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Old 07-04-2015, 11:20 AM   #201
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About thirty years ago the government took the position that gentle steady brake application down long grades is the "right way" to do it, I didn't buy it then and I still don't.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:34 AM   #202
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Riding the brakes is a term that I have considered to mean the same as excessive braking. Once your trailer brakes get too hot, their effectiveness diminishes. So my advice if your trailer rides in a level position in the flat lands, don't start moving things around. That could cause it to handle differently, and with six months under your belt, you are early in your experience level.

I'd probably research my route trying to map out the best roads with minimal grades. Also after a long down hill grade, if it's safe, pull off and let the brakes cool down. Don't sit on the side with your foot on the brake pedal. Electric brakes can build heat when you are at a dead stop. Take advantage of your transmission and gear down. That alone can help minimize the need to use you brakes. I'll pump my brakes slowing down and then releasing them which gives the brakes the ability to shed some heat between the pedal depressions. Before going down a large hill, slow down at the crest. Depending upon roads, traffic, and size of the hill, I might drop as much as 20 mph off my speed and gear down to 3rd to keep things under control. On slow speed roads that are steep, I've taken things down to 2nd gear to control the amount of breaking I need to do.

Be sure you don't create a hazard so be aware of traffic and the road conditions. You don't want to be going so slow that you stand the chance of someone rear ending you.

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Old 07-04-2015, 11:39 AM   #203
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Not so much blaming or trying to determine the cause, but how to avoid this type of accident.


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Old 07-04-2015, 11:42 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by kaa4111 View Post
Tomorrow am headed from Ft Collins CO to Bozeman through the Tetons, across the Divide, etc. Pulling 26' 1975 Argosy with 2011 Tahoe with cargo box on top. No extra toys or tools or generator or bikes or tires, etc. Two lawn chairs, etc. in Tahoe. I have towed for 6 months but am an AARP female driver alone so there's no help if I get in trouble..... If I move books from the front gaucho to storage under the middle one, and ride the brakes down the grades will I be ok?
I would make sure it's not in overdrive, keep to the right, find a speed I'm comfortable with, if it goes over that speed slow down to 5 mph below that speed then take my foot off the brake. If it goes up too fast, I'd shift down to 3rd gear and do like I did before. I'm like Michael, I don't like keeping the brakes on, that builds up heat. I'd rather apply, coast, apply, coast, it gives the brakes a moment to cool off between each cycle. Downshifting helps. I think the Tahoe will be fine, just take your time, don't worry about people behind you.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:44 AM   #205
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Tomorrow am headed from Ft Collins CO to Bozeman through the Tetons, across the Divide, etc. Pulling 26' 1975 Argosy with 2011 Tahoe with cargo box on top. No extra toys or tools or generator or bikes or tires, etc. Two lawn chairs, etc. in Tahoe. I have towed for 6 months but am an AARP female driver alone so there's no help if I get in trouble..... If I move books from the front gaucho to storage under the middle one, and ride the brakes down the grades will I be ok?
Slow and easy - use your gears. Save the brakes for when you need them. Using your brakes is okay but riding them will get them hot and ineffective.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:50 AM   #206
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Any info I've seen says to use your brakes to slow down and then ease off, no braking continually. Put them on enough to slow your momentum and then take your foot off. Slow yourself to a reasonable speed. Down a long grade and you will have to do this more than once.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:44 PM   #207
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Problem is that unless the electrical connections are clean between the trailer and tow vehicle, and the proper gauge wire was run back to the tow vehicle plug you may have insufficient voltage which can cause the battery to discharge.
there is already a 12ga wire as a part of most all wiring harnesses. this is in place to provide appropriate voltage to keep your TV battery up to snuff. in the past, this has also been more than adequate for keeping our 3 way refrigerators working just fine.

sounds like you have a problem with your setup but that is your problem not some general fault with a 3 way refrigerator. the fact that AS continues with these 2 way systems is just plain stupid given the advances that have happened in refrigerators and tow vehicles since the 50's.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:49 PM   #208
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It comes down to this: Brake Bias - the combined vehicle is dynamically unstable when the majority (or only) braking is done by the tow vehicle.
i have to say, setting up my brake controllers has not been a difficult thing to accomplish. i don't feel the trailer pushing me on 8% downhills, i feel it doing its job braking in consort with my TV. if your trailer is pushing you, its your fault for not taking the time to set up your brake controller properly. pretty much has nothing to do with whatever TV you choose to use.

my trailer brakes come on a fraction after i start braking, a fraction. fine line there but not difficult to find it if you take your time and try some different setups before you leave home.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:40 PM   #209
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Appreciate the post! Good info. Thinking of trading off our 23' Safari on a 28' Serenity. What's your opinion on a tow vehicle for a 28' AS? We have a 2011 GMC 2500HD 4X4, crew cab, 6.0 gas. Is this enough truck with some service factor built in?
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:45 PM   #210
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Sorry that's a 25' Safari Thanks, Frank (Deb's husband).
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:15 PM   #211
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Sorry that's a 25' Safari Thanks, Frank (Deb's husband).
My opinion is that you have a fine tow vehicle for 25 or 28 foot Airstream. however make sure you choose an appropriately rated anti sway/weight distribution hitch.


