Strange noise from the Sway Bar - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
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I have a Sway Bar on our NTU (new to us) 2006 17 ft Liberty Deluxe Casita and I also had one on the 2000 Freedom Casita that I had a few years ago.

While we were on our recent 2 week, 3000 mile trip, back East, when we were in the rain, that stupid Sway Bar howled like a wildcat every time I turned and straightened up. It seems it only does it when it's wet. I took the bar apart and cleaned it of some dirt and rusty junk and re-assembled it and it still did it. (We had quite a bit of rain). The Sway Bar on my other Casita never did this.

I never, according to the directions, lubricated the bar but was sure tempted. Have any of you had this problem??? I guess I can live with it but it seems abnormal to me.


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Old 06-04-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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I thought you were supposed to loosen or disconnect the friction anti-sway bar in the rain.

Link to Pete's explanation
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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I thought you were supposed to loosen or disconnect the friction anti-sway bar in the rain.

Link to Pete's explanation
Thank you. Two weeks ago we picked up our new Casita from Rice. Hubby complaint, about the Sway Bar 'noise', all the way home to California.

Printed out Pete's explanation for Hubby.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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I have had our anti-sway bar 'groan' several times when it became wet for one reason or another.

I just stop and loosen it a turn or two until it dries out and then I retighten it.

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Old 06-04-2009, 10:49 PM   #5
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I thought you were supposed to loosen or disconnect the friction anti-sway bar in the rain.

Link to Pete's explanation
Well, I read that bit on the Sway Bar about disconecting in slick conditions but I didn't think of it in just "rainy" conditions. I suppose the rain does make the roads a bit slippery but it was when turning corners at very slow speed, like in a city or parking lot that the noise occured. I never noticed it at higway speeds. I guess I'll just take it off when it rains. I'm not sure how much it helps anyway and I agree with Pete D that loading and overall tow setup is the most important thing anyway.

Sounds like no one else has had the noise problem anyway.

Thanks for all your input.

EKW
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:30 AM   #6
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Pete's description is exactly why I hate these things, for what they are supposed to accomplish there are too many ifs. loosen when backing up, loosen in slick conditions, the noise makes my wife more nervous than if its not hooked up. I'm always thinking when driving down the highway at 60 mph with folks weaving in and out doing 80 and 85 and your in the middle lane and a sudden thunder shower comes up and with all the above going on your trying to reach the breakdown lane to loosen the anti sway control in conditions where you would really like antisway, but its not designed to stop sway when you enter a seemingly sway situation, somehow that just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Do I use mine??? yes if I'm going to be camping with a bunch of Casita people who really think your an idiot for not using one, I hate to be lectured and hounded about it, haa. If wife and I are traveling alone I rarely use it to keep her happy. I carry it most of the time just in case we encounter extremely windy weather and the trailer starts to act up but, that never happened with my Tundra and so far it hasn't happened with the odyssey. I'm not exactly new to trailering as I've towed trailers of some kind since I got my driving permit 56 years ago. I'd never even heard of an anti sway bar till I bought the Casita
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
I have a Sway Bar on our NTU (new to us) 2006 17 ft Liberty Deluxe Casita and I also had one on the 2000 Freedom Casita that I had a few years ago.

While we were on our recent 2 week, 3000 mile trip, back East, when we were in the rain, that stupid Sway Bar howled like a wildcat every time I turned and straightened up. It seems it only does it when it's wet. I took the bar apart and cleaned it of some dirt and rusty junk and re-assembled it and it still did it. (We had quite a bit of rain). The Sway Bar on my other Casita never did this.

I never, according to the directions, lubricated the bar but was sure tempted. Have any of you had this problem??? I guess I can live with it but it seems abnormal to me.

EKW

If it isn't groaning on sharp turns , it isn't working.
"A-CAR" brand friction sway controls are quieter , but the internals are essentially brake shoes on all brands of this device and therefore subject to a little noise when used properly.
NEVER lubricate it , that would render it completely ineffective.
Extreme icy conditions could cause "the tail to wag the dog" so to speak but I find that with proper adjustment I prefer having mine on in rainy conditions. In fact I would do all I could to stay off the road if conditions were bad enough to remove my sway control altogether,
[or even if conditions were bad enough to make it's use really NECESSARY to safely control the vehicle.]

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Old 08-08-2009, 07:23 AM   #8
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If it isn't groaning on sharp turns , it isn't working.
"A-CAR" brand friction sway controls are quieter , but the internals are essentially brake shoes on all brands of this device and therefore subject to a little noise when used properly.
NEVER lubricate it , that would render it completely ineffective.
Extreme icy conditions could cause "the tail to wag the dog" so to speak but I find that with proper adjustment I prefer having mine on in rainy conditions. In fact I would do all I could to stay off the road if conditions were bad enough to remove my sway control altogether,
[or even if conditions were bad enough to make it's use really NECESSARY to safely control the vehicle.]
I tend to agree with Floyd here, more so from my own personal experience with my sway bar, whether common practice by others or not. I just tightened mine up most of the way in the beginning when I first started using it, keeping the handle pointing generally forward for no other reason than I felt like it,and it does seriously creak and groan about constantly, particularly so in slight maneuvers, such as going into, around, and out of gasoline stops, rest area stops, etc. I suppose it does it all the time but I am only able hear it while I am going slow without the attendant highway & wind noise. In the beginning I forgot to loosen it up in the rain (or couldn't when I did, as in a blinding rainstorm on a busy four-lane and all traffic is bumper to bumper, straining to see the flashing lights of the vehicle ahead)and so have never felt the need to do that at all yet. I don't even loosen it to back up, either, since originally I forgot to do that too, and have not seen the need to begin doing so, and I drive a short wheelbase Jeep Wrangler. I do not tend to jackknife while backing up but I have made some seriously aggressive forward U-turns with the Casita following quite obediently behind me. I have always thought the noise was because my sway bar is the ultra cheap one from Harbor Freight. Now I suspect it might be over-tightened.But, do far, my opinion is, if it isn't broken, why change????
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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That's just one of the many really good reason to switch to a Reese Dual Cam (or equalizer sway control) hitch instead.

