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Old 06-09-2015, 06:25 PM   #1
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Safe towing speed

What do the forum members think a safe towing speed is.
I know it varies with road conditions, weather, tow vehicle, how busy the traffic is, etc.
U-HAUL recommends 45 mph.
I usually tow at about 55 mph. I'm on vacation...what's the rush.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:33 PM   #2
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Safe towing speed

U-haul recommends 45 mph when towing one of their crappy rental trailers because it cuts down on maintenance as well as accidents for the first time mover who rents one. 45 towing (on the highway) is insane imho with a modern and well equipped rig. At that speed you present an obstacle and a danger to other drivers who are trying to travel near the speed limit, not to mention the maniacs who are going way over that.

I think you answered your own question. It varies based on all the factors you mentioned, as well as driver experience, vehicle condition and overall competence.

We get passed like we are standing still for most of our trips, even though we were traveling predominantly with the flow of traffic or only slightly slower- 55-60 on secondary highways, and 60-65 on interstates.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:37 PM   #3
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Quoted off the Carlisle web site, makers of the tires ETI put on my trailer.

How fast can I travel on Carlisle trailer tires?
In the past, most trailer tires were rated at 62 or 65 mph. Today, some of our tires are "rated" (speed symbols) at 87 mph (N), some at 75 mph (L), some at 65 mph (J: ST tires) and some at 62 mph (J: non-metric tires).

Please remember that speed ratings are test speeds and not recommended driving speeds. The ratings apply only to the tire itself, and not a particular vehicle. The speed rating does not mean that the vehicle can be safely operated at the tire's rated speed.

We recommend driving no more than 60 mph when towing a trailer. Please always drive at a safe speed and abide by the posted speed limit.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:15 PM   #4
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We tow our 5.0 TA at 90 kmh. (55 mph)

For me it ain't the maximum towing speed but the ability to safely stop the trailer, that is more important.

I have towed at 100-110 kmh but would rather stay at 90 kmh.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:08 PM   #5
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On a recent cross country trip of 7,000 miles I experienced better gas mileage at 62 mph of 14-15 mpg towing versus 11-12 at 75 mph. Something to think about. Also premium fuel without ethanol was sought out and seemed to help.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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60 mph. On my initial trip I tried towing at 55 mph to help with gas mileage, but it just made a long day of towing even longer, thus increasing the fatigue factor. So sixty seems to be it. I get at least 13 mpg towing at sixty, sometimes more.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:29 PM   #7
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The best and safest speed is the one that most of the traffic is doing. This results in less chance of conflict with other vehicles. Of course, when going too fast, it is not advisable, as on some freeways.

I always do at least the speed limit to be courteous to other drivers, and sometimes a bit over, but rarely any more than 10 kph. 120kph (75 kph) is the fastest I will do, even if traffic is going faster, as that is the fastest rated speed for my Goodyear Marathons, plus is the top of where I like to tow anyway.

Some of it depends on what I am towing with. My Pilot is more than adequate at towing, but really suffers in fuel economy, especially on hills, in the wind, or when going fast. The difference in fuel economy going from 100 to 120 is very noticeable. With the F-350 diesel, the difference is minimal as speed is increased, but it still does affect it. On average towing, the F-350 gets somewhat better fuel economy than the Pilot, but not towing the Pilot wins by a long shot.

Towing to Osoyoos and back home, I averaged just under 17 litres/100 km, which is near 17 miles/gal IMP, or 15 miles/gal US. This was doing anywhere from 90 to 120 kph for the most part, and through a few mountain ranges.

I yearn for the day when getting somewhere in good time is no longer an issue for me.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:16 PM   #8
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Whatever is lesser, speed limit or max 110 kph (68 mph). Down steep hills on highway max 80 kph.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:40 AM   #9
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Here's a list of the legal towing speeds in each state. They range from 55mph to 65mph, but I don't know how strict enforcement is in the 55mph states, or what the insurance consequences would be for accidents proven to have occurred at a speed higher than the legal limit.

