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Old 11-09-2010, 12:37 PM   #61
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loss of control

Another loss of control roll over.

This time, the cause was "panic".

Andy
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:59 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by finalcutjoe View Post
I would agree, there wasn't a single factor that contributed to this failure- but more likely, a combination of several all happening at exactly the same time... a perfect storm

Doing all the things we debate, here on the forums, simply reduces (some more than others) the percentages of this 'perfect storm' happening.
Joe,

I didn't know that you had this accident, I'm certainly glad to hear that you and family are all OK.

Your pictures are certainly a reminder to all to be as dilligent as possible with our equipment selection, rigging, awareness, and all conditions that make for a great AS day or a near miss.

Gary
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:13 PM   #63
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Thanks Gary,
Some bad bumps and bruises, is all.
This occurred May 2007
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #64
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Hi, looking at these pictures again, I noticed what looks to be no rearward tilt of the ball. Is this an illusion or maybe it got knocked forward on the top?
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:54 PM   #65
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Hensley Oh!

I met a nice woman named Karen recently - she and her husband had just gotten their "new to them" Airstream, to replace one that had rolled with a Hensley!

I only have this story second hand, so take that into consideration. She said that when they'd gotten their Ha-Ha they were told it required no maintenance beyond lubrication. Some small part - a washer or something like it - had worn out causing the hitch to drop on one side, and as Joe observed, one thing led to another - a perfect storm.

She also told me that as a result of their accident and perhaps a few others, Hensley was now recommending periodically taking the hitch apart and inspecting it for wear on the components. Supposedly they even have a rebuild kit.

It makes sense. All mechanical points of contact have some friction and experience some wear. Plus weather can have a nasty effect too.

Moral? Everything wears out sooner or later. Vigilance is better than crossed fingers and trust.

Happy trails, and Be Safe Out There.

Paula
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:59 AM   #66
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Elzavb,

Welcome to the forums! As you can see, regrettably, some topics on this forum inspire the worst of well-intending folk.

I have no engineering degree, have never employed a “super-hitch”, and do not claim to have any special trailer towing secrets.

I do believe that something is not optimal about your setup. Any trailer that sways enough to cause one to apply braking while traveling straight on a normal highway needs some attention. I would start with the trailer tires and axels. Make sure the tires are inflated to a safe pressure and have no bulges. The axles used on our trailers sag over time, and may change in alignment. After that, the trailer will tow best when nearly level going down the road. You are correct by having most of the added weight of your gear in front of the axels. In short, any anti-sway device is meant to help keep you in control when unforeseeable road/traffic hazards pop up. But, the trailer has to travel down the road correctly to start with.

Again, welcome to the forums. Lot of folks with lots of knowledge here. Just use what suits you.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:02 AM   #67
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Wow!!!! These pix and this discussion really intimidate and frighten me! We have a fiver and are thinking of switching to an AS. We tow our fiver with a 3500 dually Ram, and an air hitch; we have never had any instability issues-- only WEIGHT issues....the thing weighs 15K!
I have towed a horse trailer before and in the past have avoided the "TT" RV because of a negative issues with "horror stories" and personal experiences of towing. But these pix are amazing. Very happy that all survived. We drive on many bumpy roads to see our kids in Calif and the heavy mass of the fiver keeps it from jumping all over the road-as well as the hitch placement of course.
The AS mass is considerably less and therefore more vulnerable to being thrown "off line" by road conditions. What then are the conclusions regarding this terrible accident? Speed? Road? Hitch? Weight placement in the AS--towing balance? Tires? Thanks to all for your input.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:06 AM   #68
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Don't be put off by what you see here. Many airstreams have been towed many miles with no more issues than any other trailer.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:50 PM   #69
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Travel-trailering is what it is.

The smaller, lighter units have much larger margins for error.

Our big rigs, on the other hand, require special and careful attention.

I will say, I have absolutely no qualms about RV’ing after the totaled '05 Classic incident. Of course, I’m now armed with a Pivot Point Projection hitch, TPMS, regular CAT weighs, Sherline tongue scale, rear trailer camera, balanced running gear, a healthy respect for the 65mph speed rating on our ST tires, and 12GA Mossberg.. er, actually the Mossberg is a different type of insurance...
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:01 PM   #70
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What Finalcut Joe said. Ditto.

