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Old 08-04-2009, 09:52 PM   #57
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Not using Anti Sway bars

By thoughtless I assume you mean allowing a semi or highway bus pass you traveling app 10 MPH faster than you are?
Or for that matter a 1 ton Ford dually sith a huge fifth wheel in tow?
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:13 AM   #58
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Quote:
the purpose of these responses is to help folks who tow avoid getting into situations that they don't intend to be in, and may not even know that they can be in until it's happening. This isn't "Scare Tactics", it's an attempt to forearm folks with information
Yes indeed we want to inform. The problem is the amount of misinformation that is pushed with religious zeal. It is especially pernicious when it is of the form about what may happen but hasn't yet. Many of the assertions made here have not been information at all and I think it is important for people trying to make decisions to be able to tell what is information, what is opinion, and what is just ignorant.

I am wondering how Iowa defines load leveling and sway control equipment. Does that guy in Texas who likes to tow his Airstream with an orange HDT have to have these when he crosses Iowa? (I'll have to go check and see if I can find the statutes ...) Again, what is offered does not provide any citation, leaves much ambiguous and is a whole chain of speculative "what ifs" and "what might be" -- that is not information.

As a general issue, the only requirements commonly specified by law are chains and brakes and even then I have yet to hear of anyone cited or even inspected for not meeting these requirements. There is plenty of opportunity for LEO's to be writing tickets for these basic requirements. I could see the analog of a speed trap in some popular TT travel spot where they need some extra income for the town ... ;-)

I'd like to see how some crash investigator could actually demonstrate that the lack of such equipment was a cause, or even a contributing factor in a crash. Think about how you'd go about actually trying to prove that case in a rigorous fashion. Think about how you'd answer questions about all of the folks on the road that don't use that equipment and drive safely. Think about the discussions in forums that try to define sway and how devices work and how difficult it is for anyone to come up with a definitive answer.

It is also indicative (to me, anyway) just how a request for good information (i.e. objective data) is handled. Look at the excuses being made and what is offered as an alternative!

Then there is the question about why promoting understanding the issue, the factors involved, and considering what data are available in a rational and analytic way generates such opposition and disagreement.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:17 AM   #59
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This is one of the most intresting threads going, with lots of great information.
My long held opinion, and it's just that,,,an opinion, is thusly.
In the old days, the family piled in the loaded down 5,000lb. estate wagon, and took off with a 2,500>3,000lb. trailer, without sway control.
Today, we have businesses that send people down the road in 3,500lb. cars, with 7,000lb. trailers, they D*** Well better have some kind of sway control, maybe all kinds.
I'am ready for the flaming arrows, but,,,,,
I want a TV that weighs considerably MORE than the trailer.
If I was going to tow a 8,500> TT, I want a 12>15 K Kodiak to do it, and the need for sway control is reduced.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:19 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Beginner View Post
By thoughtless I assume you mean allowing a semi or highway bus pass you traveling app 10 MPH faster than you are?
Or for that matter a 1 ton Ford dually sith a huge fifth wheel in tow?
Beginner
No, by thoughtless I mean the unintentional unloading of hitch weight by the inappropriate distribution of your carried load in the trailer. Unfortunately there is no 'formula' for determining the 'proper' distribution of load in the trailer because every trailer is designed differently (tanks, appliances, storage lockers, slides, etc. etc. etc.)

Roger
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:58 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by bryanl View Post

I am wondering how Iowa defines load leveling and sway control equipment. Does that guy in Texas who likes to tow his Airstream with an orange HDT have to have these when he crosses Iowa? (I'll have to go check and see if I can find the statutes ...) Again, what is offered does not provide any citation, leaves much ambiguous and is a whole chain of speculative "what ifs" and "what might be" -- that is not information.
"what is offered does not provide any citation". I'm not sure specifically what you're referring to. I gave you the Iowa Code section, specifically in my post. If you're referring to something else, please be specific. I don't know what an "orange HDT" is, but yes, the guy from Texas needs to have WDH and sway control in Iowa. Reciprocity applies for licensing and permits, not equipment. As far as the definitions, Iowa code says "shall also be equipped with a weight equalizing hitch with a sway control" That's pretty clear. What part are you having trouble with?

