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Old 04-05-2013, 08:15 AM   #15
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I keep the brake controller to the left of the steering column. The right hand has its own set of duties, so trailer brake control is delegated to the left. Same for feet in re clutch, brake and throttle.

An Excursion is bottom of the barrel in braking & handling. Time and miles can't have made that any better.

Glad there were no other problems.

.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:37 AM   #16
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I think it did pretty well. All the wheels stayed on the ground. I have not found the brakes to be a problem. If you want to talk crappy brakes my old 92 F350 would take a mile to stop. The Excursion is modern compared to the stuff I am use to driving. I am glad I was in the Excursion and not something smaller. I think I need to have the alignment checked. I think I have a toe problem. The old set of tires were worn on the outside more than the inside. I need to replace the shocks on all 4 wheels. The ball joints are tight. Wandering seems to be a problem with the Excursions because I have read about it on other forums. Every Ford truck I have ever driven seems to be twitchy and will change lanes with very little effort. The Excursion handles tons better than my old 68 Dodge van so I am happy. That V10 and the 4:30 rear end have no problems towing that 31 ft Airstream.

The problem with getting an alignment is that is it done by the same poorly trained tire techs that can’t even balance a tire properly. I could end up with more problems than I have now. Actually, I have the tools to check it myself. They are crude but are good enough to identify a problem.

Back to brakes, the Excursion brakes have more than enough power to lock the wheels or at least make the antilock system engage. I have not noticed problems other than brake rotor warpage and that seems to have gotten better on this last trip.


Perry
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #17
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I would change the hitch set up to a Reese Dual Cam anti-sway straight line hitch and get away from the friction anti-sway type which are only able to limit induced sway by friction drag instead of an active system which actively and continually strives to be in a straight line.
Friction devices are junk, IMO.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #18
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Ford Excrusion. A classic case in point! Think of how different the outcome would have likely been if you were driving a 1/2 pickup as the tow vehicle. I have driven 18 wheeler up and down America's highways for 20 years now and have witnessed numerous accidents involving 1/2 TV's and trailers of all kinds. Add a bit of panic to the situation and the results are almost certain. I've said many times "there oughta be a law" against towing anything larger than a lawnmower trailer with a 1/2 ton TV
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:34 PM   #19
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Ford Excrusion. A classic case in point! Think of how different the outcome would have likely been if you were driving a 1/2 pickup as the tow vehicle. I have driven 18 wheeler up and down America's highways for 20 years now and have witnessed numerous accidents involving 1/2 TV's and trailers of all kinds. Add a bit of panic to the situation and the results are almost certain. I've said many times "there oughta be a law" against towing anything larger than a lawnmower trailer with a 1/2 ton TV
But you've never ever seen an accident involving a 3/4 ton or larger truck and a trailer of any kind?

There oughta be a law against treating anecdotes as evidence.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:38 PM   #20
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The Friction sway bar works when it is tightened. I will probably go to something else when I have time to evaluate the different hitch designs. I was using weight distribution so I am sure that helped. I wonder why viscous damping is not used on these things. I would think that the friction sway bar could be replaced with a shock absorber type thing. I need to find me a good alignment guy.

I can tell you that all of my puckering events while towing with this rig were caused by road conditions and not wind gusts from passing trucks and cars.

Perry
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:06 PM   #21
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Friction sway bars actually work extremely well. I don't loosen mine in wet conditions and never have had a hint of a problem. Perhaps on ice I would consider loosening them, but, then, I don't tow on ice anyway.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #22
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Indeed I have witnesses accidents with larger tow vehicles. However several years ago I began to notice that the majority of mishaps involved lighter tow vehicles. It still holds true today
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:10 PM   #23
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Indeed I have witnesses accidents with larger tow vehicles. However several years ago I began to notice that the majority of mishaps involved lighter tow vehicles. It still holds true today
Casual empiricism isn't data either. You're welcome to tow a Bambi with a semi tractor if you like, but don't advocate legal prohibitions against other people's tow vehicles.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:20 PM   #24
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From an engineering standpoint it makes a lot of sense that the tow vehicle be heavier than the trailer or at least weigh as much as the trailer. The trailer did not push my truck around. The tail was wagging but I was stable once I got away from the tar patch. With better brakes on the trailer and better sway control you can get away with a smaller tow vehicle. On flat smooth ground you can tow almost anything with almost anything. Stopping and changing directions starts becoming a problem the lighter the tow vehicle. This is plane physics. An Airstream is probably one of the best trailers to tow with a small tow vehicle if you are going to do it. I personally don't recommend it but to each his own.

Perry
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:54 PM   #25
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Setting the hitch up properly is what makes the difference. TV weight is detrimental in more situations than it is a benefit. By the description offered (correct me) the trailer wasn't the actor at fault, it was the TV. Poor chassis design (as is reported all over FORD forums, with aftermarket "corrections" specifically for this vehicle, not generically FORD or just pickups) with whatever wear the vehicle has suffered.

Sure, alignment and shock absorbers. Tire quality and tread design. FALR verification. All the usual.

But a silk purse is not made from a sows ear. That 7k GVWR TT would be fine behind a half-ton properly outfitted. Plenty of sedans and SUV's as well (actually better). The hitch might be upgraded, even if it doesn't appear to be at fault as quality is worth the trouble. Friciton bar is a door stop, IMO.

I suppose if anyone can properly "hot rod" an EX to be a better TV it is the OP (based on his many posts & threads). Would it work, and would it be worth it? I look forward to his decision.

And glad the road wasn't one where the next lane over wasn't oncoming traffic. I used to run out of Birmingham loaded with steel, and on the two-lane mountain shortcut over to Memphis a few miles north from where you were, well . . . . .

.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #26
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Wes Tausend does a nice job, here on toe-in and bump steer on EX from a thread on RV.net
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:55 AM   #27
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The loose sway bar was definately a factor in this. It was not the only factor but it did make the trailer unstable when the lane change occured.

I also think that if I was driving a light weight vehicle that something might have broken. Like tires, rims, axels etc. This was not your average pot hole but a series of them poorly patched.

I don't blame the Excursion and I think any Ford truck with this twinn I-beam suspension would have suffered the same instability. I don't know if the newer trucks have fixed any of this or not. I do know that at least traveling empty the Excursion has much better front to rear weight distrubution. There is nothing more unstable than an empty pickup in the rain. Traction with the Excursion is much better than any pickup I have had, with it empty or towing and this is 2wd.



Perry

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Friction sway bars actually work extremely well. I don't loosen mine in wet conditions and never have had a hint of a problem. Perhaps on ice I would consider loosening them, but, then, I don't tow on ice anyway.
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