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Old 11-24-2004, 09:32 AM   #15
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I read all the comments here and I just thought I'd weigh in with a few of my own. I was towing my 2002 Arctic Fox 27-F with my 2002 GMC 2500HD (8.1 w/Allison) down a 6% grade when a gust of wind hit my trailer and started a sway. I eased off the gas and applied trailer brake to no avail. After swinging back and forth a couple of times, the trailer sent the truck into a wash which was between between the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway. Friends who were following me said the trailer just drove the truck over like it was angry at it. My trailer was equipped with a Reese Dual-Cam anti sway device which was working correctly. I'd probably driven that rig about 15 - 20K miles so it wasn't like I didn't have some experience with it. The tires on both TV and trailer had less than 2K miles on them and I am VERY fussy about checking pressure before EVERY trip. As far as I or anyone else has been able to determine, I did everything correctly and still ended up on my lid. In retrospect, I probably would have slowed down a bit had I known what was coming since I was doing about 60 at the time. This is under the limit in that area but I think the speed and the wind were the major causes. My wife and I were traveling with our two dogs and luckily the only injuries were a broken hand (the wife) and a laceration which needed a few stiches (one of the dogs). The only reason I've added this reply is just to say that even if you have a well matched rig and think you're doing everything safely, you can still get in trouble. Heads up out there....

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Old 11-26-2004, 07:08 PM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ken Lenger:
IMHO, if you have to watch your rear view mirror in order to anticipate trailer sway, you have the wrong tow vehicle. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
EVERYONE should use thier rear view mirrors/cameras often. It is a sound safety practice whether towing or simply tooling around town in your car. I once observed a fellow at a CG check-in counter. He was asked how long his MH and toad were. When he didn't know the counterperson went out to look. He returned and asked the guy where his toad was. The guy just said "Hummm, wonder where I lost it? He found it about 4 miles back sitting alongside the highway where the breakaway stopped it.

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Old 12-04-2004, 04:49 AM   #17
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Another example of some Bozo towing with a vehicle that was not adequate for the job.
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Old 12-04-2004, 06:00 AM   #18
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If your swaying going down a grade and your brakes make it worse , You dont have any tongue wieght or to much weight on the back of the trailer.

Negative tongue weight will pitch a trailer side to side and jack knife you.
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Old 12-12-2004, 03:30 PM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hitchhiker:
Related article from our local paper, the Johnson City Press:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
It was reported that the trailer hitch on their vehicle might have saved the lives of Thomas and Peggy Tatton, King, N.C., who found themselves dangling off an interstate bridge that morning.

Tatton told Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Tim Wolfenbarger that... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, was this a dead guy talking?

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Old 12-12-2004, 04:00 PM   #20
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Fortunately he wasn't killed in the accident; he thinks the trailer hitch not breaking loose may have saved his life.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"It was reported that the trailer hitch on their vehicle might have saved the lives of Thomas and Peggy Tatton, King, N.C." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here's another link to the original story:<A HREF="http://www.tricities.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=TRI%2FMGArticle%2FTRI_BasicArti cle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031779166909&path=/news/localnews&s" TARGET=_blank>Interstate accident leaves couple hanging
No one injured, but power interrupted for hundreds</A>
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Old 01-05-2005, 04:12 PM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GSP:
If your swaying going down a grade and your brakes make it worse , You dont have any tongue wieght or to much weight on the back of the trailer.

Negative tongue weight will pitch a trailer side to side and jack knife you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very true... My 28' travel trailer has it's black and grey water tanks located aft of the axles. Because of this, I load my interior with the weight forward if I think I'll have to drive with the waste tanks near full...

With smart management of the center of gravity and tongue weights I have not had any problems.

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Old 01-05-2005, 05:27 PM   #22
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Since the wreck I described earlier, I've purchased a new fifth wheel. I've done some experiments with the brake controller and have come to the conclusion that I was not sending enough voltage back to the brakes when my wreck occured. I have a Tekonsha Prodigy controller (and had one when I wrecked as well) and I have discovered that the voltage I was sending back to the brakes was not sufficient to stop the trailer even from a speed as slow as 5 MPH. This prevented me from arresting the wind and speed-induced sway which caused the wreck. The trailer I was towing was correctly balanced but with the boneheaded controller setting I was using, there was no way to stop the sway once it started.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:24 PM   #23
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I know hundreds of haulers delivering hundreds of campers, manufacturers to dealers. . .I know none that use sway control. In fact many dealers won't allow haulers to use load equalizing equipment. They object to the scratch the saddles may make when the bolt lands against the inside of the frame. I've only seen once in better than three years that sway had me concerned. Nothing to do with other vehicles. . .everything to do with wind gust when exiting an underpass. Over on the West Coast just past Dallas Dam. That's why God made pinch bars. But then, I'm slower than most.

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Old 05-24-2005, 08:51 AM   #24
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"another method to straighten out a trailer is to accelerate "

I disagree with this statement. First of all, he should have at the least been using sway control, and probably a wdh. Speeding up may stop the sway at that time, but what are you going to do once your going faster and have another sway? Or maybe the sway dosen't stop. A long time ago, I had been told this, and in my early days of pulling a small trailer, it began to sway. I sped up, only to find myself with a faster moving trailer, still wanting to sway.

The truth is a tow vehicle should be properly sized for the load you intend to haul/pull, and proper equipment required should be in place, and the towed vehicle should be properly loaded.

I blame salesman mostly for this. People who are unaware of the limits or unexperienced are often misguided by money hungry salesman who want $$$ before public saftey. We were told by a salesman that our Honda Accord would pull a camper we were looking at. Hmmm. A Honda Accord isn't rated to pull ANYTHING! Yea, it might pull it up if you need to mow that spot, but it ain't gonna stop it going 70 mph down a freeway.

The main things, is people need to educate themselves before they make decisions to purchase things like this. I had a hard time finding the numbers on the recent 5'er we just purchased. Without knowing what vehicle I had, we had a salesman from another lot say as long as I had a truck, I could pull anything they had.
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Old 05-24-2005, 01:00 PM   #25
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Steve J:
I know hundreds of haulers delivering hundreds of campers, manufacturers to dealers. . .I know none that use sway control. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No way I'd pull a travel trailer of any size w/o WD and sway control. What are the dealers thinking?


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