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 > Your search for posts made by 'BenK' found 434 matches.

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RE: Hindsight moments

Have done and survived many, many stupid things and a Darwinian metric... Pure TV stuff: part of why I'm called Weight police Posted: 03/30/08 06:37pm Guess everyone has a different story. Mine is through hard knock schooling, even though during that period was a designer of industrial controls. So thought knew more than I did...youth and my only excuse :B Towed many of my buddies boats and trailers with my K5 Blazer. Learned lots, but not enough. Too short wheel base for those trailers. Some times with WD (theirs), most times just a dead weight tow. Thought all 4x4s towed like that (had to constantly correct that 'push' those trailers imparted onto the K5's rear end). Lucky I switched out that K5's suspension to a Dana 60 front and GM 14 bolt rear. Higher rate leaf spring packs and other goodies. That only allowed me to not kill myself, or others. That truck went hundreds of thousand of miles and can say that towing over sized and over weight did not shorten it's life, but then it had a 1 ton suspension (not tranny) with commercial tires (9.75"x16.5" dia wheels) Did rebuild that auto tranny a few times...was it from over load or the offroading I put it through? Both is my guess. Finally learned 'my' lesson around 1982. Borrowed my dads grocery store truck (my current 1980 Silverado C10). Installed 1 ton helper coil springs on the rear axle. Partner in a wind generator company doing retro fits to storm damaged wind generator heads. Had to gather up the busted components and take them back to the shop for forensic diagnosis of what happened, which components weak, and if our design could solve. Insurance work mostly. Each gear box weighed 'around' 2,500 lbs, no gear lube oil. Utility trailer was a dual axle (each had brakes) that we knew nothing about in regards to it's ratings. Don't know what kind of brake controller, as we took it out of partners Buick station wagon. Up on the wind park hill, about 8,000-9,000 feet, told the partner to only load up the trailer to about 8,000 lbs, which I now know was already over it's GVWR. He had 5 gear boxes loaded along with a bunch of hubs, blades, etc. The truck had all of our tools and other misc steel parts, which must have been around 2,000 lb worth. My guess is that the trailer was over 14,000 lbs and the truck was over it's 6,200lb GVWR by maybe +1K lbs easy. Trusted him and the truck looked okay, as it was level. So had the the two workers jump in and took off going down the hill. Some parts were over 100% incline both going up and coming down. Struggled, but it made it up over the top and now going down to the bottom was where I learned my lesson....when the trailer brakes over heated and no longer held the trailer back. About another 1/4 mile and the trucks brakes started to go and smoke was coming out of them. Considered jumping out, but the middle guy would not have made it. The drop off on my side was over 200 feet almost straight down. Parking brake set to expand the shoes, but all too soon, they didn't push the shoes out far enough either. After what seemed like an eternity, made it to the control shack. Unhitched the trailer and drove out to the road to cool off the brakes, as they were billowing smoke. Lucky those trailer brakes were custom, as I had designed many industrial braking systems by then. The trailer brake shoes were shod with custom friction material and the truck's brakes were HD semi metallic of that era. Left over friction material from my first wind generator brake design, as the physicists said too much friction and the blades would snap off stopping so fast, so backed off. Just 'had' to use that stuff up, so had a brake shop rivet them on the trailer brake shoes. Pressing the controller button could stop the whole setup without touching the trucks brakes, of course empty, so thought they could stop the Queen Mary. Said I learned my lesson and truly thought that, untill later that evening. Took off 2 of those gear boxes and drove home from Bakersfield to San Francisco. Going down the incline towards highway 5, lost the brakes again, but now at freeway speeds and accelerating. This time the parking brake trick was enough. Crawled home sweating bullets, as there was no way to off load 2,500 lb gearboxes out on the side of the freeway. I can say nothing broke and we made it without incident. A 'can do it', but not safely. Get this, that Silverado did not have a WD hitch setup, but just a bumper pull setup. Sure an after market bumper that I welded up gussets and other stuff to make it stronger, but still just a bumper pull setup. It didn't squat too much, as the 1 ton helper springs keep the rear end drop to only about 2-4 inches. Look at my sig and you'll see that all of my trucks were 'half ton' until my 1996 Suburban. Thought the modifications I made would do the trick. Sure mine could out accelerate most others, but there is more to than 'go', as 'stop' and 'handling' just as, if not more important. A couple of other accidents buddies had and I'm much more conservative with myself and more so in advice to anyone having to 'ask', as they know little or not enough to make the risk management decision themselves (gambling). I don't own a trailer right now, but borrow and tow buddies often. Or drive their setups for them, as they are older and prefer others to drive their setups. Yes, I'll say I'm a card carrying member of the 'weight police'...
BenK 06/23/17 12:29pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Survey says... 1T for 5th wheel & 3/4T for BP Toyhauler

