As we reach the waning days of summer, here’s a good reminder of why you should slow down and enjoy the journey, especially if you’re towing a massive travel trailer. Fortunately, everybody in this clip was reported as okay, but before you watch the action, be aware that the friendly videographer who stopped to help does respond with some strong language. Given the circumstances, we completely understand.
The video comes from YouTuber Ramathorn1985, who was trucking eastbound on Interstate 82 in Washington State when a black Ford Excursion appears in the left lane, passing the rig. The Excursion’s exact speed is unknown, though the semi’s dashcam reads 65 miles per hour and the SUV was clipping past at a brisk pace. We’ll just say it was too fast because the trailer is already well out of shape before it even gets past the semi. In fact, things are so bad the semi driver takes evasive action to avoid getting slapped.
The Ford noticeably slows down after passing the semi, but it’s too little too late. The oscillations eventually send the trailer off the ground, which then snaps truck and trailer sideways and off the road, where it rolls onto its side. At least we think it ends up on its side – the crash generates an enormous dust cloud that obscures the entire road for a few seconds.
So what caused this trailer to get so out of whack? First of all, that’s a whopper of a trailer to make a Ford Excursion look so small, never mind tossing it about in such a manner. That kind of trailer can be very susceptible to wind gusts, even relatively minor changes that occur from say, passing a semi at a decent rate of speed. A trailer that’s tail-heavy will also whip like crazy, and there’s clearly a bunch of gear strapped to the very back of it, never mind what’s inside behind the axles. In the end, it could’ve well been a perfect storm of both, with excessive speed being the extra catalyst for disaster.
With a long weekend in store for most of us, here’s a top tip from Motor1. Take it easy pulling that trailer, whether it's a boat, a camper, or a flatbed loaded with furniture for the new semester at college. You may reach your destination a little slower, but at least you’ll make it in one piece.