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Old 06-02-2017, 01:56 PM   #43
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Recommend the Equalizer

I pull a 2017 International Serenity with a 2016 GMC Denali 2500 and even though when I drop the AS on the ball it barely sets it down, the WD and sway control are benefits that may not be needed on most trips but what about that one time you get in a bad situation?? My strong recommendation based on much research is buy WD and sway control. Look at it as cheap insurance. Your truck and Airstream are worth well over 100k, not to mention the priceless cargo inside the car. The question is why would you not buy a WD/sway control hitch.

Hitching up with The Equalizer only takes a few minutes longer. I paid 750 for it including installation.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:32 AM   #44
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Reading scare stories about trailering misadventures…trailers slammed by huge rogue blasts of wind out of nowhere and wildly swaying trailers in ever increasing oscillations…all blamed on lack of weight distribution and sway control hitches strikes me as misleading. Wind like this happens to airplanes but on the ground wind is forecast rather accurately these days. It’s just foolish to keep driving into heavy wind, especially at speed. It’s also foolish not to slow down or get off the highway if you detect trailer sway. Failure to slow down or avoid strong wind gusts might indeed cause increasing sway oscillations.
A WD & SC hitch will help to level out the ride of a heavy trailer on a smaller TV and help to remove the sensation of porpoising over uneven pavement making what many call a more comfortable ride. But the idea that a WD & SC hitch will somehow inoculate you against trouble that would overwhelm lesser equipped vehicles is just magical thinking. The more comfortable ride may lull drivers to inadvertently push the limits of safe driving skills, but the hitch will not overcome poor judgement and unmindful overconfidence.
Do not be misled either by the pseudo science of the hitch point being “projected” forward over the TV’s rear axle to eliminate sway. Modern vehicles come equipped with electronic systems that are more effective at sway control than any mechanical SC hitch. These systems use accelerometers that instantaneously sense and measure even the smallest deflection from the steered path of the TV caused by an outside force...such as when a trailer exerts any kind of sideways "tug" on the TV due to wind or any other force. The accelerometers sense the "tug" and transmit an electronic signal to the onboard computer. The computer in turn processes the signal thru a complex set of algorithms, and transmits impulses to control individual brakes and the TV throttle as needed to counteract sway at the moment it begins. This all happens within milliseconds; a factor of hundreds or thousands of times faster than any sway control accomplished by a mechanical link between TV and TT. The electronic systems incorporate the trailer brake controlled so they also control individual trailer brakes just as they control individual TV brakes.
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:39 AM   #45
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Weight distribution and anti sway equipment?

They don't control individual trailer brakes. They don't even control one side or the other (unless trailer brakes are rewired and TV harness is specific).

And aftermarket (TUSON) is faster.

Degree of yaw is simply a measurement. A VPP hitch doesn't allow the yaw necessary to activate any stability control in the first place.

What TV is necessary is different than what some want. Not the same thing.

Inexperience and fear combine to buy "bigger". Sans the load carrying needed, it's the wrong answer for stability.

More simply said, by the time a 4WD one ton driver feels the rig turning over, it's too late for corrective action.

Fear and inexperience combine AGAIN that the driver will overcorrect at the steering and use the wrong amount of throttle and or brake; AND in the wrong sequence.

Don't need to be towing. Rain, wind and too high a speed are enough to cause a wreck. Towing simply ups the chances.

Anyone thinks their TT is "rock steady" without a VPP hitch needs to see video from a following angle. The trailer is always moving side to side. Might be small, but it's telling.

I've been towing since 1973, and am third generation on these trailers. Cars,SUVs , pickups. TTs all 28' or larger (latest is 35'; rig length is 63').

FWIW I run a smoothbore tanker (non-baffled) never more than 2/3-full. The load out weighs the empty rig by 1.5X. That's a 47,000-lb monster I work to keep asleep.

Stability control is great to have. My work truck has several types. If one activates, I'm doing something wrong to begin with.

