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Old 07-03-2019, 07:46 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Tow Vehicle

1). Fully independent suspension

2). Extra-short rear overhang.

3). Rack & Pinion Steering (or equivalent)

That’s it in a nutshell. HP, Brakes, etc are non-starters.

The ideal tow vehicle is one specified for solo family duty that can also tow a trailer.

The American family sedan is still that benchmark. Dodge V6 Charger. A minivan right behind it.

The trailer is the important choice. The tow vehicle is relatively UNIMPORTANT.

The game is road-going stability. Why an Airstream (aero, low COG and independent suspension) is best. More stable at speed than any solid-axle tow vehicle (when it’s towed by a better design TV).

A Honda Odyssey can handle a 23’ AS easily.

So, trailer & tow vehicle of the right spec are equal in importance. THIRD, the hitch rigging is equal to those two.

The reason you’re getting lousy info is because 95% or more don’t have a clue of how to set a hitch.

I don’t know who makes crank-up (pop-up) trailers any more, but it’s not their weight that matters.

With all combination RVs, adverse winds are the primary cause of loss-of-control accidents.

Can Am RV in London, Ontario is your place to start. Videos, articles, etc. Owner Thompson is consultant to both SAE and Airstream re Towing. That dealership has set up more than 12,000 tow combinations.

He’s codified (formulated) what works and why. No different from what Id tell you, but with far greater depth and breadth.

The “new guys” who’ve been towing trailers the past twenty years still ain’t got nothing but experience with the worst trailers, use pickups, and can’t set a hitch. But think themselves edumacated.

GVWR or GCVWR are guidelines. Don’t want customers too far from “normal” (as they’re thoughtless drivers in the first place).

AVION, STREAMLINE, SILVER STREAK are the old upmarket brands from entry-level Airstream. All tow beautifully. And cheaper to buy and will need less work than a comparable Airstream. (Expect purchase price plus $10k over time). These trailers have an indefinite lifespan. 250k miles or more.

Today’s worse than 1960s conventionals MIGHT last ten years or 70k.

And, “a husband & father” wouldn’t ever travel the highways with his family in a 4WD. Not at the speeds I see. Top heavy and trip prone.

Get a dedicated trail rig. Someday.

.

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Old 07-03-2019, 07:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
I think there’s a bit bit of over-analyzing goin on now. I still stand behind TFLTruck, but you can’t have it all. Pick a midrange tow vehicle, and go roll. If you gotta tow, I’d rather you go overkill than get killed. Towing is a kinda serious business.
Bad advice is bad advice. Source unimportant. What sells pickups is what you’re reading.

The heavier and longer and taller the tow vehicle (etcetera) the worse the potential outcome.

It’s design that matters.

Unit body is superior to body on frame, for example.

Low profile wide tires beat narrow pickup tires any day. Etc.

The literal best tow vehicle is a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The EcoModder choice would be the circa 2006 non-emission mid-size Mercedes turbodiesel sedan.

As before, fit the TV to the TT. Cart before the horse, in this sense.

.

.
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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:39 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You have too many variables right now to optimize to a solution. You are spot on about the legality and making sure the weight ratings and numbers are correct for what you are doing. People who don't wear the scars of something gone awry often don't understand. Things are different now than they were when I grew up.

For context I presently have:
2001 Chevy 2500HD 8.1L Allison 4x4 ECSB (heavy towing/hauling)
9200 GVWR; 22,000 GCVWR; 15K+ Tow Rating

1994 GMC K2500 Suburban 6.5L Diesel NV4500 4x4 (project)
8600 GVWR; 7500 Tow Rating

1999 4Runner V6 5spd 4x4
5000 Tow Rating

I am very happy with all of them, they each perform their functions well. I have "offroaded" all of them to some extent, nature of being out in the sticks needing to get things done.

If you really want 1600lbs+ payload you are looking at 3/4 or 1 ton. Good job for realizing you cant tow the max rating with tons of payload, that is lost on most people. You don't need the weight distributing hitch when towing with an appropriately sized vehicle.

