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Old 12-31-2018, 12:36 PM   #1
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Let's be careful in 2019

A friend of mine who is also an Escape owner sent me this link that shows travel trailer accidents in 2018:





I'll point out now that most of these RVs were "stick built" trailers and most seemed to go out of control when either passing or being passed by big trucks.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:30 PM   #2
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Yikes! Anyone thinking of buying one of them top-heavy, wheeled sailors should see this.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:46 PM   #3
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Scary, and sad for those involved. Almost all of these appear to escalate because the drivers don’t know how to respond to sway.
If you encounter the trailer doing this, foot off the gas, do not apply vehicle brakes, and use the manual brake lever on the brake controller to apply only trailer brakes.
This will straighten things out almost immediately and put you back in control.
Wishing all a happy and safe New Year.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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Lots of tail wagging the dog. And bad language. Where the trailer is swaying back and forth and there’s not much movement in the tow vehicle, I suspect they are towing off the ball with no weight distributing hitch. A lapse in paying attention ( read that “cell phone usage” must surely be involved at times too). Interesting for sure.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:17 PM   #5
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Many of the trailers that started swaying and eventually crashed in the video were single axle trailers being towed by a small, light weight, short wheel base vehicles. Not an ideal combination, seems to me.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chama View Post
Many of the trailers that started swaying and eventually crashed in the video were single axle trailers being towed by a small, light weight, short wheel base vehicles. Not an ideal combination, seems to me.

I tow my single axle 17B with a RAV4, using a weight distribution hitch. I load the trailer properly. I check the tongue weight and I've had no problems in ten years.
One of the trailers in the video was pulled by a full size Ram pickup. What does that prove?
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quite a few years ago my wife and I survived a rollover wreck much like many of the ones in this video. We were in the back seat of an Explorer towing a cargo trailer, on the way home from a hot air balloon event, when the driver swerved suddenly to avoid an obstacle in the road. The trailer started swerving wildly back and forth and suddenly as it came around it flipped the SUV over and we rolled at highway speed and thankfully came to a stop right side up on the side of the road, all the windows blown out and cargo everywhere. But everyone in the SUV was wearing seat belts and no one had more than bruises and scratches....and maybe a little PTSD.

We were already in the "always wear your seat belt" camp and it sure paid off that day. Also had a bearing on our decision to get a small fifth wheel rather than bumper pull trailer because of the significantly more stable towing characteristics.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:02 PM   #8
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On the bright side: From viewing the video, I now have great confidence in the strength of the trailer hitches used. They seem to be able to keep tow and trailer attached even with most violent manoeuvres.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:04 PM   #9
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Many of the trailers that started swaying and eventually crashed in the video were single axle trailers being towed by a small, light weight, short wheel base vehicles. Not an ideal combination, seems to me.
I agree , to me it looks like a combination of excess speed and too large of a trailer coupled with not enough tow vehicle .
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chama View Post
Many of the trailers that started swaying and eventually crashed in the video were single axle trailers being towed by a small, light weight, short wheel base vehicles. Not an ideal combination, seems to me.

If you look closely at the single axle trailers you can see the axles were all too far forward butting too much weight at the back end. That's what I like about the Escape 17, the axles are well placed and so they are very stable to pull.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:31 PM   #11
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While traveling back home today I noticed a boat weaving back and forth in front of me on I-75. When we passed I noticed him with both hands on the steering wheel. That had to be tiring trying to keep it under control. If he keeps pulling a large boat with a Jeep Wrangler I bet he will be in the next video.
I suspect his jeep was way overloaded. I did not catch the model or size as I wanted to get by him quickly but I do know Sea Rays are not light boats.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:26 PM   #12
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Lots of tail wagging the dog. And bad language.
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Oops. Sorry-- I meant to warn about the bad language. I suppose it's excusable given the circumstances, but I'm guessing the Scottish truck driver in that clip isn't a stranger to that verbiage.

