Sway bar???? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
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Name: Rollie
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Sway bar????

Ok, I have about finished the rebuild of my 72 Compact Jr.. The one question I am on the fence about is do I need a sway bar on it. The previous owner seems to have had one as the ball for one is on the hitch. Anyone with experience with this rig could you please comment? I will be pulling with a Rav4 V6 and I will have a hitch weight of about 160 pounds.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:20 AM   #2
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Name: Frederick / Janis
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Probably won't find enough owners of that vintage unit to make a lot of comments.

Sway bars on smaller trailers is generally considered a cover up for other issues. It stirs the pot to say it, but if the unit is mounted up properly and balanced out properly, it is highly unlikely that the friction type sway bars gain would be needed. If the sway cannot be controlled any other way, I suppose you'll install one for your own sense of well being.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:44 AM   #3
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I have 2008 RAV4 V6 Sport with tow package and tow an Escape 17B.
I use a weight distribution hitch and no sway control.
I've been passed by semis, had to make emergency lane changes and I have never experienced sway.
My tongue weight is 320 - 340 #.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:32 AM   #4
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I agree that a sway bar should not be needed for normal driving situations, including crosswinds, passing trucks and busses, and normal lane changes. Therefore, it is best to start without it and make sure you have a stable set-up.

From the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, small rear-entry models like your Compact Jr. have a tendency to be light on the tongue. Sounds like you may have already weighed yours to verify you're carrying at least 10% of the total trailer weight on the tongue, which is a good start. Other factors- left/right loading, ball height (should be level or slightly tongue down), and how far weight is from the axle line (weight in middle is more stable than weight on the ends, lower is better than higher)- can also affect stability. In addition, characteristics of the tow vehicle come into play, including wheelbase, center of gravity, rear overhang, etc.

One you are confident you have a stable rig under normal driving conditions, adding the sway bar is extra insurance for emergency situations.

A far more important piece of safety equipment is trailer brakes. Do you have them?

And does your RAV4 have the tow package?
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Sway Bars

I just returned from the tech session at the Scamp Camp in Highland Hammocks, FL. where Floyd talked about sway bars. It was interesting to hear him and others, including myself, comment on their sway bars. Most people had never experienced sway but had one for the abnormal situation.

I bought one (under $50) because someone told me that it's nice to have in an emergency situation.

No one claimed to have one because their trailer swayed without one.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:55 PM   #6
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Name: Sylvio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I just returned from the tech session at the Scamp Camp in Highland Hammocks, FL. where Floyd talked about sway bars.
Is there any way that Floyd would consider making videos for us, people from a far away land?
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:05 PM   #7
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Go to https://www.etrailer.com/ to find all kinds of videos and instructions on just about everything to do with trailers and towing. Includes installation videos for products.
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Old 02-09-2016, 04:57 PM   #8
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Glenn, Do those videos have Floyd ' s humor?

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:20 PM   #9
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I've obviously missed something.
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