Towing tips for newbies or how to avoid towing horror stories - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-25-2014, 03:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by techfan View Post
Did you buy them donuts? That would have made me willingly get up and move my car! Mmmmmm... DO-nuts!
Donuts all around, says hubby.

It helps to never go down a little side road or into a place where the exit cannot be seen but not always possible. We have had to do that backing up thing, too.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:33 PM   #12
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Worst trailer story I have was not my trailer but a friends I was helping. He had a 14' enclosed utility trailer and I was helping him move some things. He had let someone else go pick up the trailer for him and hook up the trailer. As we were driving down the interstate, traffic in front of us suddenly came to a stop. As he started braking hard we heard a pop then a bang then felt something hit the truck. Next thing we saw was the trailer passing us in the medium strip just before it started flipping. Luckily it stopped in the medium and did not cross it or hit any other cars. Upon investigation of what happened his friend that picked up the trailer had used the wrong stinger and hooked up the trailer with a 1-7/8" ball on a 2" hitch.

Safety chains were also to light for the trailer. Not a good day of moving.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
It helps to never go down a little side road or into a place where the exit cannot be seen but not always possible. We have had to do that backing up thing, too.
+1. The first week we had the trailer we took a wrong turn on to some little road in Oregon. We knew right away it was the wrong road, but with our novice skills we couldn't back out onto the county highway -- it was uphill with a sharp angle. So we ended up driving down the road. Came to a bunch of guys who were apparently salvaging tires and wheels. They couldn't help us because they were in filthy clothes and didn't want to get into the car. But a ways further down the road we found a farm with a yard big enough to turn around in.

Not quite as bad as the time I took the trailer to a do it yourself car wash only to find out the trailer is too tall for said car wash. Had to back up around one sharp left turn, an "S" curve, and then a hard right to get back on to the street. I was by myself so there was a lot of what Donna calls "GOAL" (Get Out And Look). Fortunately, it was the end of the day, and there was only one other car. The good news is that after that I felt much better about my backing skills.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:18 PM   #14
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We just returned from Yellowstone back to Washington state. I was coming down a 6 % grade when my 15 foot Escape started to fishtail severely. I was able to use brake/brake controller to stabalize. It was very scary. We pulled over and everything looked fine. The only thing that was different on this trip was that we had a 'hitch and haul' on the back of Escape. It had appx 60 lbs of gear on it. Would this be enough weight to the rear of the axel to cause the fishtailing?

We do have the stabilizer hitch/rods which were on and we use them religiously. We put the gear that had been on the 'hitch and haul' inside and had no further problems.

Thanks for any advice.

- Jane
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:13 PM   #15
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I think that the extra 60 lbs behind the axle lightened the tongue weight to much. If your going to use the hitch and haul put more weight forward to offset.

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Old 09-18-2014, 06:51 PM   #16
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Thank Doug. Will follow your advice!

- Jane
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:54 PM   #17
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I like the idea of taking a professional driving/towing instruction as suggested by others on this forum. My towing tips would be to keep your tow vehicle and trailer well maintained, keep your speed down even if you think you can go faster, think about going down hill the same as up - slower and use a lower gear, have minimum 3 seconds preferably 5 seconds between you and the guy ahead.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #18
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I like your advice gharper
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angler24 View Post
We just returned from Yellowstone back to Washington state. I was coming down a 6 % grade when my 15 foot Escape started to fishtail severely. I was able to use brake/brake controller to stabalize. It was very scary. We pulled over and everything looked fine. The only thing that was different on this trip was that we had a 'hitch and haul' on the back of Escape. It had appx 60 lbs of gear on it. Would this be enough weight to the rear of the axel to cause the fishtailing?

We do have the stabilizer hitch/rods which were on and we use them religiously. We put the gear that had been on the 'hitch and haul' inside and had no further problems.

Thanks for any advice.

- Jane
This happened to us once while on the highway, but we were on a flat freeway near Chilliwack. Had been traveling for about an hour when the fishtail started. Quite scarry.

A location shift in the weight carried has a dramatic effect on the tongue weight for the 15' in particular. The location of the axle being near the middle of the trailer has close to, but less than, a 1:1 effect on the tongue weight. Put 60 lb on the rear receiver and the tongue weight is reduce by close to that amount. (Actual ratio is: distance from axle to rear load point/distance from axle to ball hitch point)
You have to be careful with weight distribution for the 15' in particular as you discovered.

PGDriver summed up the problem pretty good.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:37 AM   #20
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I'm also relatively new to towing. Was real new until towing 6700 miles from Chilliwack to North Carolina. A friend once rolled their trailer with the following error: tried to steer out of the swaying. I was told in those conditions to use brake controller to put braking onto the trailer while exerting slight acceleration until swaying stops. Next, get to the side of the road to figure out what is wrong. I'm sure others will have their own opiniond, but this makes sense to me.
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