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Old 07-08-2019, 10:08 AM   #1
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Stand up and take your chance.

Greetings,


I remember the old days in Afghanistan, when I stood up and took my chance...



Well, here we go again.


"We" being the Airstream towing community.


I am on a fire department. Yesterday we responded to a rollover near the Bozeman pass. And lo, it was ANOTHER 25' Airstream, being towed by a small SUV. It appeared that during a quick lane change, the trailer started to sway and then took over from the TV, rolling 2 or 3 times.



And I say, "another" Airstream? Because its the third one in as many years. At the same place. All with small, 1/2 ton or less, overloaded TV's. All where the trailer took over the TV.



So, yes, you can blame the hitches, the grade, the weather, the driver, or even the dog,
but the bottom line is: three crashes, three Airstreams, and three small TV's.



So, if you have a too-small TV, you get to stand up and take your chance.


Myself, I have a 3/4 ton pickup. Enough chances...
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Ok.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
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Thanks for the report.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hshovic View Post
Greetings,


I remember the old days in Afghanistan, when I stood up and took my chance...



Well, here we go again.


"We" being the Airstream towing community.


I am on a fire department. Yesterday we responded to a rollover near the Bozeman pass. And lo, it was ANOTHER 25' Airstream, being towed by a small SUV. It appeared that during a quick lane change, the trailer started to sway and then took over from the TV, rolling 2 or 3 times.



And I say, "another" Airstream? Because its the third one in as many years. At the same place. All with small, 1/2 ton or less, overloaded TV's. All where the trailer took over the TV.



So, yes, you can blame the hitches, the grade, the weather, the driver, or even the dog,
but the bottom line is: three crashes, three Airstreams, and three small TV's.



So, if you have a too-small TV, you get to stand up and take your chance.


Myself, I have a 3/4 ton pickup. Enough chances...
Trying to convince many newbies to listen to reason in regard to towing capacity can be a challenge. Not wanting to invest in a truly capable TV, they tend to rely on the advice of Airstream and vehicle salespeople over experienced towers.

We tow both of our trailers with a RAM 2500, safely and with confidence.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:37 PM   #5
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We have been through that area looking for terrible conditions. It is a relatively easy tow. Curves are not tight, grades are reasonable and no gusty wind when we were there. However, the Interstate through Montana is known for high wind accidents and that hazard should not be discounted.

Since this one was initiated by a lane change that resulted in sway, the incidents seem to reinforce that above all else, attentive driving skills are critical to safe travel.

Thanks for noting the event. Pat
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:41 PM   #6
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Airstream, or not, there is a general non-educatedness regarding picking a tow vehicle. I've heard so many people say things like, "My trailer is 4500 lbs, and so I'm buying truck "x" because it's rated to tow 5000 lbs." They have no idea about tongue weight, axel ratings, payload, etc.. I used to speak up, but now I just stay quiet and roll my eyes, because nobody listened to me at all.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hshovic View Post
I am on a fire department. Yesterday we responded to a rollover near the Bozeman pass. And lo, it was ANOTHER 25' Airstream, being towed by a small SUV. It appeared that during a quick lane change, the trailer started to sway and then took over from the TV, rolling 2 or 3 times.


And I say, "another" Airstream? Because its the third one in as many years. At the same place. All with small, 1/2 ton or less, overloaded TV's. All where the trailer took over the TV.
How 'small' was the SUV? Conflating that vehicle with a 1/2T pickup might be questionable. And in this case (based on my view of this accident from hundreds of miles away) the key element was 'quick' lane change. Should be no such thing with any trailer/tow vehicle combo. Maybe it was a reactionary avoidance move? My questions would also include...was there a W/D hitch? Sway control? What was the speed?

Not sure if it's one of the three you've mentioned, but the case I recall reading about on here a year or so ago, they were newbies pulling on the ball with no W/D/ no Sway control, etc when they took their roll.

Not being argumentative, this might certainly be a case of way too much trailer for the tow vehicle. Would a half-ton pickup have also rolled? A 3/4? We don't really know.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PKI View Post
the incidents seem to reinforce that above all else, attentive driving skills are critical to safe travel.
You nailed it Pat.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for the update. Do you have any links to news reports about this?

FEI -- earlier threads:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ee-171608.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ml#post1645004

Peter
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:43 PM   #10
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:50 PM   #11
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Does anyone know the brand, model and vintage of the tow vehicle that did the dirty deed? Pat
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:57 PM   #12
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I also tow with a diesel Ram 2500, and a Hensley hitch, installed by the dealer whose name I know is coming because these threads always bring it up. But these accidents (one per year) may not be significant when you consider the thousands of RVs that ran that route and many others without incident.

I’ve always liked big pickups but give my setup to an inexperienced or skittish driver that jerks the wheel every time they think they were “cut off” and the result will be the same as the one you responded to.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:21 PM   #13
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Even with a superior sway prevention Hensley Manufacturing or ProPride hitch system, properly set up, inattentive driving, sharp maneuvers or really bad wind combined with excess speed can overwhelm a rig.

No argument there.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:08 PM   #14
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All I can add to this thread is that I tow with an F250.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hshovic View Post
. . .
. . . Yesterday we responded to a rollover near the Bozeman pass. And lo, it was ANOTHER 25' Airstream, being towed by a small SUV.
. . .
Is this the one?

https://www.abcfoxmontana.com/bozema...5c3c6334f.html
_________________________________________

"Sgt. McLaughlin from the Montana Highway Patrol tweeted that at 4 PM, a car tried to pass a truck and trailer while changing lanes. He writes that they were going about 75 mph when the car tried to squeeze between the truck and trailer and a semi."
_________________________________________

Looks like the TV and AS are upright. No word about a roll-over, but the roof does not look right IMO. Sounds like the passing car caused the accident, and that "SUV sway" was not the primary initiating cause IMO.



See here also: https://twitter.com/hashtag/patience...rc=twsrc%5Etfw

In the comments Sgt. McLaughlin says they were going downhill.

Is that a Toyota 4Runner?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:14 PM   #16
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Looks like a Nissan Pathfinder, the generation before the one on sale now. Pretty stable tow vehicle, but it sounds like an aggressive driver ran them off the road.
You can have the most stabile tow vehicle, but it's difficult to overcome others stupidity.
Cheers
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:00 PM   #17
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Towing an AS 25 with a pathfinder is what the po is talking about. Take your chances. I will tow with a little higher safety margin myself
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:41 PM   #18
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It's not just what you can pull, it's if you can stop or stand on it to move out of the way.

If you know you are borderline capacity, then for goodness sake slow down out there.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:44 PM   #19
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Towing an AS 25 with a pathfinder is what the po is talking about. Take your chances. I will tow with a little higher safety margin myself
And at a reported 75 mph! That's taking a chance!
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:18 PM   #20
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I would agree with calling the tow vehicle involved in yesterday's incident a small SUV is appropriate. The two prior incidents were with newish Tahoes or Yukons which are considered full size SUV's. Even if one feels they are too small to tow 28' Airstreams (which is what I believe were involved in the previous crashes), I still would not label them small SUV's. Sorry to see and hoping for the best with the occupants.
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