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Old 07-18-2004, 03:52 PM   #15
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Ya, but you know those horseshoes and 4 leaf clovers fail sooner or later.



I am amazed at some idiots that pull a trailer behind them going so fast like the guy you said had the 5th wheel rig. Years ago I drove a semi for about 3 years and I was always just put in awe by some of the idiotic actions of those guys... I once saw 3 trucks pass me in a snow storm out in Colorado going around 80 mph and they were right on each others tail end. About 10 miles up the road all 3 were in the ditch. Guess one just followed the other and because they were so close there was no time to react once the problem happened.



Eric, I think it was a good point to bring up what you saw and to help make others aware of some simple mistakes that we all can avoid making.
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Just adding my 2¢ worth

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Old 07-18-2004, 03:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
I ALWAYS give those folks wide berth when I can, but if some idiot loses it while passing ME, I don't stand much of a chance!
I sure agree with you here.

I don't know why communicating a simple message is so tough. I ended my first message here with an emphasis on the driver and the driver's need to know what they are doing. Now there are two responses that seem to have completely missed what I tried to say. It gets discouraging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
These issues have been illustrated well over a number of threads here. What hasn't been addressed is the blatant disregard for the safety of the general motoring public that some folks exhibit.
I tend to try to be a little more open to the idea that the stupidity I see on the roads or in the way some people travel is something other than that they are wanting to be stupid. I really have a tough time seeing anyone intentionally being unsafe or trying to kill their kin. I also find it necessary to keep in mind that I might be stupid or ignorant in someone else's eyes (I find plenty of evidence of this, too! ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
there are many many folks who drive without WD or sway control. They have no clue about how tire pressures affect handling, or what the physics are of hundreds of pounds of weight applied laterally on a 6' lever on the rear axle of a moving vehicle.
I also don't think it a good idea to assume that those who choose to not use hitch aids are inherently igorant. Several folks I know that don't use sway control or load leveling are, in fact, quite well up on physics, automotive mechanics, and related topics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
Those of us who HAVE WD and sway control, and at least make a rudimentary attempt ...
And I don't think that everyone who does have and use hitch aids necessarily made a wise, reasoned, or informed decision. You can find many examples in these forums of people who got it with their rig and don't have a clue as to its purpose or method of operation or even how to connect it properly. And then there are those who try to rationalize their choices and get very defensive when anyone asks questions.

As far as physics, I would agree that the ignorance is apalling, but I think the most significant problem is with psychology and not physics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
It's up to us to educate the uneducated when we find them for ALL of our safety!
You set a high standard! But its one of the reasons we have rallies and get people together so we can learn from each other and mull over ideas.

But sometimes people think they know better than us. Sometimes anything that can possibly be construed as an insult or criticism is taken with offense. Sometimes they just don't see the value. Sometimes they have to learn the hard way. And sometimes we just can't make the right presentation and people miss the point.

I think the best way we can educate others is to be open to learn ourselves, to be willing to examine our own ideas, and to evaluate and better understand the assumptions, ideas, and values that lie behind our conclusions.
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:05 PM   #17
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oops, sorry guys, A bit much from me. I should be happy that I got a couple of folks thinking rather than discouraged about how tough it is to communicate.

