Sway bar - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-16-2007, 09:33 PM   #15
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I am of the opinion that the various friction "sway" bars (actually sway dampeners) all seem to be made in the same place, or close enough to it that it makes little difference, so my advice is to get the least expensive one.

Read the operating instructions carefully about loosening or disconnecting the bar under slippery road conditions. Simply put, the bar resists slipping under the effects of sway, but once the bar HAS slipped, it resists returning to its former position with equal force. This means that if you enter a steep enough curve that the bar slips, when you exit the curve the bar resists letting the trailer track straight behind the TV. In this example, if the entrance or exit from the curve is slippery enough and the bar is adjusted too tightly, the trailer will either not enter or exit with wheels tracking and may slide sideways
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:14 AM   #16
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First, this is not meant to discourage anyone from installing a anti-sway bar

I agree with those who say that a properly designed and loaded trailer with a MINIMUM of 10% tongue weight should not need a anti-sway bar.

If a trailer DOES sway - then a smaller, lighter tow vehicle will be more affected than will a larger, heaver one. Perhaps this is one reason this is a hot topic among us owners of fiberglass trailers. Striving for increased fuel mileage, many are towing with small, light vehicles. At the same time the trailers being towed have gotten larger and heaver over the years. When I bought my first Casita 17' SD in 1998, the factory did not recommend or offer anti-sway bars - now they do.

Pete made some excellent points about the affect of wet/slick roadways on rigs that use/misuse anti-sway bars. I think you will be well served to heed his advice to read the manufacturers operating instructions and warnings to owners.

Personally I do not use a anti-sway bar. A recent trip that involved many continuous hours of speeds that were well above ST tire limits with not a twitch from the Egg Motel re-confirmed, to me, that my rig is not in need of a anti-sway bar.



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Old 12-17-2007, 09:43 AM   #17
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"... not a twitch from Egg Motel re-confirmed, to me, that my rig is not in need of a anti-sway bar."

It confirmed to me that you feel safe without a sway bar. Not the you don't need one.

I use a sway bar and its use was confirmed to me on our return from Matagorda Madness when a commercial passenger bus passed us on route 6 north of College Station, TX.

Us - 60 MPH, it - 75 MPH or faster, wind - from the north 25 MPH and gusting.

The bus had a frontal pressure wave that would have blown you off the road. Even my TV/RV combination (heavier than yours) ended up in the emergency lane and I easily recovered control.

P.S. I also use a WDH for reasons not associated with sway problems.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
The bus had a frontal pressure wave that would have blown you off the road. Even my TV/RV combination (heavier than yours) ended up in the emergency lane and I easily recovered control.
CD, I am truly glad that you survived the incident without injury or damage.

Your comment that I would have been blown off the road is just that, a supposition. Without your having knowledge of the conditions I have encountered in the past and their affect upon and reaction of my rig suggests the supposition is without merit. If you wish to discuss this further let's take it off line and I'll be pleased to 'speak' with you (jnkit64[at]email.com).

Again - I do not intend to discourage anyone from using an anti-sway bar or any other equipment they feel their equipment will benefit from.
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:37 PM   #19
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Anti-sway friction bars have their place, but it's important that they are the last piece of equipment added, for a margin of safety (used properly), not the first bandaid added to fix a fundamental underlying problem like improper loading or balance. Improperly applied, they can mask a problem and allow one to get into uncontrollable sway.

Please everybody understand that the sway induced by passing vehicles is only one of two major types of sway, with the other being instability at speed of the entire towing rig. The bar is good for the former but can mask the latter.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #20
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update...

added a sway bar.. and lovin it...

It was a cheap add-on and works wonderful
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:40 PM   #21
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Just a slight drift off the sway bar topic....

My 1981 Trillium 5500 arrived with a pretty formidible looking and VERY heay Reese 'weight distributing hitch that the original owner purchased in 1981. The owner I bought it from said I'd probably be just fine with the standard towing equipment that's on my Honda Pilot... the basic 2" ball and factory mount. In fact, the owner's manual for the Honda says 'do not use weight distributing hitches'. Use sway bars ONLY if the trailer sways.

