Our cracked egg - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Me | General Topics > General Escape
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-11-2020, 05:40 PM   #21
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Denver, Colorado
Trailer: 2020 19í Long Gone
Posts: 74
Cracked egg

Thanks Dave for the kind words and thanks everyone else for the good wishes.
I do wish we had answers, we humans need them. It seems to be the nature of the beast.

The tires on the passenger side were bent inward about 20-25 degrees. Thatís an eyeballed guess, not measured. When we dumped about an hour before the event we walked around and everything was attached as normal.

I understand that some would not tow with a Highlander. We are a one-car family and the one car has to fulfill all needs. As i mentioned earlier, we have towed in some pretty crummy weather (thank you Colorado) without any problems. When we picked up the trailer in February we went down the west coast, then through AZ and NM before coming up I-25. Not much rain and we missed the snows but we did have a fair number of windy days; cross winds mostly with head winds some of the time.

It is a big puzzle and hereís hoping nobody else has this experience.
Stay safe out there.
Catherine
__________________

outwiththedogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2020, 09:50 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyB View Post
Iíve towed several too heavy things in my younger years with tiny tow vehicles but it was scary.
A recent Highlander is far from "tiny". It's heavier than the full-sized Chev C-10 pickup that we had a couple of decades ago.
__________________

Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2020, 09:55 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkgman51 View Post
I had a situation where the trailer came off the ball. Could that have happened?
Even if the coupler were not latched at all, a pretty severe bump would be required to lift the coupler off of the ball despite hundreds of pounds of tongue weight plus likely hundreds of pounds of downward force on the tongue by the WD system. It can happen, but it would be noticeable.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2020, 10:04 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatboatz3 View Post
What do you mean by weight distribution system and load transfer. Are you referring to the load shifting o its own or system that is meant to shift the load. Also could you explain the term "Too Tight"
A weight-distributing hitch (WDH) system shifts load from the tow vehicle's rear axle to the tow vehicle's front axle and to the trailer's axle(s). That's the shift I was referring to, not stuff moving around.

A conventional WDH has two spring bars which are anchored in sockets in the hitch head (the part mounted to the receiver on the tow vehicle) and pull down in the tongue of the trailer (usually with chains). If the WDH is improperly adjusted, the chains can be too tight; that means they pull down on the trailer with too much force and cause too much load ("weight") distribution change.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2020, 11:41 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Doug2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London, Ontario
Trailer: 2020 Escape 19
Posts: 586
Thanks for posting your story. Iím glad everyone is safe. From reading all the posts, I think the uneven pavement and a strong wind gust is to blame.

SafeTravels Everyone.
__________________
2020 Escape 19, AKA The Escape Pod 2
Trailer #6 was a 2007 Escape 17B
2019 Toyota Tundra 4.6L 4X4 DC
Following TravellingRobert on Youtube
Doug2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 09:20 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Bobbito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Trailer: 2015 Escape 21
Posts: 668
Our Andersen hitch has both weight distribution and anti-sway. We had scary sway experiences with our old Nash trailer before we added an anti-sway bar to our Reese hitch, which by the way was heavy and always noisy. No issues with the Andersen in our experience. The friction cone integral to the ball seems to do its job of dampening sway, even in the rain (unlike our Reese add-on that stated it wasnít to be used in rainy conditions). I would be curious to know if any Andersen hitch users have had a serious sway event, even if not resulting in an accident.

Bob K
Bobbito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 11:43 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Missoula, Montana
Trailer: Escape 19, 2018: Last Best Escape
Posts: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbito View Post
Our Andersen hitch has both weight distribution and anti-sway. ....I would be curious to know if any Andersen hitch users have had a serious sway event, even if not resulting in an accident.

Bob K
We've used the Andersen on 2 Escapes now and we've never had a serious problem in 5 years, thank goodness.

K & K Sitte
__________________
2018 Escape 19: Last Best Escape
2015 Escape 19 (previous): Escape Goats
2011 Escape 17 (previous): SittEscape

Honda Pilot 2019
ksitte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 11:50 AM   #28
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oriental, North Carolina
Trailer: 2011 Casita 17
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
A weight-distributing hitch (WDH) system shifts load from the tow vehicle's rear axle to the tow vehicle's front axle and to the trailer's axle(s). That's the shift I was referring to, not stuff moving around.