Good stuff, good conversation, thanks. a lot to learn.
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:08 PM   #18
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Well, just a short chime-in. I happen to have one of those rigs that not quite what the average tow vehicle is, but i think much of this also rides on the ability of the driver. With or without a trailer, an un-trained or many times over-cautious (scared) drivers are as much of a problem as the guy driving too fast. There are exceptions, some people take being an a-hole to a whole different level, like this guy that didn't like that i was going 40 in a 45, and proceded to pass me then slow down and hit his brakes in front of me. (glad i didn't have a gun) But i think that aside from the appropriate attatchments, i double check EVERYTHING before i tow... steering, shocks, tires, climb up under the jeep to check ball joints, and bolts. My 24' Tradewind tows like a dream behind my 101" wheelbase, 3,100 lb., lifted Jeep Cherokee. I test it in a parking lot down the street to see how it reacts in rough situations. I do not have the $$ for another tow vehicle, and we do not have another vihicle that is suited to tow my trailer (aside from the 35' cutter) This is my Daily Driver, and also my fun vehicle. Maybe it's because i am young and dumb, like to ahve fun, but i am lifting my jeep 5". I still plan to tow with it afterward, assuming i do my tests and everything checks out and i feel comfortable doing so. I have gone off into much more of a tangent that i was planning on, but i think that if a driver knows what they are doing, is comfortable, and tests the setup accordingly to test it's stability and be aware of it's ride characteristics- then the rig is properly setup, the driver being one of the most important pieces in the puzzle. --Chad--
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:12 PM   #19
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All I can say is that my posts are not directed to anyone's posts in general...except my slant to what Roger said.

I will say one thing on the topic of sway and weight bars:

They add rigidity to the connection that isn't there by just coupling the hitch to the ball. I have an 18' runabout and I can tell you, one of the reasons I saved my friction sway from the Bambi was to install it on the boat trailer. The boat trailer (with the boat on it) is only all of a hundred lbs or so hitch weight. So in that case WD bars are moot. But sway, I think is.

After seen this accident, I will be moving up the time frame of installing that sway control to the boat trailer before I take it out.

As I said, the reason for the post was to share a few findings on what I came across, one being the RV wreck that I feel might have been avoided if proper gear were installed. Pictures were the last thing on my mind, but I am positive, if folks saw this and the connection, there would be little disagreement on what was not only needed, but what could have avoided a world of hurt.

Last thing I want to do is get a my way is better slant on this thread. Everyone's got an opinion on it and it has been covered many times.
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:13 PM   #20
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BTW, since this is a very informal way to communicate, it can be very easy for things to be taken out of context. Keep that in mind. I've found this out many times, not only here but in email as well.
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:22 PM   #21
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Chad,

Though I agree, the driver's ability play a large role, there are certain situations that one might not plan for. Who's to say if this accident I came across did or did not do the same things.

What I can say is this and folks that have been around here know how proud I am of my rig setup as I have spent countless hours planning and implementing my 25' Safari to be towed by my 118" wheelbase Impala SS:

Does it do it?

Yes.

Can it do it?

No doubt.

Is it the safest combo on the road?
No.

I can say all this because:

1) I have been towing something in some way for over 12 years now.

2) Been in a number of situations and the key is to keep a cool head.

3) Problem is that even with a cool head, that 6300lb coach is still a bit more than 1000lbs more than my tow vehicle. It can steer me anyway it wants to and the wind doesn't help much. I am always correcting on less than calm days.

I guess it really boils down to can it do it and should it do it.

In the case I am referring to, it clearly should not have been done. Even I am now seriously considering a 3/4 pickup after my last 1000 miles. With our 19' Bambi, it was a trade off. The SS could do it no problem and the wheelbase was good too. The Safari, it's bigger, wind pushes it more, it's heavier and although it has 2 axles, the SS although up to the task, really is not the best choice. I can say this with REAL world exp. I towed my dads SOB with his 2500 6.0L and he has friction sway and WD bars.

It was a night and day difference.

So yes, driver plays a big role, but it's sort of like digging a foundation. Can you do it with a shovel? Sure, but works a lot better with a Caterpiller.
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Old 07-18-2004, 05:18 PM   #22
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Bryan...

Eric's absolutely right. My tirade certainly wasn't aimed at you or your posts in any sense. I was ranting about the general lack of regard I see among the public for each other on the roads. It isn't JUST with RVs. It happens in boats... (f'rinstance... I had sailboats. After six years of sailing the only thing that jet skiis, in my estimation, are good for is target practice... )

Two cylinder minds driving eight cylinder cars who cut off or pull in front of trucks that weigh seventy-thousand pounds. Seventy thousand pound trucks that have drivers who think they're in a Ferrari. Everybody's in a hurry, and no one else's life is quite as important as their's...

