Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-11-2016, 09:08 AM   #61
Rivet Master
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,842
Images: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alluminati View Post
The Lexus GX470 is an excellent vehicle, and very capable of towing a 19’ AS. We were seriously considering getting a GX, and researched it extensively. It is one of the most pleasant driving vehicles in its class. Our main concern was that we would find a trailer exceeding its 6500 lb tow capacity, which ultimately came true.

It’s true that the Lexus LX470/570 is identical to the Toyota Land Cruiser excepting a couple bits of chrome. But contrary to popular belief, the GX470/460 is NOT the same vehicle as the Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner is a Tacoma with rear seats. The GX is a mini Land Cruiser (“Land Cruiser Prado”). They are mostly the same size, but are not the same vehicle. The ride is different, handling is different, the interior is different, seating is different especially the layout of the 3rd row (if you can find a 4Runner with a 3rd row). The GX has always had a V8, while the Toyota only offered it as an option for about 5 years. But if you can find a properly equipped 4Runner, it has a towing capacity of 7300 lbs, which is 800 lbs more than the GX ever offered. But it was so hard to find a 4Runner with V8, 3rd row, and towing package, that we gave up and moved to a Sequoia.

And to quote the immortal words of Desi Arnaz, “TRAILER BRAKES FIRST!!! TRAILER BRAKES FIRST!!!”
While the 4Runner started out many years ago as the Toyota pickup (wasn't a Tacoma yet) with seats in the bed and a fiberglass top, it is completely different from the Tacoma. The 4Runner and the GX470 share the same frame and are assembled on the same line in Japan. Tacomas are made in Texas and Baja California. The Tacoma has never had a V8 but does have a longer wheel base. Not all 4Runners had the 3rd row option, the SE model doesn't, but came standard with the X-REAS suspension, an option on the LTD (not sure if it was available on the SR5). The 3rd row was offered as being for children, there wasn't enough height for adults. The GX470 offered a slightly higher roof line and a swing out rear door. The V8 was offered from 2003 to mid 2007. In 2004 the V8 was the largest offered in the Toyota line, developing more HP and torque than any of the others, even of the 4.7L size. The V8 was cast iron with the full time 4WD sealed (no dipstick) transmission while the V6 was aluminum with the old style 4WD transmission.

The suspension is quite good, not 'squishy' as someone here put it, but not harsh. I pull my 23' in all types of conditions and the Toyota performs very well. Towing capacity for the V8, full time 4WD is 7,000, 2WD is 7,300.

Since mid 2007 the 4Runner has been gutted, IMO. Current capacity is only 4,700 lbs. and only a V6. The best year was 2004 with the V8 and the 23 gallon gas tank. Subsequent years had a smaller tank. I get offers for mine 2-3 times a year . If I was looking for a Toyota SUV today, I agree go with the Sequoia.

In addition to the TV wheel base, the wheel base of the trailer is equally important. The closer the wheels are to the TV, the more possibility of sway.
__________________

__________________
-Rich

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE
Most of us don't know exactly what we want, but we're pretty sure we don't have it. -Alfred E. Neuman
richw46 is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 12:39 PM   #62
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Washington , Washington, D.C.
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 292
So, is the takeaway from this and another thread I recall that fore-and-aft weight distribution in a single axle trailer far more critical than in a tandem or triple axle trailer?
That would seem to be the case.
Sure; pulling your 19-foot Bambi with an Abrams using a pivot projection point hitch will compensate for a multitude of sins. But being aware of the particular needs of your trailer would seem like a more practical idea. I have no experience pulling a single axle trailer, but that seems the obvious question to me. With my FC 27, it seems like I can be pretty indifferent to the fill state of my tanks or interior loading with respect to their effect on towing behavior. Maybe not the case with a short, single axle trailer.
That said, I probably would not have a custom-made rear bumper carrier for my Honda generator, like I saw on someone's box trailer in Utah. That might be pushing my luck in multiple respects. 😎
__________________

DC Bruce is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 03:52 PM   #63
4 Rivet Member
 
2014 27' Flying Cloud
Wenatchee , Washington
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
... Today's vehicles are much more prone to rollovers and trucks and SUVs are the worst...

