed and installed a nifty locking mount for the Honda generator that sits on top of our battery box.

WARNING - this is a suggestion - but not an opinion: You might want to consider starting out towing with your Q5 since you already own it. If you are uncomfortable, then get a TV that makes you more comfortable.

Happy to share more experience with you. Just direct message me.
We are towing our 2020 FC 25 with a VW Touareg V6. You can read enough about the best TV to make your eyes drop out. We decided to keep the VW, upgrade our hitch to a ProPride, put in a wired break controller, and TPMS. My dash looks like a get fighter.

So far, it feels very nice. No sense of being knocked around and the VW performs with nimbleness. Our VW is V6 and not as powerful as the diesels or the ones in Europe that are 550 hp (watch an old Airstream demonstration comparing the Airstream agains the square sided typical TT. They tow with a Porche Cayenne with the big engine). The Airstream sticks like glue in all emergency maneuvers and the other almost flips. Both with WD hitch and ant sway bars.

You have the secret. Drive sensibly and conservatively. Don't do 75 mph across Wyoming in a 40 mph cross wind. Sit out a day. Adjust. Or go out and spend another $80,000 for a "proper tow vehicle."
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:50 AM   #1002
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Just got back from Colorado. We decided to tow with my Duramax. The savings in fuel didn't pay for the coolant it used due to apparent blown headgaskets

Day 1 we were hanging out with Porsche friends and wishing we would've brought the Cayenne instead. We had to cancel reservations at our 2nd & 3rd campsites and stay at the first the whole time. It's hard to have a bad time anywhere in Colorado and we were able to offroad the truck a bit which was a blast. It only pushed coolant out the reservoir when working it with the trailer. Didn't use any coolant coming home since it was pretty much downhill for 800 miles.

The Cayenne would've got us everywhere and been far more fun to drive the roads out there. It's laughable how horrible the 2500 handles.

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Old 09-14-2020, 09:05 AM   #1003
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The Airstream/CanAm slalom videos are a statement about the cornering and body roll characteristics of the trailer. It's a nice demonstration, but I wonder how much it was gamed with setup details including tire pressure and trailer load as the specific details were not provided. Choice of a slightly better performing box trailer, addition of water to the tanks, tire choice and pressures would make the differences less stark. Realize also that those who add the Dexter 3" lift have just converted their Airstream into the box trailer. Such is the nature of advertising. Anyway a slalom course is a cool demonstration of cornering performance but it is not a good test for trailer sway and oversteer, which are the most significant towing safety/stability issues. So go find the video if you like and watch it, but don't think they have demonstrated that the setup is safe and stable for sway and oversteer for North American highway conditions.

The Q5 and 27' trailer mentioned in the quoted post is a good example of what not to do unless you feed off of risk. drivers of these European SUV's will report great towing experience all day long, but like the slalom course, sure handling under nominal conditions does not imply stable responsive control in emergency situations involving sway or oversteer. How many highway emergencies do you see that involve driving as if your are going through a slalom course?

The Q5 owner even talks about the hoops they jump through to mitigate some of the risk. Slow speeds is the main mitigation, but also reduced tongue weight healthy anitsway support to accommodate the low tongue weight, load management. Doing the WD math I show the best case has his front and rear axles at their limits, but it is more likely the rear is 100-300 lbs over, vehicle capacity is at least 300 over and combined capacity is more than 1000 lbs over. Don't try this at home.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:03 AM   #1004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
The Airstream/CanAm slalom videos are a statement about the cornering and body roll characteristics of the trailer. It's a nice demonstration, but I wonder how much it was gamed with setup details including tire pressure and trailer load as the specific details were not provided. Choice of a slightly better performing box trailer, addition of water to the tanks, tire choice and pressures would make the differences less stark. Realize also that those who add the Dexter 3" lift have just converted their Airstream into the box trailer. Such is the nature of advertising. Anyway a slalom course is a cool demonstration of cornering performance but it is not a good test for trailer sway and oversteer, which are the most significant towing safety/stability issues. So go find the video if you like and watch it, but don't think they have demonstrated that the setup is safe and stable for sway and oversteer for North American highway conditions.

The Q5 and 27' trailer mentioned in the quoted post is a good example of what not to do unless you feed off of risk. drivers of these European SUV's will report great towing experience all day long, but like the slalom course, sure handling under nominal conditions does not imply stable responsive control in emergency situations involving sway or oversteer. How many highway emergencies do you see that involve driving as if your are going through a slalom course?

