Originally Posted by F and E Damp
I think there's some sort of conspiracy in the US to con TT owners into running much too thirsty vehicles to tow their trailers.
It's not a conspiracy. There is a huge difference between towing on the back roads of eastern North Carolina or South Carolina and going from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe in the traffic on I-80, or even worse, going across the Rockies in Colorado on I-70.
I've been there with under-powered and under-cooled and under-equipped tow vehicles. I've also had my transimission seize up from over-heating while on the upgrade to the Eisenhower tunnel (elevation 11K) on I-70 in Colorado. I've nearly had a 5000lb sailboat roll sideways off the trailer when the sway got too violent coming down an overpass in Florida - bent the trailer cradles pretty good.
Having learned the hard way (why I can't learn from other people's mistakes is something I have to change), I've found towing within recommended limits avoids those white-knuckle moments, having to change my underwear so frequently, and is a lot easier on the wallet long term (no unexpected breakdowns).
I have a 2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan (rebadged Kia Sedona) with the US 3500lb tow rating. I tow a FR A122 (base model, no front storage or toy area) in Colorado - about 2500 lbs actual. I had to install a WDH to make the ride comfortable and safe for the family, and ensure I didn't have sway when I had to maintain highway speeds in traffic. I wouldn't want to go anything heavier with that particular tow vehicle - but then I want to be able to maintain 50+ MPH going up the grades (on the straights) at 9000ft so that I'm not blocking traffic excessively.
As an engineer, I think the real reason for the reduced US ratings is the speeds (and associated stresses and strains on TV frame, suspension, brakes, engine) expected by US drivers in hilly and mountain areas. For living in the Rockies, I find the US tow ratings to be entirely reasonable - and NOT to be exceeded.
A question for the experts. I was in a Ford dealership a few months ago, eyeing the new Explorer. I noticed the footnote that said the Eco-boost engines were rated based on premium (92 octane) gas. Do they run well on regular? Or is premium needed to run decently because of the turbos?