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Old 04-08-2016, 07:31 AM   #43
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Slowing down helped when we were being buffeted by the wind.

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Old 04-12-2016, 08:20 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by caissiel View Post
The faster speed forward the less side wind have effects but gas mileage tanks. Side forces are more dangerous at low speed like doing an intersection turn as my friend found out.
others have told me that longer trailers have more stability as I also found out.
First, I understand that I am a relative newbie here and that most of you have much more experience towing large trailers than I do. I also do not wish to argue with anyone, but the logic here is flawed and I think it is important to point that out, lest someone read this and take it as gospel and get themselves or others hurt as a result. I will try to explain why I think it is flawed and leave each to draw their own conclusion.

Side force (due to a consistent, sustained wind) is the exact same at 10mph as it is at 100mph, as the force is simply the load divided by the surface area that the load is acting on - neither of which changes with "forward" velocity. Where velocity does come into play is how that velocity acts on the vehicle. Depending on the design of the vehicle, velocity can affect the down force of the vehicle either positively or negatively. This down force contributes greatly to the stability of the vehicle. For regular road vehicles like trucks and trailers, down force does not necessarily increase with velocity like it would in the NASCAR example. Therefore, higher velocity would make the vehicle less stable than it would be at a lower velocity.

Your friend's trailer tipped over at low speed making a turn because of completely different forces at work than side wind load, though wind certainly could have played a role. I guarantee that in that situation, all other things being equal, lower speed would have made it less likely to tip over than higher speed.

If the side wind force is great enough, a trailer could be overturned at zero forward velocity (parked), and, if the wind is blowing hard enough, orienting the vehicle so as to minimize the surface area that the wind is acting upon may be the only way to keep it upright.

Longer trailers can be more stable in that the axle(s) of the trailer are usually further from the hitching point. The width of the axle(s) comes into play, as well. My experience building motorcycle trailers has led me to conclude that the length should be at least twice the width for a stable trailer. The downside is that once longer trailers do get to swaying, they are harder to recover. They would be much more likely to start swaying at higher speeds than at lower speeds, regardless of how much side wind they encounter.

In short, speeding up in these conditions will not make for a safer experience. That is not an opinion, that is a fact.

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Old 04-12-2016, 09:51 AM   #45
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Great post mad59... I can tell you are a knowledgeable fella indeed!
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:54 PM   #46
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its a mather of geometry, Side wind at 60 mph and traveling at 60 miles per hr will hit the side at 45 degrees. That equals 42 miles per hour. Now at 30 miles per hour side wind will be closer to 55 miles per hr.
Now a side wind at 30 miles per hr and traveling 60 mph the side wind will be closer to 10 mph.
That's my story and I am sticking to it.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:49 PM   #47
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LOL... your theory is entertaining at least Caissiel!
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:03 PM   #48
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I can kinda see the advantage of moving faster as an advantage in a crosswind. To me the truck moving forward will create a wave of air that kinda will protect it from side winds.

Plus this truck was moving slow and got blown over. I would argee the trailer are this slow speed was taking all the force of the side wind.

Too bad Myth Busters is done.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:09 PM   #49
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I saw that video a few weeks ago, and that scared the crap outta me! I ended up telling DW that if the wind is blowing hard (35mph or more), we are parking. If it is blowing for 3-5 days like that, we are still parked. No questions. Just parked.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:35 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by caissiel View Post
Side wind at 60 mph and traveling at 60 miles per hr will hit the side at 45 degrees.
If the wind is coming from 90 degrees to the direction of travel, it will continue coming from 90 degrees to the direction of travel. The forward speed changes nothing in the direction the wind blows or the force it exerts.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:44 PM   #51
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Having your truck in a lower gear helps some as well.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by JIMNLIN View Post
Those LT tires may be one of the problems with handling in side winds.
My silly BIL added LT E tires on his 2008 1500 chevy after I warned him about the positives vs negatives of doing so.
His truck came with P265/70-17 tires at 44 psi. He swapped for the same size LT E even though we found his wheels were good for only 62 psi.
He ran the tires at 62 psi. With that big trailer pushing the back end of the truck around in windy conditions those under inflated rear tires had severe carcass roll.

Another handling issue in side winds can be bias ply tires on the trailer and radials on the tow vehicle.

Truck weight and wheel base. Increase those two things will go a long way toward eliminating handling issues in side winds with a RV trailer that long.

