Tow Vehicle - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-14-2015, 08:47 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by George in New Mex View Post
An F-350 tugging a 13' Casita? Bad idea? I'm beginning to think it would almost make sense!!!
George.... There is such a thing as the "belt and suspender" crowd that "support" that idea.

On the other side of the coin other's believe the right sized vehicle for the trailer is the way to go. There are so many advantages. A not so large, lighter weight TV when set up right is very nimble and easier to control, has less weight when stopping, and in many cases get better gas mileage especially when not towing the trailer.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:06 PM   #44
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I hope you know I was kidding about that 350. Don't want to be too close to the safety line, either. Will check out all the numbers to reach a sensible decision. Even so, I think it was MC1 who said a good decision on paper won't even guarantee a perfect setup. C'est la vie.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:07 PM   #45
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Oh man, MC1! I looove that photo!
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:10 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
...the hitch itself which will consist of a much larger drawbar assembly and ball mount as well as a pair of long spring bars that lead back from the hitch itself and are connected, usually with a chain arrangement, to brackets on the trailer.

A warning, not all vehicles are designed to be used with a WDH, especially unit constriction vehicles, and not all trailer have frames strong enough to be used with a WDH.

1. what is a "unit constriction vehicle"?
2. do we know which FGRV's have frames not strong enough to be used with a WDH?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Here are some images of typical WDH systems:
https://www.google.com/search?q=weig...FQhVkgodBcUPsw
In looking at these images, I was half expecting to see a setup like we had with my long-lamented (even though stick-built) vintage Kencraft. I seem to remember two smaller balls on either side of the larger one which attached to the trailer hitch? There were chains involved also, although I don't recall this setup was related to *leveling* the trailer, which many of the images in this link seem to indicate.

3. Does a WDH involve extra *balls* on either side of the receiver?
4. Does weight distribution mean the weight of the trailer is evenly distributed front and back by leveling, or does it mean the weight on the hitch is "spread out" by attaching to more than one spot on the tow bar?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
And be wary if someone tells you "It is amazing how much more the vehicle can tow with the addition of an aftermarket accessory or mod." The vehicles weight specifications are an upper limit. Some mods may make it a better tow, but those weight number are cast in stone. If you think not, as I often suggest, ask your insurance agent and your lawyer before trusting that mechanic.
Well, this is my question. I think I need to know if my V70's max tow weight of 3400 lbs is with or without a WDH. (am still trying to determine if the factory approved hitch includes WDH).

Thanks for the continued learning experience here!

LP
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:59 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
So I've been googling V70 and factory hitch and WDH. It sounds like WDH does not work with the factory hitch and the 1.25" receiver.
You've already done the research and answered your own question. The factory 1.25" receiver will not accept a WDH. WDH requires a class III 2" receiver.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:29 PM   #48
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Whoops, my bad. I should have said the after market tow bar for V70 does not accept... still haven't found needed details on the factory hitch. Sorry for the confusion on that one!

LP
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:49 PM   #49
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Not sure what you are referring to by "tow bar".
Got to get your terms correct in order to ask the right questions and get the right answers.
The hitch receiver is what is attached to your vehicle. The weight distribution hitch goes into the hitch receiver.
Your hitch receiver is 1 1/4" so it is too small for a 2" hitch and not rated, in any event, for a WDH. Some 2" hitch receivers are rated class II and can't be used with a WDH, which requires class III.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:05 AM   #50
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I think that the tow ratings cut in half applies to trucks only. No truck is approved (as far as I know) to tow more than 5000 lbs without a WDH.
For other cars etc. this does not apply as many do not approve the use of a WDH anyway because of the chassis design and structure that the hitch is mounted to.
Below a combined weight of 10,000 lbs it is pretty much run what ya brung as far as regulations. Over 10,000 lbs combined weights the regulations for commercial use begin.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:35 AM   #51
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JD,

I'm very aggressive about the DOT statement because it's the type of statement that will be repeated over and over and left unchallenged.

Unfortunately there are all kinds of statements to beginners that end up suggesting more tow vehicle than necessary, in some measure creating 'barriers to entrance'. From the literally unsupported DOT statement to the requirement for margin between listed tow rating and 'useful' tow rating.

The reality is George plans just a couple of trips a year, planning to sleep in the trailer more than he will be driving it.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:07 AM   #52
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Norm, I will join you in challenging that statement.

My 2WD Pilot, like your Odyssey, has a 3500/350 tow rating, and the owner's manual states, "use of a weight-distributing hitch is not recommended." It is patently absurd to think that the tow rating is then cut in half! Or maybe Honda anticipated the DOT and has already halved the capacity, so that if I use a WDH (it doesn't actually say I can't, just that Honda won't recommend that I do)- then I can tow 7000 pounds!

Seriously, what I have seen in manufacturer towing specs (not DOT regulations) for a number of trucks marketed for heavy-duty towing goes something like this: towing capacity without WDH is XXX pounds; towing capacity with WDH is XXX pounds. The rating without WDH was substantially lower, perhaps half.

I, too, would like to know if there is any such DOT regulation and whether it has any relevance to light- and medium-duty towing with passenger vehicles.

