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Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

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Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:54 pm

My wife and I were at an Beginner RV seminar all day today. They had a bunch of tow vehicles to test drive the handling, pulling a bunch of different trailers. These trailers were anything from 18 foot airstreams to 38 foot 5th wheels and a bunch in between. I took out a 31 foot travel trailer (not especially light at 6000 lbs) and it was being pulled by..... a dodge charger. They had another Travel trailer being pulled by a PT cruiser, etc etc.

One part of their seminar was showing the math to figure out what can pull what size of trailers and mathematically using things like torque, weight, wheel sidewall size, wheel diameter etc, showed that smaller vehicles "should" have no problem pulling larger vehicles and the big issue was in the strength of the hitch. A very good brake controller is a good idea too. I tested a digital (which I found very on/offish), and a analogue style that uses a cable to the brake pedal to measure how much pressure you are putting on the brakes. The digital would cause the trailer to brake too early when I was lightly feathering the brakes as I pulled into a parking lot. Very ON/OFF ish at low speed. Worked fine on the higher speed. I then tried the Jordan Ultima (or something like that) that had a cable to the brake pedal and it was as though I wasn't hauling this large trailer behind a PTcruiser at all!

Turns out they make custom hitches to make Class III hitches for these smaller vehicles. These custom hitches have a broad footprint (so to speak) on the bottom of the car so it distributes the pressure more evenly. This and a decent Wieght Distribution hitch made it heavenly to pull....and the test drivers proved they could start and stop and turn and slolem with the best of them (drove a challenger, ptcruiser, 1/2 ton,). Then they showed a larger truck with large sidewalled tires get all squirly when it did an "emergency" manouver.


So, give me some real explanations why people choose to buy especially large Tow Vehicles?

A few caveats that are mentioned was
-don't be silly on getting toooo small of a vehicle. Be realistic on how much HP and Torque you need to offer to the trailer.
-bump up maintenance schedule to be much more often.
-synthetic trans and diff oils
-AT cooler
-lower profile tires
-excellent brake controller.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:33 pm

Wowzers. Some quick Google searches shows the PT cruiser has a tow rating of 1000 pounds, and the charger (as I found it equipped) is 2000 pounds.

Either of these weights barely qualifies either for the tent-trailer category, nevermind some of the trailers it sounds like they had hooked up to them.

If I saw these sort of lashups at a seminar of any sort (much less one aiming itself to beginners!) I'd immediately discredit just about anything they had to say from that point forth, and walk out - taking as many others as I could when I explained the total foolishness of their selected tow vehicles.

Strength of the hitch is one thing, but I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that would recommend towing even the smallest trailer you mention (the airstream) with something like a PT Cruiser - simple things like the driveline durability, engine cooling capacity, and (importantly) braking ability simply makes it a completely inappropriate tow vehicle for much at all beyond a utility trailer, a couple of watercraft, or (stretching it) an ultralight popup tent trailer.

The tail is wagging the dog in these situations and you'll be woefully underpowered for anything short of flat and level terrain, not to mention the fact that you're guarenteed to be grossly over the safe axle weights on the tow vehicle.

I'll agree on some of what they said - increased maintenance, tranny cooler, perhaps synthetic fluids, and a good (proportional) brake controller, but again, given the totally inappropriate setups they are suggesting are safe to beginners who might not know any better, I'd have walked out.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby skipnchar on Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:12 pm

There are tow ratings assigned by vehicle manufacturers for maximum trailer size (assuming a completely empty vehicle) and maximum combined vehicle weights (trailer and tow vehicle combined) but these are both principally warranty issues. They just define what weight the manufacturer says you can tow and they will still honor any warranty issues that may arise.

There are ALSO some ratings that are SAFETY related and are actually legal constraints. These are principally the ones you find on the DOT safety sticker found on door posts of vehicles sold in the US and I believe in Canada also (though I've never purchased one there). These include the GVWR (maximum weight the vehicle can carry on it's own axles) and GAWR Gross Axle weight rating (both front and rear axles separately). These SAFETY related numbers are based on sound engineering data about braking power, suspension strength, frame strength and a few others and are supported by manufacturers choices of wheels, tires, engine cooling systems transmissions and most other components. Safety ratings should NEVER be exceeded and doing so can actually put the violator in danger of being judged liable in case of an accident when he would otherwise be non liable.

