Why Towing Capacity is "Higher" in Europe - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-03-2014, 08:48 AM   #1
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Why Towing Capacity is "Higher" in Europe

Towing capacity on a particular car otherwise the same as its NA model is "higher" in Europe because towing speed limits are much, much lower than in North America.

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Old 06-03-2014, 09:56 AM   #2
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Add to the reduced allowable speed limits which are set across the whole country the fact that most of the vehicles have very different engines than what we can buy here in NA along with the fact we in NA like a softer ride so often the vehicle built in NA vehicle will also have different rear end components than the its European counter part amongst other things.

Hitches in Europe are built to be vehicle specific & not the hitch class system we use here in NA. This results in only the reinforced holes that the car manufacture has provided being used when a hitch is installed - unlike in NA where it is common to see hitch installers drilling new holes into the underside of the car to install a generic hitch.

In Europe the hitch on the car will be stamped with a limit that matches the cars manufactures towing specs. The police if they stop you to check your weight limits will go by the cars manufactures towing specs. The hitches used in Europe are also very different in design than what we use here in NA.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:57 AM   #3
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Went back and emphasized the part of my original post indicating target group of cars is those many that do not differ from their North American counterparts.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Went back and emphasized the part of my original post indicating target group of cars is those many that do not differ from their North American counterparts.
When you say "many" would you care to share which you know for a fact to be the same?

I can think of only a few but most of them would be classed as luxury autos and not likely to be something someone here would consider towing with. Even VW has acknowledge that one of their cars that many here thought to be a good tow vehicle although it may look the same here as in Europe it no longer shares the same components - in particular the back end. Bottom line is if a company is building the cars here in NA - Canada, USA or Mexico it will not have all the same components.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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What little I've travelled in Europe and Great Britain (rentals, riding with international friends in their personal cars), I don't recall a single automatic transmission (granted, none were luxury models). So that might account somehow for some of the towing capacity difference, too. The European version of the Ford Transit Connect (ultra-small service van) was very popular there with a small diesel engine and 6 speed (?) manual transmission. Why Ford decided to go with a gas engine and automatic transmission when they finally started selling it to the U.S. a few years back is beyond me.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:15 PM   #6
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Speed limits are lower. As a result, tongue weights can be lower. Plus many ratings in Europe include braked vs unbraked weights. Since only large trucks come with 7 pin harnesses in the US, the assumption is that drivers will not be using electronic brakes. The comment about automatic vs manual transmissions is also valid. I'm not sure if they are rated differently in Europe but automatics can be prone to overheating when attempting to haul at highway speeds in the US.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:16 PM   #7
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Speed limits are lower. As a result, tongue weights can be lower. Plus many ratings in Europe include braked vs unbraked weights. Since only large trucks come with 7 pin harnesses in the US, the assumption is that drivers will not be using electronic brakes. The comment about automatic vs manual transmissions is also valid. I'm not sure if they are rated differently in Europe but automatics can be prone to overheating when attempting to haul at highway speeds in the US.
I don't think that there is an "assumption" if someone will or won't be using electric brakes based on the vehicle not having a 7 pin connector. It's a simple matter to add one as well as a brake controller.

My 2003 Blazer came from the factory with a hitch and full wiring for a 7 pin connector, and it's hardly a "Big Truck". And a lot of compacts mandate trailer brakes at certain towing limits. Many states also require brakes on trailers as low as 1500 lbs, not a "Big Truck" TV requirement.

And many U.S. vehicles have higher towing limits for otherwise identical vehicles, when they have an automatic transmission. What with lock-up converters, transmission overheating isn't the problem of yesteryears.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:24 PM   #8
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Why Ford decided to go with a gas engine and automatic transmission when they finally started selling it to the U.S. a few years back is beyond me.
Simple put its called the NA market..... Ford believes that more people in NA will want a gas engine and an automatic vs diesel engine and manual transmission which is more common in Europe.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:39 PM   #9
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In addition, the European market has much higher fuel costs, at least 50% higher than ours, and small diesels are becoming more the norm than not.

