These technical articles are based on content from our books. They give some indication of our easy, simple and long proven approach. In particular please read our just posted 'Mechanical sway control has little value at speed.'
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That currently most relevant is our all-new 'Why Caravans Roll Over - and how to prevent it'.
Not only do we think it is good - the Caravan Council of Australia statews:
'This book should be compulsory reading for all caravanners'
Check it out (on our Bookshop) and buy it right now.
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Caravan Rollover Reports and Images
Links to media reports of caravan rollovers in the last 3 years.
Caravan Rollover Claim Data (Australia)
Some key caravan rollover statistics from Australian insurance companies.
RV Accident Data (Australia)
Some general accident information for Australia.
How to Load Your Caravan Safely
Knowing how to load your caravan safely is as vital as how much it all weighs. Updated November 2019.
Why Caravans Sway
Why caravans sway and how to prevent it. Updated November 2019
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Excess caravan tow hitch overhang is dangerous. It can and does cause rigs to jack-knife. Updated November 2019.
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Why Caravans Roll Over
Why caravans rollover and what you can do to prevent it. (Updated November 2019).
How Heavy a Caravan Can I Tow?
Safe tow vehicle to caravan weight explained.
Weight distribution hitches affect cornering and safe towing speed - updated October 2019.
Why a WDH reduces caravan cornering ability and safe towing speed.
Mechanical sway control has little value at speed
Virtually all mechanical sway controls rely on friction to damp (and ideally prevent) caravan sway that is inherently caused by an overhung hitch. These mechanisms may vary from the excellent AL-KO friction ball hitch, to any number of add-on devices that rely on mechanical friction dissipating yaw energy in the form of heat.
These systems can be extremely effective at low to medium speeds, however, all have one major (and rarely realised) limitation. This is that their friction remains constant - but sway (yaw) forces increase by the square of your speed. This is a major limitation that is overlooked in several recent threads on a popular local Caravaners Forum.
This is not just a theoretical limitation. It has been thoroughly shown and proven that, at 100 km/h, a typical friction control damper has only 1% or so of its low speed 'control'. It is thus virtually useless at that speed.
By all means use friction to damp out minor (nuisance) yawing, but the only truly effective systems at anything much 80 km/h (or so) is the Dexter or AL-KO type systems. These too rely ultimately on the friction between rubber tyre contact patches and the road surface, but that is partly molecular and not lessened by speed.
The above is relevant also for dual cam systems. These are very effective in normal driving conditions but may open when least needed (e.g, in a high speed emergency swerve).
A swaying (yawing) caravan is a sign that something is seriously wrong - it may be anything from inadequate tow ball mass, weight at the rear of the caravan or too low (tow vehicle) rear tyres. Address and fix these issues first - in essence use friction devices only to limit low speed 'nuisance swaying' and Dexter or ALKO only as 'parachutes' for totally exceptional events.
For a full explanation (plus technical explanations) see our recently published 'Why Caravans Roll Over - and how to prevent that'. Full details are on our Bookshop page.
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