I certainly agree 100% that the wisdom of anyone holding a seminar advocating towing over safety ratings is highly questionable at best.

Good luck / skip
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:16 pm

That's what I'm saying, why would you walk out? Preconceptions maybe? Other than the tail wagging the dog (which I agree) and why there is a limit on a how small to go, I see no other real reason. If the vehicle can get it up to speed with relative ease and stop it incase of electric brake failure, there is definate reason (that I can find) on why you should tow trailer X with either a dodge minivan or a sebring.

Ultimately I'm saying that the towing arguments are... well, difficult to argue. And I'm thinking they are getting much like the Oil arguments of car and motorcycle forums...pretty speculative and opinionated. There are certain facts, but I think common sense would have you steer clear of obvious mismatches. But that Charger stopped and pulled that 6000 pound trailer (it probably really wasn't that heavy) without a real problem and "I" was driving. It wasn't a fake show by a professional. I felt the pull when I changed lanes quickly. "I" slammed on the brakes, "I" pulled it quickly from a stop.

I believe that decent maintenance and an AT cooler could have smaller vehicles pulling larger trailers.

An example was made at the seminar that a pickup company had a tow capacity of somewhere around 3500lbs (look familiar, it's awefully interesting that the majority of vehicles are picking this wieght). It was at this weight for a couple years and then the competition posted 4500lbs. Next model year (no change to driveline, body, etc) that same pickup was up to 4500. Unfortunately I can't recall the vehicle right now. But it sold me on semi-arbitrary numbers that the bean counters will post as tow capacities.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Zinger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:07 pm

gear ratios can greatly change tow rating possibly from one model year to next.

Tow ratings are printed for a reason what if the brakes on the trailer behind the Charger failed or you had a flat or two what would happen then. I am towing right up to my capacity and am somewhat nervous about it. I dont think I would pull a tent behind a PT Cruiser.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby skipnchar on Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:16 pm

Put my 1,200 lb. tongue weight on the back of a PT cruiser designed to carry only 4 passengers and you would probably find out very quickly why it takes an appropriately sized tow vehicle to tow a trailer of ANY size. When the axle breaks on that PT cruiser, where do you think it's going to go? Right out into traffic for cars or trucks coming from the opposite direction to play with. Now where do you think that the PT Cruiser is going to go with that 8,000 lb. trailer pushing the now 3 wheeled "tow vehicle"? That one NOBODY knows I'm afraid.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Zinger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:23 pm

where /who gave this seminar and what were there credentials (they should look for a new line of work before someone dies because of their misinformation)
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:00 pm

This thread calls for this notorious video of the results of an inadequate tow vehicle:

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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby skipnchar on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:07 pm

LOL I WONDERED what you were up to :mrgreen:
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby jp rver on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:43 am

You guys better hope Caddywhompus doesn't find this forum. :?

I don't really think I would lash any self contained TT behind a PT Cruiser, but a small popup is doable. I tow a small john boat behind my wife's Neon, and it has no trouble at all pulling and stopping the extra 800 to 1000 lbs. We do have the 5 speed manual tranny and can select the proper gear for hill climbs and downshifting and it does help. The Neon towing capacity is 1500 lbs.

I will likely stick to a pickup(or large SUV or Van) for towing TTs, but I am open minded enough to consider that there may be someone out there with enough expertise to customize a towing setup such as a Dodge Charger, or a Ford Crown Vic, and be able to safely tow a small TT with it. I have more than once questioned some of the towing capacities that manufactures come up with. Let me give you an example. I used to tow my current TT with a 2004 Dodge Dakota (and sometimes still do since my mother now owns it). The Dakota with 3.55 gears had about a 1000 lb less towing capacity than one with the 3.92 gears, even though everything else on the trucks are exactly the same. That tells me that towing capacities many times are strictly a performance based factor, and can safely be exceeded from time to time. I wouldn't justify grossly overloading a vehicle, but a little isn't necessarily a dangerous thing if the right equipment is used in the hitching and braking of the load.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:19 am

Thanks guys, some of these responses is exactly what I'm looking for. So as far as the stats listed, there was no gear ratio change from one model year to the next. The only thing that changed was that particular vehicle didn't have competition that had a large towing capacity, then one year did. That year theirs went up to with no hardware change. I'm not suggesting you use that as a supporting arguement to anyone else as I can't remember the specs, but it did seem odd to me as I witnessed the spec list.

