Tongue Weights - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2012, 07:20 PM   #57
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German (but certainly not Italian) drivers are very careful drivers due, in part to the very high cost and time required to get a drivers license in the first place and the penalties for infractions. Germany apparently invented the Robot-cameras that monitor traffic all over the country and send out tickets without question. I have a few of those... Like 55 k in a 45 k zone on a rural road at 3 am.= 165 Euros....
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:15 PM   #58
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When it comes to most of Europe there are far more regulations in place regarding towing speeds as well which is IMHO the #1 differences between why someone may be just fine towing with a trailer with a certain stow factor in Europe but that factor will get them into trouble in North America towing at higher speeds.

As Andrew pointed out even a trailer such as the one in the video which crashed could have been towed for thousands of miles without an accident providing it was never taken over 55 mph and the driver never had to make a fast avoidance move. Counting on never having to make a fast avoidance move IMHO is a risk thats just not worth the consequences..... as sure as the sun rises each day the day will come when you will need to do a fast avoidance move and odds of it happening get higher the more miles you tow.

I an very pleased to see that the link Andrew provided supports my understanding of trailer stability. If one clicks on the thumbnail photo titled “Effect of Speed” what comes up is the following “As a final point the research concluded that speed remains the dominant factor in stability performance and caravan owners are advised to drive within the speed limits regardless of their caravan outfit setup.” It has become clear in the past year or so that we have one or two folks here that really dont want to hear that. I am at least glad to hear that the good folks at the Univ. of Bath clearly agree with me! LOL

I am of the opinion than when someone starts to compare towing practises in Europe vs those in North America they really do need to give the speed fact a lot more weight than some seem to want to. In Europe most countries have National Towing Speed limits which is something you will not find in North America. A few states and provinces do have max speed limits for towing but they are are the minority. Towing speed limits in North America can range from 55 mph to 80 mph. In Europe its a whole different story!

Examples of those limits by country are as follows:

UK – 50 mph on single carriage way & 60 mph on dual carriage ways.

Germany – 80kph/50 mph on single carriage ways & 90 kph/55 mph on dual carriage ways.

Spain , Italy, Netherlands & Ireland – 80 kph/50mph max on dual carriage way

France - has system of determine how fast you can tow is based on the total weights of the loaded trailers and cars. For over 3500kg comb total weight (they use the vehicles manufactures gross vehicle weight and the towing capacity as stated in the cars manual to determine the weight of the trailer) – the limit is 80 kph/50 mph on single carriage way and 90 kph/55 mph on a duel carriage way. The towing speed limits also drop if it is raining. Its also interesting to note that a CRV in France falls into the over 3500kg category due to the fact it has very different specs in Europe than in NA - not surprising as I have rented vehicles that have little in common with their counterparts in NA other than name.. For reference & example of Frances towing laws see here.

Another interesting negative that can take place when towing at high speed can be seen in the following video brought to you by the popular BBC show Top Gear. Dont try this at home
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #59
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Carol,

I agree that higher speeds add the probability of failure on many levels, and I might add regardless of tongue weight.

Thirteen states I believe limit trailer speed to 55 mph. I do not know which state permits 90 mph. Which state is it?

French speed limits on the motorway are 130 km/hr or about 80 mph for tow vehicle/trailer combinations that weigh less than 3.5 tons. This is faster than my tires permit

French speeds on dual carriage ways are 110km/hr or about 68 mph also faster than my tires permit.

It's good that France states wet surface requires lower speeds. Virtually every state has a law like that though not so specific.. the driver is responsible to drive at speeds related to the road conditions....

The following is a link to the data.


http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/media/5...d%20limits.pdf

I know sway generates big concerns. Has any one had a sway situation where they knew the tongue weight?

The Honda CRV refered to is a Turbo diesel.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:54 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Thirteen states I believe limit trailer speed to 55 mph. I do not know which state permits 90 mph. Which state is it?
re 90 mph - my typo error - should have read 80 mph which is Montana. will edit my post

Would you be willing to share with us which 13 states limit the towing to 55 mph - it would be good info for all of us to have.