But stability control doesn't make a silk purse from a sows ear. The difference between TV types is quantitative and qualitative.

My work truck and a one ton pickup were designed for revenue miles, not best handling or braking. Whether a rancher, farmer or other operator, a one ton has its place. Same for the big truck.

Stability via better design is hands down winner every time. Not vehicle weight, not wheelbase. Those add a small margin at an expense in every mile of travel of compromise.

A VPP hitch is more for the pickup than for the trailer. The trailer is more stable.
A pickup truck cannot deal with instability for beans. That's not its premise. Heavier = slower. There's not a pickup out there can stop adequately above 65-mph. Solo. With a load and a trailer, it's only worse.

Yesterday was far from the first day I watched a pickup roll, pirouette and land on its roof. I doubt the driver was above 60 on a 75-mph Interstate. (Rain).

And there seems to be almost a one to one relationship between pickups and bad lash ups. TT riding on its front axle.
(Comical is a one ton pulling a 25 this way; seen it a number of times).

There's pretty much no Airstream out there a half ton can't handle. Just check the axle, wheel and tire ratings. Just as we did fifty and more years ago. "Ratings" are almost imaginary. A vacationer traveling a few thousand miles per year is far different than a contractor traveling 30,000 with trailer in tow.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:51 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Aren't Hensleys lifetime warranted?

I'm guessing you're using "Equalizer" as a euphemism for "weight-distributing hitch" here because Equal-I-Zer hitches don't require separate friction sway control, it's built into the design of the hitch.
Yes! poor short term memory; I looked at waninae39's post, recognized my hitch and promptly used the wrong brand.
My new hitch is an Easy-Lift
My understanding is that Hensley are no longer backing their older units. None the less I needed a new hitch immediately for the upcoming unit rally
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:18 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
A long wheelbase, heavy duty pickup truck is only needed for carrying heavy loads when towing an Airstream. Towing stability is the function of a good weight distribution hitch and setup. If heavy duty pickups were really designed for towing, the hitch connection would be at the rear axle, not behind the rear bumper.

The least expensive hitch is probably a simple Eaze-Lift with separate friction sway control devices. With the tow vehicle properly set up to support a w.d. hitch, it's as good as you can get in conventional hitches. It can provide all the w.d. you need, has the flexibility to ride smoothly and absorb severe road shock, and the sway friction can be adjusted as needed, or friction can be reduced for safe towing on icy roads without losing any of its weight distribution function.

The most expensive hitch is a Hensley/ProPride. It uses standard tapered w.d. bars, but the the sway elimination design is completely different than all others. It projects the ball connection forward so the trailer cannot leverage sway inputs to the tow vehicle steering. Is it worth it? If the other choice is spending tens of thousands of dollars on a larger truck because you are unhappy with the stability of your present tow vehicle, it's dirt cheap. For those who have a heavy duty pickup, it corrects a design weakness by moving the trailer pivot point forward to the truck's rear axle.
"If heavy duty trucks were design for towing" , Our highways and byways are crowded with heavy duty pick up trucks pulling all kinds of trailers. Construction materials, equipment, horse trailers you name it. Many come with factory installed brake controllers hitches etc. Some have better rear axle placements than others non the less 90 percent are in fact designed from the ground up to pull trailers.
In the F-250 on up series you can order them without a box and design your own set up and get as close to the axle as you like.
At the end of the day, unlike a marginal TV, an F-350 or 250 with its weight and bulk will make up for the hitch not being on top of the axle and that's the whole idea behind using a heavier TV .
The suggestion that a PropPride "Projects" the weight directly on to the rear axle while the other hitches don't is non sense and pure sales hype to justify the exorbitant price.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:11 AM   #48
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. . The suggestion that a PropPride "Projects" the weight directly on to the rear axle while the other hitches don't is non sense and pure sales hype to justify the exorbitant price.
The Hensley/ProPride design doesn't project the weight forward, it projects the trailer pivot point forward. (Moving weight forward is part of the function of the weight distribution bars.)

