Anti-Sway Bar - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #43
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Name: george
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Well....I know this discussion is kind of taking all kinds of directions, but for what it's worth there are several factors that go into how an auto mfr determines tow capacity. Chassis strength is just one of those parameters.

At least two of the mfr's ( Ford and Honda ) require a WD hitch to utilize the full stated towing capacity of their unibody offerings.

Certainly a "unibody", or "monococque" construction can be quite strong. A formula one car would be an example. They can also be made rather weak, and often are in lighter weight cars in able to save weight and cost. The auto companies will go to great length to save weight, as it plays favorably towards better fuel economy.

A guess....and that is all this is, a guess, would be that Subaru is building and marketing their cars more as passenger vehicles, and not as tow vehicles. I suspect they really would rather the consumer not tow much with them, because one thing a car company does is try very hard to avoid warranty repairs. Certainly it's safe to say that in a fleet of vehicles being used for towing, the rate of parts breakage/wear/failure is higher than a comparable fleet on vehicles used simply as passenger carriers.
Right tool for the job. And so it's probably a pretty safe bet that when a car company states very low weight limits on towing, they are sending a pretty clear message.

I certainly did not intend to come across as argumentative in this ( or any other thread ). It seems the thread has sort of taken off in a different direction. I'm no expert, but for whatever it's worth, I've towed with a lot of different unibody, and body-on-frame rigs since the early 1970's. I'm currently towing a camper with a body on frame truck and a WD hitch, and to be honest, of all the towing I've done over the years, this is the first WD hitch I've had. The improvement is startling. It's not as good as the other tow vehicle I regularly drive ( one ton duallie with gooseneck horse trailer ), but it's pretty darn close.

As always, YMMV, and also as always, the skill and attitude of the driver are most likely the biggest variable in whether a towing experience is successful. We all make our choices and go out there and do our thing. Different folks have different ideas of how the same task should be accomplished.

Safe driving everyone....and enjoyable camping to all.

george
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post

A guess....and that is all this is, a guess, would be that Subaru is building and marketing their cars more as passenger vehicles, and not as tow vehicles. I suspect they really would rather the consumer not tow much with them, because one thing a car company does is try very hard to avoid warranty repairs.
george
You bring up some good points George but IMHO if Subaru did not want people actually towing with their vehicles they would not be putting 2800 or 3000 lb tow rates on the vehicle- which is much higher than many other vehicles of its size and class whom they are competing with. Interesting also to note that after 5 years of towing thousands of miles with one (over 9000 miles just last year) Subaru is probable as happy as I am to report that they have never had to pay one cent on warranty repairs.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #45
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Ditto

Carol,
I am in the same situation. We're approaching 160,000 miles and have not had a single warranty repair.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #46
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Somehow we went on tangent with WDH and I promise this is my last post on Norm's thread related to WDH. I found my picture about WDH from a few years old discussions on another forum and updated it to the unibody vs framed TV discussion. There are 2 issues with unibody WDH:

1. Attachment of WD hitches needs to be strong enough to transfer the torque force. This could be done during manufacturing by some sort of subframe.

2. As pointed earlier the unibody itself has to be strong enough to transfer the torque to the front of the vehicle.

I could be willing to exceed manufacturing recommended maximum towing capacity by some margin but without manufacturer recommendation for WDH I would not use it.

George.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
You bring up some good point George but IMHO if Subaru did not want people actually towing with their vehicles they would not be putting 2800 or 3000 lb tow rates on the vehicle- which is much higher than many other vehicles of its size and class whom they are competing with. Interesting also to note that after 5 years of towing thousands of miles with one (over 9000 miles just last year) Subaru is probable as happy as I am to report that they have never had to pay one cent on warranty repairs.
Actually I'm under the opinion that they want the consumer to think that you can tow by listing those numbers but in reality they do not want you to tow by using other numbers. It get's back to the tongue weight restriction. Other than the smallest trailer, any 3000# trailer will have 300 to 450lb tongue weight in order to eliminate sway. The 200Lb restriction is a red flag IMHO and neither the dealer nor factory would answer why it is so low compared to the other numbers.I was not going to purchase a new Outback and risk denial of warranty claim with my 2700# trailer but 350lb tongue weight. So even if their spec's say a weight of 3000#, their other specs really say 1500 lbs. due to the tongue weight. Plus their hitch is a small one and they do not have a brake wiring harness. If they really wanted the Subaru to be a tow vehicle then they would have made it easier to tow with by changing their specs. and these other items.
There are other manufacturers who do make it easy to tow with and be within their factory weight limits.

