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Old 02-27-2005, 06:55 PM   #15
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ATVr,

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 502.412 OPERATION OF VEHICLE AT WEIGHT GREATER THAN STATED IN REGISTRATION APPLICATION.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates or permits to be operated, a motor vehicle registered under this chapter that has a weight greater than that stated in the person's application for registration. Each use of the vehicle is a separate offense.
(b) Venue
(c) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.00. (V.A.C.S. Art. 6695)

I would also invite you to read Texas Transportation Code Subtitle E (Vehicle Size and Weight), Chapter 621 (General Provisions Relating To Vehicle Size and Weight). Also, I placed a call to our local DPS L&W supervisor. He confirmed that by Texas law (the above mentioned statute) a vehicle may not legally carry more than the weight listed on the tire sidewalls

Sec. 621.101
(a) A vehicle or combination of vehicles may not be operated over or on a public highway or at a port-of-entry between Texas and Mexico if the vehicle or combination has:
(4) tires that carry a weight heavier than the weight specified and marked on the sidewall of the tire, unless the vehicle is being operated under the terms of a special permit.

Now, the above was not my point. We all know that L&W is not out there weighing and citing RVers. My intent was to point out the "what if" scenario of being involved in a wreck and someone being seriously injured or killed by someone in a grossly overloaded vehicle. Criminally Negligent Homicide and Reckless Endangerment are two possibilities that come to mind. Not to mention the civil liability. I think that exceeding the MFG's weight ratings by 400% would be a good arguement for negligence. Especially after a Chrysler engineer testifies at my trial that my tow vehicle was never intended to tow what I was towing. I doubt that the author to this article is going to come offer his expert testimony without a large fee attached. With the potential money spent on my defense I could probably buy a whole fleet of diesel trucks that would easily pull my 8000 lbs. trailer, legally and safely.
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:59 PM   #16
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My comment that follows is not about towing 400% over with the Magnum. That would be just plain stupid.

The law that motorjock quotes makes no reference to the GVWR or GCWR of the vehicle. Only two conditions can be sited per the above qoute: 1) Overloading more than what the vehicle is registered for (it's about the money), and 2) overloading more than what the tires are rated for. The tires on my truck are rated for 3195 lbs each (x4) for a max allowable weight (according to the above quoted laws) of 12,780 lbs. My truck's GVWR is 9900 lbs. Since my registration has no weight restriction, in Texas I could load my truck up to 12,780 lbs and still be "legal". I do not encourage or recommend doing so, but in Texas, I could "legally" do it.

ATVr's comments still stand.
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:01 PM   #17
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motorjock, the first statute is irrelevant as we are not talking about revenue. I can legally go down to the DOT and get my truck licensed for any amount of weight I have enough checkbook to pay for. They will never ask any question about the actual capabilities of the truck. The DOT who issues the license tabs only wants you pay for what you're hauling. If you tried to cite me for being over the manuf's. limits using that statute... you'd be in serious doo doo as you would not have had probable cause to pull me over, or even reasonable suspicion to stop me. Therefore, it would be an illegal stop on your part and I could sue your county.

As for the second statute, I don't know what the tires on those Chryslers are rated for. Do you? Besides, we're talking about a TT, not a fiver here. Even if the tongue wieght was 900 lbs., plus the weight of the Hensley... this weight would be divided up and sent to the various axles of both the TV and the TT. In all likelihood, less than 7-800 lbs. would be added to the weight of the Chrysler. Divided amongst 4 tires? I think it is highly probable, if not certain, that the weight on the tires of the tow vehicle would NOT exceed the tire manufacturer's maximums. If the numbers were close, it's not hard to put on some more serious tires.

As I said, there are no US statutes directly applicable to this situation. IOW, a statute that says that you cannot exceed a manuf's GCVWR. In three years, nobody has produced such a statute. (In the US) As I said, I have acess to legal databases (I do legal research all day for a living) and haven't been able to find either a statute on point, or a case directly on point where a person was prosecuted or ins. denied because of weight. This does not mean it has never happened. Legal databases only contain cases that have been appealled. If the underlying case was never appealled, I won't see it.


