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Old 06-03-2009, 03:49 PM   #57
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Thank you, Rich and Roger.

Yes, even the Wright Brothers were told, it would never fly.

Hopefully your positive posts will deter at least some of the negativity.

Everything has a beginning, and I have tried my best, to start the begining, of a subject that has be ignored by the RV industry, far too long. To some, i have succeeded in reaching that goal.

Thanks again.

Kudos to both of you.

Andy
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:10 PM   #58
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Question Andy

Andy would you please respond to my number of chain links Q. woppa4
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:25 PM   #59
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You're welcome, Andy, but recognize that my role as moderator is to keep the discussion civil and informative for all the posters and readers; not to defend folks or their posts.

Andy, I personally don't necessarily agree with all your conclusions either; towing being a very complex operation with so many influencing factors. While the information you present is interesting, I only see it as a good place for someone to start investigating this further. It would be really interesting to see if your original work could be somehow duplicated today to include loading information, trailer axle to tongue measurements, and some of the other influencing factors; tread depth, tire inflation... etc etc etc and see if there really are any correlations that can be drawn.

At the same time, I don't believe that any single hitch setup is a panacea for all ills towing. If you get an initial hitch setup that works without problems, then life is good. If, however, there are problems then the road to resolution of those problems can be long and arduous if the resolution is arrived at properly and each problem is corrected as it's found. Hitch brand and style is merely one component of that process. While proper setup is critical for any of the quality hitches to function properly, there are many more factors that influence trailer behavior that are beyond the scope of what the hitch can correct, and those include issues with both the trailer and tow vehicle. No hitch can correct bad spring shackle bushings on the tow vehicle or under-inflated or under-rated tires on the tow vehicle or a too-short ball-to-axle design length... yet those two problems are very common in towing issues.

There's no such thing as "overkill" on a hitch; but you can spend way too much money on a hitch trying to fix your problems rather than finding and resolving the source of the problems themselves. It's been my experience that many RV dealers and service departments are totally clueless about those issues altogether. It's difficult to find a knowledgeable source locally that you can trust to troubleshoot those issues reliably.

It's also difficult to sort out manufacturer's claims about a product from the actual performance of a product when no controlled emperical testing has been done for a direct comparison between competing products. We're left with opinion based on experience; informed opinion perhaps, but opinion none-the-less. It's even more confusing when trying to compare this brand and model hitch when used between two different tow vehicles and trailers. There are just too many variables to say that it's the hitch that makes the difference in stability.

It is up to the readers of ALL postings on forums such as this to personally vet the veracity of ANY information they get here. In the final analysis, if you set your rig up according to instructions you find online and you have a bad experience, you're still the person driving the rig who'll be responsible for it's safety.

So... with that... lets share our experiences... both positive and negative... what worked and what didn't and why.

Roger
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:26 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woppa 4 View Post
As I stated earlier. I have the Easy lift round bar 1000# system. The company's tech data recommends 1000# SB's for my 30 2009 C L: TW 690,40#GB,s TV 2500 HD Tur 6.7, we carry est 400-500#'s in the bed(mega cab) Q? assuming my system is adequate. How many links in the
SB chains should I attempt to lock. 3rd or 4th. The unit is level regardless of links. However I need bottle jack assistance at the 4th link level.(also have sway friction assist) Should I only use the Tr jack to assist in attaching the B's woppa4 PS. maybe two links would be suffice.
It's impossible to tell how many links you should use, because of other factors, such as the tilt of the ball mount, the height of the ball, the amount of tongue weight, the torsion bar rating, the rear spring rate of the tow vehicle, etc.

The basic instructions are that the trailer and tow vehicle should be level with respect to itself.

How many links under stress it may take to do that, can only be determined with your rig within my eye sight, and a photo won't help.

Guess work is not what you need either.

Personally, I think the 1000 bars are excessive, and that 800 would be better.