Just because you can do it does not make it right and I'd rather not reopen that old thread.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:59 PM   #48
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Everyone is discussing if the car manufacturer recommends a WDH. What I found interesting is that Tom Young at Trillium RV does not recommend a WDH with his trailers. It is not just the tow vehicle that is stressed, the trailer gets additional load as well.

A good way of thinking about the situation would be an extreme example where a WDH strong enough to lift the rear tires of the tow vehicle off the ground. Where are the stresses? The front axle of the tow vehicle and the trailer are carrying all the weight. The hitch is torquing the tongue of the trailer and where the hitch attaches to the tow vehicle.

I guess my point is, you need to check if your trailer manufacturer recommends the use of a WDH as much as you need to check if the tow vehicle manufacturer recommends it.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:25 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post

Just because you can do it does not make it right and I'd rather not reopen that old thread.

LOL yup - so why keep bringing it up? Just as it is with every vehicle its not safe to tow with it over the manufactures set specs. I appreciate that you had your heart set on an Outback but where disappointed to learn that the trailer you had exceeded its tongue weight limit but that doesn't mean the vehicle is not safe to tow with for those of us who have trailers that are within the specs set out. IMHO just a silly argument.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #50
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Many of us have a simple solution, buy small, light trailers and keep the tongue weight down. In that way you keep the front wheels of the tow vehicle solidly on the ground and everything works well.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:47 PM   #51
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My experience with a Honda CRV 2000 is quite different.

I had many towing problems with that small (too small) SUV, the worst of it is that the floor where the hitch is bolted got almost all un-welded from the car (all around the floor perimeter)!! I was then then towing a Trillium 1300.

I had it repaired and the floor link to the car was heavily reinforced at the body shop. That CRV had no suspension problem as such. I had it checked by the dealer which is an honest one. His opinion was that everything was up to the standards and my TT according to him was within the CRV capacities. But he considered the unibody concept, as applied to that CRV, not well adapted for towing trailers and the car design was very marginal and not strong enough.

If I remember well the maximum towing capacity was then 2,000 lbs and 250 lbs on the ball. My Trillium was a heavy one at 1924 lbs and the weight on the ball was 211 lbs. That car was a unibody which means that he had no frame. It i s still the case for the new CRV. Practically speaking the rear bumper of the CRV was down by about 3 and often 4 inches when the Trillium was attached. I had no problems breaking, driving and pulling the Trillium. I was averaging +- 15 liter/100km which is about 15.25 miles per US gallons. After it had been repaired, I also installed a WD distribution hitch (a single bar one) which helped a lot but I never trusted the CRV anymore. Otherwise that small CRV was a really positive experience. I liked it very much.

I bought a Honda Pilot and now I am towing a Trillium 55500 without any problem related to the Pilot... yet. By the way, I absolutely need an anti-sway bar with the Trillium 5500. It was also coming brand new from the factory with a WDH hitch.

And I f I also remember well a WDH is recommended for a Honda Odyssey and forbidden for a Pilot. They are basically the same car but the Pilot is 4WD which could make the difference.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:51 PM   #52
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Cool 2003 Honda Odyssey owner's manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill MacDermod View Post
It is the automakers that say no wdh, the cars that don't allow them are unibodies which have no frames, I towed with a Odyssey and they as well didn't recommend it as they are unibody...
Bill, what year is your Odyssey? Is it pre-1999? My 2003 Odyssey owner's manual specifically REQUIRES that I use a Weight Distribution Hitch for my 3,200 pound Fiber Stream:
Quote:
Towing Equipment and Accessories
Weight Distributing Hitch

If the total trailer weight is more than 1,850 Lbs (840 Kg), you must also use a weight distributing hitch. This device transfers weight from the vehicle's rear wheels to the front wheels, and to the trailer's wheels. Carefully follow the hitch maker's instructions for proper installation and adjustment.

Sway Control
If the total trailer weight exceeds 2,000 Lbs (900 Kg), you should install a sway control device to minimize swaying that can occur in crosswinds and in normal and emergency driving maneuvers. Your trailer maker can tell you what kind of sway control you need and how to install it.

