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Topic: What caused our Trailer Accident

Posted By: teabag43 on 01/26/07 10:32pm

We were driving on dry pavement in cold weather at 50 miles per hr. We had a brand new 22ft Citation trailer pulled by a GM Envoy. My husband is a very experience driver and we have travelled thousands of miles over the years pulling various rigs. Big trucks had been passing us for hundreds of miles with no noticeable trailer sway only the usual pull that you feel when a big rig goes by.

We had a sway bar and the trailer was brand new. All of a sudden the trailer started to sway violently to the point my husband could not keep it on the road. This trailer has dual axles. We crossed over the passing lane with my husband desperately trying to get things under control. The trailer jacknifed and we flipped over landing in a ditch on the roof. We both survived with only minor injuries. In fact the seat belt held me like a hammock I didn't even feel the inpact and my husband had to undo it to let me fall down onto the interior roof. We were pulled out the drivers window.

Now my question for this forum. Truckers following us saw nothing other than the trailer swaying violently without any reason. When we went to the yard to check it out the back trailer passenger side tire was in shreds. There was only the rim left sitting on the ground. We don't know if that cause the crash or if the violent swaying caused the tire blow out. My husband said that he remembered a big semi passing us at high speed just beforehand but like I said literally hundreds of trucks had passed up without any problems. Guess we will never know what caused this but we now have lost our Envoy and our new trailer. Dealing with the insurance companies is pretty difficult and the paperwork is endless. Has anyone ever heard of this happening. The trooper seemed to think it was due to the stabilizers but I don't have a clue why he thinks that. I thought stabilizers stopped sway don't cause it. So what do you think??

* This post was edited 01/27/07 02:09pm by teabag43 *


Posted By: eurohazard on 01/26/07 10:39pm

1st of all, I'm glad you guys are safe! And sorry about your SUV and TT. It could have been a tire, but I'd like to think with dual axles, one blow out couldn't cause that. But I am not an expert yet. Keep us posted on what happens.


-2006 Nissan Armada LE 4x4
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Posted By: Chuck&Gail on 01/26/07 10:54pm

Glad you are both ok, what a scary happening. I wonder if blowout could have wraped around a wheel and locked it from turning, that would certainly cause "sway" I think.

Doesn't sound the same as friends of ours. They had towed all over the country with no issues at all. Then one day they were coming fast down a hill, in a crosswind, when a big semi went by really fast. Fortunately nobody was coming the other way as they lost it and rolled everything several times. TT and TV totaled, pieces blocked both lanes, but no permanent injuries.

If sway starts you have only a few seconds to remember NOT to touch the TV brake, but to use the override on the brake controller to straighten the whole mess out. That will always work and stop any sway if you are quick enough. Can't help myself from asking if your husband tried that to see if it would help?


Chuck
Wonderful Wife
Australian Shepherd
2010 Ford Expedition TV
2010 Outback 230RS Toybox, 5390# UVW, 6800# Loaded
Not yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces, & 2 Territories
I can't be lost because I don't care where this lovely road is going


Posted By: Earl Rice on 01/26/07 11:56pm

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.

Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
[image]
[image]

I'm glad your OK.


2008 Dodge 2500 MegaCab 4X4
Cummins 6.7 Powered 6 spd
Reese Dual Cam
2006 Springdale 296BHG 33' OAL
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Posted By: p220sigman on 01/27/07 12:09am

So many things it could be. Equipment failure, driver error (hitting the brakes on the Envoy instead of the controller), that perfect combination of environmental wind and the passing truck, etc. It is unlikely you will ever know for certain. Depending on what it was, there may have been little to nothing your husband could have do to prevent it.

Thankfully you weren't seriously injured. It may take a while, but "stuff" can be replaced.


Posted By: JTMO on 01/27/07 12:13am

My thoughts, which are just conjecture.
You are using standard WD bars, and a friction anti-sway bar?
You always were on the edge?
But, it took a blown tire to take it over the threshold?

And an Envoy and a 22 footer would require the Equalizer or a Reese dual cam HP system.
As stated, the reaction is to hit the brakes, which makes it worse.
Slightly accelerate, while squeezing the brake controller overide. DO NOT try to steer your way out of it.
Very glad you came out OK, without hitting anyone, Scary thing I bet.


Cedar Creek 27LRLS 7359 dry with extensive options/7700+ loaded.
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Posted By: TOOBOLD on 01/27/07 12:54am

I'm a novice at all this stuff, but was there enough hitch weight? Anyway, I'm glad you two made it out without any serious injuries.


Posted By: ArcticDodge on 01/27/07 01:25am

Very glad you were able to walk away from such an incident. Do you think that this would have happened if you were towing with a full size truck?


2009 Komfort 256TS
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Posted By: bownder will on 01/27/07 04:39am

I've towed alot of trailers. And with that experience I've found that if the trailer is too heavy behind the axles it can start swaying. If rear trailer weight is too much the swaying would have started right away. If the weight Behind axles is heavy, but not causing any swaying, then it might start the swaying with a big truck passing. If you know "for sure" you had more weight infront of the axles then the cause would have to have been from a tire blowout. I'm sure glad that you two were OK...


Posted By: JaycoRickJoan on 01/27/07 05:25am

I am relatively new to pulling the TT and have about 1.5 years under my belt with a few long trips logged so far.
I guess I am unfamiliar with the "brake override" function. Can some one explain that please? It sounds like a very important piece of knowledge in controlling a severly swaying TT.
I have been using the sway bar as well as EQ hitch and experienced some heavy winds this past spring returning from Grand Canyon. Felt a little sway, but nothing major.
Sure need to understand the "override brake controller" deal though.
Thank the Lord that he was watching over you and your husband in the accident. I know the loss of the trailer and SUV may seem like he was not watching over you, but he was more concerned about you and your husband. SUV and TT can be replaced.


Rick & Joan
Rogers, Arkansas
2005 Jayco Eagle 322FKS TT
2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD
">
2 First Gen Camaros



Posted By: kwlincoln on 01/27/07 05:56am

WELCOME TO RV.NET! Hopefully you will find good advice here - but not likely from me! Let me try anyway...

A blown rear tire on the TV COULD HAVE easily started the sway. Back when Ford was using bad Firestone tires, blown rear tires were causing SUVs to flip driving solo w/o towing a trailer. Your husband may not have felt it immediately if he had the WD bars on and pulled tight transferring a lot of weight to the front tires.