Being AWARE of what you should do, then actually doing it are the two most important things that will keep you safe.

I often have trouble sleeping the night before I start on a trip, so I tend to get tired early on a long haul. I make it a habit to pull over and take a brief nap at about 3 hours into the trip. That, followed by a cuppa coffee really helps me tow at full alertness. I've come to the dreadful realization that I'm also not as young as I think, so I don't try to complete 500+ miles in a day unless I break it into three sessions with two long naps, or have someone else who is experienced with me. My sister does have a fast learning curve, she wants me to do congested areas, but will cheerfully spell me for an hour or two in "country" driving.

Taking it easy and sharing the driving can really help. My personal rant is about those wives who sit in the passenger seat and never tow because it intimidates them. D'oh. Imagine having to learn when your husband clutches his chest and says "honey it may just be indigestion but..."


LEARN DAMMIT!
  • but I've never driven a big truck. Well even your husband had a first time experience at that. Get behind the wheel and drive it. Practice in an empty parking lot without a trailer. Drive it in the country. If you do a new thing long enough you'll get good at it. Once you've mastered the truck start with the trailer. Baby steps, but just do it.
  • My husband is a back-seat driver and keeps yelling. Got Duct Tape? Duct tape his hands together and put another piece over his mouth.
  • I'm scared. Of course you are. Have kids? You weren't scared when you went into labor the first time? Scared is an excuse not a reason.
  • He won't let me. (Seven or eight sarcastic remarks have been deleted.) Convince him. Or you'll have to choose between being a Rivette when he's gone, or marrying a better model after that heart attack 100 miles from the nearest town with a hospital takes him out. There are plenty of members right here who've had to decide between selling the Airstream and letting the other partner take over the driving because of health issues. In the END most choose to have "the little woman" learn to tow. Do it now, when it's not a painful choice.
As a fulltimer who spends about 30 weeks in one condo campground every year where most of the members are over 50... I volunteer to help 4 or 5 women every year learn to tow. I've now also towed 5 RV's home where they'll be put on sale because camping days are over. In 4 of the 5 cases they could have kept on camping if the wife had taken over the driving. And I'm not talking about 85 year olds. All but one were under 65. The brutal fact is that women generally outlive men by 7 years and in most marriages the husband is 2 to 7 years older than his wife.

I truly believe that men seem to have some genetic aptitude for towing and backing - or else women have more active imaginations that lead them to imagine bad outcomes. But many women can pick it up just as fast as a man. Most of the rest can learn once we're motivated enough... and of course there are some men who have no business towing, ever.

Paula
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:08 AM   #71
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Paula, YOU GO GIRL!!!!!
We are among many who love the people and wisdom of this site, and are probably going to be AS owners soon. We currently have a 15K fiver, and my wife drives it like a champ! SHE is the one who backs the dually into the king pin while I monitor the height of the pin against the hitch. I trust her driving implicitly! We are literally CO-pilots. Thanks for your note. Zigi
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:15 AM   #72
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Barb tows too and I'm glad for it because I don't have the stamina I used to. Gradually she has become more used to towing through congested areas and in and out of tight spots. I don't know whether there's a genetic reason for some of this, but men do better with spacial relations which may account for me hardly ever seeing a woman back a trailer or the tow vehicle to hitch up. I know I'm better at driving through narrow spaces.

Some day I'll get her to back the trailer more than 4'. I point out the heart attack potential— how would she get my corpse home if she had to back out of the emergency room parking lot? So far that logic hasn't worked. I have to admit that the first time she backs the trailer into a tight spot I will probably need lots of meds.

When I see some guy who looks like he's got about 5 minutes left and his wife who looks in much better condition, and then I see him get behind the wheel, that makes me nervous about being on the same road. I suppose I'll be there some day and it will be hard to give up the wheel entirely and pay extra for pull throughs all the time.