A conventional WDH has two spring bars which are anchored in sockets in the hitch head (the part mounted to the receiver on the tow vehicle) and pull down in the tongue of the trailer (usually with chains). If the WDH is improperly adjusted, the chains can be too tight; that means they pull down on the trailer with too much force and cause too much load ("weight") distribution change.
Brian, thank you for you prompt response and your valuable info. I am not familiar with a WDH or system. I am new to the forum and just yesterday put a deposit on an Escape 21. Is a WDH commonly used with a tandem axel. I currently own a2011 Casita 17' I bought 4 years ago. It weights about 2500 lbs. loaded that I pull with a 2004 Chevy Silverado 5.3 liter. It is single axel. I recently drove from North Carolina to coast of New Hampshire then west over the mountains through of Vermont and New York. I cruise at 75 mph and occasionally reach speeds of 85mph on interstates and I have never had a sway problem.
My thoughts are that I have a lot to learn about towing a heaver tandem axel trailer.
Thanks again Jim A.
Greatboatz3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 12:08 PM   #29
Senior Member
 
Doug2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London, Ontario
Trailer: 2020 Escape 19
Posts: 586
Wow, your a speed demon. I used to be too, maybe all the YouTube videos of trailers flipping have slowed me down.

I have a Tundra with a Escape 19. I donít need a WDH but it really improves the ride. If Iím taking the trailer to the storage yard, I donít hook up the bars. If your WDH is setup properly, you wonít notice your trailer at all.

https://youtu.be/bO7ifIZ6FK4
__________________
2020 Escape 19, AKA The Escape Pod 2
Trailer #6 was a 2007 Escape 17B
2019 Toyota Tundra 4.6L 4X4 DC
Following TravellingRobert on Youtube
Doug2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 12:09 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: near Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2005 Casita 17 Deluxe (original owner)
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatboatz3 View Post
.. Is a WDH commonly used with a tandem axel. ...
WDH use is ubiquitous among folks towing high tongue-weight trailers, and those are most often tandem or even triple axle. So the answer to your question is yes ... when tongue weight dictates, a WDH can be very helpful regardless of the number of trailer axles.

Always keeping in mind that proper trailer weight distribution must be observed - a WDH does nothing to mitigate improper trailer weight distribution; nor does it mitigate exceeding any of the tow vehicle's various weight limits (GVWR, GCWR, and each axle's weight rating).
__________________
Alan E.
Prospective Escape 5.0TA Owner (deposit submitted 09/09/2020)
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 12:28 PM   #31
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: White Bird, Idaho
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19, "Zen Purple", 2017 4X4 Chevy Colorado/Duramax
Posts: 283
As I understand it, a WDH does not prevent or mitigate sway. It simply levels the tow vehicle and trailer by transferring the weight to the front axle of the TV and the trailer axle. My truck squats a couple of inches without it under the tongue weight of my 19, and I want everything to be level such that my headlights don't blind oncoming traffic. It also smooths the ride out and makes everything feel like a more cohesive, tight unit.

But not for a second have I ever assumed it would prevent or mitigate a sway incident. On interstates where I'm getting passed by semis and anywhere there are strong crosswinds, I slow down and am ready to brake. My theory is slowing down reduces the risk, and in the case of getting passed by semis, I want them to get by me as fast as possible.

