Sad Day - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-24-2016, 05:51 AM   #15
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Name: Wendy Lee
Trailer: Scamp 13' Standard
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I'm so sorry this happened. It always hurts when we put so much love time and energy into something that really is an extension of ourselves.

I bought my trailer used which had been in a prior accident. Pictures are quite similar to yours. A big ouchie. The P.O. had it repaired at Scamp, so it is doable. Or you could begin a new egg trasure hunt. Either way, it's understandable to cry a few tears, but in short order, your two hearts will find peace and make a decision going forward of what your like to do. Here in Buffalo, we have an excellent boat Gelcoat fiberglass guy that could bring her back to life. Perhaps you might in your locale too.

If not, as others have said, there's a new owner out there who would kiss that boo boo better.

And although my trailer isn't wrecked, as a side note just had a new axle installed by well meaning folks who burned up my closet and carpeting in the process. My point there is that it sure does hurt when that extension of yourself sustains injury. You have each other in the end and hopefully soon this will feel more like a little bruise rather than the broken arm it does now.

God Bless You Both.

Wendy

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Old 07-24-2016, 07:10 PM   #16
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Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
British Columbia
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Thanks for your condolences. And I appreciate the concern for my wife -- we have now had the same conversation many times. Me saying it would have happened to anyone, her saying she's still having dreams about it. (We have our 40th anniversary next month).

I have to admit I feel bad knowing there is now one less Boler in the world! (And one less FJ Cruiser for that matter: neither is being manufactured any more).
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:41 PM   #17
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Wisconsin
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Glad you are safe and okay

Insurance can get you a new trailer..no amount of money can buy you a life
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:45 PM   #18
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Wilson View Post
(We have our 40th anniversary next month).

I have to admit I feel bad knowing there is now one less Boler in the world! (And one less FJ Cruiser for that matter: neither is being manufactured any more).
Feel bad for you on both counts! but as others have said be grateful no one was hurt and you if you tell the story correctly - i.e. "WE" had an accident & forget to tell the part about who was driving.... next year, you should be able to say you celebrated your 41st anniversary. ;-)

Otherwise she might start to point out that the party who was teaching her how to tow never explained to her not to use the vehicles brakes and only the switch on the controller when sway starts - if that is what caused the accident. She might also say she had nothing to do with what hitch or WDH or anti sway bar chooses were made or not made, if that was another contributing factor

Just think about the fun you will have shopping for both a new trailer and a new vehicle.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:23 PM   #19
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Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
British Columbia
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Thanks, Carol. We're headed out FJ shopping next week -- and we will follow up a few egg leads.

Long ago I adopted the "no blame" philosophy based on the notion that whenever you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointed back at you.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:30 AM   #20
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
Massachusetts
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Last week my wife took her first turn at the wheel pulling our 17' Boler in the Yukon.

She lasted 45 minutes before fishtailing it into a bridge on Big Creek, writing off both our FJ Cruiser and the Boler. . .
Glad to hear your wife is OK. Don't know if you meant to imply that it was her driving that caused the accident, but it sounds that way. Have you determined the cause? Some of us are novices when it comes to pulling trailers, so if you have an idea what happened, it might help us learn what to avoid.

By 'fishtailing' do you mean excessive trailer sway, or loss of TV steering, or both? Was the trailer badly loaded? Was she going too fast? Were there high winds? A bad tire? Or some other factor?

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:08 PM   #21
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Name: Michael
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Oklahoma
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My wife has never been willing to get behind the wheel while hooked to a trailer. I respect her choice, although I tried coaxing her a time or two.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:49 PM   #22
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Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
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Mr Lynn:

It was a big gust of wind that started the trailer fishtailing immediately and dramatically. We had just seen the camper in front of us buffeted across the highway, and I was saying "Watch . . ." when things went rapidly to hell.

Because Ingrid was driving carefully, trying to feel things out, we were going about 10 KPH below the speed limit downhill around a corner onto a bridge. She might have had her foot off the accelerator, allowing the trailer weight to bear on the tow vehicle but in that situation accelerating was not an option.

I should make the point again that I mentioned my wife's lack of experience not to blame her, but to highlight what a lousy start that is to towing a trailer. We were headed to Inuvik and having covered 900 K, we still had 1,700 K to go. I really wanted to share the driving!

