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Old 04-03-2010, 09:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SARGE/AF View Post
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What Roger said is correct this is a much larger issue that includes many things besides trailer balance empty and loaded. You are only looking at 1 thing of that mutiple equation. But lets look at the 1 point you are talking about which is adding and then moving weight back and forth to stop sway, now you have actually added to the problem and created another; by adding the water you now have more weight to control in a sway, not to mention you have changed the braking because you have added more weight, you also have added extra stress to the frame of the AS.
The sway issue is not only in the trailer but in the TV as well, and what ever you do effects other things such as brakes, engine, handling carristics, etc.
What you said about the size of the TV is not only a weight distribution issue but a TV heavy enough to handle the weight of the trailer.

Sarge
Sarge,

i am actually not talking about adding weight but pumping the water from the fresh water tank to another tank at the back. I understand and agree with your point on the added stress to the frame.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:58 AM   #16
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Yes, I have read this. This rule has been followed for many many years. Without saying it is wrong, I am still wondering if recent sway control/correction equipments have altered this rule?
no! not in the slightest!
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From what I read, the best way to control a sway is by apply brakes on the trailer, not the TV. Therefore, couldn't a hitch sway control, an enhanced braking system and a sway corrective system like the Ford is using, control the sway? And if it is the case, lightening the tongue will indeed increase sway but if it is controlled in a proper manner, why wouldn't it work? In other words, could today's technology "handle" the sway in such a manner that it is not such a priority to eliminate it entirely?
You'd have to have the brakes on constantly, which would not only cause excessive drag, it would burn out the brakes. can't work.
brakes only "work" when the vehicle is tracking straight and the tires have a firm grip on the road; in a sway condition, what can happen is that the tires have lost their grip on the road. (skidding sideways).
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #17
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With no disrespect intended, What I think about this is:

If you think there is even a slight chance that this is a good idea, you better do a bunch of reading about trailer loading before you tow.

On the other hand, if you are trolling:

Good job.

Regards,

Ken
no trolling here. I did read quite a bit and understand what you are all saying. I am just trying to explore ideas and get valuable opinions. I love the idea of getting an AS for my family but i am not too excited about having to purchase a huge 3/4 ton truck to tow it. looking at it from a perspective, I think my concern will increase over time amongst most trailer buyers. It is quite a tough call to go enjoy National Parks with a solar system, not waste water, buy only what you need AND have to buy a huge TV!
I am about to trade my everyday SUV for something more efficient and now i need to dump all the benefits for a TV.
The only solution would then be to go for a small AS which might not be practical for families.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #18
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no! not in the slightest!

You'd have to have the brakes on constantly, which would not only cause excessive drag, it would burn out the brakes. can't work.
brakes only "work" when the vehicle is tracking straight and the tires have a firm grip on the road; in a sway condition, what can happen is that the tires have lost their grip on the road. (skidding sideways).
I need to read more about the Ford system. I don't know how their system will handle the sideway skidding you are talking about.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:18 AM   #19
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it won't. at all.

These anti-sway devices can't overcome a constant state of imbalance; they only dampen or prevent "momentary" instances, thus keeping it from getting completely out of control.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:29 AM   #20
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This is a design factor in the European Airstreams where tongue weight is minimized.

One of the major handling benefits of Airstreams is that they have the axles farther to the rear than most and place the heavy stuff close to the axles.

The sideslip sway idea is common in engineering models but it is not the normal mode of control problem with trailers from what I can tell. No sway control device I have seen can do much about sideslip.

Another big myth is this 'safety' idea. Safety is, of course, a factor and a concern but it isn't the primary issue as it can be easily handled by just keeping the speed down.

Another source of confusion here is between sway control and weight distribution. These are two separate issues.

Weight distribution is needed to keep good weight on the steering axle to assure adequate steering and to apportion trailer tongue load over the tow vehicle axles.

Sway control enhances handling to improve proper driver response to perturbations. That usually means a more relaxed driver.

One of the better resources for using common vehicles to tow Airstreams is Can Am (Ontario) Andy. He publishes in the Canadian RV magazine and has shown up here on occasion.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:10 AM   #21
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I need to read more about the Ford system. I don't know how their system will handle the sideway skidding you are talking about.
Go out on the high way and follow a trailer that don't have enough tongue weight. The trailer will oscillate at around 100 cycles per minute . This would mean the brakes on each side would be on 50% of the time. How long do you think the brakes would last let alone what your gas mileage would be.

The Ford system is designed to react to an abnormal condition and then only for seconds to regain control not constantly as would be required to stop an oscillation.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:24 AM   #22
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One of the better resources for using common vehicles to tow Airstreams is Can Am (Ontario) Andy. He publishes in the Canadian RV magazine and has shown up here on occasion.
Excellent recommendation! Read threads he's participated in front to back -- Airstream Forums - View Profile: Andrew T. You'll develop an understanding of the care & matching he puts into his pairings.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:54 AM   #23
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Might be a crazy idea (i will surely get grilled for it) but let me know what you all think about this.

I have come to realize that a vast majority of AS owners will not recommend towing a large AS
You are thinking Gamma and there is nothin wrong with that.

Where you are talking about going with a smaller lighter TV many of us are already there. The tongue weight is an issue that needs to be considered. In our case we are still within the axle ratings of the car when loaded ready for travel. (verified by CAT scale)

We carry 10 gals of fresh water max, Have one bottle of propane, and pack most of the heavier goods over the trailer axles. Only lightweight articles like lawn chairs go in the trunk of the car.

The WDH really does work by bleeding of excessive tongue weight to the front of the vehicle and back to the trailer axles where we have plenty of head room/capacity.