Trailer Brakes
Honda recommends that any trailer having a total weight of 1,000 Lbs (450 Kg) or more be equipped with its own electric or surge-type brakes.
I interpreted the above to mean that the towing capacity of the Honda Odyssey is:
  • 1,000 Lbs (450 Kg) without Trailer Brakes
  • 1,850 Lbs (840 Kg) without Weight Distributing Hitch
  • 2,000 Lbs (900 Kg) without Sway Control
  • 3,500 Lbs (1,580 Kg) with all of the above but only 2 occupants.

Quote:
Total trailer weight:
The maximum weight you can tow depends on several factors. See chart below for limits for your towing situation. Towing a load that is too heavy can seriously affect your handling and performance.
Tongue Load:
The weight that the tongue of a fully loaded trailer puts on the hitch should be approximately 10 percent of the trailer weight. Too little tongue load can make the trailer unstable and cause it to sway. Too much tongue load reduces front-tire traction and steering control.
Maximum Total Trailer Weight:
Number of Occupants-----------------------------------Equipped with transmission cooler
Including Driver*-----------------------------------------and power steering fluid cooler
-----2-------------------------------------------------------------3,500 Lbs (1,580 Kg)
-----3-------------------------------------------------------------3,350 Lbs (1,520 Kg)
-----4-------------------------------------------------------------3,200 Lbs (1,450 Kg)
-----5-------------------------------------------------------------3,050 Lbs (1,380 Kg)
-----6-------------------------------------------------------------2,900 Lbs (1,310 Kg)
-----7---------------------------------------------------------------650 Lbs (295 Kg)**
*Based on 150 Lbs (70 Kg) per occupant
**Weight limited to avoid exceeding rear GAWR

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
The maximum allowable weight of the vehicle, all occupants, all cargo, and the tongue load is:
5,665 Lbs (2,570 Kg)

Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
The maximum allowable weights on the vehicle axles are:
2,833 Lbs (1,285 Kg) on the front axle, and
2,845 Lbs (1,290 Kg) on the rear axle.

Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
The maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle and trailer is:
8,265 Lbs (3,750 Kg) with the proper hitch and fluid coolers.
Note that the manual does not quote a specific Tongue Weight capacity, but merely infers 350 pounds IF the trailer weighs 3500 pounds. It decreases as the Maximum Total Trailer Weight decreases dependent on how loaded up the Odyssey itself is. My Odyssey is classified as a Truck by Honda, and it does have a frame.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:58 PM   #53
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Kind of interesting (to me) when I see all these threads on whether or a W/D hitch can be used on "this" car or "that" SUV and how big of a W/D hitch is needed to tow a leetle 13 footer

What I take away from this is that I am REALLY, REALLY, REALLY glad that my tow tug is a one-ton p/u that does not need any form of W/D hitch unless I am getting into the range of 10,000 lb back there AND loaded wrong besides!

I am constantly astonished on this site by the number of folks who want to risk their lives, their families lives and the lives of everyone else on the road by pushing the limits
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:48 AM   #54
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I agree with you Dave, it seems that there are 2 types of people in the world, rule followers and rule breakers. I spent most of my life dealing with rule breakers thru work. It's the same with towing. According to Frederick's weight table, of the 103 trailers weighed all but a handful of the smallest trailers exceed Subaru's factory specifications. All of the 13' Scamps do and then the list just goes up from there.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:59 AM   #55
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Hi: All... To tow... or not to tow...that is the question!!! I believe the answer lay in the word LIABILITY. No Mfg. of a vehicle wants any part in the owners mis/useages.
By exceeding Mfg's specs. each owner accepts responsibility for their own actions.
cpaharley is right about rule followers/breakers. Those who continually break the rules will eventually get caught.
Which JUDGE will you appear before???
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:05 PM   #56
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Rule Makers

There ae three kinds of people: Rule Breakers, Rule Followers and the most important kind Rule Makers.

Rule Makers take a different path, some times fail but often create the new way that benefits all.

Do not disregard the Rule Makers, they are usually considered outlandish when they start... consider Ford or Edison or Jobs...... there are many both big and small who made the difference but intially failed and kept trying in the face of others who were happy with horses, candles and the abacus....

Practically every product I ever developed got that knowing look that I was wasting my time ... how about the guy who created the Boler.....
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