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Old 04-18-2006, 04:30 PM   #1
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Angry High Speed on Interstate

One of our members just lost their SUV and Airstream on I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida. They were in the right hand lane going 62-65 mph when a tractor trailer passed them at what they estimated to be about 80+ mph. The draft from the tractor pulled them to the left and they think that they made contact with the 18 wheeler. They lost control and rolled their unit on its left side in the center lane of I-95. The truck driver did not stop. This couple keeps thier unit in the best mechanical conditon and have all the saftey stuff propery attached. It was not a mechanical problem. Excessive speed by big trucks can be a problem to any of us, they do move you at times. Be careful and use your rearviews, it may not prevent you from having an accident but it may let you be prepared to try to advert. They had to be cut from the SUV but were not seriouisly injured. The really sad part is this is the end of their RVing, and it didn't have to be. I hope the truck driver has a good story to tell over beers.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
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I certainly hope the driver and passenger(s) are OK physically. All mechanical items can be replaced or repaired. Thanks for the word of advice.

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Old 04-18-2006, 04:37 PM   #3
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This is most unfortunate and totally unnecessary. Thank goodness they survived. The Florida Highway Patrol does little to stop this , as big rigs in Florida have the pedal to the metal most of the time.

On our last trip to Orlando in February (sans Airstream) we were traveling at 72 to 75 MPH in a Saturn minivan and we were routinely passed by trucks travelling a lot faster than we were.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:58 PM   #4
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California has a 55mph speed limit for towing vehicles, and trucks.
I often cursed this, as 62mph is a much more comfortable speed for me, but at the risk of getting a speeding ticket. Now after reading this story, I am very glad that we have this speed limit. It keeps the big rigs under 70mph, usually, with less impact on innocently towed travel trailers.
I am glad that the couple towing the Airstream is ok, but sad at teh same time that it would have to end their RV fun. Can't blame them, though. This is scary stuff.
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:18 PM   #5
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I have long been an advocate for speed limiters for the big rigs for a variety of reasons. With my dually I seldom run over 65mph. Many of the big name haulers have their trucks chipped to limit top speeds, typically it is the independants that are screaming down the roads. If they have the "Safety" bumper stickers I don't hesitate to call in if they are exceeding the speed limits. Several times it has been a Wallymart trailer being pulled by a contract hauler...

Tarheel,
Please give my condolences to them and I hope they don't quit Airstreaming because of this incidence.

There are a bunch of idiots loose on the highways and unfortunately the HP can't catch all of them.

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Old 04-18-2006, 05:56 PM   #6
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Unhappy So sorry to hear that

It is such a shame when things like this happen. I am glad that they are safe, I can see how it would scare a person out of towing. I know I'll be looking more carefully in the rearviews.
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:02 AM   #7
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Rick, I am so sorry to hear of that bad news. Thank goodness those guys were obviously buckled up to have survived such a high-speed event.

Pat
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:39 AM   #8
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I-44 here in Missouri is very similar with 70-80 being the speed for a lot of 18 wheelers. I know that I try to be observant and watch the traffic coming up behind me and move a little further over to cushion the suction. I've gotten surprised a few time too. Thankfully my sway control that I used from my old Reese Dual-Cam and my current Equal-i-zer hitches have kept things in order....but if they come close enough to you, and you have the right wind and road pitch conditions all hell can break loose.

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Old 04-19-2006, 11:55 AM   #9
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Tarheel, it could be informative and instructive to know the details of the tow vehicle and trailer. That is, the models, weights, and axle loadings in comparison with the manufacturer's recommended maxima, the make of hitch and sway control, and the manner in which it was set up. I'm sure the poor victims don't wish to be interrogated, but any information you have could be useful to other forum members in preventing recurrences.
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:06 PM   #10
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I75 here in Florida is just as bad. You can be driving 80-85 mph and still get passed. I try and take the backroads as much as possible, avoiding I75 if at all possible. It utterly amazes me that people can have accidents on a straight stretch of interstate on a dry, bright sunny day. You can be stuck in traffic for hours after one of these accidents.
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:12 PM   #11
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Ouch

Man am I glad everyone was okay.

That's why I'm glad we don't carry a weapon in our TV. My wife would shoot 'em.

Mitch
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Old 04-19-2006, 01:18 PM   #12
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Details Would be Helpful

I know it's a delicate topic, but like Nick, I would like to know more about tow vehicle and hitch configuration. We have a bunch of people who come to this forum to learn about tow vehicles and hitches. If we can use this unfortunate accident to help others make more educated and informed decisions, then good will come from it.
Very Respectfully,
Ken
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:15 PM   #13
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The truck was a late model ford expedition, trailer 27' safari, reese hitch, believe it to be the dual cam as it was a fairly new 1999 unit. Wife was driving and has been for 5 years or more. She has pulled the entire east coast many times from Canada to Florida. If she had been able to get to the brake controller it might have made some diiference, but since she was hit by the truck probably not. She did try to increase speed to pull it back in line but it was not enough. Husband had much experience with mechanical in his work and I had personally seen the unit connected, many times, and that was not a problem. Other than hitting the manual override on the trailer brake I don't know of anything she or anyone else could have done. If she had seen him coming she may have been able to move to the right but he overtook her at a high rate of speed. She kept the unit in a straight line which is difficult at best to do under this condition. It has happened to many of our traveling companions, and most of them walk away from it, some don't. We lost one last year just after the Southwest caravan. Be careful, pay attention to small details such as brake away switches, over heated tires, good extention mirrors, wheel bearings, worn hitches and balls, chains. It pays to have your wife walk around the trailer after you have everything hooked up and are ready to go, she has caught my friction sway contol bar loose more than once. Take your time and don't get in a hurry, have a routine and stick to it. Be like the golfers, if you get disrupted while hooking up start the routine all over again. Don't socialize while hooking up. Don't help others unless they request. Talking to them can make them over look a step.
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel
Take your time and don't get in a hurry, have a routine and stick to it. Be like the golfers, if you get disrupted while hooking up start the routine all over again. Don't socialize while hooking up. Don't help others unless they request. Talking to them can make them over look a step.
Good advice
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