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Old 08-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #113
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Govt' can't regulate morality is very true
Gov't can not provide a buyer /owner with common sense either.
Anyone entering into any endevour should have researched and gained themselves what they needed to know prior to embarking. It doesn't matter if RV'g, golfing, bowling etc etc.
One would assume a selling dealer would give viable and factual information...but unfortunately that does not occur by all.
It is a shame the OP didn't come to any RV forum and ask questions and learn a bit prior to jumping into a transaction with the selling dealer........their outcome may have been different
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:25 AM   #114
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When we bought our Motorhome, one of the mechanics went through the training on it (about 2 hours or so). The guy knew his stuff. That's who should be doing the training for the RV dealerships, not the salesman.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
I think we are all OT. RV dealers are trying to make a sale. Some are cheese balls and some are genuinely helping the customer. I've been on dealer lots looking at TT's and had one of the sales people tell me I could tow a TT with the truck I had. I ended up talking to the manager and he said no way. It's more about RV dealers being responsible sales people than anything. Take away the cheese balls and you would have less example like the OP had. Problem is too many sales people have no conscience. Not even the government could regulate morality.
Absolutely. On this we can agree.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:50 PM   #116
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The way I see it the people who are, or should be, experts on installing and setting up WDH hitches and weights and capacities should be the ones taking the responsibility for ensuring it is incompliance with safety requirements and installation requirements of the manufacturer (hitches, ex.) They should be the ones that will ultimately take the liability if something goes wrong and this ought to be primarily RV dealers and hitch shops as they are the ones involved with the final hookup of your trailer. You wouldn't take a trailer to a truck dealer's lot and ask them to hook it up. If you ended up in court, you can bet that the judge would point to the RV dealer or hitch shop to be the experts, not the RV/TV owner.

Any TV dealer should readily be able to tell you about safety requirements surrounding towing of RVs if you specifically ask them. At the very minimum, there should be easy to find info. in your vehicles owner's manual that covers all the pertinent info.

If anyone thinks it should be up to an individual to be fully responsible, if I got in a serious accident because it was entirely your fault due to your failure to comply with weight limits and proper setup procedures, I would get the best lawyer I could find and sue your pants off. Wouldn't care if you lost everything you owned. Do you really want that? If it was the dealer's responsibility and were required to be licenced, there'd be no contest if they failed to do something correctly and if they had liability insurance, recovering from them would be straightforward.

If I go to a lumber yard, nobody there will assist me in securing my load before I leave their property. They do NOT want to take liability if something happens. Yet an RV dealer can hook you up without checking weights and capacities and proper hitch setup or telling you anything about it and send you off their lot?? Again, makes no sense.

I come from the construction industry which is extremely highly regulated and enforced. Many trades require training and licensing and work is inspected and rules are enforced. It's got a lot to do with safety and protecting the general public. Licencing and enforcement works well in the construction industry. I sure as heck would never hire an unlicensed tradesperson that is required to be. Ever watch the popular Canadian TV show Holmes on Homes.? It's about what goes wrong when unlicensed, untrained and incompetent people get hired and what it takes to make it right. Some other professions require licencing - security guard, auctioneers & makeup artist to doctors, lawyers and architects. But anyone can hook any trailer up to any tow vehicle with any kind of a hitch with any level of knowledge or lack of and not require any training, licensing or inspection and potentially endanger yourself and/other others on the road? At least you know you can go to a makeup artist and be okay (in the majority of states anyway)....

The public at large deserves to be protected from injury or property damage when they are driving on public roads. It shouldn't be left 100% to the individual RV owner to figure out how to set up their TVs and trailers. If we didn't have the internet, how would anyone ever learn about this stuff? And it takes a certain type of individual with a certain type of curiosity to search for and study info. on weights, capacities and hitch setup. There's a ton of RV owners are there that aren't technical types and don't know how to operate a screwdriver even. It should be up to people like that to set up the TVs, trailers and hitches properly?