The Q5 owner even talks about the hoops they jump through to mitigate some of the risk. Slow speeds is the main mitigation, but also reduced tongue weight healthy anitsway support to accommodate the low tongue weight, load management. Doing the WD math I show the best case has his front and rear axles at their limits, but it is more likely the rear is 100-300 lbs over, vehicle capacity is at least 300 over and combined capacity is more than 1000 lbs over. Don't try this at home.
LOL. Over a thousand posts in this thread, and we still get to read opinions from a poster who says you canít do this, or that if you do you are courting disaster.

BB, perhaps check your ego at the door.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:18 AM   #1005
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Many readers only read the last few post and new people show up all the time. That others continually make posts that indicate they don't understand what the towing risks are or how to assess capability and stability means it has to be repeated. You're a good example of that.

Edit: Here is my specific claim: The Q5 towing a modern loaded 27' airstream is inherently unstable for oversteer for US highway conditions in the event a 0.4 g or greater maneuver is required where hitch angle exceeds 1.2 degrees. Perhaps you can demonstrate where I am wrong.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:24 AM   #1006
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BayouBiker's determination is impressive. It is almost unbelievable how you can say in front of the crowd with hundreds of thousands towing miles that what they have been doing is not possible.

It is really interesting case, not necessarily from the engineering perspective.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:59 AM   #1007
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So, Andy and CanAM

If all the cars and SUVs set up by CanAM over decades were risky then why do you never see postings about accidents?
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:13 AM   #1008
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Garfish, I don't have a complete list but from what I have seen, most of the vehicles set up by CanAm are not risky. Also we do see the rare postings about accidents and it is rare not because overloading is rare but because the conditions leading to oversteer is rare. In probability theory rare and common = rare.

Is it your claim the Q5 example does not have an issue with oversteer as described, or are you just being a contrarian?
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:39 PM   #1009
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My point is that if you want to use a TV that is not a pick up and Andy tells you how to do and you do it that way then just tow safely as you should anyway. Go camping
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:15 PM   #1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
The Airstream/CanAm slalom videos are a statement about the cornering and body roll characteristics of the trailer. It's a nice demonstration, but I wonder how much it was gamed with setup details including tire pressure and trailer load as the specific details were not provided. Choice of a slightly better performing box trailer, addition of water to the tanks, tire choice and pressures would make the differences less stark. Realize also that those who add the Dexter 3" lift have just converted their Airstream into the box trailer. Such is the nature of advertising. Anyway a slalom course is a cool demonstration of cornering performance but it is not a good test for trailer sway and oversteer, which are the most significant towing safety/stability issues. So go find the video if you like and watch it, but don't think they have demonstrated that the setup is safe and stable for sway and oversteer for North American highway conditions.

The Q5 and 27' trailer mentioned in the quoted post is a good example of what not to do unless you feed off of risk. drivers of these European SUV's will report great towing experience all day long, but like the slalom course, sure handling under nominal conditions does not imply stable responsive control in emergency situations involving sway or oversteer. How many highway emergencies do you see that involve driving as if your are going through a slalom course?

The Q5 owner even talks about the hoops they jump through to mitigate some of the risk. Slow speeds is the main mitigation, but also reduced tongue weight healthy anitsway support to accommodate the low tongue weight, load management. Doing the WD math I show the best case has his front and rear axles at their limits, but it is more likely the rear is 100-300 lbs over, vehicle capacity is at least 300 over and combined capacity is more than 1000 lbs over. Don't try this at home.
I just don't believe what I see in that Cayenne slalom video. It must be CGI! I bet they didn't even model it before they ran the tests. Will you please model the towing combo in the video in your MatLab simulation and then describe it to me with all of your bias and opinion so that I may fully comprehend how navagating a slalom course has nothing to do with real world tow vehicle performance?
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:51 PM   #1011
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Mike, take your rose colored glasses off and then reread my post where I said "a slalom course is a cool demonstration of cornering performance" in other words I acknowledge it is relevant to tow vehicle (cornering) performance. I also say "but it is not a good test for trailer sway and oversteer" which it is not.

Am I correct to understand you disagree? If so you might raise that with the SAE as they chose a steering impulse test to measure sway damping and a skid pad constant radius test to measure steering gradient (oversteer). Maybe you can explain to the entire misguided engineering community how a slalom test would be more informative with regard to CTC stability.

Maybe you disagree with my claim about the Q5 setup. Perhaps you want to make a fact based claim that it will not experience oversteer. The conditions I used were not unreasonable. Will you make that claim? Or like Garfish, you're throwing out red herrings to be a contrarian.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:00 PM   #1012
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I trust the manufacturerís experts!


