Buying a new Tow Vehicle - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2016, 05:55 PM   #85
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That was just an example. Make it 2500 and a 2500 lb trailer. The point remains-if the tests are to see if that vehicle can handle that trailer, and it can, and it gets that rating, why doubt it? I agree that you should get an actual weight, and do the math as to actual load, and not just assume you are under it, though. And I guess if you are way overpowered you can skip the math, so maybe that's what's behind the argument.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:17 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
That was just an example. Make it 2500 and a 2500 lb trailer. The point remains-if the tests are to see if that vehicle can handle that trailer, and it can, and it gets that rating, why doubt it?
As I said these days if buying a new vehicle I personally would not doubt it.

I have noticed though that the folks that frequently suggest you need a big safety margin are often the same folks that suggest that trucks make the best and safest tow vehicles.

Having towed with trucks, as well as passenger vehicles I suspect they say that simple because they have never actually pulled with anything other than a truck When it comes to trucks it been my experience that they are in part correct - bigger is better but only in regards to trucks. Bigger/heavier trucks are better tow vehicles when it comes to stability than the newer lighter mid size trucks in side winds for example.

If I did not need a truck for other reasons based on my experience I would not hesitate to going back to pulling with a passenger vehicle.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:17 PM   #87
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Perhaps but I do not think the two are actually something one can separate out when considering a tow vehicle.

My current truck is a fine example. When I attach the trailer, with two passengers, the dog and just a few items in the back its at its max Payload rating. If I where to fill it to its space capacity with 4 passengers and fill up the bed to capacity with stuff it would be well over its Payload rating and its GCVWR but still be 1000lbs under its GTWR.

When looking at a vehicle for towing you need to look at the manufactures max tow rating (Gross trailer weight rating), as well as the Payload (weight of passengers, cargo & trailers tongue), Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) as well as the Gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCVWR).

With a bit of math using your actual trailer weights you will be able to calculate its true carrying capacity in regards to trailer weights and its people and cargo capacity as well.

Currently shopping for a new tow vehicle and the results of the math can be a bit surprising/shocking and may explain why some folks suggest you are simple better off going with a vehicle that is max tow rated much higher than what you will be using it for and save yourself the headache of doing the math &/or being disappointed in the towing experience.

With a standardized tow test, you no longer need to trust the guy next door or some stranger on the internet that the vehicle you are considering buying will tow just fine. While it may work just fine for them they may not be towing on the same roads, mountain passes or at the same speeds you want to
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As I see it...
Ratings , no matter the source, are subjective and must be dissected and inspected for motive and content,
They can help you understand the limitations of corporate policy as well as engineering.The information can then be used in part to help determine suitability for a purpose and/or where improvements can/must be made.

Capacities,on the other hand, are objective, demonstrable and consistent, especially at the component level .

Ratings are a great standard for marketing and are often reasonable guides for impunitive use of a product. They can often be exceeded without immediate consequence. Capacities by definition cannot be exceeded without the failure of some component.

This may seem to be only semantics, but words have meaning.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:44 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
That was just an example. Make it 2500 and a 2500 lb trailer. The point remains-if the tests are to see if that vehicle can handle that trailer, and it can, and it gets that rating, why doubt it? I agree that you should get an actual weight, and do the math as to actual load, and not just assume you are under it, though. And I guess if you are way overpowered you can skip the math, so maybe that's what's behind the argument.
There are other considerations.

One is the number of people and the amount of cargo you plan to carry in the vehicle. The towing standard specifies two people and minimal cargo. Many of us carry more than that, in some cases, a lot more!

Another is the frontal area of the trailer you plan to tow. The SAEJ2807 towing test is performed with a low profile cargo trailer. A travel trailer of the same weight will put significant additional demands on the drivetrain at highway speeds. Just one example, a 2000 pound tow rating only has to pass the towing test using a trailer having a frontal area of 20 sq. ft. A 2000 pound Scamp 13 has a frontal area of about 50 sq. ft. The rounded shape helps, but I can sure feel the drag, especially as we hit headwinds heading west into CA every June.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:45 AM   #89
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Another is the frontal area of the trailer you plan to tow. The SAEJ2807 towing test is performed with a low profile cargo trailer. A travel trailer of the same weight will put significant additional demands on the drivetrain at highway speeds. Just one example, a 2000 pound tow rating only has to pass the towing test using a trailer having a frontal area of 20 sq. ft. A 2000 pound Scamp 13 has a frontal area of about 50 sq. ft. The rounded shape helps, but I can sure feel the drag, especially as we hit headwinds heading west into CA every June.
This is from the Ford towing guide dated 2015. It would seem the only vehicles Ford makes that they would recommend to pull a Scamp are E series vans, F series trucks, the Transit and the Expedition. A 13ft Scamp towed by an Expedition. Quite the image.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:15 AM   #90
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.
... Ratings are a great standard for marketing and are often reasonable guides for impunitive use of a product. They can often be exceeded without immediate consequence. Capacities by definition cannot be exceeded without the failure of some component.

