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Old 07-02-2015, 04:56 AM   #61
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It is unfortunate to hear about these accudents, but size does not equate safety.

Vehicles with a more sophisticated suspension setup and a lower centre of gravity might well have staid right side up. Older body on frame vehicles like the Expedition mentioned are especially vulnerable to rollovers, as are comparable trucks. The accident statistics for these vehicles, in these kind of accidents, are easily accessible and speak for themselves. Even a new, electronically stabilized, body on frame vehicle will tip over easier than a non stabilized vehicle that carries its weight closer to the ground.

To suggest that a heavier tow vehicle would have automatically prevented both accidents is incorrect and creates an illusion of safety, rather than the real thing.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:17 AM   #62
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Or maybe the problem is that road is a harder drive than people expect/realize for some reason, and things go bad quickly. Someone did mention wind.

I'm not going to get into the mudslinging and trolling going on, but I'm having trouble with the blown tire explanation for the one rollover. My experiences with three blown trailer tires is that the trailer pulls fine; if we hadn't heard the bang, we wouldn't have known it happened. Unless the driver panics, I don't see a blown tire on the trailer would result in a rollover accident. Maybe a blowout combined with a strong crosswind, and the driver is already doing something else wrong (excessive speed or something else), or perhaps the driver slammed the brakes when the blowout occurred and lost control. Those kinds of problems will get you regardless of your tow vehicle choice.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:29 AM   #63
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But to say a lighter tow vehicle would have eliminated these accidents is irresponsible at least and a dangerous statement at most. Referring to the statement about heavy TV.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:35 AM   #64
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I remember when I rented a powered electric scaffold for a day.
It took a day just to learn how to safely operate the darn thing and a one day job lasted 2 1/2.

It just might be that a lack of experience was the main culprit in both cases.

Bob
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:51 AM   #65
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Bob, I agree. The more one tows the more different circumstances come up. Each minor or major instance adds to ones ability to handle the next one. Be alert! Think!
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:57 AM   #66
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"Vehicles with a more sophisticated suspension setup and a lower centre of gravity might well have staid right side up."

If the trailer tips, having a lighter vehicle, or having better suspension, or having the best hitch….. probably won't help you much.

Some small SUVs, and jeeps have a history of roll overs too.

The ONE center of gravity argument…..is a valid one. Not sure if the trade offs are worth it.

The center of gravity issue extends to trailers as well. I knew a gal who didn't like my Argosy because the curved roof yielded little overhead storage space. I am good with it, as I don't want to load up the overheads with a lot of weight anyway.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:28 AM   #67
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Two Airstream rollovers in a month

A grade descent is the most dangerous piece of road for a combined vehicle.

The trailer is always trying to pass the tow vehicle. It is traveling faster.

Tow vehicle braking (as with an exhaust brake) WITHOUT stronger application of the trailer brakes sets up the rig for loss of control.

The lash up now has slack in it.

Add strong wind gusts, or a close passing semi, and one has a prescription for disaster.

TT and TV design still trumps weight and size for given vehicles as regards resistance to roll over. To say otherwise is foolish.

Proper speed in the proper gear and TT brakes leading in application force is the prescription. Learn to use the brake control override.

To a lesser extent the same phenomenon exists in exiting an Interstate and is UNIVERSALLY ignored by RVers: the posted exit speed is to reduce that rolling force to a minimum needed to re-accelerate onto the service road.

Put the tension back into the lash-up.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:31 AM   #68
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While I'm not sure what caused these accidents, I'm sure, like most accidents, there was a chain of contributing factors that led to the outcome.
I think we all need more information before we play "Internet Accident Detective".

I looked for a news story, but found nothing. Maybe it wasn't "newsworthy" in Bozeman.

If anyone can find any pictures of these accidents, please share.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:39 AM   #69
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It really does not matter how cool the suspension is on your $100k German tow vehicle but the weight does matter. Tires grip according to how much weight is on them. More weight equals more grip. SUV's roll over because people try to drive them like cars. They also have a high center of gravity but then so do trucks. 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. Stopping a trailer on a gentle curve at high speed would be a better handling test than pulling a trailer through cones with a Porsche. This should be done without brakes on the trailer and see which tow vehicle gets pushed around by the trailer. The trend of pickup trucks being 3 or 4 ft off the ground is a bad one for trailer towing safety and for usability and stability. Taller is not better. You should be putting a lowering kit on your truck instead of a lift kit.

