This happened last week in Colorado. Watch as the travel trailer suddenly goes out of control and rolls over repeatedly while being towed on I-70 across the Rockies near Loveland Pass. The pickup truck towing the trailer spins out of control, but stays attached. The driver told officers he was going the speed limit. Luckily, he and his passenger were not hurt. The same can’t be said for the trailer.
The video was captured by a Tesla’s dash cam as it followed the RV. The driver of the pickup towing the trailer was cited by the state patrol for careless driving, which he felt was unfair. He claimed the trailer hit a pothole, which sent it out of control.
I have traveled to all 48 states and learned a lot about travel trailers. One thing is, people drive too fast and to save a buck they don’t use sway bars and lastly, just because you can pull a trailer 70 mph does not mean you should drive that fast. Another thing is if you are driving down a large hill and the wind is hitting the side of your trailer, the trailer will be slightly lifted by the wind. If you had slowed down the trailer would not be lifted.
Too many RVers pulling trailers, 5th wheels and MH pulling cars think if the speed limit is 70 then they can go 70. You can but it is not wise.
From the last few frames of the video of the trailer it looks like there was no sway control bars between the truck and trailer. If there had been, this likely would not have happened.
We just traveled from Myrtle Beach, SC to Key West, FL and back. I can attest for the poor road conditions we encountered. I noted several large pot holes and degraded roadway along our travels. However, this report didn’t note proper loading of the camper/truck combo, cross wind speeds and what the speed limit was. We rarely, if ever, tow at the posted highway speed. A pot hole could have been a contributing factor here, but I guess that there were other factors in play.
“I was going the speed limit” — for cars, yes.
However, we had a similar experience pulling our Class C a few months ago and we too feel potholes are a huge safety issue.
My husband is a safe and cautious driver (former defensive driving instructor so those skills kicked in, thank goodness). We also have a top-of-the-line direct proportional braking system We had even talked about the potholes and bad roads with our travel buddies at dinner the night before.
Just outside Georgia the next day, straight road, the rig started fishtailing: it was all we could do to keep it on the road! Thankfully light traffic. Finally pulled to side and found the tow bar had locked; took 30 minutes to finally get the car unattached. I refused to hook back up and drove the car separately the rest of the way. Repair shop could find NOTHING wrong! Have had no problems since.
Moral: “Driving too fast for conditions” includes potholes!
The potholes in our North American roads are a disgrace and can make trailer towing for RVers and truckers a costly experience.
However I think there is something else here not mentioned.
in my 50 years of trailer pulling and 25 years of trailer repairing experience I’d bet that the weight distribution of this trailer played a roll.
Sure perhaps this drivers skill level is in question but I have seen trailers that are designed to keep the hitch weight as light as possible and operators then, after loading for a trip make this even worse.
I have had customers complain that their trailer just didn’t pull very nice and it scares them. One customer was pulling his with a Suburban. I suggested he load 10 bags of softener salt right in the nose of the trailer and then try it.
he called me back and reported it made all the difference in the world.
Watch your weight distribution.
Quoted: “in my 50 years of trailer pulling and 25 years of trailer repairing experience I’d bet that the weight distribution of this trailer played a roll.”
Hah! I see what you did there! Great pun.
Role, roll – who cares when it’s funny?
This should be a warning to anyone who drives a RV faster than 65 mph, they are big and unstable at speed, you can’t tell from the video but I would venture a guess that the Ford pickup was a 1/2T which made controlling the trailer in an emergency more difficult. It’s too bad they didn’t show footage before the rollover to see if the trailer was swaying. Just from the footage it looks like the trailer has all ready pushed the truck sideways and in the description it says the trailer rolled over serveral times but the truck didn’t, how does it do that and still be connected to the truck? If it rolled even once the hitch would have to break or the truck would roll too. CSP was probably correct in issuing a ticket for reckless driving, they were there investigating the facts, his admission of driving the speed limit was his admission of guilt.
The “speed limit” is not minimum or required speed. You decide at what speed you feel safe and comfortable. On multiple lane highways (interstates) everyone can go around you. How many videos have we seen like this?
He said he was going the speed limit, which is the same as a car – 75 mph – when pulling a trailer. Looks like he went around a bend, the guard rail was just feet from the right lane, and there didn’t appear to be any potholes along the side of the road. SO – driver error? Too fast for conditions pulling a trailer. Thank goodness they survived – to do it all over again.
Agree. That is quite driving experience (I-70 Loveland Pass), whether going east or west; and 75 mph is way too too fast!
The speed limit there is 65, although I agree he was still going too fast.
Way too fast like too many trailer drivers. You’re still responsible for controlling your camper!
The fact that they immediately went to fix it shows the DOT’s culpability in my opinion. “We’re worried others will be hurt”, basically, “so we should fix it”. That means there’s an acknowledgement of a problem. In addition, if it had happened again, then negligence is obvious.
And it took them almost all day to fix it. However, I know that hill and I do think speed could have been a factor. I drive the right line in my A and stay below the limit because it is a nasty hill.
Apparently you have common sense, something seemingly missing amongst the younger generations. It seems like the younger generations never out grew the teen years idea that they are invincible and nothing can hurt them because they know it all. Lol
The right lane on that hill is super nasty and regularly filled with ruts, bumps, and pot holes- I completely avoid it with my trailer. I have the Ibex version of the trailer in the video, and it tows ok with my suburban, but doing over 60 MPH on the stretch from Eisenhower to Silverthorne with a trailer of any significant size can be pretty hazardous.