Andy
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:20 PM   #61
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I can totally see how road shock can transfer through the hitch to the trailer. The stronger the bar, the more force returning or attempting to return to the relaxed position. Any change in trailer/tow vehicle angle due to suspension and the like, would have much more force after the change in angle, and compounded further with stiff tow vehicle suspension. I have a WWII jeep, and that suspension can chip teeth on and off the road, watching how it handles a small utility trailer, very well shows how too much spring in the tow vehicle (and overall wheel base too) can negatively impact the trailer. Regardless of the brand, IMHO it makes complete sense to use the minimum force (minimum bar strength) to keep things balanced. If you disagree its cool with me, you won't hurt my feelings, but the balanced set up we have we're very happy with.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:30 PM   #62
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Off topic...
But i have to see a pick of the jeep!

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:01 PM   #63
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Objective Test Criteria

OK, here's my first pass at some test criteria.

First the background: I have an old SAE paper that actually goes into quite painful detail about trailer sway. And to Rich Luhr's point about aircraft, they are actually very similar. What causes sway is primarily the trailer being loaded tail heavy. That makes it naturally unstable and it will want to sway. And airplane does the exact same thing. As long as you have enough elevator to keep the nose up during landing, you can go forward CG about all you want. But if you get too aft with the CG (center of gravity), it becomes unstable.

OK, so I would suggest using a tandem axle trailer of about 30' in length. I don't believe it much matters if it's a travel trailer or a utility trailer. A utility trailer would be easier for the testing, because we are going to have to be able to move heavy weights around on the trailer to change it's CG from nose heavy to neutral to tail heavy. You could do it with an Airstream as well, but it would be much easier with a flat bed trailer. Standardize on a 10,000lb loaded weight of the trailer.

Next, we need to decide on a realistic number of different tow vehicles. I would think three would do it. First a 4-door long bed diesel pickup, next a short wheel base SUV (say a Grand Cherokee or Sequoia), and lastly a car; something like a Chrysler 300.

Now we need some test maneuvers. We need a realistic amount so as to keep this from getting unruly. I would say something like a 30mph and 60mph slalom. I would also do panic stops from 80mph. What else could we test? Some type of perturbation; like a side gust of wind. Not quite sure how to create that, but let's say a huge side load plus a bump thrown in. With aircraft we do a perturbation test to disturb the plane's path and then see how many oscillations it takes to return to steady state. Something like that would be good.

So we've got three vehicles, four maneuvers, and we vary the CG and measure the results. We put accelerometers on the trailer and see what happens.

For this we would then want to get an example of the most popular half dozen hitches or so; more if we could get them. I'd say a Hensley, a Pro-Pride, a Reese Dual Cam, an Equal-I-Zer, a Blue Ox, maybe a Pull-Rite, and any others.

What I would envision creating would be a large spreadsheet/database of information that would show at what point each combo was stable, neutral, unstable, really unstable, etc. We'd generate a mountain of data that could be really useful.

Something like this would provide some pretty good feedback.

That being said, other than the SAE study that was done in the 1960's, the only other stuff I'm aware of is mainly tabulated data like what Andy has done. And that's good info. But I think a test like the above would really help.

Anyway, it's a starting point.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:08 PM   #64
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Now we need some test maneuvers. We need a realistic amount so as to keep this from getting unruly. I would say something like a 30mph and 60mph slalom. I would also do panic stops from 80mph. What else could we test? Some type of perturbation; like a side gust of wind. Not quite sure how to create that, but let's say a huge side load plus a bump thrown in. With aircraft we do a perturbation test to disturb the plane's path and then see how many oscillations it takes to return to steady state. Something like that would be good.
Ford recently did this to test their version of anti-sway. Without getting into that debate, I only bring it up because they found a reliable way to induce sway conditions:
They had a semi pass the tow vehicle/trailer combo, and had the driver of the tow vehicle remove his foot from the accelerator at that point.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #65
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. . .That being said, other than the SAE study that was done in the 1960's, the only other stuff I'm aware of is mainly tabulated data like what Andy has done. And that's good info. But I think a test like the above would really help.

Anyway, it's a starting point.
Jim, there was a much more recent paper just a year ago that builds significantly on the Bundorf paper. It uses some matrices and eigenvalue calculations that were frankly impossible to do back in the 60's.

The paper is interesting in that they used a utility trailer with a movable CG, as you suggest, to verify the ground truth of their calculated results.

