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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Jackknifes are they so common?



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 16th 03, 06:54 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Harry Bloomfield
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 582
Default Jackknifes are they so common?

In article , deanl7502
@aol.comnojunk says...
| In two days I have seen two separate jackknifed caravans on centre of motorway
| (M4 Monday then M6 Tuesday).
| Obviously those involved must be shattered (they appeared OK) but it makes me
| wonder whether we are all at risk and what can we do to avoid them.
| Do they come from two sources A) exagerated snake and/or B) impact from side or
| rear or sudden avoidance manouver - or are there other causes?
| Can anyone give some facts or guidance please.
| Dean
|

Did you mean jack-knife or turning over?

Of the caravan disasters I have actually seen happen, they were all
caused by the caravan starting to snake, with initially no other
vehicle involved. Too much speed, a badly loaded or setup outfit,
improperly inflated tyres, or an inexperience driver cause the snaking
to start and it can be difficult to impossible to control.

Ensure all the above are correct perhaps fit a stabiliser to help
prevent it, take your time and there will not be a problem. I have
personally towed many thousands of miles without mishap, I have however
been in a vehicle which was towing where the van did start to snake and
turned over. I had had similar problems with the same rig, yet managed
to control it. This was way back in the bad old days of the 60's, when
suspensions on both tow vehicles and caravans were nowhere near as good
as they are now.

It is also possible to actually jack-knife due to greasy road
surfaces, whilst braking, but this is something to watch out for solo
as well. It all comes down to taking it easy and learning to read the
road. Something which I think comes naturally to most motor-cyclists,
who make some of the best drivers on the road (if they survive).

--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT)...

Remove the 'NOSPAM' in my email address to reply.

Free Amateur Radio Courses:-
http://www.ukradioamateur.org
  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 16th 03, 08:13 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
John Alcock
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 23
Default Jackknifes are they so common?



i must agree on that one Harry most of us motorcyclist know what is
going on around us and half a mile up the road as well, plus the
condition of the road use all your senses including smell diesel
spillage stinks
smooth driving no sudden moves is the key, that doent mean to say you
drive on egg shells, look far enough ahead to see hazards and dont
go barging into a situation
hold back to see what is developing ,that gives you time to take smooth
avoiding action , well atleast most of the time, ive had 40 years on two
wheels i just hope i get another 40
John


--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
  #3 (permalink)  
Old July 16th 03, 08:45 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
bowtiejim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 138
Default Jackknifes are they so common?


"John Alcock" wrote in message
news:[email protected] .mailgate.org...


i must agree on that one Harry most of us motorcyclist know what is
going on around us and half a mile up the road as well, plus the
condition of the road use all your senses including smell diesel
spillage stinks
smooth driving no sudden moves is the key, that doent mean to say you
drive on egg shells, look far enough ahead to see hazards and dont
go barging into a situation
hold back to see what is developing ,that gives you time to take smooth
avoiding action , well atleast most of the time, ive had 40 years on two
wheels i just hope i get another 40
John


--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG


These accidents only emphasise that the result of a moments inattention
with a van on the hook can be much more damaging than driving a car alone.
And yet every Sunday driver can hop into his car, hitch up a van and drive
away without any instruction at all.


  #4 (permalink)  
Old July 16th 03, 09:04 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Ian Cooper
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Jackknifes are they so common?

I agree with the above comments.

I also reckon most jack-knifes are the result of out-of-control incidents of
snaking due to badly set-up towing outfits. eg:
Older caravans with lower tow-hitches coupled nose-up to a modern tow
vehicle
Similarly 4x4s with non-standard height tow brackets (Discos should use the
adjustable sort) - nose-up is inherently unstable
Lack of nose-weight - should be whatever the tow vehicle is rated at within
the limit of the trailer. (I think this is more likely the key factor rather
than suspensions back in the sixties when noseweight wasn't much talked
about).
No stabiliser (or wrongly adjusted which could amount to the same). Whatever
people say they do make the outfit more stable and safer at higher speeds. I
think they should be mandatory.
Tow vehicle too light for the caravan - not illegal but definitely not for
the novice.
Badly adjusted caravan brakes. If they come on late they will thump into the
back of the car just as the rear wheels are at the point of least grip due
to weight transfer and braking force. They will also come on suddenly
increasing the risk of a caravan skid.
No ABS on the car - it certainly helps stopping distances.

Other factors to watch out for:
Bad roads particularly uneven surfaces on declines.
Sudden cross-winds particularly on motorway declines going from cutting to
flyover (French motorways often have speed limits for caravans at such
locations) also overtaking buses (faster than lorries) or blustery
conditions.

My advice is avoid the pitfalls by getting advice from your dealer when
buying the caravan and be extra- aware of conditions when driving. Slow
gently if snaking occurs. Avoid sudden steering movements at all times. If
your outfit feels 'twitchy' stop and check everything, particularly
noiseweight and stabiliser. Don't be tempted to drive faster down hills than
you would risk on the level. Brake well ahead and particularly avoid sharp
breaking on corners. If you do have to brake heavily try to keep in a
straight line.
Good luck

"Harry Bloomfield" wrote in message
t...
In article , deanl7502
@aol.comnojunk says...
| In two days I have seen two separate jackknifed caravans on centre of

motorway
| (M4 Monday then M6 Tuesday).
| Obviously those involved must be shattered (they appeared OK) but it

makes me
| wonder whether we are all at risk and what can we do to avoid them.
| Do they come from two sources A) exagerated snake and/or B) impact from

side or
| rear or sudden avoidance manouver - or are there other causes?
| Can anyone give some facts or guidance please.
| Dean
|

Did you mean jack-knife or turning over?

