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Old 06-03-2009, 10:53 AM   #43
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Bars breakingt? Never.

Chain link breaking from the end of the bar, several.

Andy
"NEVER"?????

Hmmmm??? If this is so, I wonder why Reese sells bars priced individually, and not in pairs????
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:57 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Bars breakingt? Never.

Chain link breaking from the end of the bar, several.

Andy
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
"NEVER"?????

Hmmmm??? If this is so, I wonder why Reese sells bars priced individually, and not in pairs????

Bars do break. That shouldn't cause a loss of control unless the bar is an integral part of the sway control.

When investigating an accident I'm sure there is no way to determine what happened first. The chain link breaking and causing the accident or the chain link breaking as a result of the accident. It's a chicken and egg scenario.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:11 AM   #45
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Bars do break. That shouldn't cause a loss of control unless the bar is an integral part of the sway control.

When investigating an accident I'm sure there is no way to determine what happened first. The chain link breaking and causing the accident or the chain link breaking as a result of the accident. It's a chicken and egg scenario.
Aha! With the Reese hitch, the bar IS an intrigal part of the sway control system.

Would you think that puting 800 pounds of load on a pair of bars rated to carry 600 pounds might cause it to fail?
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:43 AM   #46
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Insurance companies can't stay in business paying accident claims at the rate you report. I'm sure that had something to do with Airstream letting it die.
It has been observed and reported (Andrew T) that less than 10% of the vehicle/trailer combinations on the roads today are connected optimally. That is a number that would scare off any Insurance company and would probably explain why there were so many trailer related accidents.

Having connection equipment isn't enough. It must be the correct equipment for the job at hand and it needs to be adjusted and set up correctly.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:46 AM   #47
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Question Rquest a reply

I would appreciate a response to my chain link adjustment. woppa4
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #48
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Having connection equipment isn't enough. It must be the correct equipment for the job at hand and it needs to be adjusted and set up correctly.
Amen to that! But the thing is, who are we supposed to believe what is even the right equippment, much less how to adjust it correctly, when the accepted "experts" keep telling us different equipment to use, and tell us adjustment procedures that contradict what is written in the General Motors books?
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:59 AM   #49
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"NEVER"?????

Hmmmm??? If this is so, I wonder why Reese sells bars priced individually, and not in pairs????
Caravanner Insurance, never had a loss because of a broken torsion bar.

That does not mean it has never happened.

I have no knowledge of losses beyond Caravanner Insurance.

Andy
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:25 PM   #50
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Interesting article, thank you for publishing this valuable information.

On the question of why the makers of hitches, trailers etc shy away from the safety debate. I know that many years ago car makers did not discuss safety because it reminded customers of the dangers of driving, and they feared scaring them away.

In 1955 and 56 Ford emphasized their many safety features while Chev emphasized their powerful new V8 and snazzy styling. Chev beat Ford's brains out in sales. In 57 Ford brought out a new long low car with tailfins, and pushed their racing successes and outsold Chev for the first time in 30 years.

Perhaps the trailer and hitch makers feel they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by talking about safety.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:41 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Aha! With the Reese hitch, the bar IS an intrigal part of the sway control system.

Would you think that puting 800 pounds of load on a pair of bars rated to carry 600 pounds might cause it to fail?
I think that 800# of load "might" cause a 600# bar to break. Although, I don't think that a bar rated for 600# has a breaking point at 600#. I would guess it is much, much higher than 600#. If I can figure out how to rig some spring bars maybe I'll do some sort of static, failure testing on my bars when I get a chance.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
It has been observed and reported (Andrew T) that less than 10% of the vehicle/trailer combinations on the roads today are connected optimally. That is a number that would scare off any Insurance company and would probably explain why there were so many trailer related accidents.

Having connection equipment isn't enough. It must be the correct equipment for the job at hand and it needs to be adjusted and set up correctly.

I'm not sure how Andrew T can observe all of the rigs on the road to offer an absolute like less than 10%. I agree that it would certainly scare off an insurance company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Caravanner Insurance, never had a loss because of a broken torsion bar.

That does not mean it has never happened.

I have no knowledge of losses beyond Caravanner Insurance.

Andy
So there must have never been a broken bar found in the wreckage.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:51 PM   #52
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Interesting article, thank you for publishing this valuable information.

On the question of why the makers of hitches, trailers etc shy away from the safety debate. I know that many years ago car makers did not discuss safety because it reminded customers of the dangers of driving, and they feared scaring them away.

In 1955 and 56 Ford emphasized their many safety features while Chev emphasized their powerful new V8 and snazzy styling. Chev beat Ford's brains out in sales. In 57 Ford brought out a new long low car with tailfins, and pushed their racing successes and outsold Chev for the first time in 30 years.

Perhaps the trailer and hitch makers feel they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by talking about safety.

I've been talking about safety for the last 12+ years of my life. First at the orange company and now with my own company. Both manufacturers of hitches.

I do feel that is the case with trailer manufacturers. Years ago I sent a certified letter to every single President of every trailer manufacturer. I know they all received it because they signed for it. How many do you think responded and wanted to talk about how to make towing safer? ZERO.

