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Old 07-02-2015, 09:35 AM   #81
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More info from the incidents.

I am happy to say there was so much interest in these two events.

We all got our opinions!

A couple of clarifications:

I was surprised at these incidents. It is a usually calm part of our
District. The grade here is less than 5%. The road is straight. Most accidents occur in the curvey portion of the Interstate closer to Bozeman.

I was not suggesting heavier vehicles make them safer. I was suggesting towing within vehicle capacity may be safer than towing on the edge or over true vehicle capacity. For those who want to read about capacity calculations, see my post of 2007, when I started streaming.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post456088
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:37 AM   #82
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I recently purchased a "77 Sovereign that appears to be well maintained by the PO.

Other than driving it to the storage lot, and then out to the campsite this week, I've never towed as large of a trailer in the civilian world.

Keeping the weight of the tow vehicle, tires inflated/inspected at stops/refuelings, and proper balance of what's packed inside both trailer and tow vehicle is important.

Training of the tow vehicle operator/assistant operator is paramount in safe towing of any trailer... and the ability to react safety to road hazards/blow-outs.

During the Firestone recall and all the SUV rollovers, I had a blow out on my fullsize Bronco. Never had a problem with control of the Bronco following the blow out, and the Bronco was packet to the gills. Remembering previous training/stories all I did was let it slow down by itself, pulled over into the median, and proceeded to change out the tire after stopping.

You can always add weight to the tow vehicle, but not over load it's GVW and expect better handing over an overloaded trailer.

This is my opinion of hauling trailers while in the service. Only once had blow out, and it was a retread on the steering wheel (I wasn't the driver, just went out to recover it from the supply sergeant).

Proper tire inflation, training on the charactists of the trailer, and loading should always be on the operator's mind - even on a short trip that includes changes in elevation and direction of roads.

Thanks for your post.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:38 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpt View Post
folks like to rationalize their irrational choices



Quote:
Originally Posted by gpt View Post
but its still a free country so you can play games all you want with your life and the safety of your family. just make sure you don't end up killing some innocent folks because of the games you want to play.
We've summed up this whole thread right here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
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.
This is sound solid advice. I've been down various grades already, low gear and the trailer brake. I have no problem driving the next X miles at 35mph. Don't let it build up speed. Just because a car can go down an 8% grade at 55mph doesn't mean your Airstream should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hshovic View Post
Way back in 2009, I posted an example on Air Forums of why even a Tundra is inadequate (as are all 1/2 ton
vehicles for the deceptively easy to tow (but still heavy) Airstreams).
Its almost as if everything will feel fine, until it doesn't.


I tow my 25' with a 3/4 ton. That puts it in the midrange of gross vehicle weight rating, not at the top. Over 70,000 miles the trailer has never tried to drive my vehicle (at least not yet).
There was a problem with this thread from the get go. The OP gives two vehicles that are not rated 1/2 tons as examples for why ALL 1/2 tons are inadequate tow vehicles. Then supports this with opinion in his final statement.


Here's my fallacy closing argument.

The people I see towing the most recklessly regularly are 3/4 ton owners who are over confident in their big trucks while doing 90mph on the highway.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:24 AM   #84
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Let's just pause for a 10-second station identification, and a friendly mod-reminder to BE NICE. Continue to disagree, as long as we do so agreeably.

================================================== =

I do agree, though, that the 3/4 ton school can create a bigger, more dangerous false sense of security. We've all seen plenty of 3/4 tons laying on their roofs, too.
I have to say, too...most Class c rigs (NOT Airstreams, of course ) I see on the road are not hitched correctly, and you can spot 'em a mile away. TV or trailer or both are not even close to level...when you get up close, you can see that there is 0 degrees of tilt on the ball, etc, etc.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:31 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Not being skeptical ….just don't know

Why don't the brake controllers apply brakes at the same time? Poor design or is it something I am missing
The reason is that many brake controllers are inertial. Which means there is a detector that uses a sensor to detect the inertial change as the tow vehicle starts to slow down. You know how you feel your body move forward as you apply the brakes? So the process is you step on the brake pedal. The controller applies a basic amount of voltage to the trailer brakes. As you step harder on the tow vehicle brakes, the inertial detector senses the lean and increases the voltage back to the trailer brakes. So essentially there is a delay as you notice.

After using this type of system for years, I ran across a brake controller that today is no longer being made. It was a Jordon 2020. It uses a cable that connects from the controller to the tow vehicle brake pedal. When you step on the brake the cable senses the distance that the cable travels, thus almost instantly providing the proper amount of voltage and braking by the trailer. No delay, no ramp up requiring inertia detection. The harder you step on the brake pedal, the more the cable travels, thus more power to the trailer brakes. I've had mine for 11 years and will hate the day it needs to be replaced.

