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Old 10-19-2015, 05:43 PM   #1
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Vancouver , British Columbia
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Loss of Control From Brake Binding?

We have experienced a couple of scary situations where our 2015 Flying Cloud 23FB, towed by our 2014 VW Touareg, started swinging wildly from side to side. First time was having just left home and gotten onto the freeway - long, slow bend to the left at about 40 mph. Second time was after an hour on the freeway, going downhill at about 60 mph. Both times we had no control - difficult to drive "into" things as it kept going from side to side. Truly thought we might flip.

My father thinks one of the brakes on the (dual axle) AS is binding. Any other ideas, before I take it to our (lousy) dealer?

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Old 10-19-2015, 05:57 PM   #2
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What type of sway control are you using?

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Old 10-19-2015, 06:18 PM   #3
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You need sway control and when you get into a sway situation you want to use the manual lever to apply the trailer brakes only. You have a small car and a big trailer. The trailer is going to wag the dog if you don't have good sway control.

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Old 10-19-2015, 06:20 PM   #4
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What kind of hitch? It sounds more like a hitch setup problem to me. I would expect it to stay straight even if a brOke locked.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:41 PM   #5
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Sounds like somethings wrong with your weight distribution hitch or setup, too light load in front or too heavy load in back of Airstream, or too heavy load in back of the Touareg. Or all these conditions.

The downhill situation adds the trailer trying to overtake the truck to the above conditions, making things worse. And stepping on the brakes going downhill can make it even worse, especially if there is not enough gain set on the brake controller.

I think you need some help setting up the weight distribution and loading the trailer to start with.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:48 PM   #6
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One time would be enough, get a larger tow vehicle, then check your plug, both ends. Jack the trailer up, spin the wheel, have someone hit the brake controller ....
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:58 PM   #7
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Loss of Control From Brake Binding?

This recommendation might get me booted from the forum... . But get yourself a Hensley designed hitch and say goodbye to sway forever.

Not really cheap, but a lot cheaper than a new tow vehicle.

It wasn't your brakes doing anything, it was the trailer. Airstreams have a lot of length behind the rear axles, once oscillations get the hint of a start they increase like a pendulum.

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Old 10-19-2015, 07:58 PM   #8
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I bet your hitch is poorly adjusted. Are you using a weight distributing hitch? Find a competent dealer (which may be hard) or learn how to adjust it yourself.

Find a thread here for the brand of hitch you are using. You'll learn a lot about how to adjust the hitch, and can ask questions. A picture of the hitch showing how your rig sits when hooked up will be helpful.

The gold standard for judging if a hitch is adjusted right it to weigh the rig on three-section truck scale--CAT brand or other. There are lengthy discussions elsewhere on Airforums. The basic idea is to weigh three times: Once just your tow vehicle, once with the rig hooked up but the weight distribution not applied, and once hooked up WITH the weight distribution hooked up.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:05 PM   #9
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Hitch setup.

If not able to resolve, (your dealer should be able to resolve, but if not, maybe call CanAm RV in London Ont for suggestions)

If that doesn't work, a Hensley or Propride hitch should make for relaxed, towing, but more spendy!

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Old 10-19-2015, 08:09 PM   #10
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CG, then Hitch, then Tow Vehicle

I think Dkottum hit on it....

It sounds like your trailer is tail heavy. That makes them inherently unstable. A fancier hitch might mask it, or a dump truck might muscle through it, but the real solution is to get the center of gravity correct.

A trailer needs to have it's CG located somewhere around 10-15% ahead of the centerline of the axles. The "real world" way to equate this is to have about 10-15% of the trailer's weight on the tongue. So say your trailer weighs 8000lbs, you'd want somewhere between 800 and 1200 lbs on the tongue.

I once saw a guy pulling a flat bed equipment hauler trailer with a Bobcat at the back of it, so that the trailer was very tail heavy. He was oscillating a little back and forth. I came up beside him and all of a sudden the oscillations got crazy. I gunned it and got ahead of him, just as the 16' flat bed tried to do a came clear around so that the tail lights were going down the road by the pickups headlights, it then rotated up and over the top, over the guard rail, and rolled the whole rig. Guy was lucky and didn't get hurt, but trashed his truck, trailer, and Bobcat.

Once the weights are located properly (i.e. don't put your blacksmith tools in the back of the trailer, etc.) and you get that worked out, then you can look at getting a Pro-Pride and a Kenworth

Yes, I tow with a crew cab long bed Dodge 2500 Cummins so I can joke about dump trucks

Best of luck,
- Jim
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:14 PM   #11
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Ditto on verifying weight distribution in the AS and tongue weight. A fancy hitch of any sort will not help if the AS is tail heavy. It's a wreck waiting to happen.

I make darn sure with a Sherline tongue weight scale that I have 15 % on the hitch, then set up the ProPride WD. That will help basic stability. The rest is magic...and a big chunk of change to avoid the white-knuckle ride like that described....

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Old 10-19-2015, 08:26 PM   #12
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Likely the weight of the towed load was pushing the tow vehicle in a down hill situation. This pushes the towed vehicle slightly and the towed vehicle resists. The resistance will cause the trailer to slow down and induce sway as the process repeats it's self until the towed vehicle speeds up or the towed load slows down.

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Old 10-19-2015, 09:05 PM   #13
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Why wouldn't good stiff SWAY Control help control or stop the SWAY? Someone learn me up on that.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:10 PM   #14
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Trailer Sway Causes:

Trailer Sway Causes

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2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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