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Old 08-19-2014, 10:58 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
I'm hoping that Andy will surface and share his insights with us. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge that he shares willingly - and candidly.

Poppy
It becomes very interesting, when some facts of towing are kicked to the curb, when an opinion is offered.

To this day, those critics have yet invested any time or money so that they have facts, and can share them, instead of an opinion.

No hitch manufacturer, or Airstream owner has yet to spent one penny towards finding facts that they could share with the public, as to "WHY" a sway happens, and what to do when it does .

Yet many seemingly find fault with facts that was obtained in a professional manner.

No, all the hitch brands were not included in that research, since the research found it unnecessary to do so.

Again finding faults with a published anything, should only be done with compatible research, but those that object to the findings, including hitch manufacturers, all back-off when challenged.

Physics is Physics, experience is experience, and opinions are just opinions, that is unrelated to the subject at hand.

There are believers, and non-believers, in almost everything in life.

Airstream owners usually work together towards improvements, but some will disbelieve regardless of facts.

Bottom line, to each his own choices.

Andy
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:04 AM   #72
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I avoided hail damage by side stepping a ''DARK'' thunder cloud. Later found out golf ball size hail damaged the town. Trust your gut feeling when it comes to weather. Do not drive through dust storm. Pull over to a safe spot and let the other cars pile up.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #73
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The trailer sway will induce TV oscillations that will make holding the wheel perfectly straight difficult or impossible unless the driver braces himself to not be so subject to inertia that is transferred unintentionally to the wheel.
Sir Isaac Newton might have something to say about that. You can't exempt yourself from inertia.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:08 PM   #74
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Many of us have used inertial brake controllers which basically are activated by electrical current from activation of the brake lights which allows the controller to provide a minimal amount of power to the trailer brakes. As the tow vehicle decelerated an inertia detector in the controller would detect that inertia (you sense it as you feel your body slightly senses the motion) as you step harder on the brake pedal. The problem with that system always has been that the tow vehicle has to provide that initial deceleration to cause the controller to ramp up proportional power to the trailer brakes.

I never did like this system and back in 2001 when I bought my Airstream I purchased a Jordan Ultima brake controller. The Jordan was innovative in that it did not use inertia to determine power applied to the trailer brakes. Instead it relied on a small cable that you attached to the upper end of your brake pedal. The other end of the cable was attached to the controller. The way the Jordan worked was by determining the amount of power based on the movement of the cable when you step on the brake pedal in the tow vehicle. It was absolutely ingenious since trailer brake activation was instantaneous as soon as that pedal moved. No lag time and the power applied (once you do the initial adjustments on setup) was always proportional to how hard you hit the brakes. Which meant that if you hit the pedal hard, the trailer would be hard on its brakes immediately. The obvious advantage was the minimization of the trailer jack knife situation in hard braking or emergency situations.

I still use this controller today and after 2 two vehicles and 13 years, it still performs flawlessly. My Airstream dealer owner did a test drive pulling my Classic slide out and came back saying it was the smoothest and best performing controller he had ever experienced.

Unfortunately the designer/owner sold his company to a larger entity who decided not to continue production. Here is a link to a discussion of that controller and other folks impressions. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...ler-69188.html

I'd be curious if inbuilt controllers on some tow vehicles may use a similar technique sensing pressure on the brake pedal which proportionately ramps up power to the trailer brakes. In today's times maybe the computer and electronics can sense that pedal pressure rather than my mechanical cable system used by the Jordan.

Jack
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:01 PM   #75
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Come on Protagonist,,,

I didn't want to make a post a mile long trying to explain the obvious.

Of course no one is immune to inertia, but I think a person thinking just a little can read between the lines and extract the message I was trying to convey.

I actually did consider using different words in the post, but frankly, trying to make the point in a way that was technically correct seemed like a lot of work for little return.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:06 PM   #76
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I would love to have one of those Jordan controllers.

Inertia controllers are in my opinion a compromise.

