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Thread: Wagging the tow vehicle

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    Member erond's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    USA - OR

    Wagging the tow vehicle

    It's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like no sway control, driver hit the brakes, and maybe even trailer too long for the TV.

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    Original Owners Club Member jmgratz's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    USA - TX

    I have been told if that starts to happen to you that you can hit your trailer brakes manually and keep on the accelerator on the TV and that will help to straighten you out. I hope and pray I never have to try to see if it works.
    Jim & Sheila Gratz - owners club #1018 Workamping as Sales Associate with SE Publications Certified RV Walk-through Technician [/I] 2013 Landmark San Antonio - full body paint - Fulltimer pkg, Yetti pkg etc., Mor-Ryde IS with never lube bearings and disc brakes. --previous 5er - 2007 "Classic" Landmark "Golden Gate" Replaced 9/20/13 2012 Ford F350 King Ranch Crew Cab fx4 dually, 6.7 L Husky Trailer Saver TS2 hitch "visit TEXAS - it's like a whole 'nuther country" Rally Site 414

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    Senior Member Loco's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    USA - GA

    You always want to hit the gas never the brakes when your trailer starts to sway like that. The trailer brake only way help. Just do not use the TV brakes. HIT THAT GAS A LITTLE. Then slow down after she get straight again
    Loco & Red
    2007 Cyclone Fullthrottle Toyhauler 3795
    2006 Ford F-350 DRW,4 door 4 X 4 Lar.
    Reese 20K hitch
    PowerStroke 6.0 Tow Boss
    Her Truck

  4. Print this Post   #4
    Senior Member snuffy's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    USA - GA

    I went into a tail-wagging with a load of lumber on a 10 foot trailer going downhill on a two lane road one time. Shortened my life 10 years and darn near ended it. There were no trailer brakes and let me tell you the hardest thing to do is speed up when you want to stop. I was going from one side of the road to the other and cars were peeling off coming down the other side of the hill. I stomped the gas and it started to slowly straighten out going up the other side of the hill. An experience I'll never forget.

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    Committed Member truknutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    USA - PA


    I know that "clean your shorts" feeling, too!! Many, many moons ago before I really knew anything about towing, ("If it has a hitch ball I can tow with it!"), I had a similar incident.

    We hooked up the "homemade" car trailer to the newest truck in our arsenal, an '85 F150 300ci w/granny 4spd, because it had a class III receiver! We were into demolition derbys back then (so you know what shape the trailer was in...JUNK, but it had brakes...Surge brakes!

    We loaded our prized find, a '73 Chrysler Imperial.."The Tank". Of course we loaded it incorrectly..way to heavy on the tongue. Threw on a couple safety chains and down I-70 towards Frederick, MD we headed. After slugging up Braddock Mtn we (I) coasted down the other side trying to cool off the Inline-6. Cruising right along....until everyone in front of us saw Maryland's finest sitting at the bottom with radar... CRAP, BRAKE CHECK!

    Remember I said we had surge brakes? I learned right then and there that they are absolutely no help when there is 4500+ lbs of car & trailer "wagging" your little 1/2 ton downhill at 60-70 mph! Luckily the shoulder was open and I was able to get it under control. We were lucky that no one was killed that evening!

    This is probably why I am over-conservative when it comes to matching a TV with trailer nowadays.
    TrukNutt & Co.
    (Dave, Nona, Sienna, Maverick & Salem)
    U.S. Army, Retired (x2)
    2009 F450 6.4L PSD C/C Lariat Dually 4x4 ("The Beast")w/ReTrax Pro Tonneau, Bedsaver, Ride-Rites & Titan 67 gal. Tank

    2004 EZ-GO Gas Golf Cart ("The Li'l Beast")
    1997 Harley FLHTCU (Retirement Present)
    2009 NAHOC Rally / PAHOC Rally
    2010 NAHOC Rally / NYHOC Rally / Hershey RV Show
    2011 PAHOC Rally / NAHOC Rally / DE 5-State "Sweat Lodge" Rally / Hershey RV Show / NYHOC Rally
    2012 PAHOC Rally / NYHOC Rally / Hershey RV Show
    2013 NAHOC Rally / PAHOC Rally / Hershey RV Show
    2014 NAHOC Rally (well almost, made it 12 miles)
    2015 NAHOC Rally
    2016 VAHOC Rally
    2017 PAHOC Rally / NAHOC Rally
    2018 HOC NE Region Rally
    2019 NAHOC Rally / NYHOC Rally / PAHOC Rally

  6. Print this Post   #6
    Member erond's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    USA - OR

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgratz View Post
    I have been told if that starts to happen to you that you can hit your trailer brakes manually and keep on the accelerator on the TV and that will help to straighten you out. I hope and pray I never have to try to see if it works.
    I've only been in a "started-to-sway" situation once about 15 years ago. Trailer brakes and acceleration pulled me out of it. It was more than a bit scary (and no sway control at the time).

    It does seem counter-intuitive to go for the gas, but I'm a believer. I've also become a believer in the right hitch setup, proper loading, weight limits, etc. Doing it right is really cheap insurance.

  7. Print this Post   #7
    Senior Member Shadowchek's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    USA - CA

    I am sitting here trying to catch my breath just thinking about this subject. I pulled a 21' TT with a 73 elcamino that was fun. That TT wagged the Elcamino pretty hard more than once was that scarry. I learned to go slow and activate the trailer brakes when it started. It wasn't long before the Elcamino was gone in favor of a 3/4 ton chevy truck. Life was much better after that. So on down the line I got a 24' 5th wheel and a 98 dodge 1500 4wd. so much better than the TT. I like to ride dirt motorcycles so I welded on a couple of recievers to the back and fabricated a real nice rack to hold 2 dirt bikes. So first trip out 55 mph crusing down the highway looking forward to a nice outing the 5ver started wagging just like the old TT I hit the 5ver breaks to straighten it out and slowed way down after that. That was the last time I used the motorcycle rack. I kept it for what I am not sure especially since that 5ver is gone in favor of the BH. I just don't like sore butt muscles from all of that worrying I was so tight going down the road. Now it is by the book and I feel comfortable towing again.

    Greg and Shelly
    2008 BH 3400RL
    2002 Ford F350 Lariat 7.3 Diesel 4wd Srw
    Heartland owners club Member #1036

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