No other hitch does this, it is a very stabilizing device for the combination, no trailer yaw inputs leveraged forward to the steering axle. There was a "Pull-Rite" hitch that was welded up under the truck's chassis and had a swinging hitch receiver pivoting at the rear axle. It used the principle of the pivot point at the truck's rear axle.

Many people liked the improved towing stability but the Hensley design does this and more (it also keeps the trailer aligned straight behind the tow vehicle in cross-winds and semi's passing) without the complications of welding in place under the truck. Moving the Hensley/ProPride from one truck to another is only a matter of moving the receiver. The Hensley/ProPride hitch head and w.d. bar assembly is bolted to the trailer A-frame and stays there when not towing.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:44 AM   #49
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WD hitches and sway control

We live in Spring, neighbor. A phone call would be simple.


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Old 06-03-2017, 10:16 AM   #50
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Slowmover:

I've read what youi wrote three times, and really can't find anything to pick at. Well thought out, well presented, and well worth keeping in mind, I suggest much squawking will ensue.....


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Old 06-04-2017, 09:05 AM   #51
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They don't control individual trailer brakes. They don't even control one side or the other (unless trailer brakes are rewired and TV harness is specific).

And aftermarket (TUSON) is faster.

Degree of yaw is simply a measurement. A VPP hitch doesn't allow the yaw necessary to activate any stability control in the first place.

What TV is necessary is different than what some want. Not the same thing.

Inexperience and fear combine to buy "bigger". Sans the load carrying needed, it's the wrong answer for stability.

More simply said, by the time a 4WD one ton driver feels the rig turning over, it's too late for corrective action.

Fear and inexperience combine AGAIN that the driver will overcorrect at the steering and use the wrong amount of throttle and or brake; AND in the wrong sequence.

Don't need to be towing. Rain, wind and too high a speed are enough to cause a wreck. Towing simply ups the chances.

Anyone thinks their TT is "rock steady" without a VPP hitch needs to see video from a following angle. The trailer is always moving side to side. Might be small, but it's telling.

I've been towing since 1973, and am third generation on these trailers. Cars,SUVs , pickups. TTs all 28' or larger (latest is 35'; rig length is 63').

FWIW I run a smoothbore tanker (non-baffled) never more than 2/3-full. The load out weighs the empty rig by 1.5X. That's a 47,000-lb monster I work to keep asleep.

Stability control is great to have. My work truck has several types. If one activates, I'm doing something wrong to begin with.

But stability control doesn't make a silk purse from a sows ear. The difference between TV types is quantitative and qualitative.

My work truck and a one ton pickup were designed for revenue miles, not best handling or braking. Whether a rancher, farmer or other operator, a one ton has its place. Same for the big truck.

Stability via better design is hands down winner every time. Not vehicle weight, not wheelbase. Those add a small margin at an expense in every mile of travel of compromise.

A VPP hitch is more for the pickup than for the trailer. The trailer is more stable.
A pickup truck cannot deal with instability for beans. That's not its premise. Heavier = slower. There's not a pickup out there can stop adequately above 65-mph. Solo. With a load and a trailer, it's only worse.

Yesterday was far from the first day I watched a pickup roll, pirouette and land on its roof. I doubt the driver was above 60 on a 75-mph Interstate. (Rain).

And there seems to be almost a one to one relationship between pickups and bad lash ups. TT riding on its front axle.
(Comical is a one ton pulling a 25 this way; seen it a number of times).

There's pretty much no Airstream out there a half ton can't handle. Just check the axle, wheel and tire ratings. Just as we did fifty and more years ago. "Ratings" are almost imaginary. A vacationer traveling a few thousand miles per year is far different than a contractor traveling 30,000 with trailer in tow.
To Slow Mover:

I don't mean to be argumentative but some of your statements need to be responded to.

