Law governing tow capacity? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2011, 02:54 PM   #15
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I think he is the one who always performed holding a small dog. If so, I wonder if he learned to bury his booty from watching the dog.

Jesse James supposedly buried $$ after the war in glass jars. The tops corrode away and the glass breaks anyway. Saw them digging up some of this stuff on the Discovery channel.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:08 PM   #16
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If you are worried about losing everything you own.... you better worry about towing anything, or driving anything. Use common sense! If the manufacturer of your tow vehicle says whatever is the top towing weight, don't exceed it. Drive the speed limit and just because everyone around you wants you to speed, don't break the law because "they" say so. Keep your equipment well maintained. Know YOUR limits. Don't drive fatigued, don't drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs... even the legal kind. Have good insurance and know what the policy says. And DON'T believe everything you read on the web.. or these forums regarding towing limits, tow vehicles... none of us will go to court with you.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
If you are worried about losing everything you own.... you better worry about towing anything, or driving anything. Use common sense! If the manufacturer of your tow vehicle says whatever is the top towing weight, don't exceed it. Drive the speed limit and just because everyone around you wants you to speed, don't break the law because "they" say so. Keep your equipment well maintained. Know YOUR limits. Don't drive fatigued, don't drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs... even the legal kind. Have good insurance and know what the policy says. And DON'T believe everything you read on the web.. or these forums regarding towing limits, tow vehicles... none of us will go to court with you.
So Well said
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:15 AM   #18
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The the quoted statements by the hitch manufacturer look like advertising hype. A hitch by a reputable maker should have the tow and tongue weight maximums stamped somewhere on the hitch.

Tow capacity I believe is heavily weighted (excuse the pun) toward the TVs braking ability.

Some suggestions from a non-expert.

If your TV isn't rated by the manufacturer for towing, you might want to use the vehicle's Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) found in the owners manual as a starting point for calculating what you can do safely.
GCWR is the max weight of the loaded vehicle and trailer, and includes the weight of the vehicle, it's contents, including passengers and a full load of fuel and in the case of towing the full loaded weight of the trailer.

If there is any doubt, install trailer brakes.

If the "max" of "2950 or so" is the GCWR, then a 1500 lb trailer would be a gross overload. Check the numbers in your manual.

Why not hook up your friends 4X8, load it to capacity and try it out. Could be very educational.

Be prudent; err on the side of caution.



For a competent guide to towing, go here:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/Equipment/towing/Towing.pdf
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #19
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This is a legal limitation:
based on our car as it is the only base I have to work with)

GVWR of 1740 kg / 3585 lb. not to exceed: vehicle weight includes (fuel , water, oil) + Passengers (people and pets) + equipment tools etc + hitch + cargo + drawbar may include wd system + tongue weight
Equipment tools etc + hitch + cargo + drawbar may include wd system + tongue weight (not to be over 825 lbs)

This is conjecture:
Towing listed in car book and with no extra options (1500 lbs towing + hitch and draw bar weight) and still 825 lbs cargo weight

GCWR is 3585 + 1500 + 50 = 5135 lbs min amount for a GCWR on a Corolla; Toyota does not actually list a GCWR for this car only a GVWR is listed and they are not the same

Note:
This is without cooler, trailer brakes, optional Toyota safety options, a class I hitch regardless of engine option chosen. In the end we just need to drive safe and responsible

We only need to be legal and then have fun; we all do our research and then drive safe
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:51 PM   #20
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Thanks folks, while I don't have a whole lot for them to take, what I do have is very valuable to me. But any good lawyer could see I have no house or big assets and if you took 30% of what I have it wouldn't be all that interesting for most lawyers to spend their time trying to get. And I, the tow vehicle and trailer will be fully insured or this isn't going to happen.

I really just need to get a trailer on the back of this car and see how it feels as a first step. If I'm not comfortable towing it, I don't care if it's legal, I'm not going to tow it. After a success with that I can worry about the letter of the law and other issues.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
I really just need to get a trailer on the back of this car and see how it feels as a first step. If I'm not comfortable towing it, I don't care if it's legal, I'm not going to tow it. After a success with that I can worry about the letter of the law and other issues.
Smart, very smart
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:31 PM   #22
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Good line of thinking. I am curious as to what car you plan on towing with. If you mentioned it, I missed it. I used to tow with a Scion xD, which is a subcompact car which shares components with both the Toyota Yaris and the Corolla. I found that it towed the Scamp rather well. The xD was not rated to tow ANYTHING in the US, but is rated to tow approximately 1,600 pounds in other countries. I recently traded the xD in for a Subaru Outback, which is rated to tow 2,700 pounds in the US, and up to 4,000 pounds in other countries. I have only towed my utility trailer with the Outback so far, but I am sure it will be a wonderful TV for the Scamp. More HP and torque than the xD, full time all wheel drive, and a continuously variable transmission. It is nice that the manufacturer approves it for towing, but that is certainly not a prerequisite in my opinion. I have towed trailers with ever car I have owned since I was 16. I have never encountered a problem while towing (touch wood).