I've got to disagree. Today's motor vehicles are safer than ever. Many have some form of stability control, ABS, front and side airbags, crush zones, back-up cameras, etc.

Thanks to this technology many people survive crashes than in the old days would have been fatal, or at the very least require lengthy rehabilitation.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 SLT CTD 4X4 pickup
2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 27FB
WBCCI #7180
21Airstream is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 04:16 PM   #64
Rivet Master
 
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by 21Airstream View Post
I've got to disagree. Today's motor vehicles are safer than ever. Many have some form of stability control, ABS, front and side airbags, crush zones, back-up cameras, etc.

Thanks to this technology many people survive crashes than in the old days would have been fatal, or at the very least require lengthy rehabilitation.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
They may be safer but high CG vehicles are more prone to roll. It's physics, not my opinion. As I said, I've got pictures.

More trucks and SUVs are on the road than ever. They are safe but we still have almost 500 fatalities this year in Michigan alone. We're making up for the safety advances by driving faster and more aggressively.
Countryboy59 is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 05:44 PM   #65
Site Team
 
Rocinante's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6,188
Blog Entries: 49
I'd be willing to wager big money that nobody here has any idea how the hitch was attached or adjusted.

Today, on the way back home from a lovely long camping weekend we saw a perfectly adequate 1/2 truck pulling a small SOB trailer. Sadly, their hitch adjustment was hideous. Front of the truck was high, back was low, trailer was nose down, headlights would have been aimed somewhere at Saturn if they had been on. Oddly, we couldn't see this from behind. It was towing straight and true under today's ideal conditions (beautiful sunny afternoon, comfortable temps, very little wind). However as we passed, it became perfectly obvious that at any less than perfect moment the whole thing could go backside over teakettle...just one sudden correction in steering, one unfortunate gust of wind, one bee on the windshield, etc.

In a post-crash scene, we can't see any of that. All we see is bent metal and prayers for the safety of the driver and occupants. So, nobody here knows what actually caused the trailer to fishtail and the rig to roll. It could be any one of more than a dozen different things, very few of which can be deduced from post-crash pictures and arm-chair quarterbacking.

If pretending it can't happen to you because of a special hitch or some other preparations helps you feel better, that's fine.

Like most folks, we do our very best to reduce our risks by properly adjusting / weighing everything and running 16" wheels on our trailer. Then we say our prayers, hoping the wrong butterfly somewhere doesn't flap its wings in our direction and visit upon us a first-person experience of chaos theory.

Happy speculating!
__________________
Rocinante Piccolo is our new-to-us 2016 Interstate Lounge 3500 EXT
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")


Rocinante is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 05:53 PM   #66
Rivet Master
 
Boxite's Avatar
 
2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,720
I've owned a few pickup trucks.
My first was a 1951 3/4 ton Ford bought second hand from the US Dept of Agriculture. It drove like an in-line, 6 cylinder brick with solid-beam axles front and rear mounted on leaf springs front and rear.
Second truck was a 1960 Ford, bought from another US Air Force auction. It drove much better, but still very clumsy.
Third was a 1976 F-150, which was a huge improvement with their "Twin I-Beam" front axle. (Believing my self clever and thinking it'd be easier to maintain in a long-term ownership-period, I stoopidly ordered the truck with 3-speed on the column, 360 V8, power-brakes but manual steering, manual window cranks, and rubber flooring.) I dumped it on another fool asap when I realized manual trannys are NOT the best for towing and certainly not for parallel parking with manual steering!
Next was a 1978 F-150 Lariat (I was a smarter buyer after trying to park the '76 above), fully-loaded. THAT was a nice truck!
About the same time I inherited a 1976 GMC 1-ton specifically set-up for the farm/trailer-towing. It was no better than any of the others (and developed serious body-rust-out issues even tho' it was never on salted roads and left the dealer with that silly anti-rust treatment GM sold for an add-on, drilled-holes and sprayed-into body panels....what a sorry answer, which if anyone thought about it, was actually an admission by GM they had a serious corrosion issue, not to mention the gas-tank-explosions suffered in that series.)
Despite it's trailer-towing claims, it's suspension had serious roll and sway issues, and it's brakes were inadequate.
I pulled various trailers with each of those trucks. I absolutely disagree that the p/u trucks prior to 2000 were better trucks than those today, and the trucks built after 2010 are FAR AWAY BETTER than any of the earlier years due to the added protections of roll-over, side air bags, improved and better-matched anti-skid braking, and electronic stability controls, better visibility and better lighting. There is simply NO WAY those earlier trucks can compare with modern vehicles.
Newer vehicles are far away better.

