Towing with a older convertible car? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-27-2013, 10:01 AM   #29
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Some might argue that the short wheelbase of the Corvette and other such vehicles would make it less than ideal as a tow vehicle. I'll leave that to others to debate.

Regarding using a 1970 Impala as a TV, it's interesting that when we talk about those vehicles from that time frame, we often refer to them as "big old land barges, that were huge". Back in those days I drove a Buick Centurion with a 455 V8. If we look back at the facts however, those cars were typically only about a 120" wheelbase, and weighed around 4000 to 4300 pounds. Compare that to now, many would consider my Nissan Frontier to not even be a "full size" vehicle, yet it has a 127" WB, and weighs 4600 to 4700 pounds.
To the OP, if you go over and poke around on the Airstream forum, there is a guy there that tows with a gorgeous '71 Centurion convertible, and says it pulls the AS nicely. If you are going to use a car from that era to pull, plan on spending some dough on fuel though. Most of those cars were not really geared optimally for towing, and the engines were not very fuel efficient, so you're gonna be leaning on the pedal pretty hard to get on down the road. The whole project could be fun, but me personally, if I were going to do it, I would want to use a car that was fully and correctly restored for good reliability.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:06 AM   #30
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Yes GMW, that Buick is a popular TV on the Airforums. The owner has talked about it often and is close to what the original poster is considering.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #31
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Back in the late 70's when we full-timed for a year with an Airstream, the Buick was the weapon of choice of many for Airstream pulling (We used a Chevy Blazer) Can't say that I saw than many Chev's, maybe they were too down scale for the more afflulent Airstream owners of the day. LOL
But I believe that Buick shared it's body shell with Cadillac, not Chevy.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #32
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Here is another cool Buick....
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:13 PM   #33
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I did a lot of boat & utility trailer towing with a 1969 Camero SS convertible (350 engine). Loved the car & never had a problem towing with it, but the northeast winters got to it - by the time I got rid of it you had to keep your feet up to avoid scraping them on the road...
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #34
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I know my '73 corvette convertible (white with red interior) would look fab towing my '77 Scamp. But then I snap into reality when I think about the gas mileage--it got 12 mpg with its big block engine, on the road when I wasn't towing.Yeah, I'll just keep towing with my Tundra I guess.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:05 PM   #35
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I wouldn't think twice about towing a small TT with any FULL size V8 powered american car made since the 50's. I might make sure the brakes and cooling systems were in "as new" condition and add a trans cooler.

I had an 86 corvette, it would have towed a Casita like it wasn't there. I have an 85 LTD (HO 5.0) I'd tow with it before I towed with my X-Terra.

I had a 65 Dodge Dart convertible, I would not have towed a lawn mower with. I still don't know what held it togather. It has no frame and when the top was down and doors open, there is nothing in the middle but a floor pan. I think the doors are all that kept it from folding in half.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:07 PM   #36
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Fascinating. Does that mean that you are only allowed to massively exceed your rated towing capacity if you either
  1. have your rig set up by the magicians of Can Am RV, or
............
Some thoughts about Can AM RV. I don't think they are magicians nor do I think that they are charlatans.

In North America fuel is comparatively inexpensive so we tend to buy large vehicles and just horse around light trailers by more or less brute force.

In Europe, most people drive small vehicles yet still want to tow trailers. They understand that smaller cars can tow trailers safely if properly set up and driven at modest speeds. They aren't magicians nor charlatans, either. It is really a question of having the will to do so and applying sound engineering principles.

In my experience in the auto business, on cars and small SUVs, we spent more effort selecting the graining pattern on the instrument panel than on trailer tow considerations. Most people driving light duty vehicles really aren't interested in towing and beyond providing a nominal OK to do so, it was against our best interests to set a higher tow limit. First, a higher tow rating discourages them from buying a more profitable larger pickup or SUV, it increases the chances of warranty repairs and it opens up greater liability. So the tow ratings are set as low as possible without being uncompetitive nor making too many customers unhappy.

I'll note that in the large pick up segment, towing capability is vitally important as a competitive advantage and a great deal of work is done to maximize towing capability and achieve the advertising rights that go with it.

Does this mean that you should ignore the tow ratings of the manufacturer? No. Does this mean that a vehicle can be modified to tow more than its rating as manufactured? I think that the answer is yes, if down by a qualified modifier. Unfortunately, there is no standard for a qualified modifier, so they really have to be judged on the quality of their work, the satisfaction of their customers and their safety record. I've not seen any damning evidence against Can Am, but I'd be open to reading anything posted.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:35 PM   #37
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I, for one, don't give anyone, including Can Am RV, a carte blanche okeydokey to exceed any mfgs. specifications. I don't know about liability laws north of the border, but a shop would have to be run by fools to do what they do here in the USofA.
I'd be surprised if liability laws are any more lenient north of the border, but even more surprised if there isn't a clause in warranty papers from CanAm requiring that legal disputes be brought in Canada, and specifically in Courts local to CanAm's headquarters.

Can you imagine trying to prosecute any such lawsuit from somewhere in the U.S.A.?

I think that the "Am" part of "CanAm" will never refer to a sticks-n-bricks location on this side of the border!

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:38 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I doubt that any 1970 convertible will prove equipped to tow more than 2,000 pounds
Umm, is that not a 1970 in the pictured ad? Not sure what the difference would be between towing with regular body or convertible if the hitch is attached to a continuous frame in either situation.

Then again, maybe I am missing something.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #39
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CanAm may also have/need a disclaimer such as "This hitch installation is for Off-Hiway Use Only, Not for use on public hiways".

This is common terminology in almost all of the suspension parts and performance accessories sold for 4x4 peeps.

And I agree, at least in part, that some current tow ratings may be set low for sales rather than performance issues. But you would find that a very difficult defense in a U.S. court of law as you would be taking on the entirety of the U.S. auto industry.

Best bet, stick with the published values.

BTW: Did anyone else notice that the older Buick was is "Tail Dragging" and the tongue on the Airstream was nose down. Not a very good example of how to do it right.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:32 PM   #40
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.......... But you would find that a very difficult defense in a U.S. court of law as you would be taking on the entirety of the U.S. auto industry...........
I've heard this claims of litigation frequently here, but I'd be interested in any links documenting actual successful lawsuits involving, say, some one towing a 1500 pound trailer with a car rated for 1000 pounds.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #41
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CanAm may also have/need a disclaimer such as "This hitch installation is for Off-Hiway Use Only, Not for use on public hiways".
I have a Can Am custom hitch installation. Never heard of such a document.

My dad had an RV sales business back in the 60's. All cars that came in got custom fabricated hitch installs. No waivers then either.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:27 PM   #42
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I've heard this claims of litigation frequently here, but I'd be interested in any links documenting actual successful lawsuits involving, say, some one towing a 1500 pound trailer with a car rated for 1000 pounds.
It always starts with one. Thomas are you willing to be the ONE? I'm not. Nor would I ever want to be in a position to encourage others to be the ONE. Guilt lasts a lifetime.

YMMV
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