Diesel + standard transmission = Better MPG's. or as they say it, fewer liters per 100/km.....
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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I don't think that there is an "assumption" if someone will or won't be using electric brakes based on the vehicle not having a 7 pin connector. It's a simple matter to add one as well as a brake controller.
It's a simple matter for the educated person...but not for someone showing up at UHaul looking to connect the largest trailer possible. Americans as a whole just don't get it. We don't have separate license exams for towing or for driving large vehicles. You can rent a box truck and be on your way, a disaster waiting to happen. So in that regard, I don't blame manufacturers for playing it safe when telling the American public not to tow certain weights with certain vehicles.

Quote:
My 2003 Blazer came from the factory with a hitch and full wiring for a 7 pin connector, and it's hardly a "Big Truck". And a lot of compacts mandate trailer brakes at certain towing limits. Many states also require brakes on trailers as low as 1500 lbs, not a "Big Truck" TV requirement.
Oh but your Blazer IS a big truck...at least by European standards. Anything larger than a CUV is considered big. And CUVs here are never offered by the manufacturer with a plug and play 7-pin connector, implying of course that the majority of owners aren't going to tow more than a very small UHaul or jet ski.

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And many U.S. vehicles have higher towing limits for otherwise identical vehicles, when they have an automatic transmission. What with lock-up converters, transmission overheating isn't the problem of yesteryears.
Pretty much nothing comes with a stick shift anymore. The difference in ratings for vehicles that do offer both transmissions is usually because the premium models with larger capacity engines only come in automatic. Buyers who want stick are left with the econo-versions of vehicles which usually come with soft clutches designed for commuter comfort and can't handle the weight without slipping. Plus manufacturers don't want to warranty clutches that are burnt out after just a few trips up and down the boat ramp.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:51 AM   #11
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We have a small SUV, Honda CRV, with a. Manual transmission with approaching 225,000 miles, with the original clutch. About the only manual transmission left is in VWs.

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Old 06-04-2014, 07:53 AM   #12
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Quote: "Since only large trucks come with 7 pin harnesses in the US, the assumption is that drivers will not be using electronic brakes."

Gee I missed the part that we were comparing large trucks to European vehicles, maybe my computer put that part in the spam folder.

Why all the excitement about automatic transmissions vs standard transmissions. The next thing will be the group that is against air bags and anti-lock brakes will start their rant that they don't want to pay for them, and can't get a car without them.

BTW: Both my GMC Sonoma and Chevy Blazer were/are 5 speeds and, in both cases, I was able to get price concessions because, in 2014, as most buyers want an automatic transmission, dealers find it difficult to sell cars with standard transmissions. Why offer/stock a very low demand product.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:37 AM   #13
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A friend of mine went looking for a new truck > He wanted a bare bones truck --No A/C .crank windows , manual transmission ,radio only ,no tilt steering ,no cruise , 2 WD ,basically a box on wheels .When he could not find one on a dealers lot , it was a conspiracy by the auto manufacturers and dealers . He had to special order the truck and paid more for the strip downed truck than one on the lot with options . When he went to sell / trade that same truck and the blue book value was nill , again it was the auto mfg. /dealers fault . My point is, for most people ,a manual transmission is not a selling point in a new or used vehicle nor is towing capacity in small commuter vehicles. Consumers /Government are calling the shots in what vehicles are manufactured and how they are equipped .
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:54 AM   #14
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Tell your friend that there is no conspiracy. Why should dealers stock vehicles that almost no one wants to buy? On top of that, they can and will discount vehicles on the lot that they are paying daily interest on, but they have no incentive to discount special orders.

And, specking of Europe as was the original thread. New car dealers in most European countries don't maintain any real stock of vehicles like here. Basically you look at a few examples in a showroom and order what you want. And "Rebates" isn't a known concept over there.
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