Purchase ?

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On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 13:18:18 -0600, John wrote:


Forget the SUV. Get a 1969 Chevrolet Kingswood station wagon. 454, M-22, Moser 12 bolt. Paint it two-tone, white top and big-chunk metal flake green. Dog-dishes and steelies, Flowmonsters and green-tinted glass. Trade your current trailer on one of those big silver AirStreams. Everytime you pull up to a stoplight, alternate between quoting Brady Bunch episodes and screaming that you're "Oh, oh, oh, oh, stayin alive! Stayin alive!"
Sorry for the smartass post, but the idea hit me and wouldn't go away. In fact, where'd I put my AutoTrader...
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Marky wrote:everytime you pull up to a light alternate between quoting Brady Bunch episodes...........
The Brady's had Mopar wagons in the series, not Chevy. The one that Carol smashed the RR quarter panel & taillight out on was a brown Chrysler or Plymouth Wagon. Satelite or Newport? The wagons were not seen or used as much as Mike's cars. I can only recall the brown wagon, and no others......that was the one used in the 3 part Grand Canyon episode.
The last year of the series Mike had a Caprice convertible it was used in the episode Marcia's Driving Test.
Mike's Cars - all convertibles ------------------------------------- 1966 silver Newport Conv, 1969 blue Plymouth Fury Conv., 1971 blue Plymouth Barracuda Conv. ( which oddly had a tailight panel from a 72 Barracuda that had the round taillights ), The last car Mike had was a 1974 or 75 maroon Chevy Caprice conv.
Far Out !
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~269,000 miles_~_~_
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It sounds like you're not going to tow very often. You might consider buying a regular passenger vehicle (such as a minivan) and then renting a big SUV for the camping trips. You'd save a lot on gas, the purchase price will be lower for a minivan than for a big SUV, and you'd avoid the problems (such as safety problems like rollover) that are common to SUVs.

Suggest you go to library and look at April issues of Consumer Reports, which will give you brief reviews of almost all passenger vehicles on the US market, reliability ratings, and references to full reviews in CR. Also look at the latest issue of CR for the index at the back to see if there are any reviews since April that could be useful to you.
But overall, if you only need an SUV for occasional use, I suggest you buy a vehicle (such as a minivan) that will haul people, groceries, etc. (which is what I assume you need to do most of the time), and then rent a big SUV only when you need it. Then you won't have to drag the big SUV around all the time and you'll avoid the typical SUV hassles.

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Renting would be fine if there weren't needs such as a brake controller, trailer wiring and a properly set-up hitch/weight distribution. Some of this takes some time to get set up right, and how many rental SUVs do you see with trailer hitches and complete wiring on them? Certainly not ones from Hertz or Enterprise unless the hitch is part of the bumper as in the Trailblazers. There's the matter of mounting the brake controller, getting the proper hitch height, setting the weight distribution properly. Certainly NOT all tasks I want to do EVERY time I go for a camping trip. Once you get the hitch height and weight distribution figured for one vehicle, it will take minutes to hook the trailer to the vehicle, and there's NO gaurantee you'll get the same truck as a rental. I'm SURE rental companies wouldn't be too pleased with you drilling holes, messing with the wiring, etc., etc in their vehicle. I say drilling holes because, in order to mount a brake controller, it should be SOLID, unable to move, and NOT resting on the floor or dash to move anywhere it pleases, it should be in easy reach of the driver to hit the manual activation switch in case of trailer sway or an emergency situation.
On 14 Oct 2003 09:45:02 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Neil) wrote:

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Mike Levy wrote:

Which brings to mind a point to consider. Unless there has been some recent engineering breakthrough, it is my understanding that electric brake controllers and ABS are incompatible. I believe trailer surge brakes are required when towing with an ABS vehicle.
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wrote:

