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Old 09-02-2007, 01:42 PM   #57
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With as many Deer and Moose collisions as we have here in Maine, you can always start a spirited discussion about whether to swerve or not to swerve. When I was a young fledgling driver I rolled one tire off of my Mother's new '56 Chevy when swerving to miss a dog that wandered across the road - and then a second tire when swerving back to miss another car in the oncoming lane. Tubeless tires were still relatively new on the scene and that may have been the cause of the tire failure - but, nevertheless, I swore from that day on that the only thing I would swerve for would be a person. That was in Florida and, now that I live in Maine, the jury is still out on what to do if I encounter a Moose or Deer. Accordingly, I drive a lot slower at night - and especially in June and July when we get the most collisions. Fact tis, if I was way up in the Northern part of the State, I'd seldom go over 45. It's hard to react to whether an animal is going to run, continue running, stop, turn around, or make a 90 degree turn, to the left or right, and run down the road in front of you. My best defense today, if I think we might be coming home late at night, is to leave the Saab and the Subaru home and take the GMC dually. That, hopefully, gives me a fighting chance to survive a Moose collision!
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:50 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpandorf
Just as important as your towing speed is how close you follow the traffic in front of you.
I couldnt agree more! When driving I do everything possible to create a safty zone between me and the vehicle in front. One of the things that really irks me while driving is to have some yahoo pull into that safe space between me and the vehicle I'm following.

You have to wonder how it is that drivers of that sort never seem to think what would happen to them in the sandwhich they are making if the front vehicle had to execute an emergency stop.

I often muse about having a bumper sticker made for my truck and trade wind that simply asks "If suddenly stop, can you?" But I know it wont do any good.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:46 PM   #59
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Amen on the safety zone. So many people think you created that space just so they could dive in.

But what the heck. I'm traveling.

Pat
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:23 PM   #60
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I wrote earlier of being the shepherd, not the sheep and specifically what I meant is as follows. As a truck driver I had to learn to do this to keep the four wheelers away from my rig. It is a matter of watching the mirrors and learning to predict what any member of a pack will do. (By pack I mean those groupings of cars who travel together at speeds just above the limit; none of them willing to establish a reasonable distance from others as they try to run a constant 70-75 mph).

As a slow-mover, usually, preferably, alone on the highway I know that I will be overtaken by these packs; that more than one cretin will try to pass the others from the right lane (pass cretins sitting in the left lane illegally -- they aren't passing, they are overtaking above the limit -- the law only allows for left lane driving while passing). Coming upon a slow mover there will be a bunch of lane changing to A] "get ahead"; B] maintain "the lead" and, C] "get around the slow guy". These are actually different drivers with differently understood motivations for passing (different to themselves, not to the outside observer). They'll shorten the distances amongst themselves, and actually speed up the closer they come to me as the slow-mover.

Now, to out think them I do one of several things to try to channel them into the left lane. The first is that I drop off the cruise control early, maybe even tap the brake lights. In other words, I increase the speed differential when the pack is back there a ways. Close enough that they all jockey into the left lane, not so far that one or more will go for a high speed right lane "pass".

If this works then I give it some fuel and come back to my cruise speed and maybe a little more while remaining under constant, light acceleration to keep the rig nice and straight, but keeping the cruise control off. Depending on the exact circumstances (how open the road is up ahead and the number of pack-cretins, for example) I choose a point to quickly and wholly disappear from the pack as they are lined up in the left lane to go around me.

In other words, as the pack approaches:

1] I change my speed downwards and I want them to notice this

2] I want to see them line up in left lane to go around me at the point it no longer works for any of them to be in the right lane.

3] I get back under acceleration to maintain positive steering response as they are coming along.

4] As they are going by in what passes for good order for cretins, I drop at least 10-mph under my previous speed, say, from 65-68 to 52 mph. A 20 mph speed differential from the cretins who are trying to stay above 70 mph.

5] When done well I can have six or seven cretins pass me in under a few seconds.

The benefits are obvious: the time I spend "trapped" by the pack is reduced drastically. I am not passively hoping for the best but actively making it so.

Were you in that pack then the most you'd likely notice is that as everyone was going around the slow guy that he suddenly slowed down so everyone could go around. Well, yes, but first I need all the cretins in the left lane. That's where the subtlety and skill can come in:

A] Jockeying speed with the need not to burn any more fuel than necessary

B] Keeping the rig under light acceleration to keep the trailer happy; as little slow-down time as reasonable

C] Get those reckless drivers around my family and me ASAP pronto

I make my 63-mph cruising speed work for me by not going any more than about 5-mph above it and 10-mph below. I just wait for the next downgrade to get back to speed and onto the cruise control.

When it goes well, I can see how it will all play out, even to the landmark where I'll be back on the cruise control before it begins. Having broken this out into steps makes it seem harder than it is. I'll wager some of you are already doing this even if unconciously. It is smooth and seamless, and, unless I make my passengers aware of it they tend not to notice (unless I'm tired and cussing the little dogies along under my breath).
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #61
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Rednax , just curious , what made you determine that 63mph was a safe towing speed ?
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #62
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Would You Be Following So Close In 1953

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpandorf
Just as important as your towing speed is how close you follow the traffic in front of you.
This is our other Love!!
Believe me you don't tailgate in this unit..... Not because you couldn't but because you know that if something happened in front of you, your 54 year old braking system could not match up.
Whenever we Stream, we pretend wer'e driving "Bertha"......stay under 65mph, and leave yourself an escape route.
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:37 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
This is our other Love!!
Believe me you don't tailgate in this unit..... Not because you couldn't but because you know that if something happened in front of you, your 54 year old braking system could not match up.
Whenever we Stream, we pretend wer'e driving "Bertha"......stay under 65mph, and leave yourself an escape route.
I just love your car (sigh). I wish I could have one of everything with wheels on it. Well, okay, there's a couple out there that I think I'd take a significant pass on, but not too many that are 1972 and older, and also many of the "new" ones as well.

