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Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...

Posted by Mad Matt F 
Mad Matt F
Matt Follett
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 24, 2015 03:58PM
exactly... and if you think that single axle under the fifth is doing THAT much more braking then an axle in front of a ball hauling all of 3000lbs of rally car...

good trailer with good brakes, either surge or well set up electrics... and pull with a toyota tercel, it doesn't matter. get the brakes right.

probably half the "incidents" are brakeless trailers being pulled by "trucks"

sorry AJ, your road knowledge may differ... but i don't see the size of the tow machine (in particular engine size) being the problem
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GB
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GB
Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 24, 2015 05:49PM
Quote
AaronJMcConnell
I would suggest you get real and get yourself an appropriate vehicle for the loads that you're hauling. If you need a van, get a Duramax van. If that's out of your price range, find a Powerstroke van. I'm a heavy haul truck driver and I see a lot of incidents caused by or involving meager tow vehicle setups. Do what you want but I hope you're never in a situation of regret due to poor vehicle choice. Good luck.

I would agree with the set up part that is key in safe towing. Proper set-up always includes a weight distribution hitch, brake controller, separate sway control bar(s) (if not part of the WD hitch), proper air pressure in the vehicle tires and trailer tires. Most places if you are towing anything over 3000 lbs you need to have trailer brakes and a brake controller.

I would like to know the specifics to these incidents that you have seen because the ones that I have been involved in investigating involved 1/2T, 3/4T, 1T p-up trucks or full size SUVs and camping trailers. In 100% of the cases the conclusion was either incorrect set up or excessive speed for what they were towing. You would be surprised how many of the people provided statements to the police of "I didn't think I needed a brake controller or WD as I have a 3/4T truck" but they were towing 6K lbs ??!!?

Just for back ground info I am employed as a forensic engineer by our provincial road authority (department of transportation) and work with police forces around the province all the time investigating collisions as well as testifying in court as an expert witness in cases where charges have been laid.

It's not always what it appears until you actually look into the incident.



...If you don't go off at least once a season you are not trying hard enough...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2015 06:12PM by GB.
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GB
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GB
Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 24, 2015 06:09PM
Quote
Mad Matt F
Sorry Aj... but this was point of my original post.


i started "pullin'" at age 17, before i was legal to get my heavy license. i started a post here again about the diff between Europe and NA towing capacity... I'll get it done after Christmas. GD's towing setup would be completely cool here in real mountains... with real grades.


NA needs to get over needing 400 hp and 7000 lbs to pull 3000 lbs...

The only real difference of trailers in Europe and NA is the way they are designed for tongue weight. Euro trailers need max 6% tongue weight while NA trailers need 10-15% tongue weight (other than boat trailers they are around 6% as well). Most 20ft - 23ft trailers are same weight in both places (3000 to 5000 lbs). That is why we in NA need weight distribution hitches to get some of that weight of the rear axle of the vehicle back to the front axle and to the trailer axle(s). Also most of europe has max speeds when towing a trailer for personal vehicles and commercial vehicles.



...If you don't go off at least once a season you are not trying hard enough...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2015 06:10PM by GB.
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 24, 2015 08:27PM
Quote
GB
Quote
AaronJMcConnell
I would suggest you get real and get yourself an appropriate vehicle for the loads that you're hauling. If you need a van, get a Duramax van. If that's out of your price range, find a Powerstroke van. I'm a heavy haul truck driver and I see a lot of incidents caused by or involving meager tow vehicle setups. Do what you want but I hope you're never in a situation of regret due to poor vehicle choice. Good luck.

I would agree with the set up part that is key in safe towing. Proper set-up always includes a weight distribution hitch, brake controller, separate sway control bar(s) (if not part of the WD hitch), proper air pressure in the vehicle tires and trailer tires. Most places if you are towing anything over 3000 lbs you need to have trailer brakes and a brake controller.

I would like to know the specifics to these incidents that you have seen because the ones that I have been involved in investigating involved 1/2T, 3/4T, 1T p-up trucks or full size SUVs and camping trailers. In 100% of the cases the conclusion was either incorrect set up or excessive speed for what they were towing. You would be surprised how many of the people provided statements to the police of "I didn't think I needed a brake controller or WD as I have a 3/4T truck" but they were towing 6K lbs ??!!?

Just for back ground info I am employed as a forensic engineer by our provincial road authority (department of transportation) and work with police forces around the province all the time investigating collisions as well as testifying in court as an expert witness in cases where charges have been laid.

It's not always what it appears until you actually look into the incident.

