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Old 08-24-2016, 09:22 PM   #15
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One other comment about downhills. Some people seems to think that diesel engines do engine braking, but gas engines do not. Gas engines actually DO perform engine braking. But on long, steep hills, you usually wind up have to choose between going too fast and going too slow.

For example, I have a gas engine Yukon and a 25FB. Last time out, I went down the steep side of Rabbit Ears pass. The speed limit is 50. With the tranny in second gear, the speed would creep up to and over 50. That's the "too fast" part. In first gear, the result is the "too slow" part, about 25-30 mph.

I've never driven a modern diesel, but I believe they let you set and hold any speed downhill, which is convenient and removes temptation to try to get away with the "too fast" choice.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:36 PM   #16
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Hello Rich

I believe you're probably overthinking this given that you have a well matched TV and trailer and a good quality hitch.

Probably the single most common thread in conventionally hitched trailer accidents is insufficient weight distribution. This can be due to: no weight distribution hitch used, bars not installed/ not tightened at all because it was a forgotten step while hitching, or grossly incorrect setup (not tight enough).

I have the propride and if for whatever reason I slack the WD bars but leave the trailer attached, I leave the WD jack handle on the driver's seat of the truck, so I can't miss it, and that's my cue to go back and tighten them. It is sometimes necessary to slack the bars while parking to level the trailer.

Having pulled my 30' classic for some years now I can see the value in installing disk brakes on the trailer axles. I have not done so yet but probably will at some point. For towing in relatively flat country it doesn't matter but on trips out west there have been times when I wish I had them. On a long steep downgrade the stock brakes will fade to nothing by the time you reach the bottom of the hill. I know to expect it and reduce speed accordingly but still.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:36 PM   #17
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Towing hazard = wind -- Passing trucks can upset the tow when they disrupt the force of wind on the coach. Problem grows with areas that have elevated wind velocity or wind that varies with gusts and changes in direction. Solution - slow down or stop until the wind dies out. Drive actively and be ready for wind forces. Do not over correct. Do not drop a wheel off the pavement in the process of settling the rig. If you do, slow a bit and wait for a smooth spot to regain the pavement. Do not jerk the coach back up. Ease it back carefully.

Towing experience = seat time -- If you are new to towing, start slow and build your experience. Develop a trip route that gets you experience. Avoid areas that represent challenges which you are not ready or skilled to travel safely. Take advantage of a few extra miles to grow your experience. If you lack skill in backing, use pull through sites and practice backing in parking lots that are empty of hazards. When you do need to back, go slow. Move a few feet, stop and check your position, then adjust and move a few more feet until you are where you need to be to park. Watch for roots, holes and bumps that will damage the under belly and dump valves. Watch for overhead trees and posts. Do not ignore picnic tables and utilities. Look before you go. Drive your tow vehicle without the trailer to gain experience with it's systems and controls. Let your co-driver run the buttons, so you can stay with the active driving task.

Good luck with your travels. Keep it safe. Pat
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:28 AM   #18
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The Anatomy of a Towing Accident -- What is?

Be chill.

No matter what equipment you use or do not use to mitigate the hazards of towing, be cool til you learn the limits of your combination, paying attention to what feels good and what does not. Make every action a learning experience.

After a time you will gain confidence..... and this is a danger unto itself. Confidence can get a person in trouble. Be deliberate, respect the limitations of the driver and the vehicle, and do not give in to the false security of confidence.

If you find that your combination has limitations you don't like, mitigate the limitations with premium equipment.


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Old 08-25-2016, 01:49 AM   #19
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Applying trailer brakes manually with the brake controller prior to applying TV brakes ... or anytime a sway or skid begins.... will slow the trailer to keep it behind the TV.
The above is probable the best tip anyone can give to someone new to towing.
Always better to apply the brakes to the trailer only and not the tow vehicle if you start to feel the trailer sway.

