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Old 01-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
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L.A. Freeways

I do most of my towing from october-thru march and the trips are from west michigan to l.a and back 2 times. First from oct-nov and the second from mid jan - march. Combined about 15k in towing incuding business towing around california. I have great faith in the rig other than L.A. freewways. For some reason I get an INCREDIBLE bounce from these roads. I find it happens in only this area surounded by high speed traffic. As I sit in the Huntington rv park writing, nothing is out of place in the trailer. My wife always wakes up and says the poodle is shacking yes we are in California due to his head going up and own, but, I am concened the beating the rig takes from these highways, In October the same thing happend around of Truckee on I-80 all the way to San Francisco.

I have at least 4 inches of travel when I jump on tongue, a f150 and plenty of cushion. I am not over rigged. What causes this????? Inland Andy this is your turf/ help!!
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to California
When I bought a sedan in Pennsylvania I set a GPS antenna on the dashboard for navigation on my laptop. Drove with it, sunglasses and other small stuff on dashboard for almost 2000 miles, finally when I passed Reno on I-80 everything started to drop on the floor.
Taxpayers money at work.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:59 PM   #3
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Safari---The most likely cause of your vehicle's response while driving is caused by the different spacing of the expansion joints in the concrete roadway compared to other states. Concrete is used in many of california's major cities while asphalt pavement is more typical in rural areas. Asphalt doesn't require expansion joints like concrete does.

Suffice it to say that one of the natural frequencies of your vehicle combination is set off being in numerical close proximity to the frequency you travel across the expansion strips. Unfortunately, the strips are at a constant distance from each other which induces the oscillatory motion of your vehicle.

You can check this by going much slower or faster (10-20 mph) than the usual speed that causes your oscillations (probably 50-60 mph?
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:09 AM   #4
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Both are good and accurate posts.

In addition to the expansion joint issue, there is a major maintenance issue - or lack thereof.

California used to have a stellar highway system that was the envy of many states. Now we are among the worst states in the nation in terms of highway condition.

The only piece of advice I can offer is to slow down a bit, make sure everything in the trailer is secured, travel with water in the tank.
Dave
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:06 AM   #5
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..........or avoid Kalifornia completely????
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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This subject comes up with some regularity on the Forums. I suspect over at RVNet too. I believe it comes down only to the distance between the seams and a harmonic that is particular to one's tow setup. About 50 miles northeast of here I was watching closely Monday in my Subaru Outback on a 5 mile stretch of poured concrete that gives my TV-Safari combination a dickens of a ride. The stretch of road is in fairly good condition and not that old. Seams are 10-12' apart. The ride was comfortable but I could feel the seams at the same frequency as when towing. The comparison ends there. There is a terrible buck when I'm towing through that stretch. Raising speed doesn't help and lowering speed only decreases the magnitude of the buck -- I'd think it would still go through the unpleasant motion at 30mph. This gives me an idea -- I'll take a couple links off my WD setup next time I go through that stretch. It couldn't hurt if the Safari gets less of a beating at least!

I've seen old poured concrete roads where there seems to be upwards deformation at the edge of each slab. Our highway department has milled 1-2 feet before and after each seam in some cases and that cures any towing roughness when I've come across those stretches.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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It is not just the freeways. It all thier roads!
I have a crease in my rear end cap from State hwy 17(monterey to San Jose). I tried to slow down but I was just not quick enough. THe rear of the frame contacted the road and boom a crease.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:27 AM   #8
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Bobkelly pegged it. The other factor is your truck length.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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I don't know if the below is the kind of expansion joint you are talking about?
It is Benicia Bridge before finishing a year ago. 7 years late and double cost overrun.
Growing up in Easter Europe and getting my license in 70's I had a chance to drive on freeways build by Nazis. Even after 40 years they have been smoother than the new freeways Caltrans build in 21 Century.
I am not even comparing present autobahns, where you can take foam cup, top it off with coffee, put on the top of dashboard and drive 140 mph without spilling.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
It is not just the freeways. It all thier roads!
I have a crease in my rear end cap from State hwy 17(monterey to San Jose). I tried to slow down but I was just not quick enough. THe rear of the frame contacted the road and boom a crease.

I hit that one last time and my wife warned me to slow down. I put this in the hitch section thinking something was wrong in that regard. I have learned so much on this forum and it looks like it is many factors, but road conditions in this state are getting tough. I live in Michigan and the pot holes will swallow small cars so nothing to brag about. Still, this is a very unique bouncing motion that in all the miles towing only comes up here. I-40 out of Needles was smooth, so to be fair all is not bad.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:10 PM   #11
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California highways.

Concrete highways all have expansion joints.

The distance between them varies from state to state.

Over time, because of bouncing on the expansion joints, the concrete
actually makes the joints worse.

There are usually two speeds to use when towing an Airstream on many of the California highways.

Over 85 mph, or under 50 mph, smooths the bouncing.

Gosh, most people, in California, drive at least 80 mph anyway, unless they are in a hurry.

Andy
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Concrete highways all have expansion joints.

The distance between them varies from state to state.

Over time, because of bouncing on the expansion joints, the concrete
actually makes the joints worse.

There are usually two speeds to use when towing an Airstream on many of the California highways.

Over 85 mph, or under 50 mph, smooths the bouncing.

Gosh, most people, in California, drive at least 80 mph anyway, unless they are in a hurry.

Andy
Ok, I will slow down to under 50 as I have never had her over 75. If you hear of some guy getting shot towing an Airstream on the 405 at 45mph for going to slow, then all of you will know what happened! Heck with the F150, I need an up armored Hum V!
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1
Welcome to California
When I bought a sedan in Pennsylvania I set a GPS antenna on the dashboard for navigation on my laptop. Drove with it, sunglasses and other small stuff on dashboard for almost 2000 miles, finally when I passed Reno on I-80 everything started to drop on the floor.
Taxpayers money at work.
That has to be one of the roughest and longest sections of road all the way down to Frisco we have experienced. We have never had any thing come apart in the a/s except for that run, both fantastic fans knurled knobs were on the floor. It makes you want to put air ride on both the trailer and truck like the big guys.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari 28
That has to be one of the roughest and longest sections of road all the way down to Frisco we have experienced. We have never had any thing come apart in the a/s except for that run, both fantastic fans knurled knobs were on the floor. It makes you want to put air ride on both the trailer and truck like the big guys.
Makes you wonder sometimes when you watch someones head bobbing up and down when on California highways.

Are they listening to rock music, or are the expansion joints that bad?

Andy
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