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Old 08-05-2013, 02:28 PM   #29
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Don't think just because you will switch all will be OK. You need proper loading proper tow vehicle for the RV. You need to doyble ckeck what any dealer does to the vehicle. When I drove out of the dealership if I hadn't had towing experience and checked the installation over night at rv park I would probably be in your same situation. When I was towing a 5ver I told the dealer what hitch I wanted installed and how I wanted it installed. I did a lot of research. I did the same when I towed a bumper pull. A dealer is going to try to sell what he makes the most profit on.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:30 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken90004 View Post
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.
Nothing in the OP's description points to broken suspension, engineering flaws, etc. As has been said a few times, it does point to poor weight distribution and misadjusted WD hitch. He didn't say if he had a 1500 or 2500 Denali, or if it had a tow package, or specify year or exactly how his TV was set up. The only thing reported broken was the hitch torn from vehicle, which could've been caused by the accident. He did say he was "fully loaded and had about 450 pounds of water." He also mentioned he'd been told trailer weight was 6800 lbs while sticker said 7468 lbs. These facts point to someone who trusted the word of a dealer and shop that he'd be O.K. If he'd had previous towing experience, he would have stopped as soon as the first signs of sway instead of increasing speed.

I've seen it lots in the marine environment, anyone can buy a yacht but they don't sell complete instructions on how to operate it safely.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:37 PM   #31
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Sounds like you need to hire an accident investigator to find your answer. Check all vehicle and trailer weight limits, all tire pressures, skid marks or lack of, verify what was working - ie. brakes, review photos' before and after, Police/accident Report, check hitch and tongue weights, verify if equalizer hitch was needed, verify if trailer became disconnected at hitch/receiver, check if vehicle and trailer matched for braking and weights, etc.
Results could place blame/cause on dealer, vehicle, yourself, or combination there of.
OTHERWISE IT IS NOTHING BUT SPECULATION AND GUESSES.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:11 PM   #32
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I just finished a long detailed post and hit the wrong key and it's gone. Grrr...

Glad nobody was injured or worse.

I looked at weights and capacities in detail of both the trailer and tow vehicle.

With a full tank of fresh water, the trailer likely weighed 8666 lbs (allowing 1500 lbs for factory and dealer options and cargo). The trailer GVWR is 9800 lbs. The tongue weight is very possibly around 1400 lbs using 15% of the GVWR. In some cases tongue weight can be double the factory figure (like ours).

I noted by a photo that the axles appear to be set back about 2/3 of the overall length from the hitch point. I highly doubt that a full tank of water at the rear had much affect on the tongue weight to the extent that it would dangerously affect the TV handling. I can't see any RV manufacturer doing this. Compare this to the large weights toyhaulers have in the back.

The TV payload capacity appears to be 1500 lbs unless it had a HD towing package option. The towing capacity seems to be 7900-8100 lbs while the owner claims 8400, but the final drive ratio is unknown. The GCWR rating is 11,000 lbs. The GVWR is 7100 lbs. Wheelbase seems to be 130".

There is a rule of thumb guideline for TV wheelbase of 110" for the first 20' and 4" for each foot after that. That would make the longest suitable trailer a 25 footer.

What I concluded after looking at the TV and trailer weights and capacities is:

The TV GVWR + TT GVWR is 16,900 lbs. This is grossly over the GCWR of 11,000 lbs

Wife, children, pets, groceries and cargo usually is at least 500 lbs leaving a payload capacity of only 1,000 lbs. However, as generally stated on RV forums, the actual payload capacity is typically less, and sometimes much less than the payload capacity on the door jamb. Thus, the actual available payload weight for the trailer could be well under 1,000 lbs. I conclude that the TV was well overloaded on payload capacity.

If the 9800 lb TT GVWR is used to be conservative, the TV is possibly up to nearly 2,000 lbs overloaded on towing capacity.

On trailer length, it is about 10' longer than recommended when looking at the TV wheelbase.

The spring bars on the WDH were likely too small, and possibly by a lot. It is VERY likely that the weight transfer between the axles was way off. With undersized bars, it is very difficult, it not impossible, to "wind" them up enough to transfer weigh to the steer axle. And if the dealer did not take the time to set up the weight transfer, the front wheel were probably way too light thus causing a seveer handling problem. Did the dealer stop to read the instructions specific to that hitch? The adjustment procedure does vary between WDH makes and models.

Basically on everything you look at, the TV was overloaded plus the trailer is way too long for it. I may be off on some numbers, but not enough to change the analysis outcome.

You should never tow at or near the TV towing capacity, even if everything else is okay. But here we have a case where everything is over the limits, and most likely well over.

Who is responsible? Unfortunately, at the end of the day, it mostly the owner's responsibility. But in this case, the dealer has to be held partly responsible. The dealer should NEVER have sold the trailer to the someone with that TV. In court, it would be shown that they are the experts and should be held negligent IMO. At the least, did they even properly set up the WDH?? I highly suspect that the WDH bars were undersized and the weight transfer was not set up properly, if at all.