I think it's a good idea for co-drivers to discuss what to do when there's an emergency and quick response is needed. Every time I learn something about handling problems on the Forum, I tell Barb what I've learned. It's good to go over it when you're driving too.

Gene
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:00 AM   #73
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Thumbs up Working together

Susan and I split driving while towing ~50/50.

She has better night vision, so she usually drives when its dark. She is apt to want a afternoon nap, and there is no way I can sleep in a moving vehicle, so I usually drive in the afternoon. I am better (may actually mean more O-C) at interpreting the GPS and correlating it with the map, so she usually drives if we are trying to find someplace. After lots of experimenting, she always drives when we are backing up. My story is: if I do the backing, she gives lousy instructions and keeps disappearing from my view.

We have our fairly well organized camping duties. Some we share, some we divide. An example: she does the cooking and clean up afterward. In exchange she never has to get anywhere near anything associated with sewer hoses and connections.

Keep in mind that this system has evolved over 17 years of towing travel trailers together.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:46 AM   #74
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The one thing I will say, if an airstream trailer is set up properly, hopefully these situations don't occur often.
If you have seen airstream trailers being towed on an obsticle course ( promoted by airstream ), they seem to handle the road better than most trailers.
However, things do happen!!!
I'm glad every one is okay!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:08 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigidachs View Post
Wow!!!! These pix and this discussion really intimidate and frighten me! We have a fiver and are thinking of switching to an AS. We tow our fiver with a 3500 dually Ram, and an air hitch; we have never had any instability issues-- only WEIGHT issues....the thing weighs 15K!

The AS mass is considerably less and therefore more vulnerable to being thrown "off line" by road conditions. What then are the conclusions regarding this terrible accident? Speed? Road? Hitch? Weight placement in the AS--towing balance? Tires? Thanks to all for your input.

Any A/S beats any 5'er for towing dynamics. Low center of gravity and independent suspension assure that. Just needs to be set up according to formula as is any conventional hitch trailer. Much of what you may read around here centers around that, sometimes heatedly. This site likes to go over details in depth.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #76
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Ya know I dont often weigh in on hitch issues. But I dont think it matters what hitch you have,the biggest factor in roll-over wrecks is THE IDIOT BEHIND THE WHEEL. YES even in our community we have IDIOTS. Like the one that passed me on I 75 Southbound yesterday. Because he had one of them there SUPER Hensely hitches, he could jump back and forth between lanes, Running way in access of the Speed limit,probably 70 ,75 mph.You should have seen the back end of that trailer swayin in the wind. Scared me and I ain't afraid of nuffin.
So dont blame the hitches. I hope that guy with the 34 fter and the White Ford got where they are goin safely.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:51 PM   #77
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Joe, was that you....?
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:45 AM   #78
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Ya know I dont often weigh in on hitch issues. But I dont think it matters what hitch you have,the biggest factor in roll-over wrecks is THE IDIOT BEHIND THE WHEEL. YES even in our community we have IDIOTS. Like the one that passed me on I 75 Southbound yesterday. Because he had one of them there SUPER Hensely hitches, he could jump back and forth between lanes, Running way in access of the Speed limit,probably 70 ,75 mph.You should have seen the back end of that trailer swayin in the wind. Scared me and I ain't afraid of nuffin.
So dont blame the hitches. I hope that guy with the 34 fter and the White Ford got where they are goin safely.
And people like that can go out and buy 400hp diesels...
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:49 AM   #79
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Joe, was that you....?
I'm sure mikethefixit was basing his strongly worded, rash comments on his own anecdotal data, without any inference to my traffic accident. His posts are always very informative and level-headed, and for me to construe his "IDIOT BEHIND THE WHEEL" comment as referring to me, would be presumptive and overly sensitive on my part- since if he were there on that lonely stretch of I-77, he would have observed the rig maintaining the right lane, at a steady 65mph.

Have a nice day.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:18 AM   #80
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Sorry, Joe (finalcutjoe), I was not thinking of you when I posted that. There's another Joe on here, although his screen name isn't Joe, nor does it contain that word.

And, he has alluded to vigorous driving habits more than once...
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