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Old 03-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srpuywa View Post
Just to see what they stocked for WD and SC. Technician there recommended sway control only
I read this and took it that the people at CW didn't know what they were talking about - I appreciate, though, that the OP may not have seen it that way, nor be intending any criticism of CW.

As Inland Andy will tell you, though, it doesn't matter what truck you have or what Airstream you tow, properly set up WD is always going to improve your towing performance, and by association, your safety. Even on the biggest trucks, it's surely better to spread your TW load over both truck axles (and a little on the trailer axle(s)) than to have the whole lot hanging off the rear. For the relatively low cost of a WD system and some sway control/elimination you get a superior, and safer, tow; I don't understand why anyone would turn that down. But what do I know?
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:50 AM   #22
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The vehicles we use to tow are set up to understeer. Slightly. A WD hitch keeps the amount of understeer (if you will) to what the vehicle manufacturer designed. TW is just a static measurement. Going down the road that lever -- the length from hitch ball to TT axles -- can exert 10X as much force as the static representation. Thus, a WD hitch to spread that potential load over three axle sets.

Plus, more weight on the TT axles is a help in braking.

One can take this to a seemingly esoteric level (steering gradient), but the goal is to avoid a loss of control accident. By keeping the TV responses as close to the loaded, but unhitched feel (again, if you will) the driver is less likely to overcorrect. Which is a jackknife of either the TV and/or the TT. The higher the speed, etc.

The high TW/TT weights cited in the latest vehicle manufacturer data "appear" to be more the result of electronic doo-dads. TV anti-skid and ant-roll. Trailer stability (US-version) has always been with proper trailer design and TW percentage. Long wheelbase, heavy pickups used for commercial purposes are likely better off (as most of those users ignore TW restrictions in the first place).

TT owners ought to think through wind loads -- natural or man-made -- as well as COG (center-of-gravity) issues not really present for the other user type. In which case a WDH properly set up reduces risk.

Driver skill is a moot question. Doesn't apply in any single case as even the most highly skilled and experienced can fail to respond adequately and properly in adverse circumstances. Risk minimization is still the gold standard.

A WDH might not be warranted. Nor would disc brakes on the TT. But the combination is still state-of-the-art when best components/design are chosen.

Same for the TV. Bias tires and drum brakes will get the job done. If that suits, then good luck. If not, then . . . .

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Old 03-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I read this and took it that the people at CW didn't know what they were talking about - I appreciate, though, that the OP may not have seen it that way, nor be intending any criticism of CW.

As Inland Andy will tell you, though, it doesn't matter what truck you have or what Airstream you tow, properly set up WD is always going to improve your towing performance, and by association, your safety. Even on the biggest trucks, it's surely better to spread your TW load over both truck axles (and a little on the trailer axle(s)) than to have the whole lot hanging off the rear. For the relatively low cost of a WD system and some sway control/elimination you get a superior, and safer, tow; I don't understand why anyone would turn that down. But what do I know?
Steve makes a very good point here. I agree with him completely.

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:00 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
TW is just a static measurement. Going down the road that lever -- the length from hitch ball to TT axles -- can exert 10X as much force as the static representation. Thus, a WD hitch to spread that potential load over three axle sets.

Plus, more weight on the TT axles is a help in braking.



.
Slowmover is absolutely correct here and he makes a very important point.

Now, the fact that the engineers have to design TV parts like axles, etc to the stresses caused by the dynamic loads, which are much higher than the static loads, gives a good margin of safety for specs like the rear axle rating as long as we are traveling on smooth roads or roads that minimize oscillations.

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #25
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The reason I mentioned the Chevy user manual's optional WDH perspective was in response to what I perceived as the OP's suggestion that the advice received was improper. If I've misunderstood the manual (sections posted earlier in this thread) I would apologize. If not, I think it's possible the advice given to the OP could have been accurate. Not disagreeing with slowmover's post, but I would also assume GM engineers know that as well. Why would they declare WD as optional in certain cases?

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
The reason I mentioned the Chevy user manual's optional WDH perspective was in response to what I perceived as the OP's suggestion that the advice received was improper. If I've misunderstood the manual (sections posted earlier in this thread) I would apologize. If not, I think it's possible the advice given to the OP could have been accurate. Not disagreeing with slowmover's post, but I would also assume GM engineers know that as well. Why would they declare WD as optional in certain cases?

Because the statement covers a wide variety of towed items. From boat trailers to backhoes with pintel type setups. Thus the reference to trailer MFRS recommendations.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #27
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Most of these disagreements result from a lack of full information.
I don't mean to criticize the camping world staff but unless they weighed and measured your trailer as loaded for travel and investigated the specs of your particular tow vehicle, they are not in a position to provide accurate or informed advice.

Case in point, at a trailer show we were looking at a 30' SOB and asked the salesman if that model was available in shorter lengths since my truck would not tow a trailer that heavy. The salesman insisted that ANY "full sized" pickup truck, including my 2005 Tundra would tow ANY trailer they sold up to and including the 30', 10,000lb model we were standing in. I in formed him that my particular model Tundra (2005 SR5 4.7L V8 Double Cab 4x4 with tow package) was only rated to tow 6,800lbs. He told me I was must be mistaken.

