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Old 06-21-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 27
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Video of (car) trailer swaying and crashing

I think this is what happens when you don't get it right.

Car towing a trailer with a car on it, drifts and crashes •
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Some more experienced members might be able to set us straight on whether this happened because of...
1. Poor load placement on the trailer
2. Lack of stabilizer bars
3. Tow vehicle being too light

... or maybe a combination of the above.

I'm hoping this doesn't happen to us when we tow the Tradewind that we're importing to Australia... Australian Airstream Trailer

: )


I'm importing a '74 Tradewind to Australia. Follow my adventures here...
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:12 AM   #2
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
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1) Not enough tongue weight; had the driver been carrying 10-15% of the weight of the trailer+load on the rear of that car, it would have been completely overloaded.

2) too high a C.G; the trailer was nice and narrow, but this puts the car above the wheels and exacerbates sway.

3) towing too fast.

Sway control bars and the like help make things more comfortable and predictable. However, they cannot compensate for basic trailering mistakes.

- Bart

Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
Genoa , Nevada
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4) Driver error X bunches.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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1964 22' Safari
modesto , California
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I have to agree with Bart. The answer is 1.) Load Placement. Insufficient Tongue Weight.
I did almost the same thing with a car trailer. Jackknifed the trailer and bent the tongue, but mine didn't roll. Readjusted the load, (not just the trailer) and rolled on home. Scared the heck out of me but I learned a lesson that day
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:13 AM   #5
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1962 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
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Baltimore , Maryland
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sure was a classy looking tow vehicle though. That would be my first choice for towing something.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:04 AM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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That appears to be from somewhere besides the US. Remember that the trailer setups and requirements are different in Europe than the US.

I do agree that there was a lot of driver error and improper setup indicated in that video.

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Old 06-21-2011, 04:15 AM   #7
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He was done after his first ill fated correction.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:09 AM   #8
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
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How fast do you think he was going? It's hard to tell, but if the white line in the road is painted similarly to how they are in the US, he had to be doing 80-90 mph when things started going awry. I'm going to go out on a limb and call that the primary cause of the accident.

I agree the other items mentioned factor into it, but in the end, if your rig is only safe for 55 mph, then you should only be doing 55 mph. If that trailer is swaying you need to slow down. When I had the tow dolly, I limited myself to about 62 mph for this reason - anything above that and there was sway. Some days I had to go even slower.

1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
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