Submitted: Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 16:06
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Reply By: didiaust - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 16:17

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 16:17
Oh Boy - that will take a while to get over
AnswerID: 440978

Follow Up By: - mazcan - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:06

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:06
a nasty mess the couple are extremely lucky to be standing and walking around but extremely unlucky with the pending results
its claimed it jack-knifed
which from my own experience says the caravan brakes failed to come on which would allow the total weight of the van to push the 4x4 out of controll and j/kn pointing tobrake/ controller or initial set up problem

but then please take theseas - my -comments as my opinion only
and not the results of the investigation that needs to be done to find the cause
its a devistating way for anyone to begin a new journey with that kind of outlay into their future plans that lay ahead for the new year
how much would that van weigh and what would be the vehicles towing capacity
not quiet sure but looked like a ford xlt ranger ???? and the weight d/system was ripped out from the rear of the towbar system during it roll-over its still attached to the towball and a/frame i sincerley hope that the reason allows for them to recover via claims
not an experience that anyone would ever want to have
FollowupID: 712919

Reply By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:04

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:04
Looks as if the pin had not been placed into the reciever based on the pics and the un scathed tow ball assemble.
AnswerID: 440983

Follow Up By: - mazcan - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:14

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:14
hi craige
not correct as that is the original tongueand ball that is removed from the hitch in order to fit the w-d-h
if you look at the close up pics of the a/frame you will see the weight -d- hitch still attached to the t/ball after the roll over but ripped away from the main towbar assembley
FollowupID: 712921

Follow Up By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 22:02

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 22:02
I retract my coment you are correct
FollowupID: 712959

Reply By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:52

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 17:52
What a shame for that couple...... but fortunately nothing that can't be fixed or replaced. Not sure about insurance though as the GCM of the vehicle may have been exceeded and you can bet your bottom $ that Mr Insurance Assessor will be looking into that situation VERY closely.

Now, at the risk of sounding like a nasty mongrel, I wonder if the new owners have had previous experience with towing a c/van???

It beggers belief that any holder of a driver's licence in this country can hook up a caravan to a family car or 4x4 and simply drive it out onto the road with no special training or accreditation.

Imagine the furore if we allowed our semi trailer drivers (or even blokes driving light rigid trucks over 4500kg) to get behind the wheel of their rig without getting a special licence!!!

Sorry, but too many old fogies are out there on our roads without a CLUE of the dynamics involved with this type of set-up.

AnswerID: 440991

Follow Up By: Brian Purdue - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 19:12

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 19:12
Mr. Roach you are exactly right. The number of people you see in caravan parks who cannot reverse their caravan into a parking place horrendous. As you say, there is NO test for towing a caravan or even a heavy trailer.
There should be.
FollowupID: 712934

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 23:29

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 23:29
Roachie, I thought the same about the capacity of the owner, the vehicle and the caravan. The weight distribution hitch looks new, the vehicle too or rather it WAS new. I wonder if the hitch took too much pressure off the back? Relevant points mate.

Brian you are right too, so many people like that. I guess I am fortunate I have had a history of reversing trailers for about 50 years and that becomes second nature, but that experience takes a long time to gain. I always hated double articulated though, but a longer wheel base would help the frustration factor:-))
FollowupID: 712964

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:33

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:33
If you look at the A frame the hitch couldnt have been connected as the parts that fit on the A frame arent there.
FollowupID: 713000

Follow Up By: farouk - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:04

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:04
2010 FORD RANGER XLT CREW CAB PICK UP 4X4 UTE 4WD For Sale ... a one tonne payload and up to 3000kg towing capacity*,
Well that's one theory exploded.

This vehicle is at the top end of towing capacity
It never ceases to amaze me that everybody straight away seems to want to blame the driver!!!, he had only just left the dealer's yard ( so the article stated)
but heaps of poster's blame his imcompetence in setting up, his ignorande of the dynamics, and so on, never taking the time to have a good look at the photo's,
Regarding backing in caravan parks, it is not only the elderly have a problem, I have a mate who is 71 and he is still having problems getting on to a site with a slab backing in with the nearside obscured from view, does that make him a danger on the road?
FollowupID: 713024

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:23

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:23
I looked closely at the pics of the A frame and even saved them and enlarged them and thats where I am coming from with my comments.

I nowhere blamed the driver.

However the person who connected the rig up (owner or dealer) has a lot to answer for with regards to shackles and where the breaksafe was connected.