So what we have for valid arguements is breaking hardware causing safety concerns as the main issue. I'm good with that. However, I wonder then why it's called "capacity" instead of "safety threshold" etc. And does the book say that exceeding the towing capacity could "cause bodily harm or death" as safety warnings tend to do in vehicles? As well, point #5 (lower profile tires) will help keep it in control with less body sway.

And it was stated that engine and brakes could be a factor. I would put in a little of point 1) in there (using common sense and don't pull a large unit with a neon with drum brakes). However lets say my car... it has a 6 cylinder 3L engine (decent torque), it'll have an AT cooler (anyway by end of summer for normal towing), 4 large disk brakes. If the proper hitch that was custom made to spread the load out on the body, I don't know how worried I would be about a couple hundred extra pounds. (Notice, I'm still keeping rule #1 firmly planted as the basis of the decisions).

It was also stated about gear ratio being a factor. OK, I see this one. Now, if you reduce your profile on your tire and lower the radius of your tire, you are also changing your gear ratio to the better. So you could influence this. Won't help a ratio that is designed for cruising on a highway at 2k rpm mind you, but that then falls under point #1.

And I appreciate that video (I've seen it a few times and it was a good spot for it!) however, that goes blatantly against the first point of common sense. I'm just suggesting stretching the margins a bit.


Please also realize this isn't a troll, more to see what goes through peoples minds when they look at towing. As well to logically counter points to see if what's left over is an OBVIOUS reason for towing, or perhaps carry over from the the marketing group wanting you to upsize to the next vehicle.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:43 am

Don't get me wrong, I don't belong to the weight-police group who thinks that towing anything more then 80% of the vehicles rated tow capacity is a grievous decision, but at the same time there is a margin which was (IMHO) clearly exceeded in the situation you mentioned.

The smallest trailer you mentioned was an 18' airstream which I'm going to venture to guess weighs at least 3000 Pounds, not including any optional equipment that was in it, plus water, propane, and all your contents. Assuming a real world weight, it's probably 4000 Pounds going down the road.

To hitch that up to a PT Cruiser you are not only "slightly" exceeding the rated tow capacity, you are exceeding it by a factor of three to four times. That's alot more then a little overloaded, that's grossly overloaded.

Having towed with a minivan (not that different then a PT) that was right at (and I'm sure slightly beyond on occasion) the rated limits of our TV at the time (see the pic below), I can say that it wasn't totally enjoyable even being "on the line". Power was OK, but it really worked in the grades, and taking it into the hills/mountains was completely out of the question. Frontal area drag was very heavy, and it wasn't fun trying to parse down what we could (and could not) bring on every trip simply because we knew that that extra case of beer could put us over limit.

I cannot imagine trying to justify in my head towing a 14,000# trailer (the equivalent of the 4X overweight situation of the PT/Airstream Combo) with the minivan, and looking at it this way you'll see why I'd seriously question the judgement of the people running that seminar.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:54 am

Check out what this guy says about the PT cruiser (as an example) and a 22 foot Airstream. He's talking about the towing capabilities etc.

http://www.rvlifemag.com/file363/hitchhints363.html

The North American Perspective
Over the years we have set up plenty of four cylinder tow cars, starting with Volvos in the mid-70s, but until two years ago we had never actually toured to any great extent with the smaller engine options and lightweight trailers. Following our European adventure, we decided to add a four cylinder tow vehicle to our corporate fleet, and we currently have two vehicles in our fleet that have very different personalities, but tow suitable trailers very nicely.