Once more: I don't advocate exceeding the manf's limitations. I looked long and hard for some statute or some case proving that it is bad to exceed the limits. I was surprised to find out there are none. A couple of states made some noises a couple of years ago about enacting something like BC has. It never made it out of committee.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:04 AM   #18
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ATVr & Ken,
In Texas registration is based upon the MFG's empty weight and payload rating, including GVWR and GCVWR. Both of you are correct in that you could pay more money and register your vehicle at greater weights. However, how often is this done? I've never seen it done. Therefore, if this were not done the Chrysler 300C, towing an 8000 lb. Airstream, would be in violation of the statute that I previously quoted.

Again, the small fine associated with this violation would be insignifcant compared to the POSSIBILITY that exists for other criminal charges and/or lawsuits arising from NEGLIGENCE on the owner/operator's use of this vehicle. This was the main point to my original post and a point that neither of you have addressed. My intention was to allow people to decide for themselves if the risks were worth it. I don't think so.

This discussion has become circular and wildly theoretcial as well as rhetorical. I feel I've made my point and I stand beside my point. If someone wants to pull a 30ft Hitch Hiker with an S-10 then they should understand that the consequences may extend far beyond a ticket for being over their registered weight. Again, the gist of my original post. I feel my point is made. Therefore,I will not make any further comment on this topic.
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:36 AM   #19
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Getting back to the original post and putting the legal arguments aside, we have a so called reputible RV magazine advocating that it is OK to tow a trailer that weighs four times the manufacturers tow rating. They do not seem to have done an engineering evaluation of the vehicle to back that up, it is mearly one man's opinion. I find that astounding.

I guess you can make most anything work but why would anyone want to take a vehicle that was designed from the ground up as a high performance touring car and try to turn it into a serious tow vehicle? If you want a tow vehicle with five seats, the hemi and five speed auto, at least get a Durango.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:29 AM   #20
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that exists for other criminal charges and/or lawsuits arising from NEGLIGENCE on the owner/operator's use of this vehicle.

Actually, I did address that issue. I am unable to find any case, anywhere, in which a person was criminally charged with being overweight (in the context we are discussing). Likewise, I cannot find any civil cases in which someone was found negligent because they were overweight.

I understand you are standing by your original point. However, as both Ken and I pointed out, your original point was unrelated to the topic of this post. You have provided no statute that indicates that the combination would violate TX's laws.

As for the orginal combination, the advantage of the original Intrepid/Airstream combo was that Intrepids were cheap, plentiful and a comfortable ride when unhooked. People could use them as their everyday commuter cars with good ride, easy parking and excellent mileage. That's why the combination was developed. Presumably the Andy company is after the same sorts of things again. If they can develop and prove a good and safe towing rig using a vehicle that has an excellent ride and mileage unhooked... then go for it. Before jumping on the combination... think about "what if?" What if such a thing works? I personally prefer a mondo truck, but I know that a lot of people would love having a smaller, lighter, easy to drive TV. Yes, it looks spooky, but what if the team can show that it works? They did so with the Intrepids. From the tone of the article, they are in the process of checking out and testing the new stuff to see if it will work too.
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:18 AM   #21
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ATVR,

You mention the Hensley Arrow hitch system that Andy sells at his dealership. It is not mentioned in the article in the magazine. I know of the Hensley Arrow's reputation, it is very expensive here in Canada, almost $3000. Since the Hensley Arrow was not installed on this vehicle for the road test, anyone starting out in RV's could take the test at face value and get a different hitch and get into trouble. In Ontario where I hail from, you are licenced by the GVWR of your truck. Most insurance companies up here ask all sorts of questions regarding what type of vehicle you are using to tow a trailer. My insurance company (CAA)for example insures my tent trailer as a 2nd vehicle, while the contents are on my home insurance. Without rehashing the particulars of the other postings in this thread, I was very distressed by the article. Hopefully Andy will publish some sort of explanation of the testing done on these vehicles to substantiate the claims. Otherwise, its buyer beware or aware!
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:43 AM   #22
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How do you know the HA was not installed for the test?

As for your comment on "no mention of the HA" in the article, here is a cut/paste from the reprint someone kindly posted:

"With conventional trailer of any substantial size we would still consider a Hensley Hitch, however."

More to the point, the article is not a "how to" on connecting a TT to a Chrysler. There are about a zillion things the article does not mention. The focus of the article appears to be how well the Chryslers perform and how the Andy team is responding to the demise of the Intrepids. As I understand it, that team sells complete setups with everything completely installed and adjusted.