Don't put too much stock in the crash test ratings for very large vehicles, as they discount mass by crashing into immovable objects. For the vast majority of situations mass is a big factor. All rear crash test data is performed without a tow hitch, adding a tow hitch (rigid frame connection) 100% renders all that data useless. (get a Superbumper)

If you are looking to do hardcore technical trails you should consider doing a tow pig pulling a toyhauler. Forest service roads and easy to moderate trails can be tackled by a full size.

GMT400 2500 stuff is not compatible with GMT400 1500 stuff. GM did produce a GMT400 2500LD (light duty) which means they took a half ton and called it a 3/4 ton. (I owned one.) Nothing special about it besides 7200 GVWR. Real GMT400 3/4 tons had 8600 GVWR. Had a 14 bolt semi float axle, but so did many of the half tons. IFS is exactly the same as half ton, not interchangeable with real 3/4 ton IFS.

In the Chevy/GMC world, GMT400 is at the bottom of it's depreciation curve. GMT800 is barely ahead of it. Parts are cheap. I find the NV4500 equipped trucks enjoyable to drive.

Whats the approximate budget? Newer trucks are having increased payload to meet the SAE towing requirements, older trucks not so much.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Bad advice is bad advice. Source unimportant. What sells pickups is what you’re reading.

The heavier and longer and taller the tow vehicle (etcetera) the worse the potential outcome.

It’s design that matters.

Unit body is superior to body on frame, for example.

Low profile wide tires beat narrow pickup tires any day. Etc.

The literal best tow vehicle is a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The EcoModder choice would be the circa 2006 non-emission mid-size Mercedes turbodiesel sedan.

As before, fit the TV to the TT. Cart before the horse, in this sense.

.

.
I don’t disagree, but as someone who tows for a living, go large, or go home. You want a trans, diff, and brakes which will stand up to the abuse. The powertrain is important, but you can’t have brakes on fire at the bottom of a mountain, no matter how it pulls a load on the uphill.

Your ability to descend a grade is maybe my most important metric. It’s why I put up with my truck’s otherwise idiotic automated manual trans: it’s absolutely brilliant at controlled descents.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
I donít disagree, but as someone who tows for a living, go large, or go home. You want a trans, diff, and brakes which will stand up to the abuse. The powertrain is important, but you canít have brakes on fire at the bottom of a mountain, no matter how it pulls a load on the uphill.

Your ability to descend a grade is maybe my most important metric. Itís why I put up with my truckís otherwise idiotic automated manual trans: itís absolutely brilliant at controlled descents.
Buddy, I got more miles backing a big rig thank you do going forward. And have been towing travel trailers close to fifty years.

The ďscienceĒ isnít difficult to set up a tow rig. Itís on par with an eighth grade education.

No, the hard part is getting past TV Ad brainwashing. Terms like Payload and Tow Rating are marketing. They have no force of law. None, zero.

The fact of pickups is that they are the highest risk vehicles on the road. But hugely profitable. If it isnít carrying a CONSTANT heavy load, it was a bad choice.
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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:25 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aardvarcus View Post
You have too many variables right now to optimize to a solution. You are spot on about the legality and making sure the weight ratings and numbers are correct for what you are doing. People who don't wear the scars of something gone awry often don't understand. Things are different now than they were when I grew up.

For context I presently have:
2001 Chevy 2500HD 8.1L Allison 4x4 ECSB (heavy towing/hauling)
9200 GVWR; 22,000 GCVWR; 15K+ Tow Rating

1994 GMC K2500 Suburban 6.5L Diesel NV4500 4x4 (project)
8600 GVWR; 7500 Tow Rating

1999 4Runner V6 5spd 4x4
5000 Tow Rating

I am very happy with all of them, they each perform their functions well. I have "offroaded" all of them to some extent, nature of being out in the sticks needing to get things done.

If you really want 1600lbs+ payload you are looking at 3/4 or 1 ton. Good job for realizing you cant tow the max rating with tons of payload, that is lost on most people. You don't need the weight distributing hitch when towing with an appropriately sized vehicle.