Several topics in this thread #1 State regulatory rules, taxes, etc First, everyone drives on public roads the majority of the time It costs the state money in many ways. First to acquire the land, pay the various consultants/contractors/etc to plan and build it It costs the state money to maintain it, patrol it bot for safety and to enforce whatever laws are there. Don't like anyone of those laws...then do something about it...like talking to your legislator(s) and become active in the change/repeal/etc of them The roads used the most...wear out the fastest. How does those roads wear out? Mainly from weight factored by speed. The heavier your truck is (in terms of PSI on pavement)...the faster it wears out the road. Commercial is on the road full time...vs...RV'ers only a few weeks/months of the year. Full time RV'ers pail in numbers compared to commercial The why of licensing is both to weed out (force training/education/etc...plus health for commercial) and to collect funds to pay for all of the above...factored by weight & likelihood of miles per year (full time commercial, etc) #2 The OEM's has a contract to you, the buyer/owner of their products. That contract is in the form of written promise of warranty and specification for its intended use. Sine I know of no OEM doing business selling vehicles for free...they are all in it for profit...AKA making money after paying for all of their expenses. One of those expenses is warranty. Which is more than just parts and labor...hidden to too many is that it is also a marketing metric or tool Now after saying all that...humans are humans...from the victims to the heartless & cruel who will screw anyone, everyone...even their mother....
BenK 06/23/17 11:59am Tow Vehicles
RE: Quality

Too many have become part of the "Throw Away Society...TAS" and not many keep their vehicles over a decade...IMHO pickups has a larger percentage, but they too now have way more TAS folks these days IMHO...leasing a big part of this. Plus it is very subjective and largely based on brand loyalty...blind loyalty IMHO...along with OEMs products come and go. Both to be killed off for some reason, or get better or worse over time and that cycle repeats often... Nothing is perfect, as it also applies to me and everyone else out there... I don't give a hoot about WiFi/Bluetooth....nor much of the highly integrated computerized systems in my vehicles. Okay, maybe a new sedan noodling (divorce had her get all 3 sedans...I took the trucks and my 2 seater had before the marriage)
BenK 06/22/17 11:08am Tow Vehicles
RE: Frontal area for travel trailers

Watch it only will be telling after most of the damage is done... Hottest point/area and is where the heat is generated...is in the TC and at the edges of the vanes ATF temp senors are normally NOT there, but elsewhere in the tranny assembly. Where the ultimate temp is no longer, but muted by thermal mass and fluid dilution. That is part of the heat rejection management system...which is the main engine radiator and maybe an external Aux ATF cooler The damage will be in nibbles over time/miles. Initially not noticeable and will be an ever increasing issue By the time the temp is noticeable...already too late and maybe watch it fail out in the boonies somewhere Not just temp of the ATF, but the ATF's ability to lube the various parts well...as the temp increases up to the ATF OEM's max temp spec...its ability to lube is less and less until there isn't enough lube specification to do the job. By overloading, the engineered margins are reduced...meaning that most folks do NOT know that proper gear lube is engineered to have a layer/film of lube between mating gear teeth...and a ditto for bearings. They are NOT supposed to go metal to metal when the ATF and the rest of the gear box is used within spec... Have no skin in my advice provided...just have to sleep at night...rarely say 'no'...just provide info for the OPs to make up their own risk management decision(s)...AKA gambling...
BenK 06/21/17 10:19am Tow Vehicles
RE: Frontal area for travel trailers

