Liability and overweight towing (split from Towing 13' Scamp...) - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2014, 04:33 PM   #29
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Whoa there, podner- are you sure you understand the debate subject here? This isn't some big ol' Moral Issue- it's an issue of understanding what the real risks are that may be associated with towing beyond a given number.


Would you call, say, Carol "conscienceless" simply because she towed four hundred pounds over her Subaru's "limit" until very recently? What about Norm, with his long long history of towing nearly a THOUSAND pounds beyond the number given for his Honda CRV?

Then of course there are small timers like me...my own combo has been known to edge over Kia's 2,000 pound "limit" by a few pounds now and then.
Actually Francesca I think you have your facts mixed up again.

Carol's has ***NEVER**** towed any trailer over the total vehicle tow rating set by the manufacturer! Never will!! Her trailer which is #33 & #37 on the Trailer Weights in the Real World weighed closer to 400lbs UNDER her Subaru's total towing capacity spec as set my the manufacture & with new vehicle closer to 4000lbs under the vehicles towing capacity spec.
__________________

Carol H is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 04:40 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
David Tilston's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,317
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
1)What level of "Stupidity" is expected and accepted ? 2) Please Define "Reckless Disregard" . To me there are far worse punishments than "Jail Time " ! . Living the rest of my life knowing that due to my poor or egotistical judgement someone was injured or died is worse . Jail time ends at some point in time, my conscious does not .
Steve, you are obviously asking rhetorical questions. Unless there is a scale of levels of stupidity, or reckless disregard, that I am not aware of.

I understand that we use a reasonable person test in our courts. This is of course very subjective. We in Canada are all required to have liability insurance on our cars. This is insurance for when we are at fault, (stupid). To suggest that if we make a mistake in loading our trailer, that would invalidate our "stupid" insurance is counter intuitive to me.

I would agree that going to jail is not the worst outcome of being responsible for killing someone. As a father of five, I am directly responsible for the well being of my children. I live in constant fear for their safety. I recognize that the world is full of dangers that I can't possibly be aware of, let alone do anything about. Every time we get behind the wheel, we take a risk. The most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis is get into our cars. Yet we choose to do it anyway. Is this reckless? Some might think so. Do you? There is no way to make life safe, only less dangerous. I choose to believe that my judgment is he best tool I have. It is not flawless, but I have come to trust it. Certainly much more then the perspective of those that may have a conflict of interest.

Where do we draw the line when it comes to safety? Should I wrap my kids in cotton and never let them out of my sight? That would not be very good for their development. We are left to use our judgment, as poor, egotistical or flawed as that is. I just have to live with the possibility that letting them go to that party might end their lives. I have to accept that responsibility.

I am sorry if the fact that I trust my own judgment more then a manufacture specification is offensive to you. But I suspect these specs are written from the perspective of marketing larger and more expensive vehicles. This may be just be a rationalization of mine, but as the great philosopher Popeye says "I am what am".

Do you think that the Smart car should be towing 500 lbs? The manufacture does. I am not so sure.

(steps off his soap box)
__________________

__________________
David Tilston is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 04:58 PM   #31
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 4,369
You weren't supposed to find that box restricting towing to 45mph. Have the same advisory in RAV4 manual. Be interesting to see what would happen to that advisory if potential customers pointed it out and refused to buy the vehicle.

Anyway, you're not supposed to steer too much either.
Attached Thumbnails
photo-1.jpg  
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:00 PM   #32
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Actually Francesca I think you have your facts mixed up again.

Carol's has ***NEVER**** towed any trailer over the capacity of the vehicle tow rating set by the manufacturer! Never will!! Her trailer which is #33 & #37 on the Trailer Weights in the Real World weighed closer to 400lbs UNDER her Subaru's total towing capacity spec as set my the manufacture & with new vehicle closer to 4000lbs under the vehicles towing capacity spec.
I think Francesca has mistaken your tongue weight for trailer weight. As I recall you said at one point you where a small amount over on that. Which you wisely (in my opinion) compensated for by keeping the contents of the car to a minimum in order to not exceed the total gross vehicle weight. Along with not overload your suspension.
__________________
RogerDat is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:02 PM   #33
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Actually Francesca I think you have your facts mixed up again.