The other folks posting here are correct about using only the trailer brakes in that situation. That might have been the difference to prevent what happened. I've never had a trailer sway like that on me, but I presume that I'll respond in a panic situation to hit the trailer brakes first. I have only about 25-30K miles of towing experience.

Glad you are okay. Here are my 2 cents for safer travel next time:

* Heavier TV w/ longer wheelbase
* Best brake contoller you can afford
* Buy good quality tires for the weight you need and keep a very close eye on tire pressure and tire condition
* Be careful to keep the proper weight distribution for your personal belongings in the trailer (don't overload the rear of the trailer)
* Get the best advise you can on the hitch set up (that will vary depending on what your replacement rig will be)

Bigger budget, safer travel. Easier said than done sometimes, but you now have a better frame of mind to decide where to place value with your safety in mind.


Posted By: pamvanw on 01/27/07 06:06am

The back passenger side tire of the tow vehicle or the TT was shredded?
Weight distribution hitch with sway control or just a sway control?


Pam
2012 Arctic Fox 30U
2012 GMC Sierra 3500 D/A


Posted By: kwlincoln on 01/27/07 06:06am

JaycoRickJoan wrote:

I guess I am unfamiliar with the "brake override" function. Can some one explain that please? It sounds like a very important piece of knowledge in controlling a severly swaying TT.


You should have a brake controller with a slide control of some kind which you can send braking power to the trailer only. You would not need to use your TV brake pedal. If the trailer starts to sway, you should use the manual slide on the controller and progressively apply trailer brakes to pull the trailer straight.

I've practiced this several times on a open road with no one around to get a feel for working it. The trailer wasn't swaying, but I practiced the brake procedure.

I'm fortunate to pull a toy hauler (TH). THs have trailer axles further back with more tongue weight. Most regular TTs have the axles in the middle of the trailer and longer rear overhang. Because of this, THs tend to pull straighter with less sway.


Posted By: BillB800si on 01/27/07 06:28am

Earl Rice wrote:

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.
Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
I'm glad your OK.

-------------

70 MPH???
We set our cruise control for 63 MPH. Wow 70MPH


Bill B. (S.E. Michigan)
2015 Dodge Ram Crew Cab 4x4 Hemi
2016 Rockwood Windjammer 3029W


Posted By: JJBIRISH on 01/27/07 06:54am

Earl Rice wrote:

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.

Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
I'm glad your OK.


your tires are speed rated at 60 mph...air pressure, load, and speed are critical factors on trailers.
as to the OP, it will be hard to determine exactly what caused this accident. a sudden shift in weight, the tire, a hitch failure, driver error, and wind, or a combination of these things could be it.
a small sway problem can easily be made much worse by panic and driver error. even with a experienced driver.
thank God you are all right...
trailers are designed to be almost balanced so you don't need a Mack truck to pull them. the closer to balance they are to more prone they become to sway. finding the right balance, hitch system and setup, are the key to minimizing the problem.


Love my mass produced, entry level, built by Lazy American Workers, Hornet



Posted By: Buckeyelack on 01/27/07 07:54am

I noticed those tires were Firestone.Was'nt there an issuse with fire stone tires a few years ago on SUVs? I would check with them it may have been a bad tire.

Thank GOD you are Ok,TV and TT can be replaced.


2012 Sabre 32BHOK.
2006 Chevy 3500HD Crew Cab,4X4.


Posted By: CHRMAN on 01/27/07 08:09am

I've had many blowouts on trailer tires over 40 years & 250K towing . Most were on 2 axle one car hauler trailer. I switched to TT tires on the car hauler & my 35ft TT. That stopped the blowouts !!!! Two on my present 30.75 ft TT over 3 yrs. with trailer tires. None produced any sway. If for not hearing the bang the only thing felt is the severe out of balance carcass wobbling/shaking on the rim. Ninety percent of my towing has been with 10 & 1500 1/2 ton vehicles, by choice. I received my initial hitch set up instructions about 1969 from a Reese employee on the then new ,Dual cam SC.I've only had one severe sway on the 35 ft & a 2500 Surbaban. That came from mother nature pushing a high volume of air out of a crevice in a roadside wall of rock. Sped up & launched the trailer brakes to gain control. The OP has not stated what type of SC he has, but I'll bet money it was an adjustable friction type. Also that the WD was no set up properly at a scale. Sway starts at the trailer, always. IMO. One bit of advice to the OP is get a PULLRITE or a Hensley hitch so you do not have to endure the terror[emoticon] again.


Posted By: Chris K on 01/27/07 08:15am

JJBIRISH wrote:

Earl Rice wrote:

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.

Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
I'm glad your OK.


your tires are speed rated at 60 mph...air pressure, load, and speed are critical factors on trailers.
as to the OP, it will be hard to determine exactly what caused this accident. a sudden shift in weight, the tire, a hitch failure, driver error, and wind, or a combination of these things could be it.
a small sway problem can easily be made much worse by panic and driver error. even with a experienced driver.
thank God you are all right...
trailers are designed to be almost balanced so you don't need a Mack truck to pull them. the closer to balance they are to more prone they become to sway. finding the right balance, hitch system and setup, are the key to minimizing the problem.


60 MPH speed rating on an OEM SUV tire? My speed rating chart shows these tires as speed rating "S" which is 112 MPH.

Chris


2004 Fleetwood Wilderness Advantage AX6 29RLS
2000 Chevy Silverado 2500 LS 4WD Extended Cab, 6.0L V8, 3.73 rear
Prodigy
Reese WD hitch
Reese HP Dual Cam Sway Control


Posted By: ddav15 on 01/27/07 08:32am

I had a rear tire blow out on a rental trailer and also the trailer I have now and both times handling was not affected in the least, thats what's nice about duel axels. It must have been a malfunction of the brake system or you hit some ice since the trailer handled OK in the past. Glad you didn't get hurt.


Posted By: Camp I am on 01/27/07 08:34am

I agree with JTMO.

JTMO wrote:

You are using standard WD bars, and a friction anti-sway bar?
You always were on the edge?
But, it took a blown tire to take it over the threshold?

And an Envoy and a 22 footer would require the Equalizer or a Reese dual cam HP system.
As stated, the reaction is to hit the brakes, which makes it worse.
Slightly accelerate, while squeezing the brake controller overide. DO NOT try to steer your way out of it.


Glad your all ok.


