Can Am RV w/d on Jetta diesel sedan. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
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Can Am RV w/d on Jetta diesel sedan.

Two Altos came into the park. The Alto is a fairly large and tall teardrop shaped trailer. The newer one did not have the pop up feature and was more than walk around tall.

The newer rig was towed by a new honda Jetta sedan with the 4 cylinder TDI diesel. He said it towed beautifully snd seemed to get excellent mileage, guessing two thirds of normal highway mileage.

He had a w/d hitch fom Can-Am RV so I took a look. It was welded near the bumber and had a fair sized steel tube running from the back of the hitch towards the front of the car somewhere between 4 or 5 feet in length. I suspect thid provided stiffness for the w/d system. The whole thing looked nicely done
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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Hey Norm. I like the original Alto but have not seen the newer one.

The Jetta's when connected by Can Am seem to work great. At the Toronto RV show I talked to Mr. T about the diesel Jettta and he said it would work fine for our 23'.

The receiver you talked about is very similar to the ones I have seen on the Can Am installations (also on our own G35).

An engineer who understands the dynamics of a WDH can well appreciate how it places much of the tongue weight directly to the rear axle location. What a concept and to think no vehicle manufacturer has adopted this amazing design. Guess they try to save a buck and just go with the simple light weight bolt on thingies.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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An engineer who understands the dynamics of a WDH can well appreciate how it places much of the tongue weight directly to the rear axle location. What a concept and to think no vehicle manufacturer has adopted this amazing design.
I think a genuine engineer would understand that neither a WD system nor extending the structure forward changes anything about where the weight is.

The ones who design vehicle structures are well aware of capabilities of the structure, and any who spend a few minutes on the subject understand the result on axle loads of applying a huge torque with a WD system to counteract the torque resulting from the horizontal difference between the vertical downward load on the ball and the vertical upward support of the suspension. Manufacturers - from various countries - routinely recognize the significance of WD action in the ratings which they assign for tongue weight in each mode (weight carrying and weight distributing); there is nothing amazing about WD and certainly no universal lack of adoption.

There seems little risk of an engineer at Can-Am RV Centre understanding anything, as there appear to be none there... at least neither Andy Sr. nor Andy Jr. appear to be qualified as engineers, and the company itself is not authorized to offer engineering services, according to Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO). On the other hand, satisfied customer report that they do good fabrication work, and I am not aware of reason they can't do that.

By the way, WD action is fundamentally static (unrelated to motion), rather than dynamic (related to forces resulting from changes in motion of masses).
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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The newer rig was towed by a new honda Jetta sedan with the 4 cylinder TDI diesel.
Volkswagen Jetta... but I think most of knew you didn't mean Honda, Norm.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:35 AM   #5
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Definitely meant VW Jetta, not Honda. Maybe wishing for a Honda deisel. It's also nice that deisel fuel us the same price as gas in Canada and the gas does not contain precious corn drippings.

What do you think the pupose of the tube is? I assumed the purpose was to stiffen the unibody frame.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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What do you think the pupose of the tube is?
I suspect it has two purposes:
1) to reinforce the hitch so that the weight-distribution forces are dissipated over a large area;
2) as a lighting conductor, since the gods are clearly not going to be looking favourably on this unconventional (even if not overloaded) tow vehicle and being hit by thunderbolts must be a continuing risk......
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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If anyone hereabouts thinks that any vehicle manufacturer gives a rats patootie about towing with anything other than pick-up trucks and suburban sized SUV's, I think that they are overestimating our import to the mfgs.

Passenger car towing ability for our <.1% of market share, adds almost nothing to passenger car sales and adds a lot of negatives.

Just as newspapers (remember them) have files of obits prepared for 1000's of live peeps, I am sure that Honda, VW and many others all have a press release ready for that day when one of the CanAm set up vehicle has an accident related to towing, that will disclaim any liability for aftermarket re-engineering.


Go back and look at the Toyota mini-motorhome rear axle fiasco of 1979-1985 and the 1990 recall. Toyota spent millions giving away parts to correct what was 100%, an aftermarket engineering problem.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
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Most major corporations use web crawling services these days. Those services will pull out most instances of anything on the internet that the corporation's name has been mentioned. Those corporations actually have staff that sort through it all daily.

Not only will most vehicle manufacturers have a pre drawn up disclaim of any liability for aftermarket reengineering done but I would be very surprised in this example, if VW doesn't already have a big file on CanAm to fall back on (no doubt some of it will come from this list), which will be very helpful to their lawyers in writing up their legal brief to very quickly have their company dismissed from any legal proceedings the vehicle manufacturer may be named in should damages resulting from work done by CanAm.

