Tow Vehicle - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-16-2015, 12:34 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Stats didn't show in your post, but in any event, I'd be extremely reluctant to tow anything with an almost 14-year-old vehicle.
Ah, well, I hear you on that. This vehicle only has around 95K miles, and has been REALLY well maintained. The hubby was a Volvo dealer for many years and is also a bit of a gearhead. He's not big on landscaping, but vehicle maintenance is high on his list of priorities. (maybe I should say vehicle "pampering," which is why he'd prefer not to tow with the V70)

I've told him that although I love this car, if it's going to prevent us from traveling with an RV, I'd prefer to sell it and buy something appropriate. But we did plan to keep this car for the long haul, and I'd like to keep it if possible.

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Old 07-16-2015, 12:39 AM   #72
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:50 AM   #73
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Stats didn't show in your post, but in any event, I'd be extremely reluctant to tow anything with an almost 14-year-old vehicle.

MMMMMM, my '02 Ranger just turned 90K and I'd tow with it anywhere. There are many members here that have tugs with over 150K on them. It's all in the maintenance. You're not for using an older vehicle and I'm not interested in any vehicle that uses "by wire" controls or can park itself.
Different strokes
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:03 AM   #74
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:50 AM   #75
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This is my 4th Volvo and my favorite so far. We've seen these run up to 350,000 miles (no kidding) with proper care. I'd prefer to put any spare cash into an RV and keep my car for another 150K!
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:38 AM   #76
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Not necessarily in any order:


Most "Modern" cars, being 11 years old, (and with proper maintenance), in itself, should not be a disqualifying factor as long as the application is within the original vehicle specifications. These aren't your Grandfathers cars, that were ready for the recycle heap at 100,000 miles. My 2003 Sonoma was towing "as new" at 150,00 miles and I replaced it with an even more capable 2003 2 dr Blazer (albeit with only 50,000 miles) and find it even more ideal for my needs.


I looked at a range of owners manuals for the V70 and the strangely worded term "Recommended tongue weight" became "Maximum tongue weight" a few years later, basically meaning that it looks like you are stuck with the limitations of that figure. You can browse different year owners manuals for the V70 here:
Volvo Owner's Manuals | Volvo Cars


Ahhh Yes, the phenomenon of manufacturers towing limits being seen as only "suggestive". There appears to be exactly one hitch fabricator in the entire U.S. and Canada that takes this position and builds the very expensive set-ups on the Volvos and others you have seen pics of towing huge trailers that often exceed the manufacturers limits by 2-3 times published values.


It's the old story of just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should. I don't know of any fabricators in the lower 48 provinces that will touch this idea, suggesting that it must not be a very good one for safety and/or liability, either one, much less both, being a disqualifier.


At last count there were exactly 3 peeps on this site that disagree with following manufacturers maximum load recommendations and that, in it's self, should tell something.


What to do???? I wish I could offer a suggestion that doesn't involve either looking at smaller FGRV's or having another vehicle for towing.


I share your enthusiasm for Volvos, having owned at least a dozen of them before they became luxury vehicles, but those daze are long gone.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:04 AM   #77
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Not necessarily in any order:
At last count there were exactly 3 peeps on this site that disagree with following manufacturers maximum load recommendations and that, in it's self, should tell something.
Hopefully with humor,

Peeps: people particularly people who are my friends.

Regardless of the meaning of peeps. I'm one of the three 'peeps'. We towed for 8 years all over North America with a Honda CRV rated for 1500 pounds in North America. We consciously decided to use the European rating for the CRV, over 3000 pounds.

We drove over 250,000 miles, probably half tow miles and never had a single issue towing or with the CRV, same clutch, never an engine problem.

One thing I've learned in life is those that stand alone are often those that make the difference. Last night I watched the History of Martin Luther. I was raised a Roman Catholic and told he was a heretic. In reality he was a true hero who made an enormous positive difference.

Of course choosing to tow with the Honda CRV is not a 'Luther'. However, standing alone, being described as one of 3 peeps, may actually be an honor.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:06 AM   #78
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I guess I am another PEEP as well.
Being an engineer and a little experience in Europe all of the caravans over there are not operated by Top Gear. The show was great, but for entertainment, not engineering news.
Until J2807 the very strict ratings were more of an advertising gimmick.
SAE 2807 codified guidelines which are still voluntary for manufacturers. If you don't test to meet them you just can't advertise that it does.

Let me touch on the WDH thing again on trucks.

The lack of the WDH does not exactly cut the rating in half. Actually few trucks are rated to tow over 5000 lbs without a WDH, which is not the same.
Really after this point is really where SAE2807 comes into play. Manufacturers played fast and loose with the ratings for bragging rights over how much their trucks would tow, but the performance wasn't really there. This is why the tow up the mountain grade at Davis Dam was used. Maintaining speed all the way with at least 100*F temp and the A/C full blast to test the cooling, transmission, engine etc tells the tale. This grade is relentless and tough under these conditions.
The weight under "normal" conditions might not be so bad, but.........
Also my VW tow car is a 2009 with 240,000 miles. While I have not been to the Davis Dam road.