Its SAE Paper 2008-01-1228. Although they didn't apply the "antisway" elements of the Bundorf equations (they were testing asymetric braking), you could easily put those equations back in using the same notation that Bundorf used back in 1967.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:14 PM   #66
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good info, thanks
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:43 PM   #67
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If it feels good....

at the risk of offering irrelevant views... my bonafides - programmer, government researcher, morbidity (health care) insurance actuarial analyst, SCCA racing driver.

Andy offers descriptive evidence and his conclusions. The data and his conclusions while not scientific are valuable (and brave) as a reference. None the less, they are opinions based on his experience and background. Well done.

i would be really interested in an analysis that expressed untoward consequences as a function of the number of systems in use. That is how we completed actuarial analysis of health claims. For example: Of the folks who don't use any weight distribution at all, what is the rate of accident per mile. Similarly, what are the accident rates relative to trailer length, TV capacity and WD equipment in use. Probably not a realistic goal. With large enough samples, the effects of bad driving and incorrect configuration of the systems would wash out.

Because of the variability in the TV systems, trailer loading, tire pressures and suspension setups, each combination of trailer and TV become a unique challenge. No set of rules can adequately describe how to get the optimal setup with the dynamics inherent in the configurations. Test drives and fiddling with tire pressure, weight compensation and trailer loading can help.

Finally, am i the only one in the AS universe that tows without any WD equipment. After hauling horses and using a lot of utility trailers, the Argosy is a dream. Dual axles makes a huge difference. Even though I use a 3/4 ton Ram, the trailer has shown no evidence of getting beat up after 10,000 miles of western roads. Even some unintentional off roading - ask Richard about the "back way" to Meteor Crater ;-) Oh well different strokes for different folks.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:50 AM   #68
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I'm all for information, but I'm a little skeptical when someone suggests RV dealers want you to crash so you buy more RV's... There would be good money, and good margins and labour, in providing proper setups for towing. Why would a dealer want to ignore this market? It's just like the 'undercoat and paint sealant' at the car dealership... what's another $1000 when you've just spent $30K?

Anyway, for all the 'knowledge' out there, no one can even tell me what, if any, WD setup might work on my Basecamp. So, I'm ordering the Reese single bar and I'll let you all know if it works. My Tacoma does well with it, but I find the tongue weight to be excessive (450lbs or so) given it's light weight (2000lbs).

I am in the middle of a long, long list of things that need to be fixed on it, and we've only used it 2 days. Now, we're going to be driving 2500km to a dealer than can fix it... maybe...

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Old 06-04-2009, 05:56 AM   #69
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Anyway, for all the 'knowledge' out there, no one can even tell me what, if any, WD setup might work on my Basecamp. So, I'm ordering the Reese single bar and I'll let you all know if it works. My Tacoma does well with it, but I find the tongue weight to be excessive (450lbs or so) given it's light weight (2000lbs).

First Airstream... last Airstream...
It's not merely an issue of what setup might work with your Basecamp, but what will work with your Basecamp and Tacoma together.

I had a Burro 17 with a similar tongue weight and a little higher total weight that I towed with a '94 original Toyota Compact truck. It was an extended cab, 3.0L V6 auto 4WD with a 3500 lb tow capacity. I don't know which Tacoma you have; Gen I or Gen II, but either should be fine with your Basecamp.

Based on MY towing and hitch experience I'd recommend a Reese Dual Cam with 600 lb bars. The Reese literature says the bars are good for "UP TO" a 600 lb tongue weight. I used that setup successfully for two years and a lot of miles, even on the very light weight 3" box frame of the Burro. When properly set up it made the combination run down the road like it was on rails where the tongue weight made the Toyota wallow without it. The only thing you need to be aware of is finding brackets to fit the Basecamp frame properly. I presume that it will be a lighter frame than the usual 5" box found on the regular trailers.

The Reese single bar setup should work equally well for the weight distribution issue, but will do nothing as an anti-sway device. BTW, I didn't need an anti-sway device for the Toyota-Burro combo to "correct" a problem, as it never exhibited any questionable behavior at speeds I was willing to drive; I did it solely for the weight distribution and then the further safety margin the dual-cam offered.

Roger
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:03 AM   #70
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The hitch on the basecamp is a single tube. It would have to be modified to use anything but the single arm wd setup.

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