The Montana Unit would like to welcome new members Alan and Michelle Clampitt from Kalispell to our unit. We would also like to welcome Ann Pearce Hocker and Chrissy Bunn as affiliate members. We are looking forward to meeting you.
One of our members forwarded a letter concerning tow rigs that is quite interesting. You can Read it here:
I am a fire fighter with the Fort Ellis Fire Dept. in Bozeman, MT. We take care of the Interstate for about 12 miles outside of Bozeman to the Bozeman Pass. I participated in two recent incidents that give me pause. Three weeks ago, we responded to a vehicle rollover with entrapment, on a downhill grade coming off the Bozeman Pass. Imagine my surprise when I saw an upside down 23 ft. Airstream ripped off from an right-side up, but rolled older Ford Explorer. We transported both individuals, both older. Apparently a trailer tire had blown and the trailer pushed the tow vehicle 360 deg, then rolled in the ditch, disconnecting from the vehicle. The tow vehicle was packed with camping items. Last week, we responded to a vehicle rollover with entrapment, on a downhill grade coming off the Bozeman Pass. Imagine my surprise when I saw an upside down 23 ft. Airstream still attached to an upside-down new Tahoe (this was a rental package). We did not transport individuals, but they were extricated by civilians before we got there. They were upside down hanging from seatbelts. Apparently the trailer started to sway, and eventually pushed the tow vehicle 400 deg, then flipped. The tow vehicle was packed with camping items. Both these incidents happened within 100 yards of the other on a downhill grade on a four lane road, in broad daylight, and good road surface. Both these vehicles may have had enough “towing capacity” to haul the weight of an Airstream. I doubt, however, that either had the gross vehicle weight rating for the tongue weight plus all the gear in the back, plus passengers. Hence, when the trailer experienced an event that caused it to sway or turn, the trailer drove the tow vehicle. Way back in 2009, I posted an example on Air Forums of why even a Tundra is inadequate (as are all 1/2 ton vehicles for the deceptively easy to tow (but still heavy) Airstreams). Its almost as if everything will feel fine, until it doesn’t. I tow my 25′ with a 3/4 ton. That puts it in the midrange of gross vehicle weight rating, not at the top. The trailer has never tried to drive my vehicle (at least not yet).