We read about this situation almost daily on the RV forums. In some cases, RVers even ignore advice given to them. This thread clearly shows what can happen. The TV makers, the RV makers and the RV dealers should all be made responsible for ensuring that a trailer owner is within safety limits and capacities. In fact, it's my opinion that there should be a requirement to take and pass a course on trailer and TV weights and capacities before being able to purchase a trailer. I even think there should be a licence requirement to take such a course for all weights of trailers.

The RV and tow vehicle industry needs a kick in the pants and it would be nice to see someone take somebody to court for once. But as is often said, nobody wins in court.

I otherwise hope it all works out okay.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:17 PM   #33
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OTHERWISE IT IS NOTHING BUT SPECULATION AND GUESSES.
Exactly. For your own peace of mind you'll want to know.

Sounds odd to happen at such low speed.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:39 PM   #34
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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.
X2!!!! I will add that if the sway bar is parallel to the frame and you have not achieved the correct amount of preload to level the TV and TT then the hitch needs to be adjust to accomplish that.

I towed a 27' light weight TT for three years with a Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee weighed 4k lbs. and the TT weighed 5k loaded. I did not have a sway control, but I did have a WDH and a very good brake controller. I never had an issue it alway towed great.

I think that there were multiple issues. It sounds like a combination of poor installation of equipment and possibly something failing.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:51 PM   #35
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I just finished a long detailed post and hit the wrong key and it's gone. Grrr...

Glad nobody was injured or worse.

I looked at weights and capacities in detail of both the trailer and tow vehicle.

With a full tank of fresh water, the trailer likely weighed 8666 lbs (allowing 1500 lbs for factory and dealer options and cargo). The trailer GVWR is 9800 lbs. The tongue weight is very possibly around 1400 lbs using 15% of the GVWR. In some cases tongue weight can be double the factory figure (like ours).

I noted by a photo that the axles appear to be set back about 2/3 of the overall length from the hitch point. I highly doubt that a full tank of water at the rear had much affect on the tongue weight to the extent that it would dangerously affect the TV handling. I can't see any RV manufacturer doing this. Compare this to the large weights toyhaulers have in the back.

The TV payload capacity appears to be 1500 lbs unless it had a HD towing package option. The towing capacity seems to be 7900-8100 lbs while the owner claims 8400, but the final drive ratio is unknown. The GCWR rating is 11,000 lbs. The GVWR is 7100 lbs. Wheelbase seems to be 130".

There is a rule of thumb guideline for TV wheelbase of 110" for the first 20' and 4" for each foot after that. That would make the longest suitable trailer a 25 footer.

What I concluded after looking at the TV and trailer weights and capacities is:

The TV GVWR + TT GVWR is 16,900 lbs. This is grossly over the GCWR of 11,000 lbs

Wife, children, pets, groceries and cargo usually is at least 500 lbs leaving a payload capacity of only 1,000 lbs. However, as generally stated on RV forums, the actual payload capacity is typically less, and sometimes much less than the payload capacity on the door jamb. Thus, the actual available payload weight for the trailer could be well under 1,000 lbs. I conclude that the TV was well overloaded on payload capacity.

If the 9800 lb TT GVWR is used to be conservative, the TV is possibly up to nearly 2,000 lbs overloaded on towing capacity.

On trailer length, it is about 10' longer than recommended when looking at the TV wheelbase.

The spring bars on the WDH were likely too small, and possibly by a lot. It is VERY likely that the weight transfer between the axles was way off. With undersized bars, it is very difficult, it not impossible, to "wind" them up enough to transfer weigh to the steer axle. And if the dealer did not take the time to set up the weight transfer, the front wheel were probably way too light thus causing a seveer handling problem. Did the dealer stop to read the instructions specific to that hitch? The adjustment procedure does vary between WDH makes and models.

Basically on everything you look at, the TV was overloaded plus the trailer is way too long for it. I may be off on some numbers, but not enough to change the analysis outcome.

You should never tow at or near the TV towing capacity, even if everything else is okay. But here we have a case where everything is over the limits, and most likely well over.

Who is responsible? Unfortunately, at the end of the day, it mostly the owner's responsibility. But in this case, the dealer has to be held partly responsible. The dealer should NEVER have sold the trailer to the someone with that TV. In court, it would be shown that they are the experts and should be held negligent IMO. At the least, did they even properly set up the WDH?? I highly suspect that the WDH bars were undersized and the weight transfer was not set up properly, if at all.

We read about this situation almost daily on the RV forums. In some cases, RVers even ignore advice given to them. This thread clearly shows what can happen. The TV makers, the RV makers and the RV dealers should all be made responsible for ensuring that a trailer owner is within safety limits and capacities. In fact, it's my opinion that there should be a requirement to take and pass a course on trailer and TV weights and capacities before being able to purchase a trailer. I even think there should be a licence requirement to take such a course for all weights of trailers.