As the old saying goes. Its only a matter of time.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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I think a genuine engineer would understand that neither a WD system nor extending the structure forward changes anything about where the weight is.
I think most of us have figured out where the weight has gone. There are not that many options.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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I think most of us have figured out where the weight has gone. There is not that many options.
And as silly and gimicky as that advert was, it does make a salient point about the "purpose" of weight distributing hitches, and that is to "restore" weight to the front axle that would otherwise be removed by simple weight carrying style hitching. This is the reference we so often see when discussing weight distribution hitch setups: FALR...... for those who hate acronyms, that would be Front Axle Load Restoration.
Brian, you are forgetting one key thing in all that however.....gravity is different up there in their neck of the woods !

EDIT: at about this point, Norm is shaking his head saying, "aw jeeez, it didn't take long, once again for one of my threads to be hijacked and run totally off the rails ! "
Sorry Norm ! Hey, good to hear from you again anyway.....hope the trip is going well !
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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I think most of us have figured out where the weight has gone. There is not that many options.
It was a bit like a trick question: an engineer (or anyone who took high school physics) should realize that the weight - which is the force of gravity - is (and always will be) where the mass is. A WD system does not change that, it only forces a different distribution of supporting force exerted by each axle.
Question: if your two-ton vehicle is 38% of the way along a bridge with three support piers, where is its weight?
Answer: exactly where the vehicle is located, as always.
I think that people who don't understand the fundamentals should be careful about jumping readily to conclusions about how vehicle designs should be modified, or attributing miraculous capabilities to the levers and springs of a WD system.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #12
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Diesel versus Gasoline Prices in Canada

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at about this point, Norm is shaking his head saying, "aw jeeez, it didn't take long, once again for one of my threads to be hijacked and run totally off the rails ! "
Perhaps, and I'm going to run it further off, but only in direct response to Norm's comments...

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It's also nice that deisel fuel [is] the same price as gas in Canada ..
Although Natural Resource Canada reports that over the last year across Canada the average price of diesel has been slightly (1.2%) lower than regular gasoline, this varies day-to-day and region-to-region. Here in Alberta, perhaps due to demand differences (we have a lot of diesel trucks), production differences (each region has its own refineries and may use different crude sources), and tax differences (there are both common federal taxes and individual provincial taxes) diesel has typically been above regular gas but below premium gas for years; over the last year diesel has been about 5 cents per litre (4.2%) more expensive than regular gas. That is despite lower taxes included in the diesel price. Today, proving the variability, Alberta diesel prices are slightly lower than regular gas without tax, and much lower in total with tax. The current situation may be a summer thing, or related to a recent refinery outage.

My point is just that the current situation in Newfoundland - with price per volume parity between regular gasoline and diesel - is not typical of the whole country, and perhaps not even of Newfoundland.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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Ethanol - in Canadian gasoline, and production

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It's also nice that...
the gas does not contain precious corn drippings.
Ethanol has become a normal component of Canadian gasoline, as it has in the United States. Again, this is regional issue; here in Alberta one chain (Mohawk) promoted their ethanol-blended gasoline as a desirable feature for years, but now everyone has ethanol in regular gas and the promotion has been toned down. While they (now Husky/Mohawk) were still pushing it hard they were taking the same 87-octane regular gasoline base stock as everyone else and adding ethanol to boost it to 90-octane, then selling it as mid-grade gas a regular gas price; now the base stock already contains ethanol so they can't boost it this way. Some chains now promote the absence of ethanol from their premium fuel... while one company still promotes the same ethanol as a beneficial feature.

As of 2010 half of the Canadian provinces, representing much more than half of the population, required gasoline to average (across all grades) at least 5% ethanol.

There are various ethanol sources. Since the Canadian prairies are not biased to corn production like the U.S. midwest (we grow a lot of wheat and canola here, not so much corn), ethanol is not so closely associated with corn; any grain can be used to make ethanol, and here is it normally wheat. Sugar cane is even better, but you can't grow that stuff here!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:35 AM   #14
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In the USA it's rather prominent on the pump 10% ethanol. Even Gore the deciding vote for ethanol admits it was a mistake.

Regardless diesel here is 1 cent less than regular. I'll pay attention in NS and NB.

I'm obviously interested in alternative tow vehicles with Obama pushing for heavier carbon use fees thru non legislative process.

Carbon fees are something we should all be concerned about. Since its unlikely we can control government actions, looking for more efficient tow vehicles is worthwhile.
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