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Old 08-11-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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Gumball 3000 captures trailer sway in action.

While I find the idea of running across the country breaking all the speed limits very stupid, they did catch this video of what happens when you jerk your tow vehicle while towing a trailer. I hope they are okay.

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Old 08-11-2008, 04:22 PM   #2
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Oddly enough on my last trip from southwestern Indiana, I saw an Excursion towing a similar trailer doing the exact same thing (though not as extreme as this one). This rig passed a truck and nearly hit the truck...came so close the trucker laid on his air horn.

Evenutally, I passed the guy to get away from him and found it was a kid driving, talking on the cell phone with dad in the passenger seat. Glanced at the hitch as I passed....no weight bars, no sway control.

Two years ago, I saw a very short wheelbase S-10 Blazer on it's side with about a 24' SOB in the grass median of I-75. Again, no weight bars, no sway control and of course just plain old the wrong vehicle to tow something that large. RV was all tore up. Truck was totaled (RV was too for that matter) and the dog must have been in the RV (only big enough hole to get out of anything)...it was running down the highway after the accident.

Still, you know some folks will look at this and still not get that having the right tools for the right job are so critically important. I'm not sure how better to drive the point home than to simply look at this video.....
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
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either he was going to give the trailer to his exwife per the divorce decree or no one told him about proper tongue weight.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #4
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That's pretty scary! Many years ago we were on the highway in Yakima and a pickup truck ahead of us somehow got himself into a situation of over correcting. He was swinging back and forth across the lanes, getting worse with each correction, until he spun out and ended up in the bushes. It looked a lot like that video, only without a trailer helping him along.

I can see how your instinct would be to slow down, but obviously that won't help. I don't know if that's true that they used to say you could power out of it (if there's no one in your way I guess). Or using the trailer brakes and maintaining TV speed? Of course the best solution would be to NEVER get in that situation! Yikes!
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:16 PM   #5
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If you got yourself into that situation, and can think fast enough, the recommended way to get out of the situation is to apply the trailer brakes while accelerating. After straightening out, then slow down to a stop, get out of the truck, go back to the trailer, and change your underwear.
After that, find out what caused the sway, and get it fixed pronto.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:56 AM   #6
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You have to be real carefull doing that, The theory behind a slide is to enforce the strongest or main energy or motion so if you are going forward in a snow storm and you trailer starts coming around you The secondary force ( comeing around) is nulled by correctly amplifying the main force (accelerate) Then plays in The adrenaline rush, Dont overaccelerate or over correct. I gad a steer tire blow out on a cab over semi. I was in traffic, I couldnt recover, so much time had passed that the cars around me saw the jacknife happening so UI put it against the cement wall starightened it out and stopped. What a mess. My boss was happy that I didnt hit anyone and I was given a pat on the back by the state boy, that showed up for the call. Dont add to many forces to the problem enforce the main energy first.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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So if you do find yourself in a similar situation, what is the correct action to take? On my way home from purching my AS, i noticed slight sway. I slowed down got it home then went to CW and bought all the correct tow rig. How do you apply the trailer brakes and accerelate at the sametime? is that a little stop and go? Sounds like rush hour!
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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If you have slight trailer sway it is most commonly coused by weght distribution. There should be 10 % on the tongue. If not depending on how far off you are it will sway if it is way off it will sway right away if you are maybe at 8 % it might not hit till 70 mph or so. I think you get what I am saying. There are also other factors Tow vehicle tire pressure, or when you are hitched up is the total rig level. You might have to adjust your hitch. If you adjust it to high you will take weight off the drive tires and could induce a slide or Jacknife when wet or snowy. Alot play into this. This is one of the main reasons I tow with a 3/4 ton truck. Sure weight dist bars will keep it from sagging but can you load the chassis correctly?
Over 30 Ft I dought it. But people will always depate it, as seen in tow vehicle forums.
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