The threat of hinging is larger, the further the distance between coupling head and rear axle of the vehicle, the softer the springs/dampers of the vehicle, the smaller the mounting force of the front of the trailer onto the
trailer coupling, and the shorter the trailer. While the wheel suspensions of trailers are relatively identical, the springs are not. Naturally, tall caravans are more dangerous than shorter trailers.
How it works
Hinging might be very dangerous, and reveals how instable the connection of a vehicle with an almost as heavy trailer with often only one axle might be. In terms of acceleration and handling this combination is
sometimes better comparable to a truck. In terms of stability it is helpful if the trailer is equipped with two instead of one axle. The picture above shows a damper, a short double-tube
vibration silencer, constructed especially for a lying position between the coupling head and the shaft. In Germany, such a device is a prerequisite for an increased speed limit (100 km/h).
How to react, if the
combination starts hinging, maybe because of a flat tire? For sure, keeping calm and stoical counter steering might help, which reduces the speed. Hopefully, other drivers will take notice, and are able to brake and
block the traffic from behind, while one make use of the whole breadth of the highway. Modern trailers are not that bad. Some drivers argue that it helps to accelerate in order to stretch the combination, and afterwards
to brake. The successful strategy depends on the circumstances, for example the traffic around, and the power of the vehicle in front.
The person who is taking out his or her caravan once a year for its big vacation tour, should not only check the tread depth of the tires, but their age, too (maximum 6 - 8 years).