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 Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion

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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:08 pm

AA wrote:
I love the looks I get pulling this thing around. Fifty 40 lb bags:


Is that dirt? not for nothing but,you can save a fortune if it is by buying dirt by the ton. a lot cheaper than bagged dirt....BTW,towing with a Riv is just blasphemous
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:41 pm

It's a dyed black mulch that my wife likes. We get a bulk rate (10%) for buying a full pallet. I checked the alternative: 4 cubic yards (500 lb ea) of this stuff costs $154 + tax + $5 fuel surcharge, AND THEY DUMP IT IN YOUR YARD! WHAT A MESS!

We paid a little less than that out the door, no charge for fuel, and they loaded all those bags for us. Towing with a Riv might seem blasphemous, but it does a great job, and I only need to do it a few times per year. Had the back end pumped to 85 psi and leveled the back end out perfect. I filled the car up afterward and averaged 20.0 mpg for the week.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:09 pm

AA wrote:
It's a dyed black mulch that my wife likes. We get a bulk rate (10%) for buying a full pallet. I checked the alternative: 4 cubic yards (500 lb ea) of this stuff costs $154 + tax + $5 fuel surcharge, AND THEY DUMP IT IN YOUR YARD! WHAT A MESS!

We paid a little less than that out the door, no charge for fuel, and they loaded all those bags for us. Towing with a Riv might seem blasphemous, but it does a great job, and I only need to do it a few times per year. Had the back end pumped to 85 psi and leveled the back end out perfect. I filled the car up afterward and averaged 20.0 mpg for the week.

If you find a source that's not charging a Liquid Gold price for bulk mulch (150 for 4 yds is a little stiff, they must have a price break for larger amts like 165 for 8 yds...) consider putting down tarps in the dump area. The local Valu Hardware each spring has a 'dollar sale' and they put the 9x12 tarps (you know the blue polypropylene ones) out for a couple bucks per. 2-4 of them will hold all the mulch you can use and you don't have to futz around with those bags.

Just sayin'

Thread-related content: nice to see that a trans cooler and brake upgrade lets you bump the Riv's capacity up so easily without a real fuel penalty. I suspect the practical limit would be ~1000 lbs *tongue weight* if you have the right mods on the car's power and braking systems. 3000 lbs on a trailer built for it would probably come in around 375-400 lbs tongue weight. So in terms of will the Rivi pull a ton mile, well yes it will. The suspension should be fine (it will adjust for +1500 lbs load passengers and cargo) but the engine stress and heat, the braking, and finally uncontrollable environmental effects would be issues. What you're doing I can see you getting away with but not necessarily on a windy interstate for instance. As you are already aware, if you get enough of a crosswind hitting the trailer it just might pull your happy bee-hind onto the shoulder or further..

Absolutely can not let the tail (the trailer) wag the dog (the car)... that would be very bad...

All that said your post is *very* instructive and makes me wonder what capacity for towing can be built onto a smaller car? (Cruze/Volt/Aveo)? That's not a topic for this site, though.


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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:36 pm

Well, the 2-ton load of bricks (see above and previous) was pretty dumb on my part, but I was not expecting they would weigh that much. Lesson learned. But the car did pull it about 5 miles at low speed.

I am confident pulling 2000 lb at interstate speeds as equipped, because I've done the 50 mile haul with no real issues (see previous pages in this thread re: 6x6 fence posts). I've also done 30 mile trips moving furniture for a friend. I estimate that was in the 1500 lb range. Finally, there was the 300+ mile trip through the hills hauling home a large grandfather clock, which I estimate weighed 600-700 lb including trailer weight.