I'd like to reiterate that many of the scenes involved trucks passing RVs or vice versa. The resulting turbulence seems to trigger the instability shown in the video. We aren't entirely immune to this; I've experienced it to a much lesser degree. The reminder that I can trigger my trailer's brakes with the controller is greatly appreciated. I hope I remember this when the time comes.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:07 PM   #13
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Many of the trailers that started swaying and eventually crashed in the video were single axle trailers being towed by a small, light weight, short wheel base vehicles.
In contrast, in previously shared collections, I noticed that all of the trailers were tandem-axle, and mostly towed by pickup trucks and full-sized SUVs. Dramatic trailer crashes often involve very bulky travel trailers, but some really wild sway videos included tiny industrial equipment trailers. Problems may be attributed to a lack of use of a WD hitch, but most examples with large travel trailers do have WDH.

Anecdotal evidence is rarely useful to determine trends, and none of these videos are supported by enough information to reliably establish cause. They can be entertaining to speculate about, though.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:14 PM   #14
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The runaway outboard boat (about 2:48) was interesting: it apparently had negative tongue weight, an unsecured coupler, and no safety chains. If you're doing this much wrong, you should be very happy when you only cause thousands of dollars in property damage.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:41 PM   #15
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Perhaps a third of the swaying trailers were single-axle caravans with small (by North American standards) tow vehicles. All that means is that all of those were European and Australian RV trailers... where most caravans have a single axle and most tow vehicles are small by North American standards. Where the trailers are big and the tugs are trucks, it's big trailers and trucks swaying out of control.

One single-axle caravan (6:12 to 6:59) was swaying when the camera car went by, but it had been sideswiped (twice!) by a van, and forced off of the road... apparently still upright and in control. The collection is about "camper and caravan fails", and is apparently about bad RV driving rather than trailer (or motorhome) stability; in this case the caravan driver is faulted for failing to sufficiently accommodate the "merging" van, whose driver retaliates by forcing the caravan off the road.

One swaying vehicle wasn't even a trailer, but instead a motorhome, and another was a car... interesting: I wonder how a WDH would fix those?

At about 10:00 is the most thoroughly self-disassembling trailer I've ever seen... impressive stuff from Australia!

The final canopy crash is an internet classic. At least Escape owners rarely need to worry about that one since canopies are rarely low enough... other than perhaps that carport at home.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:41 AM   #16
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The vast majority of these crashes, if not all of them, could have been easily avoided by towing at a lower speed - a WAY lower speed. Why some people think towing is a speed competition is beyond my comprehension.
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:24 AM   #17
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If you look closely at the single axle trailers you can see the axles were all too far forward butting too much weight at the back end. That's what I like about the Escape 17, the axles are well placed and so they are very stable to pull.
The single-axle travel trailers in the collection are typically European caravans. Yes, they each have their axle more centrally located than a typical North American trailer (single or tandem axle), and especially the Escape 17 (the Casita 17 is another axle-set-back design). This means lower tongue weight and less stability if all else is equal... but all else is not equal. Escape designs have sound mass distribution (most massive stuff kept more toward the middle), but Euro caravans tend to be more strongly centralized (no front storage boxes, no rear cargo carriers, propane mounted further back, etc) - that reduces the polar moment of inertia and so increases stability. Euro caravans also typically have longer tongues, better-damped suspension (shock absorbers are common), frequently have friction-based sway-damping couplers, and are restricted to lower speeds in many cases. Of course, stupid operation can easily overcome many layers of good design... and as already noted the most basic aspect is speed, since the stability of any trailer is reduced by increased speed.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:09 PM   #18
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:45 PM   #19
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That short demo video should be shown at ALL trailer sales offices, and Uhaul outlets. Makes the point simply, quickly and blindingly obvious
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:01 PM   #20
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Again notice how far forward the axle is. Move it back and the results would not be as dramatic. Also I wonder what the equivalent speed would work out to full scale
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