All about towing and tow vehicles

Re: Towing?

Postby mustangcats » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:11 am

Stopping is important but maintaining highway speeds is important too. My TTT weighs about 2800 lbs. The Dodge Dakota 3.7 V6 I had was rated to tow about 3800 lbs. It did OK in flat, open country but hills and mountains really slowed it down to below 50 MPH. I now have a Ram 1500 5.7 V8 and towing is much more enjoyable and safer, now that maintaining highway speeds is no problem. My point is just because your trailer weight is within the maximum tow limit of your vehicle doesn't mean it will tow well in real life conditions. And if you find yourself towing with a strong head wind, you'll wish you had a more powerful tow vehicle.
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Re: Towing?

Postby ctstaas » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:09 pm

Howdy All, My TD weights 1050# ready to camp and my TV is a 83 GMC SWB and I wish I had spent the money upfront for brakes for the TD. The TV will pull the paint off but stopping could be better. The TD has woke me up by pushing my rear end out. I could slow down but who wants to do that?
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Re: Towing?

Postby working on it » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:57 pm

It's all about towing. Trailers must be towed! My initial goal was to build a small trailer to be towed into limited off-highway camping sites, using a small vehicle > my wife's Cobalt (or my HHR Panel).For three years+, I've been struggling to find a compromise, balancing four important factors in planning, building, and usage of my trailer: 1)TV towing capacity vs trailer weight, 2)best configuration of gear carried in TV vs loaded in trailer, 3)towing with trailer brakes vs without them, and 4)TV mpg while towing vs TV mpg. Premise 1: using a small TV- the HHR max tow capacity of HHR =1000 lbs, i.e. trailer weight must be </= 1000 lbs. Premise 2:stowing"necessary" gear small size of HHR limits larger gear, i.e. generator, fuel, large cooler must then go to trailer (fuel later moved). Premise 3: limited braking of HHR trailer <1k lbs = no brakes,>1k lbs = brakes. Premise 4: can I achieve decent mileage? HHR = 30mpg, (alternative TV) Chevy 2500HD = <14 mpg. After 3 years of planning and building, and only one trip with the original (brakeless) axle, and one more after switching to an axle with brakes, here is my conclusion. Though I quickly suspected that my HHR would be quite inadequate for the task, I blindly kept going ahead with my max strength superstructure (though the undercarriage was spindly; now corrected), and adding heavy features to it. I ended up at 1775 lbs, which made me use the truck for towing. If I had not been so focused in the completion of the build, as quickly and cheaply as I could (at that time), I would've stepped back and gone ahead with adding the bigger/stronger axle with brakes, before it was actually used (the axle broke loose from the frame on first trip), and come up with a scheme to re-distribute equipment between the TV and trailer in better proportions. I had planned for a mid-sized SUV or pickup to eventually tow the trailer, but never started to research it, but after using my larger truck TV on those two trips, I see that it is overkill for the job (I used it to tow 7-10k lb loads), and that the planned mid-size would be better. So, if a trailer is anywhere near the TV's rated capacity (I think 2/3 would be the best percentage), then trailer brakes would be required. I don't think anyone has the ideal balance of power/braking/mpg in their combination, unless they have built and towed with a wide sampling of trailers and TV's; short of a NASA simulation, just try using whatever you can piece together for your needs, and listen to the more experienced voices here...I am still trying to learn from them.
2013 HHRv a "squareback/squaredrop" 4x8 TTT,
semi-offroad?, at barely under 2000 lbs travel weight
  • 3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle, w/brakes
  • 27x8.5-14LT all-terrain tires (x 3)
  • LED lighting, triple fans. Pioneer stereo
  • A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator
  • Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill
  • zinc/stainless steel front racks
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Re: Towing?

Postby kd8cgo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:19 pm

I recently found a nice article about towing dynamics I wanted to add to this list, some information is very similar to the excellent links MtnDon provided.

Andy Thomson is a writer for RV Lifestyle Magazine and works with the Canadian RV firm Can-Am RV Centre. Here is a list of his recent stuff, you can probably find even more by searching his name.
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Re: Towing?

Postby johnnail » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:46 pm

Bottom line:
I put a hitch on the KIA Soul. Pulled the Teardrop just fine. Mine weighs 960lbs
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Re: Towing?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:04 pm

Tear 1 did not have brakes tear 2 which is nearly identical does. It is better to have brakes and not need them than to need them and not have them. I would never not have them.
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