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Old 04-09-2008, 10:25 AM   #1
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TV's and Trailer testing from the UK

This is a cool glimpse of what is happening on the other side of the pond.

No WDH's are used as the tongue weights are light.

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Old 04-09-2008, 11:01 AM   #2
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We were in England last year, and I did notice some rather small vehicles towing travel trailers, or what they call Caravans. The thing is, it's very different over there because they don't drive the distances we do, cannot drive as fast as we can on our interstate highways, and their "Caravans" are exceptionally light weight in comparison to the trailers we have in this country. Like you mention, they do not use weight distributing hitches either, but you do see tow vehicles that are very low in the rear. Another thing...in England they have a tax system on the truckers that virtually eliminates them from the highways on holidays and weekends. It is my opinion after seeing them, their rigs would be very dangerous in this country.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:59 PM   #3
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One must also keep in mind that the laws of physics are different over there. Applied in the US they would most certainly render such rigs unsafe on our highways.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayward
One must also keep in mind that the laws of physics are different over there. Applied in the US they would most certainly render such rigs unsafe on our highways.
OK.....that's one that will have to be explained to me.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
OK.....that's one that will have to be explained to me.
sorry - just kidding.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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That's because it's in Imperial gallons and not US gallons. You measure weight in stone and distances in furlongs. As a result the laws of physiques do not apply the same way.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:23 PM   #7
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It is my opinion after seeing them, their rigs would be very dangerous in this country.
I tend to agree Steve. The weak link in their combinations appear to be the Mickey Mouse connection. Light tongue weights, no wdh, and a crude clamping device that applies friction to the ball that acts as a stabilization, antisway solution.

Solve their connection issues and then no doubt we would have something.

The other issue the video shows is their light weight, box type trailers. Most with only single axle. With limited sway control they must get blown around a lot with crosswinds etc. Having a well designed aerodynamic TT like our Airstreams would have a huge advantage in that respect.

Even still with what they have to work with it is impressive to see that they handle and perform as well as they do.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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One must also keep in mind that the laws of physics are different over there. Applied in the US they would most certainly render such rigs unsafe on our highways.
This is not actually far from the truth. It's more like they've applied the physics to use different proportions & weight distributions. Their tradition is to place the axle a bit more forward. Take note of the relative position of the single axles at Airstream-Europe. Then note the "nose weights" as a proportion to the curb weight (MIRO I think) at the link here. With the relative axle position long a tradition in the U.S., anything under 10% (and definitely 8% and below) can be a really goosey tow -- like throwing an arrow backwards. They're not right or wrong -- just different.

Airstreams already suffer by comparison to the huge American SOBs & 5th wheels, so market forces may be off-putting to Thor. These small European Airstreams would actually be fun to see on this side of the ocean. And the galvanized frames?!?!!!! But I suspect the narrowness wouldn't grab the U.S. psyche. It would take $4 a gallon gas to do that. Oh wait...
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
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This is not actually far from the truth. It's more like they've applied the physics to use different proportions & weight distributions. Their tradition is to place the axle a bit more forward. Take note of the relative position of the single axles at Airstream-Europe. Then note the "nose weights" as a proportion to the curb weight (MIRO I think) at the link here. With the relative axle position long a tradition in the U.S., anything under 10% (and definitely 8% and below) can be a really goosey tow -- like throwing an arrow backwards. They're not right or wrong -- just different.
I suspect the axles on the European caravans are moved forward precisely to reduce the "nose weight". Stability is function of design, and there's nothing magical about 10% - it's just required for typical North American designs.

The European caravans have the weight (mass, to use the technically correct term) concentrated very low over the axles, meaning that less tongue weight is needed to achieve acceptable stability. There are no slides to put weight up high or out toward the ends of the trailer, and water and waste tanks are small too.

This also helps to explain why it's possible to tow boats with 8% tongue weight, while toyhaulers with slides need 15% tongue weight (and at least a 3/4 ton truck to carry that 1200 to 1500 lb tongue weight too). With Airstreams, 11-12% tongue weight is probably quite acceptable in most cases.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:12 PM   #10
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Exactly! A very good explanation -- worthy of karma methinks.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:12 PM   #11
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I wish Airstream would offer a 27-foot trailer with a rating of 3850 pounds dry / 4818 pounds wet, in the US, as they do in Europe.

They used to. Then they got fat. Like the rest of us.

Maybe with $8 per gallon fuel, like over there, they will again. Although such a thought is difficult to ponder.
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