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Technical Towing capacity AGAIN

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by carpunker, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. 48jeep
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66

    48jeep
    Member

    I used to tow my stock-car behind my dad's 1966 Chevy Carryall on an open trailer. It's drive train was a 283, 2bbl, 3 speed overdrive with 4:11 gears. It would reach 60 mph easy enough.
     
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  2. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,984

    5window
    Member

    Well, anymore, it's not so much a question of CAN you do it, but can you do it safely given the speeds, roads, traffic and idiots out there today. With your rig, what's your stopping power? How much stability did you have in wind? There're a lot of safety issues now we might not have considered when we were younger.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,983

    squirrel
    Member

    5th wheel trailers are different from bumper pull trailers....
     
  4. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,299

    gene-koning
    Member

    Back in the 60s & early 70s, towing was a different story then it is today. There weren't as many lawyers and dead beat lazy bums willing to take everything you have to make a quick buck, if they could convince a jury you were somehow responsible for other people's dumb moves. Back in the old days, the people that did the dumb stuff was responsible, but these days, anyone that placed a hand on the said vehicle gets hauled into the action.

    10 years ago I had my shop insurance agent tell me I could no longer install any trailer hitch on any vehicle. According to him, they were only covering one company per so many square miles coverage for trailer hitch liability insurance, and my shop wasn't the one. At the same time, they were allowing one company to repair or modify front or rear suspension mounting points in that same square mile radius, and that was going to be my shop in our area. I could replace the entire rear 1/2 of your vehicle's frame, but apparently, I wasn't capable of bolting on a trailer hitch.

    I can't think of any modern trailer hitches that require being welded on a vehicle, everything is bolted on these days. If you want to know how much you can tow with your ride, see how big of a hitch you can buy for it, but its going to be hard finding hitches for anything much older the 4 or 5 years. There is no way for a hitch manufacturer to know or take a chance on what condition your frame/chassis is in. I suspect there is nothing less then a 3/4 ton pickup that is rated for more then 3500 lbs. Gene
     
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  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,919

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The OP was not asking about modern tech, nor should he be, on this site, nor was he talking about a trailer truck.

    He was asking about old Iron, which is cool here.

    What is not cool is that towing with old Iron, on today's roads, with today's drivers, which could easily be a recipe for disaster.

    Jim is VERY correct in that 5th wheel trailers are a totally different animal than trailers otherwise.

    They are not called "The Friendly Suggestions of Physics". They are the law. The harder you try to break a Law of Physics, the higher the level danger you expose yourself, and others to.

    If all y'all'er talking frame swap, remember the site rules.
     
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  6. JUNK ROD
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 415

    JUNK ROD
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  7. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 2,670

    31hotrodguy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I know your set up doesn’t fit in with the H.A.M.B. guidelines but it looks like you did a great job making it work and the truck looks great!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  8. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,340

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Are we there yet?
     
  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,033

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,153

    anthony myrick
    Member

    but seriously, I haven't seen a towing weight recommendation on older trucks like we see today. Just GVW ratings.
    When I built my short bus, I used brake and suspension from a motorhome with a 11k GVW The bus weighs 6500 pounds empty and everything works great. I used 16K GVW brakes and suspension on my sons 61 c40.
    I towed a small tractor and bush hog with my 49 GMC 1/2 ton truck. Stock brakes and 3 spd. The chassis was fine, the brakes sucked. The 3spd was ok on flat surfaces but not on hills.
    The weakest link for older trucks and towing is the brakes. You can be HAMB friendly on light weight hotrods and run stock style brakes just fine. Im not hamb friendly with brakes on truck builds that will be needed to tow or be expected to handle loads. Old truck brakes sucked.

    A friend of mine called me about helping him find and set up an older truck to pull his camper. I recommended a 3/4 ton truck with updated 8 lug discs, hydroboost, newer rear axle and OD auto.
     
  11. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 2,670

    31hotrodguy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  12. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,984

    5window
    Member

    It is not nice to try to fool Mother Nature. As Newton said: Every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it. Force equals mass times acceleration [ ]. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Wind, bumps,potholes, drivers cutting you off all could be factors.
     
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  13. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,153

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I guess if your ok driving 45-50 mph everywhere and keeping plenty of distance, old truck brakes are fine
     
  14. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 674

    patterg2003

    One thing that also has to be considered is if the trailer is a camper then one has to allow for the wind resistance of the trailer. My wife bought a 27 ft camper that weighs 6600lbs wet. The Ford fleet towing guide says to add up tp 1000 lbs to the vehicle towing capacity for the wind resistance depending on the frontal area of the camper..
     
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  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,983

    squirrel
    Member

    you can do better than that, if you have trailer brakes. But yeah, you have to pay attention. And it can get exciting. But that's what life is all about, eh?
     
  16. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,153

    anthony myrick
    Member

    yep.
    I call it 'adventure driving"
    some folks jump out of planes, I drive old junk.
    however, I must be getting old cause good brakes is my main goal when fixin something.
    I have had a few adventures with old truck brakes, thats why my current old truck dont use the stock ones
     
  17. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 642

    210superair
    Member
    from Michigan

    I wanna tow my Chris Craft with the shoebox, but decided that is best left as an idea....
     
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  18. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 764

    finn
    Member

    You can look up sales information on oldcarsbrochures.org for scans of many popular models, but towing capacity information is scarce.. I looked up a number of fifties and sixties brochures for Ford trucks from 1953-~1967. Ford published gvw information for “properly equipped “ pickups, but doesn’t show gcw information for anything below an F500.
    I didn’t check the GM pickups, but the information should be on that site.

