Video on caravan snaking.

May 24, 2014
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Ive just been watching a video on caravan snaking, based on the accelerater or decelerate argument. The team doing it seemed rather surprised at the results, I wasnt.

Starting with a perfectley balanced caravan, they tried both methods to escape a deliberate snake, but we all know most (but not all) snakes are caused by incorrect loading. That said, the first half of the video is predictable, the snake is recoverable using either method. Well, yeah, sure, with a perefectley balanced caravan.

The second half of the video is just as predicatable, with a badly loaded caravan, and neither method worked for the team. As we ll know, there are the two methods to try to combat a snake, but whether you get out if it is all down to pure luck, and you wouldnt get very good odds on either method.

 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thank you for posting that.

On all occasions the driver did report that slowing gently was the better outcome.

The demonstrations were designed to be dramatic, and ram home the importance of good loading.

What wish we could have seen better was how the driver used the steering during the snaking, as that would also affect the outcomes.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Interesting. Did you see the comments on the video. One “ caber thrower” replied that he’d been towing caravans for 20 years at 80 mph with no trouble at all! Ckearly not one of the new tranche of caravaners discussed under “ speeding” thread.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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My technique is to invest in an Al-Ko ATC, whilst keeping both to sensible loading and speeds, in the first place.
That is a sensible approach.

I am in favour of people fitting sensible safety gear like ATC, antilock and dual circuit braking, seatbelts, air bags etc verifiable evidence of effectiveness, but they do need to understand that its not there to make an inherently unsafe outfit towable, and I am sure some people do not realise the risks.

ATC or any other piece of a equipment like it is just a safety net, not tool to be put to use constantly.

Then there are of course the bits of gear that companies market as "enhancing safety" but cannot prove it like tyre bands.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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That is a sensible approach.

I am in favour of people fitting sensible safety gear like ATC, antilock and dual circuit braking, seatbelts, air bags etc verifiable evidence of effectiveness, but they do need to understand that its not there to make an inherently unsafe outfit towable, and I am sure some people do not realise the risks.

ATC or any other piece of a equipment like it is just a safety net, not tool to be put to use constantly.

Then there are of course the bits of gear that companies market as "enhancing safety" but cannot prove it like tyre bands.

I agree - I include keeping the Towing Ratio as low as possible and using as high a noseweight as permitted, itself a function of sensible loading.
 
May 24, 2014
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Luckily, we have the ATC system and also a very heavy car with a large carrying capacity coupled to a large towball figure. This allows us to load the caravan nose to as near as optimum as possible, whilst keeping the caravan fairly, but not too light. The cars kerbweight is a huge advantage, but this said, I am very aware of what can happen. I always shift the autobox to tiptronic for downhill gradients just in case I need to employ engine braking (what I wouldnt give for a jake brake on cars). I too am very safety conscious and will employ any means to keep the family safe.

The thing is, you just cannot legislate for every possibility, all you can do is your best.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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What wish we could have seen better was how the driver used the steering during the snaking, as that would also affect the outcomes.

Good point. The temptation is always there to try to steer out of a snake, but that is virtually impossible to do effectively because it would only work if you get the steering movement exactly 180° out of phase with the frequency of the snake. That is difficult to say the least, especially as one is quite likely to get into a panic situation with consequent loss of rational reaction when things get really bad.
One should have pointed out in the video clip that it is just as important to hang on to the steering wheel tight in a straight ahead position if at all possible (obviously not if you are already into a situation where you would otherwise be heading straight into a barrier, but even then it is important to keep steering movements to an absolute minimum).
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Another good video.

However the one about nose load in the notes, is not so good as it again make teh claim tat a particular nose weight gauge is "Accurate" - it cant be, becasue it changes its length under load.
 

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