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#4607066 - 12/18/17 10:15 AM Proper speed for safe towing?
carguy996 Offline

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Illinois
I put my popup camper in storage and drove it about 20 miles yesterday on the interstate to put it in my buddys barn. I set the cruise at 65 and felt that was fast enough. What is the proper speed to go on the interstate when pulling something? The speed limit is 70mph, my trailer tires are 12" radial tires load range E with an 81 mph speed rating. I see people flying at 70 plus but that just doesn't seem safe. I was safely in the right lane of the interstate and people were absolutely flying by me.
2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum AWD w/ ProPilot
2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite 3.5
2005 Chrysler Sebring Convertible 2.7
2005 GMC Envoy SLT 4WD 4.2

#4607088 - 12/18/17 10:36 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
BrocLuno Offline

Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5057
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
55 is max legal in Cali when towing. They'll let you get away with 10% over most times. So 61 is safe from the law.

But, it's really all about conditions like cross winds, braking, etc.
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

#4607092 - 12/18/17 10:41 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
gman2304 Offline

Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 2930
Loc: n.c.
At least the posted speed limit. I typically set my cruise at 5 over. If I pass you going 75 in a 70, and you're going 65 in a 70, it looks as though I'm flying, though in reality you're the one dragging the anchor.

#4607098 - 12/18/17 10:46 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
MNgopher Offline

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: Lakeville, MN
Most trailer tires are rated at 65 mph max. So typically, that is the maximum recommendation.

Your tires are rated higher than that per your post, so higher should be acceptable. After that, it is what you are comfortable with.

Personally, I tend to tow at around 70 mph.

#4607117 - 12/18/17 11:01 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
Kawiguy454 Offline

Registered: 06/01/15
Posts: 545
Loc: Arizona
Make sure the trailers tires are at their max pressure unless they are old and rotted ...then get new ones. After that speed is not what kills it is speed differential. If you're poking along causing a backup that's when others must dance around you and inevitably someone missteps. Go the speed limit at least and a few over wont hurt going down a hill.

#4607120 - 12/18/17 11:02 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
UncleDave Offline

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1555
Loc: Ca.
With the loads I typically carry 5-7500 around 70 MPH.

Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
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#4607128 - 12/18/17 11:14 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
FZ1 Offline

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 4727
Loc: Texas
65 max for my 12" st tires. I get in the slow lane and try to avoid "fast" highways.

#4607159 - 12/18/17 11:41 AM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
Miller88 Offline

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12571
Loc: Onondaga County
Depends on loading and temperature. I towed my popup on 4.80-8 tires through PA on a 90 degree day. The tires were so hot I couldn't even touch them. It was also heavily loaded.

I've taken lighter camping trips in may where it wasn't that hot out and had no issue sailing along at 70 with the camper.
18 Forester 2.5I 6M
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#4607202 - 12/18/17 12:15 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
meep Offline

Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 3445
Loc: Southeast
I adjust for conditions. Especially if the trailer is heavier than the truck. If you get sideways from a panic maneuver, there's zero chance of coming back with that big anchor shoving the tail around. If traffic is dense, I'm going to keep room around me, even if it means slowing down. Watch how the big rig drivers do it. They seem to shoot for consistency and predictability. They may get close in packs, but notice how the packs drive, the best ones leave margin up front and don't jam the brakes and then take off. Your predictability lessens as you get more aggressive on it. On the open road, for me I also look at wind and other factors, including my level of fatigue. My tires are rated at 65, and that's generally about where I'll stay on the open interstate. I will not break the speed limit with a heavy load, as they seem pretty accurate for what I perceive the safety margin to be. I've had people pull on the road in front of me and panic stops are always an issue with a load, because the ABS is not as predictable, trailer brakes are not fine tuned devices, sharp steering swings a 5,000 lb pendulum around behind me, and even with load bars the braking balance is an unknown thing.

don't push it. is the extra 30 minutes worth the stress and aggravation?
2018 F150
2015 crv (wifey!)
2009 s60 2.5T

#4607218 - 12/18/17 12:25 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
WyrTwister Offline

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1135
Loc: Texas
No one has mentioned the bearings on the trailer . With little tires , those tires & bearings are whizzing along faster than on the vehicle towing the trailer .

When was the last time those bearings were lubed ? How fast are they rated for ?
God bless

#4607226 - 12/18/17 12:34 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
Silverado12 Online   content

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 2956
Loc: Central Virginia
I wouldn't go faster than 65 with a camper. IMO 70 is just too fast. Have seen a lot of these flipped over and trashed every summer (I'm a 20+ year experience truck driver).
12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
16 Challenger R/T Shaker 5.7 manual B5 blue
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
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#4607234 - 12/18/17 12:37 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
eyeofthetiger Offline

Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 529
Loc: South Carolina
I rarely drive my truck over 65 MPH when it's empty. Towing, it will be locked in 3rd gear doing 55 or 60 tops to stay in its happy zone.
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980

#4607235 - 12/18/17 12:38 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
Cujet Offline

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 6842
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Middle lane and modest speed is probably the best bet. Here in South Florida, the right lane has too much activity and the left lane is not for 3 or more axles. I’d be less concerned about the exact speed, and more concerned about driving smoothly and carefully with existing traffic flow.

#4607246 - 12/18/17 12:50 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
Claud Offline

Registered: 02/11/14
Posts: 491
Loc: Margate England
Depends what you are towing and what you are towing with.
A light trailer behind a pickup truck or old fashioned Detroit Dinosaur will be safe to tow at higher speeds than a light car with a heavy trailer.
Making sure both car and trailer are in good shape goes without saying. Driving within the trailers, rather than the cars, limitations should be borne in mind too.
Driving 5mph under the limit isn't dangerous, the attitude of drivers who are upset at the minor inconvenience this may cause is.
What is a safe speed?.That will vary according to the road conditions and towing vehicle and trailer. 25mph could be dangerous in certain circumstances, 90mph quite safe in others.


#4607274 - 12/18/17 01:19 PM Re: Proper speed for safe towing? [Re: carguy996]
Tman220 Offline

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 135
Loc: MN
safe towing is in the hands of the driver and the rig. There are way too many variables and differences in tow vehicles, trailers, drivers, conditions, etc to impose a arbitrary towing speed limit across the board.

A half ton pickup nearly maxed out towing a 9000 lb. camper is certainly more sketchy than a 1 ton dually towing a 15,000 lb gooseneck. That half ton truck at 65 MPH might be pushing it in a lot of situations. Coming from someone that has towed many thousands of miles towing a 15,000 lb. unloaded goose neck with a 1 ton dually I can tell you with a good setup there is no reason 75 mph is dangerous.

To the OP and his over-loaded popup, 65 mph is probably enough. A lot of pull behind campers are very easily over-loaded. Not only that but they tend to only be used a couple months of the year increasing the chances of bearing and tire issues.

Edited by Tman220 (12/18/17 01:24 PM)
2012 Regal GS Turbo PP 5w30
1994 Camaro Z28 LT1 355 CI, 430 RWHP PP 5W30

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