Carol's has ***NEVER**** towed any trailer over the capacity of the vehicle tow rating set by the manufacturer! Never will!! Her trailer which is #33 & #37 on the Trailer Weights in the Real World weighed closer to 400lbs UNDER her Subaru's total towing capacity spec as set my the manufacture & with new vehicle closer to 4000lbs under the vehicles towing capacity spec.


Are some "manufacturer limits" more important than others?

Lowest/weakest link in every chain governs the use. The limiting factor in your case, Carol, isn't "maximum total weight allowed", it's maximum hitch weight. Your Subies all had a 200 pound limit in that department. You might have been O.K. towing a boat at those upper weights- they can be safely towed/controlled with as little as 8% total weight on the tongue. Not so for travel trailers: For a travel trailer, a minimum of 10% of total trailer weight is required for stability purposes. Your actual limit IF you adhered to that well known principle and to the carmaker's recommendations is 2,000 pounds of trailer, allowing for the needed stabilizing 10% tongue weight of 200 pounds. You exceeded the limits in both your cited cases by several hundred pounds.

I'll further point out that at the very least, you were overloading the tug's rear axle, no doubt also exceeding its "mfr. stated limit" as noted on your door post. Good thing you own a pickup now...or you'd be just as Doomed To Be Sued as the rest of us!
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:22 PM   #34
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
ROFL seriously I think one would calling your current twist just a bit like pulling straws. Yup I did for a time dare to add an extra - oh gosh wait for it - an extra 40lb on the tongue for SAFETY reasons and not load anything in the rear of the vehicle to compensate for it. And as you are aware because of that issue I have switched to a tow vehicle that is rated to take a tongue weight that my trailer is most stable towing at. But that its not what your point or comment was which in case you forget was:

Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles
Would you call, say, Carol "conscienceless" simply because she towed four hundred pounds over her Subaru's "limit" until very recently?

Which is complete inaccurate & would suggest I was pulling a trailer that was almost a 1000lb more than it is! ROFL
Carol H is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:32 PM   #35
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
We need a hand rattling a chain emoticon for just yanking your chain / just kidding.

I have heard the "boat towing" theory of low hitch weights in relation to tow capacity mentioned several times. I have my own equally valid theory, since both are just guesses.

My theory is that the manufacturer has to take into account that while towing you may well have passengers and/or cargo inside the vehicle. With no way for them to know how much weight that is going to be they make an assumption on that weight and allocate the remainder of the GVWR to the hitch.

E.G They assume 4 adults and 150 lbs. of cargo are inside the car and subtract that from the GVWR for hitch weight.
__________________
RogerDat is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:36 PM   #36
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
.....

Which is complete inaccurate & would suggest I was pulling a trailer that was almost a 1000lb more than it is! ROFL
I TOLD YOU! A granite counter top and slate floor was a bad idea in a camper! Did you listen? But it looks sooo nice.
__________________
RogerDat is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #37
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Well ...... you know now that I have more towing capacity the trailer did go out to Escape very recently to have a little addition done to it, now that I am not having to weigh every single little item I put into it because I was pulling with a marginal tow vehicle!
Carol H is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 05:53 PM   #38
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Well ...... you know now that I have more towing capacity the trailer did go out to Escape very recently to have a little addition done to it, now that I am not having to weigh every single little item I put into it because I was pulling with a marginal tow vehicle!
It is a lot of responsibility to tow a trailer in the first place. The further you move toward the limits the more one has to correctly accommodate and adjust through their own actions to meet that responsibility.