If as your other post says the A frame hit the ground then the auto brake should have come on. As it appears to be connected to the broken off part it didnt and couldnt.

It is unfortunate that the person fitting the towbar wasnt a bit more vigilant as well as this fault, while unusual mnay have been reasonably obvious.

I remember one instance quoted on a forum where someone picked up a new van and when they got home found the van hitch just sitting on top of the towball.

Whoever hooked it up didnt pull the pin and drop it down.

I would put that down to owner not doing a check.
FollowupID: 713032

Follow Up By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:06

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:06
If you read my comments more closely you may pick up that I said "I wonder if the new owners have had previous experience with towing a c/van???"

I was not automatically assuming the driver was a novice at towing; simply posing the question or maybe you could say I was thinking out loud.

The fact that the towbar assembly has broken away from the car does not, in and of itself, imply that this breakage was the cause of the accident. It may well have held together during the crash and then finally broken away as a RESULT of the accident.

My money is on the rig having got the death wobbles up (probably due to the lack of WDH bars etc) and this led to the driver deciding to brake, when he would have been better advised to accelerate. However, this is pure conjecture on my part (of course).

FollowupID: 713041

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 15:25

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 15:25
Prehap's Roachie could be approached to write an article, or even a small booklet, explaining the dynamics involved in towing a caravan. I'm sure even us old fogies with tens of years and thousands of K's towing experience will be hanging on his every word.
Regards, Dave.
FollowupID: 713051

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 18:00

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 18:00
David, all Roachis is saying is there are lots of people out there that don't have experience of the dynamics of towing. I don't think he or any others in this post have suggested a manual to hang off any words. Experience will be the best guide, but that doesn't mean a huge caravan as a first instance of experience as a 6'x4' to the tip doesn't give a clue.

Farouk, the auto version has that towing capacity from the page I read earlier today. One can look at the pictures and it can be thought through to get some understanding of what may have happened.
1) one has to ask why, with such a large van, the weight transfer kit hadn't been fitted up. There are photos one of the bars with the box beside the barrier. No paint removed. There are none of the tension kit components was fitted to the A frame.
2) how well the driver was versed with using electronic brakes, assuming they were fitted, and it looks like there was a breakaway safety brake. Could he get sufficient acceleration to stop a sway? He could then apply the van brakes to stop the sway. Remembering the sway kit hadn't apparently been fitted.
3) did the driver apply the Ford brakes exacerbating the sway? It almost appears he may have done as it is an automatic reaction but that can upset the stability. What percentage was applied to the braking capacity of the car to the caravan?
4) Did the caravan have sufficient capacity brakes to slow in an emergency? the wheels fitted to those caravans are 15" sports wheels, so 10" drums but was the weighting sufficient?
5) the caravan mass upset the Ford, completely overturning it and at some time breaking apart the draw bar components of the Ford.

I remember a guy asserting on EO that his ute was safe towing a trailer with an excavator, on the trailer, but all that assumes the driver capability isn't impaired or that he/she has the training to cope with emergencies. Other than that, blame will be sheeted home and the insurers will try to avoid liability. It will be an interesting case.
FollowupID: 713082

Follow Up By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 19:11

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 19:11
Thanks for your words John....

To David M.....: Mate, I am not proclaiming to be a guru on the subject and IF I were to write a book about the dynamics of towing, anybody who read it would probably say: "what the hell??? all that stuff is just common sense".

The type of things I'm talking about are purely a consciousness about what is happening between the vehicle/trailer/driver/road/wind etc.

I shudder when I see how some folks seem to forget they have a longer than normal rig (ie: when towing a c/van)...the way some of them cut corners (wheels of van up the gutter), or how they cut-in after overtaking, without getting far enough ahead to clear the vehicle being overtaken. Also, more awareness of braking distances and (God forbid), what about slowing down when approaching a red light, in anticipation of it going green; instead of going full belt to the lights, braking hard and stopping, only to have to then take off from a standing start etc etc. See, just like I said....all common sense stuff.
FollowupID: 713102

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:19

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:19
Prehap's John can write the second edition :).
Cheers Dave.
FollowupID: 713117

Follow Up By: Mick O - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:24

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:24
Very valid points. We're reminded of a recent accident here in Melbourne where a recently retired couple picked up their new 5th wheeler (Probably only $160K's worth) and then promptly drove it under a 3 metre bridge in south Melbourne demolishing the entire unit. Their journey of a lifetime lasted less than 1 hour. It's surprising that with all the public liability concerns these days, caravan companies don't offer instruction courses etc to clients prior to picking up their new units.

