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Old 08-25-2007, 06:46 PM   #29
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Check out this SOB or what's left of it. Poor guy gets his new Corvette wrecked just after getting pulled over for speeding.</p></p>Foster's Online, Dover, New Hampshire
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Old 08-25-2007, 06:59 PM   #30
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Terrible accident and I'm very sorry for your loss. As yet I haven't heard anything about how something like this could happen. I'm mystified. Does anyone have any ideas? Understaning how this could happen would help all of us.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:40 PM   #31
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Thanks Terry and Peegreen for helping us put this into prospective. We know it could have been much worse. We did get to enjoy it in our driveway for 27 days! Much better than the 2 hour's ownership in Terry's picture of the Airstream and the 15 minutes the Corvette owner had his car. 2Air we have left two phone messages and one email for David this week. We read with great interest Little Radio's reports on his parent's accident in their Airstream. Hopefully they are fully recovered by now.

We would be very happy to have our trailer back. We loved everything about that trailer. But we only want it back if it can be put back together like it's suppose to be. We don't want to start out every trip worrying about something going wrong that might have been missed in the repairs.

If it can't be fixed we hope that our insurance company will reimburse us enough to be able to get something similiar to what we had. We will have another Airstream.

Will this accident have any bearings on our insurance premiums in the future?
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:54 AM   #32
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Lucky break, trucks and trailers are easy to replace if you're alive. The valve stem is certainly a possibility, however. Heads up for all. The "new" cast wheels are notorious for loosening after a rotation. They should be RETORQUED within a few miles of rotation. The symptoms you describe, pre crash, COULD be consistent with a loose wheel on the rear of the truck. If so you'll see evidence on back side of rim.
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:18 AM   #33
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Scares me just to look at it

Jimmy,
Wow! Nice job of keeping it from getting worse. Noticing that your are a Fire Chief leads me to believe that your driving behavior did not participate in the mishap. Probably, what you did while the disaster was unfolding kept things from getting much worse worse.
I'm interested in how you got to where you ended up. Specifically, was there any fish-tailing or did the trailer nose yaw hard right and then push you off the road or did the truck come around to the right in the tail like the rear end was steering.
The tire deflation alone shouldn't have had enough force to cause that magnitude of yaw. I'm guessing that the drop on the passenger side height interacted with the weight distribution bars in a positive feedback loop where the weight distribution tried to compensate for the un-level rear end by steering the trailer.

One thing from my experience. If your hitch assmbly is a bolt on, have a close look at all of the bolt on points. HIdden damage in that area is oftern overlooked.
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:50 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimarq
Last Friday, August 17, 2007, we wrecked our "new" 2000 30' Excella on it's maiden voyage ...
The only thing we have in the way of an explanation to what happened to us was that we were missing a valve stem on the right rear tire of the pickup. It could have come off during the wreck but we were not able to locate it at the scene. Our tire store said that the type of valve stems we had on the truck were inferior in that they could break off very easily. Jimmy had had the tires on the pickup rotated the day before we left our on our ill-fated trip and we had put less than 30 miles on them since they were rotated....
THE MISSING VALVE STEM is very likely the culprit.... most car tires are inflated to 35-40lbs or even less, and truck tires are at least 55 to 80 lbs depending on the load. I lost a tire due to exactly the same thing - and had the valves replaced on ALL four - there are valve stems specifically built for trucks and there are even all-metal valve stems... choose one or the other. If your tire store will give you a written statement that CAR valves were used and because you can prove that there was only 30 miles on the tires since they'd been rotated, that could end up paying for all the damage to the tow vehicle AND the trailer.

I had a blowout on the driver side rear tire going up a grade on the interstate in West Virginia - and I ferverently believe that the uphill grade made the Airstream function as an anchor - and my weight distributing hitch kept the truck from rolling - so all I lost was the tire. Had I been going even slightly downhill, the trailer could well have started pushing the Suburban and heaven only knows what would have happened. BTW my 'burb is a 2500 with big tires so one flat and you're in a big sideways lean.

The good news is you did walk away!!!! You'll probably have nightmares and replay this over and over. I certainly worry about using the trailer brakes manually too. With my controller it's not all that easy to reach and adjust especially in a panic situation. I've learned to adjust my controller frequently - every time out there's a bit more wear on the trailer and tow vehicle brakes, and I set mine so that at slow speed if I hit the brakes the trailer feels "grabby" - a bit more trailer brake than truck. I'd rather have the trailer jerk me backwards than push me forwards.

I kinda think your Airstream might be totalled, though I hope not. If it is, just remember the journey is more important than the toy. You WILL find another Airstream to enjoy and you will be towing again.