Elipea, "unit construction" (aka, unibody) means the frame of the vehicle and core upper-body structure are welded into one solid unit. Most modern passenger vehicles, including many newer SUVs, are built this way. The advantages include lighter weight and increased stiffness for better handling. Manufacturers of many unibody vehicles do not recommend using a WDH, and I suspect one reason may be the different way these vehicles are designed to handle stresses (I am speculating here…).

The alternative, older construction method is called "body-on-frame." The upper body structure is welded separately from the frame and bolted on. It is still used on most pick-up trucks (except a few passenger car-based trucks like the Honda Ridgeline) and some larger, truck-based SUVs (Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon, Expedition, Sequoia, 4Runner?, Armada, to name a few). It allows for a stronger frame for heavy-duty use. Use of a WDH is common in this class of vehicle.


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Old 07-15-2015, 09:28 AM   #53
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FULL STOP PLEASE......

Ellpea did not mention the year or model of the V70 being used, but the owners manual seems to bode bad news...


Here is the info as shown on page 274 for the 2010 V70 (and is typical for several other years I checked)
Ref: http://new.volvocars.com/ownersdocs/...nersManual.pdf


Max towing weight w/brakes = 3300 lbs
Max Tongue weight = 165 lbs


That limited tongue weight suggests at least two issues must be considered:


1) That the attachment points for the factory hitch may be limited as to strength, basically ruling out a WDH anyway.


2) Using the 10% rule, that actual maximum trailer weight is really only 1,650 lbs, or 1/2 the factory weight


Please let us know the exact year of your V70 and if it has a different specification.


BTW: Elsewhere in this same manual Volvo notes that while some after-market hitches may have higher ratings, that the factory ratings for the vehicle must still be followed.


And: In Volvo speak, the term "tow bar" was seen as being used for the drawbar/ball mount.
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:50 AM   #54
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As far as I know there is no DOT regulation for non commercial under 10,000 lb combined weight. I think that I remember that weight correctly. Almost all trailer and towing laws are at the state level and the state you are based / live in is the controlling factor (AFIK).
I have repeatedly looked for those oft referred to DOT regulations and I have found none for the Non-commercial under 10,000 lbs.

There is this on the subjest and one could look up the quoted section if desired. This may or may not apply to individuals towing and not companies. Since this is a regulation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety it probably only applies to companies who use these vehicles and not individuals towing for their own pleasures.

DOT Mandates May Apply When Using Trailers - Articles - Safety & Accident - Articles - Work Truck

These are just some of the numerous requirements outlined by the FMCSA in its regulations for commercial vehicles. Complete details are available online at Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The regulations apply to:

Vehicles with a GVWR or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 10,000 lbs.
Vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., which require commercial driver license (CDL).
Vehicles hauling hazardous materials, whether operating across state lines or totally within one state.
Trucks or for-hire small buses designed to carry more than 16 people, including the driver.
The regulations are lengthy and potentially confusing. For example, operators can drive 3/4- or 1/2-ton pickups without requiring a DOT sticker, if there is no trailer attached. But adding a trailer may put it over the 10,001-pound GCWR regulation limit.

For that reason, Sprint Nextel, for example, uses magnetic DOT number decals that it attaches only when its pickups are towing a trailer.

“If you’re not towing, the GCWR is not in effect, and you don’t have to display any signage. And the DOT won’t bother you,” says Timberlake.

On days that any of its vehicles meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle, the company also requires that drivers conduct a pre-trip inspection and be satisfied the truck is in safe operating condition, as specified by Sections 396.13 and 392.7 of the FMSCR.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:05 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
...do we know which FGRV's have frames not strong enough to be used with a WDH?

...Does weight distribution mean the weight of the trailer is evenly distributed front and back by leveling, or does it mean the weight on the hitch is "spread out" by attaching to more than one spot on the tow bar?

Well, this is my question. I think I need to know if my V70's max tow weight of 3400 lbs is with or without a WDH. (am still trying to determine if the factory approved hitch includes WDH)...
A WDH is meant to level the trailer-tow vehicle combination front-to-back when towing. It is used when high tongue weight causes the front of the trailer and back of the tow vehicle to drop. That causes the front of the tow vehicle to rise, which affects steering, braking, and, in the case of FWD, traction.

A WDH works by prying on the frames at the point of attachment. Weight is transferred through the vehicle's frame forward to the front axle and through the trailer's frame backward to the trailer's axle. Frames and suspensions have to be engineered to withstand such stresses.

Your question about your Volvo is a very valid one, especially in view of Bob's last post, and needs to be clarified through your owner's manual or through Volvo of America. There is a significant disconnect between a gross trailer weight limit of 3300 pounds and a tongue weight of 165 pounds. I'm not sure if it means the hitch attachment is weak, as Bob suggests, or if the rear suspension is limited in its weight-carrying capacity.

As far as what trailers can withstand the use of WDH, that's an open question in my mind. I am sure the smallest trailers, like my Scamp, are not designed for a WDH. I'm equally sure the largest trailers, like the >20' Bigfoots, are. But in between…??
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:33 AM   #56
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There is an illustration of attaching the Volvo factory hitch in one of the several V70 manuals on-line, and it shows that only 4 cap screws are used and all are into the bottom surface of the unit body construction, not to encouraging at all for a wdh.
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