This may seem to be only semantics, but words have meaning.
Floyd, thank you for pointing out the distinction between the words "rating" and "capacity." I agree with you about the meaning of these words. I wonder if vehicle owners manuals use those words with such precision when they set out maximum towing weights. I think it's an important discussion because safety is involved.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:18 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Raz View Post
This is from the Ford towing guide dated 2015. It would seem the only vehicles Ford makes that they would recommend to pull a Scamp are E series vans, F series trucks, the Transit and the Expedition. A 13ft Scamp towed by an Expedition. Quite the image.
Which reinforces a point I think Floyd made earlier. Molded fiberglass trailers are an anomaly in the towing world with their fairly large frontal area and relatively light weight.

Common sense is required, I think. You certainly don't need an Expedition to tow a 13' Scamp. On the other hand many find a 2000 pound rated vehicle pulling a 2000 pound molded fiberglass trailer marginal or unsatisfactory due in part to the frontal area factor.

In general I do argue for allowing some margin between the tow rating of the intended vehicle and the expected loaded weight of the trailer to account for frontal area, extra people and cargo, and unusual towing conditions (including grade, wind, and high altitude, sometimes all three at once).

Complicating the equation is that, as Floyd also suggested, factors other than actual capacity may lead a manufacturer to slap a lower rating on a vehicle. Nothing in the new towing standard prevents that- it was intended to prevent over-rating and only tests engine, transmission and braking performance. It does not evaluate chassis design. When you believe you have identified such an under-rated vehicle (perhaps through Euro ratings and others' actual experience), you have to weigh the risks and potential liability of ignoring the manufacturer's rating.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:22 AM   #92
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I believe that if you check the Fords today you will find that the Escape and Edge with factory installed towing packages are rated 3500 lbs towing.
(In my opinion the longer overhang of the Ford Transit is the reason it is maxed out at 2000 lbs.)
Without the factory package the maximum is 1500 lbs.
I believe you will find that now a days the factory installed stability augmentation and heavy duty components will be required for any non-trivial towing application.
This applies to most manufacturers today.
This has been normal in Europe for a long time and is one reason why the Euro ratings are Poo Poo'ed in this country.
There are two parts to the ratings game.
One is the mechanical, engine, cooling suspension, etc. This is where that Davis Dam Road test comes into play. The towing package includes the bits and pieces for the heavier loads involved.
The other is the towing stability and vehicle dynamics and this is where the trailer stabilization electronics comes into play. Most manufacturers require this to be installed and programmed at the factory and integrated into the vehicle systems.

Again this has been common in Europe and is why in Europe my VW TDI is rated 1800 KG. and 100KG on the ball.
That lighter weight on the ball When added to the permissible weight when tested in the car assures that the combination will meet the specifications.
I have never had any problems towing the Scamp with my TDI and with the factory setup there is no additional mechanical cooling etc added by the factory.
Interestingly there are several "standard" test trailers used and they are the readily available flat front boxes.
Connie and I have test driven the Escape and Edge as replacement for out TDI being recalled and passed on them due to less road power and handling compared with the TDI.
We are now focusing on the Chrysler Pacifica mini van. It is also rated 3500 lbs with the factory towing package and 1500 without. It is hard to find the towing package on the lot, however. When you find one it will be a loaded up Limited at $45,000 and not the lower priced LX or Touring.
Does anyone have any experience towing with one of these?
We like the three row seating and the Stow ' Go drop down seats that allows a 4 X 8 sheet of material to be loaded.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:12 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I believe that if you check the Fords today you will find that the Escape and Edge with factory installed towing packages are rated 3500 lbs towing.
(In my opinion the longer overhang of the Ford Transit is the reason it is maxed out at 2000 lbs.)
Without the factory package the maximum is 1500 lbs.
I believe you will find that now a days the factory installed stability augmentation and heavy duty components will be required for any non-trivial towing application.
This applies to most manufacturers today.
This has been normal in Europe for a long time and is one reason why the Euro ratings are Poo Poo'ed in this country.
There are two parts to the ratings game.
One is the mechanical, engine, cooling suspension, etc. This is where that Davis Dam Road test comes into play. The towing package includes the bits and pieces for the heavier loads involved.
The other is the towing stability and vehicle dynamics and this is where the trailer stabilization electronics comes into play. Most manufacturers require this to be installed and programmed at the factory and integrated into the vehicle systems.