The first of our four cylinder tow vehicles is a 2005 PT Cruiser convertible, which we have been using to tow lightweight 7.5’ wide aerodynamic trailers and Airstreams up to 22’ long. The PT Cruiser has a turbocharged 2.4 litre four cylinder engine and the same transaxle is the one used in Chrysler vans with V-6 engines, so it has plenty of extra capacity. There are a few special considerations to keep in mind when towing with high output small displacement engines. When towing with a turbocharged engine, it is important not to operate the engine under boost for long periods of time. It is fine for entering an expressway or passing slower traffic, but not to climb a five mile mountain pass or drive all day at the speed limit, into a strong headwind.

To prep the PT for towing we added a transmission cooler, vacuum gauge to measure boost, and the hitch and wiring. There is not enough room under the back of the car for both a solid hitch and a spare tire. Fortunately, the spare fits easily in the trunk with plenty of room left over. The body structure is surprisingly strong for a convertible and easily handles the torque from the 550lb. torsion bars.

The PT Cruiser has what would seem to be a short 103” wheelbase, but the rear overhang is only 37”, or 36% of the wheelbase. The rack & pinion steering is very precise, and the 205/55HR x 16” tires have virtually no side sway. At highway speed with the Airstream the combination is rock solid and passing trucks and cross winds have no effect on handling. The lightweight trailers are barely affected by passing trucks or cross winds however there is some buffeting when following a transport.

Performance with the PT Cruiser is excellent and few RV combinations are as much fun to drive. 0-100 KPH takes only 23 seconds with a 19’ Airstream. As you might guess, maneuverability is excellent, and you can easily whip in and out of tight spaces. We have 60,000 kilometers on the PT now, with 16,000 of that logged while towing trailers. It has been completely reliable and has never had a warranty claim. While solo fuel efficiency is quite good, towing with the PT Cruiser produces mileage data not much different than a larger tow vehicle. Towing an Airstream at 100 KPH the PT Cruiser can deliver 16.4 miles to the Imperial gallon or 17.2 L/100km. If you are looking for an economical day to day vehicle that can tow a small trailer for your annual vacation it is a good choice, I think it is the only convertible available that can carry four adults comfortably. The sedan version offers more interior space than many small SUVs and is quite reasonably priced.



This fellow is also mentioning the items that this seminar mentioned about the tires sidewalls (sideway sway), the overhang in back, etc. They are suggesting that it most 4cylinder cars are capable (please again, see my rule #1) of pulling up to a 24ft trailer. Even the 19foot that they are using as an example in this write up is 3648lbs and the towing capacity of the PT cruiser is 1000 lbs. (which seems oddly low http://www.canadiandriver.com/overviews/2006/chrysler/pt-cruiser.php)
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:05 am

Holy crap. I just realized that the article I used and commented that they mention what was mentioned in the seminar was because it was the same guy!

And that PT cruiser he mentions is the one I was using!

Here are more of his articles. Please read so with an open mind and tell me if that doesn't logically make sense what he's saying...

http://www.rvlifemag.com/hitchhints.html
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:13 am

Having read a few of his articles it's clear that this guy has no respect whatsoever for tow ratings, but seems quite content to attach just about any trailer to any vehicle, regardless of suitability. He seems to quite enjoy vehemently defending his decisions to do so, actually, as well as supporting others who have done the same.

In the various articles I noticed the following:

- Suggested towing a 4700+ pound airstream with a Chrysler Intrepid (1500 factory tow rating) in the mountains.

- Stated towing a 28' airstream (conservatively probably 6000#?) with a Dodge Magnum. (1000 or 2000 tow rating depending on how equipped)

- Defending his own choice of an Intrepid towing a 7000# 28' Airstream.

- His priorities regarding tow vehicles revolve around alot of very valid things, some only moderately valid things, whereas some very important aspects such as grossly exceeding the GVWR, GCW, and most importantly the GAWR's. There is no way in hell that this guy is pulling a 7000 pound travel trailer with a Crysler Intrepid without grossly exceeding the axle weight ratings by a multitude of several times I'd think.

Right there that discredits him in a huge way so far os offering advice to anyone, much less people new to the industry. The way he talks people will start believing that you can tow anything with anything.

I do not want to share the road with someone (for example) towing a 30' TT with their Chevy Impala simply because this guy seems to indicate that wheel size and suspension make the tow vehicle, not the overall big picture that makes a TV suitable to begin with.