Roger
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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That's just one of the many really good reason to switch to a Reese Dual Cam (or equalizer sway control) hitch instead.

Roger
An equalizer hitch on a 13? Is that something like using a whip and a chair to train a kitten?[lol]
Seriously ,don't you think that might be too much stress on the frame of the smaller fiberglass trailers?
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:06 PM   #11
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Floyd,
Do you know if the frame on a 16' is the same size as on a 13' ?

The reason I ask is that my tongue weight is 325 lb. on my 16' and my class three hitch is only good for 300 lb. ball weight and 500 lb. WDH.

So I use a WDH.

Bill K

Quote:
Seriously ,don't you think that might be too much stress on the frame of the smaller fiberglass trailers?
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:58 PM   #12
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Floyd,
Do you know if the frame on a 16' is the same size as on a 13' ?

The reason I ask is that my tongue weight is 325 lb. on my 16' and my class three hitch is only good for 300 lb. ball weight and 500 lb. WDH.

So I use a WDH.

Bill K
The frame tubing on a Scamp 16 is the same size as the frame tubing on a Scamp 13.
(1-1/2"X3")
You don't say what your Tow vehicle is, but if you have a 16 Scamp then 325# tongue weight likely is more than is really needed for safe towing,but certainly within a safe range for your frame. While weight distrubuting hitchs are wonderful devices, they do leverage against the trailer frame and the TV chassis, generally shifting weight to the trailer axle and the TV's front axle. If you choose the appropriate WDH, and the trailer axle is not near capacity, then that may not matter.
What you have is either an unusual rating on a Class III hitch, an odd vehicle or OEM application ,or a mistake in reading the literature.

Class I hitches usually ( by industry standards) have a rating of 2000# trailer weight and 200# tongue weight
Class II hitches usually (by industry standards) have a rating of 3500# tow capacity and 300# tongue weight capacity.
Class III hitches are usually rated (by industry standards) [at] 6000# tow capacity and 600# tongue weight.
Higher ratings are definitely overkill for a Scamp.
Now I am referring to hitch capacity which is not always the same as the capacity of the vehicle to which it is attached. Also one important note...
Class III hitches are rated weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
Not all Class III hitches are rated to be both.
I'm sure that your system works fine and is safely within all limits when properly adjusted, but I have seen cracked frames on several makes of smaller fiberglass trailers [although this is rare and the Scamp frame is among the best], I think it is important to be aware of the dynamics and stresses involved and to choose A WDH with near the minimum capacity for the application. This sounds like what you have done.
I was surprized to see a WDH with a rating as low as 500# [like yours]
Done right, it probably won't over strees the frame at all , my comment was based on what I know of the standard capacity of a Class III hitch and the tongue weight of a properly loaded Scamp.
Upon reexamination, I would add to my comment..."" unless one is careful to choose the WDH which is engineered for the smaller lighter frame of the fiberglass trailer"".
There is a wider variety of WDH's out there than I was aware of , especially the small ones!
Thanks for your remarks, I have learned something in the process.
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:36 PM   #13
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that growling noise may not be from the friction sway control but from the wdh if you don't have a coat of grease on the torsion bars that insert into the stinger housing
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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Pete's description is exactly why I hate these things, for what they are supposed to accomplish there are too many ifs. loosen when backing up, loosen in slick conditions, the noise makes my wife more nervous than if its not hooked up. I'm always thinking when driving down the highway at 60 mph with folks weaving in and out doing 80 and 85 and your in the middle lane and a sudden thunder shower comes up and with all the above going on your trying to reach the breakdown lane to loosen the anti sway control in conditions where you would really like antisway, but its not designed to stop sway when you enter a seemingly sway situation, somehow that just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Do I use mine??? yes if I'm going to be camping with a bunch of Casita people who really think your an idiot for not using one, I hate to be lectured and hounded about it, haa. If wife and I are traveling alone I rarely use it to keep her happy. I carry it most of the time just in case we encounter extremely windy weather and the trailer starts to act up but, that never happened with my Tundra and so far it hasn't happened with the odyssey. I'm not exactly new to trailering as I've towed trailers of some kind since I got my driving permit 56 years ago. I'd never even heard of an anti sway bar till I bought the Casita
I'm having problems understanding what makes some trailers to sway. The 21 FB Bigfoot sways at 60mph. I always make sure that the fresh water tank is full of water and the front storage compartment is loaded with heavy stuff. On the other hand I pull a light aluminum Thule enclosed trailer and never swayed whther it was loaded or not. The Thule trailer is about 3 feet shorter.
I did install a swaybar for the Bigfoot 21 FB and it improves the towing. I noticed the swaybar lets out some noises when raining. I usually reduce the friction a little bit.
I'm still puzzled what makes the trailers sway. Have a Trailite Vision 30 ft trailer and that one sways as well!
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