Somewhat related in a contributory way: I read a review of the White Paper that Parliament in England commissioned before the introduction of the MOT test...It was looking into the need to have this whole vehicle inspection regime---and I'm sure there are many who would say "it's a no brainer--do it."
That report of thousands of accidents on British roads found that "mechanical faults" were "a cause" of accidents in approx 5-6% of the crashes... Pretty small %...Interestingly worn out tires were included as "mechanical faults" and crap tires constituted something over 40% of the faults..

And anybody who has driven in Britian knows: dense traffic, dark, narrow roads, crap visibility both in town and out often, fawking raining like piss frequenty, high speeds, did I mention dense traffic?
In sum, logic leads us to if tires was circa 40+% of 5-6%

then 95% of the crashes were not related to equipment..

People did something stupid....which is why I avoid the term "accident" and prefer "car crash"...

That report is reinforced by my own experience is racing motorcycles where I rode a tremendous amount of time--often 6-15 hours a week.....and observing others from complete noobs to the absolute best drivers in the whole world--frequently there would be World Championship level guys, ex World Champions, ex-vice world champions etc out at the same time.
Thousands of hours of dedicated practice and very serious study.....

And quite literally thousands of crashes....
Never once can I remember a mechanical fault being in any way contributory to a crash...

WE crashed...WE did something stupid. A choice, or a nonchalance about something, mostly errors in braking or over agressive corning...

I always say to people now, "unlike a bike which must be in motion to stay upright, all these cars parked here are not all by themselves spontaneously flipping...They only can possibly crash if somebody gets in, starts them and makes them crash.."

That's why I barrow Hippocrates instructions to doctors "First, do no harm" modded to "First, do no stupid"...

Of course here in America nobody can ever do anything wrong, personal error has been purged from the brains of all real Americans....If something is even slightly unpleasant, then it is the fault of somebody else, and they must pay for the harm they have wrought....preferably pay a lot..

From another cultural perspective, the whole "Gotta have a 4WD 1 ton with a 7 point some thing turbo diesel and a trailer that easily could haul a back-hoe" is right in line with the perennial American clich├ęd over-dependence on equipment in every undertaking they have ever done---from tune ups to fighting wars when they eventually finally get around to it (because they have to spend such time and energy building up overwhelming amounts of hardware far in excess of others involved--all the way to this little pass-time "sport".......always much more belief in equipent being the answer...

Not the efficient utilization of what the rest of the world seems to managed to make do with very often a lot better.

So back to crashes: human errors, from mistaken beliefs, and probable poor reasoning leading a person to think "Well I bought THIS, that's all i needed to do"
The flipped SUV in light snow syndrome.

Whatever..I still long for a nice Transit with a 2.5 turbo intercooled diesel with that 6 speed...And then stay awake while driving.



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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 09:25AM
for me it is the best i can afford. i have about $3k in an 03 E350xlt sd with 300K on the chassis and 30k on the engine and trans. it will do more than just tow a race car, i will haul stuff in it, use it as an out building and camp in it at events, not to mention taking folks on the Ikea run from time to time.

i was looking for a solid 1/2 ton when this thing came along for the money i said why not !



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Pete
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 02:20PM
Quote
GB
From my experience towing camping travel trailers, at this point have covered over 100K mi in north america & europe, most people I run into that tow anything of significant size feel you need a full size 3/4T or 1T truck to be "safe". From many conversations these people are basing the 'safety' part on the fact the tow vehicle has to maintain the speed limit 65, 70, 75mph or more up a grade regardless of how steep it is. If the tow vehicle slows down then it must be POS and it is not "safe". I can see how road racers towing might feel the Sprinter is POS for towing as if you are towing a enclosed trailer it will slow down on significant grades, due to fact you are towing a wall behind you. Also another impression is if you get low mpg's than it is not a capable tow vehicle.

Shit, in that case the ultimate tow rig is a 4-liter Ranger/B4000. I borrowed an extended cab 4x4 and a STEEL deck trailer (heavier than sin!) to haul an RX-7 once. It would maintain 65mph up the hills in 5th easily, but if you dropped below 65 then you had to downshift. Returned a hair over 20mpg loaded, too.

Wasn't as scary as towing with a Durango, either. Hell, it accelerated better too.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/2015 02:24PM by Pete.
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 07:00PM
Tad Ohtake, would dolly his FWD escort to events with a 2wd ranger extra cab seemed to do the job well enough. a lightweight trailer well set up would have worked out too i would think. its not far from an astro van towing a trailer.



