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Towing caravan / snaking

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Old Oct 5th, 2016, 07:36   #31
axle4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tannaton View Post
Not sure if this link will work, but:

https://www.facebook.com/dunlaoghair...1663689527395/
Good video, shows what loading wrongly can do.
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Old Oct 21st, 2016, 17:15   #32
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Spot on advice. Anti-snake devices (now known generally as 'stabilisers') don't make a bad outfit good...but add a bit of extra to a good outfit! Get the basics right and all should be well. We travelled to Spain earlier in the year on a 15 wk tour doing 4000 miles with no 'hairy' moments. We have a 2010 v70se (only 136bhp) and the 'van is 1500kgs fully loaded, but I wouldn't take it any higher to give a bit of room for climbing some of the inclines. Also put some heavier kit in the car if you are close to the vans' weight limit.
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Old Nov 19th, 2016, 00:02   #33
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Originally Posted by richardbell556 View Post
..engine braking still allows your caravan brakes to work on steep grades but allows the tow car brakes to rest/cool an art long lost with modern cars . still used today by hgv drivers to avoid runaways...

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Originally Posted by richardbell556 View Post
..engine braking still allows your caravan brakes to work on steep grades but allows the tow car brakes to rest/cool an art long lost with modern cars . still used today by hgv drivers to avoid runaways...
Actually, in the States, truckers, what you here call HGV drivers, depending on what kind of truck and engine/transmission combination they have, usually have something called a "Jake Brake":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compre...e_engine_brake

This system - in the US (often you have three levels of "power" - for example a 6 cylinder diesel will then turn on 2, 4 or all 6 of the cylinders) works in such a way that as soon as you lift your foot from the accelerator, the "Jake" kicks in and retards the vehicle without using the regular brakes - in other words without wearing the brakes. Many leave it on all the time, except when it's slick - i.e.,. rain, snow, ice.

I understand that here in the EU you have to also apply some power to the brakes, which to me defeats a lot of the smoothness of using the system as it becomes second nature to use the Jake as a brake simply by lifting your foot, important when you spend 10 - 15 hours a day behind the wheel and 600 - 700 miles.

On the other hand, you don't use the Jake when it's slick as engaging it can be enough for the drive wheels on the semi (the towing vehicle) to break loose, possibly jackknifing the truck.

And the major rule still is; you go down the hill in the same gear you went up - i.e. - 3rd gear up, 3rd gear down..=*^)

A few examples of Jake Brakes - here's a competition for the LOUDEST Jakes (competition starts at about 06:00):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHTrEwRk0MU
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Last edited by Christerart; Nov 19th, 2016 at 02:25. Reason: including examples of Jakes
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Old May 8th, 2019, 06:08   #34
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In the uk most cars are manual gearboxes and can use the compression from the engine to slow the car and van down (unlike a auto) .I mentioned engine braking not jake brake .. But holding the caravan back in eg - second gear will allow the engine compression to slow the descent of the car/van with little use of the car brakes if needed by the caravan pushing on the hitch activates van brakes holding its own weight back. This works if the caravan brakes are working correct ....Point been is the car brakes are not taxed and if the van brakes fail you should still have all 4 brakes on the car to slow/ stop the decent. This was used a lot solo when cars were fitted with drums all round and would soon over heat if taxed too much ... I'm not a hgv driver and I don't think are hgv or many here have jake brakes fitted they rely on engine braking and gear choice to hold there decent .. There was many a runaway car/trailer - caravan runaway down Sutton bank in the Uk back in the day .. till they were banned from trying to climb or descend.. Up to the 80s or so ... Remember there was a bloke with a land rover or a big jag would spend all day charging folks to drag there caravan up the bank and hitch another to come down..People now all rely on there brakes to much with disk brakes as good as they are can still over heat ....Even driving test don't ask you to use your gears as you slow down to help braking ... Rely too much on them. My younger brother suffered from brake fade soon after passing his test down a steep bank ..He's ok but when asked were you not thought about brake fade and over heating your brakes and using the gears to help hold your decent/speed ... NO!! So later took him to the same bank and had to show him ..Same as he had no clue if the ign/charge light came on at 70mph and had lost his aux belt that he'd loose his power steering too.. This is what they should teach you to drive not take directions from a sat nav. May be a good idea to teach the wife to read a map lol..
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Old May 8th, 2019, 17:00   #35
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I think all recent Volvo models have Trailer Stability Assist as part of the towing software.
The car will react to swaying by using selective braking, and even slow the car if it is too dangerous.
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Old May 15th, 2019, 07:02   #36
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Originally Posted by Billggski View Post
I think all recent Volvo models have Trailer Stability Assist as part of the towing software.
The car will react to swaying by using selective braking, and even slow the car if it is too dangerous.
Yet another anti Darwenism measure.

It's not automated systems make the roads safe it's competent drivers.

Paul.
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Old May 29th, 2019, 19:21   #37
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I had an experience with snaking, altogether my own fault and one I have been keen ever since not to repeat.

In short, 4 Berth Bailey Moselle, towed by a then Audi 2.0 TDI ....

Coming home, my mate was with his outfit, had been a torturus journey home, weather/traffic etc.

Approx 5 miles from our mway jct we were sorted of racing to see who could get to the junction first, I say racing ....top speed was about 80mph, altogether reckless .....as we got closer to the junction i could feel it starting to get out of control and then real quick it was out of control.....how I managed not to end in a heap was through a bit of quick thinking and luck...

I had read about the speeding up and the slowing down.....but essentially no braking....

I decided real quick to take the energy from the situation by removing my foot from the accelerator........no brakes....and eventually the caravan and car returned to stability......so for me, remove the energy as opposed to speeding up is what worked, key being not to panic or brake as the latter will most certainly end in tears....

I learned my lesson and now usually set a mph monitor on the ext sat nav, go above the limit set and it beeps....not sure if the Volvo has the ability to do that on the year I have, it does have sat nav screen and i have the disc to facilitate it but have never used it as from memory it doesn't have post codes set it which is a nuisance.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2019, 16:25   #38
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Most post 2011 caravans are now equipped with Alko ATC which complements the Volvo stability system...it senses sway and applies the caravan brakes.

That said if you load it correctly including a good nose weight close to the max of your tow bar and you don't drive like the Dukes of Hazard then you minimise the chance of such sphincter twitching moments.

...and there is no substitute for a tow vehicle with ample torque that has a tare weight greater than the caravan.
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Old Jun 12th, 2019, 13:02   #39
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I tow my van all over the country on a reg basis its no spring chicken its a 1994 swift 480 with alko anti snake hitch on and pulled by the old 1992 940 never had a problem with snaking just load both vehicles correctly and watch the nose weight on the van thats the important one and check the tyres just because the tread is good dont mean the tyres are not past there best for the cost of 2 tyres i replace mine every 2 years regardless seen a good few come unstuck with old tyres blowing out as for recovery out of a snake back off the peddle and dont brake braking just makes it 10 times worse
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Old Jul 11th, 2019, 22:44   #40
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Towed caravan for 22 years had a few snaking episodes and have never accelerated out of them. I take the view that id rather be having an accident at slower speed than faster so i never touch the brakes, just ntake foot off accelerator and short steering corrections until stabilized...then a stop at services for an underwear change. Having an ALKO stabiliser on van is a godsend but they help reduce but dont stop a snake. If you snake i know HGVs are sometimes to blame but usually our speed is a high contributary factor. Even towing my van with a RR vogue I stay at or below 60
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