Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-08-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Classic
Milton , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 256
Fishtailing when braking

Our rig is a 2006 Classic (30 ft.) with Dexter axels, Dexter hydraulic disc brakes, Dexter hydraulic actuator, and a Hensley hitch. The unit has had all of the Airstream recalls performed. We tow with a 2010 Ford 250 that has Ford's ITBC and has the gain set at 7.5.

Recently the trailer fishtailed quite severely on a down hill slope when the brakes were applied at around 35 mph. This is the first time that I have experienced fish tailing with this rig in four and a half years of use.

My first thought was that I had experienced a braking problem. We pulled all four wheels and examined all four calipers without finding anything that might cause the fishtailing. All of the pads appear normal. None of the rotors show any signs of overheating or scouring. When the actuator is activated, each tire was checked individually and each stopped as one would expect. When the actuator was stopped, each tire would spin freely.

I am now wondering if there is a hitch problem, or some sort of interaction between the hitch and the brake controller gain setting. I would appreciate hearing from anyone that has experienced similar behavior as to the cause of their problem.

If you do not wish to post directly to this thread, then please send me a private message.

Many thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
F. A. Meloy
2006 30' Classic
Dexter hydraulic disc brake system
Centramatics wheel balancing & Dill TPMS
Hensley hitch & Maxim skylights
Voyager Camera System WVOS713
2010 FORD F-250, ITBC, 6.8 liter V-10 gas, with VIAIR on-board air system
nickmeloy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 11:34 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
overlander63's Avatar

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,020
Are the strut bars on the Hensley tight? Was it raining when this happened? I've seen a couple (as in two or three) that did this, but it was from poor road conditions, loose strut bars, or the driver ran off the road and overcorrected.
__________________

__________________
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,466
Images: 5
In addition to the above, are you sure you have the brake controller set high enough. They should pull back on the TV when braking...not pushing the TV. Was it a true fishtailing, or the "Hensley Bump"?

I have always "heard" that Ford's ITBC was compatible with the electric over hydraulic discs, but I wonder. Do you have an experienced friend with controllers? Do you have access to a quality controller to experiment with?
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,497
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmeloy View Post
Our rig is a 2006 Classic (30 ft.) with Dexter axels, Dexter hydraulic disc brakes, Dexter hydraulic actuator, and a Hensley hitch. The unit has had all of the Airstream recalls performed. We tow with a 2010 Ford 250 that has Ford's ITBC and has the gain set at 7.5.

Recently the trailer fishtailed quite severely on a down hill slope when the brakes were applied at around 35 mph. This is the first time that I have experienced fish tailing with this rig in four and a half years of use.

My first thought was that I had experienced a braking problem. We pulled all four wheels and examined all four calipers without finding anything that might cause the fishtailing. All of the pads appear normal. None of the rotors show any signs of overheating or scouring. When the actuator is activated, each tire was checked individually and each stopped as one would expect. When the actuator was stopped, each tire would spin freely.

I am now wondering if there is a hitch problem, or some sort of interaction between the hitch and the brake controller gain setting. I would appreciate hearing from anyone that has experienced similar behavior as to the cause of their problem.

If you do not wish to post directly to this thread, then please send me a private message.

Many thanks in advance.

You simply need more trailer braking.

Andy
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 12:03 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
daveswenson's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Issaquah , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 773
True fishtailing would indicate not enough trailer braking. Like Rich said I would work on making sure the controller was set high enough.
__________________
Dave

2014 Ram 2500 CTD
Pro Pride
Centramatics
daveswenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
True fishtailing would indicate not enough trailer braking. Like Rich said I would work on making sure the controller was set high enough.
It is also possible that the controller is set too high. If the trailer brakes lock up, much of the directional control of the trailer will be lost and the trailer can move sideways almost as easily as it can move straight ahead.

Tim
Tim A. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 12:29 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
SteveSueMac's Avatar

 
2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7,392
Shot in the dark, but you checked trailer wheels/calipers - how about the truck? Also, going downhill, did you downshift at all to use your engine for braking a bit?
SteveSueMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 01:00 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
overlander63's Avatar

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,020
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Shot in the dark, but you checked trailer wheels/calipers - how about the truck? Also, going downhill, did you downshift at all to use your engine for braking a bit?
With Ford's tow/haul, the transmission downshifts automatically when the brakes are applied.
__________________
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Classic
Milton , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 256
Strut Bars and Weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Are the strut bars on the Hensley tight? Was it raining when this happened? I've seen a couple (as in two or three) that did this, but it was from poor road conditions, loose strut bars, or the driver ran off the road and overcorrected.
The strut bars are tight, and rain was not an issue.
__________________
F. A. Meloy
2006 30' Classic
Dexter hydraulic disc brake system
Centramatics wheel balancing & Dill TPMS
Hensley hitch & Maxim skylights
Voyager Camera System WVOS713
2010 FORD F-250, ITBC, 6.8 liter V-10 gas, with VIAIR on-board air system
nickmeloy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Classic
Milton , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
In addition to the above, are you sure you have the brake controller set high enough. They should pull back on the TV when braking...not pushing the TV. Was it a true fishtailing, or the "Hensley Bump"?

I have always "heard" that Ford's ITBC was compatible with the electric over hydraulic discs, but I wonder. Do you have an experienced friend with controllers? Do you have access to a quality controller to experiment with?
It was a severe fishtail. The gain setting of 7.5 has been in use for about 4.5 years with no prior problems.

