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Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle



 
 
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  #31  
Old October 30th 20, 02:40 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
danlj
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 123
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

On Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 1:23:41 PM UTC-5, Chris Behm wrote:
I am wondering how often a truck for towing a glider trailer might be an advantage? I have yet to buy my first glider, but of course and thinking that the next vehicle I purchase should be a good one to tow with (Incidentally, thinking of the GMC/Chevy Canyon/Colorado, with the 2.8L inline 4 diesel).
But I am wondering how often that a truck is a better choice, all things considered.

Thanks.

Regards,
"Target"


Here's a quick little video illustrating the effect of weight distribution on fishtailing, using a treadmill and models
https://youtu.be/4jk9H5AB4lM

This short video is a little more detailed
https://youtu.be/PFzrWHTG5e8

Here's a slightly technical article on some of the important technical factors important in towing trailers with pickups.
https://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/ge...-with-pickups/

Here's a comprehensive technical review of towing physics (money required, or a friendly research librarian)
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/...23117708968545
Includes interesting references.

Ads
  #32  
Old October 30th 20, 01:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

On Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 2:23:41 PM UTC-4, Chris Behm wrote:
I am wondering how often a truck for towing a glider trailer might be an advantage? I have yet to buy my first glider, but of course and thinking that the next vehicle I purchase should be a good one to tow with (Incidentally, thinking of the GMC/Chevy Canyon/Colorado, with the 2.8L inline 4 diesel).
But I am wondering how often that a truck is a better choice, all things considered.

Thanks.

Regards,
"Target"


I'll probably go against the grain of many responders, but here goes.
I have been a very active pilot, flying 4-6 contests a year and moving trailers to my shop on a regular basis.
For more than 40 years I have used my regular daily driver car. All have been intermediate sized vehicles, selected with towing capability in mind. Most are V8, good to excellent suspension sedans.
Best of all time- Jaguar XJ-6 quite a while ago. Comfortable, excellent towing, good to drive all day.
Current primary- older Lincoln LS. Good to excellent towing up to and including Cobra with ASK-21. 23 mpg on the highway with my Cobra/ASG-29.
I have never seen the need for a true truck.
We now have a Lincoln MKX cross over. Very good towing, lots of space, all wheel drive, higher ground clearance. Not as much fun to drive as the LS.
My wife has a Jaguar XF cross over. Tows very well. Same attributes as the MKX.
The two recent vehicles acquired mostly because they are easier to get in and out of for less flexible people.
Most current cross over vehicles can make good to vehicles, given good suspensions and short rear overhangs. They also tend to have robust drivetrains..
I don't need no pick 'em up truck.
FWIW
UH
  #33  
Old October 30th 20, 02:16 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 774
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

Nothing wrong with a decent sized sedan or crossover vehicle for glider towing. As stated previously, weight and wheelbase are your friends. Subaru Outback is about as small as I would go.
  #34  
Old October 30th 20, 04:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Daly[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 685
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

On Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:16:35 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Nothing wrong with a decent sized sedan or crossover vehicle for glider towing. As stated previously, weight and wheelbase are your friends. Subaru Outback is about as small as I would go.


I've towed since 1995 with a Nissan Maxima (great), Nissan Frontier V6/2WD (great, mileage sucked), 13 yrs with a VW Jetta diesel (very good), and 1 and a bit with a 2014 VW Golf Wagon (Jetta Sportswagen in the US - great); both the VW's were manual trans (5 and 6 speed respectively). I've towed a tube trailer with an Austria in it (up to 2007), and an Avionic AVG15 with an SZD 55 in it since (just under 2,000 lbs - tow limit of the 2014 Golf Wagon). The clamshell trailer is easier on fuel (for the diesels, goes from 45 USmpg to 32 when towing at Interstate speeds). Nothing wrong with a small sedan/wagon for towing. Both the trailers had hydraulic brakes which worked very well. Lived in Colorado, and tow in NY (Lake Placid) and to the Ridge in PA; hills were no problem.

I've also used a newer Honda CRV for the club land-out king, and it was usable (disliked the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping beeps).
  #35  
Old October 30th 20, 05:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,678
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

Chris Behm wrote on 10/25/2020 11:23 AM:
I am wondering how often a truck for towing a glider trailer might be an advantage? I have yet to buy my first glider, but of course and thinking that the next vehicle I purchase should be a good one to tow with (Incidentally, thinking of the GMC/Chevy Canyon/Colorado, with the 2.8L inline 4 diesel)..
But I am wondering how often that a truck is a better choice, all things considered.


Here's another idea: look at the tow vehicles on the airfield where you will be flying. That
might give you an idea of what is useful in your area. If you do see a 4WD pickup tow vehicle,
chat up the owner, find out why they have it, then get their phone number, just in case you do
land out in a difficult access field. Buy them a beer once in a while, so they think you are
worth retrieving ;^)

Spend more on the glider, less on the tow vehicle - but get one that tows safely on the highway.