Of the caravan disasters I have actually seen happen, they were all
caused by the caravan starting to snake, with initially no other
vehicle involved. Too much speed, a badly loaded or setup outfit,
improperly inflated tyres, or an inexperience driver cause the snaking
to start and it can be difficult to impossible to control.

Ensure all the above are correct perhaps fit a stabiliser to help
prevent it, take your time and there will not be a problem. I have
personally towed many thousands of miles without mishap, I have however
been in a vehicle which was towing where the van did start to snake and
turned over. I had had similar problems with the same rig, yet managed
to control it. This was way back in the bad old days of the 60's, when
suspensions on both tow vehicles and caravans were nowhere near as good
as they are now.

It is also possible to actually jack-knife due to greasy road
surfaces, whilst braking, but this is something to watch out for solo
as well. It all comes down to taking it easy and learning to read the
road. Something which I think comes naturally to most motor-cyclists,
who make some of the best drivers on the road (if they survive).

--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT)...

Remove the 'NOSPAM' in my email address to reply.

Free Amateur Radio Courses:-
http://www.ukradioamateur.org



  #5 (permalink)  
Old July 17th 03, 09:27 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
bowtiejim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 138
Default Jackknifes are they so common?


"Ian Cooper" wrote in message
...
I agree with the above comments.

I also reckon most jack-knifes are the result of out-of-control incidents

of
snaking due to badly set-up towing outfits. eg:
Older caravans with lower tow-hitches coupled nose-up to a modern tow
vehicle
Similarly 4x4s with non-standard height tow brackets (Discos should use

the
adjustable sort) - nose-up is inherently unstable
Lack of nose-weight - should be whatever the tow vehicle is rated at

within
the limit of the trailer. (I think this is more likely the key factor

rather
than suspensions back in the sixties when noseweight wasn't much talked
about).
No stabiliser (or wrongly adjusted which could amount to the same).

Whatever
people say they do make the outfit more stable and safer at higher speeds.

I
think they should be mandatory.
Tow vehicle too light for the caravan - not illegal but definitely not for
the novice.
Badly adjusted caravan brakes. If they come on late they will thump into

the
back of the car just as the rear wheels are at the point of least grip due
to weight transfer and braking force. They will also come on suddenly
increasing the risk of a caravan skid.
No ABS on the car - it certainly helps stopping distances.

Other factors to watch out for:
Bad roads particularly uneven surfaces on declines.
Sudden cross-winds particularly on motorway declines going from cutting to
flyover (French motorways often have speed limits for caravans at such
locations) also overtaking buses (faster than lorries) or blustery
conditions.

My advice is avoid the pitfalls by getting advice from your dealer when
buying the caravan and be extra- aware of conditions when driving. Slow
gently if snaking occurs. Avoid sudden steering movements at all times. If
your outfit feels 'twitchy' stop and check everything, particularly
noiseweight and stabiliser. Don't be tempted to drive faster down hills

than
you would risk on the level. Brake well ahead and particularly avoid sharp
breaking on corners. If you do have to brake heavily try to keep in a
straight line.
Good luck

"Harry Bloomfield" wrote in message
t...
In article , deanl7502
@aol.comnojunk says...
| In two days I have seen two separate jackknifed caravans on centre of

motorway
| (M4 Monday then M6 Tuesday).
| Obviously those involved must be shattered (they appeared OK) but it

makes me
| wonder whether we are all at risk and what can we do to avoid them.
| Do they come from two sources A) exagerated snake and/or B) impact

from
side or
| rear or sudden avoidance manouver - or are there other causes?
| Can anyone give some facts or guidance please.
| Dean
|

Did you mean jack-knife or turning over?

Of the caravan disasters I have actually seen happen, they were all
caused by the caravan starting to snake, with initially no other
vehicle involved. Too much speed, a badly loaded or setup outfit,
improperly inflated tyres, or an inexperience driver cause the snaking
to start and it can be difficult to impossible to control.

Ensure all the above are correct perhaps fit a stabiliser to help
prevent it, take your time and there will not be a problem. I have
personally towed many thousands of miles without mishap, I have however
been in a vehicle which was towing where the van did start to snake and
turned over. I had had similar problems with the same rig, yet managed
to control it. This was way back in the bad old days of the 60's, when
suspensions on both tow vehicles and caravans were nowhere near as good
as they are now.

It is also possible to actually jack-knife due to greasy road
surfaces, whilst braking, but this is something to watch out for solo
as well. It all comes down to taking it easy and learning to read the
road. Something which I think comes naturally to most motor-cyclists,
who make some of the best drivers on the road (if they survive).

--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT)...

Remove the 'NOSPAM' in my email address to reply.

Free Amateur Radio Courses:-
http://www.ukradioamateur.org


It is not for nothing that the French reduce the speed limit for caravans to
80kph or less on the steep downhill slopes on autoroutes or on the viaducts.




 



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