Snip...... It is interesting to note the frontal area limit on the Nissan Frontier decreased from 60 in 2013 to 30 in 2014. The truck didn't change, I assume the standards changed. The limit is 30 sq ft regardless of 4 or 6 cylinder, 4WD or 2WD. Anyone have experience towing a TT with a 60+ frontal area with a small truck? Any sad stories? Happy endings? IMHO...to many warranty issues on this area...so they fixed it by reducing the frontal area spec/rating...and kept the truck unchanged...
BenK 06/20/17 06:14pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Weight Distribution Hitch Adjustment Question

What WD Hitch system do you have? Additional comments embedded below in red I apologize in advance, I am going to throw a lot of info out at once for a pretty short question... So My wife and I upgraded from an 18 ft. travel trailer to a 26 ft. Fun Finder 265 RBSS. I have a GMC Sierra 2007 extended cab with the 3.73 rear end Looked up your profile and it is a half ton....but there can be over a dozen different 'half ton' trucks offered by GM/GMC Best to list its GVWR & both GAWR, along with the GCWR in order for us to help you and we are using a hitch system with a separate sway bar and the weight distribution bars are rated at 800#. Without knowing the actual weight of the trailer tongue...800 lbs is out of context. See below need to know your actual tongue weight The roads getting to the expressway around our house are a little rough, and I have noticed some "porpising" while towing. On the expressway I have also noticed a slight wag in the rear of the trailer from what I am seeing in my side mirror. It is never severe and always corrects itself. There have been some windy trips home that were a bit white knuckle though. The dealer setup the hitch and the guy said that he got it pretty level and was happy with it. He marked the chain link I should be using. Based on what I have read, it sounds like there might not be enough tension on my bars. My main question is though should I be messing around taking in a link when the guy that does this every day said to use the one link? do not fixate on the dials/knobs/etc....all they are, are adjustments to to goal when finished adjustments. Have seen advisors run newbies in circles dialing in something that worked for 'them' and on that, just about every setup is different and there is no one size fits all...other than the goal for the final setup That there is enough tongue weight (should be in the 12%-15% of the trailers ACTUAL weight). That the trailer is level at it's highest pointing and IMHO prefer pointing slightly down That you are within your OEM's ratings...assume you believe in them. If not, then academic this discussion. If yes, then gather your OEM's ratings info...go out and actually weigh the whole setup, axle by axle. Then plug that actual info into the generic formula GCWR >= TV + Trailer + stuff. Some more info: I got new tires last fall. There was a mixup and the tire place and they ended up giving me Load Class E tires. I was okay with that. I have been running them at 45psi which is what the truck calls for. They are rated up to 80 though I think, should I be running them higher? Again, goes back to 'which half ton' you have. The higher rated GVWR will come from the factory with the next higher class tires that you now have. Regular half ton's come with passenager class tires (noted by a 'P' and you now have 'LT' or light truck tires) The door label will list a tire class and size...that PSI info is for that tire. You no longer have 'that tire', but the next higher class tire and you have to figure out what PSI is best for you LT class, load range E should NOT be run below 45PSI, IMHO. Unless they are flotation tires, which max out at 35PSI. Weight of the gear and people in the truck is right around 700#. Dry weight of the trailer is 5700# and most of my gear is in the front storage under the bed at the tongue. It does have a rear kitchen though and an outdoor kitchen so I know the fridges are adding some weight back there. Fresh water tank is over the axels and while I occasionally pull with water in there I never pull with the gray or black tanks full. Thanks in advance.
BenK 06/20/17 02:24pm Towing
RE: Frontal area for travel trailers

