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Old 06-08-2015, 04:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.O.G. View Post
This was true when I learned to drive 40 years ago, but no longer.
NSW has no special speed limits for trailers any more and even WA is now 100kph.
Ha, I've been meaning to check the latest, but it's kind of irrelevant to me as I'm lucky to get to 60 most days.

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Old 06-08-2015, 10:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The US has trained its drivers that speed limits have no legitimacy and the signs are simply used to display a baseline number which may be above or below the actual limit. There is a complex formula that drivers need to apply to that number to figure out at what speed they are at risk for being stopped:

What kind of road are you on?
What time of day/week is it?
What the kind of car are you in?
What is its apparent state of repair?
How heavy/light is traffic?
How fast is this other traffic?
What color is your car?
What color is your skin?
How cute are you?
Is your license plate local or out of state?
Does your out of state plate bring to mind any sports rivalries?
What sort of bumper stickers do you have?

All these and more affect what the speed limit actually is and how you will be treated if you are stopped. The PSL is just a starting point for your calculations. Good luck out there.
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Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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Old 06-08-2015, 10:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i sold a 2002 honda oddessey with a weak trans. when he drove up to Ithaca ny. from baltimore to pick it up. he was in a late 90's nissan altima with a 2 wheel dollie to pull it home. 4cyl 5spd, he called to say it went smooth and only an hour extra on the google estemate.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I tow a utility 4x8 with my prius all the time. It is a rather simple (single speed) transmission though, just a planetary gear set + reduction, and the electric motors torque are helpful. I don't try to win any races, just going from point A to B and taking it easy.

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Old 06-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.O.G. View Post
NSW has no special speed limits for trailers any more and even WA is now 100kph.
What about QLD? I'm seriously considering to go study in Australia in a few years.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sometimes a compact car needs a little push to tow out of its range...
Explained: Mitsubishi i-MiEV With JB Straubel's Extended Range Pusher Trailer
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You want to hear some objections post on an RV page about how you are going to tow X travel trailer with anything other then a traditional pickup or SUV. Then they will start to talk about don't exceed 80% of the manufacturers conservative limit.
I believe there are many other factors at play. I also believe manufacturers de-rate certain vehicles to keep them from stealing sales from other high profit models. The Grand Caravan is a good example. The cargo version with the same motor, frame, brakes, transmission, cooling, tires, and only 300 less pounds of interior weight is rated at 4350# while the passenger version is rated at 3600#. The motor is the same as the pickup which is rated at 7600 pounds. Like I said there is more to it, but I wouldn't hesitate to tow the full 3600# with my Town and Country van, I would even go to the 4350 rating of the cargo with a few upgrades and my low profile trailer. I also tow small trailers (boat, jetski, utility, etc.) with my Forester all the time. The US Subaru says 2000# but the same vehicle in South Africa is rated 4400#! I think it's liability and huge saftey margins.
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Old 06-09-2015, 01:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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So this raises the question. Have any of you ever had the misfortune to get involved in an accident or insurance claim involving a vehicle towing over the mfrs recommended load? Or likewise, while towing with a vehicle not recommended for towing?
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
I also tow small trailers (boat, jetski, utility, etc.) with my Forester all the time. The US Subaru says 2000# but the same vehicle in South Africa is rated 4400#! I think it's liability and huge saftey margins.
It's mainly about liability, not sure about different gear ratioes availability which also seems to play an important role on that matter.
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
I also believe manufacturers de-rate certain vehicles to keep them from stealing sales from other high profit models.
+1. They don't just want to steer you into the bigger truck, they'll settle for the same thing with the towing package and its added markup. Different capabilities are where they make their money, and our love for suing big companies make it worth their while- my van can tow a lot, but if something goes wrong it's not on them because I didn't buy the towing version. Engine, transmission and cooling are largely irrelevant- relative mass is what matters in towing, and suspension options are what's important for managing it. Take my 2011 Grand Caravan: the entire RT platform, be it a Grand Caravan, T&C or Ram Commercial Vehicle, has one engine. It has one transmission, one radiator, one engine oil cooler and one transmission cooler. Basically, "Here's your van, which cosmetic differences would you like?"

Suspension is where it gets interesting. How much is it meant to carry and how should it ride with that load? The heavier a load it's meant to carry, the less comfortable the ride will be when you're just running to the grocery store. There are different rear springs for Touring (SDC), Performance (SDD) and Commercial Grade (SDH) suspensions. Whichever type you have will also have a different part number depending on whether or not you have Load Leveling and Height Control (SER). Rear shocks only get crazier: Normal (SDA) and Sport (SDF) suspension are added to the SDC and SDD choices (with all the extra choices depending on whether or not you have SER) and then they throw in five more VIN code choices depending on your size and type of tires.

My van is pretty basic, it has SDC without SER. Fully loaded and with our Jay 1006 pop up camper fully loaded, it sags. A lot. But not enough that I decided it needs jounce bumpers or anything, it's a minivan- it's supposed to be dragging its ass. So my rig isn't optimal for how I use it but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. The frame can handle the load and the rear suspension isn't competely swamped, and I'll bet the van that came off the assembly line right after mine may have had the SDH and a rougher ride. The one after that probably had SER a much higher sticker price.

So you can see why the factory would downrate my van's towing capacity even though it can still handle the load... it just can't handle it as well. It would be a bad executive who would allow every van to be a top of the line tow vehicle when they could save money with lighter springs, and more tow capacity could be a feature they could make money off of. That's not to mention that one horribly expensive van on the lot makes the regular ones look like bargains.

On a little car, why not engineer the frame to within an inch of its life? In the US, awash in pickups and lawsuits, they can deny it can tow at all. I went to U-Haul to buy a ball mount with a bigger rise than the one that came with my hitch, and when I told them it was a Fit he went out back and got one that he said they sell to "all the Fits." I was surprised that they admitted that a Fit could tow, given corporate squeamishness. Mine? I don't plan on towing any heavy loads with it. It can tow, and do it well- but I'm not going to make the rear end sag much because it doesn't have as much in reserve as the van does.

My only experience with overweight towing was in the Army. The 5 ton truck's tow rating was less than our howitzers weighed. Never a problem until we got "upgraded" from the old bias tires that looked like paddle wheels to radials that looked like snow tires. More surface area meant less grip on wet pavement and the front end could come a bit loose on downhills. With a regular hitch setup, that particular problem could easily be handled with load leveling equipment. As to liability and insurance, I'd recommend driving safely, defensively, yadda yadda yadda- the same as if your owner's manual says you can tow. I can't see a cop saying "He ran the stop sign, but your car shouldn't have that trailer. You're coming with me!" Insurance might have an issue if the non-spec towing caused the accident, but largely they're clueless.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepdog44 View Post
Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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