[QUOTE=honda03842;330551]French speed limits on the motorway are 130 km/hr or about 80 mph for tow vehicle/trailer combinations that weigh less than 3.5 tons. This is faster than my tires permit. French speeds on dual carriage ways are 110km/hr or about 68 mph also faster than my tires permit.[QUOTE)

Yes thats very true and if I am not mistaken you have taken that information from the link I provided. But regardless of how you want to spin it, the reality is there are a large number of vehicles that are used for towing here that would have much higher tow weight ratings in France than they do in North America so IMHO most will end up falling into the 3.5 ton combo - keep in mind that the majority of vehicles that are being used on this list have tow caps of 3000 lbs or higher in NA - many of them much higher than 3000 lbs - many of vehicles being used on this list would hit the over 3.5 ton combo using only their NA tow cap. You need to keep in mind that it the calculation uses the total rating not the amount that is actually used along with the loaded weight of the vehicle. As the example shows even the little CRV falls into that category regardless of the fact its not the same model of CRV as yours Norm. Trust me I didnt write the example or the towing information but had I done so I would have been sure to have removed any reference to a CRV to avoid you assuming the post and the reference was in regards to your vehicle.

Would you honestly be willing to place a bet that most of the vehicles used for towing on this list when using their European tow ratings or even their NA tow ratings would not be subjected to the lower towing limit of 55 mph on a dual carriage way (freeway) in France? I dont really need to know the answer to that question btw.

In regards to your CRV you are right your little CRV would not fall into the slower speed category in France but to be honest I never considered that anyone would pay to take a NA made car to Europe with them. Sorry I guess I had totally forgotten about you and how much you loved your CRV when I wrote my post. And yes the one used in the example is indeed a very different vehicle but as has been pointed out so many times before that is the case with many makes/model of vehicles sold in Europe under the same names & why many have a higher tow rating as well! I would be very surprised if it ever was even possible to buy a CRV in France built exactly as yours.

Good news is that France is only one small country in Europe. So should you move to Europe with your CRV's its tires will be just fine with the towing speed limits in all of the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Netherlands & Germany to name just some of the countries that no argument can be made that towing speed limits are not in fact well under your tires 65 mph limits.

As I said that's just MHO and as always your free to spin it any which way you wish.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:08 AM   #61
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PLEASE, don't ANYONE post their extensive personal experiences in a concise and clear fashion if it IN ANY WAY conflicts with my HONEST OPINION. We need more advice that agrees with what I think. Anything else just seems dangerous. IMHO.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:36 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
PLEASE, don't ANYONE post their extensive personal experiences in a concise and clear fashion if it IN ANY WAY conflicts with my HONEST OPINION. We need more advice that agrees with what I think. Anything else just seems dangerous. IMHO.
Yea, it happens every time the subject involves safety in some form. Same on other forums.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #63
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Perhaps the result of the aforementioned beer and tequila?
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #64
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Carol,

I think speed is an issue with sway, but there is no proof that I've read that towing in Europe is more dangerous than the USA because of their lighter tongue weights. Many believe it to be the case but for the life of me I can find no U.S. statistics on how often sway occurs, the speed it occurs at and the tongue weights when it occurs.

People have come forward about balls popping out of couplers but there seems to be very little 'coming forward' about sway, speed and tongue weight.

It's easy to say Europeans don't have sway because they drive slower yet France has the highest possible tow speeds, higher than any state.

As requested here's the list of states with 55 mph trailer speed limits; it amounts to 16 states, almost 1/3rd of the USA including DC.

AL, CA, DE, DC, CA, HA, IL, ME, MI, NH, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, VA,

As well 18 states have speed limits of 70-75 mph. Actually Montana's trailer speed limit is not 80 mph for trailers, but rather 65 mph, sort of middle of the road.

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm,

Just for the record, France, as countries go, is not a small country, There are 27 countries in the European Union and France is the largest country and representing 1/6th of the European Union in area. No state in the United states has a speed limit as high as France's trailer speed limit.

We all have feelings about RV trailer towing and it's potential dangers. My feeling is that the reality is better than we imagine. Do problems occur? Yes, I'm sure but I suspect much less than we imagine.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Carol,

I think speed is an issue with sway, but there is no proof that I've read that towing in Europe is more dangerous than the USA because of their lighter tongue weights. Many believe it to be the case but for the life of me I can find no U.S. statistics on how often sway occurs, the speed it occurs at and the tongue weights when it occurs.

People have come forward about balls popping out of couplers but there seems to be very little 'coming forward' about sway, speed and tongue weight.

It's easy to say Europeans don't have sway because they drive slower yet France has the highest possible tow speeds, higher than any state.

As requested here's the list of states with 55 mph trailer speed limits; it amounts to 16 states, almost 1/3rd of the USA including DC.

