The End of Trailer Trailing? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-16-2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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....with regard to the subtitle of this thread. My car buddy, whose trailer n part of car will appear in the appended shot were chatting just yesterday about the 'future of fiberglass trailers'. This friend of mine has been an R/V salesman, auto repair shop foreman and various other auto related jobs. He has a 'slightly' decorated 17ft. Boler and wouldn't trade it for love nor money. Last week, he was helping another car buddy shop for a new (to them) trailer. They were looking at ALL styles but my friend was agast to see the HIGH cost of even 13ft. new trailers compared to stickies of larger size. He/they also remaked that these new glass trailers, although the same 'reported' length (13's and 17's) as their older 'brothers' appeared to be much smaller inside than the older versions and the cost for a new 13ft was in excess of $25,000!!!!
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:03 PM   #16
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Cadillac tried the selective cylinder stuff back in the early 80s. What a flop.
Upper end Honda Odysseys have that now. 2-3 cylinders are deactived as called for. EPA says that gives 1-2 MPG more city/highway. As I don't have one of those fancy ones, can't say what the real world says. http://automobiles.honda.com/odyssey/featu...spx?Feature=vcm
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:33 PM   #17
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Cadillac tried the selective cylinder stuff back in the early 80s. What a flop. Here's website:
Cadillac History 1980
I got to drive one of those back then, when it was still new. It was a 2-door Coupe De Ville. I signed up as a driver for a "Drive-away" broker who matched vehicle owners who needed a car transported with one-way delivery drivers who needed a transportation alternative.

I thought it was a good car. Drove it from San Diego, CA to Ocean City, NJ. Made a stopover at The 1982 World's Fair. I was impressed with getting 40 mpg on I-40.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:47 PM   #18
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Umm, just because GM flopped the selective cylinder idea doesn't mean it should be ruled out -- GM also tried an automotive diesel that was a flop, but diesels still seem to be with us and even getting better...
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:18 AM   #19
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...He/they also remarked that these new glass trailers, although the same 'reported' length (13's and 17's) as their older 'brothers' appeared to be much smaller inside than the older versions...
Comparing an old widebody about-17' (Boler B1700) to a new narrowbody almost-17' (Escape) might give one that impression. An Escape may be smaller inside than my Boler, but it's definitely smaller outside, and lighter. The biggest difference is width, and I would appreciate a narrower trailer; with smaller tow vehicles, I think keeping the width down will become important.

As for the 13'... I think as we expand, the trailers seem more cramped.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:40 AM   #20
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... Plug-in hybrids also allow drivers to take advantage of non-fossil power sources: hydro (both conventional and tidal), geothermal, wind, solar, and nuclear energy.
Just as soon as there is so much non-fossil fuel power generation capacity that it is sitting idle, running a car electrically will mean using that power. For now, even if you live in the shadow of a windmill the electrical energy you use to charge you car effectively comes from the fossil-fuel burning power plant which is run only as much as it needs to be. You d your car charger to the load, and the power company turns up the wick on a fossil fuel flame. Here, that's probably natural gas, although at lower-demand times of day it's coal. Not so green...

The "displacement on demand" idea of a section of engine entirely shutting down (rather than just closing the valves and not pumping) is a much more radical - and real - change in displacement. It still has the problem of carrying around a bunch of unused engine, but it may be practical at some point. It would be easier with a series hybrid (it would really mean just two engine-driven generators supplying power to the motors, where a normal series hybrid has one engine-driven generator), and is effectively already done in some trains and ships. For us, it would mean a small engine handling most driving duty, and another one which would come on for acceleration and hill-climbing, especially when towing. There had better be some big non-towing benefit, or it won't appear in the market, since there are not enough of us towing our size of trailer to matter.

Pete, I'm not saying that selective cylinder deactivation isn't workable... just that it doesn't help much. Since all it does is reduce pumping losses at part throttle, I suspect that some of the alternate approaches to pumping loss reduction may be more useful... and by the way reduced pumping loss is one of the few real advantages of diesels.
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:50 AM   #21
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I'm with Steve; Europe has found diesel to be the answer. Now that low sulphur diesel is available, modern diesel engines can provide both mileage and trailer-towing torque.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:52 PM   #22
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...Now that low sulphur diesel is available...
I would suggest a little caution in terminology. Here in Canada, "low sulphur diesel" means a sulphur content of 15 parts per million or less; in the U.S. this is called "ultra low sulphur diesel", and just "low sulphur diesel" could have over thirty times the sulphur content allowed for the new engines. Unfortunately, while theoretically the "good stuff" should have been available everywhere for more than a year, it may not still not be what's coming out of the pump, and I have noticed that it is not at all clear on the pumps which standard is met by the available fuel... it's unleaded gas all over again.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:50 PM   #23
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Going car shopping after my '92 Geo Metro died in 2002 was an interesting experience. At the time there wasn't even one car on the market that could get the 42-45MPG my Metro got, and damn few that got the 36 MPG of my wife's '97 Toyota Corolla. T



--Peter

Peter,
My 92 Metro is on its second engine. I'll drive it until the wheels fall off and then get another one.

Dick
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:41 PM   #24
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I must say I'm a diesel fan. I had an 87 suburban 6.2 litre and I loved it. Drove it for 12 years and I miss it dearly. Did I mention it was 4 wheel drive? Bring on the snow,mud,backroads etc.
22mpg hwy and I could pull anything I wanted to, with room for all the junk you could want.
Just change the oil and fuel filters and drive. No tuneups. It could idle all day and use hardly any fuel.

Alas the price of a new one is out of sight!
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:22 PM   #25
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I had an 87 suburban 6.2 litre...
That's an excellent example of the type of vehicle in question. Will it go away because it consumes too much fuel and drags down the average too far, or does it get an exemption from the rules as part of a larger and different class of vehicle? Some regulations change at a magic dividing line at something like 8400 lb GVWR, which means oversize truck-based wagons like a Chev 2500 Suburban or (now discontinued) Ford Excursion are allowed to be used as an alternative to cars; they are even allowed pollute more, because they are bigger, even if they are just used to take one person to work.

If that's what we need to buy to tow, then there's hardly any need for the trailer to be particularly lightweight...
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:16 PM   #26
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Peter,
My 92 Metro is on its second engine. I'll drive it until the wheels fall off and then get another one.

Dick
My '92 Geo Metro is still on it's 1st engine, going strong! It's not the WHEELS falling off that I worry about.
(rattle, rattle)
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:32 PM   #27
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You need to read this article in Fast Company. This seventh grade dropout is retro fitting vehicles with stock parts and getting outstanding performance. Even Schwarzenegger sent one of his cars to him to "fix". He's changing Hummers around to get 60mpg and and doubling it's horsepower. If only the [American] automobile companies would do it this way in the beginning...

Paula
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:50 PM   #28
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My first Brand NEW car was a 94 Metro. I miss the gas mileage...

but thats about all I miss about it. There has to be a compromise between Brickhouse and Tin Can.

My Element was close, for something of it's physical size and capabilities, I was impressed with the milage when not towing. (24-29)

I wish I could have kept it.
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