The other thing is the fact that inertial controllers need to be set up properly. If you don't have them adjusted correctly to provide enough voltage, your braking will be ineffective and the trailer will be pushing the tow vehicle.

Jack
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:41 AM   #86
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Sad tales ....hope no one was seriously injured.

Solutions:
1) Diesel with exhaust braking-especially for the down grades;
2) 3/4 ton truck--for stability, power, carrying capacity
3) Anti-sway / WD hitch ( e.g. ProPride)
4) TMS: tire pressure monitoring system to warn of under inflated or over heated tires;
5) Driver awareness....SLOW! ( speed is not our "friend" when towing. )

The shorter the trailer, the more likely one will encounter sway--potentially violent. Think of a simple analogy: a short switch oscillates more quickly than a longer switch. ( Airstream Mag...circa:2011)
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:04 PM   #87
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Mildly agree...
Mildly disagree...
Towing with the Tundra seems effortless. Handling seems sure.
But...
We ain't got no mountains around here.
What part did speed, trailer brake adjustment, and proper weight distributing/sway control have to do with those 2 rollovers?
The largest hills I have towed with my Tundra are in Kentucky and Tennessee. They ain't got nothin' that scared me, but it ain't the Rockies or the Tetons, either.
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:43 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
The reason is that many brake controllers are inertial. Which means there is a detector that uses a sensor to detect the inertial change as the tow vehicle starts to slow down. You know how you feel your body move forward as you apply the brakes? So the process is you step on the brake pedal. The controller applies a basic amount of voltage to the trailer brakes. As you step harder on the tow vehicle brakes, the inertial detector senses the lean and increases the voltage back to the trailer brakes. So essentially there is a delay as you notice.

After using this type of system for years, I ran across a brake controller that today is no longer being made. It was a Jordon 2020. It uses a cable that connects from the controller to the tow vehicle brake pedal. When you step on the brake the cable senses the distance that the cable travels, thus almost instantly providing the proper amount of voltage and braking by the trailer. No delay, no ramp up requiring inertia detection. The harder you step on the brake pedal, the more the cable travels, thus more power to the trailer brakes. I've had mine for 11 years and will hate the day it needs to be replaced.

The other thing is the fact that inertial controllers need to be set up properly. If you don't have them adjusted correctly to provide enough voltage, your braking will be ineffective and the trailer will be pushing the tow vehicle.

Jack
Prodigy P2 and P3 have what is called "boost" options. You can set them easily for different levels of initial boost. As soon as you touch the brake pedal, actually as soon as the brake lights come on, the controller sends power to the trailer brakes. By setting the boost to a higher level, you can effectively make the trailer brakes come on slightly before the truck brakes. I have a P2 in my Nissan. It works well. Some folks don't like the initial grab though, because you can feel it, they may have the impression something is not right. For those folks, simply pressing the button on the controller will disable the feature.
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:45 PM   #89
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Trailer crash in Montana

I had a better message but it disappeared when I tried to attach these photos.

This crash involved a Ford Excursion TV and a SOB trailer.

I don't know what caused this crash. I stopped to lend assistance along with other motorists, as EMTs and Highway Patrol weren't on scene. The accident victims weren't in any shape to discuss the situation.

This crash is very disturbing to me, due to its seriousness and lack of obvious reason as to why it happened. I use a Ford Excursion as a TV and until I saw this crash, thought of the Excursion as a safe TV. Now I know that the Ford Excursion can be rolled like any other vehicle towing a trailer. The crashed Excursion at least seemed to maintain its structural integrity which is the only good thing I could see going on in this crash. The A pillar was pushed down a bit, but there was still some headroom for the front seats.

Let's Roll !
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:55 PM   #90
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For whatever it's worth from this old man is that probably 90% of this sort of accident is caused by:

1) Either no sway control, or improperly adjusted hitch, or both, this also includes the PP and Hensley hitches.

2) Too much speed.

3) Lack of experience, or unwilling to learn.

4) Too much trailer for too little vehicle.

5) It could also be a combination of all the above...

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Old 07-02-2015, 01:08 PM   #91
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Airstream Salesmen