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Old 07-04-2015, 02:16 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air Cruiser View Post
Appreciate the post! Good info. Thinking of trading off our 23' Safari on a 28' Serenity. What's your opinion on a tow vehicle for a 28' AS? We have a 2011 GMC 2500HD 4X4, crew cab, 6.0 gas. Is this enough truck with some service factor built in?

I tow a 30' Classic slide out with GMC 2500 van. My difference from you is you carry extra overhead the 4 wheel drive and I have the 4.10 rear axle. I weigh in at about 8,600 lbs without fresh water. Van is rated to pull 9,900 lbs.

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Old 07-04-2015, 02:21 PM   #213
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i have to say, setting up my brake controllers has not been a difficult thing to accomplish. i don't feel the trailer pushing me on 8% downhills, i feel it doing its job braking in consort with my TV. if your trailer is pushing you, its your fault for not taking the time to set up your brake controller properly. pretty much has nothing to do with whatever TV you choose to use.



my trailer brakes come on a fraction after i start braking, a fraction. fine line there but not difficult to find it if you take your time and try some different setups before you leave home.

Bingo!
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:26 PM   #214
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Just remember to do your set up your controller when on a level surface. I used a flat empty parking lot when doing mine. It's especially critical when using an inertial control. If you don't know or understand the process, ask. Lots of folks can help.

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Old 07-04-2015, 03:14 PM   #215
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Of coarse it's conjecture…that'a a given

The scary thing is that the fireman said it was a straight away. and the grade was only 5%.

I overheard a guy from Colorado say

" Flatlanders don't know how to drive around here. We don't ride the brakes, I come to a full stop along the way depending how long the grade is"

There is a temptation to pick up speed for the next incline, and a temptation to coast really fast because you are not burning gas
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:26 PM   #216
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I have no idea why, but with all three travel trailers I have owned, I have always ended up at the max gain setting. Right now we have a P3 and We use max gain and B2 on the highway, B1 in town and no boost in a campground or other similar place.

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Old 07-04-2015, 06:10 PM   #217
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A 5000lb trailer behind a 8000lb truck will be much safer than the opposite. You try to stop an 8000lb trailer with a 5000lb tow vehicle when the trailer brakes are not great, then the trailer will easily push the tow vehicle.
Not necessarily. A light car with a high top speed will need stronger brakes than a heavy vehicle with a low top speed - the demand made on brakes increases in line with weight, with speed it is exponential.

Not an opinion, that's physics and one of the many reasons why the often made argument "you can't stop it with a SUV/van/passenger car makes so very little sense.

Additionally, weight does not equal tire traction, far from it. Again, the suspension and the centre of gravity will have far greater effect on traction than simply weight.

I am not suggesting to tow an 8000lbs trailer with a 2000lbs vehicle, most modern vans and SUVs weigh in at around 6000lbs.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:06 PM   #218
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Two Airstream rollovers in a month

Brakes on modern vehicles pretty much have squat to do with stopping ability as they all have the capability to lock down a wheel under about any circumstance, the limitation is mostly going to be with the tire contacting the road.

Pretty much all modern cars are bricks these days.

A new V6 Camaro outweighs my 55 Lincoln (see avatar) by a couple hundred pounds.

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Old 07-04-2015, 08:15 PM   #219
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Not necessarily. A light car with a high top speed will need stronger brakes than a heavy vehicle with a low top speed - the demand made on brakes increases in line with weight, with speed it is exponential.

Not an opinion, that's physics and one of the many reasons why the often made argument "you can't stop it with a SUV/van/passenger car makes so very little sense.

Additionally, weight does not equal tire traction, far from it. Again, the suspension and the centre of gravity will have far greater effect on traction than simply weight.

I am not suggesting to tow an 8000lbs trailer with a 2000lbs vehicle, most modern vans and SUVs weigh in at around 6000lbs.
But you advocate pulling a 7500lbs Airstream travel trailer with a Honda Odyssey Mini van 4300-4600 lbs or with a Dodge Charger 4300 -4500lbs and both are known for having anemic brakes by themselves without pulling a 7500lbs trailer down steep mountain grades?
I think you have a different physics book than I do...........

A low center of gravity is great on cornering and in racing it is a must.I have driven many Ferrari's and Lamborghini's over the years both on and off the track so I can attest to that. I might also add that our Airstreams have a low center of gravity which allow them to tow better than most other brands.
If your example above was actually better for towing or pulling heavy objects (along being able to stop while towing these items) the modern day farm tractors would be light weight and 3 feet high.

Weight absolutely makes a difference when pulling a heavy trailer.
Especially going down a steep grade as the heavy trailer starts pushing the tv.
Wheel base also adds to stability also and are much more forgiving than a short wheelbase vehicles.
Tire width to a certain point also adds to stopping ability along with the vehicles braking system configuration and its ability to dissipate heat along with the number of pistons in the brake calipers and the contact area of the brake pads.60-70 of the braking force is achieved with the front brakes as you know.
In high speed cornering (I do not do this with my pickup much less while towing my Airstream)low a center of gravity as you have stated is a plus.It is also faster thru a slalom coarse as you have shown.I don't run slalom courses with my Airstream attached
Normal accident avoidance maneuvers can be achieved with a F350 6.7 diesel supercrew long wheelbase in capable hands(I know as I have done it).
I with all do respect strongly disagree with you on this.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:22 PM   #220
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If the size/weight of what's doing the towing being less than size/weight of what's being towed is a big factor, I would think that semi tractor-trailers would be designed differently.

Ken
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