The "that's good enough for now, and I'll fix it right later" mentality that pervades our society is frightening.

And again, it's not that I have a problem with folks creatively removing themselves from the gene pool (other than we, who pay insurance premiums foot the bill), but I object to them taking you or me with them.

Your posts are well taken and appropriate. When we address these issues with folks it has to be done in a friendly and reasonable fashion, and certainly NOT with a holier-than-thou attitude. However, if each of us can get one OTHER RV owner to tow more safely, we would have made a HUGE, long-term improvement in highway traffic safety.

Roger
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Old 07-18-2004, 05:23 PM   #23
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Okay, i got off on a tangent- so i cut myself short and think i missed a few points i meant to get out. I don not in any way think my jeep is close to the best vehicle for towing. I also agree that having the right equipment is KEY, i started on that but caught up on another point. I have the best setup that i could get for weight distribution and anti-sway. I meant to get at the point that i don't necessarilly feel that my setup is safe... i believe it to be at this point, and i will test it after the lift. I put out my story to get people to think about the thought that you can also have the perfect tow vehicle, and all the goodies- but if you over look the little things (steering components, shocks, etc) this can also create an un-safe condition. I will admit that I got carried away in my post, and would have kept going for hours had i not reminded myself that daylight was fading away and i needed to get back to my shell-off restoration. I have already spent thousands on my jeep to equip it better for towing, and i promise there are thousands more to go. (one being the HD axle w/ disc brakes for the rear- $4,000) But i think my post was taken wrong, due to my tangent. I believe that everyone should have a large truck with a long wheel base to tow their trailer, but for many people- that is just not feasable. So there are things people can do to make their rig much safer for towing. Bigger and better is not the ONLY choice. I'd love to have a suburban to tow with, but my expenses already far surpass my income. Final thought: Proper upkeep, and towing accessories can make almost any vehicle worthy of towing... but you must be realistic, i'm not about to go out and pick up a 34' excella to tow with my jeep. I chose a 68' tradewind because it only weighed 4,200 loaded. So, be realistic with your towing abilities- but having a sub-par tow rig is not necessarily the end of the world.
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Old 07-18-2004, 05:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325

However, if each of us can get one OTHER RV owner to tow more safely, we would have made a HUGE, long-term improvement in highway traffic safety.

Roger
I'm gonna take my own advice here, and educate my first 'victim'. Eric... I know you want to tow more safely, and as one of your friends, I'm here to help you. The first thing you should do is to ditch your Chevy B-body, and buy a Ford truck!!!

Roger
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Old 07-18-2004, 05:46 PM   #25
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http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=1259

Good reading about Jeeps and towing. I would contact him about his experience.

John
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Old 07-18-2004, 07:54 PM   #26
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nice, thanks for the info.
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Old 07-18-2004, 08:06 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
I'm gonna take my own advice here, and educate my first 'victim'. Eric... I know you want to tow more safely, and as one of your friends, I'm here to help you. The first thing you should do is to ditch your Chevy B-body, and buy a Ford truck!!!

Roger
We'll it'll be a truck....that's for sure...but I am not quite ready to go to the dark side of the force. Friends don't let friends use the "F" word!

See my post on the truck I am thinking of. Of course you Ford folks can chime in too.
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Old 07-18-2004, 09:58 PM   #28
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There is a plethora of info on towing safety here & from many other sources. I've found you can spend form a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on various 'systems'. Heck, you can stick a ball-hitch in the rear bumper of a pick-up for under $20 and tow away!! Weight-distribution, braking controllers, & anti-sway devices abound. My experience has shown some research and a profusion of COMMON-SENSE to be 'priceless'!!
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