Unfortunately, with a situation such as the OP described, sometimes one does not have time to react.
salmo7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2020, 02:41 PM   #32
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 3,231
From your description, and knowing the part of the country well that you were traveling in, I would guess you got hit by a very strong dust devil. They are very common in that area and can be underestimated, but are basically a small tornado of varying strengths.
Our 19 doesn't exhibit sway unless loaded heavy on the rear and I doubt that was what caused this from your description.
We've been hit twice while towing by dust devils and it caused exactly the situation you describe, although ours was still controllable. I think you just had the unfortunate luck of getting hit by a very strong one. Thank goodness there were no injuries.
Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 12:31 PM   #33
Tin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: NA, Arizona
Trailer: 2017 5.0TA
Posts: 488
Glad you are ok. I would add knowing your trailer weight and tongue weight is critical, with out this knowledge proper weight distribution is futile.
Tin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 01:06 PM   #34
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Trailer: Escape 21 2019
Posts: 53
A WDH can help with sway in a few ways:
1. Many of them have sway control built in. Most commonly this is some mechanism of adding friction to the coupling to the tow vehicle, such that it resists having the trailer move out of line and acts as a damper on sway movements. I barely remember controls theory but adding resistance to a feedback loop will dampen unstable oscillations, and this may be sufficient to control a sway event.

2. A properly set up WDH will have the vehicle and trailer level, which helps avoid unstable oscillations. Air bags on the rear axle can do the same but WITHOUT any weight transfer.

3. A properly set up WDH will improve the balance of the tow vehicle by distributing the weight between the two axles better. This improves the balance and steering response and can help eliminate and control sway situations. This is what a WDH offers that air bags do not (as well as the tighter coupling also mentioned). Think about a truck with barely any weight on the front wheels...it would be very easy to turn the vehicle by pushing the hitch to the side. With all 4 wheels equally weighted it is much more difficult to turn the vehicle by pushing on the hitch. Steering response is improved as well as "go straight" stability.

My experience so far (~6 months): I started with just a regular (weight carrying) hitch setup with our 21C and a TV rated for 7700 lbs (Land Rover LR4). The LR4 has air suspension so it self levels regardless of the weight on the hitch. The manufacturer does not recommend using a WDH. The first few trips felt ok, not great. I didn't have any significant sway events but rough pavement led to porpoising and a lot of feedback. On the last trip I definitely noticed understeer, and we had an opportunity to scale the setup and I found I had the rear axle overloaded, the front axle much lighter, and I was at the limits of the hitch weight. I'm adding a stronger hitch and the Andersen WDH.
daniel108 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 04:26 PM   #35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
Think about a truck with barely any weight on the front wheels...
A pickup truck typically has about 60% of its empty weight on the front wheels, and the trailer transfers a small fraction of that to the rear axle. There is no such thing as a pickup towing a trailer with "barely any" weight on the front wheels. Just look at the scale readings for anyone who has weighed their truck (getting separate front and rear axle weights) with and without their trailer. Yes, WD helps front traction, but the front tires of a truck are in no danger of losing contact with the ground.

Here's the first example of actual scale readings posted to this forum that I found in a quick search; thanks to Jon Vermilye for sharing them:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
For example, my last weighing (No WDH, both trailer & truck fully loaded for a 7 month trip)

With Trailer Attached
Steer Axle 3080
Rear Axle 3420
Trailer Axle 4320
TOTAL 10820

Truck Alone
Steer Axle 3300
Rear Axle 2660
Truck Total 5960

So:
Trailer 4860
Tongue 540
The actual proportion depends on wheelbase, rear overhang, and ball mount length, but loading a trailer coupler onto a hitch ball might transfer 40% of the tongue weight from the truck's front axle to the rear; in this case with 540 pounds of tongue weight that was 220 pounds transferred (40.7%). This truck weighs 5,960 pounds with occupants and cargo (and it's only a mid-size) and like most trucks has about 60% of that on the front when empty, so that's 3,300 pounds (55.4% of loaded weight) before hitching... and still 3,080 pounds after. That's literally a ton and a half on the front tires with the trailer and no WDH, which is nothing like "barely any weight". Yes, a WD system could be used to raise the front axle load to near 3,300 pounds, as well as transferring a couple hundred pounds to the trailer's axles, reducing the truck's rear axle load to under 3,000 pounds.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 05:17 PM   #36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 1,551
My vote is on sudden freak gust of wind. I saw one once take down a tree (twist it at the trunk and take it down) when hardly anything nearby was touched.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 05:58 PM   #37
Senior Member
 
HABBERDABBER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Madison area, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2016 Escape 19
Posts: 294
Yikes!

