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Old 09-16-2016, 04:29 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by DerrickB View Post
Question on insurance (I'm fairly new to ownership of our 2011 25' Flying Cloud). When I signed up for our policy through USAA, I didn't have much success with getting the full value insured. (Based on what I paid for the trailer).

Any suggestions?
All, I'm the OP for this thread so I'll respectfully request that we terminate further insurance discussion in this thread and pick it up in the Insurance sub-forum as Peter (OTRA15) suggested. That said, I've also got a quick answer for Derrick...

Derrick, welcome to the forum! I have had USAA for over 30 years and I planned to insure with them because they insure me for everything else and I've always been ecstatic with their service. When I called to insure my 2017 Classic, I started pressing with questions about replacement value, towing, etc.. That's when they told me that if I wanted "better" coverage than heir standard policy, that they have a USAA relationship with Progressive. What that means is that you can call back, ask for insurance and when you get a rep on the line, ask to be routed to their Progressive RV Insurance "Partner" ... you'll be pleased with your decision. You'll save a fair amount over going to Progressive yourself.

Thanks and good luck!
Rich
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:35 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Roger, that un-hitched experience you had makes me consider a "break-away" link in my safety-chains.

Are you familiar with the Tuson Anti-Sway trailer braking system? and if so,...what are your impressions of it versus other types (such as friction devices, and bars.)?
Roger has already answered, but it's important to understand the purpose of the safety chains so that you properly attach them to the tow vehicle, and also the breakaway switch lanyard cable. Years ago, a friend of mine experienced a failure of the hitch assembly that caused a trailer loaded with firewood to separate from his F350 on a 6% downgrade.
For whatever reason, the safety chains also separated from the tow vehicle and so the only way he was able to stop the trailer (as it was passing him on the hill) was to intercept it with the truck and to cause it to steer into the ditch. The aftermath was a destroyed highway guard rail and most of the exterior panels of the truck on one side.

To do it properly, the safety chains should never be attached to the hitch shank, and preferably they would not be attached to any part of the receiver assembly, but instead go directly to the chassis of the tow vehicle, so that even if the hitch assembly failed, the safety chains would ensure that the trailer continued to follow the tow vehicle.
Secondarily and as a final safety measure, the breakaway switch lanyard should be attached on a third independent point, so even if the safety chains failed by pulling their tow vehicle attachment points away, the lanyard would remain attached to the tow vehicle and then cause the trailer brakes to engage when the trailer separated from the tow vehicle.

I will say that's not the way I currently do it... but I do know how I would go about setting up a properly redundant trailer hookup.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:51 PM   #87
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Roger, thanks for the PM, and by the way, I really appreciate your fact-based response. I respect your credentials and I'm (we're) all ears if there's anything else you can contribute to the thread as far as providing any additional advise framed from the perspective of newbies.

Coincidentally, I had started a different thread, "The Anatomy of a Towing Accident -- What Is?"
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...is-155778.html
I learned a lot from that thread, coupled with this one, but still can't help wonder if there isn't anything else you can contribute for not just myself, but anyone else that's new and looking for tips on how not to be the subject of such attention in their own (my own) accident ...

Thanks again for your time and attention and for everyone else's participation on these two safety-related threads...

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:10 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by riffin-rich View Post
All, I'm the OP for this thread so I'll respectfully request that we terminate further insurance discussion in this thread and pick it up in the Insurance sub-forum as Peter (OTRA15) suggested. That said, I've also got a quick answer for Derrick...

Derrick, welcome to the forum! I have had USAA for over 30 years and I planned to insure with them because they insure me for everything else and I've always been ecstatic with their service. When I called to insure my 2017 Classic, I started pressing with questions about replacement value, towing, etc.. That's when they told me that if I wanted "better" coverage than heir standard policy, that they have a USAA relationship with Progressive. What that means is that you can call back, ask for insurance and when you get a rep on the line, ask to be routed to their Progressive RV Insurance "Partner" ... you'll be pleased with your decision. You'll save a fair amount over going to Progressive yourself.