But,.. can anyone demonstrate that "towing" certifications do anything other than indicate the weights the vehicle can accelerate and stop within certain time-and-distances at rated GCVW's? Do ANY of the mfr's claim their towing-rating tests have ANYTHING to do with the vehicle ability to deal with SWAYING trailers at the max rated? And do any of those so-called tests consider anything other than a calm day and dry concrete? I doubt it, but would love it if someone here was expert on such certifications to chime in.
Therefore, I don't believe it's comprehensive to say that just because your Asian-SUV is rated to tow up to a certain weight trailer... that it is automatically wise to do so. There are simply too many variables involved to allow a glance at TV ratings vs trailer gross weight and decide the combination is a safe one, especially when driver-competence and weather is thrown into the mix.
Boxite is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 07:30 PM   #67
Rivet Master
 
crispyboy's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,030
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
Trucks a decade or so ago were far more usable, comfortable, aerodynamic, etc. - & they looked better too IMHO. It's absolutely ridiculous market survey driven design/engineering, which hurts ride, mpg, comfort, usability & even visibility from the cab in 360 degrees!
///////
Totally agree about the height of the current trucks - way too high and unusable. My sister has a stock 4x4 2010 F150 and the bed is very deep, actually harder to reach things than my out of the bed of my Dodge 2500. I sold my 1986 Jeep J20 to a family member - loved the truck. When the tailgate was down the height is just above the knees - easy to load/unload stuff. The old truck had great prowess offload even being so low to the ground.
__________________
Steve, Christy, Anna and Phoebe (Border Collie)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley Arrow hitch with adjustable stinger
WBCCI # 3072
crispyboy is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 08:05 PM   #68
4 Rivet Member
 
Alluminati's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
St. Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 414
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
But,.. can anyone demonstrate that "towing" certifications do anything other than indicate the weights the vehicle can accelerate and stop within certain time-and-distances at rated GCVW's? Do ANY of the mfr's claim their towing-rating tests have ANYTHING to do with the vehicle ability to deal with SWAYING trailers at the max rated?
Excerpt from Toyota Tacoma owners' manual:

"Trailer Sway Control (vehicles with towing hitch and 7 pin connector)
Helps the driver to control trailer sway by selectively applying brake pressure for individual wheels and reducing engine torque when trailer sway is detected."

My Sequoia has TSC.

You can read more here:
http://www.ttguide.net/driving_assist_systems-74.html
http://www.tlacruiser.com/driving_as...ystems-56.html
__________________
The Morgans
1989 Avion 34VB
Alluminati is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 09:00 PM   #69
Rivet Master
 
Southwestern , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Bruce View Post
So, is the takeaway from this and another thread I recall that fore-and-aft weight distribution in a single axle trailer far more critical than in a tandem or triple axle trailer?
That would seem to be the case.
Far more critical? No. Multiple axles do provide some sway resistance (because the tandem axle wants to roll in a straight line). But a better statement would be that weight distribution is critical, period.

The center of mass needs to be forward of the trailer axle(s) for stability; the rule of thumb is that the tongue weight should be between 10 and 20% of the trailer weight.

It might be interesting to measure the tongue weight of your trailer with various tank fill levels. I would bet that you are within the 10-20% range regardless of the tank status. But the more forward the center of mass the better for sway control. I try to travel with my fresh water tank (forward) at least half full. Traveling with the waste tanks (aft) nearly empty is best, but not always possible, depending on the availability of a dump station.

Quote:
That said, I probably would not have a custom-made rear bumper carrier for my Honda generator, like I saw on someone's box trailer in Utah. That might be pushing my luck in multiple respects. 😎
You are absolutely right that hanging weight on the aft end of the trailer is pushing one's luck "in multiple respects".

