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Old 07-09-2015, 04:22 PM   #1
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The jacknife will cut you- break or power out

I listened to a travel trailer wisdom talk from a fella who got in to a swerving situation so intense that all he could do was hang on to the steering wheel and slow down. His advice and story was the importance of sway control device and the point was well taken. However, this got me to thinking more about the situation. Seems like a reach for the trailer brakes would have been worth the effort or should one power out of the "wiggle of death" ?

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Old 07-09-2015, 05:09 PM   #2
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I would reach for the trailer brakes.

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Old 07-09-2015, 05:10 PM   #3
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Pulsing the trailer brakes and/or adding throttle power to swaying trailers helps to straighten them out. Unfortunately, sometimes trailer sway happens when already slowing for something happening ahead of the driver and adding throttle may not be a viable choice. Big enough tow vehicles are the best option to prevent sway with a good WDH with sway control.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:38 PM   #4
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Agreed... I would also reach for the brakes on the trailer first. I did alot of that when I tried pulling my camper with a half ton... As NFL says a much more substantial truck completely eliminated the issue.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:51 PM   #5
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Many new tow vehicles have trailer sway control, using a combination of abs and the integrated brake controller. Worked very well on my f150 when I encountered a very strong crosswind while cornering, in descent on wet pavement in the mountains.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:39 AM   #6
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I used sway control when I pulled trailers.. Worked great..

Since my trailers were light (2,000 pound Max GCW) I used a friction type bar.. Set for closer to 5,000 pounds (Very tight) but it worked great.

Reaching for trailer brakes.... I'm not a trained Semi Driver.. So though logically I might try to do that (it makes sense to me) I'm not sure if I would do that in a panic situation or not. And I no longer pull trailers.

One thing that did help greatly one time when I got into a sitution that could have resulted in a panic stop was my CB... it told me what was ahead.. So I slowed down well in advance of"Stand On The Brakes and buy a new Radiator time" and when it came time to stop.. Coasting was an option.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:33 AM   #7
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Many years ago an old RVr told me "to straighten a noodle, pull on both ends".
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:07 AM   #8
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Any professional truck driver will tell you what was said above. Apply trailer brakes and increase the towing force. You must stretch the noodle back out.

Seems like the wrong thing to apply power and braking at the same time but that is the only way. An abrupt slow down which is the natural reaction only adds to the situation. Often making it worse.

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Old 07-16-2015, 01:18 PM   #9
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Both partial trailer brakes and throttle... just don't lock up the trailer brakes.

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