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Old 03-30-2006, 02:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I've encountered this problem here in Illinois. We have two areas I have found in the Chicagoland area that have this washboard type problem. It can be noticed even if not towing, though when towing it is more pronounced. One of the highways is being replaced and really outside of what Andy has said, there is little else that can be done minus the road being replaced.
In New England we have it twice as bad:

1) Washboards
2) Frost heaves

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Old 03-30-2006, 02:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 63air
Almost everywhere in Illinois. Our politicians steal the road funds, our contractors cheat on the specifications, and the inspectors are often the best that money can "buy".
Not to start naming names but.....Illinois has a special license plate program where you can buy plates promoting state universities, the extra fees for the special plates is intended to go into scholarships at the school. Last year our beloved govenor swiped money out of the special plates fund to balance the general budget while at the same time reducing funding to higher ed. This year he is proposing a state budget with high rates of funding for higher ed and claims he is an education gov. Guess what next year is.


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Old 03-30-2006, 02:48 PM   #17
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Concrete highway engineering

Many of the earlier highways were not sufficiently stongly interlocked between the slabs. Many did not have sufficient strong bearing material under the slabs to properly support them when the large usage of heavy trucks occur in the spring. As a result many slabs shifted and the joints between the slabs became misaligned. This caused the hopping and thumping many of us hear going down the road. Many of the states have repaired the worste of it within the last five years by either laying new slabs or cutting slots at the end of each slab and interlocking them with new heavier duty steel reinforcing. You might have seen them in process in your travels. This thumping and hopping (if it is at a fundemental frequency of the trailer/ tow vechile resonance) can cause high stress levels in the frame of the trailer and some loss of steering capability. I believe this one of the principal reasons that some of the long overhang 31 foot rear bath models from the 70's and 80's develop fatique cracks in the frames and have frame separation problems.
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:03 PM   #18
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Several sections of I-80 in Wyoming and Nebraska, and I-43 in Wisconsin, as well as other roads have sections where because of heavy loads the individual slabs of concrete have tilted. As I understand it, heavily laden tires, as they move forward across an individual slab cause a small particle migration to occur. Especially when water exists in the ballast below the slab. This causes a pumping action that moves the supporting material towards the end of the slab where the tire leaves it. It repeats this on the next slab, and all slabs tilt for several miles. Some people refer to it as the "hippity hop." It's usually in the right lane only. All you need to do is stay in the left lane to avoid it, but that won't work at 55 to 60mph. When heavy trucks stay in the left lane, then both lanes get it.

I have researched the Air-Ride hitches, which would prevent the violent up and down excursions that occur at the rear of our tow vehicles. Being an engineer, I have talked to the engineering staff at each of the three companies that supply this type of hitch. Each one has admitted that if we use a load distribution hitch and put very much torque on the bars, it will cause the joint to go stiff and lose the motion of the airbag cushion. It will even void their warraty and probably destroy their hitch. Someone on these forums gave a glowing report on an Air-Ride hitch one time, but he said nothing about the details of his hitch adjustment to give his report any validity for our application.

Sadly, the only solution I have found is, as others have suggested, to slow down, in my case to about 45mph till I get past the tilted slabs.

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Old 03-30-2006, 07:10 PM   #19
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Every time we get onto one of those washboard roads, I comment to my wife "Have I told you today how much I hate cement highways"?

I-88 from Schenectady NY to Binghamton NY is like that the whole way. I love McAdam.
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:17 PM   #20
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Going south into Memphis TN on I55 just before the bridge there is a section of washboard so bad that it will make you think you are going to loose everything and nothing helps even slowing to 40 mph. They have fixed it several times but it keeps coming back.

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Old 03-30-2006, 09:40 PM   #21
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Prehaps a good road bad road forum would be helpful. The mapping software only gives me what they are fixing, not what they are not fixing. Could have each state or area of the country or major roads. I'ld rather spend an extra hour driving around these roads than over them or waiting in traffic at construction sites. You would think the feds would have a website covering each interstate and its' condition by mile.
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:45 PM   #22
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Rough ride on some concrete freeways

"Porposing" or "Freeway Hop" was a constant towing companion with the tow vehicle that preceeded my current Suburban ('95 K1500 Z71 Chevrolet Club Cab pickup). It was particularly severe with the Overlander in tow -- I suspect that it had something to do with the relationship between the distance from the tow vehicle's rear axle to the coach's axle; and was compounded by the pickup's overly stiff off-road springs (part of the Z71 package). The problem virtually disappeared when I switched to the Suburban -- even on the strech of US-151 between Dubuque, Iowa and Platteville, Wisconsin that had been my strech of highway to avoid if possible when towing from my home near Platteville. The tow vehicle that preceeded the Chevrolet pickup also didn't have problems with that stretch of highway -- 1984 AMC Grand Wagoneer (the old-full-sized vinyl wood panel wagon).

