Sway Bar- Rain - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2009, 10:44 PM   #1
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I have read, heard, been told to release the tension on the sway bar when driving in the rain. But no one has ever told me what could happen if you didn't. The discussion came up this weekend when I was talking with BIL (New Stickie 24ft'er) cause they were going to hit rain on the way home. And he has read that somewhere as well, but like me didn't know what could/would happen if you didn't. So if you don't mind explaining why I have to jump out in the rain to do it, I would appreciate it. Thanks Robin
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:53 PM   #2
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Post from "The Casita Club Forums"

Quote:
Originally posted by itallics and BOLD added
One important thing to note - most anti-sway devices depend upon friction in two locations. The first is the friction built into the device itself to maintain the trailer position, normally this position is inline with the tow vehicle. The second friction is between the tires and the driving surface. If the trailer overcomes the device friction and gets out of line from the tow vehicle then the device friction will tend to keep it out of line. At that point it is necessary for the tire/surface friction to overcome the device friction and move the trailer back to an inline position where the device friction will again attempt to maintain that position. If the tire/surface friction were not able to overcome the device friction your rig could travel down the road in a jack knife configuration and that's a bad thing.

For the above reason, every manufacturer's documentation for friction based anti-sway devices, that I have read, contain instructions to remove or disable the device when reduced traction conditions are encountered. Those conditions include roads that are wet, icy, covered with wet leaves and oily.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Thank You Frederick! Finally I know why . Thank goodness I just did it when I got into rain, I have never been a follower but had read, been told, and heard it enough I just did it without knowing why. Makes sense so glad I did it without saying the heck with it, it's pouring!







Thanks for the link to the post, great info!
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:38 AM   #4
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"If the trailer overcomes the device friction and gets out of line from the tow vehicle then the device friction will tend to keep it out of line. At that point it is necessary for the tire/surface friction to overcome the device friction and move the trailer back to an inline position where the device friction will again attempt to maintain that position."

I have given this subject some thought since I first saw it months ago before I purchased my Casita and, while I can't say that I disagree with it entirely, I do remain skeptical of its logic. It would appear to me to not make good logical sense to disable a device designed specifically to prevent the condition of "sway" towards a jack knife position, on the side chance that, were such jack knife position to actually occur, said device MIGHT prevent the quick recovery from that position. I would think it would prove most useful on those very same slippery conditions for the anti-sway bar to do what it was designed to do and prevent sway from occurring in the first place.

Am I missing something here? Or, you would suppose this is yet another manufacturer's blanket CYA approach to thwart lawsuits in our litigious society? By issuing that statement it would appear to release the manufacturer from liability for accidents occurring while using an anti-sway device under those conditions where accidents would seem most likely to occur!

The above is my opinion only. I do use an anti-sway bar. I have yet to loosen it in the rain.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:02 AM   #5
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I had never heard of loosening the sway bar in the rain. I drove home over 300 miles in the rain from Ohio with the Boler and my 1965 Chev truck yesterday with no problems. In fact, it was the first time that I had actually tighten the arm right up where I use to just keep it fairly snug. Worked good and I was running about 65 MPH most of the way. You can only do what makes you comfortable when you are towing.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:33 AM   #6
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I also use a sway bar and sometimes forget to loosen it when it's raining with no ill effects because road traction is still somewhat there but lets change the scenario to "Snow".... Lets say your driving down a snowy very straight road at a slower speed and then you come to a tight curve in the road..... well that antisway bar is clamped down real tight to the trailer to keep it in line but when you try to turn to go around the bend the tightness in the anti sway bar will tend to keep the truck going straight (instead of articulating)and if the road is slippery enough you may just continue going straight because of the tightness on the ant sway bar and the weight of the trailer.... I don't have enough nerve to test this theory and it is just a though for which i could be right or wrong.... I loosen mine and slow down.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:46 AM   #7
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I also use a sway bar and sometimes forget to loosen it when it's raining with no ill effects because road traction is still somewhat there but lets change the scenario to "Snow".... Lets say your driving down a snowy very straight road at a slower speed and then you come to a tight curve in the road..... well that antisway bar is clamped down real tight to the trailer to keep it in line but when you try to turn to go around the bend the tightness in the anti sway bar will tend to keep the truck going straight (instead of articulating)and if the road is slippery enough you may just continue going straight because of the tightness on the ant sway bar and the weight of the trailer.... I don't have enough nerve to test this theory and it is just a though for which i could be right or wrong.... I loosen mine and slow down.
Joe
Two comments here;

Joe, I like your "dissertation" (sp?) because it is the best way to test a theory, in my opinion, and that is to take it to an extreme. Your scenario makes perfect sense to me, so I fully agree with you and Frederick L.