Good advice about the wind and forces of nature. I do try to keep the weight forward of the axle, and would probably not pull any weight through a storm or in the rain. Agree, that's just asking for trouble. What I've learned so far is that the Riviera is a luxury coupe that has real performance and handling potential, yet there is room for some honest utility in there. There's just no reason for a person like me to invest in a pick-up truck and pay the extra fuel price just so I can tote around some heavy stuff every couple of months. I also believe towing presents minimal wear to the car and drivetrain, considering the upgrades that make it all possible.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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Jelorian
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:14 pm

Very interesting reading about towing with the Riv. I just ordered the Hidden Hitch 90022 from autopartswarehouse.com. With free shipping + TAX, came out to $166.37. Not bad since most other places were charging $180+ and that was NOT including shipping or tax.

I don't intend on towing anything with it, just putting a bike rack on when taking the family and bikes to the trails or parks.

I will be getting a dedicated vehicle for trips to the snow and for camping in the Sierra's, but...it's good to know that properly setup, the Riv can tow a decent load.

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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:38 pm

Jel, best of luck. I think you'll enjoy this product. If you do ever try towing a trailer, I recommend using 3rd gear, so the TCC does not engage. For just a bike rack, you should be fine using regular OD.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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c0reyl
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:21 pm

Holy shit dude! I didn't think the rivvy could tow like that! godamn, I'd never do that to my car, but it looks like our engines are apparently mini truck engines!
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:57 pm

AA wrote:
Jel, best of luck. I think you'll enjoy this product. If you do ever try towing a trailer, I recommend using 3rd gear, so the TCC does not engage. For just a bike rack, you should be fine using regular OD.

Thanks! I've had the thing since Monday, just haven't had the chance to do the install. Will do it tomorrow and hopefully everything goes smoothly. I might as well take some pics as I go.

Now that I think about it. The Riv should have more than enough power to tow a motorcycle to the racetrack...hmmm.....maybe it's time to tell the wife I'm having a midlfe crisis and need to buy a sportbike again and get out to the track.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:06 pm

Quote :
Now that I think about it. The Riv should have more than enough power to tow a motorcycle to the racetrack...hmmm.....maybe it's time to tell the wife I'm having a midlfe crisis and need to buy a sportbike again and get out to the track.
No problem. My trailer has a modification consisting of two 2x4s bolted to the floor - receives the front wheel of any bike. I've pulled a motorcycle on the trailer more than once without any issues. Just tie it down real good with ratchet straps!

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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Jelorian
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:29 pm

Got the hitch installed over the weekend. Sorry I was not able to take any "step by step" pics as I was pressed for time.

I would have been much easier with a 2nd pair of hands but I managed to get it installed myself. An air ratchet would have made my life easier but eventually I got it all installed after 1.5 hours. With a lift and a second set of hands and air tools, this would literally be a 30 minute job.

The one page instructions and diagram were helpful, but the step by step instructions called for the wrong sizes of bolts and nuts. In any case, once you get under there and take the mufflers off the hangers, you'll see where everything needs to go and what needs to be removed to mount the hitch.

I must say that the Hidden Hitch 90022 really lives up to its name. You can barely tell it's there. Since I'm going to be using it to haul mtn. bikes around with a Thule rack, I had to get a Class II to Class III receiver which cost $25 at my local hardware store. I will also have to remember to take it easy coming out of sloped driveways as I've already hit the hitch once (minor scrapes).

Before:



After:

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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:51 pm

Damn...talk about hidden !!! cyclops
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:03 pm

Nice. As for the scraping, two things that might help: 1) the actual part that scrapes the ground is the threaded shank of the ball - take a Sawzall and trim it off just below the nut. 2) modify the rear air suspension with a manually adjustable air valve kit ($15 from local or online parts store). This lets you bypass the ALC system and fill with air to the get ride height you need.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:04 am

Bumping up an old thread.

I've been flirting with the idea of throwing a hidden hitch on the 98. This september my wife and I are heading out to New Brunswick to visit some friends. The trip is 1,600km. So 990'ish miles. One way. The idea i've been playing with is carting out the motorcycles with us too, so we can day trip and sight see on them at various points on the trip. But I'm not sure on a few things, and would like some input.

I've got a trailer that I can borrow that should be able to hold both bikes. Chantal's bike weighs 400lbs dry, and mine weighs 430lbs dry.