    I don’t recall Ford special trailer tow brochures before about 1965, and I think they only covered cars. The 1965 Ford pickup brochure covers the camper package content and cargo weight allowances, but is devoid of towing information.

    I recall Chevy having a towing brochure around 1967 that may have included light trucks.

    I have a copy “in a safe place”.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,983

    squirrel
    Member

    I want mine to work too. But I'm usually content with working as well as when new. Lots of folks aren't.
     
  20. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,153

    anthony myrick
    Member

    With the larger trucks the factory brakes didnt work very well.
    a coupe of roadster with juice brakes is fine with me, a daily beater fat fender or 1/2 ton truck isnt too bad either.
     
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  21. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,153

    anthony myrick
    Member

    thats what I have found
    not much info for towing weight recommendations for older trucks or at least not how we see the info today.
    The set up I used on my c40 was listed as "gross combined weight" in the range of 16-18k on what I can find on the motorhome chassis that I removed the parts from.
    the tow ratings were dependent on engine, trans and rear ratio combos.
    the chassis tag says its rated for 14K gvw for the original truck.





    I have to weigh the truck to fig
     
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  22. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,855

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Towing big loads behind a smaller engine is doable! You might have to use your gears like a truck, but the engine will do it if it’s in good shape.
    I had a slightly OT 4x4 truck with a 351 two barrel stock Windsor with a 435 and a 3:50 rear end and 35 inch tires. I was pulling a large camper with a huge frontal area into a headwind on I-90 in South Dakota. I pulled in third gear for hundreds of miles, occasionally getting into high gear on downhill slopes and going fast enough to make enough horse power to pull high gear. But I got there! Pulling a trailer is different that running solo! News flash!

    If you are pulling a heavy trailer, it needs brakes! Good brakes! Also there are hitches that help distribute weight and help control sway.
    If the trailer is equipped properly, you can pull a heavy trailer with a small engined vehicle successfully.
    Bigger/ heavier tow vehicles are better, for sure! But proper equipment and a smart driver can get your trailer and load from A to B successfully! I’ve done it many times with a variety of combos for , near sixty years!






    Bones
     
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  23. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,855

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Sometimes the towing capacity of a vehicle is misleading! Case in point: I just sold a Diesel powered motor home that weighed 21,000 lbs and had 250+ horsepower and air brakes. It had a really heavy receiver hitch on it, heavier than any thing I had ever seen on a one ton. When I checked the towing capacity for a potential buyer, it stated the motorhome had a towing capacity of 5000 lbs! I lost a sale because of that info! I would not have been scared to tow twice that weight behind that motorhome! BCBB023B-D5FD-44D2-AB80-C3BCF2ECF919.jpeg B7D37966-B6F2-4C5E-B720-337253EC21FF.jpeg
     
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  24. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 764

    finn
    Member


    Having worked in product engineering for a truck and engine manufacturer, there’s a lot mor that goes into a tow or gvw rating than engine power.

    Those big motor homes often have flimsy frame extensions added by the coach manufacturer, and cooling is pretty marginal.

    Brakes, Davis Dam minimum speed, oil temp, coolant temp, trans temp, frame and suspension qualification, and the list goes on.

    I imagine not much effort was expended in the immediate post war years, but it has been for the last forty years, and those qualification procedures weren’t just thought up when I entered the industry. Modified and enhanced, yes...

    By the way, I fixed the autocorrect error in my previous post. F500 and up had gcw and gvw listed in the brochures, while smaller trucks had only gvw.
     
  25. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,153

    anthony myrick
    Member

    yep
    thats where the gross combined weight comes in.
    I used motorhome/p30 based parts on my last 2 builds. Those chassis have a lot of overhang that is not as stout as the rest of it. I have seen some big motorhome owners wonder why it may only have a 3500 pound towing capacity.
    The sag from the weight can cause issues on the motorhome body
     
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  26. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,846

    Budget36
    Member

    Shit, now gotta spend , what? 80K on a Ford-whatever, or 300K on a Pete?\
    \
    Dang, hook a brother up with a trailer...
     
  27. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,846

    Budget36
    Member


    Well, most MH's have extended rails, least in my experience...speaking about the bigger, non-diesel ones...an they all have stickers that say not to mount a hitch on the rails (extended ones).

    Now a BlueBird chassis, i/e a Greyhound bus, etc, different story.
     
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  28. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,855

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Finn, I understand and you are right. But upon inspection of my motorhome , frame, hitch, cooling it just appeared to me them company that made the motorhome were just covering their butts in case of accident, due to most motorhome drivers are usually inexperienced drivers, by underrating the towing capacity. Another thing caused by lawyers and judges! .
    I will be towing close to 10,000 lbs behind my new motor home.








    Bones
     
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  29. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 764

    finn
    Member

    You may be ok....I don’t know.

    I do recall severe cooling issues with school busses with rear engines. Remember, it’s not only what the hitch and frame will handle, and very few manufacturers are willing to throw away a marketing advantage that a 10k rating would have over a 5k rating.

    Good luck, though!
     
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  30. Until recently, only the diesel pushers with tag axles had 10K hutch ratings. Almost all the single rear axle are rated for 5K (my 06 diesel pusher included).

    A friend of mine just bought a 2017, same size as mine and it has a 10K hitch. He said that’s been a new thing.

    Of course that was all OT....


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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