Thanks and good luck!
Rich
With apologies for thread drift - but I just completed my 2nd claim with my USAA (44-year member) Progressive policy. I hit a bird at 55 -60 mph and damaged the curbside upper middle panel. About $4k. Progressive provided me first rate service twice in 20 months.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:56 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRHEDS View Post
Roger, thanks for the PM, and by the way, I really appreciate your fact-based response. I respect your credentials and I'm (we're) all ears if there's anything else you can contribute to the thread as far as providing any additional advise framed from the perspective of newbies.

Coincidentally, I had started a different thread, "The Anatomy of a Towing Accident -- What Is?"
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...is-155778.html
I learned a lot from that thread, coupled with this one, but still can't help wonder if there isn't anything else you can contribute for not just myself, but anyone else that's new and looking for tips on how not to be the subject of such attention in their own (my own) accident ...

Thanks again for your time and attention and for everyone else's participation on these two safety-related threads...

Thanks,
Rich
It's my pleasure, Rich. Unfortunately there really isn't much else to add for this particular crash. None of us were there, and without that firsthand knowledge, or the information from the investigator who puts it together there's really not much to be gleaned from the information we have.

As I said in my original post, making sure that all of those issues I alluded to are resolved, even if you have one of the expensive magic hitches is the best way to ensure that you don't find yourself upside-down on the road somewhere. Make sure that your hitch is properly set up. Regular inspections of your equipment are key. And never EVER get in a hurry. When the conditions deteriorate, slow down to a safe speed. It's much better to be a little late to the party than not to make it to the party at all.

If you just do those few things, you'll likely never have a white knuckle ride.

Roger
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:41 AM   #90
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Hi Everyone

If it is helpful I can add a little to this story. Fish tailing happens when the trailer is traveling faster than the tow vehicle so it is going a longer distance than the tow vehicle, a "S" pattern instead of a straight line. Correct weight distribution geometry and sway controls all contribute to absorbing any extra energy in the trailer.

There is a tendency to class tow vehicles by the design of the body SUV, Pick UP Car etc. However that is not the best way to access a the capability of a tow vehicle. In fact these days you can have different styles of vehicles built on the same basic chassis platform.

There are substantial differences in the stability you can achieve with the same type of vehicle. So the worst handling pick up trucks are considerably less stable than the best handling compact SUV's and vise versa. Part of this is due to the priorities necessary for the vehicle to fit its market segment.

The GX470's priority is to be a very capable off road vehicle, which it is. However the design properties that make it a good off road vehicle, high center of gravity, soft suspension with lots of articulation, big mushy tires and a long rear overhang to accommodate a huge full size spare tire make it a rather unstable highway vehicle. Connecting a trailer using a very good hitch system can actually give an unstable tow vehicle more directional stability but more often towing with to an inherently unstable vehicle does not make it more stable.

It is difficult to see in the pictures but certainly the ball is well behind the bumper on this unit likely 10-12" so the long overhang was made that much worse. As well the factory hitch on these vehicles is extremely short which allows the ball mount to swing quite a distance side to side, in effect giving the hitch a double pivot point.

If serious off road use is not a priority and you want to tow with a Lexus the RX models are far superior tow vehicles. They have a shorter over hang, low center of gravity, independent rear suspension, a very nice tire and wheel combination. We have had many customers use this vehicle over the last 18 years with excellent results.

If you want to tow with a GX then there are things you can do to make it more stable. When we set one up we change the huge spare to a lower profile tire so a temporary spare, this gives us room to lengthen the hitch receiver and strengthen it so that it will transfer weight. If the customer is not serious about off road use then we install better handling tires we can then use a welded ball mount hitch set up on the most stable trailers but for anything else we would go to a projection hitch such as a Hensley.

Here is a picture of the first RX we set up in 1999 and the stock hitch receiver on a GX, hard to believe they once rated this hitch for 7200 pounds and still rate it for 5000. Maybe they should drop a zero.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:56 AM   #91
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Thanks for an excellent summary, and your expert opinion.