As far as I know, the riv should be able to pull it, but it needs to be reliable. Last thing I need for such a trip is an issue with the car. Also gas will be an issue. Gas is pretty pricey up here, and it gets even worse when I cross Quebec. Its going to be expensive in gas alone with just the riv and no trailer, let alone 900lbs and only 3rd gear.

What are peoples thoughts? what things to I really need to consiter or havn't I thought of? Perhaps I really am just looking for someone to talk me out of the idea. I could always pack really light and make it a bike trip. 52+ mpg and all. I dunno.

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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:21 am

I would put a trans cooler in before towing anything. And as far as just going on the bikes, I wouldn't do that either. You can never predict random weather changes. Maybe just fly out where you're going and get a rental for the time you're there?
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:36 am

3 things I recommend before towing:

1) install trans cooler (I believe you've done this already)

2) Upgrade brakes, at minimum a thorough inspection, fresh rotors, high-performance pads. Optimal set-up: F-Body calipers with 12" rotors.

3) PCM program to disable TCC lock-up in 3rd and/or 4th gears. I'm not sure if you're able to do this, but you don't want the TC clutch locking up with any significant weight being towed. Disabling 3rd is nice because you can just lock-out 3rd and tow at 55-65 MPH no problem. You can also disable 4th gear TCC lock-up and save TCC only for cruise control duty only. This will let you tow in 4th gear for better MPG.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:51 am

- Install Trans cooler.
- I think the stock brakes on the '98 will be fine if in good condition. I was always very pleased with my stock brakes.
- I don't see the need to disable TCC lock-up. I don't think that trailer will be such a big load, and the computer can figure it out on the hills. If you find it annoyingly hunting for gears on the hills, just manually drop it into 3rd until you are past the hill. TCC lock-up will help keep trans temps lower in the long run. (I know AA disagrees on this. I think TCC lockup is good, especially with heavy loads, but that's a conversation for a different thread)
- It will of course affect your MPG a little bit, unless you are being a speed demon. But that's a pretty light trailer overall.
- Make sure the trailer wheels, tires and bearings are in good shape.
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:46 pm

I agree the TCC disable isn't absolutely necessary, and if your '98 is stock it might not make a difference. If you've modded boost or timing, the additional 500-1000 lb + TCC lock-up will likely create KR under load, as when climbing a hill. Also, my TC clutch actually began failing while towing an empty trailer home, so I've always attributed this as a primary factor.

It might seem backward, but once up to speed, it makes sense to use RPM for power rather than boost & torque. Just seems to to put less stress on everything, as long as you can keep the trans temp in check.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:56 pm

Fair enough. The RPM argument makes sense to me with a smaller engine that has a higher peak. But if you have the torque, everything else is spinning fast enough for the stresses not to be much more of a factor. I prefer towing with my big blocks at low RPM where they make their power - the SC 3800 isn't much different. Lots of low RPM torque.

In theory you want to be at your torque peak RPM when climbing a hill (when you need the power). So 3rd gear there wouldn't hurt. But it's also easy enough to move that lever back and forth to select 3rd at the base of a hill you know is significant.
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:34 pm

Yes, when I said use RPM, I meant accessing peak torque RPM, enough so it's not in the bog zone (1200-1800 RPM). As good as our engines are at creeping along on low-end boost, they still don't peak until 3-4k RPM. Just running at 2.5-3k RPM in 3rd gets you a little closer to the sweet spot. To my surprise, I've found MPG doesn't suffer much in this range.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch, Trailer, and Towing Discussion   Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:08 pm

hmm. good food for thought guys. Thanks. The 98 doesn't have a trans-cooler, so that would have to be installed. The big killer of this idea though is when I ran the gas costs. Almost a grand in gas without the extra loss of pulling the bikes. Compared to around 120$(x2) for both bikes... This might turn into a bike trip. The riv will have to get hitched another day I think. Perhaps once I get my spare l67 converted and into the boat so I have something to pull it with. smile

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