As another party I know found out just last week using the tow vehicles brakes when the trailer starts to sway is a great way to write off the tow vehicle and the trailer!
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:30 AM   #20
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I know two people who have purchased that saw stop device - my BIL and an old neighbor whom I'm still friends with. Both of them are kind of obsessive, compulsive worriers and neither use their saws very often.
So I will suggest you quit worrying about everything too much. When you are uptight your reaction time slows down and your decision making process is impaired.
I would have you consider the millions of camper, utility and equipment trailers that are towed billions of miles each year. Most of those trailers aren't set up with wd/sway devices or other fancy gew gaws nor are they being towed with gargantuan oversized TVs like so many of these Airstreams are. I'll bet if you could find some actuarial tables on the matter those blithe people don't statistically have a much greater chance of wrecking than people with every concieveable kind of safety device.
So my best advice to you is to relax a little and quit worrying about this stuff so much.
This from a man who has been using table saws, chop saws, nail guns, metal lathes, mills, chain saws, tractors, mowers, pulling trailers and a host of other potentially hazardous things for most of 50 years and in addition to still having all my fingers, toes and an intact spine still gets a peaceful night's sleep every day.
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Old 08-25-2016, 04:43 AM   #21
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I know two people who have purchased that saw stop device - my BIL and an old neighbor whom I'm still friends with. Both of them are kind of obsessive, compulsive worriers and neither use their saws very often.
So I will suggest you quit worrying about everything too much. When you are uptight your reaction time slows down and your decision making process is impaired.
I would have you consider the millions of camper, utility and equipment trailers that are towed billions of miles each year. Most of those trailers aren't set up with wd/sway devices or other fancy gew gaws nor are they being towed with gargantuan oversized TVs like so many of these Airstreams are. I'll bet if you could find some actuarial tables on the matter those blithe people don't statistically have a much greater chance of wrecking than people with every concieveable kind of safety device.
So my best advice to you is to relax a little and quit worrying about this stuff so much.
This from a man who has been using table saws, chop saws, nail guns, metal lathes, mills, chain saws, tractors, mowers, pulling trailers and a host of other potentially hazardous things for most of 50 years and in addition to still having all my fingers, toes and an intact spine still gets a peaceful night's sleep every day.
Excellent advice.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:17 AM   #22
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I don't believe there are that many crashes involving RV's (although I've seen a few motorhome fires). I've seen a few crashes that were the result of the driver having a fatal heart attack and driving off the side of the roadway while towing a travel trailer. Very sad, but true.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:05 AM   #23
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Sawstop works to stop you from cutting fingers and other body parts off. It will not stop you from a kickback, loose or dull blade, or jaming a 1/4" steel plate into it. ... What I'm saying is get the basics right, learn the theories, and practice. ... Much like a tablesaw, you get better with practice.
Roger that, Dan, and I couldn't agree more about getting the basics right, learning the theories, and improving with practice. I hope this thread inspires others to help newbies with their up-front learning so they can practice. There was a ton of information out on the internet to demonstrate kick-back once I learned to search for it ... until then, it was something that happened on my old contractor saw all the time because I didn't know any better ... I thought, that's what table saws do. I often did everything wrong, but still have all of my fingers out of sheer luck and the grace of God. I routinely removed the overhead blade guard with its integrated riving knife (if you want to call it that). I even worked without the fence to do off-hand, angled cuts, and also cross-cut things wider than were longer. Not that I want to turn this into a table-saw safety thread, but the point is that I greatly benefited from studying the conditions which had the potential to create an accident. And in some cases where those brave enough to demonstrate the accidents shared video, they've imprinted learners with visual memory that backs-up the reading.

The take away is to learn from others. Not that I am asking anyone to demonstrate a roll-over for our post ... but helping to explain it is helpful. The end result is that I now, NEVER operate a table saw without a riving knife or overhead blade guard (it's always one or the other); I never perform off-hand cuts anymore; I never operate without the fence, and I never cross-cut without a cross-cutting sled (I've actually abandoned the cross-cutting sled since setting up the pair of Festool MFT/3 tables that are dedicated to cross-cutting with the TS-55 track saw ... but that's another whole thread ... :-)

Anyway, please keep sharing! And thanks for making time for newbies ...