After this thread was started, FYI I emailed one reporter suggesting a follow up with the driver, but got no reply. It would be nice to know some weight figures, as the 2 (?) bikes and added street side awning reduced that trailer's carrying capacity, in my personal opinion [and this is NOT a speculation about the cause of the accident!].

One notes however that the Quebec rollover and this one both involved rear carriers, as did the Out of Control Sway thread.

Noted as similarities only, not identical causes of each sway situation.

Lesson personally? When adding a rear carrier, do so wisely and carefully.

"Eh eh eh -- That's all folks!"

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Old 09-17-2016, 06:36 AM   #92
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:35 AM   #93
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At one point in time, my trailer was subject to sway starting at 60 or 65 MPH. I made a couple of trips in that condition.

Then I ran across a used Hensley on eBay for what I thought was a good price and installed it.

I haven't even had the hint of sway since. I never feel a bow wave from a passing truck, and strong side winds have minimal to no affect. I tow at or near the speed limit, yeah, even in west Texas...

My regular TV is a 1/2 ton FWD regular cab short box, and my secondary TV is Tahoe.

For me, spending $1,200 on a used Hensley made any towing improvements that a bigger TV may have imparted effectively moot.

This is my experience, others experience my vary.

Few things so acutely says "out of control" like a gyrating trailer.




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Old 09-17-2016, 09:40 AM   #94
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That's why I wanted to see if I could find her profile on the forum ... to see what size trailer she was really towing, and what kind of hitch she was using. I'm sure there are many good hitches out there that control sway, but I'm really pleased with my decision to have purchased a ProPride 3P ... I've read a great many posts on this forum about folks talking about the complete elimination of sway in wind, alongside of tractor trailers, etc.. Let's hope they're (all?) safe and we can learn more from her unfortunate accident.
Hi I'm Mandy, the gal in the crash. I'm also trying to understand the reason for my crash because I had thought I did everything possible to remain as safe as possible. i consider myself a safe driver, I am 40, and this was my first accident. I've been trying to research my conditions to see if anything made me more prone to swaying. I was careful to make sure my vehicle was rated ok as far as weight for towing the airstream. The vehicle was rated at 6500 and the airstream 4500. I had airstream upgrade and install the special hitch to minimize sway. I had towed it on 1-90 and up to priest lake without any issues in the recent past. My trailer was brand new, 2017 19ft serenity, it had been used only two times prior. I had driven from hayden lake to idaho falls the night prior to the accident without incident. I did not disconnect my set up over night. So nothing changed. I checked my tire pressure before leaving home. I did a visual inspection prior to taking off the morning of the accident. After the accident the driver side tire was flat on the airstream. The morning of the accident I had been driving about 20 minutes. I was stuck behind a trail of semi trucks, when the time was opportune I went to pass. I was going about 75-80 while passing(speeds I had used while passing the day prior without incidence-- my speed varied between 65-80). I was accelerating slowing because I wanted to baby my car. I started to feel the sway, I let off the gas, the sway became very strong immediately and took control of my car. I am new to towing, so I think my ignorance along with the wind tunnel created by the trucks, going 75-80 mph while passing, created the perfect storm. Also I've read that the gx470 is prone to rollover because of high center of gravity. So with the velocity and weight of the trailer it was just too much. I had my 20 year old daughter with me. We were headed on a two week road trip, this was the start of our vacation. Thank God we both did ok during the crash. The injuries were minimal. I suffered an open fracture to my left middle finger. Some PTSD, sadness, embarrassment and a huge sense of loss. But also a huge gratefulness to God that my daughter was unharmed.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:51 AM   #95
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Airstream Roll-Over in Idaho Today

The last trip i took before getting my Hensley, traffic had put me between two trucks, (one to my left and another to my right) in Dallas while going slightly down grade, a perfect setup for sway.

I am glad that you are both OK.

What you described was similar I think, a perfect setup to start a sway event.



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Old 09-17-2016, 09:59 AM   #96
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Thank you Mandy for chiming in, and welcome to the forum. Glad you and your daughter are OK!

Folks will probably want to know about your weight distribution hitch, its sway control features (if any), who installed it, and what instructions you may have been given.