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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 07:34PM
Quote
tdrrally
Tad Ohtake, would dolly his FWD escort to events with a 2wd ranger extra cab seemed to do the job well enough. a lightweight trailer well set up would have worked out too i would think. its not far from an astro van towing a trailer.

Dollys for the win.

Simply don't understand the fixation with trailers big enough for D9 Cats

Dolly done me well.



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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 08:04PM
Quote
john vanlandingham
Quote
tdrrally
Tad Ohtake, would dolly his FWD escort to events with a 2wd ranger extra cab seemed to do the job well enough. a lightweight trailer well set up would have worked out too i would think. its not far from an astro van towing a trailer.

Dollys for the win.

Simply don't understand the fixation with trailers big enough for D9 Cats

Dolly done me well.

I have hauled a lot with a dolly, and they are pretty good. But some of us use the trailers to haul more than just a rally car. Mine's had multiple SUVs, a few tractors, and 10,000+ lbs of hay on it a time or two smiling smiley
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 11:37PM
Quote
Robert Culbertson
Quote
john vanlandingham
Quote
tdrrally
Tad Ohtake, would dolly his FWD escort to events with a 2wd ranger extra cab seemed to do the job well enough. a lightweight trailer well set up would have worked out too i would think. its not far from an astro van towing a trailer.

Dollys for the win.

Simply don't understand the fixation with trailers big enough for D9 Cats

Dolly done me well.

I have hauled a lot with a dolly, and they are pretty good. But some of us use the trailers to haul more than just a rally car. Mine's had multiple SUVs, a few tractors, and 10,000+ lbs of hay on it a time or two smiling smiley

Well I suppose if the subject was what sort of all round industrial level TRAILER is needed then maybe then it would make sense.
But a 3,5 ton capacity to haul a 1200-1300kg rally car----doesn't that seem just a little odd?



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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 26, 2015 11:51PM
Since everyone is talking about tow rigs...if someone is starting the whole rallyist thing from scratch should they focus on getting a tow vehicle first or the actual rally car??? I need a new vehicle, but I'm not sure what I should invest in, a volvo or something to drag it around.
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 27, 2015 05:54AM
Quote
LexusFman
Since everyone is talking about tow rigs...if someone is starting the whole rallyist thing from scratch should they focus on getting a tow vehicle first or the actual rally car??? I need a new vehicle, but I'm not sure what I should invest in, a volvo or something to drag it around.

good point, cart before the horse. i have DD my rally cars in the past then got the tow rig later. the nice thing about getting the tow rig first is you can drive it while building the rally car. a good minivan will do both jobs well enough if you respect the limits. but you can dd the rally car and rent a truck and dolly/ trailer when needed. the cost of renting for one event for me is about 1/3 of what i have in my van so i got the van but the rally car is studio getting built as we speak. down side to DD a rally car is when you brake it. the choice is yours either way i would have a second or backup car to get to work when the race car is down.



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john vanlandingham
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 27, 2015 07:56AM
Quote
LexusFman
Since everyone is talking about tow rigs...if someone is starting the whole rallyist thing from scratch should they focus on getting a tow vehicle first or the actual rally car??? I need a new vehicle, but I'm not sure what I should invest in, a volvo or something to drag it around.

You can drive a car but you can't rally a service rig.

Obviously a) solid car to get you to work
b) rally car
c) figure out if you have enough money, co-driver-time off,
d) then figure out how to NOT drive the rally car

I drove rally car to events from '86 to fall 95...

and I had either 5.83:1 or 5.43:1 final drive...ain't the hottest for cruise with a 4 speed.

Shortest distance one way to rally HQ: 30 miles
Longest: 845 miles



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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 27, 2015 08:42AM
my first rally i drove a best of three cars rabbit to the ohio valley forest rally rallied all night then drove home, my co driver and crew guy followed me and we had a plan for my buds to come get us if we broke. it was only about a two drive one way so not to far from home.



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AaronJMcConnell
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Re: Tow vehicle, I wanna know whazz up...
December 27, 2015 10:25AM
Mad Matt F,
In your original post you mentioned building a GM van with an Isuzu diesel. I think an even better idea would be to build the same van but use a 3.9L Cummins 4bt. Huge market for these engines from bread vans to forklifts to gensets. Very easy to increase power, easy to install an exhaust brake and you can use the syncromesh gearboxes from the Dodge pickups like the nv4500 5 spd or the nv5600 6 spd. The cooler option is to use an sae #2 flywheel and bellhousing and bolt up a medium duty non syncro 10 or 13 spd. A setup like that with trailer brakes and sway bars would be badass and still get very good fuel mileage with all of the advantages that a van body offers for rallying.
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