First, adding weight to the aft end of the trailer moves the center of mass aft, which is bad, and

Second, adding weight at either end of the trailer increases its moment of inertia about the axle in the yaw axis, which adversely affects sway stability.
Nuvite-F is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 11:54 PM   #70
4 Rivet Member
 
2014 27' Flying Cloud
Wenatchee , Washington
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
They may be safer but high CG vehicles are more prone to roll. It's physics, not my opinion. As I said, I've got pictures.



More trucks and SUVs are on the road than ever. They are safe but we still have almost 500 fatalities this year in Michigan alone. We're making up for the safety advances by driving faster and more aggressively.

I can't disagree with you there.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 SLT CTD 4X4 pickup
2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 27FB
WBCCI #7180
21Airstream is offline  
Old 09-12-2016, 10:39 AM   #71
Tom T
 
Tom_T's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Orange , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 770
Thanx to Alluminati & Richw46 et al for the additional info on the Toy/Lex TVs.

I must admit that seeing this roll-over with a GX460 + 16' Bambi gave me pause regarding it as a TV for us - what with it's higher CG, compared to the Cayenne/Touareg/AudiQ7 trio's lower profile & CG. So this discussion is of interest to me relative to our prospective TV purchase.

Unfortunately the Sequoyah is too big for us, it being similar size to Big 3 full size SUVs, but a worthy TV.

I'm finding locally zero 4Runner V8's within my <60,000 miles limit, & didn't realize that the GX470/460 was a different platform. Our main concern with those 4R-V8 & GX470/460 V8 versions, were stiff/rough ride quality on long trips & higher CG relative to body sway, with both/all being truck body on frame chassis.

So we'll have to go drive a GX460/470 locally to see how it compares to the lower & unibody Cayenne.

In fact, finding local SoCal or CA low mile Toy/Lex TVs of any of the 3 SUV ranges - 4R/GX, LC/LX, Sequoyah - are very few & far between - oncy we rule out the far too many black ones & black interiors, which are way too hot here & the Southwest (same problem with black on/in Cayennes).

I don't see the advantages to the Land Cruiser/LX470/570 options though, with they being actually more expensive than the same year/miles 2008-14 Cayenne S V8s. While I want AWD/4WD for towing in weather & in certain other steep grade &/or loose surface situations - we're not going to be doing the heavy duty off-roading which some on here do.

Also, the same year/mile GX470/460 are similarly priced to the Cayenne S - whose ride, stability, braking & towing capability we like, so don't think that we're just being highfalutin going that way (as are similarly equipped/optioned with AWD/4WD V8 pick-ups & full size SUVs from almost any mfgr. in the used car market).

Plus there are more low mile & well cared for CayS's out there - but 3/4s in black though!

The F250s & RAM 2500s which we've been renting are killers for us on long trips, & even get the kidneys rolling on rough roads on short local hops - hitched or not! That was a major factor in our deciding to buy a TV, in addition to wanting to go out of state, & to do more trips (rental cost = ownership at 5-6 weekly rentals for us).

Cheers!
Tom
///////
__________________
Tom T
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner) + 1970 Eriba Puck
Tom_T is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 10:47 AM   #72
Camano Islander
 
2007 19' Bambi
1965 17' Caravel
Camano Island , WA
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 30
Two Vehicles later I could tow my Bambi '19

I bought a 2007 Bambi '19 from Ewald's Airstream of Wisconsin this spring. They watched me tow it out of the garage with my 2016 Toyota Highlander, the technician told me I would never need any additional towing safety measures for weight distribution or sway control. He put more air out in the back tires to try to get the back level as it was sagging.

We drove 250 miles back home, as it got dark a passing car motioned to us that we had no running lights. The 7 way plug, which he lubricated, had come out of the harness and was dragging on the ground.

We make it home and three weeks later I went to have a stabilizer tow unit installed but when I arrived at the installer's business the ENTIRE back bumper was pulled off the car and the Toyota factory installed Type 111 hitch was bent off the frame of the car. I found out that the tow weight was OK but the tongue weight was not OK. The Highlander has a 500 lb tongue weight and the Bambi has a 630 lb tongue weight. I could have been seriously injured or killed if that hitch had torn off the car driving 50 mph on the freeway.