The best advice I can give is to make sure your car and trailer are in good condition, make sure you understand the basic physics involved, and drive within safe limits. Speed is the biggest factor, and seems to play a prominent role in most serious trailer accidents. In my younger years, I did not pay much attention to tongue weight, other than what my father taught me, which is that there should be weight on the hitch. Here in the US, most people recommend 10-15% of the trailer weight should be on the tongue. In other countries, the standard can be as low as 4%. However, in the US, we tend to drive faster when towing than people do in those other countries. For this reason, drive slower while towing.

Know the limits of your tires, and the recommended tire pressure for the weight you plan to put on them. It is not necessarily better to use a higher pressure... But generally, you want a higher pressure for a higher load. For trailer tires, you can usually find a chart with recommended pressures depending on the weight. Too little pressure and the tires will run hot (leading to premature failure). Too much pressure and they will bounce, which is harder on the suspension, trailer, trailer frame, trailer contents, coupler, hitch, and tow vehicle.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:30 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
Good line of thinking. I am curious as to what car you plan on towing with. If you mentioned it, I missed it. I used to tow with a Scion xD, which is a subcompact car which shares components with both the Toyota Yaris and the Corolla. I found that it towed the Scamp rather well. The xD was not rated to tow ANYTHING in the US, but is rated to tow approximately 1,600 pounds in other countries. I recently traded the xD in for a Subaru Outback, which is rated to tow 2,700 pounds in the US, and up to 4,000 pounds in other countries. I have only towed my utility trailer with the Outback so far, but I am sure it will be a wonderful TV for the Scamp. More HP and torque than the xD, full time all wheel drive, and a continuously variable transmission. It is nice that the manufacturer approves it for towing, but that is certainly not a prerequisite in my opinion. I have towed trailers with ever car I have owned since I was 16. I have never encountered a problem while towing (touch wood).

The best advice I can give is to make sure your car and trailer are in good condition, make sure you understand the basic physics involved, and drive within safe limits. Speed is the biggest factor, and seems to play a prominent role in most serious trailer accidents. In my younger years, I did not pay much attention to tongue weight, other than what my father taught me, which is that there should be weight on the hitch. Here in the US, most people recommend 10-15% of the trailer weight should be on the tongue. In other countries, the standard can be as low as 4%. However, in the US, we tend to drive faster when towing than people do in those other countries. For this reason, drive slower while towing.

Know the limits of your tires, and the recommended tire pressure for the weight you plan to put on them. It is not necessarily better to use a higher pressure... But generally, you want a higher pressure for a higher load. For trailer tires, you can usually find a chart with recommended pressures depending on the weight. Too little pressure and the tires will run hot (leading to premature failure). Too much pressure and they will bounce, which is harder on the suspension, trailer, trailer frame, trailer contents, coupler, hitch, and tow vehicle.

I hope this helps.
So well said mcbrew Corolla is also a sub compact like the Scoin xD but pulls well. Plus has been the mileage we get with the trailer.

We even pulled with an Echo sedan but best not over 1000 lbs due to Echo size. Match the trailer to the car or car to the trailer and have fun.

Do agree to much tire pressure is not good the max on our tires is 50 lbs but the recommended pressure for our weight is only 25 to 30 lbs.

The recommended tongue weight for our car is only 8% best guess is the taller the TV the higher the tongue weight needed; this would explain why Subaru says 8%?
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:10 AM   #24
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Thanks for the afirmation Donna.

McBrew, Borden, careful what you say, you might encourage me!

Hmmm,,,,,, I haven't mentioned the tow vehicle,,,,,

Funny that!

But seriously, as I mentioned in another topic where that was revealed, I hate to say it, because people who don't know them, haven't towed with them or usually towed with any small car or towed a small egg will just scoff and dismiss the possibility outright. Granted I've never towed anything with anything that I can recall in my 24 years of driving!

So I proudly say, I want to tow with a,,, Miata!

