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Old 04-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #21
moaboy
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Bill,
If you re- read my brief post you"ll see I did not express an opinion, I simply asked a question. Did not mean for anyone to feel they needed to be defensive or engage in a Socratic debate about truth and opinion.
One of the two basic tenants of the TM company is that a TM is lightweight, thus allowing for more "flexibility" in TVs. (The other being its compactness, thus allowing more "convenience" in storage.) One can agree with that or not.
I would suggest that "the proof is in the pudding" and that a number of owners have successfully pulled TM's with vehicles rated at 3500lbs for a number of years. That is one of the reasons that sold me was when the TM rep at the Hershey RV show, showed me his Chrysler minivan that he used to tow a 2720 all over the country.
Part of the fun of this Forum is that one can express their opinion, debate whether they think it is has substance and make a judgement accordingly. An opinion may be informed or not. My sense is that opinions tend to become
more authoritative when they are grounded in facts like Mr. Adventures
formulas and as he has pointed out, one's actual experience.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:01 PM   #22
Bill
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Moaboy -

I certainly had no problem with your post, and I hope you had no problem with my reply. Whenever I enter a discussion about tow rating, and state my opinion, I always try to add "That being said, several of our members have 3500-pound-rated vehicles, and have had good experiences. I will let them speak for themselves."

New owners tend to ask "Is a 3500-pound-rated tow vehicle safe?" And I (and others) will continue to say "It's not that simple." We repeat this discussion every month or so, and the old-timers tend to get tired of it. But the new guys need to hear it. That's all my response was intended to convey. I hope you didn't take it to be more than that.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:38 PM   #23
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Safe or not safe shouldn't be the choice of answers. Manage your risk is better in my opinion. It's safER not to tow a trailer, but we do and increase risk if there isn't a change in our driving habits. We down shift when going down hills, leave more space between vehicles and we reduce risk. Towing with a 3500 pound tow rating and staying within rated specs by the manufacturer at 50 mph with an extended following distance on the highway is probably safer than towing with a 5000 pound rating going 55 and tail gating.

I manage my risk with a vehicle that has a higher than 3500 pound tow rating because my trailer is loaded to 3600 pounds and carry a family with a lot of items.

The safest thing to do is stay at home and only use an elevator for transportation as it is the safest form of transportation.

Looking foward to the responses. Robert
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:31 AM   #24
brulaz
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Two things come to mind:

Older folks tend to be more cautious, as our reaction times and night vision are declining. So, I, at least, drive slower, leave more space to the next car, drive less at night and bought a TV that greatly exceeds the minimum "requirements". I was more comfortable "living on the edge" when I was younger.

Secondly, we are lucky enough to own three vehicles. The truck is primarily a Tow Truck, and is not used as a daily driver. Not everybody can afford (or have space for) a dedicated TV. Instead they combine the functions of a daily driver with a TV. Trailmanor encourages this, and targets this audience.

All I can do is urge caution. And, to be honest, I'm more worried about those guys older than me driving monster RV's down to Florida on winding West Virginia roads at 75mph.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:18 PM   #25
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I agree that there is risk in almost everything we do ( or don't do for that matter). and that how safe we are is how well we manage that risk. For me the big concern is the risk that I can not manage natural and man made. I have been an active scuba diver for many years and have never had to use my octopus (secondary regulator) yet I would not consider even the shallowest dive with out having it available. I have seen men pull a tractor trailer with their teeth on a flat level surface. I am sure that you can tow with a 3500 lb capacity vehicle and may be fine for many trips, but there will eventually come a time when you will wish you had a larger TV.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:47 AM   #26
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From a sefety perspective, don't worry too much about engine size. The two most important factors, in my opinion, regarding safe towing is:

How fast can you stop.

Will the tail wag the dog.

The worst case braking scenario I continue to mention is:

1. downhill
2. 90+ degree turn
3. off camber
4. loose gravel on a paved surface (marbles)
5. blind corner
6. just out of sight are a couple of cows on the road.

This can all be compensated for by driving slow enough. Plan ahead. If you plan for the worst then you will be pleasantly surprised when it does not happen.

The ability of the tail (TM) to wag the dog (TV) is a function of, among other things:

1. wheel base of the TV, longer is better
2. distance from tow ball to rear axle of the TV, shorter is better

TMs are designed to not require anti-sway equipment.

A WD hitch is mandatory with small TVs. I assume (big mistake) that a WD hitch will compensate for a very short wheel base and/or a very long axle to tow ball distance.

Maybe I confused myself regarding tow ball to axle distance. I think shorter is better. Zero being the best, as with a 5h wheel. But it is late and I may have confused myself.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #27
Mr. Adventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopBeavers View Post
...The ability of the tail (TM) to wag the dog (TV) is a function of, among other things:

1. wheel base of the TV, longer is better
2. distance from tow ball to rear axle of the TV, shorter is better

TMs are designed to not require anti-sway equipment.

A WD hitch is mandatory with small TVs. I assume (big mistake) that a WD hitch will compensate for a very short wheel base and/or a very long axle to tow ball distance.

Maybe I confused myself regarding tow ball to axle distance. I think shorter is better. Zero being the best, as with a 5h wheel. But it is late and I may have confused myself.
You're less confused than you're giving yourself credit for.

The math works out that the wheelbase is leverage the TV has to steer with, and the distance between the rear axle and the hitch ball (let's call this Overhang) is leverage the trailer has to defeat that. You can isolate the Wheelbase to Overhang ratio as a Tow Vehicle factor which multiplies "goodness" for both left-right skid control and for reducing the unweighting of the front axle/overweighting of the rear axle by the trailer tongue.

The WDH has a greater effect for shorter wheelbase vehicles. In other words, the same WDH settings/WDH induced trailer axle weight boost would add twice as much weight on the front axle of a 100" wheelbase TV than it would for a 200" wheelbase TV. There's a steering and braking benefit from extra weight on the front that compensates proportionately (holding the Overhang distance the same, a 10% increase in WDH effect on the trailer axle calculates out the same as a 10% increase in wheelbase). But I'd still describe the WDH as a "compensating" alternative to a longer wheelbase, but not necessarily a perfectly equal one.

And, I still like real weight distributions in things like CountryGirl's move of the spare tire to a mount in front of the TV, because it's a double win: one for the forward weight added and one for the rear weight removed.
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