Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-25-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Almost lost it on I65 N of Bham

We were on our way to FL N of Bham AL on a very bad section of road. I think it was after a small bridge. There was an extremely rough section of road where it had been patched too many times. We hit that and ended up one lane over in the center lane with the trailer swaying like crazy. I was able to hit the trailer brakes and damp it out. It was a tense moment. Had the sway bar backed off more than normal due to rain. I am not sure why they recomend doing this. The trailer brakes saved our bacon. I think having the over ride manual brake lever closer to the wheel would be good. I had both hands full trying to get the TV straight and did not to the manual lever for a second or two.

Perry
__________________

__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Ridgerunner3's Avatar
 
2002 25' Safari
Fountain Inn , South Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 659
Images: 11
It is good to hear that you managed to survive this without damage. That is a very frightening sounding event. They have been working on I-65 through Birmingham for years and it seems the more they work on it the worse it gets for pulling a trailer.

Good luck with the rest of your trip. What part of Florida are you heading to?
__________________

__________________
Bud
Ridgerunner3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
My advice is stay in the center lane. The slow lane is full of pot holes and tar patches that make rail road crossings look smooth.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #4
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,223
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Wow - nice recovery!

Did you voluntarily or involuntarily change lanes? Was the road surface wet or dry at this point?

BTW, the reason they recommend backing off the sway bar in the rain is because you don't want the anti-sway to exert too much force in those conditions. Ice would be even worse.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
http://tinpickle.blogspot.com
http://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Not sure if I jerked or it was bump steer from the twin ibeam mess that Ford uses that tends to make things less stable. I expect I tried to steer around the bad spot and got things started.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Problem is they put a 1/2" layer of tar on the road that lasts 6 months and it goes bad before they get back to fix it. We may consider another route but I. Figured Bham was the lesser of evils compared to Atlanta. There are not many options to get to FL from Huntsville, AL.

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner3
It is good to hear that you managed to survive this without damage. That is a very frightening sounding event. They have been working on I-65 through Birmingham for years and it seems the more they work on it the worse it gets for pulling a trailer.

Good luck with the rest of your trip. What part of Florida are you heading to?
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Well we are home after about a week and a half. We stayed a week at my folks house near Orlando and a couple days at Manatee Springs. We stayed a night at Falling Waters coming and going. For the first time in three visits we finally got to see the water fall. It was raining the last two times we were there. They have a nice little swimming lake as well but it is a wild lake and full of criters. My daughter got the flu Sunday night and we had to take her to the ER. She finally got better by thursday and we had a couple of nice days of warm weather and then my wife got sick. We really enjoyed Manatee Springs. The camp sights were big and relatively private in the Magnolia loops. There is no cell phone service and weak over the air TV from Gainsville. It is not a resort camp ground so if that is what you want do go. It is sand and lots of bugs. There are deer and other critters all over the place. We got to see the Manatees in the spring.

If you can help it, don't travel on a spring break weekend. Wait till a weekday unless you want bumper to bumper traffic. Traffic was not bad today (Wed). It was terrible going down and we had friends that came back last weekend and they got caught in I-65 traffic.

I enjoyed the change of pace eventhough everyone was sick accept me. It makes me want to stay on the road.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
JourneytoRet's Avatar
 
2000 36' Land Yacht XC Diesel
Gaffney , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 233
good to know and glad you are safe! we were actually travelling on 65S to 59/20 in b-ham ourselves.
__________________
JourneytoRet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Someday'59's Avatar

 
1959 26' Overlander
Powder Springs , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 641
Images: 18
Yikes! Glad you made it unscathed!

Your adventures sound strangely similar to ours. We had an episode in Birmingham and also ended up at the ER in Chiply FL while at Falling Waters State Park.
__________________
~Lynnetta

my restoration & travel blog:
http://someday1959.blogspot.com
Someday'59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Thanks for all the well wishes everyone. We did not loose a wheel. I think I would have turned back at that point. We were going to leave from Manatee springs but that was a long haul to Huntsville and the wife was sick as a dog. We stayed at Falling waters and had an easy drive back. The weather was great there last night but rain was headed in this morning. Huntsville is gloomy, cold, and raining like when we left on March 23rd.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Whew - glad all turned out ok. Just curious, what is your TV?
__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
The tow vehicle was a 2000 Ford Excursion 2WD with a V10. It probably saved our bacon. A light tow vehicle might have lost it. I do think that Ford trucks and it maybe all large trucks tend to wander. The twin I-beam system that Ford uses I am not a fan of. It maybe great for low speed 4 wheeling but I don't think it handles bumps well. There is alot of unsprung weight and steering instability over bumps. I don't think the front wheels were on the ground for a good bit of the time we hit those tar patches. I would think that a large truck should run straight when you let go of the wheel but the Fords seem to be very twichy and have little road feel. I think the sway bar being loose was a BIG factor and I will never loosen one again in the rain. My little Ford Ranger experiences bump steer when going over rough patches. You don't know which way it is going to go when the front wheels are bouncing. I really think a solid front axel would be better than the twin I-beam system. If you are going to have independent front suspension just use A-arms. The truck did recover well once I got away from the rough pavement. I did not feel like the trailer was controlling the tow vehicle. I don't think the outcome would have been so good with a top heavy SOB trailer. The trailer was swaying but there was no roll that I could tell from the rear view mirror. I have not seen any roll going around curves either at least as viewed through the center rear view mirror.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 06:47 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Again, glad all ended up well. Too much excitement is not a good thing. A 2000 Excursion V10 - what a beast. Handling is not one of it's strong points for sure. I kinda wish Ford would still build it with their new frame. Not sure when it happened (I think 2009) Ford changed the attachment points on their stiffer frame, moved shocks outward and added a few more improvments to spring calibration. The steering was also improved.

In 2005 I test drove trucks. Ugh - The Ford steering wheel bounced when You hit a pothole. Chevy and Dodge were not much better. I bought a 2006 Honda Ridgeline.

In 2011 I test drove trucks again. Wow, the difference. Much better ride and handling.
I bought a 2011 F150 5.0 litre.

These improvments would have made it to the Excursion if Ford still built it. Oh well.

Oh - that V10 engine is bullet proof as you know. Getting the spark plugs out is the only issue I have heard.
__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 07:33 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
crispyboy's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,655
Images: 3
I used to own a small 2wd Ford Ranger. I think the front suspension design must be similar to what you have. The truck would eat up shocks - you knew they needed replacing when a bumpy road would throw the truck into the next lane. Front shocks seemed to last about 30k.
You probably need to check the wear on all the front end components.
__________________

__________________
Steve, Christy, Anna and Scout (Border Collie deceased 11-30-2016)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley with adjustable stinger
WBCCI # 3072
crispyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.