http://onlinetowingguide.com/pdfs/StateTowingLaws.pdf
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:55 AM   #10
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Missing one state, Wyoming? wonder why...I just drove thru 19 of these states and there were less than 2-3 that posted specifically trailer limits, otherwise it was nothing but one number or 2 numbers for cars vs trucks.That is not to say the list is not correct but if they can specifically tell us that rv's or cars towing trailers need to park with the trucks at rest stops then perhaps they can also splurge and post these limits, maybe just at the borders when entering.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Missing one state, Wyoming? wonder why...I just drove thru 19 of these states and there were less than 2-3 that posted specifically trailer limits, otherwise it was nothing but one number or 2 numbers for cars vs trucks.That is not to say the list is not correct but if they can specifically tell us that rv's or cars towing trailers need to park with the trucks at rest stops then perhaps they can also splurge and post these limits, maybe just at the borders when entering.
Ignorance is not a defense. It's up to the driver of a motor vehicle to know the law. While taking a driving test provides basic information and instruction it does not provide all information necessary to be a defensive driver. For instance, double-towing. It's illegal by regular drivers in Oregon. It's not posted at the borders and it's not in the basic Driver's Manual. But, find out what happens if you try it in Oregon. It's the same with all towing laws... if you're driving in my state or any state, educate yourself.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:27 AM   #12
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My point being that the money being spent to create signs at rest stops to categorize rv's can also be spent posting the speed limit for towing rv's, simple solution to get the info out there.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
My point being that the money being spent to create signs at rest stops to categorize rv's can also be spent posting the speed limit for towing rv's, simple solution to get the info out there.
I would assume that along this line, if there were specific speed limits for towing trailers, it would be posted anyway. I would certainly hope so, unless the intent was entrapment. There is no way that anyone could possibly know all the traffic laws of every jurisdiction across North America.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:23 AM   #14
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On the interstates I prefer towing the posted limit for trucks. If car and truck limits are the same I'll move to the “Ole Codger Lane” and stay a couple MPH under which gives me more reaction time for changes in traffic. On secondary roads, (two lane roads), though, I'll tow at the posted limit.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
Here's a list of the legal towing speeds in each state. They range from 55mph to 65mph, but I don't know how strict enforcement is in the 55mph states, or what the insurance consequences would be for accidents proven to have occurred at a speed higher than the legal limit.

http://onlinetowingguide.com/pdfs/StateTowingLaws.pdf
At least some of the speed limits here are not correct. For another version see: https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/trailer-speed-limits/

In Arizona the posted speed limits apply to ALL vehicles (cars, trucks, towing, semis) unless otherwise posted. There are some long grades with lower truck limits clearly posted.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:51 AM   #16
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Ignorance is not a defense. It's up to the driver of a motor vehicle to know the law. While taking a driving test provides basic information and instruction it does not provide all information necessary to be a defensive driver. For instance, double-towing. It's illegal by regular drivers in Oregon. It's not posted at the borders and it's not in the basic Driver's Manual. But, find out what happens if you try it in Oregon. It's the same with all towing laws... if you're driving in my state or any state, educate yourself.
I agree with Donna. For example as most of you know or should know most provinces and states have implemented laws that you must slow down or move over a lane away from a emergency or maintenance vehicle on the highway. I notice that driving the interstates this year that most people are observing this even if there is any kind of vehicle parked on the shoulder.

I recently found out my own province's law calls for not only moving over but you must also slow down, even if far from the emergency/maintenance vehicle, Also in MB due to the death of a flag person a few years ago, all posted speeds must be observed in construction zones whether workers are present or not, and the fines doubled. I found that out myself.

I try not to tow over 110kph, and that only on occasion, otherwise around 100. It will be tough to watch everyone flying by next time going south since SD just increased their limit to 80 mph on the interstates there.

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Old 06-10-2015, 12:25 PM   #17
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Our sweet spot for towing is 62 mph. We use the Tow/Haul feature and set cruise. The Sierra/Silverado has a "grade breaking" feature that does a good job of maintaining speed going down grades. It works well for us and our 5.0TA!
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:59 PM   #18
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When in doubt read the manual On p. 18 with a warning in all caps etc. it states that ST tires are restricted to 100 KMH ...."and therefore Escape Trailer Industries recommends restricting your towing speed to a maximum 100KMH. NEVER EXCEED POSTED SPEED LIMITS."
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:11 PM   #19
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I don't have the Goodyear Marathon manual, but have talked to my tire shop manager lots about them. They are rated for 65mph at the minimum rated pressure for the weight they are carrying. If you are able to increase this minimum pressure by 10 psi, without exceeding the 50psi maximun, then the rating goes up to 75mph.

I have attached a bulletin from Goodyear regarding this.
Marathon_Special_Trailer_Applications.pdf

This has been discussed ad nauseam on the FGRV site.
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:15 PM   #20
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We shake our heads and slow down when we see a trailer going 75 so they can take it down the road beyond.
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