I was scheduled to head out for Seattle the next day. There was no way I could leave. I took the Highlander back to Toyota, all the staff gathered to see the bent hitch, nobody had seen anything like it. The car had 1400 miles on it but I traded it in for a Toyota Tacoma Truck at a huge financial loss. They all told me, no problem, you won't need a stabilizer hitch. The truck has it built in. Another piece of false information, any big fast-driving semi would send the Bambi all over the road. As I traveled across the country every RV shop in the west was booked. I barely made it to Spokane Wa driving 50 mph. Airstream of Spokane's best tech in the whole world, Doug Fitzthum put a stabilizer hitch on it and I was finally safe. (They won a national Service Award in 2014).

Never tow with a vehicle that is does not have the correct tongue weight!
CamanoIsland is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 11:00 AM   #73
Sanzurii
 
Sanzurii's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Federal Way , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Images: 4
Airstream Roll-Over in Idaho Today

I tow my 1967 24ft Tradewind with a 2003 Lexus GX470 and a Equalizer hitch. The older Tradewinds are much lighter than the newer models having a dry weight of only 3,900 lbs and the Lexus does just fine. I've never had any issues with sway, but I'm quite careful to hold my speed down while towing. It's generally rock solid, but somewhat under-powered for steep climbs.

Personally, I would not recommend towing anything heavier than 5,000 lbs with this SUV. It's a very comfortable and dependable vehicle, but it has limitations. A diesel pick-up is sure to be on my horizon..........
Sanzurii is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 11:08 AM   #74
2 Rivet Member
 
1936RoadWarrior's Avatar
 
1936 20' Clipper
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
not an expert here, but maybe no sway bar ?? also, seems too small to pull at 25" AS
__________________
1936RoadWarrior
1936RoadWarrior is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 11:20 AM   #75
Rivet Master
 
Boxite's Avatar
 
2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alluminati View Post
Excerpt from Toyota Tacoma owners' manual:

"Trailer Sway Control (vehicles with towing hitch and 7 pin connector)
Helps the driver to control trailer sway by selectively applying brake pressure for individual wheels and reducing engine torque when trailer sway is detected."

...]
I wonder,...if Toyota 'reduces engine torque' ... If that means the throttle/engine-power is reduced, ...that would be contraindicated during a sway-event. A swaying trailer should be prevented from "pushing" the TV around (either by applying trailer brakes or accelerating the TV, or both.) ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
... I try to travel with my fresh water tank (forward) at least half full. ....
It may be a minor point, but tanks empty...or full...would be better than sloshing (half-full would exacerbate any sway.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
... Second, adding weight at either end of the trailer increases its moment of inertia about the axle in the yaw axis, which adversely affects sway stability. ....
Yes, ...once sway has developed. But first it would resist sway from developing.
Boxite is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 12:00 PM   #76
1 Rivet Member
 
2011 25' FB Flying Cloud
Falmouth , Maine
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
Replacement Value insurance

Question on insurance (I'm fairly new to ownership of our 2011 25' Flying Cloud). When I signed up for our policy through USAA, I didn't have much success with getting the full value insured. (Based on what I paid for the trailer).

Any suggestions?
DerrickB is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 12:05 PM   #77
3 Rivet Member
 
vanster's Avatar
 
1967 17' Caravel
Oakland , California
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 249
Images: 1
After reading this and all the time and money we have and still are investing in our 67 Caravel I realized that my old Montero was not up to the task. I just bought a VW Touareg with a V10 TDI and stability control. There is a youtube video of one towing a 747, so I think it will be suitable for my 2800# Caravel
vanster is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 12:14 PM   #78
Rivet Master
 
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamanoIsland View Post
I bought a 2007 Bambi '19 from Ewald's Airstream of Wisconsin this spring. They watched me tow it out of the garage with my 2016 Toyota Highlander, the technician told me I would never need any additional towing safety measures for weight distribution or sway control. He put more air out in the back tires to try to get the back level as it was sagging.

