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Old 09-19-2020, 08:32 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
I saw an F150 in front of Costco the other day with a Costco (reduced) sticker price on the windshield, of seventy thousand dollars. Now that's a really real-world weight, if I ever saw one.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:27 AM   #62
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Centex,
Very valid point, and lots I didn't touch on that I've been looking into, and am still learning about really, but any longer and I would have required a publisher
Bill, excellent point and I've been doing just that. Built a spread sheet and calculator to plug verified numbers into. We plan on having a higher payload weight and carrying quite a bit of gear in the Escape, so trying to be mindful of that fact. I didn't realize just how much axle ratio and bed length change the truck's capabilities at times. I think you are absolutely right about the importance of getting in with the fam and test driving. Some nice used trucks out there!
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:39 PM   #63
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So glad you guys walked away from it, and also are such responsible dog owners! Last summer we were driving our Class B in Montana and were hit with a sudden headwind gust that was so strong that it literally stopped my MB Sprinter 3500 in its tracks at 70mph. I can only imagine if it had been a cross wind. It was the most bizarre feeling I'd ever experienced, and was over almost as quickly as it started. I felt like I'd been hallucinating!

My one question was whether you'd actually gotten weights on your trailer weight distribution, such as your tongue weight ratio to your total trailer weight? Since you weren't hauling a lot overall, I wondered if your tongue weight was adequate?
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Old 09-19-2020, 02:35 PM   #64
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Once driving just the Ford F-250 on the freeway . A cross wind literally lifted up the truck and I was in the air for a few seconds . That only happened once but I still can’t believe it and haven’t forgotten . Pat
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:59 PM   #65
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Hi
Just tested the ruts in the road you were talking about. We were coming back from camping pulling our 2017 21 escape.Hitch and everything was the same as your WDH hitch with the bars only thing different was I was pulling the trailer with a 2017 Dodge 1500 5.7 Hemi. Those ruts from the big trucks showed up in the lane I was in.the lane was about to end so I went to change lanes and when the trailer started over the ruts it did what you said and started to want to sway and tip. I had the power to punch it and then it settled down in the other lane. I have never had it do anything like that before. So I can say for sure it was the pavement ruts that caused your crash.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:16 PM   #66
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Ken G thanks for the follow up on those sorts of ruts. It is definitely an awful feeling.

Re earlier question about weight; yes we were at right about 3900# and hitch was at 10%. We travel pretty lightly and when we had the 17’ I even weighed single item before loading the trailer. All of our stuff for 2 people including food and dog food for a trip across Canada to NL was about 300#. I would have to go dig out the exact amount. Doing the item by item gave me a look at what different things cost as it were in weight. It was tedious and I probably won’t repeat the exercise but it was interesting.

One thing that is abundantly clear in all the comments (and I DO appreciate everyone’s time and thoughtfulness, thank you) is that we humans absolutely abhor not having an answer. We must all be genetically engineered to have a very high ‘need to know’.
Stay safe everyone,
Catherine
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:54 PM   #67
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Yup

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLBM in SD View Post
Very glad to hear you are ok. We are planning to order our Escape next year and can’t wait. The tow vehicle has been quite the research project for me. I know folks do and have towed with 5,000lbs towing capacity vehicles, but I do wonder about their sufficiency. Not an expert on this at all, and I’d actually be very interested in what other more experienced towers thought. Basically, I was taught and have researched a few key principals about “knowing your numbers", and that WDH and sway bars can be great but are secondary to solid safe numbers. When I review Highlander XLE’s numbers, it seems to be less than ideal for the Escape 19 or 21. Again, not that it can’t be done without incident, and these numbers error on the side of extra safety; just sharing and seeing what folks think. Many other excellent comments on sway and other issues that seem very relevant, and I’ve learned a lot so thank you. I am specifically addressing the idea that the vehicle might not be sufficient; not that it was the ultimate reason for what happened, rather that it may have been a significant contributing factor. If you are familiar with Human Factors (especially in aircraft accident investigation), this is in line with the “Swiss Cheese” model where several unsafe issues occur simultaneously without intervention or prevention which unfortunately result in an accident (it’s rarely one thing). Here are my thoughts; experts, please weigh-in (yes, pun intended). Safest and best practice when trailering is to:

Principle 1. Figure weight calculations based on the assumption of maxing out your vehicle and trailer’s GVWR. Probably won’t ever do it, but you might come close now and then, especially in an SUV with their lower payload capacity, and it’s better to be safe.
Principle 2. Figure out what your actual towing capacity would be if you maxed out your payload capacity. Remember, payload is first reduced by your tongue weight, pax weight, and then, whatever is left over is what you would have for cargo/gear in the vehicle (up to vehicle’s max). It often is not as much as you would think.
Principle 3. Try not to exceed 80% of the actual towing capacity number that you figure from Principle 2. Keeps you safe during hard braking, downhill, etc.
(other things to look at as well such as GCWR, etc., but to keep simple, I’ll stick to just these)

So, what would this look like? Here are 4 vehicles (all 2018) I looked at that are the most telling and highlight this issue: Durango V6, Highlander XLE, F-150 4x4 Ecoboost V6 2.7L, F-150 4x4 Ecoboost V6 3.5L.
First, accounting for a few knowns and some safe assumptions: Escape 19 & 21 GVWR of 5,000. Dry weights are 3250 and 3465. A tongue weight (loaded to go camping, real world weight) of approx. 400-425 lbs. Pax & pets weight of about 400 lbs.