Ford states that the ITBC is compatible with E/H systems. Dexter states that their actuator is compatible with the Ford ITBC. My experience over the past 4.5 years has supported the above statements and has been trouble free.

We are on the road and about 3,000 miles from home.
__________________
F. A. Meloy
2006 30' Classic
Dexter hydraulic disc brake system
Centramatics wheel balancing & Dill TPMS
Hensley hitch & Maxim skylights
Voyager Camera System WVOS713
2010 FORD F-250, ITBC, 6.8 liter V-10 gas, with VIAIR on-board air system
nickmeloy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 02:08 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Classic
Milton , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 256
Truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Shot in the dark, but you checked trailer wheels/calipers - how about the truck? Also, going downhill, did you downshift at all to use your engine for braking a bit?
I made a visual inspection on the truck for broken welds around the draw bar attachment area and did not spot anything.

When the fishtailing occurred, I had applied the brakes in preparation for (and prior to actually) downshifting. Ford has done an excellent design job of integrating the CPU's control of the throttle, cruise control, and gear selection to control speed in both uphill and down hill directions. Except on extreme grades, the truck has controlled truck speed without the first sign of fishtailing.
__________________
F. A. Meloy
2006 30' Classic
Dexter hydraulic disc brake system
Centramatics wheel balancing & Dill TPMS
Hensley hitch & Maxim skylights
Voyager Camera System WVOS713
2010 FORD F-250, ITBC, 6.8 liter V-10 gas, with VIAIR on-board air system
nickmeloy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 02:11 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,128
If one or more wheels were locking up or if some brakes are not functioning it could cause the fish tail problem. You sure you don't have some brakes locking? Usually disk brakes are as good as it gets but even they have problem. Stuck calipers, frozen calipers, contamination from oil or brake fluid can cause lockup problems. If you have been locking the tires, you will have flat spots on your tires. Also you will get lockup quicker when it is wet so you may need to back off on the gain some in the rain. Also I have seen disk brakes stop working when they get wet. If this process is no even on all 4 wheels, that could be an issue as well.

Does this problem get better when you manually actuate the brakes which usually reduces sway?

Perry
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 02:34 PM   #13
Lost in America
 
mojo's Avatar
 
2015 27' FB International
2006 25' Safari FB SE
2004 19' International CCD
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,785
FWIW, I usually give the Ford brake controller a click up when going down steep mountain grades. But i know there aren't too many hills like that in Florida.
__________________
This is the strangest life I've ever known - J. Morrison

2015 Airstream International Serenity 27FB
2017
Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel

mojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 02:47 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,466
Images: 5
Did the AS lock up?
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 03:40 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
RangerJay's Avatar
 
2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 819
Images: 44
I'd agree that this is likely a brake problem - but regardless - it might be helpful to also get an opinion from Hensley by giving them a call - I'm sure they will ask you a couple of specifics about your setup - which should lead you to being able to eliminate the hitch as a possible source of the issue.

Jay
__________________
Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
RangerJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,119
Could be air or water in the break lines.
When was the last time the break fluid was replaced?
Wazbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2013, 03:57 PM   #17
4 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Classic
Milton , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 256
Current Status

Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJay View Post
I'd agree that this is likely a brake problem - but regardless - it might be helpful to also get an opinion from Hensley by giving them a call - I'm sure they will ask you a couple of specifics about your setup - which should lead you to being able to eliminate the hitch as a possible source of the issue.

Jay
I believe that I will call Hensley tomorrow.

We went about 140 miles today, with some grades as steep as 8%, with no problem. The only change that I made was to increase the trailer brake controller gain setting from 7.5 to 8.0.

At this point, I am unsure of the cause of the problem. We will continue on and monitor the situation.

Many thanks for all of the suggestions from everyone.
__________________
F. A. Meloy
2006 30' Classic
Dexter hydraulic disc brake system
Centramatics wheel balancing & Dill TPMS
Hensley hitch & Maxim skylights
Voyager Camera System WVOS713
2010 FORD F-250, ITBC, 6.8 liter V-10 gas, with VIAIR on-board air system
nickmeloy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2013, 05:02 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,128
It could be as simple as one or more rotors got wet and caused uneven breaking. I used to have an old motorcycle with a front disk brake and it would stop working in the rain. I slid through a stop light on it when the front brake stopped working from the rotor being wet.

Perry
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #19
4 Rivet Member
 
Eric H's Avatar
 
1974 23' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
1947 25' Spartan , Manor
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 457
Images: 9
If your trailer starts to fishtail you should apply the breaks to the trailer manually and actually accelerate the TV gas if possible to straighten out the rig, just a nonintuitive action that makes sense when you think about it:-)
__________________

Eric H is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
DirecLink Brake controller... Mexray Brakes & Brake Controllers 123 01-03-2016 08:58 AM
Wheels for 1958 Traveler cuyeda 1958 Traveler 9 04-25-2013 07:36 AM
Do I need brakes? Modern South Brakes & Brake Controllers 84 04-04-2013 07:25 PM
Road side help when breaking down la nomade Classic Motorhomes 19 06-26-2012 04:37 PM
Guide to Better Trailer Braking... Mexray Brakes & Brake Controllers 12 01-23-2012 11:33 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 12:36 AM.


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