The more I read and learn about tow vehicle and travel trailer weights and capacities and WDH hitches and their setup, the more disturbing it becomes to me. Take a look the Keystone "1/2 ton series". Their largest one in that lineup is 35'-5". Has a "shipping weight" of 7268 lbs, carrying capacity of 1732 lbs and tongue weight of 750 lbs. Nowhere does it give you a GVWR, but would be 9,000 lbs (1732 + 7268). Nowhere on their website can I find anything that tells you that the "shipping weight" does not include factory options, or that anything the dealer installs will add to this. By calling it a "shipping" weight, the average person would think that is what the weight is when it gets shipped out of the plant, but it's not. So many trailers being made end up with an actual weight close to the GVWR. Besides that they don't list a GVWR, there's no way of knowing and what the actual weight is. If the actual tongue weight is in the 10-15% range that it should be, you could be looking at a tongue weight up to 1350 lbs. But the average buyer would likely think it is 750 lbs (or some might add literally a few lbs to be safe). How many 1/2 ton tow vehicles out there have a true and actual payload capacity capable of what could be up to 1350 lbs? Then add maybe 400 - 500 lbs of total cargo in the TV. What's really disturbing here is that there is nothing mentioned anywhere on the website that I can see that defines what restrictions there might be on 1/2 ton tow vehicles in order to be able to safely tow this TT. By virtue of putting a "1/2 ton series" name to it, it is extremely misleading and can give anyone the impression that whatever 1/2 ton TV somebody has is just fine. And of course, if the RV manufacturer says this, the dealer is going to be pushing this. Another example is KZ's line of Durango 5th wheels that they describe as "The Durango 1500 is a true half-ton towable fifth wheel ". The heaviest one in that line has a GVWR of 10,800 lbs. The actual pin wt. could be around 2,000 lbs. How many 1/2 ton trucks can handle that? Again, nothing mentioned by a manufacturer about limits/restrictions on what 1/2 ton trucks can safely tow this. At least they do give you some info. about weights and loading and a link to the Trailer Life towing guide. If RV manufacturers are going to be deceptive, how is anyone down the line, dealer or owner, going to figure out what to do properly? RV makers need to smarten up too.

http://http://kz-rv.com/durango-1500...fications.html

If you have ever been in a serious accident that was 100% the other person's fault because they failed to follow rules of the road and even basic common sense, and your world gets changed forever, I can assure you that you end up with a different attitude towards some vehicle and RV owners. When it comes to RVs, it would sure be nice to travel down any road knowing some organization or body is watching your back.

It's a dark and rainy day at the cg and there's no air or cable TV and not much to do so I ended up creating this long post and bit of a rant. O well, it *can* happen.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:20 PM   #117
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I think even an instruction sheet would have been helpful. I specifically asked what the physics were behind the weight distribution hitch to attempt to grasp the details. The service tech was not able to explain the physics behind the WDH. I found this rather odd, but was planning on doing research in the future to educate myself. Unfortunately, that did not happen first. I still don't know, based on my wheel base and poundage overage, that it would have made a difference. I think there was no tongue weight...literally.

I do blame the TV dealer. When I specifically ask if the trailer is safe to pull with my vehicle and they say, yes...they are the experts and should recommend what is safe.
Still frustrated!
Can't believe they didn't explain the WDH to you. OK you are on the right track thinking you had no tongue weight.
MANY MANY people say the WDH reduces tongue weight. IT'S NOT SO.
What it does is transfer some of the tongue weight to the front axle of the towing vehicle and some of it back to the front axle of the trailer.
I do believe you had insufficient tongue weight on the back axle of you GMC and that is most likely the root cause.
If you feel unstable at any speed more speed is Not the fix.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:29 PM   #118
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Not to play the devils advocate here, but one thing that hinders RV dealers from setting up a TT correctly is that the majority of buyers show up with an unloaded SUV/truck and the dealer sets up the WD with an empty trailer. 9 0f 10 times the whole dynamics change when everything's loaded up. IMO that's where the dealer needs to inform the buyer on adjustments. If the buyer is mechanically deficient then it's his responsibility to takes the next step in adjustments. The RV dealer needs to reinforce that process to help. It's a two way street on this. But IMO the RV dealer needs to initiate the process.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:03 PM   #119
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Not Devil's Advocate at all. You raise some good points.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:19 PM   #120
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I agree that RV dealers SHOULD review the TV and tow setup and make sure everything is good to go and give the new owner some instruction on safe towing and all that. I don't think that they should be REQUIRED to do it.

If *I* had a RV dealership, I would do all those things, and advertise that I did all those things, and advertise that my competitors DON'T do those things, and offer to do the calculations and weights and safety checks for ANY RVer that pulls onto my lot (perhaps for a small fee).

AND, if I were the OP, I would make sure that everyone on the planet knew about the dealership that DIDN'T do those things. Names, numbers, dates, addresses included.

That is how the free market flushes out the bad dealers, and rewards the good ones. No government intervention required.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:46 PM   #121
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mredracer, while you do make sense, you have to realize all the "credentials", "training" "govt oversight" etc etc will NOT put a stop to the practices your describing.

I was born in 1960 and was towing trailers that were connected properly, loaded properly and as safe as they could ever possibly be with proper tow vehicles.....LONG before Al Gore invented the internet. So no one can say it can't be done without the net...because it had been done properly for many a decade prior to the internet.

