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Old 05-31-2009, 12:21 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bryanl View Post

Perhaps another benefit is the false sense of safety - as we see here, it appears some think the proper hitch will make them safe and that may lead to overconfidence on the road.
Safe is the ultimate.

"SAFER" is the choice word.

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You also have to be careful with people spouting physics, though. I have seen some offering grad theses from ME students with impressive mathematical models. The flaw is in the basic assumptions and it is amazing how few notice - or care. Then there is the problem of definitions, especially with sway where people have problems separating road handling with catastrophic incidents.
Anything ever offered as answers to interesting questions, "always have the no experience NAY SAYERS."

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There are also significant problems with problem reports and crash stories - this is why crash investigation requires a bit more than somebody's say so or a simple compilation of events.
Who has ever investigated a large number of "loss of control accidents" that would be credit worthy, in your opinion. Your expressions would indicate "no one."

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I could say things about the quality of this argument but it wouldn't be complementary so I won't. I do note, however that it turns the point of this discussion on its face. The point of the OP was that more regulation was needed to force everyone to follow a certain set of rules without regard to any ameliorating factors.
Perhaps you would be willing to do the research, and make posts or write articles about hitching?????

But of course, I am sure you understand, that many people will argue and take you to task, and use 99 cents words describing what you did as being pure nonsence, with no merit, fact or foundation, at least in their opinion. Then you would know how it would feel to be shoved over a cliff.
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The reality is that there is always a risk. The vehicle you choose, the way you rig it, the way you drive, your experience, what distracts you on the road, all of these and more influence your safety on the road.
How do you research a persons towing experience and their distractions?

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The very fact that the people who are being denigrated and impugned in this thread are going down the road and not off on the side upside down or jacknifed should say a lot about the spreading of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) on this topic.
I see hitching or rigging situations that are incorrect, almost everyday. The typical owner sees one, "theirs".

"FUD" would be an interesting addition to data. Who could possible come up with those parameters, and prove their validity, every time someone questions them?

Gosh, there are many owners who will always challenge anything ever said about "how to" with load equalizing hitches. They are certainly entitled to their opinions.

I wonder how many of those same people, think drunk driving, is a "MYTH," because they do it, without any problem.

I believe I will expand my web site, to include an article about hitching, that has already been written.

Then some of the dis-believers, may change their thoughts.

IF THAT ARTICLE SAVES BUT ONE LIFE OR INJURY, OR LOSS OF CONTROL ACCIDENT, THEN IT DID IT'S INTENDED JOB.

Andy
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
IF THAT ARTICLE SAVES BUT ONE LIFE OR INJURY, OR LOSS OF CONTROL ACCIDENT, THEN IT DID IT'S INTENDED JOB.

Andy

Applause...
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:03 PM   #31
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I try to see what kind of hitches people use when towing travel trailers, horse trailers, boat trailers and small trailers. Barb has to be driving for me to notice and I have to remember to look. It seems that only people with travel trailers are using WD hitches even though horse trailers can be long and very heavy. Boat and snowmobile and trailers full of bricks can be pretty heavy too. Some are swaying down the road, most are not. Some may have a sway control device on the far side of the tongue I can't see; sometimes, but not often, I do see one on the side I can see. I don't pay that much attention to travel trailers, but do look when they are swaying, but I don't see many swaying.

Since this is completely anecdotal, it only shows me that some people don't use any kind of WD hitch or sway control, and they mostly have no problem when I see them, and fewer do have sway problems (whether they know it or not, and whether their knuckles are white, I don't know). In an emergency, perhaps a WD hitch or sway control would make a difference; I can't say.

Some people do posts stating a particular brand of WD hitch was awful and once they got another brand, life was good. I don't know if the first hitch was set up wrong and the second was set up right and that is the difference, not the hitch. I do note that WD hitches seem to inspire almost the emotional attachment that trucks and football teams do. I can understand truck-love, but loving a hitch may indicate a deeper emotional problem. It may be time for an intervention.

I have a WD hitch because I read about them on the Forum. Maybe the dealer would have recommended it, if only because it's profit thing. Not everyone knows about Forums, not everyone has a computer, or knows how to find things on the internet. If a novice buys from a private party, a WD hitch may or may not be part of the deal. Some spend as much money as they can for the trailer and can spend no more on a hitch.