Yes, I was aware that Canada has more regulations along the lines of limiting weights, etc. Fortunately, or UNfortunately, depending on your perspective, those sorts of laws haven't made it into the US rulebooks yet. I'd be curious to know how Canada licenses based on GVWR when those ratings are not always published. Do they have their own little books? Seems like determining the GVWR could be a real hassle. Do you suppose that Chrysler has published a GVWR for the Magnums? The Dodge web page does not show a GVWR for the Magnums. It does list the towing capacity at 2K.

Trucks usually have a published GVWR, but a car like the Magnum?

I also agree that buyer should be aware. It seems to me that this is good advice for any endeavor.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:10 AM   #23
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Hi forum,
Again I'll state that I am not here to speak for Andrew.
However, I must ask the naysayers why do you take the car manufacter's word regarding tow limits as gospel. I would ask the forum in general have you ever been to a car dealership and asked a salesperson anything about towing?! The haven't a clue. Trust me I have daily first hand knowledge on the fact they have a severe lack of knowledge on this subject. Sales staff receive manufacturers training ie specific training to the brand they sell and they can't answer a simple towing question (I apologize to any car salespeople here that know lots about towing :-)
This is just a combination TV and TT that seems to do well together. Is it proven over the long term? No. Does Can-Am Trailers have a proven history of matching good combinations? Yes. Andrew is just continuing in his tradition of exploring good combinations-whether the car makers say it will be a good tow vehicle or not.
Look to the proven track record of the Windstar as a tow vehicle. Between Can-Am and myself we have over 500 of these combo's on the road. Never yet having an issue with the Windstar (we are also a Ford dealer ,btw so we'd find out in a hurry if we are replacing engines and tranny's).
If you've followed his article over the years you might be a little more convinced that he doesn't just hitch and go. Andrew's research is detailed and immpecable and he has been doing this for 30 years. There is no one in the industry better known for his expertise in these matters than Andrew. Instead of discussing how wrong he is I ask that he should be invited to this forum so rather than talking about him we can all speak with him.
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Old 03-01-2005, 01:17 PM   #24
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Atvr



I worked for a Municipal Gov't Maintenance Garage for 20 years. A part of my job was to licence on a yearly basis a fleet of 450 cars and trucks. We have a very regulated licencing system here. When you purchase a truck here, the dealer, if he is good, will ask you what you want the truck licenced for, (what weight) specifically what you intend to do with the truck. The cost of a licence was back then, and I am talking the 1990's; was $54 for any car or vehicle under 2000 lbs. at 2001 it started to go up. and the increments were in 500 lbs. For example, I had an old Dodge 3/4 ton that was rated for 8500 lbs. I had it licenced for only 5500 lbs. The savings to me was almost double the cost of the licence on a commercial plate. Some of our trucks were licenced at 1 lb below the next price increment to keep the cost down. A Garbage packer with a GVWR of 30,000 lbs. would cost about $545.00 Most of the time we under-rated our fleet to save taxpayers $$. When you go for a licence in Canada, you pay based on what it says on your permit. My Present truck the Ford F150 Supercrew is listed at 3000 kg. (6613 lbs.) If you are lucky enough, you can also have your truck listed up here with a plate that would normally go on a car.(Cheaper $90/yr) Or like me you get a "Commercial plate". I envy your system in the states. Up hear, the Gov't of Ontario have MTO officers (Ministry of Transportation of Ontario) who can pull over a vehicle with commercial plates and ask you to go over a scale to verify that you are licenced at what you are towing. They can also do a safety inspection of the setup of your rig. The fines are pretty steep including impounding the vehicle. They have on occassion been known to pull over RV's. They are separate from the OPP.

Without splitting hairs, as to the cut and paste, it doesn't specifically state that the HA was used. "We would still consider a HA". As to whether it was installed, I don't know. Is considered the same as installed? I am not flaming you. You mentioned that you are a peace officer. What would you do if you spotted a 300 towing a 34 foot Airstream after reading this article?

The towing capacity of the Dodge Magnum according to the Chrysler web site is 3800 lbs.

