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Old 07-06-2015, 01:36 PM   #15
Rivet Master
1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 859
A trailer pushing the TV is akin to trying to push a string or a buckles. Using the manual application of trailer brakes only, pulls the string taught. So does acceleration, but if you run out of speed before you run out of hill then the eventual disaster is multiplied big time.
I've noted in previous posts, my 1500 Jimmy and 23' Award were a monster combination. I've had vehicles around me dive for cover when the Award started wagging. Even with the friction sway control up tight if there was any play in the linkages we would be fighting downhills. One day when I had no room to correct, it hit me...Manual trailer brakes!!!!

I never had that problem with my 25s but I am reading shorter trailers are experiencing it. The Hensley or Pro-pride effectively lock the rig into one single inflexible unit when the trailer starts to push. Friction type anti-sway tries to do the same but as I discovered on my Award even 1/16 to 3/32 of play was enough to allow the trailer to take over. Just before the end of a long wearing trip I got out the wrenches and tightened everything up and the whole rig was suddenly docile again!

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Old 07-06-2015, 02:09 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 811
This is a good explanation of the dynamics of how to get in trouble driving a vehicle towing a trailer but the Porsche and motorcycle analogy takes you only so far.
If you are going too fast in your rear engine Porsche, you can slow down in a hurry provided you do so before entering the corner. Those big brakes are one of the things you pay for. It takes a lot longer to scrub off speed towing a trailer as the braking particularly going down hill is laborious. That's why the do as the truckers do admonition is helpful--maintain a speed slow enough so that you can easily make the caution limit before entering the corner.
I have seen videos of Porsche Cayenne's whipping an Airstream through a slalom course on flat land. That picture would be ugly at the if the course were at the end of a long downhill. Instead of the tow vehicle pulling the trailer swiftly through the curves, it would be the trailer pushing the rear of the tow vehicle into an overstreer inducing skid. If Airstream is going to market the trailers' sports car like handling, they should vastly upgrade their brakes.

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Old 07-06-2015, 02:17 PM   #17
retired USA/USAF

2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,209
A few years ago we were on I-70 towards Denver from the west. The posted signs took the trucks down to 25 mph. Now that's pretty serious on an interstate highway. Towing our 30' AS I found it comfortable at 35 mph. Coming from the east we just don't see hills of that magnitude. Having travelled the rockies before it was nothing new to us. Moral of the story: as has already been mentioned beware those speed warning signs. Sometimes they really mean it.
Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
Winston Churchill 1948

TAC - NJ 18

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Old 07-06-2015, 10:00 PM   #18
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,073
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I 'wish' you could experience that feeling.....once... the one where you realize you have a bit too much 'inertia'/ kinetic energy...and it is trying to PASS you.... and survive unscathed.... Just once...

When traveling in 'unknown' areas, we decided to be 'over-prepared'. It was a smart move... because since my traumatic brain injury, I am a real nin-com-poop....when 'judging' speed, distance, etc... and why I no longer ride MC... but I still take 'right seat' rides when a friend offers to take me flying..
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:54 AM   #19
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1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 385
Good thread every driver should read. I humbly add some thoughts from the Vintage A/S angle. My "67 has original Henschen axles with 12 inch brakes. Replacement axles have 10 inch brakes. Even though the 10 inch brakes are slightly wider, it will take higher pressure to get the same stopping power with consequently greater heat generation and brake fade. I have just learned that Inland RV can supply Dexter axles for the vintage trailers with 12 inch brakes which in my mind is a must for the reasons discussed in this thread.

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