Of course this was the same show where I was told Airstreams were not meant for people like me!

The point is you need to makesure the person giving advice has all the relevant facts.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #28
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Of course this was the same show where I was told Airstreams were not meant for people like me!.
What kind of people are Airstreams made for then?
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:06 PM   #29
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Who are "people like me?
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #30
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Steve,

With all due respect, we've pointed out the that manual is obviously incorrect on some points as I've explained, so repeating that information is not helpful to the OP.

Further, my 2500 is a 2011 model with the higher tow capacities (not sure the vintage of yours). The limit for this truck is 12,000 lbs for a bumper tow, and is 20,000+ for a fifth wheel type trailer.

These trucks come with 2 manuals if you have the diesel and towing is referenced in several sections in each. You often have to piece together several tables and references to figure out what is your limits. That includes information not in the manual, but etched on your truck.

For example, when I was looking for a 5th wheel trailer, my upper limit is around 20,000+lbs. But in another reference, they state a maximum pin weight of 2500 lbs. On the door plate, there is a max stated of 2350 lbs payload. These last two weights, by definition, preclude towing a 20,000lb fifth wheel, as that weight could be 4,000lbs (20%). So I ended up buying a 11,000lb trailer (2200lb pin).

The same is true for a bumper pull trailer. On the hitch itself will be etched max tongue weight of 1000, 1500 lbs with weight distributing hitch. This will trump any table in your manual. By definition, an 18000 lb travel trailer could have a tongue weight of up to 2700lbs - far exceeding the mechanical limits of your hitch setup, as well as the max payload your truck is design to carry, WD or not. So an 18,000lb trailer is IMPOSSIBLE, no matter what the manual says.

So what I'm saying is you can't hang your hat on one table in one manual. Especially if it's fairly obvious that it is incorrect. All the manufactures have errors and inaccuracies in their manuals - it's a complex subject they are trying to explain and they really haven't figured out a good way to explain it to their customers.

Hope this clarifies a bit.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #31
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Especially since owner manuals are required to be written at a 6th grade reading level! It is very challenging to explain complex subjects adequately. I wrote owner manuals back in the 80s for some Buick models.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:05 PM   #32
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Steve,


Hope this clarifies a bit.
It really does - thanks very much.

Thanks too, Dzn and Aldean for your helpful explanations.

I think that the conclusion I drew from the manuals is still logical (for my specific application all factors considered), and, I can see from your explanations perhaps the reasons why I intuitively opted to go with the PP hitch despite the (logical) conclusion that it wasn't necessary. I appreciate your patience and expertise in your notes.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:28 PM   #33
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Not disagreeing with slowmover's post, but I would also assume GM engineers know that as well. Why would they declare WD as optional in certain cases?


Shape, not weight is the dictating factor.

Even in this thread is the "belief" that manufacturer trailer towing weight numbers are a limiting factor . . that is so only if the trailer shape is described.

A 16' tall and 10' wide, 2,000-lb trailer, square in all aspects would be nearly impossible for most every single TV out there. But the weight is negligible.

As an aerodynamic

all-aluminum (lightweight)

low COG (center-of-gravity)

travel trailer

with

fully independent suspension

and a low frontal area

is quite far from any conventional trailer in all these aspects

the weight game is almost bogus.

Not reliable as a way of finding the best tow vehicle for a given TT and given use.

Manufacturer tow ratings would be different if all TT's (alone, as a class) were the same as an A/S.

Other loads (non-aero) are fairly described by the manufacturer tables.

But they are still not a limit to what a TV can do reliably and safely over and beyond the projected life of the vehicle.

Understand, too, that the vehicle manufacturers purposely steer this game toward high profit margin pickup trucks.

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:36 PM   #34
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Just don't let Ralph Nader catch a whif of this discussion...our beloved Airstreams will be forced into 5th wheels.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #35
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I think Mr. Nader (if one reads him) is much more likely to advocate for testing to find the best combination. Too big, burns too much fuel and is rollover-prone (5'ers) is unlikely to be that choice.

His record marks the last time America was in the vanguard of automotive safety. Other countries have moved onward. Problems were deduced from statistics and solutions provided. There is no arguing that success. The problem is why we stopped with such.

One might ask, for example, why our trailer are not required (as in NZ) to have parking brakes . . ever had one start to roll away on you? I have. A mechanical parking brake is hardly rocket science.

And neither were three-point belts. Etc.

Back to topic. A WDH is worth the small expense and trouble to set up well. That advances in vehicle technology have made the item a less dramatic change is all to the good. But I, for one, don't see it obviated as yet.

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Old 03-26-2013, 09:13 PM   #36
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True. However, the missing element in Mr. Nader's quest was that perfection is not perfect and safety breeds contempt of caution. We " live" in an imperfect word and if we distill everything down to what is safest, we lose passion for the things we enjoy. Yes, there are ways to be safer, leaving your trailer parked in the driveway is safer than towing it, but you will miss out on the adventure of life. Allow common sense to prevail, and understand that manufacturers recommendations are written to protect the manufacturer from a lawsuit and should not supplant your common sense. Parking brakes on trailers makes sense, but common sense dictates that in the absense thereof, a simple wooden chock will do.
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