I'm a newby at pulling a camper trailer but pulled plenty of boats/utility trailers with no sway issues. So far, knock on wood, the Trill hasn't done any of that swaying that I have nightmares about. This includes being passed by various trucks, gusty winds, etc. I do feel big wind gusts but it hasn't caused sway. Cute little thing just follows right along behind me! Question.... should I be concerned about trying to use the hitch that came with the trailer or stick with the Honda equipment. Helen
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:59 PM   #22
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Talking

Quote:
In fact, the owner's manual for the Honda says 'do not use weight distributing hitches'. Use sway bars ONLY if the trailer sways.

Cute little thing just follows right along behind me! Question.... [b]should I be concerned about trying to use the hitch that came with the trailer or stick with the Honda equipment. Helen

If it is behaving itself with the plain Honda hitch, then I would council that Occam's Razor applies.
Quote:
Originally posted by 'Occam's Razor'
[b]This is often paraphrased as "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:40 PM   #23
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I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the previous owner of our Casita. It came to us with both a weight distribution hitch and a sway control device. A blow-out occurred on the left tire of the Casita during a trip to Texas. The only odd sensation was the tell-tale pop and noticing the belly band of the trailer was no longer parallel to the top of the truck tailgate. No tugging, swaying or out-of-control effect on the trailer or tug. We pulled to the side of the road, installed the spare and were back on the road in less than 10 minutes. Essentially a non-event! we credit the 2 additional devices for the control. They may only be effective in the case of an emergency but that is sufficient reason (IMHE) to take advantage of them.
I'm a firm believer in safety devices. It's kind of like seat belts, why not utilize what is available if your welfare may be affected? Even more so when the welfare of a loved one may be involved!!
We've all seen the remnants of RV's at the side of the road. If I can prevent that type of ugly scenario from including us, I will.

You pays your nickel (or not)and you takes your chances.....
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:35 PM   #24
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I have a 5500 that also came with a huge WDH.
I gave it to a friend for his flat deck, and went out and bought a standard anti-sway bar.
Works great.
No sway at all, even with a lot of transports on the highway
Joe
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:52 PM   #25
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While getting ready for the 21RB Bigfoot I equipped my truck with reasonably new Reese hitch model which combines the weight distribution with sway control in the similar way as Equalizer Hitch; EQUALIZER. Reese added replaceable friction pads which solves Equalizer's issues of screeching noise and lack of stable steel on steel friction during rain. Time will tell if I like it, REESE_PRO

George.

I like to correct the manufacturer of the product, it is not Reese but Draw-Tite, see http://www.draw-tite.com/fitguides/details...49578&dlr=0

Thank you Brian.

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Old 03-18-2008, 09:36 PM   #26
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I had a tire pop in Colorado, at about 40-45 miles per hour and hardly realized it (belly band was indeed slanted in the mirror). I didn't have either WDH or anti-sway.

Personally, I believe the Reese dual-cam to be superior to the friction WDHs because it is exerting mild force to put the trailer back in line with the tow vehicle, however I haven't actually used any of them, just a plain old WDH with no anti-sway on my old Jayco 16'.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:14 PM   #27
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I often, well not really often, wondered if a friction anti-sway device causes more problems than it fixes. It seems to me that one a single axle trailer they would cause problems and the nature of a dual axle would dampen the tendency to sway. Dual axle the scrubbing action will reduce the tendency for the trailer to move around.
Single axle, go around a corner the trailer doesn't want to follow. The pressure from the anti-sway would cause scrubbing of the tires. Hence increased tire wear. Probably not too much of a problem since tires are replaced before the tread wears out. However any loss of traction of the trailer tires would make the trailer act like a big ole weight on the end of pendulum and drag the read of TV where you don't want it to go.

I know a lot of people swear by them, but they scare me.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:39 PM   #28
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Personally, I believe the Reese dual-cam to be superior to the friction WDHs because it is exerting mild force to put the trailer back in line with the tow vehicle
I agree that dual-cam Reese could perform better. A frictional dumping of sway oscillation will work in a similar way as shock absorbers work on the car. There are advantages of both systems. I went for lower complexity and expediency in attaching the trailer to the truck; (attach the trailer to the ball and latch, lift (electric tongue jack), insert friction spring bars, lower the hitch, done). I hope I made a right decision, if not; life is too short to worry about it.

George.
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