Next time, the turtle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
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On first long trip towing Hunter Compact II with 4-cylinder PT Cruiser with 5-speed, was about 200 miles into it and humming right along - dogs happy, driver happy and thinking of great campsite ahead and then far ahead, I see something dark moving on edge of the two-lane road. As I approached, realized it was a 10-inch turtle high up on its legs; quickly trotting right to meet my car.

Not thinking (always a bad idea) but reacting as normal, I swerved to spare the turtle. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE! The trailer swung over and then back and kept doing it - trying to move the car as well and I was scared to death. Well, I tried to act like it was a flat or ice and used no brakes, just no gas and gripping steering wheel for straight ahead. Didn't know anything else to do.

I was lucky no cars coming from opposite direction AND that nothing horrible happened other than faster heart rate and quick breathing. Dogs thought it was just part of the trip. Turtle lived and so did we.

Next time, ??? Maybe turtle not so lucky. Anyone have any suggestions for these situations?
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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This is where trailer brakes come in handy. A quick application at the controller and wa-la no more wet seat.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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A PT Cruiser? Hate to Open a "Can O' Worms" Sway Bar is my first thought?___


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Old 06-24-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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Pat, your story gave me goosebumps all over, again. A few years ago, when we were pulling our 21 foot Bigfoot Trailer, with our Chevy Tahoe, we had the same thing happen. We were in wall-to-wall, bumper-to-bumper traffic at highway speeds, just North of Albuquerque, NM and I was in the outside lane, when some idiot, parked on the side of the road, decided to open his door and get out. I did what you did, swerved, and all hell broke loose. That BF trailer did a wheel to wheel dance for what seemed like 50 miles. Finally, I got things settled down and we pulled of at the next exit and just sat and shook. Thank God, I had a good Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Bars. I think that was all that saved us and the rig. The inside of the trailer was a total disaster. Looked like someone had stuck a Mix Master in there on high speed.

Next time, the idiot will go see God because I won't swerve. I could of wiped us and a bunch of people out due to his stupidity.

Don't really have a solution for you, except to pre-program yourself for what you would do in situations like that again.

Good Luck,

EKW
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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I thinks it's such a natural reaction to swerve I don't know how one would avoid it, it's so hard to hit something. All of our driving experience teaches us not to.

Keith, that guy should have been in "The Darwin Awards"!
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
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Several years ago, I remember a thread on this subject . One of the posts was ...when this happens.. instead of letting up on the gas, give it gas slowly and it will come out of it.

Anyone else remember this?
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
On first long trip towing Hunter Compact II with 4-cylinder PT Cruiser with 5-speed, was about 200 miles into it and humming right along - dogs happy, driver happy and thinking of great campsite ahead and then far ahead, I see something dark moving on edge of the two-lane road. As I approached, realized it was a 10-inch turtle high up on its legs; quickly trotting right to meet my car.

Not thinking (always a bad idea) but reacting as normal, I swerved to spare the turtle. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE! The trailer swung over and then back and kept doing it - trying to move the car as well and I was scared to death. Well, I tried to act like it was a flat or ice and used no brakes, just no gas and gripping steering wheel for straight ahead. Didn't know anything else to do.

I was lucky no cars coming from opposite direction AND that nothing horrible happened other than faster heart rate and quick breathing. Dogs thought it was just part of the trip. Turtle lived and so did we.

Next time, ??? Maybe turtle not so lucky. Anyone have any suggestions for these situations?

Since the Compact II has leaf springs, it would be a good candidate for shock absorbers.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:26 AM   #8
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[quote]A PT Cruiser? Hate to Open a "Can O' Worms" Sway Bar is my first thought?___


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"A PT Cruiser?"?

tell me about sway bars please. I know nothing about them.

The PT Cruiser is one of the original 2001's that I ordered sight-unseen in 2000 and waited for and have loved ever since. Older dog and I camped 9,000 miles using mattress I made for back of car after removing back seats, then got teardrop and did another trip and brought teardrop back. Now have 1973 Compact II. Over the years, bought tires, battery, fan motor replacement, regular oil and filter changes and that's about it. Been a great car and suits my short size and need for vehicle to haul things such as bags of manure or bunch of 2 x 4's or as place to sleep.

The low towing limit of course decides what I can use for camping. The 5-speed has been fabulous on hills. As you can tell, I really like this car and now with the little trailer, a good combination my dogs and I enjoy AND it's paid for.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
"A PT Cruiser?"?

tell me about sway bars please. I know nothing about them.

The PT Cruiser is one of the original 2001's that I ordered sight-unseen in 2000 and waited for and have loved ever since. Older dog and I camped 9,000 miles using mattress I made for back of car after removing back seats, then got teardrop and did another trip and brought teardrop back. Now have 1973 Compact II. Over the years, bought tires, battery, fan motor replacement, regular oil and filter changes and that's about it. Been a great car and suits my short size and need for vehicle to haul things such as bags of manure or bunch of 2 x 4's or as place to sleep.

The low towing limit of course decides what I can use for camping. The 5-speed has been fabulous on hills. As you can tell, I really like this car and now with the little trailer, a good combination my dogs and I enjoy AND it's paid for.


look here....

http://www.etrailer.com/p-3400.htm
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:03 PM   #10
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Along with Caroln's question, what in general is the right thing to do? let off the gas and reach down with your hand to apply the trailer brakes? Pat made it letting off the gas.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:20 PM   #11
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Don't know if I could bring myself to do this but giving it gas makes sense to me.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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That's a hard thing to learn. First instinct is to swerve to miss but when towing you have to grip the wheel and square up the obstacle and hit it dead center as possible. This from years driving a gas tanker and running over deer and such. You feel bad but a truck in the ditch or hurt people are much worse. You need to really drive as fast as conditions allow and give your self more following and stopping distance.Wow I don't want to sound like the safety guy but I have seen much on the road. When cars and trailers sway and loose control and wreck it looks like a yard sale gone bad and after the carnage you here " they tried to miss a rabbit" it hits home. Also you run over deer but you run into elk, not a pretty site.
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:50 PM   #13
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That's a hard thing to learn. First instinct is to swerve to miss but when towing you have to grip the wheel and square up the obstacle and hit it dead center as possible. This from years driving a gas tanker and running over deer and such. You feel bad but a truck in the ditch or hurt people are much worse. You need to really drive as fast as conditions allow and give your self more following and stopping distance.Wow I don't want to sound like the safety guy but I have seen much on the road. When cars and trailers sway and loose control and wreck it looks like a yard sale gone bad and after the carnage you here " they tried to miss a rabbit" it hits home. Also you run over deer but you run into elk, not a pretty site.

Thanks - good advice - will be hard thing to learn as you said - that turtle was looking good and moving right along. I would have felt horrible hitting it but would have been better than what happened. As for hitting an elk - jeez - don't want to think of it. The smaller roads in Arkansas where I like to camp have deer everywhere - leaping and jumping and standing there.

Since I already was going about 50 or so, giving the car gas would not have occurred to me. What do you think?
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:36 PM   #14
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Hi Pat,

We too have an early model PT Cruiser because it fits me. I always wanted the Subaru because it could possibly tow our 13 and back when they also fit me.

Since we also have a PT Cruiser I wondered how one could have any gas to give it pulling a trailer at 50 mph.

Congratulations on being one of those women who take on pulling a rig. I don't have the guts, have never been comfortable driving much less towing.

Some of the women who are short drive Jeeps. I think the Honda Element fits those of us who are vertically challenged. We got the Odyssey because it fit me and got the same mileage as the Element. Just not fun for driving around doing errands.

We should have a thread for short drivers.

Nancy
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