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Old 08-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #71
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Another character you risk finding while following close is the guy or gal looking for a lawsuit or disability by getting rear-ended.

You and your trailer will find him much sooner than a driver without a heavy trailer in tow.

doug k
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Another character you risk finding while following close is the guy or gal looking for a lawsuit or disability by getting rear-ended.

You and your trailer will find him much sooner than a driver without a heavy trailer in tow.

doug k
Sad but true.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #73
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We don't quite get the idea that driving around 60 mph is problematic because you will be the slowest car on the road.

So what? No bigs. Somebody's gotta be the slowest. Driving isn't some kind of machismo contest. For us, slow is good because we can get about 15 mpg at slower speeds, including with serious mountain driving, and we lose that advantage with a heavy foot on the pedal.

Driving courteously at slower speeds occasionally includes (safely) pulling over to the side if we are backing up a line of vehicles on a 2-lane road with no passing lane. Around here, there are usually enough passing lanes that this isn't a problem.

In Canada (Ontario & BC, anyway) the top posted speed limit is 100 kph, which roughly translates into 60 mph.

We second the idea of choosing the 2-lane highways where feasible, as you see so much more and they are usually (though not always) posted at lower speed limits.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:04 PM   #74
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These data on traffic fatalities per state may be of interest. They are adjusted to show fatalities per 100,000 people, to level out the effect of state population size.

Montana (4th worst) has a 70 mph speed limit on the 2-lane windy mountain road we drove home on last week. They also allow triple-bottom towing: truck, trailer, boat. Just cuz it's legal doesn't mean it's safe.

Traffic Deaths by State - Fatal Car Crash Statistics
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #75
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IanPoulin....its something I will have to consider...I know that there are such highways down here in Alabama..Ive traveled some of them....they tend to be much more scenic....good points for sure!
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #76
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Alot of accidents arise out of the disparate speed of vehicles. Very fast vehicles passing very slow vehicles. So slower is not always safer - you could be struck just tootling along minding your own business. It's better to keep up somewhat with the flow of traffic.

Saying that, there is no way I'm towing above 70. Just too fast for my comfort zone. I generally set my cruise for 3 to 5 below the posted speed limit. That way, I'm fairly well assured of not having to do alot of passing myself, as well as actually being able to use my cruise control.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #77
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Rather than a certain speed, t's probably about maintaining a very safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, and not traveling too far below the average speed of the traffic you are in. Speed must be adjusted to roadway conditions, traffic, weather, road roughness for safety, as well as your own abilities (not all 80-year-olds think they're race car drivers).

For example, 50-55 may be a bit slow in heavy traffic moving 70-75. But 60-65 would not be.

On the open road 55 would be much safer in light traffic moving 70-75.

If the weather goes downhill, snow or ice, it all changes.

doug
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #78
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For us, number on dry daylight interstates with light traffic is between 60 and 65.. Number goes down at night, when wet, or when weather and traffic are both bad...

One really useful tip I learned at Advanced Motorcycle School: The ONLY safety margin you have is the space between you and the vehicle ahead, and the person tailgating you on your back bumper gets to share half of it.. What that means is that even an idiot on your rear bumper is less likely to hurt you and your trailer if you leave space ahead of you in traffic. If you do have to stop quickly, you can be a little less panicked, and give the fool behind a little more room to react.. Same principle works really well with the trailer.. My primary focus for safety is to leave room in front for stupidity to occur, and hope the concurrent stupidity behind can share in a portion of our wisdom by leaving a little extra room.. Maintaining safe spaces almost more critical than exact speed at which you are towing, within reason. Laws of physics do begin to intervene at 65+ when you consider actual momentum and energy of 6 or 7 tons barreling along on 8 little 6"x6" patches of rubber..
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:19 PM   #79
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If one looks at the white/gray hair in most Airstream photos and consider the acquisition cost of the newer Airstreams, these drivers are long past the "drag race to the next stop light" phase of their lives. Our reactions are not those we had in our twenties.

Thus doing anything to give us time to react to a deteriorating situation is smart and that definitely means driving slower with increased distances between the driver and vehicles in front.

I am looking way down the road for tail light activations and looking close for tire parts. There is no desire on my part to be involved with the speed jockeys weaving in and out of traffic. If a driver is texting as they come alongside, I back off on the power and let them mosey on down the road. I try and keep a mental picture where they are in front of me as they are more apt to cause an accident.

YMMV
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #80
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If you have the time, take the back roads and stay off the interstate especially on busy weekends. Traveling during the week is much better than traveling to FL on spring break week. If you have kids and they are in school, the government forces everyone to take vacation at the same time making the roads unsafe and the destinations crowded and unwelcoming. Alabama has played political games to extend the summer tourist season and shorted Christmas break and gotten rid of fall break which is our favorite time to camp. If your kids are not school age yet, travel now while you can. As they get older, it gets harder to get away. We have considered home schooling on the road at some point. My point is that once the government decides when you take vacation, driving safety goes down. You are usually forced to travel on busy weekends and you are usually in a hurry because of the narrow window you have to travel in. The best weekend travel day is Sunday. Fridays and Saturdays are usually bad. Do you homework on route planning. Try different routes when you don’t have the trailer. Google maps has a traffic monitor that can help you decide when to take back roads to get away from traffic jams. You can also use that app to find back roads that are not Podunk stop light hell. If you have ever been to Gadsden, AL or Boaz, AL you know what I am talking about.


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Old 08-12-2013, 02:21 PM   #81
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No trailer (in good conditions) = 8 over the posted speed limit, so I travel 68 in urban cores and 78 in rural interstate (traffic permitting)

With trailer, i'll run 62-65 due to tire constraints, but even if I had LT tires, wouldn't like to go over 65 because of the 29' trailer behind my 22' TV

Edit:
In WA, you MUST yield if you are impeding 5 or more cars at the first safe opportunity. On two lane highways, i'll pull over to let even one care past me if I've held them up for more than 10 minutes or so and there is no passing lane coming for awhile.

Sadly, our police do not seem to enforce this law often nor the "left lane is for passing only" laws...
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:28 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
These data on traffic fatalities per state may be of interest. They are adjusted to show fatalities per 100,000 people, to level out the effect of state population size.

Montana (4th worst) has a 70 mph speed limit on the 2-lane windy mountain road we drove home on last week. They also allow triple-bottom towing: truck, trailer, boat. Just cuz it's legal doesn't mean it's safe.

Traffic Deaths by State - Fatal Car Crash Statistics
I do not always go 65 75 mph I drive as conditions dictate. My son is Pro.driver with about 3 mil. accident free miles, he will not pull dbles. triples they are unsafe even tho some states it's legal. When weather gets bad they are the ones that wreck, so drive speeds where you feel comfortable, better safe than sorry.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:28 PM   #83
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We are lucky in Texas to have a system of FM (Farm to Market) and RM (Ranch to Market) roads that generally have light traffic and are usually straight and level in much of the state. There is generally no paved shoulder, but the lanes are most always plenty wide. Speed limits are usually at least 60; higher in west Texas. Towns are rare and usually very small. I can often find a country cafe for a good and cheap meal.

I make as good time on our FM and RM roads as I do on the interstate and I tow at the same speeds.

My GPS doesn't like the RM and FM roads very much as it rates them low on the pecking order when it comes to routing. To get around this, I specify shortest route and that works much of the time. I can also put in some way points to force the GPS to use these roads.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #84
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If I remember correctly, my friend who recently passed his CDL test told me that the law is to turn the flashers on if you are going 15 mph under the speed limit.
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