Best wishes and sympathy Karma for you.

Paula
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:02 AM   #35
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Just looked again...

Notice that the damage is on the LOWER segments.... not so bad IF the frame is OK.... You could be good. Much luck. Something is wrong with "Give Karma" at the moment. Not working, but I'll post it later.

Paula
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:43 AM   #36
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I'm with Paula, likely culprit is the missing valve stem. The other post of "my parents" had the A/S being pulled by a Dodge, so you can just about rule out brake controller. It still might be worth checking the trailer tires for "new" flat spots. In the mean time, I'm off to check my valve stems!
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:20 PM   #37
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FWIW I probably never would have questioned the valve stem had it not been for the young man at the tire place who changed the tire. Since the tire had broke away from the rim and the wheel spokes were scuffed, I just assumed that the stem broke off during the sideways slide down the barditch and up the embankment. But the young man indicated that they had seen several of these type of stems break off. Given that and my neighbor friend bringing to my my attention the dark rings around the sidewalls of the tire which is an indication of a tire that has been ran flat, it certainly makes me wonder. Attached is a photo of 1 of the 3 remaining valve stems in question. They have about a 1/2" of rubber coming out of the rim and about another 1/2" of brass going up to the cap. You can bet that once the insurance issue is settled, the other 3 stems will be changed.
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:52 PM   #38
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hi jimarq...

if the stem on the wheel in post/pic #12 is broken off rather than missing..

it is reasonable to assume that break occurred IN the dirt/ditch.

and putback makes an EXCELLENT point in post 32...

theses rims/lug nuts are to be torqued to 150-160 ft/lbs...

did you instruct the tire shop to do that?

it is very unlikely they would know the torque specs for every vehicle...

and originally ford's spec was 95 ft/lbs...

a tsb and dealer notice eventually increased the spec to 150-160...

given your accident happened so soon after rotation, this should be considered.

my alloy rims actually have '95' written with a marker under the lugcap...

and i had to ask the guys at the big tire store to re-torque them to the much higher number...

and they were re-touqued 50-60 miles later.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-26-2007, 08:00 PM   #39
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Jimmy and Marque,

We are very glad that you came through that horrible event with no physical injury. The three of you are very lucky. Hope the insurance company pulls through for you so you can get back on the road soon.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:39 PM   #40
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Jim & Marque
First Jim ,Nice job ,good landing , U walked away and no one was hurt. I echo previous comments, MaryLou and I are glad U are OK. Trucks and Trailers are made everyday. There is only one of U. I also think that like someone said "if it aint twisted ,It can be fixed."
I have the feeling those were not the original tires or valve stems. They dont look like the ones on my F350. Jim check the rest of those tires they maybe to light seeing that they are not OEM.
We are still shopping for a AS . Keep us posted on what Insurance carrier U have on truck and trailer and how U are treated.
Best of Luck and God Bless
Roger & MaryLou
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:38 PM   #41
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Recollection

Quote:
Originally Posted by flitzwhopper
Jimmy,
Wow! Nice job of keeping it from getting worse. Noticing that your are a Fire Chief leads me to believe that your driving behavior did not participate in the mishap. Probably, what you did while the disaster was unfolding kept things from getting much worse worse.
I'm interested in how you got to where you ended up. Specifically, was there any fish-tailing or did the trailer nose yaw hard right and then push you off the road or did the truck come around to the right in the tail like the rear end was steering.
The tire deflation alone shouldn't have had enough force to cause that magnitude of yaw. I'm guessing that the drop on the passenger side height interacted with the weight distribution bars in a positive feedback loop where the weight distribution tried to compensate for the un-level rear end by steering the trailer.

One thing from my experience. If your hitch assmbly is a bolt on, have a close look at all of the bolt on points. HIdden damage in that area is oftern overlooked.
Thanks for the compliment and comments Flitzwhopper, but from looking at our rig I somehow don't feel like I did a very good job.

Honestly, everything happened so fast I don't know that I can accurately answer your questions. I seem to recall (again not possitive) the truck cutting left first and I probably corrected in order to miss oncoming traffic. I do recall the trailer (very briefly) swaying violently behind us, then we jack-knifed and slid sideways off of the roadway.

Thanks for the tip on the possible hitch damage, I'll check that out.

Also in another post there was mention of the truck lugs possibly being loose. I was present when the young man from the tire shop removed the deflated tire from the truck and the lugs were tight.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their thoughts and comments, they are very much appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:16 AM   #42
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I took a look at the valve stem pictured, and it is a snap-in truck valve stem. Good for 80 psi+. I prefer the bolt-together ones, they may leak, but they don't come blowing out of the hole.
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