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Should we lubricate our balls ?
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Dalek63



Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 490
Location: North Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
They are designed to grip the ball to prevent sway, so a greased ball defeats the object.



I certainly would not want my old balls gripped to prevent sway, they work better if they are allowed to swing free. Shocked
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david_rachel



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 144
Location: High Wycombe, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
So my next question is how do they know when it is a sway and not the outfit turning corner?


That's the point, most of these stabilisers are a complete con!

The forces involved with turning a corner are far far greater than those which result in snaking. Essentially any outfit should be well matched and driven within the law; for security there has only ever been one device that genuinely adds to road safety:

http://www.sasproducts.com/straightliner-stabiliser-39-p.asp

and that's because it works on completely unique principles. Unlike conventional friction systems that merely resist sway the Straightliner pulls back, and the greater the force of sway the greater it pulls back - genious! In my opinion the EU ought to make this device mandatory on any trailer being driven on a motorway, regardless of the trailer's age.

ALKO have recently launched an ATC system; I can't comment on how effective this is as I don't have any experience of it.
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MartinC



Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

david_rachel wrote:

In my opinion the EU ought to make this device mandatory on any trailer being driven on a motorway, regardless of the trailer's age.


My caravan, and car have been safely towing for 50 years without one, and I wouldn't appreciate the heavy-handed enforcement of such a law now. If the correct speed is adhered to, and the load is positioned sensibly, there is no need at all for such device.
They are available to me should I wish to purchase one. I shouldn't be made to do that though.
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david_rachel



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 144
Location: High Wycombe, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly Martin there are many instances of safe drivers finding themselves in trouble whilst towing due to the actions of others.

It has nothing to do with your driving ability or history; the fact is your outfit, and any other, would be more stable with:

http://www.sasproducts.com/straightliner-stabiliser-39-p.asp

and it's the very point that you haven't already recognised such a fact that in my opinion the EU ought to be heavy handed and make such a unit mandatory!
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MartinC



Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another example of the increasingly prevalent "Ban it" mentality.
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Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 1125
Location: Upper Swan, Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,

You thread has evolved from discussing a dry tow ball to all sorts of stabilisation problems.

In Australia we have a vertically mounted 50mm dia steel ball on the car towbar and the trailer has an inverted cup that covers the ball. When the locking lever is lowered, a metal collar locks under the ball holding the coupling captive. In a lifetime of towing everything from a garden trailer, a car trailer and a caravan, I have never greased the ball and I have never had to replace any components. There are one or two safety chains that hold the trailer to the car should the ball fail or become disconnected when being towed.

I am not familiar with stabiliser bars that others have spoken about.

I have been towing my 1978 caravan that is far heavier than a modern van and as I was using a front wheel drive car to tow. (Mitsubishi Magna - 3.5 litre) I used sway bars. These are horizontally mounted torsion bars that locate beside the "A" frame of the caravan. The idea of these is to give a more horizontal ride to the outfit and not have that dangerous "dip" between the car and caravan when connected.

I now have a newer caravan and use a Jeep as a tug. With this sturdier vehicle I no longer need the sway bars.

My old caravan has hydraulic over-run brakes and car trailers I have used, also are braked using this method. Very safe and automatic to use as hydraulic brakes self stabilise and balance.

My newer van is fitted with electric brakes and they are causing me a lot of worry. The Jeep has been professionally fitted with an electric brake controller. I drive at say 90km/h and use the brakes. The caravan pulls to one side in an alarming fashion. So I reduce the brake setting on the controller, and therefore reduce the braking from the van. When moving in stop-start traffic, I use the brakes and the van almost jerks the Jeep in half!
So I slacken the electric brakes off even more! It means that as I am driving, I am constantly having to adjust the brake operation. Not on!

I'm even considering having these electric brakes removed and getting hydraulic over-run brakes fitted!

By the way, the caravan had a complete brake and bearing check before we bought it.

I would appreciate some comments from you experienced caravaners regarding electric brakes!

Thanks - Keith
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MartinC



Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

david_rachel wrote:
the fact is your outfit, and any other, would be more stable with:

http://www.sasproducts.com/straightliner-stabiliser-39-p.asp

and it's the very point that you haven't already recognised such a fact that in my opinion the EU ought to be heavy handed and make such a unit mandatory!


Peter, please understand, I do recognise the fact that modern add-on devices exist that may indeed improve safety. I (personally, using free choice) just choose to ignore it.
It's also a fact that It would be a great deal safer if I simply remained indoors but thankfully I choose to also ignore that.

I have an old caravan for a reason, and do not want it's charm spoiled by any modern additions.
Also, I may point out, that at £250 the device you are saying we should be forced to buy may well cost more than some peoples caravans.
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Dalek63



Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 490
Location: North Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must agree with Matrtin on this one. We tow our Car Cruiser at around 50 to 55 mph, its loaded perfectly to achieve a tow that is stable and even in a hairpin bend is faultless. So do you think I want to be forced to put on a £250.00 bit of modern kit that would do nothing to improve my towing.
I might agree that a lot of modern caravans being towed around these days at 70 to 90 mph with lunatics at the wheel, swaying around like a tissue in a storm, would benefit from such a device. Just a quick note on a similar subject, did you know any caravan made before the 1980's is not compelled by law to have a break away cable. I use a stout chain, I'd rather have the caravan bumping along behind me than braking away and going haywire over the road.
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