So, I have to agree with bryanl on one point—there's a lot of subjective stuff about hitches. But it appears to me that the various WD hitches do have methods to control sway that look credible to me. The part about distributing weight to the TV frame is a bit more arcane, but I think I get it. I didn't buy it because of FUD, an acronym I'm not all that attached to as it reminds me of Elmer Fudd.

Thus, I'm glad I bought it and the trailer follows me without problems, even when the arrangement is not perfect and needs some adjustments.

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Old 05-31-2009, 01:17 PM   #32
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I'm pretty sure we aren't ever going to agree on a standard for safe towing. On one side we have years of experience, on the other we have analytical statistics and physics.

The experience side always states that they can predict the future based on looking at what happened in the past. The analytical side believes they can fully understand the issue with free-body diagrams and rigorous application of physics.

Both arguments have weaknesses. On the one hand, experience can only offer a thesis about cause and effect, and shouldn't extrapolate beyond the the limits of what has gone before. The analytical approach, on the other hand, usually depends on a set of simplifying assumptions and limiting conditions.

I like to read both sides, but I find there is a wide gap between the two. What really grates is when the two sides intrude into each others turf to try to win converts. When the "experience" side starts to claim physics as their proof, they should be willing to write out the formulas and do the math. When the "analytical side" tries to expand into the real world, they usually fall short because they can't account for all the unknowns.

You need to decide which type of data fits your own personality. If you always believe the "voice of experience" then go with that group. If you are the scientific or analytical type, you should pitch your tent with that group. Lets just agree that each group has strength and weaknesses, and neither has all the answers. Just pick a group and go with them. Stop trying to find the middle ground, it doesn't exist on this forum.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:50 PM   #33
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The only problem I have with the experience side is that experience can breed complacency. If I've heard it once I've heard it 1000 times. It usually goes something like, "I've towed for X years and never had a problem. Then, all of a sudden..."

If one is going to base decisions on experience alone then one should train for all the possibilities that may arise in the "experience." This is what firefighters, police, military and a number of other people do in order to have the necessary tools to react when the experience is going to call on their experience.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:56 PM   #34
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Mark, I agree there are the types you describe, but I think there more types: experienced analysts, analytical experienced people, and also people who have no idea what they're talking about, just for a few types. Of course the experienced people may need analysis of a different kind, and the analytical people may be nothing more than anal. Middle ground isn't about averaging reports, or trying to blend it all. It may be right, or not.

People can post a formula, but I won't understand it, but if a bunch of people who did understand agreed with it, I might believe the results. Experience can be useful, but there are experienced people who have been deluding themselves all their lives, so, again, I try to be careful in accepting those conclusions too. I just try to understand as best I can the arguments of all sides and make my own decisions. I guess that's what fits my personality.

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Old 05-31-2009, 02:45 PM   #35
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Gene,

I think you're right, there is a group of people who take something from both sides and come up with a good synthesis.

There are also those who try to make an argument based on the SAVE* principle (as opposed to the FUD principle).

*Safety, Ad Verecundiam, - A sense of security, based on false authority.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:56 PM   #36
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I know if you buy a new ATV or other similar equipment, the dealer strongly encourages you to take a safety course. When I bought my ATV, I got a $150 discount and free helmet for taking the course. Maybe something like that could be done with travel trailers.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:51 PM   #37
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Or maybe you should have to take a safety course to get an endorsement on your license to allow you to drive an RV. People need special training to get CDLs or to drive buses, how come any joe who can lay out the cash can drive off the lot pulling a 40+ft rig?