We drove 250 miles back home, as it got dark a passing car motioned to us that we had no running lights. The 7 way plug, which he lubricated, had come out of the harness and was dragging on the ground.

We make it home and three weeks later I went to have a stabilizer tow unit installed but when I arrived at the installer's business the ENTIRE back bumper was pulled off the car and the Toyota factory installed Type 111 hitch was bent off the frame of the car. I found out that the tow weight was OK but the tongue weight was not OK. The Highlander has a 500 lb tongue weight and the Bambi has a 630 lb tongue weight. I could have been seriously injured or killed if that hitch had torn off the car driving 50 mph on the freeway.

I was scheduled to head out for Seattle the next day. There was no way I could leave. I took the Highlander back to Toyota, all the staff gathered to see the bent hitch, nobody had seen anything like it. The car had 1400 miles on it but I traded it in for a Toyota Tacoma Truck at a huge financial loss. They all told me, no problem, you won't need a stabilizer hitch. The truck has it built in. Another piece of false information, any big fast-driving semi would send the Bambi all over the road. As I traveled across the country every RV shop in the west was booked. I barely made it to Spokane Wa driving 50 mph. Airstream of Spokane's best tech in the whole world, Doug Fitzthum put a stabilizer hitch on it and I was finally safe. (They won a national Service Award in 2014).

Never tow with a vehicle that is does not have the correct tongue weight!
Exceeding the tongue weight by 130lbs ripped the hitch off the car? No safety factor or was there a manufacturing defect?
__________________
2018 International Serenity 27' FB
Michelin 16” tires
Hensley Arrow hitch

Tow Vehicle: Ram Laramie 2500 crew cab, Cummins 6.7 Turbodiesel
Countryboy59 is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 01:01 PM   #79
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,430
Images: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
Who here is a forensic crash specialist? Anybody?
Yes, since you asked... I have been trained as a collision re-constructionist. I'm certified as a crime scene technician from Cal State Long Beach, and an FBI trained, CA Superior Court qualified fingerprint expert. I supervised a crime scene unit for about seven years in a NoCal Sheriff's Department. I retired from law enforcement about six years ago as a police executive.

There is, at least from my perspective, nothing to be learned from the photos shown nor to be inferred from the Sergeant's chat or any of the information provided in the news articles. They merely show the final resting place of the vehicle involved and its condition, and that the driver reported that the trailer began to sway.

I enjoy reading threads like this as it's interesting to read all the conjecture about the "facts" gleaned from the articles and photos. Folks, unless we're at the scene and conducting the investigation, we really don't have a clue and conjecture isn't very valuable. You need to know many, many things about an accident scene... not the least of which would be the co-efficient of drag of the roadway at the site of the onset of sway... lane condition and host of specific things about both the trailer and tow vehicle and their condition immediately before the crash. You need to interview the driver, passengers, and other witnesses and then do the necessary measurements at the scene to determine if all of the physical evidence and witness statements are all consistent. After you eliminate all of the inconsistencies in the testimony and physical evidence, THEN you can begin to look for the primary cause. The physical evidence, btw, is generally much more reliable (and in a prosecution effort, important) than witness statements.

Further, most cops, and many accident reconstructionists, unless they specialize in it, don't really have much experience in reconstructing trailer accidents; nor do they understand the dynamics or causes of "sway." They don't understand hitches, hitch weight issues, or GCVWR issues. Most of you here probably know a LOT more about that stuff than the average cop. Likely the report will list the primary cause of the accident as "speed unsafe for conditions" and "trailer sway" as a contributing factor and that'll be it. The facts of this case are that there's only one vehicle involved, minor injuries, and no compelling reason for an investigator or collision re-constructionist to spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out what happened in this accident.

I also had a '94 Airstream 34' two-door tri-axle that wiggled enough behind my Y2K Excursion that it scared the hell out of me. There were several issues; primarily having to do with draw bar length, tires, shocks, springs, and rear-axle steering, all on the Excursion. It took me almost a year and a half to figure out how to make the Excursion a safe tow vehicle for that 34' tri-axle with mods to each of those systems. There's an old thread here somewhere about the mods I did back in '03-'04.

