When the Tail wags the dog - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #15
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Here is another fishtail video.

How NOT to Tow a Car - YouTube

This time I think its more obvious whats going wrong. I suggest that the trailer is heavier than the tow vehicle. I also suggest that the balance point of the load is too far back so that the tongue weight is very low. The low tongue weight probably was necessary for the car because it probably has a low maximum tongue weight capacity. At the same time, the tongue weight was probably too low for the load they were pulling. Thoughts?

Derek
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:26 PM   #16
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They were probably driving on the wrong side of the road again and not Irish.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamourpets View Post
Here is another fishtail video.

How NOT to Tow a Car - YouTube

This time I think its more obvious whats going wrong. I suggest that the trailer is heavier than the tow vehicle.

Derek
A wise man once wrote: When everything about the combination is wrong then a large, heavy TV will be of benefit.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #18
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A wise man once wrote: When everything about the combination is wrong then a large, heavy TV will be of benefit.
...but not necessarily enough benefit, as we discussed regarding the first video. It helps, of course.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by glamourpets View Post
Here is another fishtail video.
...
This time I think its more obvious whats going wrong. I suggest that the trailer is heavier than the tow vehicle.
Sure, but trucks and SUVs tow loads much heavier than themselves routinely. I drove a 300 kilometre (200 mile) highway trip yesterday and my guess is that the majority of the trailers were travel trailers heavier (and longer, and wider) than the tugs (it was a holiday weekend here).

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Originally Posted by glamourpets View Post
I also suggest that the balance point of the load is too far back so that the tongue weight is very low. The low tongue weight probably was necessary for the car because it probably has a low maximum tongue weight capacity. At the same time, the tongue weight was probably too low for the load they were pulling.
I agree that the centre of mass is quite close to the axles, so the tongue weight would be low; it might be zero (which would never be acceptable regardless of other factors). My guess is that this is more significant than the relative mass of tug and trailer.

Tongue weight is far from the only factor affecting stability. The same trailer, with the same tongue weight, would be substantially more stable with a longer tongue, for instance. The mass distribution is largely at the ends of the load (causing higher polar moment of inertia and thus less stability compared to a travel trailer of the same length and mass), but there's not much that can be done about that.

Compared to good car transporters of this size for small tugs - and this is not one - the unusual feature is that the car is far too high and the trailer track too narrow, because it is a "highboy" configuration (deck over the wheels) instead of the more common and appropriate design with the deck down between the trailer wheels. If it starts swaying it will rock and exaggerate the problem. It looks like someone didn't have the right trailer, was too cheap to rent one, and used something like a snowmobile trailer... but that's just my impression.

Again, I note that this is one of those "more stable" tandem-axle trailers.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:10 PM   #20
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Did anyone notice the car on the trailer was sliding back and forth? Apparently the tie downs were not properly secured and that allowed the the car to become a pendulum, exasperating the sway of the trailer.

Jason
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:23 PM   #21
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Seems to me the brakes were locked up on the first one, but it's hard to tell. I had that happen when a rental store insisted on having their "professionals" hook the trailer up to my truck. Two blocks later, the tires are locked up, and I'm burning them down to the rim trying to get to a side street to pull over. Idiots hooked up the chain for the runaway brakes (stupid surge brakes) to tight and it put the brakes on when I turned a corner.

I don't know why the second one started, but it ended with sheer stupidity. Unless I'm missing it (on phone), here are no brake lights, and he's sawing the wheel all over the place. Keep the rig straight and hit the trailer brakes.

I hit unmarked road construction pulling a trailer full of rock going uphill. They had milled have grooves in (like 2" square grooves every 2") the road sideways and the vibration caused all the rock to go to the back of the trailer. I left half a mile of skidmarks on the road (and one or two on the seat), and bent the trailer tongue, but I rode it out until the next uphill where I could stop and keep it in line.

The other people on the road all gave me room, surprisingly. I put it down the center and took up the whole highway. The highway patrol guy was amazed I kept the greasy side down, and immediately started yelling for somebody to sign the road construction.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:28 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
Did anyone notice the car on the trailer was sliding back and forth? Apparently the tie downs were not properly secured and that allowed the the car to become a pendulum, exasperating the sway of the trailer.
Good spotting! I didn't notice that.

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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
Seems to me the brakes were locked up on the first one, but it's hard to tell. I had that happen when a rental store insisted on having their "professionals" hook the trailer up to my truck. Two blocks later, the tires are locked up, and I'm burning them down to the rim trying to get to a side street to pull over. Idiots hooked up the chain for the runaway brakes (stupid surge brakes) to tight and it put the brakes on when I turned a corner.
The same thing could be done with electric brakes, pulling the breakaway cable.

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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
I don't know why the second one started, but it ended with sheer stupidity. Unless I'm missing it (on phone), here are no brake lights, and he's sawing the wheel all over the place. Keep the rig straight and hit the trailer brakes.
The one in Ireland... where the trailer probably has surge brakes (so they can't be applied separately)? The brake lights are on.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #23
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What I don't understand about the Irish one is that the TV and the trailer end up twisted 180 to each other. If that is a ball, how are they still connected?
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:23 PM   #24
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What I don't understand about the Irish one is that the TV and the trailer end up twisted 180 to each other. If that is a ball, how are they still connected?
I assume that you mean in roll rotation. There are at least two explanations:
  1. Some couplers rotate on the tongue, so the trailer (and tongue) can roll one way while the tug (with ball and coupler) rolls the other way.
  2. If the coupler fails as it is twisted off the ball, the safety chains can hold the two together.

I'm surprised and impressed by how often the coupler holds on when rotated past its operating limit for roll angle, although in this set
  • the first one doesn't roll over
  • the second rolls over and the coupler may fail (or just rotate), and
  • in the third one the trailer rolls over but the tug doesn't - the coupler (or another hitch component) fails.
In at least some cases it would be safer for the coupler to fail and thus not force the tug to roll over.
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