Anti-Sway Bar - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2016, 12:09 PM   #1
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Name: Karin & Don
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13Ft
Maine
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Anti-Sway Bar

We have a 2012 Scamp 13 foot, front bathroom, and we were wondering if anybody out there can recommend an anti-sway bar for our trailer? Thank
you for any advise you can give us, Don.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:15 PM   #2
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Name: Frederick / Janis
Trailer: Previously Scamp 13 2002,2016. Scamp 16 on order
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E-trailer dot com. Great resource for such things, good pricing, good customer service, top selections and lots of training videos for everything.

That said, a properly leveled, hitched and loaded Scamp should not need an anti-sway bar, as many will tell you that they are merely a cover up for a problem that should be solved.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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Name: Karin & Don
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We haven't had any problems. We are planning in the future to do a lot of traveling and will be in the Rockies and Sierras and want to cover our bases.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:00 PM   #4
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I tend to agree
After having both a 13' scamp & 13' perris pacer, i never felt i needed a sway bar
Just my opinion ... And you know what they say about opinions



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Old 03-23-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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I have a Scamp13D front bath and I use a friction anti-sway device.
I use it and love it.

If someone (many, Mickey or anyone else) should tell you that they are merely a coverup for a problem which should be solved, they are wrong.
That is not the purpose for which they were designed, nor will they be very effective in that role.
Set your trailer up right, solve the problems first, then add a friction anti-sway bar, you will see the improvement and the added security.

Every vehicle or system is subject to improvement through mods.
Not every mod is an improvement.
Every mod should be made with an understanding of what you have, and what to reasonably expect from the change.
The friction anti-sway device is an effective improvement and a luxury which is easily affordable.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:21 PM   #6
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I can't tell you anything about it except that it sure is affordable...But this is what I bought for my 17' Bigfoot.

I have very vivid memories of the two springs I spent in southern Utah and New Mexico and Arizona. Serious wind. Knocking over semis kind of wind. I actually got pushed off the road in my little motorhome. A serious gust came up, crosswind, and just wouldn't let up. I was steering all the way into it and was still being pushed sideways. Luckily it pushed me into a dirt parking lot off the highway, for some petrified forest national park. Scary, but actually gave me some more confidence because it was that strong of a wind, but didn't tip me over...

Anyway, when winds get that strong, getting passed by semis is crazy. You're steering into the wind nice and steady, but then they come by and suddenly block that wind and so you're overcorrected, plus they come with wind of their own and leave a crazy swirling wind in their wake.

I remember getting thrown around by that in my tiny little motorhome. I can only imagine how much that will be amplified with a trailer. I got the anti-sway bar I linked because even though every time the topic comes up there will be a few people who say they're "snake oil" or something, there are 10 more people who swear by them. For $40, I guess I'm willing to gamble. Nobody here said that, but I've seen it elsewhere when I was searching.

I agree with the above posts in that some people probably try to use an anti-sway bar to solve balance problems, which they shouldn't be doing. And their point is that a little 13' trailer won't need one like a bigger trailer might. But I think if you're loaded and balanced correctly, and find yourself in a situation like I was describing above, the sway bar is going to pay for itself, many times over...The "problem" is that you'll never know it, because the bar may keep you from swaying and how would you know if you would have swayed without it?
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:08 PM   #7
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Name: Frederick / Janis
Trailer: Previously Scamp 13 2002,2016. Scamp 16 on order
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kardon View Post
We haven't had any problems. We are planning in the future to do a lot of traveling and will be in the Rockies and Sierras and want to cover our bases.
Then you're likely a good candidate for the friction type device. I've had them and the older I get the more likely I'd be to forget the dang thing is there and backup the trailer without much thought. Can be a PITA that way, but not everyone suffers from that kind of mental malady.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:10 PM   #8
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Like Floyd I use an anti-sway bar, cost about $50, available at etrailer and AMazon, easy to install.

