Sway bar again! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-02-2006, 10:23 AM   #15
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Be Careful:

The front of the friction hitches have a ball receptacle that connects to the Ball installed on the vehicle hitch assembly. Normally, the extra ball assembly is attached to an equalizing hitch.

The equalizing hitch has the 2 inch ball for the trailer and a place to mount the small friction sway ball to the right of it. If you do not have a place to mount the friction ball then you will need to purchase an additional hitch that slides into your receiver so it will work.

You will not need the additional equalizing bars, etc, just the hitch with the 2 (Two) ball mounts.

DR
DR ....... All I have is a 2" ball mounted on square bar. It goes into what I call a "reece" hitch but I guess that's just a brand. It came on my Tahoe with trailoring package. I assumed that this "ball plate" mounts under the 2" ball and onto that - mount the small sway bar ball. No?
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:23 AM   #16
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If you do not have a place to mount the friction ball then you will need to purchase an additional hitch that slides into your receiver so it will work.
Not necessarily. When I purchased the Reese Sway Bar, it came with an extra plate and the small ball that attaches to the current stinger. I didn't have to purchase a different stinger at all.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:36 PM   #17
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Yes Chris, Reese is a brand name of Cequent Towing Products. In the Reese web site, you can search for "sway control" to see both the Dual-Cam (part of a weight distribution system or WDH) and the friction-type product.

It does not appear that Reese has a ball mount with the mounting point for the extra ball, except as part of the WDH, and the currently displayed kit doesn't seem to have the mounting plate which Donna got, but I have seen them in catalogs. On the other hand, the same company's Draw-Tite line includes bolt-on adapter brackets: search their site for "sway control adapter" to see them. They are also found as part number 26003 (Class 3/4) or 26005 (Class 2) at Hidden Hitch (another Cequent brand).
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:19 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the help. I THINK I understand now. Just now have to find the time to go get the parts.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:27 AM   #19
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Just another opinion: I've towed with and without one. My tow vehicle is ample and I don't need a WDH. My trailer is well balanced and does well under normal towing conditions. However, I like back hilly roads and have been faced with all sorts of conditions both with it and without it. It's not that I can't "handle" those conditions, but with one I have yet to find anything that I had to handle -- if you know what I mean. Now, I won't leave home without it. I don't NEED one, but it sure makes towing a whole different experience.

FWIW, I installed the entire set up myself. Here's my set up.
Attached Thumbnails
hitch1.JPG   Hitch3.JPG  

Hitch4.JPG  
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:56 AM   #20
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The picture is worth a thousand words.

The picture completely shows what is required to get the friction device connected to the Tug and Egg.

Some parts of this thread should be saved in the tutorials section so it doesn't have to be explained again.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:43 AM   #21
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Chris, I have an '02 Scamp 16' CD side dinette that I tow with a Tundra. Mine doesn't move behind the truck at all. Have you tried to isolate the cause of why yours is wiggling? There may be correctable causes that will only be masked by a friction bar sway control. After you've figured out why it wiggles, a friction sway control may yet be in order, but then you have it for an additional measure of control, not to try to control something that may be permanently correctable using other methods.

Roger
Roger.... I checked the tire pressures. One was 35 and the other was 44 lbs. Side wall says max. of 50 lbs. so I aired them up to that. I suppose that should help. Maybe I need more weight up front to get more than 10% - I never have weighed anything but it seems heavy up front. (16' SD Scamp with front bath (no sink), tanks empty, maybe 20lb. step gets loaded in bath floor, not too much food or whatever and a 2" memory foam on top of rear dinette with a few blankets. Maybe I should put the front end on a bath scale? I've seen the procedures for weighing at truck scales but do they care? Is there a charge or what? Besides the weight and the tire pressure, what else? Again remember, it doesn't sway much. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:44 AM   #22
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Does everybody tow level? I suppose if I lowered the ball, I would get more weight there.
Right now, I tow pretty level.
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:55 PM   #23
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I would think a Tahoe with a 16ft Scamp behind would be pretty stable, however the Tahoe is somewhat shorter wheelbase than a Suburban or long box pickup. I have an old '84 full size Blazer and it was bad with a 25ft Avion and just fair with a 16ft Scamp. I ended up installing a Pull-Rite hitch and that made it pull each of these like a dream with no added sway control.

That said, I think you are going in the right direction to get tire pressures correct, balance correct, then possibly look into additional sway control.

