Towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2020, 10:07 AM   #1
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Towing

Here is a Consumers Report on Towing.
https://www.consumerreports.org/towi...818_nsltr_cars
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:28 AM   #2
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Pretty good considering the source.
One place they got it wrong was saying "weight is everything" and then no mention of aero or frontal area.
Fact is these things are far more significant than weight when considered within the tow ratings.
An open trailer with a full load will often tow easier than an empty enclosed box trailer.
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:32 PM   #3
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Floid, In all the data I've seen over the years I have not run across statistics concerning frontal area. I do know they sell campers that retract and in their adds they state they tow better because they are low. As far as Consumers Reports I have always considered them a great source.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:11 PM   #4
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frontal area towing limitations

Ford Motor Company, and I'm sure other manufacturers, publish frontal area towing limits for their vehicles. Each year Ford publishes a towing guide, for example, the Ford 2017 RV and Trailer Towing Guide. In the guide Ford states:

"Frontal area is the total area in square feet that a moving vehicle and trailer exposes to air resistance. The chart shows the maximum trailer frontal area that must be considered for a vehicle/trailer combination. Exceeding these limitations may significantly reduce the performance of your towing vehicle."

Also, in this 2017 guide, for example, Ford indicates that for the F150, for "Any Powertrain with Trailer Towing Package or Payload Package and Trailer Towing Ratings Between 5,001 and 7,700 lbs", the Frontal Area Limitation/ Consideration is 55 square feet.
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Old 08-18-2020, 03:23 PM   #5
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I am not a fan of CR but I will give them credit for one thing
, they don’t try to hide their prejudices or their favoritism toward certain products.
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Old 08-18-2020, 08:10 PM   #6
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Darwin, thanks for the towing reference. It was worth reading.

As for consumer reports, I often hit the library to see what they have to say when making a big purchase. I certainly donít use it as a definitive source, but their tests and comparisons are interesting. What they consider important is usually informative.

What they rank as best is not so important to me. Although what they rank as worst is worth writing down.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:14 PM   #7
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I paced a Cummins Ram 3500 hauling a Heartland Big Country 5th wheel today. It's what I call a Cumulonimbus trailer; it looms over the horizon in the distance like a big white cloud.

The published dry weights for the Big Country trailers start a bit north of 12,000 lbs. The published ceiling height in the bedroom over the hitch is 6'4".

Judging by how this combination pulled grades, the Ram was clearly more than well-equipped to handle that trailer; frontal area, GVW, fur, guts, and feathers.

Observing that 55 sq ft seems a rather meager allowance, I yield the floor on the question of frontal areas to samclem, DavidG and others who provide an interesting discussion at this link.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post615702
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I am not a fan of CR but I will give them credit for one thing
, they donít try to hide their prejudices or their favoritism toward certain products.
Steve, you nailed it; that's one of the biggest reasons why I read and enjoy your posts!
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:10 AM   #9
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Steve, you nailed it; that's one of the biggest reasons why I read and enjoy your posts!
I am not sure if I should be flattered or insulted so I will just take it as a compliment and go from there .
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:31 AM   #10
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Towing

The frontal area limitations appear to come straight from J2807, which is a tow testing protocol now used by most manufacturers. Among other things it contains frontal area specs that vary by weight class. In the chart below the 5001-7700# towing class specs 55 sf, the figure in the F-150 manual. Not a coincidence.
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Since the smallest non-folding molded trailers have a frontal area of 38-42sf (depending on whatís on the roof), thereís a significant mismatch between weight and frontal area compared to J2807. To put that in concrete terms, the 1500# tow rating on many compact SUVs was tow tested with a small box trailer half the size of a Scamp.

If you treat frontal area restrictions as hard limits, you need a 5000# rating to pull a 1500# 13í Scamp. Many people (and even some vehicle manufacturers) just ignore it and focus on weight. The linked post has a great discussion of why thatís a bad idea. Excess frontal area is like additional weight at cruising speeds. But how much is a very complex question not easily answerable.

At the very least itís a good argument for (1) maintaining a healthy margin between the tow rating of your vehicle and the actual gross weight of your trailer, (2) choosing a trailer with an aerodynamic profile, and (3) slowing down!
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I am not sure if I should be flattered or insulted so I will just take it as a compliment and go from there .
I apologize for my inability to communicate more clearly. It was intended as a compliment.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:21 AM   #12
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I apologize for my inability to communicate more clearly. It was intended as a compliment.
Itís probably more my poor reading skills than your writing skills
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