Volkswagen Golf - safe? - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-15-2010, 06:35 AM   #71
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Name: Jesse
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mcbrew, you may disagree, but facts are that the recommendations are put in place for a reason.
I disagree... and so does not of the world. The US (and Canada?) recommend 10-15% tongue weight. Most everywhere else recommends 5-10% tongue weight. So, the "facts" are that most places recommend something other than what you are recommending. I'm not saying you are wrong. More tongue weight is usually okay, until it has a detrimental effect on the suspension of the tow vehicle. Too much tongue weight will have an unsafe effect on a car before it does on a truck. Truck rear suspensions are meant for lots of weight, cars are not.

If 5% tongue weight is so unsafe, there should be a LOT of families being killed in Europe... they tow with cars a LOT more than we do.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:41 AM   #72
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Trailer sway is -primarily- caused by driving too fast. This is something that you just can't prevent some people from doing. Maybe what we need to do is encourage the police to ticket people who are speeding with trailers in tow, much like they do in a lot of European countries.

Just to clarify: I do not want anybody to do anything unsafe. I simply disagree with what you say is dangerous. I also find is kind of funny that people talk about towing ay 65+ MPH and nobody calls them out on being unsafe. We have to share the road with them, too.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #73
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Yeah, I loved the video clip with the moronic "I think I can, I think I can" imbecile trying to tow his trailer uphill with a piece of junk "toaster-on-wheels." Well, if there ever was any smigen of credibility to how great European requirements are, I think that they just went out the proverbial window! A picture is worth a thousand lawsuits. Luckily no one appeared to have been seriously injured, but it makes a strong point of people trying to "Mickey Mouse" things. Hey! Smell the coffee. It looked like a peanut trying to tow the elephant! Smoke billowing and all, heck it looked almost like a three stooges spoof. Why do people insist on doing stupid things despite lots of good advice? Keep your European towing standards off MY American highways! You people who advocate this baloney are dangerous beyond belief! Those idiots in that video were just darn lucky that no one was coming up the hill behind them. What incompetence, stupidity and blatant disregard for the safety of themselves and of those who may be unfortunate enough to be on the roads around them!
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:11 AM   #74
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mcbrew, I don't think I ever said anything about tongue weight. All I am saying is, there are guide lines set for USA vehicles and just cause "we" know that they can be exceeded doesn't mean they should be. And as far as the towing differences between say European country's and the USA, the mere fact that the driving conditions are completely different! To my knowledge there are not many 4 or more lanes of interstate with a bazillion cars traveling in the same direction. If I remember correctly, I read a camping statistic that stated European campers traveled far less miles on their camping trips then we do. So, less miles traveled on slower less demanding roads and lower speeds would probably mean less issues.


I will add, that the pictures I have seen of European camp out's are far different than the camp out's I have experienced here in the states. They take far less crap then we Americans do, they don't carry a bike, toy's, for every kid. They don't carry TV's Dvd players, Cd players, and everything that goes with them. They don't carry grills, extra stoves etc that you see in every campsite across this country. That or they are super tidy campers! It all adds up! Just a fact!




I might also add, Wheel base (which I believe is a far bigger issue than tow capacity!) as an issue but I don't have time to discuss that. I have a rally to get ready for.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:35 AM   #75
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Is there really anybody that thinks that video shows a legal European combination of tow vehicle and trailer? My estimate is that the trailer is around twice the safe towing capacity of the car - though it would be more like four times the rating in the US. I appreciate that towing with anything less than a large truck looks dangerous to many North Americans now, but can no-one remember how their parents happily drove thousands of miles towing with a regular sedan?

One reason European trailers can get by with a lower tongue weight is because they are mostly towed at lower speeds. This graph shows tests done on an actual trailer whose weight distribution could be altered.


So the difference between European and North American tongue weights increases the speed at which sway starts by something like 10mph.

Lots of folk seem to think that a certain tongue weight percentage gives a stable trailer under all conditions - but all trailers have a speed at which they will start to sway. And tongue weight alone is not the whole answer - you also need to look at inertia, as this graph from the same study shows:



In this case, the second spot, at 2600 kg m^2 is the stock inertia of this European travel trailer. Put an extra weight on the back end and compensate it by moving some other weight forwards, to give the same tongue weight, and you can move your trailer's inertia to the right end of the graph and knock 10mph off the safe towing speed.
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nose-weight.JPG   inertia.JPG  

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Old 09-15-2010, 10:54 AM   #76
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[QUOTE=Andrew Gibbens;223440] but can no-one remember how their parents happily drove thousands of miles towing with a regular sedan? [Ouote]



Andrew, I totally understand what your saying, but lets be honest. My Grandparents (my parents always towed with a truck ) sedan weighted in much heavier than the cars of today! Much bigger, heavier, longer wheel based, vehicles than today's sedans.

