Author Topic: Towing with a CAR  (Read 18107 times)

CmFtns

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2016, 11:10:44 AM »
Situation:
   - you are "at fault" in ANY car accident
   - someone dies
   - they were "valuable"
     (not that all human life isn't valuable but insurance is heartless ==> they earned good money and had lots of working years left)

End Result:
you will be sued into oblivion

does this keep people off the road?


I am 25 and I'm being sued right now because the car that I used to drive was handed down to my brother but was still in my name. He was at fault in a fender bender. Luckily the thieves in the other car and their shady lawyer's claims are within my insurance policies' limits but what if it was worse?

We accept risk in everything we do in life.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2016, 11:17:13 AM »
My 55lb ebike with a 250lb rider doing 20mph carries a lot less energy and meets legal requirements in this state. I'm not worried about that.

Potato/potatoe

I'm sorry, I really don't understand what you're going for here.

You seem to be trying to equate "towing a significant amount of weight exceeding a vehicle's tow rating" with "riding an electric bike I built that complies with the law in the state I live" in terms of liability exposure.  I think.

I don't see how this makes any sense at all.

I'm not building 40-60mph "ebikes" - mine do 20mph, and my commuter is 1000W, which is the legal limit in the state (my others put out less).  I've got strong dual piston hydraulic disc brakes on my commuter bike, and it's a mountain bike frame designed to take downhill abuse.

Could it kill someone?  Yes, I'm sure it could if I ran over an old lady.  But I believe it would be hard to argue that my bike construction is negligent.

If I put 2000 lbs of trailer behind a car rated to tow 1000 lbs in my locality, or with a "towing not recommended" rating, it's slightly easier to argue that I was negligent if I manage to kill someone with the arrangement.

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2016, 11:19:40 AM »
My 55lb ebike with a 250lb rider doing 20mph carries a lot less energy and meets legal requirements in this state. I'm not worried about that.

Potato/potatoe

Are you trying to equate liability for an e-bike that meets all legal requirements to liability for towing in excess of published manufacturer specifications?

The fact that the bike meets legal requirements is largely irrelevant (but I do recall that it was designed to do 60 MPH....). It is not illegal to tow with a car with no tow rating.

Using equipment outside of the manufacturer specs is either litigious or it is not, you can't have it both ways.

If you are being stupid/reckless in the way you drive an ebike or tow a trailer, you open yourself to being sued is my point. Regardless of tow rating.

You will be perfectly fine towing your trailer with mulch from the store to your house even if you don't use a F150.

I do agree with other posters that I would not tow unreasonable amount with a car.

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2016, 11:26:51 AM »

If I put 2000 lbs of trailer behind a car rated to tow 1000 lbs in my locality, or with a "towing not recommended" rating, it's slightly easier to argue that I was negligent if I manage to kill someone with the arrangement.

Yeah sure, but this is the equivalent of riding the sidewalk going 60 MPH with an ebike while blindfolded.

Towing can be done safely even if your car has no "tow rating".

I think that we agree on the principle, we just disagree on exactly where the line is.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2016, 11:30:14 AM »
The fact that the bike meets legal requirements is largely irrelevant (but I do recall that it was designed to do 60 MPH....). It is not illegal to tow with a car with no tow rating.

What the hell?  If you're talking about me, you recall very wrongly.

I've never built an ebike to do 60mph.  I think the people who do that are idiots.

My "heavy" bike is a 20mph, 1000W build geared for climbing hills.  http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/05/my-second-ebike-properly-good-build.html  It's a Washington-legal build.

My other one is a ~18mph, 500W iZip.

The one I'm finishing up currently is a 20mph, 350W BionX based build.

And I've got a 12-15mph, 200W Tailwind loaned to a friend.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #55 on: February 18, 2016, 11:31:39 AM »
Yeah sure, but this is the equivalent of riding the sidewalk going 60 MPH with an ebike while blindfolded.

What the actual fuck are you on about?

I don't have a bike that can do 60mph unless you drop it out of an airplane.  I don't ride on the sidewalk either.

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #56 on: February 18, 2016, 11:46:15 AM »
Yeah sure, but this is the equivalent of riding the sidewalk going 60 MPH with an ebike while blindfolded.

What the actual fuck are you on about?

I don't have a bike that can do 60mph unless you drop it out of an airplane.  I don't ride on the sidewalk either.

Lol, I think we are misunderstanding each other. I was not saying that you did any of those things.