Best regards,
Rich and Kat
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:51 AM   #24
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The Quebec Rollover thread is an interesting read IMO:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ec-153984.html

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Old 08-25-2016, 09:54 AM   #25
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Attentive driving - what is it? Paying attention to the road conditions, traffic, rig position and potential hazardous conditions on or near the road ahead. Keeping two hands on the wheel is key. Checking mirrors regularly is important. Not becoming distracted by conversation or other non-driving related activity is mandatory. Adjusting acceleration, direction and braking inputs smoothly improves rig stability. Reacting to hazards before you reach them is the objective. Doing no unpredictable action eliminates surprise for others unless of course they are not actively driving. Keeping drinks managed and controlled so they do not distract or result in causing an unplanned input is a serious consideration. Checking rig status at every opportunity is important to reduce the probability of a mechanical incident. Constantly adjusting speed to match road and traffic conditions can not be neglected. Knowing when to stop for rest, to wait for better weather, and to make repairs is also a valid requirement to reduce the potential of a hazardous result. Planning the route prior to minimize traffic and poor road conditions can not be neglected.

Bet others have additional and likely better elements that should be included.

Travel safe and stay attentive. Pat
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #26
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Your towing set up looks good. when we went from 25' to 30' we knew it was time to get an HD trucks because we were exceeding the limits of our 10 y/o gasser. Braking was the biggest thing and lack of power for the additional weight was another. Our HD diesel is a dream to drive and tow the A/S with. we have traveled mostly in Eastern US but on some fairly steep hills up and down. Fortunately, I encourage my wife to know everything I know about towing so we co-drive. The exhaust brake is unbelievably helpful on downgrades. So far we have climbed at the posted speed limit. We are extremely focused while driving and normally run the middle lane on a 3 lane interstate. We keep the speed down when descending so no issues with brakes on trailer heating since they are barely used. Enjoy your camping adventures and always be alert.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:26 PM   #27
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Going up a hill or going down, braking either engine or foot, eventually you will need to fuel up and that, sometimes, can be a bigger challenge then all the rest. Most stations are made for cars or light trucks. You drive up pointing at the station with little wiggle room to help prevent theft of fuel. If you are pulling any RV, you will need to learn how to get into a service station, fuel up and leave the station.
Look at the station layout and pick the best pump to fill your unit. This usually the end pump depending on which side of you TV takes the fuel.
Watch the height of the pumps roof. It might not be tall enough for your unit. ( there is a video on utube showing what can happen)
Be sure that you can enter and exit safely.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:31 PM   #28
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Great Info David !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Everything said so far is good. Conventional "bumper hitch" trailer towing is dicer than the fifth wheel. I believe we who tow heavy trailers need to be aware of the significant change in vehicle dynamics while towing. Acceleration, turning, and braking all require more distance and more time. Don't think for a moment you can take a freeway exit ramp at the same speed you do in your car. Maybe you think those orange "recommended speed" signs on curves are most conservative. Never exceed that recommendation while towing a heavy trailer.

Another important safety factor is a good "checklist" that you systematically go down before pulling away. Lights, brakes, tire pressures, hitch connections, awnings secure and so forth help keep us safe. Pilots are taught to do this before every flight. I remember a rental yard hitching up a rental trailer with a 2 3/16 diameter coupler on a 2" ball on a family member's truck. He learned what those safety changes are all about. He should have checked it himself.

And like pilots, you must avoid "get there-itis". Gee, I gotta drive in this strong crosswind to make the Airstream rally tomorrow. Always a bad idea. Towing in high cross winds is dangerous. Towing on ice is stupid dangerous. Towing in low visibility conditions is, you guessed it, stupid dangerous too.

David
Hi David,

Just read your comments & completely agree. Also, I have a 34' A/S, livein Denver ( Use to live in Como) & enjoy the extra space. But after 34 years of A/Sing, I still struggle with backing up. Lou De Carolis
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