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Old 08-19-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Pivot Point Projection handling in marginal conditions

When we bought our Airstream the piggy bank took a hit and we only had money for an Equal-I-zer hitch. now this has served us great and I am generally very happy with it.

Going forward, into the winter, we plan on driving up the mountains more and more. This means we will encounter some variable conditions that I do not want to experience with a regular ball hitch set up. I have seen too many trailers jack-knife on the US 26.

The problem is the trailer can break traction before the TV (which is on snow tires) and that can cause all the problems.

What I would like to know is:

With a PPP set up, when the trailer tires loose traction on a slippery surface (we can assume snow on a level road) how does this impact the stability of the rig overall? How do you handle such an issue and regain control?
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:10 PM   #2
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Snow? OH NO!

Many new trucks have integrated brake controllers which work automatically when they sense that the trailer is swaying. I don't know how they work, but mine pleasantly surprised me when I was foolish enough to tow a 34 foot Avion with the F-150 Ecoboost.

Unless add on brake controllers have been substantially improved I doubt if they have the anti-sway feature.

I'd tow in the snow only if a human life depended on me doing it. There is no equipment I know of that would make any RV "good to go in snow".

And then I'd be creeping along at 20 mph with 4 WD engaged. I'm not a professional trucker and I don't have a trailer equipped with air brakes AND my reactions couldn't possibly be fast enough to compensate for a sideways slide induced by the slightest turn of the tow vehicle or the banking of the road, or a pothole, or...

With snow or worse, black ice, you have to think of any trailer as being a psychotic pit bull. In an eye blink it goes wild and even the brakes are useless once it's going sideways on a slippery surface. A member who has been inactive for several years THECATSANDI had two snow related accidents - the second one when she was towing her Airstream just a few miles to SELL it. The first was black ice related. She very luckily had moderate damage only both times. You might want to read her threads by doing an ADVANCED SEARCH with her user name and "accident" as the keyword.

If you want to travel to the hills, check the weather first, have a backup plan to STORE the trailer if the weather turns bad... and if you must go on long trips, consider SOUTH as the best direction for travel (specifically Arizona, New Mexico, southern California)
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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Agree with Paula, don't tow in these conditions.

But there is an advantage the Hensley/ProPride design over other w.d./sway control hitches that use friction to control sway.

On slippery roadways, if the trailer gets out of alignment with the tow vehicle, the friction that controls sway also can hinder the trailer from returning to alignment with the truck. A wind gust can move the trailer out, the friction resists it's return.

The Hensley design does not use friction at all, so there is no resistance from returning to alignment if the truck is turned out of alignment with the trailer.

Another hitch design that can be adapted to cope with these conditions is one with w.d. only, and separate friction sway control bars. You can loosen the friction sway control without losing weight distribution. Not good either, but you may be able to travel slowly until out of the bad roads. Not as good as the Hensley design but possibly better than the combination friction sway control/w.d. hitch.

It's just best to avoid these roads when possible.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:38 PM   #4
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Pivot Point Projection handling in marginal conditions

I found myself in the left lane going up a hill passing a truck early this summer and hydroplaning what I imagine was two hundred feet or better....

It scared the carp out of me but the truck and trailer stayed straight and true.

The road was A LOT more rutted than I thought it would be.

(Hensley)
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:38 PM   #5
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Chaining up the tires on a big truck is pretty much my least favorite thing to do. It's also pretty much the only answer to keeping the trailer behind the truck.

A VPP hitch is always good, but I wouldn't expect it to keep me out of trouble, just delay the onset of the problem and maybe minimize the result. I've read of a night time highway black ice incident where the VPP kept the trailer aligned with the truck after a pair of 360s. That both were still upright off in the dirt was the thing.

It wouldn't be my choice to tow in snow/ice, so I hope someone with the experience you want chimes in.

And as with the above post, I recommend you do a search of this topic as it has come up more than once the past ten years.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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When I was in a truck more, I always figured that if I need chains, I dont need to be on the road.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:47 PM   #7
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #8
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I can't comment on the advantages of the projection point hitch design but towing in snow doesn't have to be the end of the world. We have towed a 4500 lb two axle snowmachine trailer, a 28 ft toyhauler and the 25ft EB thousands of miles in snow. We use the M&S tires on the trailer and have a 4x4 truck with winter rated tires and engage the 4x4 frequently, sure it hurts the mileage but I wouldn't leave the driveway towing in winter with 2wd. A limited slip or locker on 2wd won't cut it. My experience in snow and running in 2wd even with a limited slip is the back end of the tow vehicle will step out before the trailer will loose traction. Hitches have been plain old drawtite without any sway control or an Andersen. We carry chains as an emergency but have never had to put them on.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #9
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It can happen on a mountain pass or weather front moving through when you least expect it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for the concern about conditions. While I do not intend to tow on snow or ice, I do I tend to be in the mountains during the winter. So this is really about risk mitigation and being prepared for issues.

m+s tire especially wiped would help for sure and I will add that to my list. In OR we need chains on one axle of a trailer too.

The biggest concern is losing traction under breaking...
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsmblue View Post
Thanks for the concern about conditions. While I do not intend to tow on snow or ice, I do I tend to be in the mountains during the winter. So this is really about risk mitigation and being prepared for issues.

m+s tire especially wiped would help for sure and I will add that to my list. In OR we need chains on one axle of a trailer too.

The biggest concern is losing traction under breaking...
I don't know... But on very muddy roads and pavement with mud on it show no change in behavior. I did notice the whole rig tried to "go straight"'when I entered a muddied pavement curve. That is what the PPP hitches are supposed to do.. Help keep "in line". On muddy road in curve running 4x4, not the same.. There was no wiggle or sense of loss of control. ProPride rigged
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:20 PM   #12
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What about the Reese dual cam one. Isn't it the only one that actually brings the trailer back in line if it does slide out some?
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:41 PM   #13
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Thanks for the input guys. I need to check out the Reese, it seems like a "halfway house" to me.... So far..
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Agree with Paula, don't tow in these conditions.

But there is an advantage the Hensley/ProPride design over other w.d./sway control hitches that use friction to control sway.

On slippery roadways, if the trailer gets out of alignment with the tow vehicle, the friction that controls sway also can hinder the trailer from returning to alignment with the truck. A wind gust can move the trailer out, the friction resists it's return.

The Hensley design does not use friction at all, so there is no resistance from returning to alignment if the truck is turned out of alignment with the trailer.
Correct statement. I also would never recommend it, nor would I say you can do it with any hitch (5th wheel trucks toss trailers off the road everyday, with 5th wheel arguably the most stable form of towing, in fact, you seldom see a trailer induced accident in semis, other than on slick roads). I do know owners of a HA that have done it and they were quite happy with the results. But then again, I have met many a person who slid off an icy road. Not for me, not with a trailer.
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