Sahm I am's Husband ">

2006 Chevy Silverado 3500, LT3 CC/LB 4WD SRW LBZ Duramax/Allison

Keystone Cougar 327RES


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Posted By: Earl Rice on 01/27/07 09:00am

BillB800si wrote:

Earl Rice wrote:

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.
Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
I'm glad your OK.

-------------

70 MPH???
We set our cruise control for 63 MPH. Wow 70MPH

It was a 70MPH zone, but I wasn't pulling the TT thank God.


Posted By: Earl Rice on 01/27/07 09:17am

JJBIRISH wrote:

Earl Rice wrote:

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.

Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
I'm glad your OK.


your tires are speed rated at 60 mph...air pressure, load, and speed are critical factors on trailers.
as to the OP, it will be hard to determine exactly what caused this accident. a sudden shift in weight, the tire, a hitch failure, driver error, and wind, or a combination of these things could be it.
a small sway problem can easily be made much worse by panic and driver error. even with a experienced driver.
thank God you are all right...
trailers are designed to be almost balanced so you don't need a Mack truck to pull them. the closer to balance they are to more prone they become to sway. finding the right balance, hitch system and setup, are the key to minimizing the problem.


Every tire sold in the US has to be rated to a minimum speed rating of 85MPH. The Doughnut spares are even rated to 87 MPH. The Wilderness LE are S rated tires rated to 112 MPH. My new 8 ply Uniroyal Laredo's are rated to 118 MPH. The speed limiters on the 2000 Yukon XL's are set at 96 MPH.

I think if the tire blew on the back and sudden drop to one side would put uneven pressure on the WD bars. If the TT started swaying with uneven pressure on the WD bars that could explain part of it.


Posted By: mikehart92 on 01/27/07 09:19am

I would say that could have been a combination of things.

Difference in the way you loaded the trailer.
I would say the blow out set everything in motion.
The absolutely way too short of wheel base of the tv.
Way too light of tv.

When I hit the highways, I tend to reach down and set the trailer brake controller a little hot. That way, if there is any type of sway, I lightly touch the foot brake and the trailer straightens itself out. When I get into town, I just back it off.

There are not too many people out there that will be willing to, or think to, take one hand off the wheel to activate a brake controller. Instinct will have a person hold the wheel with both hand in an emergency situation.

Glad to hear you are ok and I hope this doesn't end your camping experiences. Next time I would suggest you get a full sized truck or van for pulling. Small suv's and minivans just aren't up to the challenge. They may work well for a while, but there come a time when having enough rearend is crucial.

Mike


2011 Chevy 2500HD.............6.6 D/A, 4x4, Crew Cab
Jayco Eagle 341 RLQS
B&W Campanion Slider


Posted By: Earl Rice on 01/27/07 09:30am

Your right about people instictively grabbing the steering wheel with both hands. I think what saved me when my tires blew was a video I saw here on the forum about how to handle blowouts. It immediately came back to me. I remembered to NOT hit the brakes. I kept speed and gradually slowed down. Good Video for who ever put it up.

With the sway going on I have reached down and activated the controller to engage the trailer brakes, and kept my foot on the gas and slowly ease off the pedal. That was a situation I had on a heavy construction trailer I had when it started swaying once.


Posted By: Road Ruler on 01/27/07 09:52am

CHRMAN wrote:

bit of advice to the OP is get a PULLRITE or a Hensley hitch so you do not have to endure the terror[emoticon] again.


The pro's at Hensley recommend a that Hensley be used on all SUV/s and PU trucks that are towing a TT.

Sure wouldn't hurt. Hensley Corp


Posted By: davidj54 on 01/27/07 09:53am

Earl Rice wrote:

Every tire sold in the US has to be rated to a minimum speed rating of 85MPH.


I understand what you meant but you really shouldn't make sweeping statements like that. For instance my tractor and implements have tires that were sold in the US and they're certianly not rated at 85mph. In fact my loader tires have max speed 30 mph stamped on them. While I agree that "every passenger car tire sold in the US must be rated at least 85mph" there are lots of tires other than passenger car tires. Even your ST rated tires are only rated at 65mph IIRC.

Back to the original topic. I believe that the tire blowout started the incident. Glad the OP is alright.


Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab (Yeah, it's got a Cummins)">
2006 Forest River Grand Surveyor GS-280
Prodigy Brake Controller
1000/10000lb Equal-i-zer with 4-way sway control




Posted By: Road Ruler on 01/27/07 10:27am

mikehart92 wrote:



Well of course the "pro's at Hensley" are going to recommend their own stuff. I would be willing to bet that the pro's at Equil-i-zer would recommend you use their brand. Mike


For sure!! But the Hensley would be the superior choice in preventing accidents. Would you concur?


Posted By: Geezer Apprentice on 01/27/07 10:33am

Is it possible that your grey water holding tank is to the rear of the trailer axles and your fresh water is in the front of the trailer axles and somebody left the water dripping in one of the faucets?

Your wreck sounds like a light tongue crash but one that DH knows not to preload with a light tongue but it developed on its own.


Geezer 2005 Dodge 5.9 CTD ">


Posted By: clintbonnie on 01/27/07 11:23am

Rick.. if you have the proper "brake controller" installed on your TV, it should have a "manual override" lever on the front of it. By moving it with your hand, it should apply your TT brakes, thus stopping the sway.

Also, my question is to teabag.. you don't memtion that you are using a WD or EQ hitch along with your anti sway bar..If you are having sway problems, you need both.


Posted By: tom_kat on 01/27/07 11:41am

a rear tire blow out on the tow vehical could do it ,i had one go befor and it was harder to control then if a front tire went,if you were traveling kind of fast to keep up with traffic it would be harder to control with a trailer behind you once it starts whipping back and forth, if you dont use your controller in a hurry to straighten things out your in trouble.


1985 Class A Holiday Rambler Imperial 33 +1979 Class C Holiday Rambler Statesman 1000 = 24 ft



Posted By: teabag43 on 01/27/07 12:42pm

Sorry if I mislead anyone. It was the rear axle tire on the trailer that was shredded. We only had simple sway bars. The Envoy was rated for much more weight than we were pulling. The trailer was balanced weight wise. My husband only touched the brake pedal to take the cruise off. He did not touch the electric brake control. He thought about increasing our speed but it all happened so fast. It wasn't as if the trailer just started to sway mildly. There was instant severe sway.

I thank you all for your kind words.