--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA (change ".netto" to ".us" to email me)
- "A Guide to Self-Launching Sailplane Operation"
https://sites.google.com/site/motorg...ad-the-guide-1
  #36  
Old October 30th 20, 10:54 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Chris Behm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 47
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

On Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:57:38 AM UTC-7, Eric Greenwell wrote:
Chris Behm wrote on 10/25/2020 11:23 AM:
I am wondering how often a truck for towing a glider trailer might be an advantage? I have yet to buy my first glider, but of course and thinking that the next vehicle I purchase should be a good one to tow with (Incidentally, thinking of the GMC/Chevy Canyon/Colorado, with the 2.8L inline 4 diesel)..
But I am wondering how often that a truck is a better choice, all things considered.

Here's another idea: look at the tow vehicles on the airfield where you will be flying. That
might give you an idea of what is useful in your area. If you do see a 4WD pickup tow vehicle,
chat up the owner, find out why they have it, then get their phone number, just in case you do
land out in a difficult access field. Buy them a beer once in a while, so they think you are
worth retrieving ;^)

Spend more on the glider, less on the tow vehicle - but get one that tows safely on the highway.
--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA (change ".netto" to ".us" to email me)
- "A Guide to Self-Launching Sailplane Operation"
https://sites.google.com/site/motorg...ad-the-guide-1



Thanks to all of you for replying. There is lots of great info here.
I should have been more specific regarding the car vs truck question. I am wondering about outlanding retrieves. Part of me thinks that a truck would be much better, the other parts thinks that most fields that are safely landable by a glider would be able to be traversed by most cars, especially AWD cars.
Being a bit of a frugal guy, I would rather not waste fuel 99% of the time. I suppose I could purchase a dedicated vehicle for towing to a glider event and the possible outlanding recoveries. But it sure would be great to have something double duty that could do both, and be economical when not towing a glider.

What are are the ranges of trailer weights for 15M gliders? I would assume a Libelle in an Eberle trailer would be at the low end of the range. What does that weigh loaded?
How about an 18M span ship, like a Ventus 2 in a Cobra or Comet?

Thanks again, guys.
Try to be nice to each other.....

Very Respectfully,
Target
  #37  
Old October 30th 20, 11:41 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,353
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

On Friday, October 30, 2020 at 5:54:34 PM UTC-4, Chris Behm wrote:
On Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:57:38 AM UTC-7, Eric Greenwell wrote:
Chris Behm wrote on 10/25/2020 11:23 AM:
I am wondering how often a truck for towing a glider trailer might be an advantage? I have yet to buy my first glider, but of course and thinking that the next vehicle I purchase should be a good one to tow with (Incidentally, thinking of the GMC/Chevy Canyon/Colorado, with the 2.8L inline 4 diesel)..
But I am wondering how often that a truck is a better choice, all things considered.

Here's another idea: look at the tow vehicles on the airfield where you will be flying. That
might give you an idea of what is useful in your area. If you do see a 4WD pickup tow vehicle,
chat up the owner, find out why they have it, then get their phone number, just in case you do
land out in a difficult access field. Buy them a beer once in a while, so they think you are
worth retrieving ;^)

Spend more on the glider, less on the tow vehicle - but get one that tows safely on the highway.
--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA (change ".netto" to ".us" to email me)
- "A Guide to Self-Launching Sailplane Operation"
https://sites.google.com/site/motorg...ad-the-guide-1

Thanks to all of you for replying. There is lots of great info here.
I should have been more specific regarding the car vs truck question. I am wondering about outlanding retrieves. Part of me thinks that a truck would be much better, the other parts thinks that most fields that are safely landable by a glider would be able to be traversed by most cars, especially AWD cars.
Being a bit of a frugal guy, I would rather not waste fuel 99% of the time. I suppose I could purchase a dedicated vehicle for towing to a glider event and the possible outlanding recoveries. But it sure would be great to have something double duty that could do both, and be economical when not towing a glider.

What are are the ranges of trailer weights for 15M gliders? I would assume a Libelle in an Eberle trailer would be at the low end of the range. What does that weigh loaded?
How about an 18M span ship, like a Ventus 2 in a Cobra or Comet?

Thanks again, guys.
Try to be nice to each other.....

Very Respectfully,
Target


I will throw my $0.02US here.....
I KNOW I have not towed as many miles as many here.
I will say I have towed using an early "Super Beetle" (90hp on a good day?) with a heavy wood trailer on flat roads.....55MPH with no tailwind was a struggle...Frikkin trailer was a high percentage of tow vehicle weight, even empty....sigh.
I have towed with large motor homes.