We can only assume your hitch system is set up properly.
Toyo tires has
website that has all sizes of truck tires listed. The charts list the weight and the pressure needed to handle it. My tow vehicle has tires and rims that are rated at 80# minimum. Just because your tires are capable of 80 doesn't mean you need to run them at that. Unloaded with the tires at 80 it rides like a buckboard. I normally run 45 and 60. When loaded and towing I run 55 and 65. I have at
least 1500# excess capacity per axle.
Get a 2017 model 250 Super Duty and this will help. The new frame on this model is amazing and the 100's of improvements mean that Ford will stay at the top in this segment.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:21 AM   #53
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Mr. Keen

Thank you for your post. It and the replies made for interesting reading. I am not nearly as experienced as many who have replied, but have a question/comment which I think will add to the thread.

Rather than switch out your truck, might you consider going to a 5th wheel trailer?

Again with the intention of NOT debating the merits of a 1500 vs 2500 series truck; the 5th wheel should be more stable in all situations than a bumper pull trailer. Your truck is rated to tow a fifth wheel as this fleet ford guide shows (interestingly enough the weight rating for a bumper pull and 5th wheel is about the same). (All years fleet ford guides here, fyi).

You sound quite happy with your truck, and it's quite new. Your TT is new as well I realize, so either way, if you change something, you're going to take a stiff depreciation hit. However, if you do decide to do change something, why not go to a 5th wheel, which should be more stable regardless of the truck platform?

Just food for thought, and I'd like to hear what some of the more experienced hands here have to say in this regard.

In the interest of full disclosure; I just bought a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Quad Cab Short Bed 4x4 (thread here on Cummins Forum). My intention is to get a "half ton towable" fifth wheel rather than max out the capability. So basically I'll have more truck than I need... but who doesn't "need" a Cummins?
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:44 PM   #54
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Not really. If we went to a fifth wheel, we would want a bunkhouse model, which would be substantially heavier than our current rv. We would want a 3/4 or 1 ton truck for sure.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:28 AM   #55
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Science base reply

This information is from a study done in Great Brittan which has some info related to this discussion, not personal experience.

An experimental study into caravan snaking (aka trailer sway)
Christopher J Killer
for the degree of MEng of the University of Bath

An analysis was made to discover what factors make for stability and instability in trailer dynamics, and how to design for immunity form snaking at all speeds. A look at what degrees of freedom were necessary in order for snaking to occur was made.

The analysis gave mathematical proof that snaking is impossible unless the dynamics of the tow ball point are included, so lateral deflexion of the rear car tyres is hence a factor. This theory is backed up by the fact that snaking does not occur when the trailer is light and the car is heavy.

(If your TV is heavier than your TT, you have few worries about sway. If your trailer cannot initiate a pivot at the tow ball then you have no worries about sway. The only US based hitches I know of which fit this category are the patented Hensley design style hitches – HAHA and ProPride.
This also supports the many comments recommending swapping TV R rated tires for STs.)

…weights were placed in the boot of the car and the MILM (Mid inertia low mass) tests were repeated. This increased the weight of the car by approximately 180kg (about 12%), loaded at the rear, which had added implication, because snaking involves the movement of the rear end of the car.

Altering the car mass in this way decreases the towing coefficient, so should increase the damping ratio and indicate a higher snaking speed. The graph shows a small increase in snaking speed, but no real change in the actual damping ratio values. Hence, the difference between each set of points is too small to deduce anything about the significance of the car mass from these data, other than it has little effect at this scale.

...anti-snaking devices incorporating a friction damper at the tow ball provide a fixed level of coulomb friction. This means that there is a constant level of energy dissipation per oscillation cycle, which implies that the equivalent linear damping decreases as the amplitude increases. There is a clear danger here, that the friction level will be sufficient for low amplitude stability but insufficient for high amplitude stability. The possibility arises that the coupled combination will become unstable as an immediate consequence of a particular disturbance.

However, the results were still consistent with the above theory, which indicates that the stabilizer is an unsatisfactory anti-snaking device in the long term.

(To me, this means that if a friction based anti-sway hitch is used, potentially catastrophic sway may occur under some unanticipated set of circumstances.
A major finding in the study is that sway is VERY dependent on speed, the faster you go the more likely you are to have a problem. The study author recommended “Never exceed 60mph”.)


Safe travels
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Old 07-01-2016, 03:28 PM   #56
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So my slowing down when sway occurs makes sense.

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