Colleen


Posted By: NCHornet1 on 01/27/07 01:02pm

What does simple sway bars mean? Was it a weight distribution system? The bottom line is I am glad you are okay and I pray the insurance deals fair with you, and I hope this won't keep you from RVing again.
God Bless


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OUR TRAILER



Posted By: LAdams on 01/27/07 02:13pm

Well, we will never know for sure what caused the accident but what your saying is that the TT was very stable pretty much under all conditions and even when semis passed it sounds to me like one of two things happened...

Some sort of mechanical failure at the hitch or (and I really like this explanation) when the left rear tire blew, the tire locked up due to debris caught between the tire and fender well and then loss of traction on that tire and the subsequent sway... A dragging tire, especially one that was damaged with possible rim contact could have caused the violent swaying you describe...

Of course this is all conjecture on my part, but it's as good a theory as any of the others and it would fit based upon your description of the sudden accident and your husbands driving skills...

I don't know a lot about GM products, but wasn't there a recent thread on defective GM hitches??? Those were on GM pickups and I don't know if the hitch problems apply to the envoy but it might be worth looking into...

Les


2000 Ford F-250SD, XLT, 4X4 Off Road, SuperCab
w/ 6.8L (415 C.I.) V-10/3:73LS/4R100
Banks Power Pack w/Trans Command & OttoMind
Sold Trailer - not RV'ing at this point in time



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Posted By: slim23 on 01/27/07 02:28pm

What would happen if one of the sides of the Equalizer or any other sway/wd bar break or disconnect?
Could that have been a cause?
Sorry if this has already been brought up.
Stan


Posted By: mikehart92 on 01/27/07 02:35pm

Road Ruler wrote:

mikehart92 wrote:



Well of course the "pro's at Hensley" are going to recommend their own stuff. I would be willing to bet that the pro's at Equil-i-zer would recommend you use their brand. Mike


For sure!! But the Hensley would be the superior choice in preventing accidents. Would you concur?


That I can't answer. How much more does the Hensley weight? Useing that small of the tv, I would say they where probably already pushing it on GVWR. The Hensley (and I am only going by looks in a picture) looks to be a very heavy item. If the Hensley pushes the already limited tv over it's GVWR, then I would say that it is a bad choice.

Mike


Posted By: Lt46 on 01/27/07 03:12pm

NCHORNET asks: What does simple sway bars mean? Was it a weight distribution system?

Geez, if I had a buck for everytime I've heard folks explain that their snap-up brackets and spring bars worked as a sway control, I'd be a rich man.
Many simply do not understand, or have had it explained to them, the difference between weight distribution and sway control. There seems to be a huge disconnect somewhere and it's a shame.


Peter & Dawn
97 Winnebago Adventurer 37RW
F53/460 w/ tag axle
96 Prowler 27X SOLD
IAFF L-792 (Ret.)



Posted By: Trail-Mate on 01/27/07 03:52pm

Some ST tire are Speed rated and marked on the outside of the tire. I have seen some with a 55 mph rating on the sidewall.


1997 Ford F250 Extended Cab, 7.3 Diesel, 8 foot bed.
Reese 16K Hitch
(Moved into Shed) Hensley Arrow
Jordan Brake Controller, Hensley TruControl Gold Shelved.
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Happy Camping !!



Posted By: dayjd on 01/27/07 05:15pm

I can relate to your experience. In 1985 I was heading to Ohio with my family hauling a single axle 18 ft travel trailer. We were about 100 miles west of Albany on I 90 when a flat bed Big Rig went steaming by us. As the rig passed us my TT started rocking from left to right and I instantly had no control over my SUV which was a new Toyota 4runner. All I could do was try to keep the steering wheel straight while I was at the mercy of this rocking back and forth. Thank goodness it was about 5:30 in the morning on a Sunday and there was very little traffic on the highway. We started in the far right slow lane and by the time I got the situation under control we had drifted accross two other lanes and were in the brake down lane left of the hammer lane. It scared hell out of me and I always thought that big truck caused the event. Glad to hear you both are alright and I sorry you lost your vechicles.


Posted By: WMG on 01/27/07 05:29pm

well i suppose it couldve been any of things mentioned ..... and maybe since it was cold .... they hit a thin patch of ice ...... i hit one patch like that .... roads were bare ..... except for that shaded , wind sweep spot ..never seen it.......and boy thatll send ya spinnin in a hurry


Posted By: crappie_fisherman on 01/27/07 06:42pm

Colleen,

Glad you and hubby are okay.

God Bless,
joe.


2007 Tiffin Phaeton 40 QSH 350Cat (3 women and 4 slides...Just RIGHT! ">)
2012 Jeep Liberty Sport (toad)

2005 Ford Excursion V10 w/4.30's (Sold)



Posted By: StevenBigBear on 01/27/07 10:48pm

Sounds like he didn't hit the trailer brakes....It happend to me as well.


Ford Excursion 4WD - V-10
Hensley Arrow - Prodigy - Landyot Radius-Rod - Helwig Rear Antisway Bar - Bilstein Shocks - AirBags
2008 Jayco Eagle 320 RLDS

320 RLDS JAYCO EAGLE
WA6ARC



Posted By: Garfie|d on 01/27/07 11:09pm

teabag43, so glad to hear no one was seriously hurt. From the information you provided there's no way to know for sure what happened. It could simply be a confluence of circumstances or it could have been a catastrophic failure of some sort. But here's a couple of my thoughts for what its worth...

Envoys, expecially the non-XL versions, make don't make good tow vehicles. The wheel bases are short AND narrow and they have a high centre of gravity. Furthermore, Citation trailers, even 22 footers, are not light weight. You might be closer to your Envoy's GVWR than you think.

I'm going to suggest that had you been towing using a Hensley Arrow (or Pullrite), unless the accident was caused by a total hitch failure it could very likely have been prevented as the Hensley excels in maintaining control in blowout,wheel lockup and other sway-inducing situations. Its something you might want to look at in the future.

You might also want do do some reading here on these forums about GM's OEM hitch problems. It would be interesting to have the wreck properly investigated to see if there was a discernable mechanical failure.


2001 Airstream Safari 25SS tugged by 2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD
Hensley Arrow • DirecLink • Mckesh
Set up by Can-Am RV


Posted By: JJBIRISH on 01/29/07 12:58pm

Chris K wrote:

JJBIRISH wrote:

Earl Rice wrote:

I'm curious as to the tires you were running. I had run the factory stock tires until a month ago. I had Fierstone Wilderness LE's. I had two blowouts on a round trip from St. Louis to SC and back. Both tires were shreaded.