DarinC

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2016, 12:17:29 PM »
I wouldn't let one anecdote scare you. This person was using a large towing rig and towing down a steep mountain pass. Not stated but probably the case was that he wasn't using the best judgement on speed. Hauling across a flat town short distances using properly sized towing equipment for your vehicle can be very safe to do. I have a ball hitch on my Honda Civic that I can pull a small trailer behind. It can more than safely haul an appliance or some sheets of plywood across town and save me a $50 delivery fee every single time. In the fifteen years I've had my 'rig', I've more than saved the cost of the hitch, wiring and trailer by a factor of ten or more. I also wouldn't even dream of hauling something down a steep mountain pass with it.
The speeding was I think implied in this comment.

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index.php?s=dd5a7704190349dca6e24216e40584cc&showtopic=24262&view=findpost&p=412080

I totally agree about the situation. Anyone who kills someone else while speeding and towing a trailer that exceeds the maximum statutory limits would be in for a world of trouble.

http://www.eyershitch.com/california-towing-laws.html

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/28423ba0-bba6-4347-9e21-db274e970772/dl648.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

On the other hand, a 2000lb vehicle with a 1000lb trailer diving 55mph would not be violating any CA laws I'm aware of. Exceeding the manufacturer's tow ratings is only an issue when that rating is the same as the statutory limit, and by exceeding that weight limit you also break the law.

daverobev

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2016, 12:52:55 PM »
NA tow ratings are ridiculous.

See: http://www.uktow.com/towing%20capacity.asp?make=Honda&model1=Civic

Vs my car: a body-on-frame V8, Crown Victoria: Rated for 1500 lbs.

Goldielocks

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2016, 07:10:52 PM »
NA tow ratings are ridiculous.

See: http://www.uktow.com/towing%20capacity.asp?make=Honda&model1=Civic

Vs my car: a body-on-frame V8, Crown Victoria: Rated for 1500 lbs.

Ah!  Finally someone pointed out the reason I am cautious about towing with unrated vehicles -- Unistrut body design is much different from Body on Frame.  They are not designed for point loads, so the bolt on systems have to distribute the load across multiple points, but it still is putting stress (just less) on those multiple points.

The vehicles with a tow rating and unibody construction have taken this into account in their frame design.  Therefore, if the vehicle has a tow rating in EU, and from your initial research has the same frame as that sold in the US, then I think you have a good chance to tow (small) loads safely.

That said, of course any unibody car can two a small trailer...   But whether it does damage to your car, is hard to control if overweight, or is hard for your vehicle to apply braking safely --- these are the primary questions.

My best tip for anyone thinking of this -- just buy a very small trailer to prevent overweighting it.   It is so easy to overload a mid size trailer with wet compost, demolition materials, or heck, bricks.

Making Cookies

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2016, 09:22:14 PM »
http://www.fordrangerforum.com/general-ford-ranger-discussion/8433-whats-heaviest-trailer-pulled-ranger.html

Scroll down to the white S-10 Blazer towing the gooseneck camper. Look at the hitch fabrication...

Making Cookies

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2016, 09:36:30 PM »

daverobev

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2016, 03:04:25 PM »
http://www.fordrangerforum.com/general-ford-ranger-discussion/8433-whats-heaviest-trailer-pulled-ranger.html

Scroll down to the white S-10 Blazer towing the gooseneck camper. Look at the hitch fabrication...

First pic: hmmmmmm
Second pic: oh god
Third pic: belly laugh

hankscorpio84

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2016, 04:33:06 PM »
NA tow ratings are ridiculous.

See: http://www.uktow.com/towing%20capacity.asp?make=Honda&model1=Civic

Vs my car: a body-on-frame V8, Crown Victoria: Rated for 1500 lbs.

Ah!  Finally someone pointed out the reason I am cautious about towing with unrated vehicles -- Unistrut body design is much different from Body on Frame.  They are not designed for point loads, so the bolt on systems have to distribute the load across multiple points, but it still is putting stress (just less) on those multiple points.

The vehicles with a tow rating and unibody construction have taken this into account in their frame design.  Therefore, if the vehicle has a tow rating in EU, and from your initial research has the same frame as that sold in the US, then I think you have a good chance to tow (small) loads safely.

That said, of course any unibody car can two a small trailer...   But whether it does damage to your car, is hard to control if overweight, or is hard for your vehicle to apply braking safely --- these are the primary questions.

My best tip for anyone thinking of this -- just buy a very small trailer to prevent overweighting it.   It is so easy to overload a mid size trailer with wet compost, demolition materials, or heck, bricks.

Goldilocks and daverobev nailed it here.  Most fuel-efficient, FWD compact cars are unibody, making any attachments to the "frame" impractical.  A good example of the "point loads" that goldilocks described is that these types of cars have designated points for jacking the car up - if you put the jack any other place and try to lift the car, you'll probably punch a hole in the car.  If I were to DIY any attachment to a unibody I would go way overkill with attachment points and oversized washers to lessen the point load on each.


