Sway Bar - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2019, 04:24 PM   #1
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Name: Randy
Trailer: Casita 17 FD
Florida
Posts: 37
Sway Bar

On our just-completed trip, we experienced substantial sway with out 17 FD Casita when we crossed uneven pavement lanes during a heavy rain and had to brake.

I have never experienced sway with this Casita before. Upon arrival at our destination, I examined the sway bar by taking it apart. There is the outer, tubular end (trailer end), and the flat end (toward the vehicle) that slides inside the tubular end. Between the two there is a bar of material that looks like brake lining material. I found that that brake lining bar was broken in half.

Has anyone else had this happen to their sway bar? Is that inner brake lining bar replaceable? Just wondering.

I purchased a new sway bar and had it shipped to a local WM. The new one is a Reese sway bar. I do not know the brand of the one originally supplied by Casita, because the label had worn off. When we picked up the Casita, we were told to tighten the sway bar handle as far as it would go, and then back off 1/4 turn. That instruction is in the packet of instructions that Casita provides.

By the way, I called Camping World that was not too far away to ask about their having a replacement sway bar. They said their parts was busy, and that they would call me back. The did so only after 36 hours later. What if I had been broken down and in need of a part???

I similarly called Casita, and was told that they had to call me back because the parts people were busy. They never called me back.....

However, the Reese sway bar had different instructions. It said to just tighten the handle until the screw "bottomed out", whatever that means. I guessed it meant as tight as it will go, but there are still many threads before the screw would be all the way in.

I tightened it as far as I could reasonable tighten it, and then like the Casita instructions said, I backed it off 1/4 of a turn.

We started our trip home and the sway bar made loud groaning noises when we made any turn. I thought that it needed to be broken in, so I drove that way for a couple hours. The noises persisted, so I stopped and backed the handle off a little more. The noises continued.

I am afraid that if I back it off more, there will not be enough friction to reduce sway.

Can anyone advize me as to how tight this new Reese sway bar should be tightened, and as to if the noises are to be expected (the original bar never made noises while driving, but some noise occassionally while backing up).

Thanks again,
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,383
Registry
Apparently there is no set rule for adjusting the sway bar, and if you talk to 50 people, you'll get 50 different answers.
Here's what etrailer says, and it ain't much to go on, other than you'll have to play with it and find out where it needs to be on YOUR trailer. They're all a bit different, even among the same brands and models.

For my take on it, I tighten mine as tight as I can get it with two fingers, and then I leave it alone. May not work for everybody, but it's my "sweet spot".

In short, it's trial and error until you find your trailer's "sweet spot" too.

https://www.etrailer.com/question-160187.html
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:20 PM   #3
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Name: Greg
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dupe.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:03 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Friction sway bars wear out, just like brake linings which are basically the same thing.

The fact that you "experienced substantial sway" when the sway bar was not working suggests to me that you need to go back to the basics and make sure the tongue weight is 10-15 % of total trailer weight.

Noise is common. Backing with the sway bar is usually not suggested as you can bend it if you turn too sharp. That might have been the cause of your failure.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:31 PM   #5
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Name: Randy
Trailer: Casita 17 FD
Florida
Posts: 37
Sway

That may be good advice in general, but the fact of the matter is that I never had experienced ANY sway that I could notice in the 11 years of having this Casita. My loading is not an issue.

The sway I experienced this time was under a very unusual circumstance of having to brake suddenly and at the same time to have to change lanes into a lower height lane that was flooded.

The reason I checked my old sway bar was because I had never experienced that kind of sway or ANY sway.

Clearly the old sway bar was not working at that point, or it broke at that point.

The question that has not been answered is whether that groaning sound when I made any sort of turn (that my old sway bar never made) is something normal, or if it indicates that it is too tight.

I normally do not back with the sway bar on, but sometimes it is necessary to back a little big after pulling out from a place that is a little tight. It was then only that I ever heard my old sway bar make any sound.

Any further insight would be appreciated, and possibly would be of help to others.

Thanks,
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:03 PM   #6
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Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
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if the sway was induced during serious braking, you may need to up the gain a bit on yoru brake controller. I find when I'm on dirt roads, I have to turn mine down so the wheels don't skid, then remember to turn it back up when on dry pavement.
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