Again this has been common in Europe and is why in Europe my VW TDI is rated 1800 KG. and 100KG on the ball.
That lighter weight on the ball When added to the permissible weight when tested in the car assures that the combination will meet the specifications.
I have never had any problems towing the Scamp with my TDI and with the factory setup there is no additional mechanical cooling etc added by the factory.
Interestingly there are several "standard" test trailers used and they are the readily available flat front boxes.
Connie and I have test driven the Escape and Edge as replacement for out TDI being recalled and passed on them due to less road power and handling compared with the TDI.
We are now focusing on the Chrysler Pacifica mini van. It is also rated 3500 lbs with the factory towing package and 1500 without. It is hard to find the towing package on the lot, however. When you find one it will be a loaded up Limited at $45,000 and not the lower priced LX or Touring.
Does anyone have any experience towing with one of these?
We like the three row seating and the Stow ' Go drop down seats that allows a 4 X 8 sheet of material to be loaded.
Fact is the engine choice is the primary reason for the lower rating.
Look at this picture... could you shorten the overhang much and still have a bumper?
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:28 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post

Common sense is required, I think. You certainly don't need an Expedition to tow a 13' Scamp. On the other hand many find a 2000 pound rated vehicle pulling a 2000 pound molded fiberglass trailer marginal or unsatisfactory due in part to the frontal area factor.

In general I do argue for allowing some margin between the tow rating of the intended vehicle and the expected loaded weight of the trailer to account for frontal area, extra people and cargo, and unusual towing conditions (including grade, wind, and high altitude, sometimes all three at once).

Complicating the equation is that, as Floyd also suggested, factors other that actual capacity may lead a manufacturer to slap a lower rating on a vehicle. Nothing in the new towing standard prevents that- it was intended to prevent over-rating and only tests engine, transmission and braking performance. It does not evaluate chassis design. When you believe you have identified such an under-rated vehicle (perhaps through Euro ratings and others' actual experience), you have to weigh the risks and potential liability of ignoring the manufacturer's rating.
Bingo Jon, good post!!

Have read several articles suggesting that tow rating for many/most vehicles is based on a driver and one passenger. When adding more weight, that weight should be subtracted from the tow rating.

We need to also consider the actual dry weight of the trailer may be considerably more than the manufacturers statement. Options are not always included in the advertised weight. Only the base trailer may be shown. Such "OPTIONS" as a spare tire, AC, awning, extra batteries, etc. can quickly add 200+ lbs..

Then add camping gear clothing and food. If there is 6 gal of water in the heater and 12 gallons in the fresh water tank, add another 150+/- lbs.

In short, that 1500 lb. (Advertised) trailer may weigh well over 2000#, ready to camp. Add a couple of extra folks to the tug and that 2000# tow rated Tug is no longer even adequate. Add head winds and steep terrain and the combo can become dangerous.

For me personally, in the above scenario, I would choose a Tug with at least a 3000# rating at bare minimum. Better suspension, and likely better power on tap if and when needed.

Also keep in mind that if something should go terribly wrong and the trailer gets uncontrollable , it will likely affect a heavier tug less than a light one.

If involved in an accident and investigation reveals the tug was not adequate for what was actually being towed as well as its own load, it could get real sticky with the insurance company as well as the law. :

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Old 09-24-2016, 12:32 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Brian G. View Post
Floyd, thank you for pointing out the distinction between the words "rating" and "capacity." I agree with you about the meaning of these words. I wonder if vehicle owners manuals use those words with such precision when they set out maximum towing weights. I think it's an important discussion because safety is involved.
By Floyd's definition, "capacities" are the point at which something fails. Manufacturers are certainly not going to share how far you can push their product before something breaks! Truth is, except at the component level, they may not really know. There are many variables.

What they are going to do is consider many reasonable (and even some unreasonable) scenarios and set ratings far enough below the failure thresholds so that a failure is unlikely. How far below often has as much to do with corporate culture and marketing environment as with engineering analysis and testing.

That's why everything listed in the literature related to towing and payload is a rating: GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, GTWR, etc.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:37 PM   #96
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AFIK the CUV and SUV rated for towing (with proper attention to options) is around 3500 lbs. My Scamp with everything ready to go comes in a little less than 3000 lbs usually closer to 2850 so I feel that I'm OK with the 3500 lbs.
The VW does great in the hills and heat of Texas and with the turbo it would probably be good in the mountains as well. The Diesel doesn't generate as much rejected heat as a gas car. The transmission has lots of protection and cooling with the CPU monitoring it's operation.
The VW with the towing module changes the cooling, fueling and transmission controls optimizing for the application. The VW is known for towing capability in Europe (I know this is not Europe, by the way).
We like to feel that the US is superior in towing technologies, but in towing light campers I think they are advanced compared to the US.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:41 PM   #97
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That's why everything listed in the literature related to towing and payload is a rating: GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, GTWR, etc.
Exactly!
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