We do use the '57 to do most of our towing and until I put the disc brakes on it in '94 I was far more conscious of the less than perfect brakes up front. Like you though, the thought of having to not only repair the car, let alone the difficulty of finding the parts, and even worse, the agony of it being damaged, keeps the speeds pretty much in line and we are very attentive to what is happening around us. That said though there are so many what I'd term ignorant drivers who will leverage the knowledge that we are driving carefully and leaving sufficient maneuvering space in front of us that they cut in between and slam on their brakes to slow down to the speed of the vehicle in front of us before cutting again to the right to make a turn - usually without signaling, or as happens often to get pictures of the car and trailer from the front. It drives me crazy.

But I see that wonderful '53 you have there and I wonder why the heck you aren't using it to tow? I'll attach a photo of what it could like like - our buddies '54 Ford wagon (9 passenger) and his new to him '52 Flying Cloud.

Barry
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:34 PM   #64
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I think 62/63 is ideal as a towing speed. Others are welcome to disagree. During the twenty-plus years of the 55-mph limit I experimented with different speeds. 62 was best (solo). 55 was fine with a trailer or in a motorhome (primarily due to traffic).

As a truck driver, generally limited to 66 or 68 mph, I never felt that the ability to run 75 mph (legally) would get me anywhere any faster, it was purely psychological. A long day at the wheel of a vehicle that must be driven every mile is a long enough day. And the dangers of reaction time, braking distance, etc, ramp sharply upwards from about 68 mph.

A truck, with a decent company, is a handful. An RV is worse. Few, if any RV drivers realize this. They aren't driving in all weather, all roads, all seasons. It was only the worst weather that took us off the road in a big truck. After all, it was our job.

An RV is a dirt-poor vehicle. Hitches are all a compromise; there are no bodies enforcing hitch/vehicle standards and perfomance; there are no insurance companies mandating standards for coverage, etc.

In other words, no one really knows.

At 62/63 mph on a rural limited access roadway (or, on all roads as a rule of thumb, always 5-mph under the posted limit), I know that I am doing one thing right (no matter my vehicles, their rigging, etc) and that is to be at less than 100% of road speed. Road speed is for vehicles configured and inspected as safe.

No RV meets these standards when hitched. 55 mph is fine but it puts me at 15-mph under the limit and that is problem proven. 60-65 works fine, and cruise set at 62/63 gives me up and down hill leeway.

With such a poor rig, I need all the reaction time I can muster. Mainly to slow down. I like to get out of overdrive as soon as possible if something is hinky. Even feels funny before I see anything.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:57 AM   #65
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I'm old. My reflexes are slow. I tow at 55 mph max.

Jim
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:19 PM   #66
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The best way to find out if the towing speed you choose is safe....would be to do a couple of emergency maneuvers at that speed...
For example, you WILL find that a sudden lane change (to avoid another vehicle) at 70 to 75 MPH will scare the hell out of you, especially when you find your self either in the grass, or in the median strip!
If that doesn't convince you to slow to 60 to 65, do a measured stop.....that is to really lock up the brakes and see how far it takes you to stop....
Most anyone can drive a vehicle fast in a straight line, but it takes experience, and skill to be able to avoid a car that unexpectably pulls out in from of you....
For whatever it's worth

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Old 09-14-2007, 02:32 PM   #67
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The best way to find out if the towing speed you choose is safe....would be to do a couple of emergency maneuvers at that speed...
For example, you WILL find that a sudden lane change (to avoid another vehicle) at 70 to 75 MPH will scare the hell out of you, especially when you find your self either in the grass, or in the median strip!
If that doesn't convince you to slow to 60 to 65, do a measured stop.....that is to really lock up the brakes and see how far it takes you to stop....
Most anyone can drive a vehicle fast in a straight line, but it takes experience, and skill to be able to avoid a car that unexpectably pulls out in from of you....
For whatever it's worth

Larry C
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Old age is coming at a really bad time!

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Old 09-14-2007, 04:31 PM   #68
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Larry, it doesn't take a 7,000 lb. Airstream behind you at 70 or 75 MPH to yield the result you describe. Everyone assumes that not having a travel trailer behind you automatically makes it safe to drive 75 MPH. Like you said, anybody can drive in a straight line...I have even done it at faster speeds in my youth...in a Honda no less. To suggest making those kinds of maneuvers when you don't have to is not the wisest thing to do.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:22 PM   #69
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before I tow I always check the air pressure of each tire and stay within 60 to 65 with plenty of room to stop.
The whole point of taking my trailer out is to relax and not get stressed out trying to keep up with everyone on the road. Plus I have preciosu cargo with my wife and children in the vehicle so if it takes a little longer to get "there" oh well. I want plenty of time to stop or react with the bozo's racing alonng and cutting me off. be safe
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:00 AM   #70
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Came across a listing of the fifty states laws regarding maximum trailer towing speed. Only seven of the fifty allow speeds above 65 mph, daylight.
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