I'd really have major problems respecting a whole lot of anything this guy has to say as a result, and I found it incredulous that any magazine would dare touch this guys articles with a 10 foot pole.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:48 am

It really unfortunate when someone believes that "having the HP to move the load" is the most important factor in making a good tow vehicle. If that was the case a sling shot would be the ideal tow vehicle. I could care less what someone does to their own vehicle or it's warranty but when it's MY safety (sharing the road with them) I believe I should get a vote and so should everyone else. With many of the combinations in the OPs original list the "highway speed" would be whatever speed they could get out of 2nd gear. Not MY idea of pleasant. Good luck / Skip
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:04 pm

Good discussion! I was afraid this was going to get into one of those opinionated "do what you want" conversations but it didn't.

Thanks for the input and the views. I really appreciate the RV attitude! That's specifically why I posted the question was for discussion not a flaming war and it did what it was designed for!
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Zinger on Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:33 pm

I cant believe his aricles get published..
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:16 pm

I started noticing a discrepency when I was looking for towing capacities. Always finding that UK versions of US cars were rated differently than US and in some instances Canada was different too. I then found this article.

The Great American Anti-Towing Conspiracy

By Paul Niedermeyer
February 23, 2008 - 12,130 Views

“Scion does not recommend towing a trailer… your vehicle was not designed for towing." Welcome to the great American anti-towing conspiracy. Manufacturers of anything less than a big SUV or pick-up are trying to take away our God-given right to tow with our cars. For a guy who’s towed everything from a Radio Flyer wagon behind a pedal-powered John Deere sidewalk tractor, to a three-bedroom house, I feel like I’m being singled out. Of course, there’s a possibility that I’m the cause as well as the target of this jihad. A lot of lawyers do drive the Ventura Freeway, and one of them may well have seen my spectacular stunt with a trailer.

Before I recount the creative maneuver with which I simultaneously occupied all four lanes of “the world’s busiest freeway” at sixty-five mph, let’s look at the prejudice American would-be towers are up against …

On Toyota’s UK website, the Yaris is credited with a towing capacity of 1050kg/2315lbs. That’s right in line with the old rule of thumb that a car can safely tow an amount equal to its own weight.

But here in the land of the (not so) free, the Yaris’ owner’s manual admonishes: “Toyota does not recommend towing a trailer with your vehicle.” The unnamed author goes on to give a partial pass to our northern neighbors: “In Canada only, total weight of cargo and trailer not to exceed 700lbs.” Please leave your trailers at the border? Perhaps this partial exemption reflects Canada’s status as being somewhere between English and American. But the logic is lost on me.

Maybe it’s a blatant tactic by Toyota to meet Tundra sales goals, by forcing us tow-heads into buying that over-achieving tug (rated for 10,000+lbs). But Honda is in on the conspiracy too. The CRV weighs 3600lbs and offers 166hp, about the same as an old gen Explorer. In Europe, where folks often buy CUV’s specifically for their towing capacity, the CRV is rated to tow 2000kg/4400lbs. And in the tow-aphobic US? A measly 1500lbs!

It wasn’t always like this. In the sixties, you’d see 40hp VW Beetles pulling a trailer. In 1976, my VW Beetle died in Ohio heading back to Iowa, so we left it and hitch-hiked the rest of the way. My girlfriend’s Mom was driving a 70hp Corolla, which was rated to tow 1800lbs, exactly the weight of my VW. She generously offered it. Towing the Bug home, the Corolla never broke a sweat.

Which I can’t say for myself when I nearly shut down the 101.

It was 1986. We had just bought our first house, in Woodland Hills. I rented a big double-axle twelve-foot trailer to haul debris and junk to the dump. My Mexican helper was a zealous worker, loading lots of broken concrete into the back end of the trailer. I remember glancing at the warning sign about having 60 percent of the weight ahead of the axles. But any fleeting thought of relevancy or concern was quickly overpowered by the testosterone-fueled urge to PULL!

That trailer must have weighed about three times as much as the Jeep Cherokee tug. I managed to squeeze into the perpetually crowded Ventura freeway.