I'm no expert but I have been to many accidents involving caravans in the past 30 years and apart from one being overturned by a freak gust of wind, the clear majority of drivers were new to the game.

My 2c worth. Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
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FollowupID: 713125

Follow Up By: BuggerBoggedAgain - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:45

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:45
Thanx Mick, your comment reminded me yrs ago when I picked up my side-car from Jim Eades at Ashfield, next to Peek-Freens biscuits

he sent me over to a paddock and told me to go around in circles for an hour, after I finished he then sent me around the opposite way for an hour, they weren't letting me leave until I mastered the LH corner.
FollowupID: 713128

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 23:13

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 23:13
Dave, try this one
FollowupID: 713139

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 18:30

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 18:30
Might have been better to have had the HR distribution arms on the van

instead of in the box cos if you look there are no receivers fitted on the A frame so looks like they werent there.

Also I would agree about the towing weight and with two water tanks in front of the axles would have a heavy ball weight.

Must have been a big heave to rip the whole receiver out of the towbar.

Did he have a brake controller and how was it set up.

Mine wont do that as van brakes come on fractionally before the car.

Looks like a great big van for one of them to be towing anyway.

Have to wait for inqury but looks fishy ( sorry about the pun)

AnswerID: 440999

Follow Up By: - mazcan - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 22:44

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 22:44
hi graham
yes i also noticed the wdh bars were not attached to a/frame and receivers
from my experience with brake controllers if you set them up and tests it as you have no doubt had a regular habit of doing so
just like i always did before going on rd
if this was done on his van
when he braked the van should have pulled up not jck/knifed the ute

it did also x my thoughts as
well was a controller on it or not

perhaps he was heading off to get one fitted ??
one doesn't get a second chance with these types of errors unfortunately the crunch factor is a very powerfull deterent afterwards
FollowupID: 712960

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 23:50

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 23:50
gidday Graham, forgive my ignorance as I don't use an electronic brake controller.
But how do the brakes come on the van before the vehicle? I thought the controller works of the brake pedal?
FollowupID: 712966

Follow Up By: Member - Darrin S (ACT) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 00:20

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 00:20
Hi fisho64
The trailer brakes can be applied manually off most (maybe all) electric brake controllers via a switch/lever on the front of the brake controller. The brakes would normally only be applied this way if the trailer developed a sway.
FollowupID: 712971

Follow Up By: Nutta - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 01:04

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 01:04
You only have to set the switch off under the brake pedal and it will set the brakes off on the van, you can adjust the tension of the van brakes via the controller.
Of course barely touching the pedal the car brakes will barely contact.
FollowupID: 712979

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:46

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:46
You can set a Prodigy so that when you touch the brake pedal your van brakes come on slightly before the tugs brakes.

Same as can be and is done with trailers on trucks

The van brakes are activated by the brake pedal circuit, yes, but the amount of braking is set on the controller.

This could be altered also by adjusting the position of the brake light switch to make the lights come on earlier

On a Prodigy the amount of force is judged by a pendulum ( described by

Prodigy as an INERTIAL SENSOR) so the harder you hit the pedal the more

force is generated.

There are boost settings as well which in effect starts the braking force at a higher level
EG B1 starts at 13%.

By using this it sets the van brakes to lead the car brakes.

Make sense I hope so.

FollowupID: 713003

Reply By: AGNI4x4 - Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 19:51

Friday, Jan 07, 2011 at 19:51
Not good to see at any time . Another good reason that validates my selling and no longer towing a few tonne around ...................... buy a swag
AnswerID: 441010

Reply By: cycadcenter - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 04:19

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 04:19
If they had just picked up the van at the dealer as it appears from the story, surely the dealer would be partly responsible for allowing them to leave the lot in an unsafe condition with no WD attached to the van.

To me it looks WAY TOO BIG a van for the tug.

AnswerID: 441046

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 07:51

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 07:51
Ford have been saying 3000 kgs braked trailer Bruce, but it isn't looking good for the dealer or manufacturer - either one.Ford Ranger specs
FollowupID: 712993

Follow Up By: dereki - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:31

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:31
The ball weight of the Ranger is only 75kgs, unless a weight distribution device is being used. No WHD on that van would have gone WAY over the 75kgs. Its seems to be a secret that is only mentioned in the manual if you happen to look.