I've also had a 2300lb 15' fiberglass RV trailer (a Trillium) jump off the hitch ball on the Excursion at 65 mph and sway enough on the safety chains that it was bouncing on one wheel at the peaks of the sine wave. It was jerking HARD on the rear end of the 7500 lb Excursion and was beginning to cause the rear tires to skid sideways on the Excursion before I could get it under control. Had I not gotten slowed down and brought the trailer's wild gyrations down, I'm sure it'd have rolled the Excursion.

All trailers sway at speed. Some are, by design, more likely to have the sway onset at lower speeds than others. The best you can do is to raise the speed of onset higher than what you normally drive.

Normal wiggles from passing trucks, btw, is NOT sway. Sway is when the trailer makes an increasingly larger swing from side to side gathering energy with each swing until it is able to break the traction of the tow vehicles' rear axle tires and throw the tow vehicle around with it. A wiggle event from passing trucks is uncomfortable and a result of bad aerodynamics. It may be indicative of any of the problems I'll list below, but it's NOT sway. A sway event, if you can control it, will leave you stopped at the side of the road, out of your vehicle, trembling with fear. If you can't control it, you roll. That's the universe of possibilities in a sway event.

Too much is made of heavy vs. light tow vehicles, and short vs. long wheelbase tow vehicles. Although given the choice I'd take a heavy, long wheelbase vehicle every time, short wheelbase tow vehicles when set up properly can tow just as safely and effectively as a long wheelbase heavy vehicle. The difference is that a heavier, longer wheelbase vehicle will give you more time to respond to problems than a light, short wheelbase one will. Neither is more likely to induce sway, however; and the short wheelbase vehicle will likely succumb to a sway event more quickly.

Sway can be induced by:

1) less than 15% tongue weight (either through poor design, improper hitch height, or improper loading)
2) soft sidewall tires (on either tow vehicle or trailer)
3) underinflated tires (on either tow vehicle or trailer)
4) tow vehicle rear-axle steering (insufficient ability to keep the body centered above the axle)
5) tow vehicle soft rear suspension
6) improper hitch setup
7) equipment failure (hitch parts)
8) tire failures at speed (on either tow vehicle or trailer)
9) poor trailer design (weight distribution)

Addressing each of those issues before starting out towing can dramatically reduce your risk of having to deal with a sway event. The last item, poor trailer design, is much harder to fix yourself. Bigfoot Industries screwed up on their 25CB17.5 trailers' design and had the axle too far forward (resulting in inadequate tongue weight) for the weight distribution of the trailer which contributed to a number of reported sway events. They issued a recall for the trailer and the fix was welding a couple of hundred pounds of plate steel to the tongue; not a good plan in my book.

Other than the outrageous expense and adding a hundred pounds of unnecessary tongue weight (maybe not a bad thing for the Bigfoot 25CB17.5?) there's nothing inherently wrong with the expensive sway-control hitches... but the sad truth is that they do nothing to fix the things that can induce sway at a lower speed; they just mask the symptoms essentially by fooling the physics of the trailer into thinking it's a fifth wheel. You're much better off to understand what "sway" is, how it begins, and to eliminate the factors that induce early-onset sway rather than allow your safety to be in the hands of an expensive mechanical device that magically "guarantees anti-sway."

So... That's my take, both as a forensic collision re-constructionist, and as a trailer owner who had to track down all of the reasons my tow vehicle was performing poorly and a subsequent survivor of a trailer sway event.

You are each entitled and welcome to your own opinions, and I respect that some of you likely may not agree with my assessment. Feel free to challenge anything I've said, but please be prepared to back your opinion up with facts rather than "I think that..." or "I heard..." or "I believe."

Roger
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline  
Old 09-16-2016, 01:29 PM   #80
Rivet Master
 
SteveSueMac's Avatar

 
2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7,397
Roger - I THINK that was a great post, but I have no facts to back up that assessment. 😳😀
__________________

SteveSueMac is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Airstream roll over yukionna Our Community 17 09-21-2016 08:25 AM
Idaho Unit Rally in Mc'call, Idaho pappy19 WBCCI Rallies & Events 5 08-23-2011 03:51 PM
Today's today, You know what that means? codybear Off Topic Forum 20 11-08-2006 11:31 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.