Ok, back to getting ready for the rally............. LOL........
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Finke View Post
Yeah, I loved the video clip with the moronic "I think I can, I think I can" imbecile trying to tow his trailer uphill with a piece of junk "toaster-on-wheels." Well, if there ever was any smigen of credibility to how great European requirements are, I think that they just went out the proverbial window! A picture is worth a thousand lawsuits. Luckily no one appeared to have been seriously injured, but it makes a strong point of people trying to "Mickey Mouse" things. Hey! Smell the coffee. It looked like a peanut trying to tow the elephant! Smoke billowing and all, heck it looked almost like a three stooges spoof. Why do people insist on doing stupid things despite lots of good advice? Keep your European towing standards off MY American highways! You people who advocate this baloney are dangerous beyond belief! Those idiots in that video were just darn lucky that no one was coming up the hill behind them. What incompetence, stupidity and blatant disregard for the safety of themselves and of those who may be unfortunate enough to be on the roads around them!
I attached this clip as a joke, apparently not for everyone. The “toaster” was Renault 5 and I believe it exceeded all towing standards by a large margin.
George.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:40 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Gibbens View Post
Is there really anybody that thinks that video shows a legal European combination of tow vehicle and trailer? My estimate is that the trailer is around twice the safe towing capacity of the car - though it would be more like four times the rating in the US. I appreciate that towing with anything less than a large truck looks dangerous to many North Americans now, but can no-one remember how their parents happily drove thousands of miles towing with a regular sedan?

One reason European trailers can get by with a lower tongue weight is because they are mostly towed at lower speeds. This graph shows tests done on an actual trailer whose weight distribution could be altered.


So the difference between European and North American tongue weights increases the speed at which sway starts by something like 10mph.

Lots of folk seem to think that a certain tongue weight percentage gives a stable trailer under all conditions - but all trailers have a speed at which they will start to sway. And tongue weight alone is not the whole answer - you also need to look at inertia, as this graph from the same study shows:



In this case, the second spot, at 2600 kg m^2 is the stock inertia of this European travel trailer. Put an extra weight on the back end and compensate it by moving some other weight forwards, to give the same tongue weight, and you can move your trailer's inertia to the right end of the graph and knock 10mph off the safe towing speed.
Interesting charts, were they derived through an experimental data? I assume that the trailer moment of inertia was calculated from the axial load (one axle) and distance to the hitch. 2 axles trailers could shift these 0 damping (I assume it means 0 damping required) curves toward higher speeds.
George.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:59 PM   #79
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Wheelbase can have an effect... But a Jeep has a shorter wheelbase then me Scion, so does that make the Jeep unsafe as a tow vehicle as well? Also, distance from the rear wheels to the hitch makes a big difference. A longer overhang makes it easier for the trailer to break ten rear wheel traction when sideways force is in play. My Scion's rear wheels are far back on the chassis... Another plus.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:18 AM   #80
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In those graphs above, "zero damping speed" is the speed at which there is no damping on the trailer in response to a sharp tow vehicle steering input (a British Standard tets procedure) - in effect it is the speed at which uncontrollable snaking will start unless the drvier can damp it out by steering inputs.

The graphs are the result of towing a specially-made test trailer:

and the trailer inertia was measured using a turntable:

so these are real world results.

If anyone wants a copy of the research paper that gives the results, please send me your email address, either by private message or to:
angib (at) blueyonder (dot) co (dot) uk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin G View Post
Much bigger, heavier, longer wheel based, vehicles than today's sedans.
Have you checked the actual numbers? Longer than today's sedans may well be true but look at the weights - good crash performance has made modern vehicles about as heavy as bigger old ones. For example: 1970 Impala 3800 pounds, 2010 Impala 3550 pounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
Wheelbase can have an effect... Also, distance from the rear wheels to the hitch makes a big difference.
I agree - I think there is some magic formula which uses the ratio of the rear overhang to wheelbase.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:34 PM   #81
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Thank you for providing us with this impressive study. I will send you PM with request for this data.
George.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:58 PM   #82
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Talking One of the reasons why persons think they can tow eggs with anything:

The first ad is from the March 26, 1972 Cedar Rapids Gazette and the "New Boler" ad is the first Boler ad I can find from the November 9, 1968 Winnipeg Free Press. Notice the Higgins Ave address. This is the first place Bolers were made.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:08 PM   #83
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Gremlin?!

Good find, Roger.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:30 PM   #84
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Smile Lawn Mower Engines

BTW I resemble the remarks about "lawn mower engines". I used to work for Briggs & Stratton. They test .1% of all lawn mower engines at full speed, full load for 10,000 hours. I doubt an auto engine would survive such a test.

How times change:

Older engines and diesels achieve their horsepower ratings at much lower rpms than modern engines. This means more torque.

I remember riding with my grandfather in his 1939 Studebaker towing a utility trailer. The guy in front of us was going slow. "Pass him, grandfather," I said.
"Oh, no. I can't pass, I'm towing a trailer." was his reply.

Now, going 60, I am passed by guys towing massive travel trailers going 70 at least.
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