IMHO Bare (no WHD) ball weight limits should be shown in specifications as a mandatory item. There is too much emphasis on tow weight.

FollowupID: 713120

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:14

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:14
A WDH does NOT lighten ball weight appreciably The ball weight is always just that whether or not the WDH is coupled

This from a question I asked the makers

Hello Graham,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the weight distribution hitch. Although we have no factual evidence, the explanation that the pressure/force between the ball and the coupling may be increased but the ball weight is not increased or decreased is the same way I describe the action of the weight distribution system. The weight distribution hitch may be assisting to carry the ball weight but it does not vary it.

I am hoping to carry out some further testing on the weights and forces applied with the weight distribution hitch next year, and have the results from any testing added to our Product guide and website.

I hope this information has been useful to you and if I can assist you any further please feel free to contact me.

FollowupID: 713124

Follow Up By: farouk - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 10:06

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 10:06
2 points ; Weight Distribution bars do NOT alter the ball weight noticeably, see Graham H post and the other point is the only weights I can find on the specs for the Ranger is
There appears to be 3 models and they have different weight limits but they all apply the same differential and that is if the van or trailer is UNBRAKED then the vehicle can only TOW 750KG, the ball weight to my knowledge is not a figure that is automatically applied to the gross weight of the van of 10%, it is applied to the rating of the tow equipment. The 10% is a figure that is considered a good combination, so I consider your assumption that the Ranger could only have 75kgs on ball I think is incorrect
I had a Landcruiser with a 3500kg towing capacity with a caravan of 2300 loaded weight, if it had 250kg on the ball that was fine, it is not tied to 230kg because that is 10%, the towbar had a stamp showing 250KG as did the ball, if the weight happened to be 2800kg I could still tow the van BUT I would have to have fitted a 3500kg towbar.
I stress here that I am not positive I am right but I beleive I am
FollowupID: 713171

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:09

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:09
The RTA rule is that the vehicles towing weight is defined by either the manufacturers published weight limit OR the plated capacity of the towbar and ball WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER

The NSW RTA say they have no rules regarding towball weight.

This is usually a nominal figure and changes depending on how the van is loaded.

It is generally referred to as being a minimum of 10% of ATM or preferably up to 15%
MY van at 2850kg has a ball weight of 300kg Measured when full during trip.

Most vans have the ATM and GTM on the compliance plate and by deducitng the GTM from the ATM gives approx ballweight.
The van pictured would have a very variable ball weight with the two water tanks ahead of the axles. Not to brainy an idea I thought.
Most vans have them either side or at the rear.

FollowupID: 713183

Follow Up By: Off-track - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:38

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:38
I dont believe having water tanks at the rear is any better than at the front; it's still mass away from CofG.
FollowupID: 713190

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:47

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:47
Possibly not but at least you know when you fill them up you havent added an extra 100 or more Kg to the ballweight.

One at front and one at back is the best I would think, both close to axles.
FollowupID: 713194

Follow Up By: farouk - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:30

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:30
Graham H
Graham this could go on forever but nowhere in the rules for towing can I find that it is preferrable to have 15% on the towball,
I have always been under the impression that 10% is a preferrable weight but was NOT a requirement I refer you to

And a excerpt

The combination of tow vehicle and trailer must be “properly set up”. This means that there is a load of about 10% of the total trailer mass on the towbar and that the outfit has a level attitude. Generally this necessitates the use of a load distributing device.

Now my van has 2300kg loaded according to the 10% I only have 2300KG but I am very close to 250kg on the ball which incidentally is close on 11% which to the ruling is acceptable LOAD OF ABOUT 10% and as you can see in the ruling weight distribution bars are NOT obligatory it states Generally this necessitates the use of a load distributing device. If it was rule that they MUST be fitted it would state such.
FollowupID: 713217

Follow Up By: farouk - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:35

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:35
Did not proof read it properly,

In the last sentence please read I only have 2300 should have read 230kg

FollowupID: 713219

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:46

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:46
Towball weight as I said is not in the towing rules and can usually be obtained by the method I posted EG ATM- GTM = ballweight.

As I also said it is a figure which changes according to load spread.

my van is similar to yours in that I have more than 10% which is fine and the van tracks good.

The figures of 10-15% are what is advocated in vanning forums and publications.

Each to his own but as we all know a trailer with negative ball weight is downright dangerous.

Equally so is too much on the ball as it cant be compensated for by a WDH and therefore your steering can be compromised.