Maybe this will help understand this laws of physics... Take a 4'x3'x3/8" thick plywood (32 sq/ft) and hold it 90* to the wind of, say 10 MPH Betcha you won't be able to hold it without being pushed around...heck even knocked down Then do that in a 25 MPH wind and if we tied a rope to the plywood center...we could fly you like t kite...of course given that you do not weigh in at 400 lbs... Now transfer that thought to your TV pulling a trailer with double that frontal area at 60 MPH...
BenK 06/19/17 07:34pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Dang hay bales !!

Scary and glad you made it... When in my youth, rallied both my 2 seaters almost every month (MGB and 240Z) and the fear running over the speed limit in the Calif Central Valley was cows laying in the middle of the road at night (they broke through the barbed wire fence) to keep warm on the asphalt and during the day, snakes laying on the pavement to keep warm (if a rattler, they bit the tires to both kill themselves and give you a flat)
BenK 06/19/17 11:42am Tow Vehicles
RE: Right size truck ???

Wonder if this driver/owner learned anything about what and why it happened? Since the cab area looks intact, hoping no major injuries and everyone okay in there As said, saw several semi's on their sides passing them up at Grants Pass. Several more were NOT on their sides and are the ones whose drivers stopped on the side of the road where the road was cut through the hill (those giant 'V' in the road where they leveled it). We talked shop for a few minutes and he said this happens too often in this very high wind area (why they have huge wind farms out there) Patrolman said they were monitoring and only allowing a few through at a time, as the winds had died down...after he checked out my setup. K5 with 1 ton suspension (makes no matter...it was still a very short wheel based K5 1/2 ton) towing a PUP (low side profile). From this picture...wonder how much force it took to 'dent' the side of the TV like that http://stgeorgeutah.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/I-15FI-970x546.jpg width=640 These two pictures shows pretty flat area and straight...about to enter a curve area http://stgeorgeutah.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/jenn2-1024x623.jpg width=640 http://stgeorgeutah.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/debra.jpg width=640 Say that it could have happened to a larger TV...heck even a dually...if the wind MPH was high enough and caught enough square inches of the trailer sidewall (sail area) Personal choice...I'll always go with as much safety margin as can and try like heck to not be at the hairy edge of my ratings...but that is just me...
BenK 06/19/17 11:34am Tow Vehicles
RE: Oh no,....it's happening!!!

This is part of Darwinism that isn't working well enough anymore...that, that only happens 'to the other guy'... Because it is part of the hard knock schooling that has been taken away with the better designs and safety features designed into our products these days...and...the 'sure you can'...'been doing it for years with no problems'...etc, etc, etc on these freebie forums Because folks have it in their minds that 'it can...heck it towed the Space Shuttle' type of marketing that works so well...
BenK 06/19/17 11:09am Towing
RE: How much wind is dangerous?

Listen to the above very good advice Not an absolute...it depends.... 15 MPH could be too much...10 MPH could be too much...it depends...even 60 MPH MIGHT BE OKAY...it depends... How many sq inches to your trailer side ? How good a sail area is your trailer side profile? Rounded edges much better than squared edges in regards to wind issues... How fast are you going to be at ? Sustained wind or gusts ? Square to your trailer side or oblique ? Semi's weighing in the 80,000 range has been blown over...I've seen them the next day as I drove by them...asked the patrolman and he said that they were all were STOPPED on the side of the road when they were blown over... Laws of physics kind of stuff.....that we "ALL" face...regardless whether believe in these laws or not...
BenK 06/14/17 04:57pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Trailer Hitch

X2 Kevin...heck, cost of one of the best traditional designed receivers is in the $300 buck range...toss in another 1-2 hour labor to install vs their liability exposure is silly Another thing is that the old receiver has work hardened and might be too brittle for the use towing heavy
BenK 06/13/17 12:09pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Right size truck ???

