What were they thinking.

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What were they thinking.

Post  chuck on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:44 am

I stopped by COVE LAKE yesterday.. just to look around.. and picked up dinner (to take home) from the BBQ restaurant. While driving through the CG.. I spotted a camper.. just like one I have looked at time and time again. Its the right size.. to town with my present truck.. and has the things I want,.. if I ever upgrade. I stopped and talked to the man setting up the camper. He was an older man.. probably in his 70s.. said he drove from TEXAS to TN.. just to visit relatives. Seems he was born and raised in the Jacksboro area. He isnt really into camping (like we are).. the TT is just his hotel room.. thats all. In 10 years he has owned 3 different campers.. and only rolled an awning out once.. just to see how it worked.

He told me that he wrecked his last camper (and vehicle) and swore off towing following the scarry accident. But after a year or so.. he bought his present unit.. a smaller TT. The man said the accident occured when he attempted to pass a slow moving vehicle on a 2 lane highway. He punched the gas as he swung out around the car.. and the trailer started to violently sway,.. and never recovered. His TV and trailer rolled over and down into a deep ditch. The TV landed upright.. but the TT broke off the hitch ball and came to rest on its top. He and his wife walked away from the wreck with no injuries,.. but she still won't get in the truck with a trailer hitched behind it.

Now the kicker.. He told me the wrecked TT was a 26 foot long,.. 6000 lb camper.. and he was towing all across the US with no weight distribution hitch and no sway bars.. none. Said he had never, ever used them on any camper.. just didn't feel like he needed them.

The camper he tows now is about 20 feet long.. and weights about 3500 lbs.. and he has a nice EQUAL-I-ZER, 4-point WDH with sway control.

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Re: What were they thinking.

Post  Richard on Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:04 pm

6000 lbs and no special hitch to control it. He's lucky that he got by without an accident as long as he did.
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Re: What were they thinking.

Post  coolbreeze1 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:07 pm

What happened was when he punched the gas an moved over to the other lane caused a whipping effect. The sudden jerk was like what you get when using a whip, there is the recoil effect of it. Even with a sway control, you could do the same thing, only it would take more effort. By not having a WDH the weight was probably distributed on the wrong places, causing this.

When pass another vehicle, do it gradually. I can even make my 5'er sway, if I move it to quickly.
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Re: What were they thinking.

Post  Richard on Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:16 pm

Passing or being passed by a larger vehicle makes mine sway, but there's not enough weight on mine for that little bit os sway to overcome the weight of the Suburban. Towing is when having a heavy tow vehicle and a PUP is indeed a good thing. When I get my bigger Hybrid some day, you can bet I'll have all the good hitch stuff.
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Re: What were they thinking.

Post  chuck on Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:25 pm

I think.. even with WDH and sway control.. I am gonna baby my set up. I can't imagine passing anything on a 2 lane rd.. unless its setting still. And when I do change lanes on an interstate hwy.. never punch the gas and swing out. Ease over.. then accelerate as needed (if needed) to proceed around.

As I have said before,, the more I pull the camper.. the more confident I get. I need to hear these horror stories every now and then.. just to keep me mindful of what could happen. Do I really need to go 75mph and get there 10 minutes sooner? No.

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Re: What were they thinking.

Post  KralCamper on Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:31 pm

We had sway control problems when we first got the Pup (only 1800 lbs - 12 ft box). The Pup would really start to sway (very scary) even though we were driving in a straight line. after some investigation I found out it was being caused by the short wheel base of our '95 S-10 Blazer TV (which we still own). I acquired a sway control/weight distribution system from a friend that was no longer using his. After the install, I never had another problem with it again, and will not tow without one because I have discovered from personal experience that it just makes too much sense not to have one, even if you are only pulling a light weight Pup. They are well worth every penny you may pay for one, can be transferred to your next camper, and may just save your life without knowing it...

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Re: What were they thinking.

Post  coolbreeze1 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:04 pm

Would agree with you Chuck. These stories of other bad misfortunes, reminds us to take careful actions when towing, so that we won't get into bad habits.
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