Here is a pic of the front tire that blew out. I was doing 70MPH when it let go.
I'm glad your OK.


your tires are speed rated at 60 mph...air pressure, load, and speed are critical factors on trailers.
as to the OP, it will be hard to determine exactly what caused this accident. a sudden shift in weight, the tire, a hitch failure, driver error, and wind, or a combination of these things could be it.
a small sway problem can easily be made much worse by panic and driver error. even with a experienced driver.
thank God you are all right...
trailers are designed to be almost balanced so you don't need a Mack truck to pull them. the closer to balance they are to more prone they become to sway. finding the right balance, hitch system and setup, are the key to minimizing the problem.


60 MPH speed rating on an OEM SUV tire? My speed rating chart shows these tires as speed rating "S" which is 112 MPH.

Chris


since the OP was about a TT tire shredded and the post I referred to didn't say, I may have incorrectly assumed he was talking about his TT.
no TT tire is rated for more than 60 or 65 MPH.
nor was I suggesting that driving 70 mph while pulling a TT is the cause of the shredding tire, but speed, weight, balance, or air pressure are all contributing factors that alone or in combination could cause tire failure.


Posted By: PSDExcursion on 01/29/07 01:43pm

Quote:

Well of course the "pro's at Hensley" are going to recommend their own stuff. I would be willing to bet that the pro's at Equil-i-zer would recommend you use their brand

The Hensley Arrow and PullRite hitches are the only TT hitches that prevent sway. I towed my 41 ft in strong crosswinds with zero sway using a Hensley Arrow.


2002 Chevy Express 3500 8.1 155" WB passenger van
41 Ft 2003 Thor Citation 41-ZBSR TT w/ Hensley Arrow


Posted By: DoubleClutcher on 02/01/07 10:46pm

Is there any chance you lost the trailer off the ball? If it wasn't latched down right (which can happen) and the trailer dropped onto the chains you could have a very difficult rig to manage. I can only guess at what it would be like to have the trailer tongue moving from side to side in the chains.
I have had two blowouts and couldn't feel the difference in handling on one of them. A trucker flagged me down. (There is some farmer in Idaho that has a good potato crop..the blowout destroyed the black water dump and I fertilized his field [emoticon]


Posted By: ballpart on 02/02/07 12:06am

JTMO has given the best advise on how to counter act sway once it has started.

Always accelerate first. There are several reasons for this. First by accelerating the TV "PULLS" the trailer back into a straight forward line instead of the trailer pulling the TV left & right. Second your foot is almost always already on the accelerator or near it so you do not lose precious time searching &/or reaching for a leaver that can be very hard to locate in this kind of situation. Even if I am using cruse control my foot is very close to the accelerator, usually on floor next to or in front of, or braced against the consol hovering over it. Third you do not need to remove your hands from the steering wheel.

After accelerating & getting the trailer to reduce the sway then if you have a trailer brake controller start lightly applying the trailer brakes using the override leaver. You do not want to lock up the trailer brakes & cause the trailer to start skidding. You want to reach a controlled stop. After the trailer is slowing down & under control if you were using cruise control this would be the time to either lightly hit the TV brake pedal to disengage the cruise control or else manually turn it off.

Many people think an ordinary weight distribution hitch is an Equalizer hitch. IT IS NOT. Equalizer is a brand of hitch that has both weight distribution AND anti-sway capabilities built into its design. Friction anti sway bars do not even come close to working as well as the Equalizer hitch. It works very well & is only a step below the Hensley Arrow. It works so well that I keep the brackets mounted & slid back as far as possible on my travel trailers A frame & the hitch head rides in the truck bed incase my Hensley Arrow is ever damaged in an accident avoidance maneuver as it was in Fall 2005.

Someone made a comment about the HA being heavy. Yes it is. It weighs about 145 lbs if I recall correctly. However, because it is weight distribution it more than compensates for the added weight when adjusted correctly. It is also probably the best at sway control of any hitch that does not require modifying the TV & can be removed & reused on EITHER a new TV or travel trailer.

After posting I realized that I did not cover what to do if you do not have a trailer brake controller. As stated before accelerate to pull the trailer back into a forward motion. After the trailer has reached its apex of left or right & is just starting to return towards center "VERY LIGHTLY" touch the the TV brake pedal until the trailer reaches center behind the TV. Then take your foot off the brake until just after the trailer has reached its apex on the other side is starting to return to center then again lightly apply the TV brakes. You may have to go through the process of accelerating & braking several times, especially if the sway is being induced by rough, wavy roads or uneven highway joints along a section of road.

* This post was edited 02/02/07 12:18am by ballpart *


A Ball 2004 Chevy 2500HD CC SB 4x4 Duramax 6.6 Allison; Putnam XDR receiver, Hensley Arrow hitch, Arctic Fox 30U[/i]

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


Posted By: woodylake on 02/02/07 06:47am

In 1990 we went to Florida on a Diving trip. Carrying 6 scuba tanks in the back of a brand new 26 ft trailer. At the South Carolina border we flipped on our side. No one was hurt but the trailer was a total loss. It was not my trailer but I learned a valuable lesson. Weight distribution.


2002 Z71 Tahoe
2003 Sunline 2553


Posted By: JAXFL on 02/02/07 07:31am

teabag43, VERY GLAD YOU ARE HERE TO TELL THE STORY. I do not see how fast you were driving at the time. I think speed could have been a factor in the accident. I do not drive over 70, unloaded. When the TT is on the back 65 is as fast as I want to go, if tose behind me donot like it they can go around. I blew a TT tire about 4 months ago, just as I fit 68MPH after leaving a rest stop on I75. All the tires checked out just warm to the touch at the rest stop. Over the years 68 mph is the fastest that I remember going with a TT. I see folk all day long doing 70 - what looks like 90 mph pulling a TT with 250/2500's and that to me is asking for trouble, but it is also the MH folks that are driving that speed also. What is the big hurry? Again sorry to hear about the accident and I hope this does not stop you from enjoying the RV life.


Happy Trails
JAXFL
2008 3100LTD Sun Seeker
2008 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4 Auto Toad


Posted By: W7PSK on 02/02/07 09:21am

PSDExcursion wrote:


The Hensley Arrow and PullRite hitches are the only TT hitches that prevent sway. I towed my 41 ft in strong crosswinds with zero sway using a Hensley Arrow.



