Sway control - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2017, 04:37 PM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: Boler
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Sway control

I have a Boler 17 and towing with a ford Ranger 4x4. I do have sway sometimes and considering putting sway control on. Has anyone had any experience with the electronic type like Hayes Sway Master any others. Or is the friction type just as good and a lot cheaper.
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:48 PM   #2
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I would remove the source of the sway rather than apply a band aid. Try to lower hitch ball for 1" if the trailer currently tows level. If the trailer is already slightly nose down, then you need to move load from back to front.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:49 PM   #3
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Don't just mask it. Fix it!
Have you weighed the trailer?
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:21 PM   #4
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The friction sway controllers are simple and inexpensive. I don't think there is any downside to using one. I know nothing of the electronic ones.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ShelbyM View Post
The friction sway controllers are simple and inexpensive. I don't think there is any downside to using one. I know nothing of the electronic ones.
That is true. What others are saying, and I concur, is that sway under normal driving conditions is an indication something is wrong. Possibilities include: (1) excessive speed, (2) improper loading, (3) improper hitching, (4) mechanical issues with axle/suspension/frame/brakes/tires, or (5) poor trailer design (unlikely in a production model, but possible if modifications have been made). You should investigate and correct the cause of the sway before adding the anti-sway device.

Sway bars are meant to be an auxiliary safety device for an unusual situation, such as a sudden gust of wind or an emergency avoidance maneuver, not a means to correct an unstable rig in normal conditions.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:07 AM   #6
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Normally I have no sway and as mentioned in last response I am more concerned in adding an additional amount of safety for those unforeseen circumstances as mentioned previously. I thank all for some excellent tips and ideas.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:16 AM   #7
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I agree, stabilize the trailer as much as possible with careful loading and load distribution, then add a sway control as a safety measure in case of emergency hard maneuvering.

You may not need a weight distribution hitch with the Ranger, but if you do, you can also look into kits that combine weight distribution and sway control, such as Equal-i-zer, Husky Centerline, Reese Steadi-Flex, etc.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Baker View Post
Normally I have no sway and as mentioned in last response I am more concerned in adding an additional amount of safety for those unforeseen circumstances as mentioned previously. I thank all for some excellent tips and ideas.
Good to hear. I think some of us were concerned because you said "I do have sway sometimes…" In four years I have yet to experience sway except once, and then there was definitely something wrong (with my loading, in that case, and it was corrected quickly!).
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:28 PM   #9
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Name: Charlie & Renée
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My sway symptom: above 90 km/h 55 mph and I let my foot off the gas at the start of a descent and the loaded 13' Boler starts to sway behind my 2001 Blazer ZR2 till I get below 90 km/h.

Sway controller?
Redistribute weight in trailer putting all weight on the floor?

I currently place two 10'x10' pop up shelters on the front bed (25 kg / 55 lbs each) and place all the totes with supplies on the floor.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:04 AM   #10
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My sway symptom: above 90 km/h 55 mph and I let my foot off the gas at the start of a descent and the loaded 13' Boler starts to sway behind my 2001 Blazer ZR2 till I get below 90 km/h.
Sway controller?
Redistribute weight in trailer putting all weight on the floor?
I currently place two 10'x10' pop up shelters on the front bed (25 kg / 55 lbs each) and place all the totes with supplies on the floor.
What you're describing is a loading distribution problem that needs to be addressed. A sway controller is an add on for emergency moves/incidences that may come up. When you're loaded and hitched up for travel is your TT level with the tug or a bit tongue down? If so, you may want to weigh it for the tongue weight, you may be to light. Over loading to one side could also be a factor but I doubt that's what's causing your sway. BTW, do you travel with bikes or such on a rear rack?
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
What you're describing is a loading distribution problem that needs to be addressed. A sway controller is an add on for emergency moves/incidences that may come up. When you're loaded and hitched up for travel is your TT level with the tug or a bit tongue down? If so, you may want to weigh it for the tongue weight, you may be to light. Over loading to one side could also be a factor but I doubt that's what's causing your sway. BTW, do you travel with bikes or such on a rear rack?

Thanks for responding Dave.

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It looks perfectly level in these pix. A small scooter and light bike trailer frame is all that's on the rear bike rack. I'm pretty sure the tongue weight is over 100 lbs.

I need to get the electric brakes operating as a slight touch on the brake controller would surely straighten things out immediately. In your opinion this is not a speed issue?
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:59 PM   #12
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...loading issue would be my diagnoses...try to get tongue weight nearer to 200#s...and yes, get those brakes working!!!!!!
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by van de Kamper View Post
Thanks for responding Dave.

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It looks perfectly level in these pix. A small scooter and light bike trailer frame is all that's on the rear bike rack. I'm pretty sure the tongue weight is over 100 lbs.
I need to get the electric brakes operating as a slight touch on the brake controller would surely straighten things out immediately. In your opinion this is not a speed issue?
Nope, not a speed issue at all. Your tongue weight is to light. What you have on the back of the TT is the problem. There are many posts of sway problems here because of just one bike on the rear rack. On the other hand, there are many members that carry bikes or have a storage box on the rear and have no problems, BUT, I would bet that their TTs are heavier on the tongue from the factory than yours. Not saying that it can't be done but many have had sway problems by adding as little as a 30# bike to the rear.
From looking at your pics, try a trip with nothing extra on the rear and every thing else the same to see if that eliminates your sway. Have you ever weighed the tongue loaded like that? It may very well be an internal load shift to fix it.
FWIW, do get the brakes working, not to compensate the rear TT load but to save your tugs brakes and overall towing ease.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:46 AM   #14
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I agree, it does sound like a weight distribution/low tongue weight problem. However I am surprised. We have carried as many as 3 bicycles on the back of our Scamp 13 with no sway to 65 mph. We carry a full LP tank and small battery on the tongue, a 10x10 canopy and four chairs on the front bench, and a large ice chest and 5 gallons of water on the floor forward of the axle. Canned goods and tools ride in the front bench compartments. Only lightweight stuff in the dinette area and no water in the tank.

Do load yours as normal and weigh the trailer and tongue.

I can think of a couple of additional possibilities to rule out... First, what tires are you running and what pressure? In particular, are they ST tires running at or near the maximum sidewall pressure? Second, what is the condition of your axle? Any idea when it was last replaced? A worn out axle can develop alignment issues that may affect tracking.
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