caravan stability control

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 18:01
ThreadID: 103408 Views:2259 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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I am buying a Ford Ranger XLT that is said to have "trailer sway mitigation" and a Concept caravan that is said to have "Al-Ko electronic stability control". Is this likely to cause any conflict or problems having two systems which seem to do the same thing?
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Reply By: Muddy.au - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 18:29

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 18:29
Who knows, all these systems can do is brake individual wheels to try and maintain stability, your biggest problem is when 2500 kg plus load is heading in the wrong direction physics takes over and no amount of tricky braking and tyre grip is going to save you.
AnswerID: 515365

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W14 - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:25

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:25
No idea how the tugs anti sway system works, but ALKO system does not apply to individual brakes on the van. It simply applies brakes to all wheels on the van fitted with brakes - seems an expensive way of manually doing the same if you have a decent brake controller!
Only way to control sway is to have a correctly set up van matched to a suitable tub and be aware of all the weights concerned.
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FollowupID: 794632

Reply By: Ross M - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 19:36

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 19:36
Barry W
Your vehicle is said to have and the caravan is said to have.

It/they either do have, or they do not have, those features, full stop.

It would be good to know more on how the vehicle system works. I don't mean the physical applying of brakes to assist stability, more the effect and degree of instability before it becomes active..
To me,that is something which should be demonstrated or shown by a dealer, not just, "you have it and it is good" and nothing more.

The Alko system will detect trailer sway and it is probably going to become active before the vehicle detects the 2 + tonnes on the back is flapping a bit too much.

Some clarification of, when and how much, and what to expect, would be of use to you.
Not sure you will get that from a dealer, maybe more info from the Alko people as they have made a study of caravan safety and their system of corrective control when being towed behind various vehicles.

Ross M
AnswerID: 515369

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 20:02

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 20:02
When dealers start showing how SRS air bags work maybe then the can also demonstrate how stability control works!

Stability control is not a sure thing in avoiding and accident or injury, it's like playing Russian Roulette...... some times you win, other times you don't
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FollowupID: 794621

Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:19

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:19
olcoolone

You have seen the ads on TV, the stability control ads never shows a crash, works everytime and always steers around the danger.

Not sure SRS airbags are what we are talking about though. They are after the crash items not before the event.
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FollowupID: 794631

Reply By: The Bantam - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:46

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:46
All too often people are looking for " reasurance" and "protection" against whatever.

There are any number of products and services that are specifically aimed at this desire.

Nothing will help when the vehicle combination is fundametally unstable and beyond its safe capacity.

We are already seeing 4wds with off road stability control and its derivatives.

Some of these features work well, others do not......AND any of those that work by applying brakes will only work till the brakes overheat and become ineffective.

If you are at all concerned about the stability of a caravan, you should consider the fundamental reasons.
Those being that
The tow vehicles generally are not specifically and primarily designed as tow vehicles.
The towing ratings given are very optomistic
AND
Drawbar towed long , high & heavy trailers are fundamentally unstable.....this is why they are refeered to as PIG trailers and discouraged in heavy transport.

SO
Making sure
You are well within the vehicles towing capacity
The rig is properly set up
AND
the rig is kept loaded within specification and properly balanced

Should give more real safety dividends in all situations, than dependency on something that may or may not be effective.

cheers
AnswerID: 515378

Follow Up By: martin c1 - Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 22:10

Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 22:10
Bantam, I agree with you entirely. But having said that, I have been agreeably surprised by my foresters stability control. Once when towing slowly on greasy slushy gravel, yawing and steering to corect, and suddenly we were straight. And once not towing, and cornering and a bit inattentive and slightly too fast on gravel. Just as I started to correct, it was done for me.
For an old fart it is a bit of a bonus.
regards martycon.
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FollowupID: 794698

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 10:54

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 10:54
AHH yes, but this is the whole point.

Things like stability control, ABS brakes and the like can for some, some situations be a great thing.

But we have drivers, designers and vehicles that depend on these features to maintain stability for normal function under ordinary situations.

Some of the american derived brands have never been able to design well balanced and well behaved braking systems to save themselves,( just like they struggle to make a car corner in a civilised manner) the advent of ABS has allowed their vehicles to at last behave consistently under brakes.
The better of the Japanese and European brands on the other hand prior to and without the need for ABS had consistent and well balanced braking systems that stopped exceedingly well.

Thus, if you drive certain american derived vehicles, it does not take much to provoke a reaction from the ABS system, where the vehicles with well designed braking systems, one has to be quite agressive to have any need of the ABS.

As a result, the vehicles with well designed braking systems stop very well before the ABS comes into play and sooo well they taunt the laws of physics with the ABS doing its job.

The same situation applies to electronic stability control and any of the other electronic drive aids.

The we have the drivers who wet or dry in a vehicle that is good or bad will consistently push their luck with the capacity of the vehicle.

There is no substitute for a well thaught out design and in the case of a caravan....a rig that is well within capacity, properly set up and handled.

cheers
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Follow Up By: martin c1 - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:12

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:12
Bantam, I agree with you wholeheartedly, and unreservably. And thus have no further comment.
kind regards, marty.
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FollowupID: 794730

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:31

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:31
Barry, there is no interconnection between the two so they can not interact with each other. If the tugs ESC can not keep things in line then the trailer will start to get out of line. If the van starts to get out of line its ESC will come into play then (and not before then) and pull the rig back into line. I can't see any problem.

PeterD
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