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Old 07-05-2019, 03:42 PM   #1
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Safe Towing Speed?

What is the safe towing speed of these trailers BEFORE adding anti-sway / weight distribution hitches and AFTER?

I just recently pulled a Hymer Touring GT and was limited to 55mph for safety. There’s not good anti-sway options for it with its current surge brake setup.

Thinking of selling it for an Escape and want to know what I would gain.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:01 PM   #2
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While towing speed can affect the need for a WDH, it is needed more to distribute the weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle so it rides level.

I don't recall an Escape ever having trouble with sway, except in a couple cases where the tongue weight was too low, and that needs to be corrected with proper loading of the trailer to eliminate this.

For me the maximum towing speed is up too the rated speed of the tires for the given load and pressure, and only a bit more when needed for something like passing.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
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For me the maximum towing speed is up too the rated speed of the tires for the given load and pressure, and only a bit more when needed for something like passing.
Agreed. Note that if an ST tire does not have a speed rating on it (L=75 MPH, M=81MPH) then it is assumed to be 65 MPH. This is true of the stock ST 205/75R15 tires on my new 5.0 from ETI.

As a practical matter, I follow the posted speed limit for trucks if different than cars, or the tire speed rating whichever is less.

Assuming the trailer is properly loaded, I think that the set up of the Tow vehicle is the next critical variable in a safe tow. If the trailer load is right at the limit of the tow vehicle's tow rating and/or over payload capacity, safety margins will be compromised.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #4
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Not that they came on the Escape, but my Goodyear Endurance's are rated N, so I guess I can go up to 87 @ up to 80 psi. No idea if the speed rating changes for running ETI's called for 50 psi.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeromed View Post
What is the safe towing speed of these trailers BEFORE adding anti-sway / weight distribution hitches and AFTER?

I just recently pulled a Hymer Touring GT and was limited to 55mph for safety. There’s not good anti-sway options for it with its current surge brake setup.

Thinking of selling it for an Escape and want to know what I would gain.
Limited to 55 mph, by what exactly? Trailer owner's manual? Trailer felt unstable or was waggling?

A quick search turned up this page from e-trailer, in which they discuss the issue and give a list (at very bottom of page) of WD hitches with built-in sway control that they claim should work ok with a surge-braked trailer. https://www.etrailer.com/question-51522.html
But one might also be able to use a simple friction sway bar.

But first things first... if your Hymer felt unstable or gave you a sway problem, check your hitch weight; it needs to be 10%-15% of the total trailer weight. A too-light hitch is the leading cause of dangerous sway, but you should be able to remedy it by loading differently. I bet you can check it with a bathroom scale, it's probably not over the 300 (or 350) lb limit of such a scale.

If all else fails, I could take the Hymer off your hands for, oh, say $15 grand...
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Not that they came on the Escape, but my Goodyear Endurance's are rated N, so I guess I can go up to 87 @ up to 80 psi. No idea if the speed rating changes for running ETI's called for 50 psi.
No, it doesn't change. The speed rating applies as long as the tire is within its rated load and inflated to at least the minimum pressure for the actual load. 50 PSI is more than enough for any Escape.

But 80 PSI? That would be a Load Range E tire, which is a surprise. An Escape with a tire of the stock size (ST205/75R15) only needs a Load Range C (max inflation 50 PSI), and some have Load Range D (max inflation 65 PSI), but 80 PSI would be Load Range E, which Goodyear's load inflation table doesn't show as existing in the Endurance ST205/75R15. If these are ST225/75R15, they only need 35 PSI to meet the axle rating, and only 25 PSI to handle a 5.0TA at GVWR. Bob, if these are your 2017 tires, I think you mean 65 PSI, in ST205/75R15 Load Range D.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:51 PM   #7
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Hymer speed limit and balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
Limited to 55 mph, by what exactly? Trailer owner's manual? Trailer felt unstable or was waggling?
...
But first things first... if your Hymer felt unstable or gave you a sway problem, check your hitch weight; it needs to be 10%-15% of the total trailer weight. A too-light hitch is the leading cause of dangerous sway, but you should be able to remedy it by loading differently. I bet you can check it with a bathroom scale, it's probably not over the 300 (or 350) lb limit of such a scale.
The trailer (briefly) sold by Hymer North America is largely a copy of their European product. It probably comes with the same recommendations as in Europe, which would typically limit speed to about 90 km/h (55 mph) or even less, unless a sway-reduction device is used... which could be sway-reduction coupler, added shock absorbers in the trailer suspension, or an electronic trailer sway control feature in the tow vehicle or on the trailer.

I would not assume that 10% to 15% tongue weight is suitable for this trailer. Like other Euro trailers, the axle is located closer to the centre of the trailer than a typical North American trailer, so the tongue weight is lower... by design. While this reduces stability, masses are kept closer to the middle of the trailer to improve stability (no pair of propane tanks nearly on the coupler, for instance). The Hymer manual is important here.
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Old 07-06-2019, 05:11 AM   #8
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Early on I would set 60 mph as my max. Our 5.0TA is our first and probably last travel trailer. After putting some miles on our rig and finding it has impeccable towing manners, now I’ll do whatever the speed limit is. I check my air pressure in the am with a gauge and tire temp by feel at every stop.
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Bob, if these are your 2017 tires, I think you mean 65 PSI, in ST205/75R15 Load Range D.
My error, I looked at the 225's on the Goodyear website, didn't go out and check the trailer, which has a big "For Max Load Inflate To 65 PSI" written on the sides!
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:57 AM   #10
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My trailer tires have a much higher speed rating than I have .
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