BlueMR2

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #64 on: March 12, 2016, 07:04:39 AM »
I won't say what your car can or can't do.  I will say look at your GVWR (on the door) and make sure that you don't exceed it.

That's a fun exercise, many people are surprised when I point out the GVWR.  Few vehicles I've seen recently can even have average size adults in all the seats without going over the GVWR!  Nevermind adding any tongue weight from a trailer!

Another fun with GVWR fact is that some SUVs not too long back were over 6,000lbs.  There are a lot of roads around here where 6,000lb GVWR vehicles are not allowed to drive!  For a bit the police were making some extra money for the city by pulling those people over.  :-)  It was a big deal at the time.  I don't think they're actively enforcing it anymore as I've not heard anything recently.   I'm also not up to speed on if perhaps the manufacturers just dropped the GVWR lower on newer models?

Making Cookies

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2016, 12:14:47 PM »
NA tow ratings are ridiculous.

See: http://www.uktow.com/towing%20capacity.asp?make=Honda&model1=Civic

Vs my car: a body-on-frame V8, Crown Victoria: Rated for 1500 lbs.

Ah!  Finally someone pointed out the reason I am cautious about towing with unrated vehicles -- Unistrut body design is much different from Body on Frame.  They are not designed for point loads, so the bolt on systems have to distribute the load across multiple points, but it still is putting stress (just less) on those multiple points.

The vehicles with a tow rating and unibody construction have taken this into account in their frame design.  Therefore, if the vehicle has a tow rating in EU, and from your initial research has the same frame as that sold in the US, then I think you have a good chance to tow (small) loads safely.

That said, of course any unibody car can two a small trailer...   But whether it does damage to your car, is hard to control if overweight, or is hard for your vehicle to apply braking safely --- these are the primary questions.

My best tip for anyone thinking of this -- just buy a very small trailer to prevent overweighting it.   It is so easy to overload a mid size trailer with wet compost, demolition materials, or heck, bricks.

Goldilocks and daverobev nailed it here.  Most fuel-efficient, FWD compact cars are unibody, making any attachments to the "frame" impractical.  A good example of the "point loads" that goldilocks described is that these types of cars have designated points for jacking the car up - if you put the jack any other place and try to lift the car, you'll probably punch a hole in the car.  If I were to DIY any attachment to a unibody I would go way overkill with attachment points and oversized washers to lessen the point load on each.

No, don't do this. ;)

I put a Valley trailer hitch on a car I owned that relied on this method. It bolted to the bottom of the spare tire well. Fast forward a few years and all the drilled holes had cracks radiating from those holes despite the big thick washers. At the end it flexed all over. The hitch was rigid but the mounting points were not.

I have a Curt hitch that relies on factory holes in the rear frame members on our CR-V. Now several years later and alot of towing miles - no flexing, no steel distortion, no loosening of hardware, etc. Good hitch and the right way to mount it to the vehicle.

The factory OEM hitch for our year CR-V relied on something similar to the Valley hitch and it too might have failed with cracking around the mount points in a few years.

A quick Internet search shows that the market has spoken and I can't find that flawed Valley or original Honda hitches for sale. Everyone seems to be doing building quality hitches similar to Curt which is good.

DarinC

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #66 on: March 20, 2016, 04:41:26 PM »
It depends on the car too. I have an old unibody VW Rabbit with a tow hitch. It has two mounting holes for the bumper, which is pretty solid, and 3 holes to mount to the body, 1 for the spare tire well, and another on each side of the trunk. No cracking that I'm aware of, but most of the force is on the two bolts/bumper/frame rails.

SwordGuy

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #67 on: March 20, 2016, 05:50:12 PM »
I just bought such a trailer from Harbor Freight.  I've already had a tow hitch installed on my car, I just have to assemble the trailer and get it licensed.  (Received the title in the mail yesterday.)

So, clearly, I think this will be useful.  I intend to use it for building supplies.  Things like sheet rock, hardie board siding, 2x4s, plywood, etc.   I'll still have major deliveries delivered because it's a better usage of my time vs. the cost to have thousands of dollars worth of stuff delivered at one time.

But let me tell you a story of a trip I made some years back.   I wanted to put in 3/4" hardwood flooring into my home in Atlanta.   I had found a factory distributor about 60 miles away where I could get a much, much better price.    So I rented a small uhaul trailer and drove up to the store.  I loaded it up with a bit of trepidation and started my drive home down I-75.    I stayed in the right lane and traveled at the minimum allowable speed, 45mph.  I felt quite safe.

I was dead wrong.  I just didn't know it and I got lucky.  I guess that makes it "alive wrong".