When our rig (finally) hit 65 in the right lane, the trailer began oscillating, which escalated exponentially. The next thing I knew, the Jeep was being swung wildly from side to side, like the tail on a dog. One moment, we were facing towards the shoulder, then across all the lanes facing the center divider. The Jeep was utterly out of control; there was nothing to do but hang on for dear life, waiting for the fishtailing trailer to roll and/or get creamed by the four lanes of traffic behind us.

Fortunately, the other drivers (and that corporate attorney) were on the ball and held back, in awe of our mad gyrations. When enough speed was scrubbed off and stability resumed, we found ourselves in the narrow left shoulder, where we sat bathed in sweat.

I had no choice but to steel myself, get back in the traffic, and fight my way across four lanes while keeping the speed below fifty. When we finally pulled off on the right shoulder, my ashen-faced helper tumbled out, got on his knees and crossed himself, before we started re-arranging the trailer’s load.

Having learned that cardinal lesson of towing, I’m a hair more cautious now. But I still believe that cars, by their nature, are “designed for towing.” So I always carry a tow rope in the old Ford pick-up instead of an AAA card. More than once, Stephanie has schlepped me home with the Forester. I don’t even want to know what its tow rating is; it’s survived just fine. And I’ve found an after-market hitch for the xB, rated for 2000lbs.



Interesting points on differences in the same vehicle across the sea and even across the CDN/US border. As a side note the Forester XT in the UK is rated for 4400lbs but only 2000lbs for the XT in the US.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:39 pm

The differences between countries is interesting, indeed.. I suspect it has alot to do with the relative simplicity of suing in North America versus overseas - the vehicles might be capable of hauling more sizable loads, but if someone gets into a wreck on this side of the pond and the courts place the blame on the fact that it was towing a load that they might have considered "too heavy", then the auto manufacturers are on the hook for the lawsuit.

Overseas, especially in the UK, suing over issues like this is very difficult if not near impossible, so the manufacturers might be more liberal with the ratings with the understanding that under normal circumstances the vehicle could haul the weight, but if the owner of the vehicle still gets himself in trouble because of it, he can't suit the pants off the manufacturer.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Justardnck on Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:44 pm

PrivatePilot wrote:This thread calls for this notorious video of the results of an inadequate tow vehicle:


This video has always cracked me up :lol:
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Terry on Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:26 pm

Seems to me, and someone else may have noticed it, and I missed it. But. When he was telling about how great a turbo charged 4 banger towed. He was saying in the same breath not to do it. As in. Don't tow up a long hill. Don't tow long at hightway speeds, and into head winds. Now if it won't tow up hill, and if it won't tow at speed, and if it won't tow into the wind. Where will it tow? If it won't do that stuff. It is pretty useless as a TV. Unless you just want to go down hill, and you can't just go down all the time. After all. The good CGs are at the top of the mountain.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:41 pm

Might have been missed communicated etc, however basically it's saying don't beat it up. To adlib, I'd be adding to let the turbo cool etc. Turbos in gasoline engines are designed to augment, not to support (like diesel).
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:46 pm

Found a pic of the imfamous setup:

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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Zinger on Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:48 pm

If that isnt the tailwagging the dog I dont know wat is. I guess I can tow a tractors trailer with my F150.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:47 pm

That's a still from a video of it doing a slalom course. There is another video of a pickup doing it and that's being swayed all over the place. The intrepid was actually better planted. But you'd have to see the video. I wouldn't want to be doing slaloms at those speeds with a trailer, that's for sure.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Terry on Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:50 pm

Mikey wrote:Might have been missed communicated etc, however basically it's saying don't beat it up. To adlib, I'd be adding to let the turbo cool etc. Turbos in gasoline engines are designed to augment, not to support (like diesel).