Perhaps if you are not real experienced in towing, you may be over-reacting to the need for small corrections in steering. I know, I do it myself, the first few miles if I haven't towed for awhile. It just takes me a little time to get a 'feeling' for the added vehicle in tow. I just have to relax and go-with-the-flow, rather than fight with it. Kind of like learning to land a fish, true up a twisted board with a hand plane, bake a cake from scratch or manipulate the tuning hammer when tuning a piano.

You also might have your wife follow you in another vehicle as you pull the trailer. The seat-of-the-pants stimuli in the passenger seat with no direct control may contribute to '"fear of fear itself" that could be reduced by seeing the experience from another position, that of being in another vehicle.

If this is getting to be pretty heady, too close to the borders of sanity, kindly disregard this post. I'm just wired that way. Otherwise why would I still own a 26ft Avion which I haven't used for 5 - 6 years and a 16ft Scamp which gets used all the time?
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:41 PM   #24
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I would try to up the tongue weight closer to 15%.....and everything should be scaled, not guessed at......that increase probably won`t even show on the Tahoe but should make a big difference on sway control.......like Roger says...possibly cure the problem first and then use the sway control for your peace of mind or insurance....also what is the GMC equivalant of the Tahoe? If it`s a Yukon you should be good for up to 600 lbs. on the hitch and with Envoy it`s 400 lbs. ......Benny
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:41 PM   #25
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Scales

The government-run highway scales are free in Alberta (and apparently in British Columbia) - plus some states according to other members' reports. They are there to enforce weight limits (primarily for commercial trucks), but every one I've seen has a display which is readable from the driver's seat and is left on even when the scale is unattended; even when they are in normal operation, you can take your place in line and check out your rig. As the operator of my local scale said when I called and asked about a fee, "you've already paid for it in your taxes".

There are also commercially operated truck scales, typically at truck stops, which charge a fee. I can only guess that a trucker would pay to find out if the truck was overweight and have a chance to correct it before getting to the government scale and getting fined.

Any truck scale is likely quite accurate in its intended range, but they have much more capacity than we need so they're not very precise for our needs. A reading increment of 10 kg (that's 22 lbs) is typical: the reading is rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 kg, so the last digit is always shown as zero. That makes them almost useless for tongue weight, but it's easy to get the axle weights.

I need to remember the next time I go through one to drive over with one side at a time, to get separate left and right wheel weights - the way they are mounted, they're just a flush area of the ground, so being half off of the measuring platform is no problem.
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:05 AM   #26
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I, too, think that your tire pressure may have been the culprit. They were pretty uneven.

I'd just like to elaborate my view on one point: A friction sway control should NOT be used to CORRECT a sway problem, but prevent one. Once it tows perfectly under normal conditions that's when you'll benefit from having one. Like when a truck throws a tire or someone pulls out in front of you, or you meed a huge 18 wheeler at the bottom of a hill through a draw and he's barreling down going 75 mph and there's a might crosswind ... Yep, THAT's when you'll be mightly glad you have it.
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:24 AM   #27
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Chris, I presume that the tire pressures you quoted were the pressures for the trailer tires. I normally run mine aired to max pressure or near max pressure. That will give a little stiffer ride, but gives the sidewalls maximum stiffness and will keep them from generating too much heat, the killer of trailer tires.

Second, make sure your tow vehicle tires are also aired up to near max, especially the rear tires. I typically run with the front tires a little softer for ride, as without a WDH, they're not carrying much extra load. The 300 or so lbs of the trailer tongue hanging cantilevered out over the rear axle though, is a significant additional load for the rears. Inflating them to max psi or near max psi will allow them to safely carry the additional weight, and will also allow for less sidewall flex.

The combination of having the tires properly aired up on both the trailer and tow vehicle will cause the trailer to track straighter, and not allow the trailer tongue weight to be able to move the rear of the tow vehicle (known as rear axle steering) as much going down the road which will contribute to a much more stable feel.

I don't carry a significant amount of additional weight in my Scamp either, however I do typically store and carry a computer briefcase weighing about 30 lbs in the shower pan. Tow the trailer level. The tongue weight with the tandem LP tanks full and battery should be about right anyway.

Please let us know what you figure out!

Roger
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:36 AM   #28
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Thanks to everybody for all the help. I'll do some investigating about the scales around here but may be awhile before I can actually get out and weigh them.
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