Iíd be impressed if he could achieve V2
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:01 PM   #1013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfish View Post
My point is that if you want to use a TV that is not a pick up and Andy tells you how to do and you do it that way then just tow safely as you should anyway. Go camping
The issue with this statement is that some, no many, but not most of the examples cited in this and similar threads do not fit the engineering definition of "safe". They don't because the combination is not inherently stable for the full range of expected US highway conditions.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:30 PM   #1014
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Yep, Andy sets up vehicles for towing only in Canada. Folks, remember about this. Probably this is the reason why we have not heard about hundreds if not thousands accidents involving SUVs and trailers.

Agree with Garfish, go camping.
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:30 PM   #1015
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Bigger wheelbase

As a physicist, mechanical engineer and former designer of nuclear reactors for the military, you should stick with the physics.

Wheelbase makes a difference if there is any load transferred forward to the tow vehicle. Smaller suvs donít have the wheelbase.

Weight distribution hitches provide a forward torque on the hitch. Personally, I see this as added risk of decoupling for the benefit of getting weight off the rear axel of the tow vehicle.

%of tongue weight bs tow weight is critical (basic geometry) to move the center of mass of the trailer forward of the trailer axel which is what you need for stability.

We have towed our 20ífc (upgraded to dynamically balances 16Ē wheels) for 4 years with a cayenne and a q7.

You can not go wrong with a q7 that has 4 wheel steering, 20í rims (contact patch) and air suspension to level the tow vehicle (it wonít redistribute weight, but it will provide a level tow vehicle for dynamics).

A q7 with 4 wheel steering has a tighter turning radius than an A4.

Most of the time you wonít need this with a brake controller properly set and a sway bar to dampen any start of horizontal oscillation .. but if you drive enough odds catch up with you ....

Stick with a bigger suv








Quote:
Originally Posted by Imdakine1 View Post
Iíve got a 2014 Audi Q5 TDI and was looking at AS 22 and 23 but realize the 4,400lbs towing capacity likely wonít be enough.

While I like the Audi Q7 Iím hoping to get the smallest SUV with good towing capacity and am now considering BMW X5 (5,952 lbs) or Mercedes Benz GLE or GLS that have 7,700lbs and the Land Rover Discovery 8,201lbs towing capacity.

Iíd assume all should be able to do an AS 22 or 23?

My wife and I have a toddler and weíve not spent much time looking at towing AS as we studied Airstream and other coaches but now realize no coaches seem to be suited for car seats which we will need to use for a while.

Any advice or opinions on a small yet high enough towing capacity?

To be honest Iím a wagon guy so would have loved the Volvo V90 Crosscountry, the Audi AllRoad A6 version coming back to US market or the Mercedes Benz E class wagons but appears wagons canít tow that much!
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:48 PM   #1016
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Yep, Andy sets up vehicles for towing only in Canada. Folks, remember about this. Probably this is the reason why we have not heard about hundreds if not thousands accidents involving SUVs and trailers.

Agree with Garfish, go camping.
Again bono this forum includes many examples of SUV combinations going out of control and crashing. I note you're towing on US highways. Maybe you would like to present a fact based argument demonstrating how your setup in a .4 g maneuver with a 1.5 degree or greater ball angle is stable and won't experience uncontrollable oversteer. My claim is your setup, like the Q5 and 27' Airstream is not stable.
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:54 PM   #1017
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You can claim whatever you want. I think that apart from SUV drivers, there are already many other people on this forum who understand that what you are saying does not make sense.

Evidence for a .4 g maneuver with a 1.5 degree or greater ball angle? Sure, just let me know what speed (I assume 80 mph, as this is what is expected on the US highways) and whether I should do this on 8% grade road, because I do not want to repeat the test for you.

Please give some details around this "this forum includes many examples of SUV combinations going out of control and crashing.". I am very interested.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:44 PM   #1018
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Try it at 40 or 50 mph on the flat if you like, you will still go out of control. I did not specify a speed. google or the search feature is your friend give it a try, you will see there are reports of catastrophic crashes.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:47 PM   #1019
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Thanks for clarifying.

What about "many examples of SUV combinations going out of control and crashing."?
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:10 PM   #1020
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As I said search the forum. Even better get hold of the insurance industry data on towing. I'd offer what I had but I learned a while ago advisories tend to twist and mold it to their purposes. I'd rather be accused of not having it.
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