The RV and tow vehicle industry needs a kick in the pants and it would be nice to see someone take somebody to court for once. But as is often said, nobody wins in court.

I otherwise hope it all works out okay.
The op's tt didnt suddenly started to sway and flip over because because he was towing over capacity. Something else was messed up and if it was enough to flip his denail XL then its enough to flip any tv. Nobody will ever know what that something else was.
Lesson to be learned here.... always ensure everything is setup properly and maintained and drive accordenly knowing anything can go wrong at anytime. oh and always wear your seatbelts!
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:02 PM   #36
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You lost a nice TT, and I'm truly sorry, regardless what happened.

Maybe this is a sign from the camper gods that its time for a class c.. :-)
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #37
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...I highly doubt that a full tank of water at the rear had much affect on the tongue weight to the extent that it would dangerously affect the TV handling. I can't see any RV manufacturer doing this. Compare this to the large weights toyhaulers have in the back...
The majority of this analysis (which I omitted for brevity) is very thoughtful and well-reasoned. However I would say that on the water tank part, I wouldn't be so sure that all RV mfgs. do a good job of placing tanks for good weight distribution. Case in point is our current Jayco class C, which has all the tanks concentrated close to or behind the rear axle. Because of its length, the rig is already less than ideal in terms of weight proportion on the front axle, and that's with tanks dry. With tanks full, and a reasonable amount of gear onboard, the rear axle will almost certainly be overloaded, and the front end will be too light. I would never have known if I didn't weigh each axle individually at the local mill.

BTW, I don't fault the OP here anywhere near as much as the dealer. Professional negligence is inexcusable - conscientiously educating new owners about safety practices and selling the appropriate products is part of truly earning the sale.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:55 AM   #38
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We traded our 5000 pound camper for an 8000 pound camper in March. After we made the deal, the salesman asked me what I was going to tow it with, and I said my Titan half ton truck. He said, "I dont think so". He checked the specs and noted that my truck towing capacity was 2000 pounds UNDER the weight of my new trailer. He refused to hook it up and said he would undo the deal with no penalty or store the new trailer for me for free until I could buy a bigger truck.

Being a fairly new RVer, I was glad for the honesty of the salesman....and surprised, as he had already made the sale.

Story short, I now own a 2013 Ram 3/4 ton hemi, and still have a few thousand pounds of towing capacity left....tows great except for lousy mpg....
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:21 AM   #39
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Thank God the OP and his family were OK, and that no one else was involved.

Unfortunately, I think the OP is on the hook here (or his insurance agency). While the DEALER is squarely at fault for selling him this TT to pull behind a Denali, at the end of the day, it is his responsibility to ensure his vehicle is safe to operate on the highway.

The dealer said "...you'll be FINE, that Denali will tow this no problem. Sign here, and here, and here...". How many times have we seen this scenario play out here? Fortunately, most don't end in the tragic way that the OP's ended. Dealers should bear some responsibility beyond just making the sale.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:40 AM   #40
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Proper analysis of what went wrong is a multidimensional inquiry requiring a step by step review of the drivers slow-mo blow by blow description of events PLUS detailed analysis of the wrecked trailer, photos, measurements, weights, etc. You can't take any few # of facts and definitively say what went wrong other than there was, without a doubt inadequate attention to important detail by somebody. I'm guessing the insurance is willing to just pay off without any investigation because nobody was hurt. Unless you are way short on coverage, there will be no monetay reason to pursue the matter with a forensic investigation. Just make sure of your next setup on all points and challenge it up to lesson learned- dealers are not to be trusted when it comes to safety, either physical or monetary. Check everything yourself until you are positive, and if not qualified, get independent help that has no incentive to cut corners. Might set you back some bucks but it's just part of the price of playing safe.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:43 AM   #41
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Proper analysis of what went wrong is a multidimensional inquiry requiring a step by step review of the drivers slow-mo blow by blow description of events PLUS detailed analysis of the wrecked trailer, photos, measurements, weights, etc. You can't take any few # of facts and definitively say what went wrong other than there was, without a doubt inadequate attention to important detail by somebody. I'm guessing the insurance is willing to just pay off without any investigation because nobody was hurt. Unless you are way short on coverage, there will be no monetay reason to pursue the matter with a forensic investigation. Just make sure of your next setup on all points and challenge it up to lesson learned- dealers are not to be trusted when it comes to safety, either physical or monetary. Check everything yourself until you are positive, and if not qualified, get independent help that has no incentive to cut corners. Might set you back some bucks but it's just part of the price of playing safe.
Bingo.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:30 AM   #42
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On our newly purchased rv, Explore USA basically made us sign a document that THEY know NOTHING about tow vehicles and it is our sole responsibility to know what we should have..

Now that's honesty - saying they know nothing

(really just trying to release them of any liability!)
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