I even testified in one trailer accident suit which had the President of the company deny, under oath, knowing anything about the product. The only problem with his denial was that I had been giving towing seminars at his international rally for 7 straight years. The very first seminar he stood up and gave a testimonial about the performance of the product. A few years later, when 2 people were killed in a sway accident while towing one of his trailers, he developed amnesia. I'm not sure what amount he settled for but I hear it was 7 figures.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #53
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Amen to that! But the thing is, who are we supposed to believe what is even the right equippment, much less how to adjust it correctly, when the accepted "experts" keep telling us different equipment to use, and tell us adjustment procedures that contradict what is written in the General Motors books?
So true Steve. When we look at how weak and poorly designed the GM receiver is it is easy to see why many of us take what GM says with a grain of salt.....lol, and look for a better way.

The right parts and equipment are the ones that work the best. I consider myself as skilled in mechanical knowledge as anyone but when it comes to the complex art of towing I go to the experts. Here in Ontario we are fortunate to have the expertise of Can Am. There are probably a number of other quality towing specialists out there but few are talked about?!?!
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #54
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I am a veteran of thirty years of towing trailers; twenty of that towing Airstreams. MY experience towing tells me that there are no absolutes in hitches and towing; only observed best practices.

There are too many variables in tow vehicles alone to try to find a one-size-fits-all solution. A trailer that's a nightmare with any hitch behind one tow vehicle can be well behaved without problems behind another with just a bare ball. I have personally experienced enough challenging experiences with tow vehicles, trailers, and hitch setups in my own travels to recognize that any problematic behavior needs to be systematically tracked down component by component. Weights and load balance in the trailer is always critical. Anti-sway components may only mask a problem that is waiting to cause a crash until it overcomes the ability of the component to mask it.

Rather than challenging each others' experience here, lets take this for what it's worth, make this a positive experience and try to learn from one another.

If you have replicable empirical data to add, please share it. If you have experience-based information to add, please share it. If you can help explore someone else's challenges, that's great and what this thread is about. If the best you can do is to negatively challenge the experiences of others that they've been willing to share, then perhaps your posts aren't so valuable in this thread.

The staff is watching this thread closely; let's keep it positive.

Roger

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Old 06-03-2009, 01:33 PM   #55
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Stick and Rudder

Roger's moderator commentary makes great sense.

In aviation circles, there is a classic book called "Stick and Rudder" by Wolfgang Langewiesche. Written in the 1940s, it remains the definitive and best explanation ever of why an airplane behaves as it does. Most pilots in training eventually read it.

The book is notable because it beautifully and accurately explains the physics of flying in terms most people can understand, and in the process explodes numerous myths that are "common knowledge".

The towing world also relies on physics, but in my experience the vast majority of "common knowledge," "rules of thumb," and "manufacturer recommendations" are misleading, inaccurate, out-of-date, or promulgated solely to cover someone's butt.

What we need is a great work like "Stick and Rudder" to define the physics and realities of towing. If you read "Stick and Rudder" you'll find it's not full of unreadable math, or college-level physics. It's written for pilots.

If a man in the 1940s (pre-computer) era can explain accurately why airplanes act as they do, I believe that the physics of towing can be explained accurately as well. And I believe it can be done without resorting to hyperbole like "You're a danger to everyone on the highway with you," or going to ridiculous levels of documentation that some on this forum would demand.

But to get there, we need objectivity. Assumptions based on urban legends and "common sense" need to be thrown out. If you start with presumptions about wheelbase, frame vs unibody, weight distribution, sway control, air bags, etc., you'll end up with a "garbage in, garbage" result. I see people comparing a vehicle with a Hensley or ProPride to a vehicle with a Reese or Equal-i-zer, and they are apples and oranges. I see people assuming that all unibodies are the same and therefore "unsafe", while assuming all frame-based trucks are "safe". I see people confusing air bag springs with auto-leveling suspensions. Some folks don't know the difference between horsepower and torque. Others think you can control a trailer just by outweighing it. And million are confused by manufacturer "tow ratings" which are misleading because they don't consider a host of relevant factors beyond weight. There is so much contradictory, muddled, and outright wrong information floating out there, it's no wonder this forum is filled with hundreds of unresolved towing debates.

Andy has attempted to deal with some of the myths and for that I thank him. While his work is perhaps not complete, you should recognize that he is one of the very few professionals in the industry willing to speak on the subject at all. Fear of liability keeps the rest silent. If we can do something to encourage people who really have done some research to speak up, then we should, because those are the people we need to hear from. I only wish Wolfgang were still alive to help us out!
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #56
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Well said RLuhr!
I am a complete newbie to towing travel trailers and having just purchased a new 27 FB Ocean Breeze, I need the real life experince of veteran RV'ers. My goal is to tow safely and protect my trailer from vibration damage.
Like RLuhr said there is no good book to teach me how to do this, so I need and want the advice of everyone here at Airforums.
I have not even purchased a TV or hitch system yet, all this needs to happen in the next two weeks so I can go and pick up our trailer while I am on vacation.
So I am reading and listening to people with experience so I can make a informed decision on hitch function and a purchase,
So I hope this thread stays positve and alive.
I there is one thing I have learned in my Fifty years on earth is experince and common sense work very well together.
Thanks to everyone for providing the two.
Craig
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