I wish that Andy would join this forum and defend his stance on these 2 vehicles. I knew that when I posted this thread in this forum that it would generate a lot of questions. There are other RV Forums on the web that are also addressing this question.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:07 PM   #25
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The towing capacity of the Dodge Magnum according to the Chrysler web site is 3800 lbs.
And yet the only towing weight given for the 300 is 2000lb. Interesting.
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:57 PM   #26
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You mentioned that you are a peace officer. What would you do if you spotted a 300 towing a 34 foot Airstream after reading this article?

Sorry, I am not a peace officer. I said I was in law enforcement. (prosecuting attorney) Part of my job is acting as a resource for officers in the field who have questions on any legal issue. If an officer called and asked what to do... I'd tell him to wave and smile as there is absolutely no statute in WA being violated simply by driving such a rig down the freeway.

I don't think I'd be as shocked as some appear to be. I grew up in mobile homes towed by my dad from one end of the country to the other. TV was an old, beat up 1/2 ton truck. 35' (or more) mobile home. (What's a freeway?) We didn't think anything about it. In the 50's when I started RVing, the most common TV for Airstreams was a big old piece of American iron with 2 or four doors. Rarely (I mean almost never) did you see a truck. Have you seen "Long Long Trailer?" That was the face of RVing back then. Comparatively speaking, the Magnum/Airstream combo is head and shoulders better in nearly all areas over the prototypical sedan/TT combo.

It wasn't until the later 60sand 70s that trucks began to make inroads. The Magnum/Airstream combo looks strange to people now simply because they are not used to seeing non-truck/SUV tow vehicles. The other reason is that there is an incredible amount of towing "lore" out there that is simply wrong. A few folks will be aghast because they believe in the "time honored" towing length formulas and other common replacements for thinking commonly used by dealers and others. Andy's team simply knows the true causes of sway (I've seen some of his posts in another arena) and control problems. They have found innovative ways to make the systems work to their advantage.

Thanks for the info on how Canada does it. You can buy blocks of weight license down here too. (At least in WA) I don't think they'll let me buy more weight for my Subaru wagon... but I'm gonna ask (just for fun) when it's time to re-up. Take care and Happy Camping.

[Added on edit] Upon reflection I realize that I implied that the various towing formulas don't work. That is not the point I was trying to make. IMHO, the formulas are guidelines only. They are not written with a firery finger in a tablet of stone. They work for someone who does not want to be a test pilot. Also, one last disclaimer: I am a big fan of humongous TVs. I have the garage space and the inclination towards CC LB diesel trucks. However, I see nothing wrong with a group that wants to explore the small end of the envelope. I owned a 34' AS for several years. They are light for their length and the wind pretty much ignores them. They are an easy tow, considering their size. Best to all.
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:04 AM   #27
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I was at the Dodge dealer this week for some work on our truck. While waiting I went to the show room for a look. They had some real heavy weights (price wise). There was a Viper ($95K), a Magnum RT & a Dodge Ram SRT10 W'22" low profile tires, built on a 1500 chassis W/viper engine ($50K +). I wasn't even tempted. I am assuming the Magnum Rt is similiar to the 300. It had the tow package and 18" low profile tires, which should improve stability. It was a bigger, heavier (looking) car than I had imagined.
The SRT10 should be able to tow the 28' AS at least 110MPH without a sweat. The salesman told me the SRT10 was the fastest stock truck you could buy.
ATVr
One thing you left out(maybe didn't think about) was that during the 30's & 40's and to some extent the 50's, trailers were towed at about 35/40 MPH making towing W/car a more doable thing. Also the TTs were smaller lower built. A 35' X 8' in the 50's was considered a park model, not a weekender. The speeds (60/70 or more) people now feel they need/want to travel, IMHO you need a much heavier TV for safety.
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:27 PM   #28
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However, I must ask the naysayers why do you take the car manufacter's word regarding tow limits as gospel. I would ask the forum in general have you ever been to a car dealership and asked a salesperson anything about towing?!
Luckily, salesmen don't make the vehicles. Degreed mechanical engineers design the vehicle based on certain parameters and sound engineering principles. Every design has its limitations and its up to the engineers to understand them and set limits below the failure point of the overall design.

I can appreciate someone like Andy asking some obvious questions and experimenting with towing combinations. IMHO, I would no more accept his opinion on a combination that is grossly over its design parameters than a seedy RV salesmen selling me a TT bigger than my TV can handle.
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