At some time a person needs to take responsibility for their actions..right? At some time the blame has to stop being pushed upon others...right? So as you so eagerly suggest....get a lawyer, sue the pants off someone....does that really fix the original problem, which is owner ignorance(lack of knowledge about their actions)? NO it does not...and that is 1 very good reason society is as screwed up as it is at present time
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:47 AM   #122
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You need to get an adequate TV. Get a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck, the suspension is much stiffer and will control the TT. Soft 1/2 ton suspensions will not control the TT as you have found out.
Just recently I towed a Tacoma(around 3500lbs) 4 down, so no tongue weight or the like to deal with, behind a friends excursion it was a real nightmare. His vehicle had 245k miles and he had done no maintenance to the suspension. The tail was wagging the dog so to speak and we had a tough time going over 50.

Once I got home, I towed it behind my F350 SRW with 235k miles but have kept shocks and other suspension parts up to date. It was like the Toyota wasn't even there! I called my buddy to tell him that he needs to look at shocks and sway bar.

The point of this is that the Denali might have driven just fine without the trailer, but if the suspension was already worn, Loading may not have been the big problem. The dealer would have no idea the condition of the Denali suspension. The level of the trailer and TV only tells you about the rear springs not shocks which help dampen all this side to side movement.
Glad the OP was ok!
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:00 AM   #123
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In all my years of towing everything from snowmobile trailers, pop-up tent trailers, race car trailers, travel trailers and fifthwheel the only time I have every had a sway event was pulling a poorly balanced bumper pull race car trailer. Used the entire 2 lanes of a divide freeway from shoulder to shoulder while being thrown around in the 1/2 ton truck towing the trailer to hold just enough control to not jack-knife until the speed was scrubbed off and the sway enertia ceased before I could clean out my pants.
Now I have towed my 34ft 14K lb fifthwheel during a wind storm in 60 mph crosswinds and not felt unsafe. Uncomfortable but not unsafe. At no time did it feel like the tail was going to turn the dog.
I don't care what type of bumper pull TT or hitch contraption you try and give me I don't believe that a bumper pull TT would have done any better in the cross wind I was in.
Bumper pull trailers inherently because of simple geometry induce sway that must be controlled by mechanical means or trailer design or both, while the mechanical geometry of the fifthwheel design does not induce a sway moment at all.
I am sorry the OP learned this lesson the hard way but the setup was a disaster waiting to happen made a certainty when water was added behind the rear axle. Likely made worse by having P-rated tires on the Denali and yes I suspect all adjusted and setup by the (stealer) oops dealer with an empty Denali and empty trailer.
We almost need a community college training program just like getting a motorcycle license to get a license to tow a trailer over a given weight to ensure a base of knowledge with the general public just getting into RV'ing to be able to cover all the hazards and safety precautions that most of us have been fortunate enough to learn and grasp through less dangerous and costly means than our unfortunate OP. As has been said in the thread we certainly cannot trust 99.9% of the dealer to keep our roads safe.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #124
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The RV industry seems to be exempt from a lot of things. Quality control, MSRP standards and skilled technicians. Nothing wrong with a mandatory RV class. So what if the dealer tacks an extra $150.00 or what ever on the total price. In Oregon you now need a boaters license for any boat being operated with 10hp or more. ATV riders must take a class. Motorcycle riders must take a class before getting an endorsement.
Why not make an RV class mandatory. Yes it is government intervention. But I don't need some uninformed RV owner swaying all over the road and causing an accident that I may be involved in.
Only downside to having an RV class is there would be more RV'ers that know what they're doing and there would be less to read on the forums.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:52 AM   #125
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Really? Go out and get a bid for work on your house from a non licensed contractor. Better get two, one form a licensed contractor also, cause the non licensed one will definitely do it wrong. How about no licensing for fire fighters, police. How about non certified technicians working on your truck. Licensing creates a standard by which everyone adheres to. Without licensing you don't have the proper training. Without proper training you get substandard results. Just because some services don't produce good results is no reason to say all licensing is wrong.

Seems to me there's was plenty of competition between licensed services.

Too much tea party thinking IMO.
As a FYI, I deal with contractors, I can also name a city where an electrician can get a perfect score on an exam and not get a license, yet hold a license in an adjoining city, yet a different person can just get a passing score and get a license to work in the city.
Licensed is normally better but not a fact. Licensing can also be abused.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #126
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You don't always need an over sized trailer to cause trouble. A few years ago I was driving down I5 when a Uhaul truck (probably a 1/1/2 or 2T truck) passed me. It had a very small trailer behind it ( about 4' square box) that was swaying back & forth and bouncing from 1 tire to the other. I don't know what happened as I just got as far away as I could. I think it was before I had a cell phone.
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