[COUGH]BS[COUGH]

I towed my TT first day in 60 plus crosswinds from Kenniwick to Yakima with semis going both ways and never had a sway with an Equilizer. Now with 2 years of towing with it in all conditions here in Washington State and around Ive had 0 sway in all winds and all weather.

I swear yu guy talk down every other sway towing system, its like your embarrassed you payed way too much money for something and have to act snobby as to not feel like you have been taken.


Rick and Diane Scott
2011 Ford F350 XLT Crew Cab
2008 Keystone Everest 322R
Itsy and Bitsy tagging along


Posted By: fatfreddiescat on 02/02/07 09:41am

CHRMAN wrote:

I've had many blowouts on trailer tires over 40 years & 250K towing . Most were on 2 axle one car hauler trailer. One bit of advice to the OP is get a PULLRITE or a Hensley hitch so you do not have to endure the terror[emoticon] again.

Whats 'sway?' Whats 'wobble?' When we bought our first TT, we went the distance and bought the Hensley Arrow. They're are some very rare instances when you might need to activate your controller manually....downhill on wet road in high wind, etc, but I have yet to even feel sway or wobble, even if a convoy of speeding truck pass me, in either direction. I guess my real comment is, I thought before tthe purchase of my TT to do everything I could to prevent chaos and error on the side of safety. It cost me $2500 for McKesh mirrors, the Hensley-Arrow, the hitch cover (canvas) and as far as I can tell, that is a lot cheaper than the co-pay on the TT and TV, and especially that sickening 'here we go' feeling you must have had as this was happening. I am very glad that you both came out with minor injuries. This could have been a tragedy! Get safe, and stay safe...and happy in your camping ventures!


Always nice to see ya!
Fred
Karen
Cha-Cha the Cat
***************



Posted By: fatfreddiescat on 02/02/07 09:50am

W7PSK wrote:


[COUGH]BS[COUGH]

I towed my TT first day in 60 plus crosswinds from Kenniwick to Yakima with semis going both ways and never had a sway with an Equilizer. Now with 2 years of towing with it in all conditions here in Washington State and around Ive had 0 sway in all winds and all weather.

I swear yu guy talk down every other sway towing system, its like your embarrassed you payed way too much money for something and have to act snobby as to not feel like you have been taken.


Are you using a 2 ton TV? Pulling a 12' trailer? Or did you happen across the 'magical combo?'

If you've never had the pleasure of using a Hensley, then I understand your contempt and jealousy for those of us that have. And, if you really try, you can find Hensley's used for about 25% of retail.

I used to use a ball to haul my utility rig around. Every pound I added was that much more white-knuckled sweat I suffered.

There will always be people that cry "I HATE SPINACH". You ask, 'have you ever tried it' and they reply, "NO-BUT I HATE IT!.

You, PSK, should call 1-800-WHA-AAAA and tell them your story!


Posted By: Rough2000 on 02/02/07 10:23am

fatfreddiescat wrote:

W7PSK wrote:


[COUGH]BS[COUGH]

I towed my TT first day in 60 plus crosswinds from Kenniwick to Yakima with semis going both ways and never had a sway with an Equilizer. Now with 2 years of towing with it in all conditions here in Washington State and around Ive had 0 sway in all winds and all weather.

I swear yu guy talk down every other sway towing system, its like your embarrassed you payed way too much money for something and have to act snobby as to not feel like you have been taken.


Are you using a 2 ton TV? Pulling a 12' trailer? Or did you happen across the 'magical combo?'

If you've never had the pleasure of using a Hensley, then I understand your contempt and jealousy for those of us that have. And, if you really try, you can find Hensley's used for about 25% of retail.

I used to use a ball to haul my utility rig around. Every pound I added was that much more white-knuckled sweat I suffered.

There will always be people that cry "I HATE SPINACH". You ask, 'have you ever tried it' and they reply, "NO-BUT I HATE IT!.

You, PSK, should call 1-800-WHA-AAAA and tell them your story!



Stay tuned Sports Fans: After this we will have discussions on "gas vs. diesel"; "alum vs glas siding"; "Ford vs Chevy", "Ford vs Dodge", "Chevy vs Dodge" "Foreign vs the other 3". Later we may even discuss "TT vs Fivers".

However none of this will help the OP.

By the way, I'm really glad that the OP and husband are safe and well.


If it moves but shouldn't, use Duct Tape. If it doesn't move but should, use WD40.


Posted By: Traveling Texans on 02/02/07 10:36am

Very sorry to hear about your accident and very glad you are OK. Let me relate a similiar experience. Same scenario, different vehicles. I had a 1996 2500HD towing a 21ft., CC Sea Pro boat on a tandem axle trailer. The right rear flange to which the wheel is bolted to broke, and I lost the wheel. I went across IH 45 2 times before I could get it pulled over. I was going about 68 accelerating to speed limit of 70. My boat weighed in at around 1750 lbs. So in my opinion a blowout could have caused the accident, and contrary to what some my say you have to be very quick to do everything in the right order. That's why my towing speed is 60 mph and I let you by as soon as I can move over safely.


2012 F350, Diesel,CC,LWB, King Ranch
2012 Cross Roads Cruiser 330SS


Posted By: fatfreddiescat on 02/02/07 10:59am

tiger8m wrote:

Very sorry to hear about your accident and very glad you are OK. Let me relate a similiar experience. Same scenario, different vehicles. I had a 1996 2500HD towing a 21ft., CC Sea Pro boat on a tandem axle trailer. The right rear flange to which the wheel is bolted to broke, and I lost the wheel. I went across IH 45 2 times before I could get it pulled over. I was going about 68 accelerating to speed limit of 70. My boat weighed in at around 1750 lbs. So in my opinion a blowout could have caused the accident, and contrary to what some my say you have to be very quick to do everything in the right order. That's why my towing speed is 60 mph and I let you by as soon as I can move over safely.


I agree with you totally! Let 'em speed on by!

When I was a kid (about 95 years ago) the family would get into the car and take a trip. Somewhere. Anywhere. I think it was the folks way of getting a change of scenery. But whether it was to "Grandma's Farm" or the Uncles/Aunts/Cousins house for a 2 day visit, it seems that we always went 40-50, if the road was good, and no traffic. Drive for hours, like from LA to Oregon with only a few rest breaks for 30 minute cat-naps, but never over 45-50.

I think, that for me, the idea of taking a TT out for a trip is supposed to be a relaxing journey. I find that goin' down the road about 55-60 is plenty. Sometimes slower, depending on conditions. Like my musician buddy in the Virgin Islands sez, "I like to keep my mornings open, and my afternoons free, so I never feel the pressure!"