They work ok, but since I like to feel my trailer brakes they on occasion apply the brakes way too hard in slow maneuvering.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:53 PM   #77
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I have a "Max Brake" controller. It has a transducer that is tee'd into the brake line on the tow vehicles master cylinder. It is the smoothest and strongest brake controller I have ever used. The bad thing is that the company just evaporated last year. Too bad - I guess they couldn't sell enough with the truck manufacturers now installing the built-in controllers.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:22 PM   #78
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I use the Ford brake controller in my 2013 F150 Ecoboost. It was an aftermarket purchase from the dealer and installed by the dealer, mainly because the truck's computer had to be synched to recognize the controller. I have found it works well, but leaves a little to be desired. Mostly, my 08 30' Classic has the Actibrake actuator. Even with the brake controller set to electric over hydraulic, the controller is pulsing the brakes. Searching for magnets, I believe, from what I read. I also have the gain set up higher than I feel it should have to be, but my brake tests do lock the trailer wheels on gravel. The instrumentpanel displays the gain, connection status, and accumulated mileage of the trailer being towed. This controller, I think, based on my research, is an older version used in the earlier production, 2011 and before. From what I've read, the pulsing was eliminated by the 2012 year for the factory installed controllers in electric over hydraulic systems. The other feature, which I have not had to experience, is the controller will do an antilock pulsing when the truck's antilock system is activated, according to the system information. If I had it to do over, I would hhave liked to have tried the controller on a similarly equipped trailer, because of the pulsing. This is, what I was told at JC, an incompatibility issue with the Actibrke and factory controller. Newer actuators are less likely to have this problem, but that is a more expensive fix than upgrading the controller.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:50 AM   #79
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Hitch Weight

There is a lot of discussion here about getting weight right: observing limits, balancing correctly, etc. I came across what looks like a good way to measure hitch weight on another forum. It enables you to use a common bathroom scale.

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Old 08-20-2014, 09:27 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
There is a lot of discussion here about getting weight right: observing limits, balancing correctly, etc. I came across what looks like a good way to measure hitch weight on another forum. It enables you to use a common bathroom scale.

Poppy
That is the method recommended by Airstream in my 2006 Owners Manual page B-4.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:16 AM   #81
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Airstream Accident Near Tyler, Texas

As this thread is about learning from incidents, accidents and crashes, I should of posted a link to the crash that prompted me to post the tongue weight procedure to keep things in context. The discussion was started on the Casita Club Forum by someone who witnessed an Airstream accident caused by sway in January of this year:

Saw A Trailer Sway Then Roll Over Today. (Not A Casita!) - The Casita Club Forum - The Casita Club Forums

The Casita Club Forum contains a lot of good information, just like this one.

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Old 08-20-2014, 10:46 AM   #82
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The accident I just posted a link to involved a 19' Bambi towed by a Ford truck and was discussed in an issue of "Airstream Life" in an article written by Andy Thompson. Here's a quote from the article:

This was likely an accident where a lot of seemingly small items combined to create a loss of control. The owner had received some bad advice to remove his 20" rims and install 17" rims with a much less controlled tire. The hitch setup was not good so there was little if any weight transfer. This further exacerbated the poor tire control by unloading the front wheels. The accident was probably precipitated by an event like wind shear from a truck or a strong cross wind. Once a strong sway started, the driver applying the brakes on the truck would then complete the formula needed to have a loss of control accident (emphasis added).

Just about a perfect formula for a sway induced accident.

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Old 08-20-2014, 11:33 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
There is a lot of discussion here about getting weight right: observing limits, balancing correctly, etc. I came across what looks like a good way to measure hitch weight on another forum. It enables you to use a common bathroom scale.
The bathroom scale method gives you an estimate of hitch weight but is not the most stable set up and weights can be off by 200 lbs by weighing at the jack stand as opposed to the coupler at the ball. A sherline hitch scale can provide better accuracy. Plus a 200lb difference may negate some of the confusion about true hitch weight and all the referrals to published GCVW and hitch weights discussed on the forums.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:54 AM   #84
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Inaccurate by 200 pounds would make weighing by bathroom scale worthless. How could AS recommend it? Where did you get your information?

Thanks,
Poppy
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