Airstream salesman need to read this article. When we were looking for our AS we were driving a VW 6 cyl gas Touareg SUV. The salesman said we would have no trouble towing a 23 ft AS. When I doubted that statement based on towing specs for our vehicle, the salesman said we have people all the time driving them out with rigs just like yours. Obviously we didn't buy our AS from that salesperson, but for all the fun of being an owner, safety is obviously, first.
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:17 PM   #92
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About 4 years ago I experienced a similar incident in that I was pulling a 27' AS with a 1/2 ton Silverado (I had bought the Silverado when I only had a 17' AS). Coming down a 6% grade I experienced the situation mentioned in the lead post, i.e. rolling the AS. The only difference was that I was blessed and did not roll the truck (the AS did roll and ripped the rear factory hitch assembly from the truck, but the truck did not roll. I did get an E-ticket ride though).
Knowing that the 27-footer was a hefty load, and also that I only use the truck for towing the trailer, so low mileage on the truck (normally just drive a sedan when not towing), I went to a smaller 25' AS.
The 25-footer AS is much better for towing, but I subsequently made a MAJOR towing improvement that doesn't seem to be mentioned much.
I swapped out my Michelin tires that were the largest recommended for my 1/2 ton truck with tires used for the 3/4 & 1-ton trucks. I replaced them with Michelin LTX M/S 2, ALL SEASON, LT265/70R17 LRE ORWL, MSPN 97723, 70,000 mile warranty tires. These new tires are rated for 80 psi max as opposed to the previous tires 44 psi max. The more rigid sidewalls really improved the handling of the truck because the more rigid sidewalls decreased any sway tendencies (and yes I had and have anti-sway devices on both Airstreams.)
I strongly recommend to any folks driving 1/2 ton trucks for towing that the next time they replace their tires they go to higher pressure tires. (I would also recommend that when you make your original truck purchase you give consideration to a 3/4 ton vs a 1/2 ton to allow for possible future acquisitions.) (I do still have the 17-foot AS too.)
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:27 PM   #93
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part of my purchase deal for the 2 Tundra's i owned was a swap out of the 'P' rated tires for 'LT' tires, tires any truck should automatically come with. just underscored the notion that Toyota is more interested in an SUV ride with the Tundra vs a serious tow vehicle. how about those mirrors???
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:36 PM   #94
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Thanks to hshovick for his original post.
As someone who has worn out three 1/2 ton Chevy Suburbans and two 2500HD Chevy Duramax pickups towing Airstreams (and other trailers) it's always good to be reminded that any owner error in selecting and operating his rig (trailer and tow vehicle combination) can result in a few seconds of white knuckle excitement followed by hours of speculation.
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:37 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf Alaska View Post
I had a better message but it disappeared when I tried to attach these photos.

This crash involved a Ford Excursion TV and a SOB trailer.

I don't know what caused this crash. I stopped to lend assistance along with other motorists, as EMTs and Highway Patrol weren't on scene. The accident victims weren't in any shape to discuss the situation.

This crash is very disturbing to me, due to its seriousness and lack of obvious reason as to why it happened. I use a Ford Excursion as a TV and until I saw this crash, thought of the Excursion as a safe TV. Now I know that the Ford Excursion can be rolled like any other vehicle towing a trailer. The crashed Excursion at least seemed to maintain its structural integrity which is the only good thing I could see going on in this crash. The A pillar was pushed down a bit, but there was still some headroom for the front seats.

Let's Roll !
Wolf
And the Ford Excursion is a 3/4 ton vehicle (with a 1 ton variant), thought that was impossible. The length, width, track and wheelbase are the same as the standard cab 8 feet bed Styleside pickup models and has similar maneuverability. It is essentially a F250 modified into a SUV. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Excursion)


Any vehicle, including F250's can and will roll under the right circumstances. Some more easily than others.
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:38 PM   #96
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rvdrivingschool.com

I highly recommend the RV Driving School. Your learn so much: about your tow vehicle, how to back up in a straight line, and mountain towing. It is worth every penny.
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:49 PM   #97
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I tow our 66 Tradewind with an F150 equipped with the max tow package and a load leveling system with no problems. It's rated to tow over 11k and my trailer is about 4k. I agree with others that inexperience can be a big contributor to these accidents. I've witnessed this type of accident when the trailer starts swaying and the driver looses control. Instead of applying just the trailer brakes which helps stop the sway and then the vehicle brakes once it is in control, they will apply the vehicle brakes first which magnifies the problem especially when going down hill. Too fast a speed down hill can also exacerbate the situation.

I recommend that anyone without much towing experience take a training course. It teaches you to think about what you would do in different situations and be prepared for them. Just my 2 cents.

Brian
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:58 PM   #98
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Relative to my earlier response, I think the tires alone (80 psi max versus 44 psi max) could have made the difference between accident and no accident.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:08 PM   #99
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When I was with the Fire Department we removed charred remains of a local lady from a burning building. She was a heavy smoker so we figured she mostly surely went to sleep while smoking, causing the fire. Investigators later learned that it was from a faulty electrical circuit in the kitchen.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:19 PM   #100
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Too many people think pulling the hill is the challenge. The reality is a lot of RV accidents result from people going too fast downhill when momentum becomes your enemy. Too much momentum with a trailer heavier than the tow vehicle is a recipe for disaster. Gear down and go slow off of mountain passes, especially out West where the grades are longer and your brakes can burn up before you get to the bottom.
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