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Old 06-09-2021, 11:00 AM   #1
meaz93*
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Newbie Towing Accident

My wife and I were coming back from Woodinville Washington Monday afternoon ( no TT this trip ) and cut through Nevada....wife was not happy with toute choice-lol
The winds were brutal the whole way back. We were heading south when I noticed less than a mile ahead what looked like a huge dust cloud with a vehicle involved?
A guy in a Ford Transit EcoBoost was towing what looked to be a 14' TT.....with no WDH!
Long story short a tire blew out on his travel trailer jack knifing the rig which flipped / trashed the TT. This happened on a 2 lane out in the no-where-ville Nevada Desert! ( no cell service either )....I'm sure speed was a factor.
Even though I wasn't towing; I always carry a light floor jack ( removed the 2 ton unit before we left AZ ) 2 floor jack stands, bolt cutters, battery operated impact wrench, & more assorted tools- leave nothing to chance!
The TT still had the safety chains attached which lifted the Van's rear wheels off the ground by almost a foot.
Needless to say the whole family was pretty shook up. The guy driving had never pulled a TT before but said he had a small work trailer of some sort he towed?
He had rented this TT from a private party whom obviously did not care about making sure this OP knew what he was doing!
Thank goodness nobody got hurt.... and that I had come along. I had took the Nevada route instead of the longer way back through Oregan, Boise, Utah, etc... Wife not happy-lol
I couldn't get the rear of the van up high enough to relieve & remove the pressure on the chains.
Asked OP for permission to cut the chains from the TT. Set floor jacks under rear axle and than cut chains....otherwise they could not use their tow vehicle and would be stranded for hours!
Nobody but myself and one other guy stopped but he had no tools to help.
I was glad to be able to help this family.
I was amazed that he did not leave with a WDH after renting TT?
It could have been worse than it was....
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:12 PM   #2
Ken / Claudia
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You get a 5 stars for helping that family out. Good details about the event.
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:21 PM   #3
dutchmensport
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It's hard to tell what was the cause of the accident. But your story is a good reminder that, although the speed limit might be 80 mph, if your trailer tires are rated at 65, you better not tow it any faster than 65.
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
It's hard to tell what was the cause of the accident. But your story is a good reminder that, although the speed limit might be 80 mph, if your trailer tires are rated at 65, you better not tow it any faster than 65.
1 tire was shredded and the other was fine.
Driver was very shaken and told me he had a bad back so he couldn't help much. He apologized and thanked me. They even tried to give me money which I turned down. I didn't interrogate him....much-lol
And out of respect.....I took no photos.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:00 PM   #5
Dan Lockwood
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I guess I've never thought much about this because it's never been in my wheel house, so to speak. But the 14' TT probably only weighs around 3,000 to 3,500#. I know the Ford Transit van is not a large vehicle, but shouldn't it have been okay as long as you drive for the conditions and the TT tires etc?

Obviously this guy had issues and we know he blew a tire. What would have happened in the situation with a WDH on the Ford?

At what point is a WDH required?
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:23 PM   #6
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At what point is a WDH required?
About 10 seconds after you drop the hitch of any TT onto the ball of any tow vehicle.
It's as much to prevent sway as it is to equalize the weight.
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:32 PM   #7
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That TT could have been 18' max....it definitely wasn't 20'.
The wife said my adrenalin was high so it's possible that I miscalculated the length a pinch.
It obviously had 1 axle .
With the OP being a newbie and all ...I would have pushed for a WDH with sway control.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:59 AM   #8
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I believe most will agree when I say that the single axle requires the anti-sway even more than a 2 axle. As Danny said, the pin weight on that RV isn't much to deal with for the van, but the anti-sway was necessary immediately.
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:10 AM   #9
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Thanks for the 101 class of towing a trailer...😀

I now have a few more grey cells stored with information.

