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NeverEasy

VOLVO TOWING 5TH DURING ROLLOVER

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JPL alluded to our 5th wheel rollover so I thought I had better come clean and air our dirty linen. I hate long winded posts but here it is.  Ignore if desired.

Here is a link to the Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnpzRYZ_AMY  The beginning is just cruising.  The stuff hits the fan at the end, time 15:45:37.

We were on I-40 heading west near the Okmulgee exit.  We had passed Carl/Donna about an hour before.  They were headed to the 2016 National HDT Rally.  We were headed to Las Vegas for an Everest Owner’s Rally.  Appears Carl drives a conservative 60 mph.  We drive 65.   The wife and I swap drivers every two hours or so. I had just driven 2+ so she took over.  I waited until she got settled in behind the wheel and climbed into the bunk for a rest.  About 15 minutes later, things got bad.

Deb drove into a construction zone, posted speed limit 60.  She set the cruise control and continued on.  On the video, at time 15:48:37, there is a sign to shift lanes. ??? It was not clear so Deb canceled the cruise control and let the speed drop off.  At time 45, she realized it was not a lane shift but an exit.  She started to turn back onto the freeway but then go ahead on the exit.  That swerve was probably the beginning of the end.  At some point, the left front tire on the trailer blew out.  We don’t know how much that added to the rollover, but it did not help.  That tire ended up on the topside of the wreck and it and the rim where chewed to pieces so we know it spent some mean time in contact with the road.  It had not blown before as the TPMS would have let us know. 

At time 47, Deb is braking hard.  This caused the trailer to try to pass the truck.   If you look closely in the right fender mirror, at time 50, the trailer is on its side and way out to the right.  The trailer roof took out the 45-mph sign on the right to give you and idea of how far out to the right it was.   

The Trailer Saver hitch twisted over but did not let go.  I had to un-bolt the pin box from the trailer because the hitch latch was jammed too tight. 

While JPL and I were working on his hitch and comparing components, he stated there was not too much weld penetration on the welds that let loose.  So, I examined it closely.  I could not sea ANY penetration on the lower weld.  I hope to attach that picture. 

Deb says she will never drive the truck again but I have hopes that time will heal the wounds.  I in no way have blamed her.  She did the best she could.  We (and the truck) survived.  Besides, I got a newer trailer that will get better mods than the wrecked one!  National General Insurance was very helpful.  Their payout exceeded our expectations.  Good Sams would not give us any help. 

Lessons learned:

1      Get rid of ST tires.  Maybe the new Goodyear Endurance tires are OK.

        Don’t brake hard if there is nothing in front of you that will hurt someone or the truck.  Or else the trailer will try its best to get around you. 

3.       Call your insurance BEFORE you let the highway patrol officer call one for you.

4.       Slow down early if you are not sure what lies ahead. 
 

 

HitchWeld.JPG

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Wow, did not know that happened after you passed us.  You’re right, I drive 60-62 especially in Arkansas.  Seems like they always have construction.  2015 drove through a concrete chute with barriers on both sides for 7 miles.  Had only about foot clearance on both sides.  But that speed is just what feels comfortable to me and we all need to drive where we feel comfortable.  So glad to hear you guys were okay.  Outcome may have been different in a pickup.  “Got nowhere to go and all day to get there”.

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Sorry that had to you. 

It definitely shows the safety of a HDT. 

By the video on my small phone you can’t tell anything is wrong. If that had been a pickup truck I’m sure things would have been much worse. 

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I was on a rough road in November headed to Moab. I got hit by a crosswind that started the 5th wheel swaying so bad, I am sure I had tires leaving the ground. The cars behind me hit the shoulders and stopped. Luckily it did not go over or damage the hitch. 

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Thank God you weren't in a pickup truck! Glad you're both OK. I have to wonder, were the trailer brakes not properly adjusted?

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1 hour ago, Ronbo said:

I was on a rough road in November headed to Moab. I got hit by a crosswind that started the 5th wheel swaying so bad, I am sure I had tires leaving the ground. The cars behind me hit the shoulders and stopped. Luckily it did not go over or damage the hitch. 

Ron,

I gave a talk at the ECR several years ago about weather and RVing.  In researching that topic, I found under the right circumstances such as rapid “cutback” in a crosswind as little as 45mph can result in a trailer tipping/rollover.  That cutback can occur if you are pushed over on the shoulder and try to rapidly correct to get back on road.

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And so the second guessing starts. Tires have to be on the ground for brakes to make a difference.  From the swerve to vehicle stopped was 16 seconds.  The trailer was on its side in 4-5 seconds.

Did you expect me to say, "NO, I never adjust my brakes" ?  New Dexter Nev-R-Adjust before leaving home.  Adjusted properly.  Thanks for asking.

 

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Chet,

I think Deb did a pretty dang good job of handling things.  What occurred is not something you can practice and react to instantly.  I used to fly airplanes recreationally and at one point owned a light twin.  I religiously practiced engine out procedures especially after takeoff but when one occurs it still takes several seconds to realize and react.  In 4-5 seconds the trailer was on its side.  Not much anyone could do.  In a twin if engine out before reaching “blue line” (a minimum engine out speed), you’re on your back and standing at the Pearly Gates —4-5 secs.