During the past two or three years, I have been experiencing something that can be even more disconcerting than the "porposing" or "Freeway Hop". While I have encountered it in areas outside of Illinois, there have been several highways where I have noticed the issue of "rutted driving lanes" for lack of a better description. One that I generally avoid is on Interstate 57 in Illinois -- several stretches between Arcola, Illinois and Mt. Vernon, Illinois are blacktop that has ruts that can set up a very unpleasant harmonic between the tow vehicle and trailer -- since the tow vehicle and trailer tend to track differently through the ruts, the result is what I can best describe as a constant wiggle between the tow vehicle and trailer. The first time that I experienced this, it was after dark and I thought that I was driving into a severe storm but the sensation was eliminated as soon as the road surface returned to concrete. Since I travel this I-57 section frequently both with and without one of my coaches, I have had the opportunity to observe that the ruts are actually quite visible over some stretches. Unless I am terribly pressed for time, I usually avoid these stretches by following US-45 and IL-37 between Arcola and Mt. Vernon.

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Old 03-31-2006, 12:30 AM   #23
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The joint bumps on old concrete highways particularly affect 2500 level trucks & trailers. I26 from Asheville,N.C. to Spartanburg, S.C. and I59 from Chattanooga to Birmingham are two I am aware of. Only thing I have been able to do is move into the passing lane and ride it out at about 50 mph. People know what is going on and the overtake-pass pattern just reverts from left to right lane.

Kansas dept of highways came out five or six years ago and said the wear rates on our highways was off by approx 50% due to increased truck traffic.The tremendous growth in the US economy since 1990, the highway bill that allowed 53 ft trailers, etc. is rapidly deteriorating our highway system.

We need higher taxes on trucks(activity based accounting) to put the burden where it belongs. It is the 44,00 lbs loads + truck weight that beat up the highway, not my 2700 lb Camry. Now my 14000lb truck + trailer may be a different story.

14000lbs/8tires = 1750lbs per tire. 44,000lbs+20,000lbs tractor + 10,000lbs trailer = 74,000lbs/18tires = 4111lbs per tire. Numbers are just approx. but, I think you get the idea. I don't travel anywhere near 200,000 miles per year either.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Please visit southern California. Or ask anyone that tows a travel trailer on it.

You will change your opinion, faster than a speeding bullet. ...
Agree with Guru Andy. If you want a great test location, try the 405 on the southbound side just north of the Ventura Freeway. Jeez Louise!! It's so bad my TV (F250 diesel) hops along even without a trailer.

60 mph is the worst, so I opt to plug in the afterburners and do the 85+ !

I do agree that being light on the front end of the TV will worsen the problem.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:35 AM   #25
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The problem is an oscillation induced by the rise/fall of the concrete. When the frequency of this rise/fall matches the vehicle oscillations induced by prior rise/falls, the amplitude will rise until it's darned uncomfortable. Soft suspension or low tire pressure can aggravate this because they allow the amplitude to increase futher, but there are many variables. Changing speed, even +/- 5 mph will improve things. New shocks, changing tire pressure, loading, and weight distribution hitch setup will affect the natural resonant frequency and can stop the undesirable feedback loop. Remember the Tacoma Narrows bridge disaster.
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:42 PM   #26
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I-81 from Winchester, VA through Pennsylvania is horrible as is I-64 from Hampton VA to Williamsburg, VA. You can get into a Harmonic situation where the frequency of your rig is such that the motion becomes increasingly dangerous or for some on the ladies very uncomfortable. Slowing down changes this bouncing frequency but does not totally eliminate it, taking a different route may. I have included the I-81 in my route to International this year, because its still a better choice in my opinon that I-95. Going west with the coast to coast caravan out of Mass.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:48 AM   #27
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If you're headed for Northern Maine this summer - i.e. Acadia and the Maritimes beyond - the concrete section of I-95 from about Freeport to Augusta will drive you nuts with a trailer in tow. The solution, if you don't mind a slightly longer drive, and you don't want to visit Freeport, Portland, or the nearby coastal areas, is to take the turnpike through Lewiston/Auburn. I'll concede that my TV is stiffly sprung - but I seldom have any real problems elsewhere.


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