One that springs to mind is a guy on Bribie who tows a big Coromal like mine with a Patrol and no WDH. He came towards me one day and the springs must have been holding the front wheels down the front was so far up I could see past the front axle under the car.

He reckons he doesnt need a WDH. I reckon he needs a brain.

We shall leave it at that as we are really not far apart and our vans have similar weights.

FollowupID: 713221

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:26

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:26
It also appears that if you look closely at the pic of the hitch that the safety chains are connected to the bit that snapped off.

The breaksafe seems to be connected to there as well which in my book is an absolute NO NO .

The shackles are not large enough to be rated shackles which are now a requirement as well.
Also has the pins done up from the bottom which allows them to vibrate loose and drop out.

Not a lot of help when the towbar falls apart though.

Perhaps had the breaksafe been correctly fastened it may have stopped before rolling but maybe not.

AnswerID: 441078

Reply By: Kimba10 - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:27

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:27
Feel for the couple, what a terrible thing to happen for them, probably a dream they had always had. Definately a ford ranger XLT (badge on back). I just hope they had all their insurance done properly and the vehicle was set up properly for towing other wise as mentioned above mr insurance company will use any excuse not to pay up to the poor couple. The main thing is no body was hurt (maybe some pride) But as mentioned, for it to jackknife some thing wasnt working write in the braking department. Will be interesting to see if any further information or outcome will be given to the pubic once they find out the cause. The amount of private vehicles (roughly 50) I have owned & sold over the years its amazing when I ask them have they put insurance cover on the car/4wd/bike/ van, they say "I'll fix it up when I get home"" amazes me. Regards Steve
AnswerID: 441079

Reply By: Fred G NSW - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:02

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:02
Now ya see it, now ya don't.....where'd it go !!!!!!!!

There was a thread which appeared very briefly just a while ago, but looks like it has been removed, re this incident.

Basically went crook at all who blamed the poor old phart driving, and went on to say that the incident was caused when the hitch receiver on the tow bar, parted company from the tow bar, and inspection of the hitch receiver showed it had only been tack welded onto the tow bar...job had not been completed.

Hope he posts to this thread, whoever he was.

AnswerID: 441083

Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:04

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:04
No disrespect to the driver, but "old phart" were the poster's words, not mine :-))
FollowupID: 713011

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:26

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:26
Hmmm was wondering that myself as the gussets on the hitch part didnt look to well as in welds obviously breaking, rather just pulling apart.

Lots of other negatives though.

WDH wasnt set up, Shackles too light ( not rated as required), Breaksafe either not connected or attached to bit that broke off.
Shackles with pins put it in from the bottom so as to let pins drop out if not really tight.

All basic stuff not observed.

A hard lesson to learn Im afraid.

FollowupID: 713016

Follow Up By: farouk - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:34

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:34
When this was first published yesterday there was a flood of comments in the press of stupid caravanners, incompetent drivers etc etc, well it appears from one of the photo's in the article that the cause was faulty towbar, You can see where the tongue of the tow hitch is in place in it's sleeve with the locking pin in place, well it appears that the sleeve which is welded to the underside of the towbar has come adrift and could only happen because it was not welded but only tacked into position, but of course this would be the stupid old grey nomad's fault who should have crawled under the back of vehicle to check that it was welded properly!!!
No doubt the safety chains were in place and when the hitch broke away the A frame dug into the road and jacknifed the caravan.
Unfortunately this cause will not be published and lot's of people will still believe that all elderly caravan owners are incompetent stupid old farts who should not be allowed on to the highways, all they do is hold up the traffic with their insistence on driving at a sensible speed. the van anyway!, Get them off the road!! . Poor buggers.
There are 26 photo's to view.
FollowupID: 713017

Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:38

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:38
That's it....Farouk's post was the one I saw.
FollowupID: 713018

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:05

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:05
Yes Farouk that appears to be the case.

HOWEVER if the person who connected the van to the tow vehicle had connected the breakaway CORRECTLY it would have stopped probably upright.

99.9% of vanners connect this to the same shackle that holds the chains on.

This is a perfect example of why you shouldnt.

The breaksafe should be connected to somewhere OTHER THAN ANY PART OF THE TOWBAR.
Mine is connected to a separate ring bolted to the chassis and even if the whole towbar falls off it will still work.

Rated shackles are another thing rarely observed. Why would you put rated chains on a van and then put a shackle that wouldnt hold a box trailer.