I had an incident a while back that was my fault for not having the sway bar tight enough. I made an unplanned lane change and the trailer started swaying. This is a 7000lb 31 ft trailer. My pig fat heavy poor handling Excursion stayed rock solid till I got to the brake controller and applied the trailer brakes and everything calmed down. If I had been towing with a light weight trendy cool tow vehicle, I think I might have been upside down in the ditch. I am sure the towing experience is great on a better handling tow vehicle till the trailer momentum hits and pushes that light vehicle all over the road.

If you do drive with a tow vehicle that is lighter than the trailer you better have a Hensley or Pro Pride hitch. That might be the only equalizer you have.

Perry


Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
It is unfortunate to hear about these accudents, but size does not equate safety.

Vehicles with a more sophisticated suspension setup and a lower centre of gravity might well have staid right side up. Older body on frame vehicles like the Expedition mentioned are especially vulnerable to rollovers, as are comparable trucks. The accident statistics for these vehicles, in these kind of accidents, are easily accessible and speak for themselves. Even a new, electronically stabilized, body on frame vehicle will tip over easier than a non stabilized vehicle that carries its weight closer to the ground.

To suggest that a heavier tow vehicle would have automatically prevented both accidents is incorrect and creates an illusion of safety, rather than the real thing.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:42 AM   #70
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Two Airstream rollovers in a month

An Excursion will lead the pack in rollover propensity.

The high COG vehicle is going to turn over when it loses tire patch grip under the same conditions where the more sophisticated suspension low COG vehicle will slip sideways.

A mountain descent is, or ought to be, where the TUSON trailer antisway pays for itself. Not to mention other situations where winds play havoc with a combined vehicle.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:49 AM   #71
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Basically no one here has a clue as to the cause of these two accidents. Any comments or statement as to cause or what would prevent these incidents are based on incomplete information. To continue to say that having particular piece of equipment (TV, hitch, tires, etc) would prevent a repeat is frankly ludicrous.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:51 AM   #72
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Lots of speculation here from the beginning.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:52 AM   #73
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It takes someone with talent to roll over anything other than a cement truck that goes around a curve too fast with a full load. I have driven pickups all my life and the Excursion is much more stable since it has better front to back weight distribution. There is nothing more unstable than an empty pickup truck. When it snowed this winter 90% of what was on the side of the road where pickup trucks running empty. When the weather is bad I drive the Excursion. My Ranger is scary just driving in the rain.

Perry
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:02 AM   #74
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No mention of any accidents involving a travel trailer going back 2 months. June 2015 Archived Traffic Incident in Bozeman, MT
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:33 AM   #75
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Here's my view, we can talk about all different size TV but the bottom line is SPEED if you go down a curvy hill at 80mph any TV is going to flip if you go 20mph none of this would have happened.
Slow down enjoy the journey the destination will be there when you arrive.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:34 AM   #76
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"It takes someone with talent to roll over anything other than a cement truck that goes around a curve too fast with a full load...." "...There is nothing more unstable than an empty pickup truck.

Perry
These statements seem to conflict.

I completely disagree with the first one. It takes no talent what-so-ever. The only thing less stable than an empty pickup is a full one. In truck driver school, they taught us that "heavy and/or high" is bad, and the more you have of either, the less stable the vehicle will be (and also, longer time/distance to stop.).

The report in the IP stated that one of the vehicles was an older Explorer--these were particularly unstable. Remember the Firestone tire debacle from a few years back? It was a particularly bad situation because when you get a blow-out in one of these vehicles, the result is often catastrophic...practically guaranteed to roll over at highway speed. If it was happening in your typical sedans, it wouldn't have been such a big deal.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:36 AM   #77
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I'm thinking I just won't drive anymore roads with down hill sections. I will only drive on level roads or uphill. No more going downhill for me!😂
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:11 AM   #78
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Basically no one here has a clue as to the cause of these two accidents. Any comments or statement as to cause or what would prevent these incidents are based on incomplete information. To continue to say that having particular piece of equipment (TV, hitch, tires, etc) would prevent a repeat is frankly ludicrous.
Thank you!
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:14 AM   #79
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Been trying to stay out of this one because we all know where these type of threads end, but my opinion is the key to safe towing, or even safe driving in general, is appropriate speed for the road conditions you have with the vehicle you are driving.

Now the tricky part...it takes experience to learn that speed for the vehicle, or combination you are in, and the conditions you are in.

Who was it that said you learn to make good decisions from first making bad decisions?
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:33 AM   #80
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Slow mover, your comments in post 67 are spot on. Every uneasy tow that I've had was a downhill stretch. You described exactly what I experienced! Any other disturbance in the force while the TV brakes are applied going downhill is amplified. Exhaust brakes only work on the tow vehicle, manually operating the brake controller at the same time when necessary can help. Another thing that can cause instability is downshifting going down hill. Only the TV downshifts, the trailer continues on its merry way.
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