The people selling the RVs seem to have differing opinions about what can tow their rigs. See AS claim that the 20ft flying cloud can be towed by smaller more gas efficient vehicles - I have no idea what they're thinking there. What smaller more gas efficient vehicles can tow a 5000# trailer? Likewise car salesman have no idea what their vehicles can tow, so they are likely as not to steer the buyer wrong too. And then the towing capacities seem to be influenced by everything BUT how much it can actually tow, and even vary for the same vehicle in different contries. No wonder people are confused about what sort of hitch to use!
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:50 PM   #38
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Here's what happens when you don't use proper WD and anti-sway control. This accident occured at Sunset Pass on the I-17 north of Phoenix.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:21 PM   #39
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I use a heavy duty truck to tow with. I just feel better about it and it suits the needs of my family. The truck is a 4 door crew cab with a heavy diesel engine up front. The rear wheels are duals. I have towed my 30 S/O without weight distribution and it was the most uncomfortable ride you could imagine. The trailer bounced the front end around like it was nothing. You dont want to be sipping hot chocolate while this is going on.. (ask my kid how she knows that). With the correct load bars and everything level and proper the ride is smooth and pleasurable. I would imagine each time the front end is bouncing there is a considerable amount of weight coming on and off those front wheels. I know that if I was in a curve situation (even on a big truck like this) the traction to those front wheels would be compromised at times. The rest of the story just comes down to the speeds you are traveling at and the Karma going on in your life. I vote for the weight distribution so I dont have to clean the hot chocolate off the carpet again.

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Old 05-31-2009, 06:29 PM   #40
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mike, interesting photos. It looks like the TV almost did a 180 since the roof in bashed a bit on the driver's side. In the photos the TV is back on its wheels and the trailer is on its side.

Do you know for a fact there was not a WD hitch or it was not properly adjusted?

A question for anyone experienced, analytical or both: because the connection between TV and trailer seems to me to be stronger (if that's the right word) with a WD hitch, if the trailer flips, is it more likely to take the TV over with it? Conversely, without a WD hitch, is it more likely the trailer would pop off the ball and the TV would stay on its wheels?

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Old 05-31-2009, 06:37 PM   #41
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If you want to claim there are negative trade offs to using WD, then tell us what they are. Ive never come across a single one.
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Have you seen the threads about people who figured a little was good so more was better and they used spring bars rated for well beyond their needs? I have a friend who moved from a 5th wheel to an Airstream and ditched the load leveling hitch because it caused a rough ride and had the trailer cushions on the floor.
Are you really trying to use an example of misuse of (ie over rigging) as a trade off of using WD? Would you also claim that people on prescription medicine who alter their dosages provide a good argument against prescription medication?
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:24 AM   #42
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Who has ever investigated a large number of "loss of control accidents" that would be credit worthy, in your opinion.
Folks who are properly trained and can support their measures and conclusions in court. Note that this isn't insurance investigators as their goals differ and they have a definite bias. - this is an interesting topic (for me) but not on topic for this thread.

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On one side we have years of experience, on the other we have analytical statistics and physics.
and sometimes you get both! One thing with analysis and fundamental principle is that it is possible to discuss them in a profitable way - it is worthy of note that, instead of working with this basis there is the approach shown here which seems to impugn such rigor. I also do not think there is any need or purpose trying to imagine the experience or training of someone who offers ideas you don't like.

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Are you really trying to use an example of misuse of (ie over rigging) as a trade off of using WD?
no, this is a straw man. - I was asked for examples and I provided several, improper rigging being one. I tried to provide examples within easy access of anyone here who is interested.

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"FUD" would be an interesting addition to data. Who could possible come up with those parameters, and prove their validity, every time someone questions them?
People who talk about (shout) safe as an absolute and brag about saving lives with absolutely no evidence to support their assertions are working on fear. When you assert that others should do as you insist or they are not safe, you are promulgating uncertainty and doubt. FUD mongering is a common sales technique and is why many RVers buy equipment that is inappropriate or unnecessary for their rig.

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I believe I will expand my web site, to include an article about hitching, that has already been written.
This will be good. Can Am Andy's columns in the Canadian RV magazine are rather hard to come by - they also tend to get into practical experience, track testing, and analysis so some folks here might have a problem with them (and, as a matter of fact, were rather vehement in saying so on a thread a while back). It is hard to find good solid information on RV rigging and the factors involved that can actually help people find what will solve their handling problems or understand what is happening. I can hope that articles with a solid basis and a good understanding will help. That is the sort of articles I have had on my website for quite a while now.

From looking at the responses to my comments I think some folks need to step back and take a deep breath and think about their feelings and perceptions a bit.
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