A low miles '05 that's got a lot of performance modifications, but many of those I think will aid in towing. Gobs of power from a turbo motor, unaffected by altitude for the high country, 200+ horsepower depending on how it's tuned. It's got a big brake upgrade, huge rotors compared to stock and big alloy Wilwood calipers in front. Heavy springs so the car will be more stable and predicable with the forces on the hitch, less likely to bottom out the rear suspension. I can adjust the ride height, now it's too low, but I can raise it for more suspension travel and ground clearance, I'll tell my plans to the alignment guy, now I have a performance alignment on the car. Hefty frame rail braces with chassis cross bracing, which I might upgrade to an even better cross brace. The solid hitch package bolts onto the spots on the frame rails that the car is tied down on when shipping from the factory in Japan. Looks solid, I started the install this afternoon. Should be able to tow something tomorrow.

It's probably about the weight of a Yaris, Less than a modern Corolla by a few hundred lbs I guess. Mine was weighed at 2420ish lbs with half a tank of gas at the last alignment as I recall. Max weight rating is just shy of 3000lbs. So about 550lbs to spare lets say, for me (160), the weight on the hitch (180?) and gear (210). I hope to find a 13' that's about 1000lbs dry and empty, maybe 1300lbs equipped to hit the road with barely filled tanks (just a few lbs of propane, a few gallons of water, mostly empty grey water tank, etc). Add in another 200lbs of my stuff for a towed weight of 1500lbs. That's 50% of the tow vehicle weight. A bit more should be safely doable if things go over a tad. Trailer brakes are for sure. Wouldn't hit the open road without 'em. An anti sway mechanism and chains on the hitch. I'll wire in the brake controller and lights, I have the full wiring diagrams for the car. McBrew, what you say about speed rings true, I'll be pulling this load in very mellow style. I'm prone to long driving days, but I know not to try it with this kind of rig. No night towing or in bad weather, at least until I have a few thousand miles towing under my belt. I'll definitely try towing some loads, hopefully of varying weights and sizes, before buying anything. Get some idea and feel of the forces at work in this equalization directly where it may matter most, the seat of my pants. The car is short, 90" wheelbase, so that is a strike against it in towing stability. Got to keep it slow. Very slow if winds are an issue and be prepared to sit it out if weather is not cooperating. I am concerned about trucks pushing the trailer around when passing etc. The Miata is so small it's not affected much at all by wind or trucks, don't want to get out of sync if the trailer pushes hard one way or the other. Oh, and fitting mirrors that see around a egg onto the Miata may require some wacky contraption. Suggestions welcome! Suggestions that don't include drilling holes in the body!

If it doesn't feel right, things just get too complex, or I find that I'm pushing my luck I just won't do it. Perhaps just get some small trailer to haul some gear on longer trips instead.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:49 AM   #25
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Miata in France.

We just drove from Barcelona to Cracow and somewhere in France we saw a newer Miata pulling a small, likely less than 13, classy, absolutely beautiful FG trailer on French plates. So, someone is using Miata to pull a trailer.

George.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:29 AM   #26
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Nice! My brother (having an early midlife crisis) was just looking at a new Miata last week. He decided he was too tall for it, and opted for a Huyndai Genesis coupe instead. He effectively tripled
The horsepower from his previous Honda Fit!

One thing in your favor is the relative short distance from the rear wheels to the pivot point (hitch ball). This helps to minimize the lever effect of the trailer when it gets pushed by wind or trucks. I was worried about the same thing when towing with the xD, but it turned out never to be a problem.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:37 PM   #27
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Your car may not have a GCWR rating but you need to consider the GVWR rating as it is law. Stronger rear springs will not fix the tongue problems as you still have a lever lifting the front end. Only a wd can help and our class III hitch is not just bolted to the back; see hitch picture in show us your hitch. Show us your hitch

We pulled with the longer version of the Echo 4 door sedan and class I around your size and customer swaybar plate on drawbar had more clearance under it and we had to consider wind. You will need brakes, transaxle cooler, and to consider the car cargo load limit this includes hitch weight, wd system or draw bar, car loaded cargo, passengers and tongue weight to be legal. Do not know if your extra modifications will count? Pulling power you have in spades.

We pulled a small trailer: we have a neighbour with a small car and 10' boler around the corner from me; very cute and very light. Trailer size will matter if you do this go to experts to make sure you are safe. I can post the rules from MTO for my area off the web but only you can meet the needs of your proposed TV in your area. I do not know your cars capability's. They do make trailers even a motorcycle can pull, see them around.

Can not advise you as to what you would need just drive safe.
Have fun.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:05 PM   #28
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Drawbar mod

see bottom and unit
Can not advise anyone as I am not an expert, can only say read and be informed before you decide.
Safety must always come first.
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