Edited by SuiteSuccess

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I certainly won't be doing any second guessing.  Sitting here in my arm chair, it is easy to see which way the lane goes, but at 60 mph in construction, that orange "S" sign sure looks like it is directing onto that sharp right between the cones.  Absolutely no blame there, could happen to anybody.  I'd have done the exact same thing, once committed to the exit, the only course it to stick with it and do your best.  A swerve left back into the travel lane is a guarantee of the whole rig in the barrier.  That was the correct choice to make in the circumstance. 

Even brand new and properly adjusted electric brakes are marginal at best, but certainly no issue here.  By the time the swerve is made and the right foot is on the brake pedal, the trailer is already over, no amount of trailer brake would have helped in that situation. 

It is just unbelievable how quickly the trailer comes around and goes over..  Also unbelievable you can't even tell in the video there is a problem unless you look at the mirror.  And the good news of course is the truck did the job, controlled and safely stopped the trailer and everybody was safe.  If that was a pickup the whole rig would have been upside down in a ball.  Testimonial to the hdt decision.  Glad everyone came out safe.  Thanks for sharing the video.

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Hot Rod/Suite Success,

Thanks, you have restored my faith in humanity. 

I did not second guess Deb either.  She is a careful and excellent driver.   I am thankful that no other vehicle was involved.  Micro-seconds to think and react.  Just think what our LEOs go through in those micro-seconds. 

Now, about that sign.  We spent a day finding a U-Haul trailer and getting all our personal stuff loaded before continuing to Las Vegas.  We went by that exit again.  All the orange cones, barrels, and the 45-mph sign were back in place.  And, that sign had a "Exit" sign right below it.  So we watched all the other ones in construction areas in OK.  They all had exit signs. 

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7 hours ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Ron,

I gave a talk at the ECR several years ago about weather and RVing.  In researching that topic, I found under the right circumstances such as rapid “cutback” in a crosswind as little as 45mph can result in a trailer tipping/rollover.  That cutback can occur if you are pushed over on the shoulder and try to rapidly correct to get back on road.

I was on a very bumpy road and came around a hill. The gust was very strong and hit me broadside as the rv bounced up.

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I'm glad you shared this and it gives me goose bumps watching it full screen and seeing how quick that trailer came around and flipped on the right. Once things started going south, I think she did a good job just keeping the truck in line and of course the big truck probably made all the difference in staying in control vs going along for a ride in a LDT truck. Just curious, is your truck tandem and did you have a smart car on back? 

Do you mind if I share this on some of the HDT Facebook pages just as reference to how well the HDT handled a trailer flipping over behind it? 

Edited by BlueLghtning

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I once had the exact same experience with that damned orange arrow sign!  As i approched it, the lane to continue straight, looked so much smaller than the exit lane i thought the arrow was a continuation of the construction detour so i took it!  My outcome was much less heartwrentching than yours.  I am so glad you both came out physicaly unhurt!  

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Bluelghting: Feel free to use the pictures.  We are singled short.  Smart car rides pretty high. 

If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, this is it.  DW lamenting her loss.  She loved that Everest.  There are more pictures if you are interested.

 

 

DebLaments.JPG

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Hi NeverEasy - 

Sure glad you guys wereok through this. 

Where was your trailer kingpin location in relation to the rear axle of your truck?

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A picture of the hitch and one that tells more of the story.  How far out to the right was the trailer?  On the picture of the rear/top of the trailer, just in front of the rear black vent are two vertical lines on the roof.  Those are impact lines where the roof hit the 45-mph suggested exit speed sign. 

Thanks go out to Jack Meyer for letting us know how to post these pictures!

hJorg7cl.jpg "border=0
m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.

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m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.

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Wow is my reaction too. Sorry you had this happen. Lessons for all especially TV choice. Hitch did it’s job very well. Glad you guys were ok. 

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16 hours ago, NeverEasy said:

Trailer kingpin.  Don't think I ever measured it.  Maybe 4 ft aft of rear axle.

ZHXhd26l.jpg "border=0
m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.

Howdy Chet,

So sorry to hear of the wreck glad to hear that you and your wife were not injured. 

Looking at this photo, it looks like the front of the trailer sits low and the rear of the truck is sitting lower then the front, it could be the slope of the ground that makes it look this way.  I can't help but wonder if because of the short wheel base and the pin load being  that far behind the axle coupled with the weight of the Smart Car, the front axle might be light.  I am NOT saying this had anything to do with the wreck I was just wondering if you have ever had your setup weighed?  Again I am NOT finding fault just curious as to why it looks this way.

Dave

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glad you are all ok .how close is the smart car to the trailer. I am thinking of adding a smart buu only have 7 ft between the side fairings and the king pin whole on the hitch .thanks

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3 hours ago, mr. cob said:

...Looking at this photo, it looks like the front of the trailer sits low and the rear of the truck is sitting lower then the front...

I saw the same, but assumed his air was dumped.

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