I am curious if you added the driver side awning, and how many bikes were on the back. Was that a standard Airstream-approved Fiamma bike rack on the rear of the trailer?

Once again, I am sure everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that you and your daughter are OK.

Thanks,

Peter

PS -- There will likely be a host of new questions posted here, and personally I am comfortable with you declining to participate any further, if this is your wish. The process could become overwhelming at a time when you least feel like talking about it. On the other hand, you may feel that the discussion is helpful. Entirely your call, at least for the questions I asked. Your health is my primary concern here.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:00 AM   #97
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Mandy,

I am very happy to hear that you and your daughter were unharmed! It is also very cool of you to jump onto this thread and share your story.

Best wishes!
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:13 AM   #98
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Hi I'm Mandy, the gal in the crash. I'm also trying to understand the reason for my crash because I had thought I did everything possible to remain as safe as possible. i consider myself a safe driver, I am 40, and this was my first accident. I've been trying to research my conditions to see if anything made me more prone to swaying. I was careful to make sure my vehicle was rated ok as far as weight for towing the airstream. The vehicle was rated at 6500 and the airstream 4500. I had airstream upgrade and install the special hitch to minimize sway. I had towed it on 1-90 and up to priest lake without any issues in the recent past. My trailer was brand new, 2017 19ft serenity, it had been used only two times prior. I had driven from hayden lake to idaho falls the night prior to the accident without incident. I did not disconnect my set up over night. So nothing changed. I checked my tire pressure before leaving home. I did a visual inspection prior to taking off the morning of the accident. After the accident the driver side tire was flat on the airstream. The morning of the accident I had been driving about 20 minutes. I was stuck behind a trail of semi trucks, when the time was opportune I went to pass. I was going about 75-80 while passing(speeds I had used while passing the day prior without incidence-- my speed varied between 65-80). I was accelerating slowing because I wanted to baby my car. I started to feel the sway, I let off the gas, the sway became very strong immediately and took control of my car. I am new to towing, so I think my ignorance along with the wind tunnel created by the trucks, going 75-80 mph while passing, created the perfect storm. Also I've read that the gx470 is prone to rollover because of high center of gravity. So with the velocity and weight of the trailer it was just too much. I had my 20 year old daughter with me. We were headed on a two week road trip, this was the start of our vacation. Thank God we both did ok during the crash. The injuries were minimal. I suffered an open fracture to my left middle finger. Some PTSD, sadness, embarrassment and a huge sense of loss. But also a huge gratefulness to God that my daughter was unharmed.
Mandy, thanks for checking in and explaining first-hand your perceptions of what happened.

Three things immediately caught my attention... first is that one tire was flat on the trailer after the crash... second was that your passing speeds were 75-80mph, and third that you were in dirty air caused by trucks.

First, it would be interesting to know when the tire became flat; before or during the sway event and subsequent crash. The bead can certainly be broken on a tire causing it to flat during a sway event or during the rollover. However, tires and valve stems can fail at speed as well; even new ones if they're defective, especially at speeds above their rated speed. Running a flat tire at 75-80mph on the trailer can certainly induce a sway event. An investigator can likely tell, post-accident, at what point in the incident that the tire went flat by the damage to and condition of the tire and rim.

If you read my earlier post, I said that "all trailers will sway at speed, the key is to raise the speed of onset above the speed you normally drive." It is entirely possible that nothing failed; but you just exceeded the speed of onset of sway for your trailer/hitch/tow vehicle setup under the conditions you found yourself in.

BTW, for future reference, "Special Trailer" (ST) rated tires (like those stock on an Airstream) are only speed rated for a maximum of 65mph.

I doubt that your tow vehicle had much to do with the onset of the sway event; however the short wheelbase and high center of gravity probably allowed the rear axle tires to break traction faster once the sway began than if you'd had a longer, lower center of gravity tow vehicle.

Hopefully the officer investigating the crash comes up with a more definitive cause for you.

I too am glad to hear that you're relatively unharmed from the experience. I hope you can learn from the experience, and get back out there trailering, and enjoy yourself!

Good luck!

Roger
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