I am 73 and got my experience driving semis and before changing carers drove Semi Tankers hauling chemicals and oil products for three years.
I don't ever recall pulling a 8k GL tanker that wasn't compartmentalized or baffled. It would be suicidal to drive one that wasn't always fully loaded. There are chemicals out there that weigh up to 14 lbs per gallon and the most you could haul is 4k in a semi trailer due to weight restriction.

As to your comment that there isn't an Airstream out there a half ton can't handle, pulling stopping yes, however a 30' AS will shove an air stream around even a slow curve where you have to slow down considerably to maintain full control, not so with a heavier 3/4 ton. I learned this through personal experience. I pulled with a 1/2 ton for 4 years and recently switched to a 3/4 ton and the driving experience is day and night.
Yes, one would be just fine with a half ton, toting around at 55 MPH or less at all times but that doesn't work for most of us.

My My F-250 will stop on dime if I lock them up without a full load or a trailer behind. Better than my car. When towing or loaded to the max everyone should make sure to maintain a safe speed and distance dictated by road and traffic conditions that is just plain common sense.
You couldn't even stop a fully loaded semi with air brakes on dime, I know that from personal experience driving thousands of hours a fully loaded tanker through Chicago's and the Metropolitan areas notorious traffic jams.
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:20 PM   #52
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Reply to #44

Quote:
Today, 02:32 AM #44
USAtraveler
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(1) Reading scare stories about trailering misadventures…(2) trailers slammed by huge rogue blasts of wind out of nowhere and wildly swaying trailers in ever increasing oscillations…(3) all blamed on lack of weight distribution and sway control hitches strikes me as misleading. (4) Wind like this happens to airplanes but on the ground wind is forecast rather accurately these days. It’s just foolish to keep driving into heavy wind, especially at speed. It’s also foolish not to slow down or get off the highway if you detect trailer sway. Failure to slow down or avoid strong wind gusts might indeed cause increasing sway oscillations.
(5) A WD & SC hitch will help to level out the ride of a heavy trailer on a smaller TV and help to remove the sensation of porpoising over uneven pavement making what many call a more comfortable ride. (6) But the idea that a WD & SC hitch will somehow inoculate you against trouble that would overwhelm lesser equipped vehicles is just magical thinking. The more comfortable ride may lull drivers to inadvertently push the limits of safe driving skills, but the hitch will not overcome poor judgement and unmindful overconfidence.
(7) Do not be misled either by the pseudo science of the hitch point being “projected” forward over the TV’s rear axle to eliminate sway. (8) Modern vehicles come equipped with electronic systems that are more effective at sway control than any mechanical SC hitch. (9) These systems use accelerometers that instantaneously sense and measure even the smallest deflection from the steered path of the TV caused by an outside force...(10) such as when a trailer exerts any kind of sideways "tug" on the TV due to wind or any other force. The accelerometers sense the "tug" and transmit an electronic signal to the onboard computer. (11) The computer in turn processes the signal thru a complex set of algorithms, and transmits impulses to control individual brakes and the TV throttle as needed to counteract sway at the moment it begins. This all happens within milliseconds; a factor of hundreds or thousands of times faster than any sway control accomplished by a (12) mechanical link between TV and TT. (13) The electronic systems incorporate the trailer brake controlled so they also control individual trailer brakes just as they control individual TV brakes.

UNQUOTE




USAtraveler:

Please don’t take my response as anything to lose sleep over, but I feel a strong urge to comment, and there are a bunch of spots that qualify. I’ve numbered the specific spots above to cut down the amount of typing.

First, MY personal opinion is that one of the aspects of all this on TVs, and WDs, and tire sizes and types, and hundreds of different TVs, and trailers, and drivers and skills and opinions and opinions and opinions (seven different opinions, one for each day of the week) makes for a nice gumbo. The point is that there are a myriad of ways to perform the same function to get the same results. And experience counts.