Don't put too much stock in the crash test ratings for very large vehicles, as they discount mass by crashing into immovable objects. For the vast majority of situations mass is a big factor. All rear crash test data is performed without a tow hitch, adding a tow hitch (rigid frame connection) 100% renders all that data useless. (get a Superbumper)

If you are looking to do hardcore technical trails you should consider doing a tow pig pulling a toyhauler. Forest service roads and easy to moderate trails can be tackled by a full size.

GMT400 2500 stuff is not compatible with GMT400 1500 stuff. GM did produce a GMT400 2500LD (light duty) which means they took a half ton and called it a 3/4 ton. (I owned one.) Nothing special about it besides 7200 GVWR. Real GMT400 3/4 tons had 8600 GVWR. Had a 14 bolt semi float axle, but so did many of the half tons. IFS is exactly the same as half ton, not interchangeable with real 3/4 ton IFS.

In the Chevy/GMC world, GMT400 is at the bottom of it's depreciation curve. GMT800 is barely ahead of it. Parts are cheap. I find the NV4500 equipped trucks enjoyable to drive.

Whats the approximate budget? Newer trucks are having increased payload to meet the SAE towing requirements, older trucks not so much.

Your first paragraph is wrong, friend. Dead wrong. You AREN'T informed of what is legal and what isn’t, and you aren’t alone. Solace is that it’s common as mis-conception.

Had you or friend/family with commercial experience in using pickups you’d know that ONLY axle/tire/wheel ratings must be observed.

Here’s an example: I did a stint in oilfield hotshot. The truck was “rated” 20,000-lbs Gross COMBINED Vehicle Weight. That’s truck and trailer. I rarely pulled a loaded trailer that itself was under 20k. Usually got above 32k combined (a CDL is required for 26k plus).

Think our commercial VERY HIGH LIABILITY insurance was concerned? Ha?

Neither was the new vehicle dealer. Warranty was warranty.

The OP figures out what travel trailer fits his budget and plans, finding a tow vehicle is unimportant, relatively. The specification is for family duty while solo. Where 75-80% of miles will be run. That the needs of trailer towing are also forecast may not change anything. Or may, somewhat.

The desired end result is the lowest risk combination for travel. AND lowest risk family vehicle. A pickup is neither. A pickup is for the working man who CANNOT carry goods, tools, equipment in a passenger compartment (as a van is a superior choice otherwise) as it’s a high COG, rollover-prone vehicle (worst with straight axles & 4WD)

The “bigger is better” crowd never answers when I ask if they think my 21,500-lb Peterbilt would be a more stable tow vehicle.

Here are the parameters:

1). Stability and crashworthiness isn’t increased above 4,000-lbs.
2). Wheelbase is a detriment to Steering/Handling/Braking once above 122”.
3). Tire contact patch & sidewall height has a limit versus vehicle spec.

There’s physics, and there’s magic. The above was worked out by 1962 for high speed American sedans. (California take a bow). Dodge even changed its wheelbase to accommodate fleet sales to agencies as a result.

What matters is Steering, Handling & Braking.

.

.
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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
11-cpm solo & 19-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411

Last edited by slowmover; 07-05-2019 at 07:39 PM..
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:57 AM   #27 (permalink)
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What you are missing Slowmover is the OP also wants to get up into the woods, meaning capable off road ability as well. A 1975 Dodge Monaco isn't going to cut it. They also suck in the snow of Minnesota no matter what your grandfather trys to tell you (No disrespect, I'm a grandfather too and drive a crappy rear wheel drive truck every day, 8+ hours, for work in Montana in all conditions). There is something 1000% better about camping way off the grid away from the majority of the beaten path, or just on the edge of it and then escaping into it in your tow vehicle. I love a tent, but not everyone in the family does and making everyone happy makes me happy.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:06 PM   #28 (permalink)
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What you are missing Slowmover is the OP also wants to get up into the woods, meaning capable off road ability as well. A 1975 Dodge Monaco isn't going to cut it. They also suck in the snow of Minnesota no matter what your grandfather trys to tell you (No disrespect, I'm a grandfather too and drive a crappy rear wheel drive truck every day, 8+ hours, for work in Montana in all conditions). There is something 1000% better about camping way off the grid away from the majority of the beaten path, or just on the edge of it and then escaping into it in your tow vehicle. I love a tent, but not everyone in the family does and making everyone happy makes me happy.
I didn’t miss it. I agreed with the premise. But 4WD and stable highway travel are exclusive of one another.