Quote:
As a general issue, the only requirements commonly specified by law are chains and brakes and even then I have yet to hear of anyone cited or even inspected for not meeting these requirements. There is plenty of opportunity for LEO's to be writing tickets for these basic requirements. I could see the analog of a speed trap in some popular TT travel spot where they need some extra income for the town ... ;-)
Now you're generalizing. The equipment requirements vary from jurisdicition to jurisdiction. Some may require more, some less. The point is that you need to know what they are. Further, at least in Iowa, fines for violations of the Iowa Code go to the State Road Use fund, not the local jurisdiction. Violations of a municipal code section go to the municipality. Most vehicle code violations are written as a State Code violation, so fines from "speed traps" don't benefit the town where the citation is written.


Quote:
I'd like to see how some crash investigator could actually demonstrate that the lack of such equipment was a cause, or even a contributing factor in a crash. Think about how you'd go about actually trying to prove that case in a rigorous fashion. Think about how you'd answer questions about all of the folks on the road that don't use that equipment and drive safely. Think about the discussions in forums that try to define sway and how devices work and how difficult it is for anyone to come up with a definitive answer.
In Iowa, it doesn't make any difference whether the equipment functioned or not. It's either there, in compliance with the law, or it's not which is in violation. If it's not there, failing to have required equipment is a contributing factor. That's black and white. Other factors, such as speed unsafe for conditions, would also be cited.

Quote:
It is also indicative (to me, anyway) just how a request for good information (i.e. objective data) is handled. Look at the excuses being made and what is offered as an alternative!
This is turning into a long thread with many posts. Again, you're not addressing specifically what information you're challenging. If you have the statistical information or know how to obtain the statistical information you referred to in your earlier post, please feel free to post it. I'm sure it would be of interest to us all. I don't believe it exists, though. In the absence of that statistical data, other than the conjecture you've offered what would you propose?

Quote:
Then there is the question about why promoting understanding the issue, the factors involved, and considering what data are available in a rational and analytic way generates such opposition and disagreement.
Bryan, a sway event is a complex phenomenon. Many folks have, fortunately, never had to experience it and don't understand just how violently and quickly things go south during a sway event, even with a competent or oversized tow vehicle. My happened while I was driving my Excursion (7500 lbs) towing a 15' fiberglass travel trailer (2500 lbs). I was towing on a bare ball (appropriate for the size of the trailer and tow vehicle) and the trailer coupler jumped off the hitch ball on a rough section of highway. Apparently the coupler spoon was worn past tolerance.

Anyway, the chains held, but the brake pigtail disconnected so when the sway started, and my first reaction was to hit the brake controller, nothing happened. It took me a second for that to register. With a variable attachment by chains only, the trailer went into a significant sway episode where at one point it was bouncing on one wheel at each side of the sine wave path it was following, nearly flipping on it's side. It did it at each side twice before I could slow enough to bring it back onto both wheels. I could feel the trailer jerking on the back of the Excursion. Fortunately, the receiver held and the Excursion was heavy enough not to be moved by the trailer. I was able to bring the rig to a stop with little damage to the trailer (one chain wore through, and the pigtail was half ground off).

I'm sure that had I been towing with the Toyota compact truck I normally towed with, the trailer would have dragged the rear end of the truck and likely rolled me when it rolled, and I'm sure it would have rolled. It was the mass of the tow vehicle in that case that saved me from a more serious incident.

The moral to this is that sway can be caused by many factors; worn or broken equipment; inadequate tire pressures both in the trailer and tow vehicle; inappropriate loading that unloads tongue weight; or suspension issues on the tow vehicle (which I had towing my 34' tri-axle with the Excursion that actually allowed the tri-axle to initiate sway). These are all factors that folks who tow have to learn about and learn to control, and correct if necessary. Many folks who tow have neither the inclination nor the technical skill to understand exactly what happens with sway, and unfortunately for some, their first sway episode is also their last with that particular setup, so they never get the chance to figure out and correct whatever problem they have.

This is further complicated by dealers who have ethics issues or who themselves don't understand what they're selling or how to set it up.

Frankly, for most folks, buying and using a properly set up WD/sway control hitch is just a good idea on a travel trailer.

Roger
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