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Old 08-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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The truck had some sway when driving, but when we started to accelerate to 30-40mph on the highway,

If that TT had sway around town I would have never took it out on the highway. Lot of things could have happened like previous posts. My TT (couple of years ago) was set up wrong by the dealer. Fortunately I had towed enough trailers to identify the problem and re-set up the WD hitch and make sure brakes were working properly on manual.

I got into an RV park about 2 miles from dealer. I stayed there a couple of nights and checked everything over before ever getting on the road. The dealer had left screws out of my sway portion of the Reese WD dual cam. I called Reese. The Reese guy told me to let him handle it. He called the dealer and really go on their case. Then shipped the lost screws overnight UPS to the dealer. I could have had the same misfortune if I hadn't gone over the installation manual after I got to the RV park. These dealers want to get you out the door because they get paid for warranty service. Setup comes out of their profit. JMHO
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
............Not sure exactly how to choose which chain link in a WDH is the correct one but someone that uses one might post...........
Dr4Film ----- Richard
Richard,
Unless things have changed over the years the instructions should state that the arms of the WDH should be parallel with the frame of the trailer. It will vary vehicle to vehicle. That was the correct way when i was towing. Don't go by what anyone states as the best "link" as it could be incorrect.

To the OP. So sorry to hear of this happening. I'm sure that it was a traumatic experience. I do hope you find out the cause and let everyone know.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:50 AM   #17
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What a horror!

Thank the Lord you were all ok!

So sorry to hear this! Must have been such a scary and terrifying event......NOT what your first trip out should be.

Please keep us posted when you find out what caused it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #18
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While I don't believe in lawsuits as a method to build wealth, they can be helpful to change behavior and prevent tragedy. In this case, it sounds like someone with money but no knowledge of towing put their trust in the dealer to set them for safe traveling. As has been pointed out, there are many things possibly wrong with the equipment, loading, and perhaps knowledge of towing that I'm sure the dealer downplayed. In this case putting these facts before a jury might prevent this dealer from doing such a thing again. JMHO
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #19
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Holy cow! I'm sorry about your rig, but thankful that everyone's okay.

I'm with the other posters who are wondering about tongue weight / balance / too much weight aft of the trailer axle(s). I don't know where your water tank was, but if it was aft, that could sure do it. Also, the only way to be sure about your weights is to take your rig to a scales loaded for travel. Dry weight stickers can be misleading...
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #20
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My guess from frightening experience is you may have had a negative tongue weight or very little. As was stated, the faster you go the more exacerbated the whipping becomes. I got mine stopped in time by applying the brakes each time the trailer came past center so it was straight.
My first mistake, (and maybe yours?) was guessing that by accelerating I could pull the sway straight. Just made it worse and worse. By then it was really hard to recover from the error. By the way, I had negative tongue weight. What was I thinking? Sway began above 25-30mph.
Thank God you're all ok.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
While I don't believe in lawsuits as a method to build wealth, they can be helpful to change behavior and prevent tragedy. In this case, it sounds like someone with money but no knowledge of towing put their trust in the dealer to set them for safe traveling. As has been pointed out, there are many things possibly wrong with the equipment, loading, and perhaps knowledge of towing that I'm sure the dealer downplayed. In this case putting these facts before a jury might prevent this dealer from doing such a thing again. JMHO

X2

To me it sounds like the dealer's setup was done to make setup look good, not to be safe. The tow capacity of 8400 is based on a stripped vehicle and a 150lb driver. Anything else loaded in the TT is subtracted from that. It looks to me like it was undersized TV and dealer tightened the hitch up to level the setup. That made the TV too light on the rear. Also TV and/or TT tires may have been under inflated or too small for the job. You should be able to tow just about any combo at 30 without too much trouble if set up properly. The worst setup and/or poorly loaded (and they were bad) I have had I could still drive at 40.
Glad to hear no one was hurt.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #22
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Having 450 pound of water right at the rear could be enough to reduce the tongue weight to the point where the inevitable instability of a tow vehicle/travel trailer will come in at 40mph instead of 80mph which is more normal. Fact that you were waggling at very low speed points to that, and the sudden transistion from barely damped oscillations to full uncontrollable movement also points to very low tongue weight. Once it gets to that point there is apparently no recovery action possible no matter how good the driver or the equipment.

Trouble is there might have been mechanical failure before the incident - broken hitch, trailer suspension or whatever that might be the cause and because of the damage, it might not be possible to link them together.

Bailey of Bristol - Caravan Stability Studies might be interesting and http://www.towingstabilitystudies.co...udies-game.php as well

This is puzzling though
Quote:
The truck had some sway when driving, but when we started to accelerate to 30-40mph on the highway, the trailer began to sway and then immediately swayed WILDLY behind the Denali.
40mph is pretty low for a total wipeout unless as others have suggested, the tongue weight was actually way negative and it is hard to see how you could load a tt to achieve that unless you deliberately stacked everything right at the back.

Do the TT instructions specify NOT towing with water tanks filled?
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #23
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I'm with Tony, on the water weight, but also find the lack of response to manual trailer brake application troubling , not enough gain or poorly adjusted brakes, from what happened and has been discussed, sounds like a compound fault situation. No single cause.

Picture size can make downloading a problem , reduce to max 640 before you try to post them.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #24
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Thank You!

Thank you all for your thoughts. We are at such a loss right now.

I thought I had done enough research to feel confident on the road. The more I read your thoughts, the more I think the trailer was too heavy to begin with for the Denali and then probably the water in the tail end made everything out of proportion. Unfortunately, this was not explained to me and I did not read about this. Crazy that the hitch was actually pulled off of the truck.

Thinking about going to a fifth wheel now as we are afraid of pulling a travel trailer now. Anyone want to send me some money for a new truck? Would gladly accept it!

Thank you all so much for your help and thoughts!
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #25
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Too much weight to the rear and too much tension on the WDH bars is my theory. Transferred too much weight off the hitch and rear axle of the tow rig.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
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I think it was a big combination of bad loading practices, bad hitch set up, totally wrong vehicle/trailer combo, and inexperience.
Do not be scared of a bumper pull. Just get the proper vehicle for it, and proper trailer. A fifth wheel can have problems too, just different kinds.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #27
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Personally id want to inspect the tt axel and see if the suspension broke and rule out mechical failure. Id also Google for model defects. This could be a. Manufacturer or engineering flaw.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:23 PM   #28
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Glad your all ok. Do you think you will find out what really happened? If sway became suddenly so violent it flipped everything over im thinking something mechanical broke. Doubt you did anything wrong. Even if you had the worst setup in the world it would have been very scary long before highway speeds and enough for you to know to back off.
I once flipped a car i was driving going around a bend.... rear outside tire blew, hit the shoulder, then the ditch and ended upside down.
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