Prime example of 'can do it' vs 'doing it well & safely' and the need to match the whole setup for that day Mr Murphy crosses our path... No time to go back to the store for bigger/better/right/etc...either it is there spot on, or not...nor time to resetup... The size/severity of the 'dent' on the side of the Taco says to me, that the sway went into a complete jack-knife during the accident Newbie learning session and this one didn't make it through it well...likewise newbie won't know to hit the manual trailer brake controller to straighten it out...most will hit their brakes to make the sway worse... Doesn't look 30 foot, but pictures make it hard to truly tell...maybe a 24'er....but regardless...it happened...
BenK 06/13/17 12:05pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Odd noise when towing

We taped empty 22 cases on Old Man Hessel's fan blade...'cuz he ran over our softball on purpose...shop teacher, but didn't know what to do... Eating breakfast and heard him start it...SCREAM/SCREECH...stopped...heard the hood open then close a short time later...start and SCREECH/SCREAM...while he drove past our house... Dad wondered why I spit out my mouthful of cereal...almost choking while laughing out loud... We also poured Rice Krispies down his defroster vents, turned on the fan full blast, his radio full blast and the wipers...He started locking his car after that one Vowed to never become the Old Man Hessel in my neighborhood when an adult...kids have way more time to mess with you if you give a reason to...
BenK 06/12/17 02:24pm Towing
RE: Interesting video

Just some thoughts on an interesting solution to towing a Fiver or much larger trailer than 'that' TV is rated for... Wonder if it would be cheaper to just buy a 3/4 ton or 1 ton pickup? Storage of that thing...won't fit in my garage plus the other vehicles Think many with CUV's will buy this to tow Fivers...forgetting that their GCWR will be exceeded... IMHO, think those chains are to keep it in line while those its steering tires try to track the TV forwards and most likely the main reason is going in reverse IMHO, Rube Goldberg would have thought this such a cool design...
BenK 06/12/17 10:04am Towing
RE: F-250 Towing Mileage Reduced by 25%

Check when your area switches from Winter blend to Summer Blend fuel... Always see a difference in MPG and during the switch, the computer has to re-learn HOW2 manage it Main thing is: RVP, or Reid Vapor Pressure and alcohol content also varies from state to state, region to region and city to city
BenK 06/09/17 05:53pm Towing
RE: 2015 Suburban

Yes, there is a "magic formula" and it is: GCWR >= actual weights of TV + Trailer + stuff But...gotta decide if you believe in your OEM's rating/specification system or not....and are willing to both go out and actually weigh your TV/Trailer/Stuff or use their max ratings as the basis to do the simple math Actual tongue weight is VERY subjective. Even if taking two setups with the exact same TV & trailer. Folks load up differently and even the folks weigh in differently...the why of the formula above and weighing everything (or knowing their actual weights...or using the max weight ratings...GVWR of both TV & trailer, etc) Also, above assumes stock. If you have modified, then your re-engineering must take that into account...luck that most OEMs have such a high margin designed in today, that many can overload and not notice...they just reduced their setups performance and longevity You will also need to know your OEMs (both TV and Trailer) ratings: GVWR GAWR (front and rear) GCWR MTWR (max trailer weight rating) is only applicable if you own a curb or stripper model, one 150LB driver and pretty much nothing else loaded onto/into the TV Diff ratio, but with today's close ratio (more gears) and Tow/Haul button, generally a moot discussion The towing capacity of my suburban says 6,000 lbs. Is there a magic formula I should stay under as far as trailer? I've been told to stay around 5,000. We really like one that's 5,400.
BenK 06/09/17 02:13pm Tow Vehicles
RE: F150 3.15 axle 10 speed equals 3.55 axle 6 speed

