Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Towing Rigs, Hitches, Weight Distribution, Sway Control
Avionstream
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by Avionstream » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:42 pm

The Hensley, did you know the dealer up north modifies the Hensley to his specs. I guess the mfg doesn't know what he's doing. Why modify what many consider the best hitch available.

79 bruiser
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:05 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by 79 bruiser » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:22 pm

I bought our tow vehicle first. GMC Sierra 3500 CC dually. Then I found our campers. 1970 31' La Grande. Upgraded the brakes, rotors. Replaced the class 3 hitch with a class 5. Installed a new P3 brake controller. Then I went and picked up the campers.

nralifer
Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by nralifer » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:41 am

79 bruiser wrote:I bought our tow vehicle first. GMC Sierra 3500 CC dually. Then I found our campers. 1970 31' La Grande. Upgraded the brakes, rotors. Replaced the class 3 hitch with a class 5. Installed a new P3 brake controller. Then I went and picked up the campers.
Same sequence we went through.... Got our 1995 F250 7.3L PowerStroke, knowing that we'd eventually have a 34' Avion. Installed a Curt Class V receiver at the time, but have since had a custom rear bumper made with a built-in receiver. Then found our 34W.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

Avionstream
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by Avionstream » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:18 am

I had a post disappear somewhere.

Avionstream
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by Avionstream » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:18 am

There it is!

Mark R. Obtinario
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:14 am

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by Mark R. Obtinario » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:45 am

Someone posted a picture today on the Airstream Addicts FB page of a pretty bad accident where the tow vehicle and trailer ended up facing 180* away from the direction of traffic and the trailer ended up with the driver's side of the coach on the pavement. The tow vehicle didn't look as if it had rolled but you could tell all of the air bags deployed.

First and foremost, I hope everyone is okay. The mini-van looks to still be intact. There are bikes still in rack on the roof and no mashed body work can be seen but the air bags have deployed. I would guess no one was seriously hurt.

Second, the trailer tipped over onto the street/driver's side and it is also facing the wrong direction. When things started going wrong for this combination things must have really gotten bad to have spun 180* to the line of travel and coming to a rest with the trailer on it's side and the hitch broken off of the tow vehicle.

Third, all of the tires on both the mini-van and the trailer look to still be fully inflated (the mini-van isn't down on any corner) so I do not think that what happened was a result of a tire blowing out.

Fourth, I hate to say this but I think this is a classic example of doing something you can do and not an example of something you should do.

What do I think happened here you may be wondering?

I think several factors came together to create a perfect storm.

The first mistake would be that they were tryinig to tow with a mini-van. The highest tow ratings most of those mini-vans have is under 3,500 lbs. Does anyone believe a trailer with tandom axles weighs less than 3,500 lbs?

In the picture it doesn't look to be storming so adverse winds or slick roads don't appear to be the problem.

The road doesn't appear to have any real grade to it so the problem couldn't have been the trailer was wanting to go first down a hill. The road itself looks to be in really good shape with no potholes or ruts visible.

And the tow vehicle/trailer combination appear to be in nearly new condition so mechanical failure due to bad maintenance is not very likely.

Which means what happened was driver error. Something caused the tail to start wagging the dog. What it was I have no idea. It could have been due to passing or by being passed by a big rig, it could have been caused by a second of inattention and inadvertently moving the steering wheel too quickly, or any one of several other different variables. Whatever the original cause of the driver error the driver didn't immediately try to straighten out the string by adding throttle while at the same time applying trailer brakes. If instead the driver let off of the throttle it would have made things worse. If the driver had applied the brakes at that same time the result would have compounded the problem even more.

I have said this many times and I will say it again to anyone who is willng to listen: OEM tow vehicle weight ratings were made after meeting several stringent objective parameters. If you do not stay within those parameters you seriously risk damage, injury, and possibly death. You will also most probably void any new vehicle warranty. And you might also void any insurance claim as most insurance policies have an out for not paying for any liability that is incurred while doing an unlawful act.

And then to add insult to injury one of the "faithful" posted up a link for a road test done by that particular dealer in Canada. I quote what he had to say, "Lol Mark is that why the US B5 Passats are rated at 1500lbs, yet the exact same car sold in Europe is rated at 1600lbs unbraked, and 5200+lbs braked?

Do you know how much a semi tractor weighs? 9,000lbs-21,000lbs, depending how it's equipped. Trailers weight 35,000-80,000.

This vehicle didn't have enough weight on the tongue. Period. End of story.

There's a company out of Canada that custom manufacturers and markets hitches with these capabilities in mind. And they don't #{+* around.

This is a first Gen (1993-1997) intrepid not only towing, but going through a salom course... TOWING A 34FT TRI-AXLE AIRSTREAM. Now stop and let that sink in. That is an 8500lb trailer. " https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeHtnji ... e=youtu.be

Personally, I think these videos are dangerous and irresponsible. People who don't know bupkis about towing a trailer go to forums like this, FB pages, and Youtube videos to help them learn to do something they know little or nothing about. These sorts of dangerous and irresponsible recommendations do nothing to help the RV industry or the neophytes that are trying to learn what to do and what not to do.

I also think this gentleman has been drinking the Canadian Kool Aid and hasn't got a real clue when it comes to towing a trailer.

Professional drivers driving on a closed road course going less than highway speeds on a nice sunny day with little wind is not the same as being out on the open highway while sharing the space with all manner of different sized vehicles in all sorts of weather and light conditions.

I also do not care what a car may or may not be rated to tow in any place except the US. I don't drive in Europe, I drive in the USA. I do not know what the differences might be to rate a vehicle at one weight in Europe and another weight in the US. But a vehicle sold with a tow rating in this country is rated by passing certain objective criteria and not some fevered guess of a sales department.

I think anyone who advocates towing beyond the stated weights of a vehicle OEM is opening themselves up to serious liability if the worst should ever happen.

Rostam
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:54 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by Rostam » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:17 am

Its impossible to reason with these folks as they are completely brainwashed.
1978 Avion 26-H (Rear twin beds, center bath, front dinette)
2012 Mercedes Benz GL 350 Bluetec, 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel, 3.45 Axle Ratio

Avionstream
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by Avionstream » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:27 am

As are most people on the Airforums site.

KYAvion
Site Admin
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by KYAvion » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:59 pm

Perhaps, but they've got LOTS of participants. Seems we're stuck at 40. A bit off topic I know.
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

nralifer
Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Tow Vehicle Weight Ratings

Post by nralifer » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:56 pm

KYAvion wrote:Perhaps, but they've got LOTS of participants. Seems we're stuck at 40. A bit off topic I know.
I kind of like NOT being one of the herd/club/lemmings.... etc.

(I might get moderated by myself....)
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

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