I'm relieved to read all is OK.


A "rogue" gust of wind is one culprit. Possible. Some instantaneous failure of some piece of gear also is high up on the list.
After those 2, I'd say bad fortune.
HABBERDABBER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 06:21 PM   #38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Signal Mountain (Chattanooga), Tennessee
Trailer: Escape 21 November 2014; 2016 Ram Eco-diesel 4WD Crew
Posts: 554
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
A WDH can help with sway in a few ways:
a

My experience so far (~6 months): I started with just a regular (weight carrying) hitch setup with our 21C and a TV rated for 7700 lbs (Land Rover LR4). The LR4 has air suspension so it self levels regardless of the weight on the hitch. The manufacturer does not recommend using a WDH. The first few trips felt ok, not great. I didn't have any significant sway events but rough pavement led to porpoising and a lot of feedback. On the last trip I definitely noticed understeer, and we had an opportunity to scale the setup and I found I had the rear axle overloaded, the front axle much lighter, and I was at the limits of the hitch weight. I'm adding a stronger hitch and the Andersen WDH.
Daniel,
I followed a similar course when I was towing with our 4Runner. I switched out the weight carrying hitch for a stronger frame rail style hitch. I then added an Andersen hitch.
Later when towing with our Ram, which has self-leveling air suspension, I might not have bought an Andersen, but I already had it, so I use it. Ram has a procedure to use for towing with the self-leveling. I use the Andersen primarily for the sway protection it affords due to its friction material in the tapered ball mount. I snug it up with some tightening of the threads, but probably not as much as I would if I were trying to transfer weight or level the combination, since it's always level. I've never towed without the Andersen, so I can't comment on how much porpoising or sway it prevents. It just works.

Other than that National Park incident, I am not sure why Andersen has fallen in popularity. Two of our best towing buds use Andersen, one in Iowa and one in Tennessee. I received a replacement of over half of the hitch at no cost when Andersen upgraded their materials and design.
Bill
Bill and Earline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 06:40 PM   #39
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,808
I can buy the idea of a wind gust as causing a properly loaded and stable trailer to twitch sideways, but if it is stable it just comes back in line. To cause a loss-of-control incident there must be something to keep the trailer from stabilizing, and a reasonable guess would be the ruts in the road.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2020, 07:08 PM   #40
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Trailer: Escape 21 2019
Posts: 53
I'm just using an extreme example in order to understand the common. It's not to say the extreme is common. By looking at what happens when almost no weight is on the front wheels I'm able to visualize what happens when there is less weight on the front wheels.

You don't have to lose contact with the ground to lose effective steering control. I can tell you that my truck (SUV) understeers going into corners (without a WDH). This is because there is not enough weight on the front tires relative to the weight of the vehicle + trailer. I just scaled it at 2825/4400 F/R (550 on the hitch). The factory base specs for the SUV are 50/50 balance in base weight. One might be inclined to think that 2825 lbs on the front axle would be plenty of weight to create traction, but relative to the 11,250 lbs total, it is not. Taking corners at the suggested speed I definitely feel the effects of the lighter load on the wheels, despite having MORE weight on the front axle than base curb weight divided by 2. The balance is way off.

Imagine you have a 5000 lb trailer trying to push the rear of the vehicle to the side at the trailer hitch. This is a rotational force opposed by the front wheels. The more the trailer is pushing down on the bumper and lifting the front of the truck, the less control the front wheels have, and the easier it is for the trailer to turn the truck - this is sway. More weight on the front wheels gives more control (at least up to the 50/50 balance). More weight of the system requires more weight on the front wheels for the same amount of control (e.g a small car doesn't need 1.5 tons on the front axle).

It's not to say every vehicle needs a WDH. The example you gave is 47/53 without it (vs 39/61 for my rig). My vehicle has a spec'd hitch max load of 550 lbs and I believe that is mainly because of loss of F/R balance with no WDH. At the limit I think you'd have to have the cargo/back seat area near empty but that's not how I travel, and thus I'm adding the WDH to hopefully improve things.
__________________

daniel108 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sway, wreck

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×