So we would have to stop every little bit to let it rest :?: What the siminar was really saying. You can tow on this flat track with a PT Crusier. But don't take it onto the highway. Cause on the highway. your gonna have to run it at speed in the wind, and your gonna have to go up hills 5 miles or longer. To say that a PT Crusier can tow a 22' TT is just wrong.
We go to the mountains alot. None of the good CGs are easy to get to. A PT Crusier, turbo or not wouldn't be able to get a 1000lb pup to them. Much less a 4000lb TT. Areo ain't ain't all that important going up Black Mountain or HWY 16. Grunt is, and you can't stop in the middle of the road to let it rest. Just yesterday. I came over a 9% grade, out of Cherokee, and into Maggie Valley.
Also in NC we have very few flat roads. Most all are rolling hills, even to the coast. And in the western part, they don't roll. They just go up. So go get the Crusier and the 22' TT. And lets go to Linville Falls, or Buck Hill, Or from Cherokee to Maggie Valley. If it can't. It is useless for towing.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Zinger on Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:47 am

With tha much behind alittle car I wouldnt dare stop for fear of being run over. :lol:
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby graywolf67 on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:08 pm

My dad used to tow with a car(chevy Belair) but it was long had a small V8 and it weighed a few thousand lbs itself, it pulled a 19 foot trailer some old '60 model, but on steep hills or mtns it was horrible, I wonder why sometimes we don't see some of the bigger cars like crown vics as TV's maybe they are just not made as strong like those old ships :)
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:14 pm

Look UNDER one of those old boats and compare the frame with a modern car. Strength in a modern car comes from the design of light weight materials. in those days it came from solid steel and lots of it. My first towing experience was with a 1955 Buick towing a 19 foot trailer. It would lug those mountain grades in 3rd gear (it was a 3 on the tree). Now THERE was a CAR that was built to tow. I'd guess the trailer was probably something like 4,000 lb. fully loaded though because it was pretty basic inside.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby graywolf67 on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:42 pm

Absolutely agree, I remember Dad driving in town a alittle VW Golf hit us in the rear dad didn't even notice it, I had to tell we were just hit and that VW didn't look good and the chrome wasn't even scratched, but it was fun to drive it was a "63 and only got rid of it in the late 80's.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby The Wood Tinker on Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:41 pm

I have to say I think the guy is off his rocker! :shock:
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby fla-gypsy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:05 pm

Doing it because you can does not make it a smart idea.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby MCBOWERS on Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:21 pm

[quote="Mikey"]My wife and I were at an Beginner RV seminar all day today. being pulled by..... a dodge charger. They had another Travel trailer being pulled by a PT cruiser, etc etc.

One part of their seminar was showing the math to figure out what can pull what size of trailers and mathematically using things like torque, weight, wheel sidewall size, wheel diameter etc, showed that smaller vehicles "should" have no problem pulling larger vehicles... hauling this large trailer behind a PTcruiser

This and a decent Wieght Distribution hitch made it heavenly to pull....and the test drivers proved they could start and stop and turn and slolem with the best of them (drove a challenger, ptcruiser, 1/2 ton,). Then they showed a larger truck with large sidewalled tires get all squirly when it did an "emergency" manouver.


So, give me some real explanations why people choose to buy especially large Tow Vehicles?


Give me a break!!!!! I joined this site because i was looking for RV talk & discussion of a SERIOUS nature by folks who actually had something to contribute ,& who take the saftey of RV'ing & travel to heart. If this thread [coming from someone who doesn't even own a Tow Vehicle] is what i can expect on other forums here i will just shuffle on.

Don't get me wrong,there is a place for this garbage, & thats a lite weight ,mfg.specific site i used to enjoy , where about 40% of the members think like mikey!!!!

Too answer your question....You can NEVER have too large of a Tow Vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Limey on Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:54 pm

MCBOWERS wrote:Give me a break!!!!! I joined this site because i was looking for RV talk & discussion of a SERIOUS nature by folks who actually had something to contribute ,& who take the saftey of RV'ing & travel to heart. If this thread [coming from someone who doesn't even own a Tow Vehicle] is what i can expect on other forums here i will just shuffle on.

Don't get me wrong,there is a place for this garbage, & thats a lite weight ,mfg.specific site i used to enjoy , where about 40% of the members think like mikey!!!!

Too answer your question....You can NEVER have too large of a Tow Vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Firstly, welcome to the forum - Don't lose it over one post, especially as most of the RVers here were agreeing with you in their comments! RV talk and discussion of a serious nature by folks who actually have something to consider IS what this site is about. Take some time and read the rest of the forum before you decide to shuffle on! This is a new forum and most of us here have migrated from forums which are going the way you describe. :)
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Mikey on Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:59 pm

McBowers, if you are going to get all nasty because someone doesn't agree with you, I believe moving on is not going to get you very far because you'll get peoples opinions everywhere. Perhaps you should look around and see if other conversations better suit your needs. You have options to remain out of the ones that cause you such stress.