Here is what you get using formula: MFR Tow Capacity – Payload Capacity = actual tow capacity

Durango V6 (what I initially thought our tow vehicle was going to be): 6200 – 1450 = 4750 (x 80% = 3800). So basically, if you are loaded in the Durango this becomes less than ideal. Recommended weight is already within 500 lbs or less of dry weight of trailer. Note that 1450 – tongue and pax leaves only 625 lbs for everything else in the SUV (e.g., extra pax, firewood, generator, extra water, food, etc.)
Highlander XLE: 5000 – 1410 = 3590 (x 80% = 2872). The situation is even worse here in all categories. Basically, well above safe towing capacity IMO.
F-150 4x4 Ecoboost 2.7L: 8100 – 2100 = 6000, x 80% = 4800…compare to,
F-150 4x4 Ecoboost 3.5L: 10700-2700 = 8000, x 80% = 6400
NOTE: very interesting on the two F-150’s. Even though the 3.5L takes a bigger hit because of its higher possible payload of 2700 lbs, notice that it is still the more capable tow even if the cab and bed were maxed out on weight. I noticed most similar truck brands in the 1500 series and similar engines or bigger had similar numbers. Also interesting to see that the 2.7L, while a better choice than the listed SUV’s, could still potentially come close to being not enough tow vehicle if fully maxed out on both GVWR’s.

Thoughts: Is this an overly safe approach to ensuring you have enough tow vehicle? Maybe. If you know your real-world weights and that you always camp with only 50% of your tow vehicle’s payload, and never reach within 1,000lbs of maxing out the Escape’s 5k GVWR, you could adjust for your situation. For example, now the Highlander’s numbers would be: 5000- 705 = 4295 (x 80% = 3436). Still not great since this is in essence dry weight of the trailer at 80%, but it’s better. That’s if you could make your payload basically tongue weight plus only 300 lbs of pax and cargo (one person traveling lightly). This example works better for the F-150 2.7L Ecoboost, where if you are watching your payload and trailer weight, it’s probably going to be fine.

I’d be very interested to hear thoughts about “knowing your weights”, etc. Again, very glad to hear you were ok, and good on you for having the dogs strapped in!
I know my weights, my stickers, my tires you name it, I’ve checked it out. There is the theoretical world of which you have examined thoroughly. I am an experience driven thinker.
When I was about 14 I got into the habit of arguing with my dad. Imagine that. And I also said
“Theoretically” a lot. One day he’d had enough. I said Theoretically and he stopped me right there. He said “you want to contemplate theoretical possibilities? “Sure” I said. He looked at me and said “Theoretically if you put a roomful of monkeys in a room full of type writers, they will eventually write the Bible.” I didn’t use theoretical much after that. He made me an experienced based thinker and I thank him every day for that. He died when I was 19.
All my best to everyone on the road. Easy does it and attention to the task at hand will take you a long ways.
Iowa Smith Corona Dave
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:07 PM   #68
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More than weights alone

Most of the tow discussions focus on weights almost exclusively. Isn't weight (assuming you're not at structural or design limits) mainly a performance issue? I see that 80% figure used often, but not sure why that's better than 15 or 25%?

I look to other factors as more important for safe towing. Tow vehicle wheelbase for example. Tongue weight is another. Load-out of the trailer with weight aft of the axles more critical. Even the location of the trailer axles would impact dynamic stability more than total weight. I can see tow vehicle wt vs trailer wt as a factor in control but still not as important as wheelbase or axle location.

Hitch design will also have a big impact. Mentioned above, a sway-control hitch provides resistance to sway which would act as a damper in the sway feedback loop. The damping would act against any tendency to increase the sway motion (through steering, road ruts, wind loads). I can imagine some conditions where the sway would rapidly increase if the conditions were right. (see this in aircraft wing flutter which I'm guessing is a similar sort of system - sometimes it just sways, other times the wing is ripped apart quickly).

All that said, even when you've done everything perfectly, sometimes there's a factor which pushes everything into catastrophic failure (OP). Those investigations are frustrating because the best you can conclude is 'undetermined'.