As for other variables, the tires were brand new, first trip on them, the bearings freshly packed, the equalizer hitch nicely tensioned so both the TV and the trailer sat level even with adequate tongue weight, the weight in the trailer kept above the axles as much as possible.

I believe part of the problem was the overall configuration of the rig: short wheelbase tow vehicle (FJ Cruiser), small, short-wheelbase trailer (Boler 1700) with a single axle. Once the fishtailing began so dramatically, we were just along for the ride.

On the other hand, we are both going to be practicing reaching for the manual controller on the electric brake so that it becomes muscle memory -- and I am going to be more religious about adjusting the trailer brakes whenever I pack the bearings to ensure we can get a real solid grab from them: I was previously happy just to feel a braking effect from the trailer brakes so that the FJ did not have to supply all the braking.

Other than practicing grabbing the manual controller on the electric brake so there is no fumbling in an emergency, my only takeaway from this is that it can happen to anyone.

In the last 7 years we have covered 10s of thousands of kilometers with that setup in what I would have thought of as much worse conditions: steep mountainous terrain, muddy, slippery switchbacks, rocky and potholed roads, beaver-flooded logging roads. And there on flat pavement at a very moderate speed it went rapidly south.

But we are both here to play with our grandchildren this weekend. THAT is important!
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:14 PM   #23
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Thanks, Warren, for the detailed report. It must have been traumatic, and I'm glad you all (except the vehicles) emerged unscathed.

So the Boler was swaying violently on a downhill grade. Is hitting the manual trailer brake the best thing to do in that circumstance? I'm asking because I have no idea; I'm new to towing (aside from a U-Haul utility rental on rare occasions, and those had surge brakes). Would hitting the TV brake have been a bad idea?

You had an 'equalizer' (weight-distributing, I assume) hitch, and even that wasn't enough to prevent the fishtailing. I have only the single anti-sway bar that Casida sold to the PO with our trailer. Your experience makes me wonder if I need more hardware.

Perhaps others can suggest how best to avoid what sounds like an almost unavoidable situation.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:19 PM   #24
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Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
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Truck drivers have told me that stepping on the accelerator is a good strategy when your trailer begins to fishtail: pulling hard on it to get it lined up again. Unfortunately, when headed downhill into a curve towards a narrow-looking bridge, that was not a possibility.

Hitting just the trailer brakes was the second strategy recommended. I have not done either -- the only other fishtailing experience I've had is with a small utility trailer, and it came back into line once we passed the washboard section of road.

The weight-distributing (equalizer) hitch made a big difference to how stable the trailer felt, even if it was a bit of over-kill for a small Boler. I am considering adding airbags to the rear end on my next tow vehicle. And I am also hoping to find a Bigfoot with tandem axles -- another friend of mine has said that compared to a single-axle trailer it has much less tendency to sway.

When I first bought the Boler in Edmonton (about 17 highway hours away from home), the salesman put it on a simple ball hitch, and gave me a 4-pin to 7-pin connector and pointed me down the highway. So off I went with nothing but a simple ball hitch and no brakes.

He said I should be fine: after all, I was only driving through the Northern Rocky Mountains. Since then I've learned he freely gave me very bad advice indeed.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:35 PM   #25
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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I have a 17' Escape and a RAV4.
I use a Pro Series weight distribution hitch without sway bars. In eight years, I've not experienced sway except for the one time I made a radical lane change. From that incident, I know what sway feels like. It was brief and trailer and tow recovered quickly.
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:55 AM   #26
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Name: Dave
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California
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Warren, I'm not sure I would agree with a tandem axle being better for sway. In almost 50 years of towing I've only had one sway experience, a utility tandem axle that I had loaded with way to much weight on one side. Not saying that your load was wrong and I'm glad you both are OK but sometimes external forces throw things out of kilter and you're on an E ticket ride. I like tandems or duals better but for flat/blowout reasons over a single axle.
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:48 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Warren Wilson View Post
The weight-distributing (equalizer) hitch made a big difference to how stable the trailer felt
When you mention "equalizer", do you mean the Equal-i-zer brand WD hitch, or was it a standard WD hitch? Did you have some anti-sway device?
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:20 PM   #28
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Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
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Yes, Carl -- I mean a WD hitch -- around here I guess the brand name has taken over. Can you recommend an anti-sway device?
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