AL, CA, DE, DC, CA, HA, IL, ME, MI, NH, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, VA,

As well 18 states have speed limits of 70-75 mph. Actually Montana's trailer speed limit is not 80 mph for trailers, but rather 65 mph, sort of middle of the road.

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm,

Just for the record, France, as countries go, is not a small country, There are 27 countries in the European Union and France is the largest country and representing 1/6th of the European Union in area. No state in the United states has a speed limit as high as France's trailer speed limit.

We all have feelings about RV trailer towing and it's potential dangers. My feeling is that the reality is better than we imagine. Do problems occur? Yes, I'm sure but I suspect much less than we imagine.
Not surprised there are not statistics on sway. How would it get reported?

If someone gets out on the great plains and discovers their trailer has sway issues in a strong cross wind they slow down. And then probably (hopefully) do something to address the problem.

If trailer sway leads to a reportable accident it's more than likely that it would be described by the end results. Trailer jackknifed, or broke free of hitch or a generic lost control. Even if sway was a contributing or primary factor in that end results I doubt it would be categorized by that.

List of states is most welcome, as always thanks for the positive contribution.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:14 PM   #66
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i just try to pick it up,, if its hard to lift,,, it should be close on my 13 scamp.
with what your saying , put your bikes on the rear of the trailer
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
PLEASE, don't ANYONE post their extensive personal experiences in a concise and clear fashion if it IN ANY WAY conflicts with my HONEST OPINION. We need more advice that agrees with what I think. Anything else just seems dangerous. IMHO.
Amen.

Won't be long until the mods have to shut down another thread that was started with good intentions.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:52 PM   #68
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Going back to the topic at hand, here is a link to a University of Bath paper on caravan stability. It's a bit of a read, and like most research makes a number of assumptions and takes a few shortcuts that perhaps would be better done other ways (ie. changing tow vehicle mass by adding weights at the back of the vehicle rather than distributing it evenly), but it is a pretty good analysis with actual experimentation too. They do consider tow ball loading, stabilizers, trailer mass, vehicle mass and more. Note that their large caravan is actually very small/light by North American standards.

For those that want to jump to the conclusions, practical advice for owners and designers starts on page 58. Anyone following this and similar threads will be familiar with much of the advice, but it is nice to find it derived from actual experiments.

Here is the link: http://people.bath.ac.uk/en8cjk/Caravan.pdf
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #69
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Thanks Norm for providing the list of states with 55 mph towing limits. It confirms my point that we in NA do not have anything like a National Towing Speed Limit as the speed limits vary across the US and the majority of states allow towing well over 55 mph.

Thanks also for Montana's actual law. Does anyone know if that is fairly new? Montana has come up for discussion here before and looked for one less than a couple of years ago and came up with nothing and actually talked with a highway patrolmen in Montana about it and funny enough he didnt mention any law either. Regardless happy to see that even red neck Montana has started to recognize that speed does kill.

I find your comment but in regards that "there seems to be very little 'coming forward' about sway, speed and tongue weight. " Seriously - take a look back Norm - the topic was indeed primarly about those issues until once again.......

I am also pleased you have clarified why it is that we have such opposing views in regards to what may or may not be safe towing practises and what level of risk we are willing to take. I suppose someone is going to step in and suggest there is a scientific study that highlights the difference in how people process information. Some prefer to make decisions based on historical information, rather than gut feelings and imagination. Right brain left brain will no doubt come into it.

As indicated to you Norm in my response to your PM to me the other day on this topic. I am indeed more cautious than you when it comes to safety as a result of real life experiences. Some of those experiences I would not wish on my worst enemy. And as I indicated to you those incidents were all the direct result of well educated professions in their fields deciding to go with a gut feeling that their way was better rather than following time tested best practices.

Suspect most will be happy to hear I AM All Done! sorry I actually only use the IMHO in order to try and avoid this type of ****.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #70
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Just as a point of reference, I noticed that the 2013 Escape has a trailer stability function built into its regular stability control system. This functionality may be a big help in the future for towing.

Quote:
With AWD or FWD, the new Escape will come with the full complement of Ford's latest nannies, including torque vectoring control, curve control, hill start assist, electronic brake assist, roll stability control, trailer sway control, and torque steer compensation. Curve control uses the ABS to "correct" impending oversteer or understeer in tight, fast off-ramps and the like, in both the FWD and the AWD versions.
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