Personally, for the trailer range I prefer (23’ to 30’, +/-), any trip over 50 miles and/or over 50 miles an hour (+/-) should utilize a WD/SC hitch or combination. Period. Some are cheap, some are expensive, but loss of a trailer because of LACK of this equipment is cheap, and foolish, and dangerous. I had a 20’SOB for a first trailer, and had no problems or bad experiences, but it had both devices.. A 30’ Airstream is another kettle of fish.

Going back to your message:

1. As long as there are humans with Airstreams, or ski boats, or airplanes, or roller skates, there will be “scare stories”.

2. & 4. This one scenario touches me in a personal way. I was in a ’98 Ford Expedition gasser with all the expected frills for towing a 10000 pound trailer. It had the factory TTP (trailer towing package) with a Reese WD platform hitch and one sway control friction bar, pulling a 30’ Airstream. Remember the “one”, because it’s important. We had been outrunning a mountain storm going south and uphill on I-25 coming up to Raton Pass in NE New Mexico. We made the top of the pass at about 40 mph, and started down (having no other direction to go, of course). We got up to about 50 or slightly over, and I dropped to a lower gear, and was holding about 50 mph.. Incidentally, later inspection showed that there were NO mechanical problems. There was a sudden left to right to left swerving; I pumped the brakes lightly and the oscillations stopped, but a second or two later the buffeting started again, and my attention was taken up with steering and trying to use the brakes so I was unable to find the manual squeeze paddles on the dashboard for the trailer brakes. We got it down to about 30 before going into the center Jersey barricade and totaling the TV and the trailer.. I note that all the forecasting in the world will NOT tell you when or where a summer thunderstorm following you up the mountain is going to catch up with you. In this case, a second friction sway bar almost certainly would have made NO difference at all. I doubt there was any way to stay upright, so I maintain my Reese system did what it could, without the expense of the “premium” systems. And, I ask, how does one consistently “avoid strong wind gusts”?

3. I will believe to my dying day that a 30 foot class Airstream being towed at 50 mph, or above, with an F-150 Ford P/U without WD/SC will meet a sad ending on most Interstate highways in fairly short order because of cross winds or tractor-trailer bow waves. A big Airstream in a 40 mph cross wind is a sitting duck in that situation. I pull mine with an 2016 F-250, and a Reese hitch and single friction bar; a second bar for more control would add maybe 1-2 minutes extra to hook up. My setup allows me to safely tow at speed on Interstates without having to worry about the air blasts from the big rigs in the next lane.

5. I agree with the first part of your statement, but “porpoising’ on a rough highway is quite simply driving too fast for the roadway. There is a condition of some stretches of road that will cause the condition, but it has to do with imperfections in the roadway, even if it’s glassy smooth.

6. I don’t understand your statement, which is, in my mind, stated in reverse. The purpose of the “extra equipment” is to make sure the driver has a system that is stable and safe in more situations than it would have otherwise. Can you drive from East Coast to West on an Interstate highway pulling a 30’ foot AS without the extra equipment and not wreck the combo? Certainly it’s possible, but it’s not safe, and not very wise, in my opinion.

7. I have no experience with the more expensive WD/SC equipment, and I haven’t studied the mechanics and theory behind them, so I’ll just say that the Reese system is inexpensive in comparison, easy to set up initially, requires no wrenches for adjustments en route, and won’t break your back when you hook it up. Mine takes me just a smidgen over 5 minutes, and my 5’3” wife takes maybe 10 minutes or so. I do note that there are some not-very-likely claims that get passed around as truth, and all of them can’t be correct.

8. & 9. Without definitions for “modern”, “instantaneous”, and “smallest”, and allowing me to note that everyone simply cannot have what you describe, your statement leaves much to be desired.. My TV is, as noted above, a 2016 F-250 diesel with all the bells and whistles that were available, so far as I know. I think it qualifies as a “modern vehicle”. It does have sway sensing, but per the manual nothing that is automatic except the dashboard notation when sway is detected that you should slow down. Good advice, hun? The manual does not explain what the sway sensing is provided for in the first place.

