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Old 06-28-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
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"nothing bad has happened yet"

It's amazing what you observe, once you're "in the know". I certainly don't claim to be the master of the tow...but I can certainly recognize these situations may be just a bit over the line of good judgement. I'm amazed this year at the combinations we've seen on the road, scary to watch them travel.

Photos taken on my way home today.

pic 1. A minivan towing what looked to me like a 25 foot dual axle SOB, with no sway or load distribution.

pic 2/3. Just down the street from me. Again, 25foot plus trailer, towed by an older GMC Jimmy.


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Old 06-28-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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Yikes! Let me know next time they are on the road, I'll duck and cover. That Jimmy is a disaster waiting to happen. The Astro at least looks like it is handling the tongue weight reasonably well, even though we know it ain't kosher.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:00 AM   #3
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I know just what you mean!

We're riding down the highway in the slow lane doing 55 with our trailer.

We get passed by a F-150 with a load of wood in the bed and a toyhauler! No WD hitch. The trailer ball was at most 3 inches off the ground and he's doing 70.

I said the same prayer I say when the insane bike riders go by.

"Lord protect them from themselves and don't let it go wrong around me. I don't want to see it."
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:02 AM   #4
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We saw a lot of similar situations on the highways this past week. Walking around the campground and looking at the various vehicles and what they were towing we were surprised at how many actually got there in one piece. I was totally blown away at how many did not have a weight distributing hitch or sway control of any kind - and mostly on later model vans and trucks that appeared to be hugely outclassed by their trailers. I'm estimating that 20% of the rigs we saw in our campground were in one way or another a hazard on the highway and I think I'm low on that percentage but being kind to some. We were taking particular note as one of our own group had an experience a while back where what he thought was a good hitch set up turned out to be incorrect and quite risky. Fortunately he realized it and corrected it, but once he mentioned it we took a walk around the campground and were amazed and disappointed at what we found.

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Old 06-29-2007, 02:11 AM   #5
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You'd think those setups would be self-correcting. That can't be a fun or relaxing drive! After a few trips white-knuckling it, they'd change their setup, unless they think travelling down the road with the front tires barely touching the ground is normal procedure...
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:58 AM   #6
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You'd think those setups would be self-correcting. That can't be a fun or relaxing drive! After a few trips white-knuckling it, they'd change their setup, unless they think travelling down the road with the front tires barely touching the ground is normal procedure...
I am inclined to believe that given some of the rigs I see...the worst IMHO so far was a Geo Tracker towing a 25' lightweight with no WD it was wandering down I-95 southbound at around 45 mph. The rig had NH plates on it...and we were in SC so it had come a long ways. Some people just have no clue and if they get stopped and cited for improper equipment they will get mad or get a lawyer and get off. It gets my ire up because they are not only endangering themselves but all the people on the roadway around them. I have taken to not using the interstates if there is a viable alternate route.

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Old 06-29-2007, 06:03 AM   #7
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It has been reported that over 90% of the combinations on the roads today are not connected optimally and 80% are marginal at best. These are disturbing numbers.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:40 AM   #8
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The older I get, the more I believe that Darwin and his theory of natural selection really may have validity.

I have watched this for several years now, and it's appalling how many rigs on the road are improperly leveled, overloaded, or otherwise unsafe. Frankly, that's one of the reasons I avoid the interstate system whenever possible.

Roger
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:20 AM   #9
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The worst (stupidest?) rig I have seen was an S-10 fitted with a goosneck receiver, towing a gooseneck equipment trailer, which was carrying a payloader. The whole suspension was bottomed out, the tires were bulging, and the frame of the truck was maybe an inch off the road. The engine was screaming, and the smell of burning frictyion material from either the clutch or brakes hung in the air several minutes after it went by.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:43 AM   #10
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just a quck update. The Jimmy has no sway control either.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradk
just a quck update. The Jimmy has no sway control either.
Please tell me you saw a brake controller in it...
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:30 AM   #12
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Terry had to get after my brother in law after he bought thier SOB coach, because Frank thought safety gear was "stupid and not necessary". When Terry got done with him all safety gear was purchased and is still being used. Frank will still baulk, but he has learned to listen to Terry.

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Old 06-29-2007, 02:26 PM   #13
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I haven't seen too many poorly towed campers (well...the end results anyway), but I have seen several pieces of heavy equipment such as bull dozers, front end loaders, tractors, etc... meet an early demise. How hard can it be? You go, you turn, and most important, you stop. If you can't do all three safely then don't drive.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:25 PM   #14
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Although I do not agree with the Jimmy and Van not using appropriate safety towing gear for this size of trailer, perhaps I will be labled a hypocrite.

My trailer does not weigh enough for a Reese or EQlizer towing system. Weighing between 1800-2000 lbs, there isn't enough tongue weight for sway arms to work for me (So I have been told). I will say that I tow with a V6 Trailblazer, Prodigy brake controller, new coupler with brakeaway and chains, but no weight distribution system. I have driven in 50 MPY front and cross winds as well and passed and been passed by semis. I have had no swaying to this point, and my trailer and tow vehicle look to be pretty straight when hooked up.
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