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Old 06-10-2021, 08:31 AM   #10
Ken / Claudia
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My thoughts are just that, a WDH and anti sway system could have maybe prevented the ending, but the drivers reaction to the event was likely wrong anyway and contributed to the end result.
Most people are not trained to react fast and correctly to a major event.
Yea this is different, but points out my experience. I have had blow outs on patrol cars all high speeds and even at over 100 and never crashed. I have hydroplaned at high speeds and never crashed.
I had a rear tire blowout on my truck while carrying a heavy truck camper and pulling a boat at 65-70 and never crashed.
When a problem happens nearly everyone will push the brake peddle as hard as they can. That will in most cases add to the destruction.
Steering/counter steering and just getting your foot off the throttle will allow you to control the vehicle(s).
In my case with the truck blow out, I never touched the brake peddle until I was at around 10 mph and on the shoulder. I was in fear of flipping the truck if I braked.
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:28 AM   #11
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Our son bought an enclosed trailer to move across the country. A couple days into the trip he sent some pictures. The first picture was of the 2 axles on the drivers side with what appeared to be no wheels with hubs on the ground, after looking closer the centers had broken out of both wheels, lug nuts & wheel centers still attached this caused severe sway. He said a couple times see saw the entire side of the trailer in both rearview mirrors it was swaying back/forth so badly. He said he had just watched videos of what to do in this type situation which was/is to use the manual trailer brake control to slow the trailer & bringing back in line which he did keeping it from flipping. The old gentleman following stopped to insure all were ok & shook my son's hand congratulating him for not losing it & said that he may have soiled his pants just watching. He said in few minutes another driver brought both tires still inflated on the wheels with no centers that he witnessed running across the interstate & fortunately did hit anyone. He unhooked the trailer & went the nearest town bought new wheels & had the tires mounted & back on his way back to that town to replace the other 2 wheels.
Fortunately the trailer manufacturer reimbursed him for the wheels & tire mounting & NO ONE injured!
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
Our son bought an enclosed trailer to move across the country. A couple days into the trip he sent some pictures. The first picture was of the 2 axles on the drivers side with what appeared to be no wheels with hubs on the ground, after looking closer the centers had broken out of both wheels, lug nuts & wheel centers still attached this caused severe sway. He said a couple times see saw the entire side of the trailer in both rearview mirrors it was swaying back/forth so badly. He said he had just watched videos of what to do in this type situation which was/is to use the manual trailer brake control to slow the trailer & bringing back in line which he did keeping it from flipping. The old gentleman following stopped to insure all were ok & shook my son's hand congratulating him for not losing it & said that he may have soiled his pants just watching. He said in few minutes another driver brought both tires still inflated on the wheels with no centers that he witnessed running across the interstate & fortunately did hit anyone. He unhooked the trailer & went the nearest town bought new wheels & had the tires mounted & back on his way back to that town to replace the other 2 wheels.
Fortunately the trailer manufacturer reimbursed him for the wheels & tire mounting & NO ONE injured!
Sounds like your son had a good teacher...
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by meaz93* View Post
Sounds like your son had a good teacher...
I wish I could take credit, but he had watched someone else's videos & his own quick thinking/reflexes.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:33 AM   #14
meaz93*
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I wish I could take credit, but he had watched someone else's videos & his own quick thinking/reflexes.
Well......we hope the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree in most cases-lol
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:47 AM   #15
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Tires and Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
It's hard to tell what was the cause of the accident. But your story is a good reminder that, although the speed limit might be 80 mph, if your trailer tires are rated at 65, you better not tow it any faster than 65.
See it all the time! As for us, our Goodyear tires are rated to 85, but, I do not exceed about 62mph. Better safe than sorry. Getting there safely is part of the journey as well. I saw a guy with a small KIA SUV towing a 30' travel trailer, and was passing everyone at a high rate of speed. It caught up with him later, as he was flipped over, and totaled the TT. Nobody was hurt, but, I asked the guy how it happened. He said the TT was swaying, so he pushed the manual part of the brake controller. When the brakes locked on the TT, it caused him to lose control of the SUV. I asked him how fast he was going, he stated around 80mph.... Some folks just do not understand.....
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:22 AM   #16
WDPatterson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
Our son bought an enclosed trailer to move across the country. A couple days into the trip he sent some pictures. The first picture was of the 2 axles on the drivers side with what appeared to be no wheels with hubs on the ground, after looking closer the centers had broken out of both wheels, lug nuts & wheel centers still attached this caused severe sway. He said a couple times see saw the entire side of the trailer in both rearview mirrors it was swaying back/forth so badly. He said he had just watched videos of what to do in this type situation which was/is to use the manual trailer brake control to slow the trailer & bringing back in line which he did keeping it from flipping. The old gentleman following stopped to insure all were ok & shook my son's hand congratulating him for not losing it & said that he may have soiled his pants just watching. He said in few minutes another driver brought both tires still inflated on the wheels with no centers that he witnessed running across the interstate & fortunately did hit anyone. He unhooked the trailer & went the nearest town bought new wheels & had the tires mounted & back on his way back to that town to replace the other 2 wheels.
Fortunately the trailer manufacturer reimbursed him for the wheels & tire mounting & NO ONE injured!
A tongue-light, misloaded trailer will do that. It's important to make your trailer slightly tongue heavy.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meaz93* View Post
That TT could have been 18' max....it definitely wasn't 20'.
The wife said my adrenalin was high so it's possible that I miscalculated the length a pinch.
It obviously had 1 axle .
With the OP being a newbie and all ...I would have pushed for a WDH with sway control.
As you said, he was a newbie. He probably wouldn't have even known there was such a thing.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:55 PM   #18
travelin texans
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A tongue-light, misloaded trailer will do that. It's important to make your trailer slightly tongue heavy.
I'll guarantee it was as loaded as it could get! When he loads one there may be enough room for a sheet of paper if you look real hard for that spot to put it.
If there was a cause other than cheap a## very thin metal wheels it would be the trailer was overloaded.
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