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Old 06-15-2011, 10:08 AM   #29
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Very scary indeed, I'm glad everyone is OK. I'm always concerned about going downhill at any speed higher than what I went up.

I've used the brake controller to get the TT back inline if it starts getting a little wonky (more often on ice taking a corner). I've never had a reason to do it going down hill though. Does the same logic apply?
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:24 PM   #30
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Phrunes, quite a story. Quick thinking and glad it worked for you. I'm not sure it would always work and the angle of going off road and the angle of the embankment make every such attempt very risky and trying to do it several times in a row may result in very different results. Thinking through beforehand what to do in case various emergencies occur prepares you for immediate action if something occurs.

Should you risk your life when a jerk endangers yours and then stands in the road putting themselves at extreme risk? I haven't looked at homicide law since about 1971, but that would make a good law school exam question. You do have an obligation to avoid them, but if you can't without possibly killing yourself, it seems it would be justifiable. If someone jumps out between cars and you unavoidably hit them and you weren't speeding, they committed suicide. The truck driver would be a good witness and the jerk probably would not be able to testify. That said, it would be hard for me to run someone down even in that circumstance.

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Old 06-15-2011, 04:48 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene
Phrunes, quite a story. Quick thinking and glad it worked for you. I'm not sure it would always work and the angle of going off road and the angle of the embankment make every such attempt very risky and trying to do it several times in a row may result in very different results. Thinking through beforehand what to do in case various emergencies occur prepares you for immediate action if something occurs.

Should you risk your life when a jerk endangers yours and then stands in the road putting themselves at extreme risk? I haven't looked at homicide law since about 1971, but that would make a good law school exam question. You do have an obligation to avoid them, but if you can't without possibly killing yourself, it seems it would be justifiable. If someone jumps out between cars and you unavoidably hit them and you weren't speeding, they committed suicide. The truck driver would be a good witness and the jerk probably would not be able to testify. That said, it would be hard for me to run someone down even in that circumstance.

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I didn't say that It did not cross my mind...:-)
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:25 PM   #32
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Appreciate all the good advice. I got home last Thursday safely. The temp. in Vegas was 114 deg F which forced us to shorten the trip by couple days, even though the A/C in AS worked very well. Mrs finished her shopping and I exhausted my gambling budget in one day.
Any way every thing on the rig is working fine, I had to drive below 50 mph due to strong winds on I-15.
To give a few more detials for the folks who are interested:
The tires are brand new on AS the brake controller is working fine and the wind just appeared when started the downhill, otherwise I do not drive fast in high winds.
Giving more thaught to the event, when I tried to slow down using low gear on the TV the trailer was still had lot of momentom which caused the fish tailing. It would have been safer it I had used the brakes or used the controller to brake the trailer as I downshifted.
Now my next plan is to up size my 207 20' Safari with 23' FB, getting tired of climbing over my better half in the middle of the night.
Visited my local AS dealer he is willing to pay $20K for mine and sell the new 23' FB for around $50K. My preference would be to sell the rig my self and buy a couple of year old which already has depreciated to some extent.
Thanks for listing and all the wonderful advice.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #33
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Zia,
I had a Reese weight distribution unit when I towed my '77 Excella 500 with a '92 K1500 4X4 shortbed pickup. The setup was marginal at best. I bought a '01 Chevy 2500HD and then later picked up an '86 Sovereign 25' which I still tow today. It came with a Hensley Arrow hitch which has paid for itself numerous times. Last year someone in a Ford Expedition slowly pulled out in front of me from a side street and kept looking to the right down the road as if they were waiting for a car to finally pass them so they could come across the road. They never saw my black truck and Airstream trailer. I hit the brakes and just missed the rear bumper of their tank. I could slightly feel the trailer push the truck but the hitch kept the trailer from pushing the truck further to the side. The hitch is expensive but worth every penny.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:54 PM   #34
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I do not think 70 mph should cause any problems. How many of us have rolled out the bottom of a hill on the interstat at that? I know I have. Makes me wonder about the weight distribution of the trailer and the type of hitch.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:25 AM   #35
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This post really concerned me so I asked a respected Airstream hitch expert (who also modified and setup the hitch on my Mercedes ML) and this is his response:

"The GX 470 is a great off road vehicle but on the highway it is quite an unstable vehicle likely the worst tow vehicle you can get. That is not just my opinion Consumers reports called it one of the worst they had tested and Lexus did a recall. Basically it has a very tall centre of gravity with a soft suspension and tires with a ton of sidewall sway. This is a vehicle where I would definitely recommend a Hensley even for the 20. It can also be improved by changing the tire size. If you can reach the person below I would suggest it. What happened is going downhill the trailer was traveling faster than they were and the Lexus did not have enough directional stability to control it."

I'm new to this hitch stuff and there seems to be a lot of mis-information from both manufacturers (vehicle, hitch, trailer and whoever has a product to sell us) and consumers. It is quite daunting! I'm not trying to add to it (the mis-information).

So I studied the physics (power to weight ratio stuff) of towing before a purchased what I have (Mercedes diesel ML, 25' Eddie Bauer, EAZ-Lift WD with Husky sway control) and I'm very pleased and feel very safe. I will be spending a month in the Rockies in a few weeks to fully test the research.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #36
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There another thread going in which it has discussed vehicles with automatic leveling. It is contended the leveling system is not good for towing and should be shut off. It is also said the leveling system does not provide weight distribution. Perhaps the combination of any hitch and the leveling system is not a good one. Perhaps the Lexus has that; I think Land Cruisers do. I don't know the specifics of this, but maybe it should be part of the discussion.

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:19 PM   #37
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I have air suspension and leveling. Special ordered the vehicle with towing in mind. There is a special technique (basically the system has to be dead to to get the WD right) to connecting a trailer and WD. Once you know it -- all is good (at least on a MB vehicle).

Just a new guy trying to help the community!
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #38
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So glad you guys are OK. I had a very similar incident due to severe sway with my 30' AS. Yes, even AS trailers can sway given the occurance of many combined factors. I did have a very popular sway and weight control set up a well as a long wheel base big van. I blew out two tires, two rims ruined and two axles bent. I did all this without turning over. I did go up on one side similar to you. My answer to you is a Hensley Hitch. I know this may seem to be overkill, but my trailer is now a dream to pull in all circumstances, and Safety is worth the cost. I believe Hensley has a smaller version of the hitch which might be a good choice.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #39
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Pro Pride makes a similar hitch which by accounts here is an improvement on the Hensley and developed by the guy who developed the Hensley. I believe it costs less too.

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Old 07-06-2011, 10:57 AM   #40
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Many thanks to Gene, Gary, David, Bill and folks from Plano, TEX. for taking time for all the good advice. Some of the info. is new to me. Let me try to address some of the issues:
1) I orginally had 4runner for towing and then replaced it with Lexus GX470 for little luxury. I do not use auto leveling when pulling only use low level setting when hitching or un-hitching. I do realize this SUV's inherently have high CG as compare to vans, trucks or auto's. 2) I am upsizing to 23' FB and definitely use the recommended Hensley or Pro Pride hitch. And it is well said that you can not put price to your safety. Also I will try to upsize the tires next time.
3) Mojor leason learned always drive slow uphill, downhill and when windy. My better half is so coutious that coming down from our house (short downgrade) she keep reminding me about the experience.
Have a wonderfull day

"Remember to work like you don't need the money, dance like nobody's watching, and love like you've never ever been hurt"

Zia
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