Worst I have seen was a guy with a 24ft Jayco loaded to the hilt, more than likely overweight for the Prado towing it.

He connected both chains to one VERY light shackle.

The breaksafe wire was wound twice through the towhitch handle on the van and onto the same shackle. Wouldnt ever have worked.

Some have to be seen to be believed.

FollowupID: 713025

Follow Up By: kiwicol - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:31

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:31
If the van has jackknifed, whether the breakaway is fitted working or not, the breakaway would have done nothing in this situation to prevent the accident.

As rightfully named the breakaway system is only for, if the van detatches from the tug, the breaks are automatically applied.

Cheers Col
FollowupID: 713042

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:40

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:40
As in Farouks post it says the towbar broke and THEN the van jacknifed because the a frame hit the road.

If that is the case the breaksafe would have applied the BRAKES as soon as it parted from the car HAD THE WIRE BEEN ATTACHED CORRECTLY.

It obviously detached from the tug and if as described the brakes should have locked up immediately hopefully holding it straight before it pivoted on the dug in a Frame.

FollowupID: 713044

Follow Up By: kiwicol - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 16:26

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 16:26
I cant see how the van can flip the vehicle after it has broken from vehicle.

I would say the vehicle and caravan jackknifed and then did the flip to both vehicles and this is where the breakage occured.

I would say the brakes werent working or set wrong causing the jacknife.

Cheers Col
FollowupID: 713065

Follow Up By: burnsy - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:17

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:17
I recon that it was the accident that broke the tow bar.
We can only speculate as to the cause of the accident but from what I can see on the photos the driver lost control for whatever reason which resulted in a very unstable relationship between the ute and the van which resulted in the tow bar breaking during or just before the rollover.
If the bar had broken beforehand I would think that the van may have rolled but would have left the ute untouched. I also notice that the safety chains appear to be still attached to their mounting point on the receiver part of the bar.
I recently purchased a new van on which the weight distribution hitch did not fit properly and was told by the dealer to just leave them off for now. Also no questions were asked about whether my tow vehicle was set up to tow a heavy trailer or whether I had had any experience doing same.
On arriving home I fitted the hitch and ran over all critical fasteners and found that some were not as tight as I would have liked. The dealer fitted the hitch and connected the van while the paperwork was completed.
I was under the impression that dealers have a duty of care to ensure that when a unit leaves their yard it has to be both legal and safe

I certainly do not know the details of this accident and I drive this road occasionally in a truck I can say that it's not unusual for some pillock to cut you off or try to drive into the side of you whilst he is changing lanes. I challenge anyone to say they have never had a bad moment whilst towing, It's just that some (Whether experience or luck) are lucky and some are not.
I hope that the owners of this rig can have it replaced and continue on their merry way

Regards Mike
FollowupID: 713078

Follow Up By: kiwicol - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:22

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:22
Mike, totally agree, and that truck experience goes a long way also.

Cheers Col
FollowupID: 713079

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 18:12

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 18:12
Graham, had it happened in that order, I can't see why the car would have been upside down. I think the draw bar broke after the car had been upset, either on it's side or upside down. The ball coupling would have started flipping it before it got to 30 degrees side to side. The safety break away is only if the trailer comes away from the car BEFORE breaking the draw bar - for this case.

I agree with Mike above, the duty of care will be questioned. The dealer will have to have very good insurance, but it will be fought by the various insurers.
FollowupID: 713087

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 19:06

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 19:06
The breaksafe is to stop the van whether it parts fom the car or the drawbar or both. IF it is secured to the vehicle CORRECTLY.

It should be connected as I have already said to another part of the tow vehicle so that should something like this happen it will operate.

In this case it appears to be connected to the towbar which is not only unwise but very STUPID.

10 in electric brakes are certified for up to an ATM of 3000kg,only higher than that do you need 12 in.

FollowupID: 713099

Follow Up By: kiwicol - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:14

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:14
Grahem, nobody is questioning how the breakaway is or was connected.

once the van is side ways in a jacknife and ready to flip braking the wheels will have no effect, specially when its on its sde

Check out the crease in the front roof of the van, i bet it matches the back left hand corner of the tug.

Cheers Col
FollowupID: 713116

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:55

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 14:55
One cant help feeling for the owners ,irrespective of the circumstances. One assumes the van was still "dry" & perhaps inside the rated weight limit. I do
hope the van had been covered for insurance so that most of the pain will heal.
All in all a fortunate outcome injury wise ,for them & other motorists.....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 441109

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