From J2807:

4.3.5.4 Procedure for Automatic Transmission-Equipped Vehicles
Select highest available forward gear position unless otherwise specified by tow-vehicle manufacturer. As the
combination begins ascent, accelerate as required to a speed between the minimum speed requirement specified in the
Table 3 Performance Attribute of Highway Gradeability for the tow-vehicle under test and the posted 45 mph speed limit.
When posted speed limit changes to 55 mph and again to 65 mph, it is the tow-vehicle tester’s choice to run at any speed
between the minimum speed requirement and the posted speed limit. The minimum speed requirement applies from the
Davis Dam turnoff (County Road 68), 1.3 km (0.8 miles) after the start of the test grade as shown in 4.3.5.2 to the end of
test run. Note the change to 55 mph posted speed limit occurs 1.4 km (0.9 miles) after the start of the test grade and the
65 mph posted speed limit occurs 3.7 km (2.3 miles) after the start of the test grade

4.3.5.5 Procedure for Manual Transmission-Equipped Vehicles
Run test in a manner similar to that for automatic transmission-equipped vehicles as detailed in 4.3.5.4. Shift transmission
per the tow-vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. It is the tow-vehicle tester's choice to run at any speed between the
minimum speed requirement and the posted speed limit. Wide open throttle and/or downshifting is permissible should
posted speed limit not be sustainable. Wheel spin is not permissible; if tires break loose, reduce throttle pedal force until
traction is resumed.

Again if someone can tell me how to upload the file for J2807 I have a PDF file.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:20 AM   #79
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:22 AM   #80
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...Again if someone can tell me how to upload the file for J2807 I have a PDF file.
Hey Red, I posted this link to a 2012 version of SAE J2807 in a previous thread. Is this same file as you are trying to upload? http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_r.../pdf/j2807.pdf
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:38 AM   #81
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..."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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Body on frame! Heavy duty??? They are nothing to write home about. The new SUV's which are top rated tow vehicles are unibody....ie... Ford Expedition, VW Touareg, BMW X5, etc. A WDH works great on them.
To clarify… I did not say that no unibody vehicle is rated for towing heavier trailers, nor did I say that no unibody vehicles are endorsed by the manufacturer for use with WDH. The Touareg is rated for 7700 pounds and the X5 for 6000 pounds. I don't know what either manufacturer says about WDH. The Expedition does not belong in that list. It is rated to tow up to 9200 pounds and remains body-on-frame. (The smaller Explorer used to be body-on-frame but is now unibody.) So I think it's fair to say that body-on-frame still remains the construction method of choice for heavy-duty towing applications.

I think we can agree, however, that few molded fiberglass trailers qualify as "heavy-duty applications," and that modern unibody vehicles make excellent tow vehicles for light- and medium-duty towing.

It remains that manufacturers do not endorse the use of WDH with the large majority of unibody vehicles. The manufacturer's language in most cases appears deliberately vague ("we do not recommend the use of a weight-distributing hitch with this vehicle" is what my Pilot's manual says), so the discussion will continue unabated. But it is clear to me, at least: if anything does go wrong, the manufacturer will not help.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:14 PM   #82
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Hey Red, I posted this link to a 2012 version of SAE J2807 in a previous thread. Is this same file as you are trying to upload? http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_r.../pdf/j2807.pdf
It is close enough if not the same.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:41 PM   #83
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The reason that fewer and fewer passenger cars are specifically rated to tow very much has a lot more to do with legal exposure for the manufacturer than it does with structural engineering.

Add into that the issue that there's no such thing as a statute of limitations on vehicle 'design faults' being discovered regardless of metal fatigue and repeatedly exceeding design limitations and you have a recipe for legal disaster. This is exactly what caused the US light aircraft industry to either go broke (Piper) or move production overseas (Cessna). It finally got bad enough that there is now a statute of limitations for airplanes, but I know of nothing similar for road vehicles. Even if there were, the manufacturers would still be worried about suits within the window of legal vulnerability.

The easy way out for a vehicle manufacturer is simply to say 'no' when the question of towing anything comes up. The only reason there are any towing ratings on any consumer vehicle in the US is because they know they would sell a lot fewer of some types if they weren't rated to tow. As people have 'forgotten' that their parents used to tow a boat or camper with the family sedan or station wagon, so have the sedans and station wagons (now called crossover vehicles and minivans) been derated as tow vehicles. Besides, profits are higher on truck-like vehicles than car-like ones.

Once the tow derating becomes a design parameter it actually becomes true. If there's no hardpoint on the rear of the vehicle to safely attach a WDH to, you probably shouldn't do it.

'Legal' derating is what you see when the same generation of vehicle has different tow ratings in different countries or year models. That's lawyers, not engineers talking. Whether or not you let the lawyers guide your TV decision is your own lookout.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:48 PM   #84
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[QUOTE=honda03842;535105]

We towed for 8 years all over North America with a Honda CRV rated for 1500 pounds in North America. We consciously decided to use the European rating for the CRV, over 3000 pounds.

We drove over 250,000 miles, probably half tow miles and never had a single issue towing or with the CRV, same clutch, never an engine problem./QUOTE]

Norm, since you are so good natured, I will use you as an example.

I think it would be more helpful to point out what you are/were towing when providing a testimonial.

Especially given most newbies fascination with the Casita 17. Many don't realize the weight (tongue weight in particular) inherent in a Casita 17 and the impact on a tow vehicle.

Many of us aren't careful to distinguish between 16 vs 17 or 2001 vs 2015 once the fingers start flying. These distinctions can make a significant difference.

Thanks for all your insight!

Regards, Steve
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