Not having to worry anymore about every little item in the load must be a relief. After all we don't tow a trailer so we can stress out more during vacation travel.
__________________
RogerDat is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 08:23 PM   #39
Member
 
Name: Vicki
Trailer: Scamp 13, 2015 Nissan Frontier SE
Connecticut
Posts: 95
I am a lawyer. I am not in private practice any longer, but I was when I started out. I never handled motor vehicle accidents, so take this for what it is worth. I am posting this NOT AS LEGAL ADVICE, but as information regarding how the system generally works, and why none of us is likely to have heard of someone being held liable for towing over the limit.

I have seen insurance companies deny coverage for lots of things that would otherwise seem like minor variances from the coverage requirements. Some companies are worse than others in this regard, actively looking for any reason to deny you coverage.

I could definitely see an insurance company denying coverage for someone towing over the limit, especially if it was egregiously over the limit. Whether they would get away with it if you took them to court (which you would have to do if they deny coverage, in order to collect from them) would be up to a judge or jury, in the highly unlikely event it got that far before settling. But you would need to hire a lawyer to fight for you, which would be expensive. And it would almost always end up settling before ever going to court or getting any publicity, which means there would be no decision to find on Lexis or in the news.

And similarly, you can be sued for knowingly or even negligently exceeding the tow limit and causing someone harm. No reason you couldn't be. Whether you would be found liable or not would be up to the judge or jury, again, in the unlikely event it got that far before settling. Again, you would have to hire an attorney to defend you - - $$$.

In most cases, all it takes to sue someone is the court filing fee and a complaint. Nothing has to be validated for the suit to be started. It could all be lies, or, giving the benefit of the doubt, conjecture, since plaintiff's don't generally have access to evidence unless they sue. But you still have to defend yourself until you get a decision.

The likelihood of any of this happening increases with the egregiousness of the actions. It is much more likely to happen if you are towing grossly over the rated capacity for your vehicle, because that is more obvious and easy to prove. If you are towing, say, 300 pounds over your rating, and that 300 pounds consists of camping gear, etc., how would they really prove this? As far as I know, there is no one at the scene of an accident, weighing everything. It doesn't mean someone wouldn't give it a shot, though. I have seen people sued for much, much less cause than towing over the limit.

This is all just conjecture, not by any means legal advice, and don't take it as such. There is a lot more I could say, but it wouldn't add much value to the discussion.

The long and the short of it is, people need to take responsibility for their decisions. If they vary from a specified rating for something, they should do it with eyes wide open. Of course you could be liable. And of course coverage could be denied. And you could have a hell of a time fighting over it, even if it was a marginal case. And we are all unlikely to ever hear about it, because, like most motor vehicle accidents, the lawyers would be the ones fighting it out, and then it would usually settle.
__________________
VicCT is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 08:46 PM   #40
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Thank You for the post Vicki and, yes, I understand the disclaimer.....
__________________
Bob Miller is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 09:13 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
You exceeded the limits in both your cited cases by several hundred pounds.


)

I forgot to ask Francesca what math you used to determine the above? I am puzzled by your statement:
"You exceeded the limits in both your cited cases by several hundred pounds."
Even though the actual loaded weights of my trailer were pointed out to you. When I say loaded I mean loaded - in one case the trailer was on an 8 week trip.

Just what limit do you believe I was over on? My dictionary suggest the world "several" means "more than two but fewer than many" So just what is "exceeding the limits" by at least 200lbs by your math?

A few important numbers one would need to to be aware of to make the calculation which you seem not to have are that the Subaru Outback from 2005 onwards have a total towing spec of 2700lbs or 3000lbs depending on the model. Secondly it has a tongue weight spec of 200lbs and the manual does state the tongue % can be as low as 8% with no mention of that only applying to boats. The GVWR is 4435lbs. Curb weight is 3330lbs.

