Originally Posted by trainjunkie
Boy, this thread sure took on a life of its own. I'll just say this. Everyone is different and every circumstance is different. I'd say the vast majority of travel trailers do not have any anti-sway device and do not need one. I've towed thousands of miles through some of the harshest conditions you can imagine and I just don't see a need for an added piece of hardware that may or may not provide any benefit at some point but may turn into a on-the-road repair item or a heavy maintenance item.
I have happily towed for years over thousands of miles without an anti sway bar as well and never until recently wanted one. I do take the time to make sure the trailer I am towing is loaded and connected correctly in order to achieve that solid tow feeling I want at speeds and in driving conditions that I normally tow in - which pretty well covers most weather as I tow in winter as well.
I added an anti sway bar to my current set up due to the things you have no control over. There are situations that can happen while towing that you just can't test your set up for ahead of time.
I have had two totally unforeseen situations come up, of the type that leaves you wondering how in the world did I get out of that alive. One was with my old tug - heading down a steep mountain pass the gravel truck ahead dumped his full load - strange but true - resulting in cars swerving every which way on the road ahead of me - some flying off into the ditches on either side, another ended up sideways in front of me. Just hitting the brakes
wasn't an option due to the big semi a couple of feet of the back of the trailer trying to stay out of everyones way as well. I did not add an anti sway bar after that incident as I figured it was a one off that would never happen again & besides the trailer didn't sway. The second situation happened early this summer with my current tug - the semi I was in the middle of passing lost a flat bed trailer he had stacked up high on his trailer bed - the result of it having hit the overpass we had just gone under.
Yes having a well stowed trailer and what I did and did not do played a part in why both situations turned out as well as they did but most people would suggest that luck also played a really *big* part in it. I am not willing to bet that I could be equally as lucky if I had to do such avoidance moves a third time and decided that having a little something extra on my set up that will if ever needed be there to possible help avoid the big dreaded wag is better than nothing.
If I rarely traveled at 65mph or on busy freeways I might continue to think I could live without the added insurance of an anti sway bar as well.
If the anti sway bar is installed correctly on a well loaded trailer there should be no binding or restriction of the free movement of the main ball under normal towing conditions. Yes it will bind on tight turns - such as when getting into a tight camping spot - but thats easily remedied by simply releasing the pressure control handle on the anti sway bar.