Secondly, I did post a question last Spring about the noise from my sway bar when using it in the rain. It squeals like crazy when it's raining and I turn the unit like in a parking lot or going around a corner. At that time, folks brought up the issue of disconnecting it when slick conditions prevail. I hadn't thought of the ramifications before then.

I do, and always will, run without it in slick conditions.

EKW
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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Am I missing something here? Or, you would suppose this is yet another manufacturer's blanket CYA approach to thwart lawsuits in our litigious society? By issuing that statement it would appear to release the manufacturer from liability for accidents occurring while using an anti-sway device under those conditions where accidents would seem most likely to occur!
Good question John, but! To me (from a whole other world of having worked for a manufacture) Manufactures spend thousands of dollars testing their product for the best use. So if they say, not recommended then I have to go from that perspective. I completely agree that some manufactures use blanket recommendation to cover their rears. But also have to say that more than likely they have tested the use of their product just about every which way ( the buying public, is very creative) before hand to thwart off injury, death, lawsuits etc.

And Joe's theory makes sense. I never thought about that, holding the trailer and tow vehicle in a line together. hmmmm, and I am all about testing a theory, but not with my Casita and new truck . This California girl, learned to drive in Colorado snow by hitting an empty parking lot and trying as many snow driving scenarios I could come up with. Figured practice makes perfect. But think I will take one of you for your word as to the results of your testing ..................... Robin
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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Secondly, I did post a question last Spring about the noise from my sway bar when using it in the rain. It squeals like crazy when it's raining and I turn the unit like in a parking lot or going around a corner. Fully Extend the sway bar and clean it with Brake-Kleen (theres no oil in it to screw it up)
At that time, folks brought up the issue of disconnecting it when slick conditions prevail. I hadn't thought of the ramifications before then.In the rain just leave it on and loosen it up to the free position slow down and be extra careful
Joe


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Old 08-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #10
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The only reason I have ever loosened my sway bar when it rains is because it tends to start 'groaning'. The same thing happens sometimes whith disc brakes when they are cold and get wet.

Unfortunately, unlike disc brakes, it is not possible to get the sway bar dry by applying them for a short while.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:10 AM   #11
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I use 750 lb Pro-Series Sway Control Weight Distribution Hitch pulling my 21’ Bigfoot trailer with full size pick-up. http://www.etrailer.com/pc-wdpssc~49579.htm

Hitch manual does not state to remove the spring/friction bars during rain. Reese, Draw-Tite, and Hidden Hitch decided to integrate friction based sway control and weight distribution functions into one device without possibility of “switching” sway control off.



I believe that on the perfectly slippery road it would be possible that sway control device could overcome the friction of the trailer tires but I would choose not to be on the road in this type of black ice condition. I have difficulty to believe that tires on the wet pavement could be moved sideways by frictional and also wet sway control bar.

George.

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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It would seem prudent to me if I was towing a large heavy trailer with a minimum tow vehicle to loosen the sway bar in rain and slow down. It might pull me one way or the other especially if I had slick tires. If I made sway bars, I would put some kind of warning so I would not be liable.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #13
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If I made sway bars, I would put some kind of warning so I would not be liable.
Chris Z, my friction anti sway has a sticker right near the tightening lever that warns against leaving it tight in slick conditions, its never made any sense to me on why I should be using one at all if its so counter productive under the conditions where it ought to be showing its glory, but 10,000 Casita owners can't be wrong so I tighten mine up if I see a Casita owner coming my way. Maybe we all ought to buy Hensley Cubs at $2500.00 bucks.
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