About to do a DIY Sway Control install - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-05-2007, 06:54 PM   #15
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This is the offending creature


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The chunky "X"ed out bar is not needed in my case as my WDH drawbar is one big fat plate with two holes properly placed for the ball in it already (Right or left.. your choice)

There would be 8 holes on ONE side of the frame if installed per instruction. You can see a longer, wider backing plate and the square plate with the ball on it.

The welder I have is most excellent, I have bragged about him before, and he actually says either way will do, but welding can be done if I wish with no problems.

I trust this guy with a torch, he is the best around.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:18 AM   #16
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I trust this guy with a torch, he is the best around.
He will most certainly MIG (or possibly TIG) it. Minimum localized heat. It should in no way weaken your frame.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #17
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Our trailer frames are made of mild steel... sheet metal if you will... They are not engineered and heat treated like modern truck frames, nor are they made of any sort of alloy... As such, the welding story is different on our trailers... I think you'd be hard pressed to authoritatively say that properly welding something on a trailer frame will make it weaker. Heck, if you were really worried, you could just fish-plate it but I would way sooner trust a proper weld over some cheap self-tapping screws that some manufacturer supplied; especiallly through 1/8" sheet metal.
Welding damage to the frame isn't primary reason I would prefer the screws; I WANT the screws to fail long before a weld would!

Yes, a competent welder can do it right, but I had a welder re-installing a new axle drag a partial bead (either in spite or ignorance) over the bottom of my box frame, resulting in a later crack and subsequent need for repair. The A-frame isn't as critical as the sway-plate area, but given my personal opinion that the sway control fastening should be the weak link, a welded plate wouldn't be the weak point. Harder to screw up installing a handful of selftapping screws compared to welding, plus if done perfectly, welding won't yield the results I desire. YMMV!

Clearly, her welder chose the screws over welding by telling her to do it herself, perhaps for economic reasons or perhaps for practical reasons. The control manf obivously believes the screws are sufficient or there wouldn't be screw holes in the plate and screws in the kit. Suz's installation relies on friction, not even screws, much less a weld...
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:32 PM   #18
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Given the recent interest in Reese's Dual-Cam sway control add-on for weight-distribution systems, it may be of interest to note that the premium Dual-Cam HD version uses self-tapping screws to fasten the sway control brackets to the tongue in the case of box-section A-frame construction (C-channel A-frames are through-bolted).

A self-tapping screw in 1/8" material isn't very effective, but that may be good (Pete's point) and the friction-type sway control device will load the frame bracket in shear anyway, which in English means it tends to push or pull the bracket along the frame, not pull it out.

Why not rivet the bracket on? Just kidding... mostly.
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Why not rivet the bracket on?


Burro

No rivets...

Ever!



I trust Pete's opinion as well as my welders, and am not discounting it at all.. BUT.... The welder recommended I do it myself because he is honest and obviously, believed it an adequate and easy job for me to do.. as mentioned in my second post.. If he was out to make a buck, he wouldn't have told me that. If I had a little more muscle, it would be done already and this thread would not be as long as it is.

The last weld I had him do for me, which was WAY more complicated and critical than this (he did an extension on my drawbar) only cost 25 bones.

If he looks at it and says "Ya know, lets just do the screws" I will allow it, but will probably feel a bit squeemish as I have had the broken frame thing happen before on my 13 and still sting a bit from it..
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:25 PM   #20
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...If he looks at it and says "Ya know, lets just do the screws" I will allow it, but will probably feel a bit squeemish as I have had the broken frame thing happen before on my 13 and still sting a bit from it..
It might make you feel better to know that the sides are vastly less critical than the top and bottom of a frame rail. Don't literally test this, but my guess is that you could drill these holes, at the spacing of the provided bracket, down the entire length of the tongue and have only corrosion (rust starting at every hole, water in the frame box...) as a concern. Right around the mid-height point of the frame is the least stressed position, which is why I-beams are routinely have access holes and lightening holes in the middle of their web.

The Monroe retrofit shock absorber kit installation includes drilling a 1/2" hole right though the frame (both sides if a box type), at a recommended 1-3/8" from the top (assuming a 4" high frame). I did it on my B1700, for "put your money where you mouth is" value...
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:57 AM   #21
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After all this interesting discussion, we want to know how the installation turned out, Gina.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:44 PM   #22
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It won't be done until Thursday...

stay tuned.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:24 PM   #23
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I am very happy to report..

The sway control makes a world of difference. Takes about 15 seconds to hook up, most of that lifting it into place!

They actually ended up HAVING to weld the ball plate on, as the screws that were supplied actually stripped.. the screw threads, NOT the frame. He thinks the frame is chromally, which is hard stuff!

I traveled 150 miles across one of the windy est areas of so. cal.. right straight across the mojave on the backside of the mountians.. was passed by big rigs and felt barely a wiggle.

When they say it makes car and trailer act as one vehicle, it is true. Sure felt nice and was MUCH less work to keep the rig stationary.

Unfortunately, they didn't get to painting the welds as I had to take off! I will grab a can of spray paint at wally world and do it myself tomorrow, probably..

anyway.. sway control... A+!
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:47 AM   #24
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:30 AM   #25
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Umm, don't forget to do your weights and balance stuf at a scale.

If your sway control is making a difference in regular towing then likely something can be improved and now the sway control has made it seem to go away.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:43 PM   #26
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That'll have to "weight" (I am in my room) until I get to Oregon.

I did get rid of one more bin of basically duplicate tools, and I am traveling without my big solar array..did some weight redistribution... all that before the sway bar went on.

I wish I had the big array at the moment.. I seem to have a totally flat battery.. 5 hours of driving did ZIP to charge it.. I'll have to pick up a new one and worry about this one later. (Thats another threa... yes, I have checked.. I have nothing drawing, and the fridge is OFF 12v, have power coming from my smaller panel and the charge line is fine.. battery is NOT boiled.. at 105 where I was when I stopped, I am not going to spend a ton of time chasing it..)
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:31 PM   #27
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I'm going to presume that you are using the same solar charge controller with either panel and it has the circuitry (usually a diode) to keep the panel from using the battery to return the energy to the sky at night (which would be drawing down the battery).

After the battery is recharged, do the 'pull fuses in dim light to see which one arcs and sparks' trick...
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:48 AM   #28
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They actually ended up HAVING to weld the ball plate on, as the screws that were supplied actually stripped.. the screw threads, NOT the frame. He thinks the frame is chromally, which is hard stuff!

Cheesy self-tapping screws!

Glad to hear it turned out well, Gina.
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