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Old 07-04-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
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Tow ratings - US vs Europe

Why are tow limits on vehicles sold in both the above markets so much lower in the US? Are the manufacturers of the TVs so scared of insurance claims or do they think US drivers are such idiots - or maybe a combination of the two.

The UK magazine for TT towers (I think it's called "Caravenners") rates the best tow vehicles for TTs of various weights. Last season, they rated the Ford Focus as best for trailers between 2000 and 2700 pounds. Have you EVER seen a Focus towing a TT in this country? The Range Rover was rated the best for TT's above 5000 pounds.

My '02 Kia Sedona, with a 3.5L V6 and a 5-speed automatic is rated, in the US market, at a maximum of 3500 pounds. The identical vehicle in the UK is rated for 3000Kg.

For over 30 years, my uncle in the UK towed an 18' TT, initially behind an Austin A55 Cambridge sedan. The TT was "coach-built" which is pronounced "heavy". The A55 had a 4-cylinder pushrod OHV engine that gave 55 hp on a good day (hence the "A55" designation). It had drum brakes and a 4-speed manual gearbox. Over the years he upgraded his TV a few times, ending up with an Austin Princess, FWD, 2.5L six, 120 hp. I think the fwd was more of a hindrance than a help.

They went all over Europe with that combination - Swiss Alps, German Black Forest, Italy even into Scandinavia. Slow going sometimes, but never a problem.

Does anyone know what sanctions can be imposed on US drivers that exceed the rated tow limits of their vehicles?
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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I will take a stab at this. First off, remember there are few apples to apples comparisons when looking at US spec vehicles and Euro spec vehicles. Even models sold both places will have Euro only drive-line components and brakes. So almost universally, the Euro spec vehicle will be more capable.

What I have always attributed this to is the litigious nature of the US and the lack of driver training. Most European countries do not have civil legal system based upon torts. That is, you cannot simply sue people, manufactures etc., for every perceived wrong. Most of the safety rules developed by manufactures are not developed by engineers, but rather by lawyers in the US. In other words, they look at perceived danger, not actual danger.

The second point is that your average Euro driver has a great deal more training before hitting the road, and then is much more highly regulated once on the road. They tend to make fewer mistakes and are simply better experienced. With the exception of Italy. they are all crazy.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Lawyers run everything. Companies are afraid of lawsuits. That is just the way it is. That is another reason why I take tow ratings with a grain of salt. My CRD is rated at 5000lbs (2268KG) in the US, but outside the US, it is rated at over 7700lbs (3500kg). All I can say is that with the few mods I have done to my engine, it pulls well, and handles as expected for a short wheelbase vehicle. And, I like the fact that I can do a U-turn in the tightest of areas.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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Have you ever seen the u tube video of this set up might be a good reason -
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnj72 View Post
Have you ever seen the u tube video of this set up might be a good reason -
I have some doubts on the authenticity of that video.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=shawnj72;416697]Have you ever seen the u tube video of this set up might be a good reason -
Has nothing to do with the thread.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Actually because of the surge brakes this type of pull back is possible when the trailer is heavy enough to over-come the car brakes
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:09 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=OldCoot;416830]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnj72 View Post
Have you ever seen the u tube video of this set up might be a good reason -
Has nothing to do with the thread.
Was or was not the thread stating about European and American Towing and why the difference and why the towing capacity is greater in Europe. and People from Italy are a bit crazy. And Smile for pete sake.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F and E Damp View Post
Why are tow limits on vehicles sold in both the above markets so much lower in the US?
[QUOTE=shawnj72;417186]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post

Was or was not the thread stating about European and American Towing and why the difference and why the towing capacity is greater in Europe. and People from Italy are a bit crazy. And Smile for pete sake.
Still have to stand by my reply, the video has nothing to do with OP's opening question. Happy now?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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I towed a lot in the Uk both for pleasure with a Caravan and with flat bed trailers while working. The one really noticeable thing I found was that no matter how big or heavy the trailer was I could lift it on to the ball, they were balanced totally different from the ones here, I never noticed the lack of electric brakes because surge was all they had. I don't know why there would be a difference in the weights unless it is being mixed up in translation from one language to the other, I've noticed that a lot with my new VW touareg TDI the contradictions are all over the place.The new Touareg's weight is listed the same here and in Europe.
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