Thanks for sharing thoughts and experiences - this forum is really educational.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:18 AM   #69
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I don't think TV wheelbase vs trailer length comes into play with Escapes unless you're pulling with a smart car. Accepted ratio is 110" wheelbase can handle a 20' trailer. The ops Highlander is 109.5, so it can do a 20'er. Since we speak a lot about F150's, the shortest wheelbase is 122", which should handle the sway on a 23'. It is a valid point for longer trailers though.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:42 AM   #70
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Hitches

I am communication with a fellow from Minnesota on the setup we have for the Highlander pulling our 21. Being an old geezer I cannot figure out how to post a picture of the Anderson hitch for him and also thought that perhaps there might be folks who do not realize the adjustability of the Weight distribution hitches. So for Rich and others here is a photo of our setting on the hitch as far as height goes. At this height I tow level with 500 lbs. tongue weight and 5 threads showing on the adjusting nuts that put tension on the chains. You can also pull the nuts and bolts off and turn the tower over if your receiver on the tow rig is too high and essentially make it a drop hitch. To an old geezer like me catfishing means the picture below not some low life person trying to take advantage and hurt others.
Iowa Dave
Attached Thumbnails
9F84229F-DDE5-46F1-A5FE-A5154EFDA5CC.jpg   22CAD721-0B76-4ED4-8EE7-74A37060286C.jpg   A9E15C84-49CC-49A2-875A-A1F634D5777D.jpg  
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:48 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emjay View Post
“The one thing I've not done is hit a Cat scale to actually see what the loads are on the trailer and each axle of the tow vehicle. You were smart to do that. I'm going to do it on my next
trip. “

Pardon my ignorance, but what is a Cat scale?

Emjay
Truck drivers are required to weigh their truck. Cat scales are found at the larger truck stops.

https://youtu.be/qwFLOBrADBs
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:03 AM   #72
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Another factor affecting sway is the type of tire on the tow vehicle. With our 2005 Tundra, switching from the original passenger tires to light duty truck tires improved sway dramatically when we towed our Nash trailer. The heavier sidewalls make the Tundra ride definitely more of a truck experience. We did the switch because we like to fish remote lakes and often would worry about our tires on some bad roads. Prior to that switch the tow could be downright scary even when trucks just passed us in the left lane.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:23 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
Truck drivers are required to weigh their truck. Cat scales are found at the larger truck stops.
An example, for my Tacoma.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:02 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
Truck drivers are required to weigh their truck. Cat scales are found at the larger truck stops.

https://youtu.be/qwFLOBrADBs
https://catscale.com/cat-scale-locator/
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:03 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I don't think TV wheelbase vs trailer length comes into play with Escapes unless you're pulling with a smart car. Accepted ratio is 110" wheelbase can handle a 20' trailer. The ops Highlander is 109.5, so it can do a 20'er.
It is a 21 howerver- and to include the rest of the quote you cited:

" As a general rule of thumb, the first 110 inches of wheelbase allow for a 20-foot trailer. For each additional four inches of wheelbase length, you get one foot more in trailer length.Apr 25, 2017"

So that means 114" wheelbase and I agree this is one of the more important factors for sage towing.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:23 AM   #76
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Thumb on the scale?

Hi: Iowa Dave... Isn't a CAT scale where you take your Catfish when Catphishing? Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:23 AM   #77
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Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbito View Post
Another factor affecting sway is the type of tire on the tow vehicle. With our 2005 Tundra, switching from the original passenger tires to light duty truck tires improved sway dramatically when we towed our Nash trailer. The heavier sidewalls make the Tundra ride definitely more of a truck experience. We did the switch because we like to fish remote lakes and often would worry about our tires on some bad roads. Prior to that switch the tow could be downright scary even when trucks just passed us in the left lane.
Bob K
I agree with your tire analysis. The 2018 Highlander came with Michelin Latitudes. They worked fine and I ran them till it was time for replacement. I went with Michelin Defender LTX They have a little more road noise and a little more aggressive tread but also a stronger sidewall. Running at 40 psi front and 41 PSI rears I really like the feel of them. Had them as the third set on the 2012 Highlander and liked them and decided it is the way to go. Like them in the rain and snow we get. Rarely deep, always slick.
Iowa Dave
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:47 AM   #78
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All about Scales

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape artist View Post
Hi: Iowa Dave... Isn't a CAT scale where you take your Catfish when Catphishing? Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
There are no scales on a catfish. But a catphisher uses a scale that is inaccurate by design.
Makes everything look better than it is like the guys with 40 inch long arms that hold their fish way out to distort the accuracy. I don’t like that. My pictures are with an available reference.
But CAT scales at truck stops are accurate enough for the DOT boys most of the time. Of course I usually used them to weigh fertilizer so take that with a grain of salt.
Iowa Dave
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:56 AM   #79
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JD Gallant of RV Consumer Group wrote an extensive piece on safe towing. Here is his take on wheelbase:

https://rv.org/blogs/news/short-whee...o-hand-in-hand
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Old 09-22-2020, 11:16 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
It is a 21 howerver- and to include the rest of the quote you cited:

" As a general rule of thumb, the first 110 inches of wheelbase allow for a 20-foot trailer. For each additional four inches of wheelbase length, you get one foot more in trailer length.Apr 25, 2017"

So that means 114" wheelbase and I agree this is one of the more important factors for sage towing.
I hadn't thought about tires - thanks for that mention. I can see how sidewall stiffness could have an impact on sway but also on porpoising.

That 110" to 20' guideline I've seen was based on a 9' high flat-sided trailer (using the RV Consumer Group book). Does the Escape fall into their definition of a lower profile trailer (at 8' in height)?

When I looked at the reduction in side area based on the 1' difference in height it comes out to about 10% lower surface area.
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