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Old 05-21-2007, 11:37 AM   #71
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We should all consider whether the human factor becomes involved in these kinds of events. I know that I am not as fast to react nor see as well as I did when I was in my twenties. I am 58 now.

Rather than expect to be able to tow all day and into the night, as I once did with impunity, I now realize that the longer I am on the road, the more fatigued I get, and the more likely I will make bad decisions. A bit of inattention or a bad choice at the wrong time can be costly.

So I try to embrace the wisdom of arriving before 4pm so I can be all set up in time for cocktail hour. After all, what is most important - the destination or the journey?

Pat
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:47 AM   #72
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We hope your parents will experience a good recovery from this harrowing experience. We applaud your change of the Title of this thread as well. Best wishes,
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:18 AM   #73
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What is the serial number of the trailer and date of manufacture. This may help see if anyone close to this range has had any issues.Just a thought.
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:43 PM   #74
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The original title of the thread was very scary indeed, as were a few posts.

The well thought out posts on what could possibly cause an accident like this one, were very informative.

As a result, we have re-reviewed our loading plans and maintenance schedules for the AS and TV, also our personal driving schedules, hopefully making for safer journeys.

My formal safety training is limited to munitions, usually just one chance for error. However, that could apply here also.

Be safe and enjoy your travels.

See you on the road our AS friends,

John
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:37 AM   #75
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Thank You

Little Radio et al:

Thank you for changing the thread title - I saw lots of late models trailers coming up for sale on ebay following your parents horrible ordeal. I have only been towing an AS for 3 years and have tried my darnedest to load and pull it properly based on wisdom from airstream veterans I have met at rallys and on AIR.

The responses from so many in this great aluminum community expressing their concern for your parents and attempting to pinpoint the problem has been heart warming and very educational. I have re worked my checklist and promised myself no more sunset stretch drives to the "better" camp site after a long day of towing with my family.

I hope your parents experience helps to prevent similar accidents in the future. Please let us know what the investigation uncovers as everyone is obviously very curious.

In Omnia Paratus!
"In All Things Prepared"
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:55 PM   #76
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Everything is still under investigation. I hope the findings substantiate the Administrator's decision to change the title of my original thread. I will share the findings with the group as soon as I am permitted. Thanks again for all the best wishes and astute insights. What an incredibly knowledgeable group you are!
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:16 PM   #77
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I'm not seeing any thread name change?

Randy
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:39 AM   #78
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I had a similar experince

I was doing a pre-trip shake down cruise with my '63 20 foot Avion and F-250 PSD tow vehicle (I posted earlier about those in that thread)
We had gotten off the freeway and where doing about 25mph down the main street. My 2 your old daughter in her child seat right next to me and my 5 year old in his seat riding shotgun, when the truck lurched to the left twice, then pulled back over to the right.

I was able to straiten out before hitting any parked cars and started thinking about LittleRadio's post, but the paramaters where vastly different, then started going throught the catalog in my head of tie-rod and IFS bushings that might have just fallen out.
Then it happened again.
I reached down to squeze the brake controller in case the trailer was starting to fishtail, and then I saw it......
A little, pink sandle on the steering wheel.
My daughters car seat has since been moved to the back seat of the supercab.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:23 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvophile
I was doing a pre-trip shake down cruise with my '63 20 foot Avion and F-250 PSD tow vehicle (I posted earlier about those in that thread)
We had gotten off the freeway and where doing about 25mph down the main street. My 2 your old daughter in her child seat right next to me and my 5 year old in his seat riding shotgun, when the truck lurched to the left twice, then pulled back over to the right.

I was able to straiten out before hitting any parked cars and started thinking about LittleRadio's post, but the paramaters where vastly different, then started going throught the catalog in my head of tie-rod and IFS bushings that might have just fallen out.
Then it happened again.
I reached down to squeze the brake controller in case the trailer was starting to fishtail, and then I saw it......
A little, pink sandle on the steering wheel.
My daughters car seat has since been moved to the back seat of the supercab.
God love the little children...and may we all (parents and children) survive the child raising experience!
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:44 AM   #80
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Talking

F250 PSD + 20' Avion @ 25 MPH.

Funny story! (for me, anyway) You really had me going for a minute, because I had something very similar happen a long time ago.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:14 AM   #81
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only because I care...

I'm not sure what year your Ford is, but if there are airbags in front, they could seriously harm your children if they go off. The back seat is the safest area for them.

Ok, soapbox off...

Very funny story aside from my overgrown fears.
Thanks for sharing!
Marc
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:26 AM   #82
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Sorry to hear of such an incident...I've been towing for about 12 years and fortunately have not had anything even close to that occur. However, I once witnessed a trailer fishtail and flip a couple of hundred yards in front of me on the interstate and, even though the family was uninjured (shook up for sure), it was still a disasterous event for them. I switched to a Hensley Arrow hitch system last year when we bought our new Airstream and after pulling from Tesas to NC and back I can vouch for the system doing what it is advertised to do. Not sure if it would completely prevent a fishtail or rollover from an axle break or similarly serious wheel problem, but I am pretty sure it would provide better stability control than the other hitch systems. Just a thought. Hope your family recovers well and this event doesn't cause any hesitation to getting back into the fold of RV-ing. It's always an adventure.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:46 PM   #83
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What an interesting series of posts and speculations. Much food for thought here and a first class mystery. After re-reading Little Radio's posts and Beginner's, I'm inclined to speculate further that the problem is/was uncommanded differential braking on the trailer probably of a purely mechanical nature. This would account for the sudden unbidden onset of braking effort and might explain why the problem ceased when the TV's brakes were applied. Applying the brakes would activate the trailer brakes too and possibly "reset" whatever was causing the drag?
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:15 PM   #84
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You know, I have been reminded by this thread of another situation I read about on another forum that I don't read very often about an elderly gentleman whose 30'+ SOB did the same thing. He used a Hensley Arrow hitch and his son wrote the post and was convinced that the cause was the hitch. I never heard if it was ever determined what caused the accident.

Also, another member of our forum experienced the same thing with his Spartan Manor when his hitch failed. I believe his accident was caused by a combination of the tail of the trailer being overloaded and the hitch failure as a result of the overloaded rear of the trailer. I don't remember the brand of hitch he used, but it was a snap-up type of hitch and one of the weight distribution bars dropped out of the hitch socket causing an unbalanced weight distribution scenario.

I'm sure you have examined the hitch, LittleRadio, but you might take a closer look at it and make sure that nothing went wrong with the hitch. We'd all like to know what happened and we all hope your parents are well on their way to recovery.
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