All in all a great handling set up that works great for us.

A note about vehicle weights. Our car weighs half as much as my Sister's Hummer H2 but our car/Airstream combo feels more stable at highway speeds than my Sister's H2 does running solo.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #24
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no offense gamma...

YES this is crazy

and on SO MANY levels.
_________

u r the same guy who wanted to tow a NEW 27 with the OLD short wheel base g wagen right?...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-it-61232.html

or MIGHT consider a big new truck, but only if 'those fancy hitches are needed'....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-on-62347.html
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i doubt that going into ALL of the issues with the blast nonsense would be useful,

OR posting the science related to sway/oscillation/yaw control and dynamics would help, but...

these a/s things already have HOLDING tanks over/near the axles and YES having them full tends to improve towing stability ...

but can also add 400-800 lbs of LOAD to the trailer and will WAY OVER LOAD the merc' ...

so adding ANOTHER bucket of water isn't gonna improve ANYTHING...

but WILL OVERLOAD the trailer FRAME/SHELL/AXLES and tires....

to REDUCE the tongue mass your BUCKET of water would need to be WAY BACK, not over/near the axles...

and having a trailer with HEAVY LOADS at the NOSE and TAIL is bad...

axis of rotation, steering, sway, STRESS on the frame/shell and so on, all bad.

SHIFTING the water fore/aft is silly...

why not just HIRE 4 cabana boys to RUN back and forth INSIDE the trailer...

OR have them play CARDs and COOK inside so dinner is ON the table (which is at the rear)...

HOW about a GREAT BIG SPOILER on top of the stream...

nascar tuned so that at high speeds it PUSHES the tail DOWN and lightens the tongue...

no messy/heavy water to deal with and BIG DECALS to boot!
____________

seriously, thinking is GOOD.

but get real, get with the program or get a BOAT...

OTOH....

3 threads started ALL a bit screwy, so welcome to the club...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:25 PM   #25
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no offense gamma...

YES this is crazy

and on SO MANY levels.
_________

u r the same guy who wanted to tow a NEW 27 with the OLD short wheel base g wagen right?...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-it-61232.html

or MIGHT consider a big new truck, but only if 'those fancy hitches are needed'....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-on-62347.html
__________

i doubt that going into ALL of the issues with the blast nonsense would be useful,

OR posting the science related to sway/oscillation/yaw control and dynamics would help, but...

these a/s things already have HOLDING tanks over/near the axles and YES having them full tends to improve towing stability ...

but can also add 400-800 lbs of LOAD to the trailer and will WAY OVER LOAD the merc' ...

so adding ANOTHER bucket of water isn't gonna improve ANYTHING...

but WILL OVERLOAD the trailer FRAME/SHELL/AXLES and tires....

to REDUCE the tongue mass your BUCKET of water would need to be WAY BACK, not over/near the axles...

and having a trailer with HEAVY LOADS at the NOSE and TAIL is bad...

axis of rotation, steering, sway, STRESS on the frame/shell and so on, all bad.

SHIFTING the water fore/aft is silly...

why not just HIRE 4 cabana boys to RUN back and forth INSIDE the trailer...

OR have them play CARDs and COOK inside so dinner is ON the table (which is at the rear)...

HOW about a GREAT BIG SPOILER on top of the stream...

nascar tuned so that at high speeds it PUSHES the tail DOWN and lightens the tongue...

no messy/heavy water to deal with and BIG DECALS to boot!
____________

seriously, thinking is GOOD.

but get real, get with the program or get a BOAT...

OTOH....

3 threads started ALL a bit screwy, so welcome to the club...

cheers
2air'
Hi 2air,

Always a pleasure to read your graphically enhanced comments.

Cabana girls sound good. At least something interesting came out of this thread.

And yes, the ultimate after an Airstream IS a real yacht...

cheers
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:28 PM   #26
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Water sloshes around!

All the other problems with using ballast instead of just setting up properly are valid. Really.

But, even if ballast were a good way of accomplishing your goal, something that moves is not a good idea for ballast.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:32 AM   #27
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Travel Map

Could you kindly post your travel map and calendar so that I can avoid those roads at those times. I don't want to be anywhere near you when you are towing in this manner.

Thank you.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:06 AM   #28
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There are various strategies for dealing with trailer stability.

In Europe, weight distributing hitches are not used, and tongue weights are kept light by U.S. standards, generally by designing trailers with the axles further forward. The sun still rises and sets there and the incidence of trailer accidents isn't materially different than the incidence in the U.S.

However, trailers there, all else being equal, have a longer tongue, which improves stability, and there are various statutory limits that, taken together, result in smaller, lighter trailers.

One easy way to solve sway would be to extend the A frame at the front of the trailer by another ten feet and get the LP and battery off the A frame. Then you could drop the tongue weight to near zero and avoid the need for WD bars. Might need heavier axles though since that weight has to go somewhere. But doing so would exceed the maximum trailer length limitations in many jurisdictions, and pose problems with turning and backing. (I'm not suggesting that you actually do this unless you test the thing in a wind tunnel with a treadmill first).

This is much of why the boat guys don't use WD, by the way. The distance between the trailer axle and the ball is longer, and the mass is closer to the axles. It's not so much about balance but rather the moment of inertia around the intersection of the axle centerline and the trailer centerline.

The reason we use WD on travel trailers in the U.S. is that the combination isn't stable unless a substantial amount of weight from the trailer is placed on the rear axle of the tow vehicle without reducing the load on the front axle of the tow vehicle. So you have to use WD, or a gooseneck, or a 5er.

Or reengineer a smaller, lighter trailer with a longer tongue the way they do in Europe.
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