As mention I know I took some risk on one of the weigh ins by running with a tongue weight of 240lbs which is 9.5% of the total trailer weight again within the % that Subaru suggests in their manual. So bottom line is the only thing I am guilty of and openly admit it in regards to not following the manufactures specs is having gone over the cars tongue weight spec by 40lbs. Will even admit to have taken it even more over a time or two Reason for doing so was to increase the load stability and thus reduce my exposure to liability to others while towing. It towed fine at the 10% range even in strong winds, providing I didn't go over my ST tire rating of 65mph down a steep hill! It did though increase my liability in regards to the warranty on the vehicle, even though it was still within its total GVWR but that was a risk I was ok with. I often travel on my own or with only one other person and between us we have less than a 300lb combined weight so there was more than a little wiggle room in regards to the GVWR. Better its only my pocket book that is hurt vs someone else's life or life style should I have had an accident due to an unstable trailer stow.

I also know that on one of the weigh ins although not over the tongue weight spec of the car I was 8lbs short of the 8% of the total trailer weight rule spec that Subaru uses and what you mention. Although I suspect it wasn't actually short as it had not been a few days prior when weighed - it may have been simple due to the fact the scales used took the weights up or down to the next 20lbs - which I believe if I am not mistaken they were set to do. Or it could have been the fact I had stopped shortly before arriving at the weigh in and stocked up the cooler that was sitting in the trailer on the axle, full of fine Oregon wines and cheeses thus putting the axle weight up just a tad. All of which had been consumed thus lowering the axle weight 5 days later on departure moving the % on the tongue back up. Rarely towed with that low of a tongue rating though - if I did it was only when doing a very short back road trip of less than 50 mph as I had done on that day. I kept an extra propane tank in the trailer and a large bin of camping gear as well as the cooler, that I would move up ahead of the axle to bring the weight up when traveling on highways etc.

The tongue weight limit on the car in question is BTW one of the big reasons I have suggested many many times here over a number of years now that
people stick to pulling a 13' with it even if its rated to pull 2800lb or 3000lb. In my experience if people actually try and stay within the manufactures specs on the tongue weight with a 16' they will be an accident looking for a place to happen. It is also the #1 reason I have changed tow vehicles.

The bottom line for me is I lost a very young family member and had others seriously injured to the extent their lifestyles have been forever altered in an accident that would not have happened if manufactures specifications had been followed. I know it is not at the end of the day whether or not something is legal or not or a ticket was issues - its about avoiding taking known chances and possible putting someone else at risk as a result. IMO pulling a trailer that weighs more than what the cars manufacture states its towing specs to be is taking a "known" chance. I personally do not buy into that theory that tow ratings are just a marketing buz to get you to buy a more expensive car and I will be very happy once all the manufactures start to acknowledge they are doing the SAE Towing Standards Test - which should once and for all result in that theory going right out the window.

I also know that no amount of money won in a civil case or the repeating of I am sorry or please forgive me over and over will change anything or result in forgiveness or allow anyone on either side of the case to sleep well again .... trust me, it just doesnt work that way even for the most callus of hearts.
Carol H is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 09:29 PM   #42
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Not having to worry anymore about every little item in the load must be a relief. After all we don't tow a trailer so we can stress out more during vacation travel.
Yup it is! I was not overly happy about having to change vehicles so it wasn't until I took the new tug and the old trailer out onto the freeway for a good long run for the first time that I realized just how much stress was involved with the smaller tug & to what extent I had become accustom to it. Although still not over the moon about the tug change I do feel a lot better about it now that I have actually towed with it.
__________________

Carol H is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lil Snoozy vs Scamp discussion (split from Classifieds) melissab General Chat 98 01-20-2013 12:03 PM
Pump Sprayer for Showering and Pet Cleanup (split from Bathrooms) Raya Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 10 10-21-2010 11:56 AM
Split from "1976 13' Scamp" For Sale by HustonFamily Vickie B. Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 6 09-22-2010 05:39 PM
Towing over your limit, insurance, liability Ken C Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 33 11-20-2008 12:38 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.