Thats me, on Camping trips.
Safe and Happy Camping!~F


Posted By: Dixonmatco on 02/02/07 11:01am

I have towed many types of trailers for more years than I can remember. I have experienced that type of sway. IMHO the primary factor in this situation was trailer balance, meaning low tongue weight %. A well balanced trailer of any length does not tend to sway, however an imporperly balanced one does. Sure, a side wind can start it, but whether it gets progressively worse or subsides starts with proper balance. The sway reduction hitches and devices certainly help, but there is no substitute for proper balance. (the most effective one is the Hensley)

The location of your FW, grey and black tanks can make a major difference in balance, as a previous poster suggested. My fw tank is located directly between the axles, so full or empty makes no difference. I always empty the waste tanks before travelling, as they are located at the rear.

I also have shocks that came standard. I believe that they also help reduce the tendency to sway, by damping the rebound action of the suspension.

I had my current trailer sideways once at over 60 mph when I had to make a severe avoidance manouver, it straightened out almost immediately. I don't have a Hensley, just a simple friction device. Oh, yes, and a properly balanced trailer.

just my .02 and my personal experience.

Dixon

PS; Most important, you are all OK! Must have been a very scary experience!

* This post was edited 02/02/07 11:09am by Dixonmatco *


2000 Chevy Silverado 1500
2005 Komfort Trailblazer T23S
Honda EU2000I



Posted By: JBarca on 02/02/07 06:57pm

Dixonmatco

Your points about proper balance are dead on. 100% agree. Well said.

A tongue scale with explanation on how to use it and why, should be standard with every TT. Here is one such device, Cost was $120 delivered to your door about a year ago. Sherline Tongue scale

Just think when a dealer throws in a "starter" kit for you. What did you get? A cheap sewer hose, 1 baggie of blank tank treatment, maybe a fresh water hose and a few other trinkets. Wow your set to go camping...[emoticon] Does this fit with what you received with your new camper?

If they skipped the $25 worth of trinkets and included a few more important items along with some towing education would this help better to prepare you to go camping?

First let's keep this in perspective. You just spent $XX,0000 on a new TT. You already spent $XX,0000 on a TV what if the TT starter kit included some of these things with your TT.

A torque wrench and socket to fit your TT lugs nuts
A brake adjusting tool
A Sherline tongue scale

Cost of above ~ $200

And the most important,
Complete written instructions with pictures on:
How to set up your WD
Explain sway control and how to adjust it.
Proper loading of your camper to get good tongue weight
Procedures on how to get your rig weighed and how to do it axle by axle and why.
Proper way to torque your lug nuts, what setting and why.
Explain your TT brakes are most likely not self adjusting and you have to do this and when.
Explain about proper TT tire pressure and what is it for your TT.

Spend an hour with you and your rig on going over all of the above. You now have it explained and written instructions to take home to refresh your memory later.

Cost to dealer: ~$65 for the hr of technician time plus the $200 on the tools above.

Benefit to you and your family: Priceless.

Bad things can happen to very good people. Teabag43 has had a very unfortunate horrifying accident and searching for some peace in all this. Why?? Her husband has towed successfully for many years, this day they where only traveling 50mph and then in an instant everything is upside down. Something set the rig off into an uncontrollably oscillation. Unfortunately we do not have enough technical details yet to sort to the bottom of possible explanations.

We may never know, but maybe we can help her and her husband find some peace in this and other good camping folks reading along to learn from some of this "positive" discussion on what to look for on their rigs.


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)



Posted By: JBarca on 02/02/07 07:05pm

To the Fellow Campers of the pros and against the HA hitch...

Let's help keep this positive to help Teabag43 find some answers.

Before Les has to lock this post down for the Hensley/persons bashing war, go grab a cold one and come on over to the camp fire. I'll bring the free 1 lb hot dogs and chips. You just bring that camping spirit we are all known for. Some how it was lost here in the dead of winter.

Thanks


Posted By: TeryT on 02/03/07 12:27pm

Just FYI - the Hensley weighs 200 lbs. I weighed all the parts myself before I installed it. (And as to the comment of the Hensley's weight being compensated because it is a weight distributing hitch, to my knowledgethat has never been fully determined in all the debates on this forum.)

I would also 2nd what someone said about getting a Sherline tongue weight scale. Well worth the $75 I spent (shopped around & found a better price) to make sure the trailer payload is balanced right.

Teabag, the Hensley is an expensive piece of safety equipment at $3,000 new, to be sure, but my wife & I are convinced it is THE BEST. We found one used locally for less than half - money very, very well spent!


Mighty 4Runner Sport V8 4x4
Hensley Hitch
McKesh Mirrors, Revo Tires
Jordan 2020 Brake Controller
Tranny: Hayden Cooler/Fan & CyberDyne Gauge
Mobil 1 Full Synthetic fluids everywhere!
Rockwood 2502 (3600 lb. dry)!



Posted By: musingmom on 02/03/07 06:04pm

I don't know nearly as much as other posters, but I just thought I'd throw this out there.

Is it possible that a passing semi just barely clipped the back end of the trailer? Wouldnt that make it start to sway violently very suddenly? The violent sway could have caused the blowout, and subsequent accident.

I know the OP said that truckers following saw nothing, but I know two people that were clipped by a trailer of a passing semi. In both cases the semi continued on and never stopped. The CHP said they probably didnt even realize their trailer clipped anyone. I wonder if even people following didnt catch a slight clip as it all happened so fast. Of the accidents I mentioned, in one case, the back drivers side fender was damaged and the car was drivable. In the other case, the back of the trailer hit the front/mid drivers side of an Explorer and caused it to go out of control and roll. The traffic was heavy and Explorers are prone to roll.

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw that out there as another possibility. I'm glad the OP and her husband were not hurt badly.


musing mom & dear old dad
4 princesses, 11, 9, 6, 6
2003 GMC Yukon XL 2500 w/454
2007 Wilderness 320DBHS
2007 LA to Boston Road Trip
2009 Western States Road Trip Blog



Posted By: StevenBigBear on 02/03/07 08:23pm

Get a Hensley and start over....And lay on the trailer brakes when things feel odd.