Justification to purchase a newer truck ? If so, cool...go for it...it's your money... If me (note I keep mine for decades) for less $$$...on my list are 4.54's or 4.88's on both diiferentials and an over drive with OD 0.7 or 0.6 or 0.5 ratios with a splitter function...for the day a gosh darn have to rebuild the 7.4L into a "built" 7.4L Thought about 5.13's, but that negates the double OD and gets back close to the current OD of 3.0...so 4.88's begets 2.85'sfinal double OD That will then provide the type of close ratio gearing the current &a next gen trucks have...my 4 speed automatic will become an 8 speed with a double OD and a lower first gear. Plus a kit to manually switch to 4x4 lock...giving compound low with the above ratios to maneuver a trailer around a difficult camp ground Gotta say too many view and talk about these things without looking at the whole system, but only sections of the whole...like just the diff ratio without the up stream gear ratios that factor the diff ratio...or that any gear ratio other than 1:1 is a torque multiplier by the ratio in question..
BenK 06/07/17 08:43pm Tow Vehicles
RE: LT265 x 75 R16 tires recommendation.

First...WONDERFUL to find you, Peter, and your thoughts on tires !!!! Add that there is more to it than just PSI vs tire size/type/etc...the rim width also matters... a lot Dependent or factored by the OEMs min/max rim recommendations (on that, not many understand the ramifications of NOT following an OEMs recommendations), which is a bell curve they establish for the performance/specification they designed & certified to That the narrow end of of their recommendation will have more sidewall bend-back...that creates more flexing, which reduces the sidewall's efficiency (more heat and higher rolling resistance), increasing the slip angle and a reduction on other attributes of 'that' tire...my kind of desired/demanded tire performance suffers with a narrow rime width Wider with the exact same tire will have less sidewall bend-back. Less flexing (less heat, higher rolling resistance), less slip angle, etc...my kind of desired/demanded tire performance is up there and now have a rim width 2 inch wider than the OEM recommended 8". Perfect for my driving style Another attribute to your comment of AF/Mudder/Off-Road/etc vs Highway tread pattern into the sidewall is that the OEMs design the tread to sidewall area differently...generally speaking. There are some whose designs are exactly the same between them. A true off road designed tire will have the tread area invert to form a cup when aired down to, say 15 PSI. Also, the apparent tire dia changes to something in the neighborhood of 8-10 feet or more (+ 3 meters) with the sidewall bulge to increase the contact width Why running aired down tires off road above 15 MPH is deadly to the tires longevity Again, much appreciate your comments !!!! Currently running Bridgeston Duel Revo LT265/75R16E's on alloy 16x10 wheels and love them after having several sets of Michelin LTX-AT and LTX-MS's I will show 2 pictures, that show the inpact of treathprofile on howmuch the tire can deflect without overheating the rubber . Used it to prove that an ofroad( looking) tire must have lesser deflection for savety then a road tire. snip... So , besides using experiënce of others here, you can also yudge a new tire yourselfes by the profile. If you only do on road driving , you better take a normal tire, and no offroad type. And if do want an offroad type , dont take the agrasiv looking types as the last picture, but the middle type left on the first picture, and use an higher tirepressure for it . I can help you with calculating a needed pressure for it , once you have one. Greatings from a "Dutch Pigheaded Selfdeclared tirepressure-specialist. Peter
BenK 06/07/17 02:09pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Hijackers and Weight distribution hitches

Watch them...blew mine out on my 1970 FJ40 while up in the Idaho Panhandle What normally was a 3-4 hour trek back to pavement turned into a +3 day ordeal of constantly stuffing logs between the rear axle tube and frame as they came off or pulverized to sawdust. Held in there with bailing wire (why my 4x4 tool box has tons of stuff). In my 20's and still in college working three part time jobs +odd jobs...so thought I knew EVERYTHING. Dick Cepek told me: "kid, they will blow out out there while 4x4'ing"...put in a proper lift kit (which back then, were not very good)...just about everything Dick warned me...became true...miss that guy a lot
BenK 06/07/17 01:53pm Towing
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