As the majority of miles are commuting and/or local family transport, that’s Number One. Towing a travel trailer is Number Two. There is no Number Three.

As a family we covered the Lower 48, Lower Canada and a fair portion of Mexico with a 28’ trailer in tow. Five persons in a car. Roads mattered.

I’ve done plenty of remote hiking and camping. Walked there. Roads mattered not at all.

There are reasonable limits. This is one of those.

That, “others do it all the time” is the excuse Mom said no longer works past kindergarten. She was right. While a rollover is but 3% of accidents as to type, it is yet well north of 25% as to fatalities.

Risk matters or it doesn’t. (“Skill at the wheel” is laughable as an excuse. It’s an irrelevance statistically).

A pickup/Jeep etc is the LIKELY cause of that type wreck. Towing a trailer only worsens the outcome.

The physics of using a weight-distribution hitch is simple enough. So should be what is represented by a high COG vehicle not meant for highway travel.

The best layman’s discussion is still Fred Puhns’ tome on vehicle handling for familiarity with terms & concepts.

“Ackerman Angle” in a turn with a trailer. Trace the paths as no two tires are on the same line. Now, upset (trip) but one wheel of an unstable tow vehicle.

Just an unexpected road camber change in entering/leaving a temporary highway lane between jersey barriers at the posted speed is enough to total a brand-new pair of vehicles as the combo vehicle is pulled several directions at once. A very high dollar pickup and six-figure Airstream. Operator not at all new to this.

It’s too late to tell someone that the advisory speed is for solo cars. Not trucks or combination vehicles. Or that not being able to see the road surface may matter. And that the general stupidity of today’s drivers had several others pile into the rig as twenty feet of spacing is what they’ve been doing just forever.

They survived.

The OP will do as he will. I’ve seen too many RV wrecks to want to join that in-group.

.
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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
11-cpm solo & 19-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:37 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Buddy, I got more miles backing a big rig thank you do going forward. And have been towing travel trailers close to fifty years.

The “science” isn’t difficult to set up a tow rig. It’s on par with an eighth grade education.

No, the hard part is getting past TV Ad brainwashing. Terms like Payload and Tow Rating are marketing. They have no force of law. None, zero.

The fact of pickups is that they are the highest risk vehicles on the road. But hugely profitable. If it isn’t carrying a CONSTANT heavy load, it was a bad choice.
That seems a bit aggressive? I want the OP to have a good rig, and I stand by having descent capabilities as a chief criteria. I don’t think I said anything stating that stated payload and towing capabilities were anything but marketing. That’s what the SAE J2807 standard is meant to address, to make towing and payload a much more apples/apples comparison.

I still think if you are gonna tow, go a bit overboard and be safe.

I’m not a truck guy in my non-professional life because I have no need for one.

But if you do the towing/hauling thing, the trucks are there to do that. Get something which will do the job safely, and we all win. Get something not suited to the duty, and you put yourself at risk. Take advantage of the engineering which is out there.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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My friend, i believe you have misinterpreted my first paragraph. I am not stating one particular number is the magic number. I was rebutting the idea that a user modifying the vehicle "increases" the axle/gcvwr/ other ratings. E.g.overload air bags let you tow/haul more. Also i applaud the op for paying attention to any numbers most people dont.

Grew up around class A with hasmat. Family run business. Went a different path risk to reward equation has been messed up since the insurance spikes of 2001.

We always ran good equipment except for the pickup truck.

Unfortunately right and wrong in the eyes of the law is up for interpretation when something goes wrong and the lawyers come out. We probably will not agree on this point, i hope for your sake we never do.

I am personally making it a point to keep my vehicles withing axle, gvwr, gcvwr, and tow ratings for their planned uses. Overkill? Maybe. But it helps me sleep at night (literally). Thus i am better rested and therefore a better driver.

I agree most marketing is just nonsense. But at a certain point i dont want the tail wagging the dog. I also grow weary of undersized components wearing out. Bigger isnt better, but better is better.

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