Posted By: LVJJJ on 02/03/07 11:17pm

Teabag43 said it was cold out when they had the accident. They may have hit ice. Sway bars are'nt to be used in snowy or icy conditions cause when you hit slippery surfaces the sway bar won't let the TT come back to center and you have a problem. Quite frankly I don't like to use sway bars cause that means your rig is not set up right. Plus if you tighten the bars too much, the trailer really doesn't track right and feels squirley. I've had some major sway incidents such as being in the middle lane and got passed by two semi's on either side, felt like a tornado hit. All I could do was hang on, accelerate and grab the trailer brake bypass, now I believe in angels, cause the sway was very violent. I think the Lord was with teabag43, glad you're alright. Larry of the NW


1994 GMC Suburban K1500
2005 Trail Cruiser TC26QBC
1965 CHEVY VAN, 292 "Big Block 6" (will still tow)
2008 HHR
L(Larry)V(Vicki)J(Jennifer)J(Jesse)J(Jason)


Posted By: Chuck_S on 02/04/07 11:32am

The most likely suspect here is low tire pressure on the tow vehicle. Low pressure or overloading the tires has the same effect: they fail. The only time I've had significant trailer fishtailing was right after getting the truck home from the dealer and I failed to confirm I had enough tire pressure -- I didn't of course, there was 25psi in the rears.

Once a trailer starts fishtailing the only ways to get it under control are to apply full trailer braking or accellerate to pull the trailer back behind the truck. Accelleration is counter-intuitive, but slowing the whole rig with brakes or lifting off the gas must make it worse.

In fact, in this case with the blown rear tire (or very under pressure rear tires as I had) on the tow vehicle the ONLY way I know to recover from this is to push the electric brake override all the way to maximum braking.

I'm sorry this happened but there are two lessons for all:

1. You must have adequate tire pressure in your truck a well as trailer tires. (Truck tires can be overloaded by the weight of the trailer on the ball and require more pressure than normal and your usual soft ride street pressure isn't good enough.)

2. Trailer brakes are what's gonna get you out of this -- but you have to be quick and not use the truck brakes at the same time.

-- Chuck


'06 Roo 23SS behind '07 Expedition out of Cleveland
Our Photo pages



Posted By: Ron Gratz on 02/04/07 01:03pm

Chuck,

According to this post, it was the rear tire on the trailer, and not on the tow vehicle, which was shredded.

Ron


Posted By: wallhorse on 02/04/07 01:33pm

glad both of you are ok. i read a thread on here once where the people were pretty sure the Hensley hitch caused a wreck under simular conditions.


Posted By: TeryT on 02/04/07 01:49pm

wallhorse wrote:

glad both of you are ok. i read a thread on here once where the people were pretty sure the Hensley hitch caused a wreck under simular conditions.
I'd sure like to see that thread!


Posted By: fatfreddiescat on 02/04/07 02:58pm

wallhorse wrote:

glad both of you are ok. i read a thread on here once where the people were pretty sure the Hensley hitch caused a wreck under simular conditions.
And, it will probably rain avacado's in your neighborhood on Tuesday. Hensley CAUSED the wreck? You from Crawford, TX?


Posted By: Ron Gratz on 02/04/07 03:51pm

TeryT wrote:

wallhorse wrote:

glad both of you are ok. i read a thread on here once where the people were pretty sure the Hensley hitch caused a wreck under simular conditions.
I'd sure like to see that thread!

Tery,

He probably is referring to the HENSLEY ARROW INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT thread.

However, I'm not sure about the similar conditions.

Ron


Posted By: drfife on 02/04/07 05:58pm

You can always count on Ron.


Russell
'12 GMC Sierra 3500HD SRW
'13 Excel Winslow 34IKE



Posted By: fatfreddiescat on 02/04/07 06:03pm

theres a phenom referred to as the 'Hensley Bump' that can occur if you're towing downhill and brake while driving other than in a straight line. Shawn Woodruff, the Hensley VP explains that it is related to the braking. Since the Hensley creates a virtual pivot point due to the three-ball hitch assembly, the TT will tend to try to 'come around' unless you 1)have your brake controller set to send the signal to the TT brakes aggressively, or 2) actually manually activate the controller lever when you are in this driving situation. I'm not an engineer, and this is all paraphrased, but it is close, if not right on to the info that Woodruff gave me. I have experienced a minor such event, but I have a prodigy controller, and immediately left the voltage set as-is, but set the 'attack' control to one notch more aggressive, and it ended the problem. BTW, the night this happened to me, it also was raining. Call Hensley for more info. AND, it is also important to lube as directed on this hitch. It does not control sway by friction.


Posted By: TeryT on 02/04/07 06:32pm

fatfreddiescat wrote:

theres a phenom referred to as the 'Hensley Bump' that can occur if you're towing downhill and brake while driving other than in a straight line. Shawn Woodruff, the Hensley VP explains that it is related to the braking. Since the Hensley creates a virtual pivot point due to the three-ball hitch assembly, the TT will tend to try to 'come around' unless you 1)have your brake controller set to send the signal to the TT brakes aggressively, or 2) actually manually activate the controller lever when you are in this driving situation. I'm not an engineer, and this is all paraphrased, but it is close, if not right on to the info that Woodruff gave me. I have experienced a minor such event, but I have a prodigy controller, and immediately left the voltage set as-is, but set the 'attack' control to one notch more aggressive, and it ended the problem. BTW, the night this happened to me, it also was raining. Call Hensley for more info. AND, it is also important to lube as directed on this hitch. It does not control sway by friction.
As stated, this is supposedly cured by a properly set-up Jordan (or better) brake controller.


Posted By: TeryT on 02/04/07 06:42pm

Ron Gratz wrote:

TeryT wrote:

wallhorse wrote:

glad both of you are ok. i read a thread on here once where the people were pretty sure the Hensley hitch caused a wreck under simular conditions.
I'd sure like to see that thread!

Tery,

He probably is referring to the HENSLEY ARROW INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT thread.

However, I'm not sure about the similar conditions.

Ron
Thanks, Ron - I hadn't seen that one (not on here that much any more because my near perfect Hensley has just taken all the worry out of RVing! LOL - just kidding!).

I quickly skimmed through this thread - so what was the bottom line? - something like nothing man-made is 100% perfect, and we should be sure to check & lube the HA according to recommended schedule? (just a wild-a** guess)


Posted By: Ron Gratz on 02/04/07 08:05pm

TeryT wrote:

---I quickly skimmed through this thread - so what was the bottom line?---

Tery,

There was no "bottom line" as far as any proof of what caused the accident. My assessment of the accident is given in this post.

Ron


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