As I got closer to Atlanta I hit some stop and go traffic.   The traffic stopped suddenly when I didn't expect it.  I was going 15 miles per hour.   I slammed on the brakes.

The weight in the UHaul lifted my car's tires up in the air high enough that they no longer provided any traction of any sort.  My car just kept moving as the inertia in that load pushed it forward.

God help me if I had tried to suddenly change speed or direction at any higher speed.

So, multiple trips to the store and back are better than one trip with a very heavy load.



Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2016, 05:57:33 PM »
Or find a friend with a truck and see if they're interested in either loaning you the truck.

I've certainly helped people haul large/bulky stuff in exchange for diesel & beer.  Up to about 3000 lbs?  In the bed.  Beyond that?  Let's get a competent trailer and I can tow up to 14k.

daverobev

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2016, 06:11:40 PM »
I just bought such a trailer from Harbor Freight.  I've already had a tow hitch installed on my car, I just have to assemble the trailer and get it licensed.  (Received the title in the mail yesterday.)

So, clearly, I think this will be useful.  I intend to use it for building supplies.  Things like sheet rock, hardie board siding, 2x4s, plywood, etc.   I'll still have major deliveries delivered because it's a better usage of my time vs. the cost to have thousands of dollars worth of stuff delivered at one time.

But let me tell you a story of a trip I made some years back.   I wanted to put in 3/4" hardwood flooring into my home in Atlanta.   I had found a factory distributor about 60 miles away where I could get a much, much better price.    So I rented a small uhaul trailer and drove up to the store.  I loaded it up with a bit of trepidation and started my drive home down I-75.    I stayed in the right lane and traveled at the minimum allowable speed, 45mph.  I felt quite safe.

I was dead wrong.  I just didn't know it and I got lucky.  I guess that makes it "alive wrong".

As I got closer to Atlanta I hit some stop and go traffic.   The traffic stopped suddenly when I didn't expect it.  I was going 15 miles per hour.   I slammed on the brakes.

The weight in the UHaul lifted my car's tires up in the air high enough that they no longer provided any traction of any sort.  My car just kept moving as the inertia in that load pushed it forward.

God help me if I had tried to suddenly change speed or direction at any higher speed.

So, multiple trips to the store and back are better than one trip with a very heavy load.

Uh which wheels went up in the air? How much weight did you have?! You MUST balance a load to give the right amount on the tongue. This isn't about being over weight (though you may have been).

You see it *all the time* with trucks towing trailers of all sorts, cars pulling caravans (UK speak), minivans pulling popup trailers, etc. The car/truck and hitch should tell you what weight should be on the tongue. For my car/hitch it's supposed to be about 75 lbs IIRC. Obviously stuff in the trailer mustn't slide around either!

If you look at a vehicle and trailer, if the rear wheels arches of the vehicle are visibly much lower than before, you're doing it wrong. There's going to be *some* movement of course.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #70 on: March 23, 2016, 04:18:10 AM »
It seems pretty straightforward, tow less than the manufacturer requires and cover your arse in case something happens.

If you want to tow thousands of kilograms, get something rated to tow it.

Although, the grey nomads used to tow caravans around Australia with big sedans for decades until SUVs became popular.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #71 on: March 24, 2016, 12:53:52 PM »
The subject has been pretty well covered, but I'll add that I put a hitch on my 2008 Corolla (rated for 1500 lbs) about a year ago and have used it many times to haul modest loads around town using a 4x8 utility trailer as well as utilizing the hitch to attach a cargo rack and bike rack at times. The hitch is extremely useful and I will probably add one immediately to my next car vs. waiting years to do so.  With a properly loaded tongue, the trailer pulls like a dream, only requiring slightly more clutch slip than usual to get off the line. 

I plan on testing it this spring with a canoe strapped to the trailer.  My only concern is tail wag induced by wind/truck wake. 

I have not pulled the trailer far enough to determine gas mileage, but other reports I have found suggest mileage might drop from the usual 35 mph to the mid 20's which would negate most of the benefits of using the smaller car with a trailer vs. a larger vehicle without a trailer, if one already owns the larger vehicle. 

My car has a manual transmission which helps mitigate some of the transmission overheating concerns with an automatic, but my next car will probably be an automatic.  The 2011 Camry with an automatic is the last with a tow rating.  The 2012 and later models do not have a rating and get slightly better gas mileage.  I assume this probably has to do with some changes to the drivetrain.  Probably not a big deal if you are only running to the store for a few sheets of plywood, but raises some concern if the purpose of your towing is to pull several weeks worth of camping gear halfway across the country while loaded to the gills with 4 passengers and a full trunk.  I have not cross referenced the 2012+ Camry's with other models that may share the same drivetrain, but even this may not be reliable considering the possible differences in programming for shift points, etc.