Nope, electric brakes are controlled by an electronic module mounted in the cab of the vehicle. This module is activated by the brake light switch. Some have progressive force, allowing a smooth application of the trailer brakes instead of a full-on, lock-'em-up application. Using the manual apply lever on the control unit, a god-send on a trailer that might sway, will apply the trailer brakes only, allowing the driver to bring the trailer back in line with the vehicle, and also activating brake lights on the vehicle and trailer. Where does this idea of not being able to use electronically controlled brakes with an ABS-equipped vehicle come from?
As an FYI for all those out there, if the controller in the vehicle doesn't work properly, it MAY fail your trailer on inspection, if required in your state.
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Or he could buy a minivan and just rent a motorhome for the camping trips - forget about towing ;-)
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Another good thought. In my case, I sometimes rent vehicles when needed for limited purposes and my family enjoys having something different to try in those situations.
Another poster mentioned the need to have the proper towing gear and connections on a tow vehicle. I admit I don't know if the following is true, but it would seem to me it should be possible to rent a pickup or something that would already be configured for towing. The OP could take the minivan on the trips as a people hauler and rent a pickup truck (or some other tow vehicle) and take that also on the trips, when needed. I realize that having two vehicles on the trips might be slighly awkward, but it would only be an occasional thing. The above would be another way to avoid having to own and support a big tow vehicle (such as a big SUV) permanently, when he really only needs a big tow vehicle briefly and occasionally. The SUV fad seems to be continuing, but SUVs really make sense for only a very few people. For almost all people almost all of the time, SUVs are pricey overkill.
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Mike Levy wrote:

The brake controllers I've had were incorporated into the hydraulic brake line system. I installed them myself so I know how they operate. The controller transduces mechanical energy to electrical energy, proportional to brake pedal application, which causes the electric trailer brakes to apply with force proportionate to the tow vehicle's brakes. Actually, the controller should be adjusted so that the trailer brakes apply with slightly more force so that the rig does not jack-knive during hard stops.
With an ABS tow vehicle, the hydraulic pressure is pulsed during emergency stops. The trailer brake controller cannot properly compensate the conversion from pulsed mechanical energy to electrical energy. Since the arrival of ABS vehicles, many trailers are now equipped with surge brake controllers that are mounted on the tongue of the trailer. It is my understanding that the performance of surge brakes is only fair.
There very well may be, at this time, electronic brake controllers that are compatible with ABS vehicles. If there are, I am unaware of them.
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Having used both electrical trailer brakes and surge trailer brakes, the surge brakes work much better in actual driving. The reason that electric brakes were more common was that they were cheaper in the first place and it was easier to implement break-away braking with just a dry cell battery and a switch.
George
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wrote:

Going back to 1988, the only brake controller I've ever seen any family vehicle equipped with was an electronic one that activated electric brakes on the trailer. They all worked as I described before...
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Mike Levy wrote:

Which left me bewildered. You stated:
"Nope, electric brakes are controlled by an electronic module mounted in the cab of the vehicle. This module is activated by the brake light switch. Some have progressive force, allowing a smooth application of the trailer brakes instead of a full-on, lock-'em-up application."
I do not comprehend how an On-or-Off switch can apply braking to the trailer that is proportional to the tow vehicle's braking.
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wrote:

This is the unit I've seen in operation most recently: http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html
Here's a couple quotes from the page:
"Applies power to the trailer brakes in proportion to vehicle's deceleration"
"No level adjustment necessary - it adjusts itself to varying terrain as you drive."
"The only inertial control that works proportionally in reverse - great for backing into tough spots."
I'll admit, I don't know how it does it, but it does. I'll also admit that I am NOT the one doing the towing, this is for my father's camper, but I assisted in the install, he needed help plugging in the harness to adapt the controller to the truck, helped with calibration and have been on a couple short trips with him. E-mail Tekonsha, they'll be able to give more insight into the inner workings of their unit, they were VERY helpful to us when we needed a little wiring assistance, they may be helpful to you as well.
The site about my dad's (the link above) says it's inertial, but it can be mounted nearly vertical and it'll still work, plus it has a brake sense wire that attaches to the brake light wire on the brake switch.
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Mike Levy wrote:

The last paragraph turned on the ol' light bulb. Now it makes sense. Thanks.
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John wrote:

Why do you Need 3 rows? I'm curious as you do know that putting a third row in the rear crumple zone is unsafe? As fasr as I know, a Econoline Van and the Surburban are the only vehicles that the third row is forward of the rear axle.
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