10. & 11. Your explanation is basically correct, but there are a number of ways to accomplish what you describe; this is only one.

12. Some mechanical links are instantaneous. The friction devices on sway controls are mechanical, and they’re “instantaneous” because their parts are directly linked.

13. It was noted in a previous comment on this thread that AS brakes are NOT independent on each wheel, which is correct. Putting on the trailer brakes will brake the trailer in a straight line only if all four (or six on a three axle trailer) are virtually identical on a virtually identical roadway. There are some systems that certainly that sophisticated, but you and I would probably not be willing to shell out what it would cost to have one…..


Again, please don’t take this personally. None of this was throwing rocks at you or anyone else.

Happy trailering……


Kent
Houston
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:14 PM   #53
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I have been a member of 4 Avion groups for the past few years and I am yet to see a single post where an Avion owner complains about stability/sway/safety/etc. I have never seen anyone upgrade their hitch due to an unsolvable stability issue. Mind you PPP hitch use to pull an Avion is a rarity (almost all use conventional hitches like Curt, Reese, etc), and almost everybody pulls their Avion with a truck (with high center of gravity, solid axles, "poor" handling characteristics, frame "flex", and with a long rear overhang). No larger wheels, disk brakes, or Michelin tires upgrades either.

The question I have is this: How stable is an Airstream? Can you pull your Airstream safely and comfortably with a traditional (non-PPP style) hitch? Maybe this doom and gloom and "PPP hitch or you will die" is just noise (a few members with stability problem that post over and over). I'm curious to know how many people are happy with their Airstream towing experience and find it both safe and comfortable to tow with a traditional (non-PPP style hitch). Maybe I'll create a survey for this so we have a better picture.
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Old 06-04-2017, 05:01 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
The only people I know who had their Airstream 28 go into a rapidly increasing sway and the whole thing rolled down the side grade were towing with an F-250. Traveling downhill in AZ, on a curve around a mountain, sudden extreme sidewind, the trailer quickly increased oscillations widely and they lost control. She had severe injuries. They did have a w.d. hitch.

"Heft", high center of gravity, vague steering, and solid axle suspension only means it will be harder to control when things go out of control. Put the chances on your side, get a high quality w.d hitch with sway control device or Hensley/ProPride with sway elimination design and quit fooling around with this "you don't need it with that truck" advice.
You need to learn the facts, dkottum. The Engineers at Ford have a video saying you don't need WD with the 2017 Super Duty's. Someone posted the video on one of these many WD discussions.

"Lighten up, Francis" (Bill Murray).

I found it. Watch this video. At 2:55 into the video he says it...



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Old 06-05-2017, 06:37 AM   #55
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Hi

While I completely agree that this whole discussion gets out of control each time it comes up (weekly) ...

The Ford guy in the video is referring to something fairly specific. At that point he's bragging (rightly) on how strong / stiff the frame is on the new 250's. Many vehicles have two towing numbers. One is with WD and the other without WD. This is a frame strength issue to some degree. It also gets into several other things (like axles). The 250's only have one number, it's the same with and without WD.

It's not hard to come up with examples of *any* vehicle getting into trouble due to strange conditions. Often "I have fancy equipment" translates to "I'll take bigger risks". Multiple big 4x4 SUV's sitting by the side of the road upside down after a blizzard is a depressingly common example. There is no simple single answer to any of this.

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Old 06-05-2017, 09:16 AM   #56
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Regardless of towing with a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, or 1 ton pickup or 18 wheeler tractor you should slow to speed while the rig is still straight rather than slowing in a curve/turn.
This applies to exit ramps as well as downhill slopes.
Also, once you have reduced to the ramp speed you should apply very slight fuel to keep a slight tug on the trailer to help keep it straight.
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