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What Changed?


Razors Edge
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...between the 50s/60s when you always saw CARS pulling trailers, to nowadays when folks are buying super-trucks and SUVs for the same things?

Seriously, when did folks decide normal cars couldn't/shouldn't be pulling something like an Airstream?

airstreamCVR.jpg

64-Airstream-Ad.jpg

1957-Dodge-Airstream-2.jpg

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1 minute ago, sheep_herder said:

Doesn't mean it was not hard on the vehicles,

I do feel like folks replaced cars a lot back then.  My parents seemed to have new cars every 2 or three years.  Not sure if that was normal or not, but definitely different than me.

1 minute ago, Further said:

The average car in the 60’s had the weight and power to pull an oak tree out of the ground 

I think power (ie HP) is insanely high these days for cars. Torque, with fewer V8s, did decline for a while, but now has rebounded in most 6 cylinder vehicles to pretty impressive numbers.  Not sure about the rest of the car - along @jsharr's thinking. I will say, though, when you go to Europe (or most other places), they are still pulling stuff with their cars.  Maybe more diesels, though?

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29 minutes ago, jsharr said:

Back then almost all American cars had full frames and big engines and robust transmissions, so they could handle the load.  Trucks were for working class and did not have any amenities and were often only available in two door models with a bench seat.

I believe the advent of unibody construction and front wheel drive and the move away from V-8s made the transition to trucks and SUVs more of a necessity

He said exactly what I was gonna say.  Full frames with big steel bodies.  It's not always about horsepower, but having enough weight to keep the campers on the road and keep the campers from pushing the cars around.  Those big old sedans are probably more capable tow pigs than a lot of today's modern trucks.  Also trucks are not just a bench seat and a radio anymore.  My Lariat f350 is very nicely appointed with leather, heated/cooled seats, etc.  

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31 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

Doesn't mean it was not hard on the vehicles, and folks are in a bigger hurry today. Bigger and 'better' trailers need a bit bigger engine and stable hauler to travel safely on the highways.

I don't know what you're talking about :D

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51 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

...between the 50s/60s when you always saw CARS pulling trailers, to nowadays when folks are buying super-trucks and SUVs for the same things?

Seriously, when did folks decide normal cars couldn't/shouldn't be pulling something like an Airstream?

Cars now are front wheel drive, uni-body, and have no power.

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59 minutes ago, bikeman564™ said:

Cars now are front wheel drive, uni-body, and have no power.

I don't agree with that.  My all weel drive is way better than my old V8 Camaro, Trans Am, or IROC.  And my little 6 cylinder puts out more horsepower.  It is a unibody though.

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5 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

I don't agree with that.  My all weel drive is way better than my old V8 Camaro, Trans Am, or IROC.  And my little 6 cylinder puts out more horsepower.  It is a unibody though.

Uni-body has no strength to pull anything heavy. Heavy is relative I know. And all wheel drive is not front wheel drive. Only having weight on the front wheels is not as good for traction/acceleration as rear wheel drive. Weight is lessened on the front wheels when accelerating. A six cylinder is good. Before my time, there were no four-bangers widely used unless in some sub-compact car, which is mid-sized today. Most cars had 8's, or 6's. And it's not necessarily all about power/toruqe. But the cars now w/ turbo fours, have to rev very high to get the same power of an 8 or 6. Even older six cylinder engines had descent displacement. No way in hell would I pull something w/ a piss ass engine now :D

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Just now, Philander Seabury said:

No power?  That would be early 70s to 80s when they were trying to figure oot emissions controls. That sucked!

But you had displacement, lower revs. I'd rather have a 175 HP 5 liter CI than a 250 HP 2 liter that screams.

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4 hours ago, jsharrwick said:

Back then almost all American cars had full frames and big engines and robust transmissions, so they could handle the load.  Trucks were for working class and did not have any amenities and were often only available in two door models with a bench seat.

I believe the advent of unibody construction and front wheel drive and the move away from V-8s made the transition to trucks and SUVs more of a necessity

I was hoping someone would say this. I was thinking the 8 or 6 cylinder thing, too. 

 

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4 hours ago, bikeman564™ said:

Cars now are front wheel drive, uni-body, and have no power.

My 1980 Nova had a 305 ci V8 (5.0 liter) with a 2 barrel carb put out 125 hp and 235 lb-ft torgue

My 2017 Chrysler 300 with a 3.6 liter V6 puts out 292 horsepower and 264 lb-ft torque and gets double the gas mileage.

 

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I don't think front wheel drive is ideal for towing, a lot of strain on the CV joints. And weight on the rear lightens the front end resulting in less traction. And a light car towing a heavy trailer can easily lead to a tail waves dog situation 

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1 hour ago, donkpow said:

I tow upwards 3000# with my normally aspirated 4 cylinder Subaru Forester. 

With the weight distributed properly I think that's prob just fine.  Where you get into trouble is not always weight, but big sails like a travel trailer going down the road at 75.  That wind displacement really has a tendency to whip the tail end of the tow vehicle around.  

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