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#184237 - 10/04/09 02:32 PM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1890
Loc: Washington, DC

Another good source of information on RVs and towing:

http://www.rv.net/forum/



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#184240 - 10/04/09 02:38 PM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Desperado]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2183
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: Desperado

If your towed load gets too heavy (no matter the size) or unbalanced, you can get that "flopping fish" action going down the road. If you have not experienced it, keep it that way. Once it starts, you are just along for the ride until you get slowed down.


when my ex-GF and I were driving from CA to MO, she was at the wheel when she lost control of my Explorer Sport, pulling a fairly short UHaul (and to be fair to her, she thought I was about to tickle her and flinched too much). The trailer didn't like that, and performed a few gradually increasing yaws until it spun us into a nice... 360? 640? I don't know. At highway speeds, we ended up on the center rail, facing traffic, trailer on it's side.

Thank God we did't flip - I had taken my belt off for a few minutes for some reason or other.

My point is, you don't want to experience it! And, FYI, it gets pricey hiring a tow truck for the car, and another for the trailer.

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#184243 - 10/04/09 03:42 PM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Dagny]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Dagny


Trailer brakes are an option. The manufacturer told me they would not be necessary with my setup.



While I agree they would not be necessary for your set-up, I will also tell you EVERY trailer I own has trailer brakes regardless of size or load rating.

If you have the extra cash/time, trailer brakes are the best. Go for the electrically controlled type versus the hydraulic tongue brakes. They are much smoother, and don't suffer from "recoil" issues. The tongue brakes can actually end up causing more problems than going without trailer brakes.

The other advantage of electronically controlled trailer brakes is the manual override on the controller. Should your vehicle's brakes suffer a casualty while towing, you can activate the trailer brakes by hand at the control head by operating a resistance switch.

Additionally, electronic trailer brakes begin stopping the trailer before tow vehicle reducing the slam on the hitch assembly, reducing wear and increasing controllability.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#184289 - 10/05/09 03:02 AM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Desperado]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Regarding MDinana's story...

I have heard that if your trailer starts fishtailing, the best thing is not to slow down or brake, but to speed up just a little bit.

Is this true?

Sue

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#184294 - 10/05/09 03:20 AM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Susan]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Not in my experience.

Once the fish starts flopping, the worst thing to do is touch the brakes. The trailer will pick one side or the other of the tow vehicle and try to pass it.

If the flopping is not too bad and you don't have trailer tongue actuated hydraulic brakes, letting off the accelerator and allowing the vehicle to slow will usually cure the problem. If you do have tongue actuated brakes, then very carefully measured deceleration is called for. Slow too quickly, and the tongue hits the tow vehicle and applies the trailer brakes. This pulls the trailer back from the tow vehicle and releases the brakes. It stats a "recoil effect" in the braking and reduces driver control.

If the situation is about to become untenable and one has electronically controlled trailer brakes, it is possible to SLOWLY apply trailer braking with the manual override on the brake controller. This is more on the lines of "we are going to crash if I don't do something now" versus "boy this is tough to drive". One must feather the controller kind of like petting a stray pit bull that just walked up. Looks friendly, but be real gentle and ease into it. Even then, you might get bitten.

All of the above is situational, and only experience (and almost soiled pants) can provide true knowledge on this one.

The one theme to all of the above is smooth and gentle.

I will say this....

Once you realize the trailer is going to push you beyond where you want/need to stop, you will rethink your following distances and speed accordingly. That and packing extra skivvies in the GHB.....


Edited by Desperado (10/05/09 03:21 AM)
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#184631 - 10/09/09 01:31 AM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Desperado]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2183
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Sue, I couldn't tell you. I do know you shouldn't try to steer out of it, cuz that just seemed to make a harmonic-type reaction and got the trailer really angry! I've heard that "out run it" mentality too, but couldn't say for sure. I'm sure not going to try and recreate that accident just to find out!

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#184649 - 10/09/09 11:34 AM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: MDinana]
Greg_Sackett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 224
Loc: KC, MO
Sue,

Desperado nailed it. If your trailer has brakes, apply brakes to the trailer (with your brake controller) while slightly accelerating with your pulling vehicle.

If your trailer is prone to fishtailing (or being sucked over by passing trucks), I would recommend an anti-sway bar, of which there are many types and all of them work pretty well I think, even the fairly inexpensive ones.

Greg

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#184714 - 10/09/09 06:03 PM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Greg_Sackett]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Sway bars and torsion bars will help with trailer control.
_________________________
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

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#184779 - 10/10/09 01:49 AM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Stu]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Not sure how I missed this thread... lots of catching up to do.

Dagny- Your setup is awesome. In my future I plan to build an off-road teardrop to tow behind my off-road vehicle... my plan is to build it out of the same tube I did for my roll cage, and make it so it can scrape and bounce off rocks w/out damage laugh I love the minimalist looks of them!

_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#184823 - 10/10/09 03:59 PM Re: Survival Trailer [Re: Todd W]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Okay, thanks for the info! Sometimes I will hear things that aren't true, but without knowledge I don't know. I have only towed one thing in my life and that was a car dolly with a small car on it. No speeding, no tailgating, no stupid moves, no problems.

Sue

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