Personal cars, I have used a '75 Chevy Monza 4cyl 5MT, '84 Daytona turbo 4cyl 5mt, '88 Camry Alltrac 4cyl AT, '75 Chevy Nova 5L V8 AT, '98 Legacy GT wagon (estate or shooting brake....depends on geography) MT.
Most had upgraded suspension as well as tires.
Wheelbase and tow vehicle weight made a difference.
Heaviest trailer was an ASK-21 in a clamshell behind the Legacy. Totally fine at speed until cut off by a butthead on a downhill.. thanks for the truckers that saw it coming and gave me "wiggle room".
The Nova had "get up and go", but not good in soft fields.
The Camry was good in soft fields, but weak.
The Legacy was better, but could deal with poor surfaces. It was also a good daily driver and decent on long (300+ miles) tows.

Many decades ago, I "heard" about 9 passenger wagons with modded suspension, NASCAR type drivers going "really fast" back when you could land out, retrieve, return, relaunch......still score a day.....yes, before the first US gas embargo.

So, what is best?
Who will drive (some don't drive MT's).
By yourself or sorta dedicated crew?
Do you have a second vehicle onsite?

Many questions, many decisions.

Lots to think about.
  #38  
Old October 31st 20, 12:45 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Chip Bearden[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 90
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

I agree that few pilots want to invest in a special-purpose "glider towing only" vehicle. I've towed with everything from a Jeep CJ-7 (not a lot of fun although you never had to worry about nodding off to sleep accidentally) to a mini motorhome. I fly 3-4 contests a year and keep my trailer at home, towing it up to the gliderport about an hour away.

So years ago, I bought a used full-size Chevy van on eBay and fitted it out (also using eBay) with an interior, reclining seats, lights, sound, etc. There's a full-width third-row seat that I can sleep on (obviously not while driving). I paid about $11,000 for it 18 years ago and put another few thousand into equipping it. It's still got less than 100K miles because the only thing I use it for is soaring with occasional family vacation trips.

As Charlie Spratt told me once about all the guys with full-size vans: "We buy them as trucks and drive them like cars. So they last a long time."

I stays packed with all the tools, spares, equipment, etc., I use for soaring. I've slept in it for every contest since I went crewless about 15 years ago--with exceptions for Uvalde and TSA. If it's warm/humid, (e.g., Cordele, or on the road to a contest at a rest stop), a small fan cools things down just enough. It's long ago paid for its cost to acquire and I like the fact that I never really have to unpack/pack it.

It's comfortable to drive and a dream to tow with. Reliability has been generally good (the few problems have all been on long-distance soaring trips, of course). Mileage is OK (mid teens) but I don't drive it that much. It's got a V6, which has been enough to haul a family of four out West with the trailer multiple times. More recent V8s would be a better choice for both power and economy.

The one thing I miss is AWD/4WD. Once in a great while, it would have been nice to be able to drive out into a field instead of carrying the glider out in pieces. But that pushes up the cost and complication. Despite my participation on this newsgroup, I try to stay friendly with other pilots so that if I need 4WD someday, I can borrow it.

When I was growing up and for years after, we towed with the daily driver. Breaking that rule can be very expensive but it doesn't necessarily mean buying a brand-new high-end vehicle that sits most of the time.

Just another view.

Chip Bearden
JB
  #39  
Old October 31st 20, 12:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
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Posts: 4,379
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

Freshly plowed fields, especially hilly ones, might be difficult for a
lot of AWD cars. I've landed in some of those. We, my partner and I,
once had a rancher use his tractor with front end loader to pull our
glider out of his field. He also took down a fence to get the job done.

Dan
5J

On 10/30/20 3:54 PM, Chris Behm wrote:
Part of me thinks that a truck would be much better, the other parts thinks that most fields that are safely landable by a glider would be able to be traversed by most cars, especially AWD cars.

  #40  
Old October 31st 20, 12:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
6PK
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 235
Default Truck vs Car as a tow vehicle

On Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 11:23:41 AM UTC-7, Chris Behm wrote:
I am wondering how often a truck for towing a glider trailer might be an advantage? I have yet to buy my first glider, but of course and thinking that the next vehicle I purchase should be a good one to tow with (Incidentally, thinking of the GMC/Chevy Canyon/Colorado, with the 2.8L inline 4 diesel).
But I am wondering how often that a truck is a better choice, all things considered.

Thanks.

Regards,
"Target"


I fly regularly straight out (putting on many, many miles) for more years now that I care to admit.
I always had a minivan one Toyota and now I'm on my fifth Honda Odyssey (works well for me),never any issues. Whatever the tow vehicle what is critical is that the tow hitch is the right kind/height keeping the trailer level. The axel on the trailer needs to be in the right spot too for balance (no worries about Cobra trailers there).Of course good quality trailer tires are very important too.
 




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