This particular discussion thread has been for the most part, sans-attitude. People explaining physics and experience without attitude such as "This is the way to do it, no one else is right".
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby jp rver on Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:42 pm

Easy there MCBOWERS! In my opinion, so far this thread has been very civilized and while most may disagree with the original poster's comments, at least they have given honest reasons for the way they think without insulting anyone.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I wouldn't tow a 30 foot trailer with a Chevy Cobalt, but then again, I don't think it takes a one ton dually to tow a small popup either. I would have to look at a setup and drive it before I passed judgement on it, (but you are going to have a hard time getting me behind the wheel of a PT with a large trailer attached! :shock: ). IMO, the weight police types are at one end of the spectrum, and the people the OP was talking about are at the other end of the spectrum. Reality and sensibility are likely somewhere in between.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby HarleyMedic on Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:35 am

I remember a friend of my dads that worked shut downs and he pulled an @ 30-32ft airstream with a Caddy. Big block power with comfy ride. I believe in making do with the TV you have if you have to but that doesn't mean one should try to pull a Teton with a Yugo. Likewise, you don't need a Freightshaker to pull a popup. When all else fails, just look around and see what either folks with your vehicle are pulling, or what people with your triler are pulling it with. That will give you a starting point. Walk through a few campgrounds and ask questions. Heck, I'll pull out an extra chair for ya and pour ya a drink.

Never trust a car salesman about how much your vehile will tow.
Never trust an RV salesman about how much vehicle you need to tow your RV.
Common sense is not very common.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Zinger on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:27 pm

I wasnt and I dont think anyone else was busting on the post just the thought someone would teach that please dont take offense.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby lifelongcampers on Thu May 08, 2008 10:14 pm

He had to have written the articles on April 1st. It's just ridiculous. I tried towing a 2800 empty (4400 gross wt) ultra-lite with a Cherokee and then later with an F-150 supercrew (even used the same hitch) and the difference in stability was Gigantic. Even though the Jeep tow rating was enough it was white knuckle time when it got windy. I'll never use an undersized tow vehicle again. Safety of the family is just too important.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby mtlogger44 on Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:46 pm

Mikey wrote: So, give me some real explanations why people choose to buy especially large Tow Vehicles.


Too many believe the hype surrounding horsepower and ignore the torque needed. I drive BIG trucks, because they are matched to the load hauled. Logs weigh a lot and even tho I could probably do it with a smaller tractor, it wouldn't be safe. Now, we're working in the oil patch and moving heavy equipment around needs the right size tractor. I have it - it's the largest engine in the working group. I should say it has the most torque, not the largest displacement.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby MiamiHarold on Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:53 pm

Hi,

Do you all have any idea on where I can get a Custom Class III Hitch for the PT Cruiser you mentioned?
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby RonJK on Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:22 pm

Where are you located? And maybe someone in the area can help out.
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Re: Towing myths and opinions...explain this...

Unread postby Limey on Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:55 pm

MiamiHarold wrote:Hi,

Do you all have any idea on where I can get a Custom Class III Hitch for the PT Cruiser you mentioned?


I would expect that they are as rare as hen's teeth. Curt Hitches website says very clearly that they will only supply a class 1 hitch for the PT Cruiser. This is a question and reply from their website:

What Class Of Trailer Hitch Is Available For A 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser
Question:
Do they make Class 2 or 3 for this pt cruiser
asked by: PAUL

Expert Reply:

The only hitches made for the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser are Class I hitches like the Curt Class I 1-1/4 Inch Hitch # C11132. Class I hitches are rated at 2,000 lbs. gross towing weight capacity and 200 lbs. tongue weight. The weight capacity you will be able to tow is determined by the towing weight capacity of your vehicle. The Chrysler PT Cruiser has a low towing weight capacity and that is why there are no Class II or Class III hitches available for your vehicle.

expert reply by: Jeff D

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