I was a novice trailer owner and I asked about it online. People said get one for the unexpected emergency. We did buy one and never regretted it.

Though we have an anti-sway bar we have towed for many 1000s of miles without one and not experienced sway, these small trailers tow very well with a little common sense when packing. We keep heavy items centered over the axle sand generally low, keeping light items at the ends.

We tow 7 months a year and would not be without an anti-sway bar.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:11 PM   #9
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As to backing up with the anti-sway bar we virtually never loosen it to back up. The anti sway bar should not be so tight that it doesn't slip.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:40 PM   #10
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Name: Frederick / Janis
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
As to backing up with the anti-sway bar we virtually never loosen it to back up. The anti sway bar should not be so tight that it doesn't slip.
Depending on the OEM of the bar, the included documentation may indeed state that the bar should be removed before backup.

It seems they don't even qualify it, just say, remove.

But I suspect it is a CYA kind of thing because yes, cramping the device during a severe angle backing up can indeed trash them. Deciding where that point is where backing up with little angle is OK and where operators find themselves needing to make severe angled reverse movements is more than the manufacturer wishes to discuss or decide where that "point" is between "slight" angles and "severe", so I suspect, but would absolutely no way of knowing if this is the OEM's thinking on the issue.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:54 PM   #11
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Name: Bob
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I had a 13 scamp and traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway, no problems, not even when we some how got on the Dragons tail, (motor bikers love it ) still had no problems but did have to slow down, Wife did not enjoy it. I now have a 16 Casita and did buy a sway bar, the tow ,a Subaru, has a limit on the hitch weight and I run close to that limit, so bought the friction bar . It is a cheap peace of mind.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:13 PM   #12
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Florida
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I've written it before but we've had two emergencies where the anti-sway bar was possibly helpful. Once we had an emergency stop where someone blocked both lanes with an extended cab truck. Pulled right across a two lane highway in front of us and stopped. I slammed my brakes on and managed to stop with smoking tires. The trailer stayed right in line. Did the anti-sway bar help???? Who knowes but everything was perfectly straight.

Another time our hitch came off the ball in a corner because of a previous owner's modification to the ball receiver. The anti-sway bar rotated as the trailer began to drop keeping it all together. Definitely not an intended purpose but it held together with no damage to trailer or anti-sway bar.

Definitely both unexpected events, glad I had it.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:14 PM   #13
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Toyota says I should use sway control with the trailer I have, so I have one. If I get in a accident in which sway was a contributing factor, I don't want the lack of a sway bar as required by Toyota to become an issue. Check you tug's manual. Mine was $43.40 delivered and another $40 for welding.

As for backing, Curt says this:

With a second person watching the sway control and trailer, slowly back the trailer
in both directions into a jackknife position. Check that the sway control does not hit the bumper or trailer frame and that it does not become fully compressed or come apart. If any of these occur when jackknifed, the sway control must be removed while backing.


But just taking it off works all the time.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
As to backing up with the anti-sway bar we virtually never loosen it to back up. The anti sway bar should not be so tight that it doesn't slip.
Ditto!
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpfick View Post
Depending on the OEM of the bar, the included documentation may indeed state that the bar should be removed before backup.

It seems they don't even qualify it, just say, remove.

But I suspect it is a CYA kind of thing because yes, cramping the device during a severe angle backing up can indeed trash them. Deciding where that point is where backing up with little angle is OK and where operators find themselves needing to make severe angled reverse movements is more than the manufacturer wishes to discuss or decide where that "point" is between "slight" angles and "severe", so I suspect, but would absolutely no way of knowing if this is the OEM's thinking on the issue.
Fact is, the anti-sway bar does reduce the responsiveness of the trailer, especially in reverse. That's really what it is supposed to do!
When backing up you need to remove it or loosen it only when you have some complex maneuvering to do. Otherwise it may actually help by keeping the trailer from overreacting.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:04 PM   #16
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Name: Jacob
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We use a friction sway control on our 16ft scamp, I got mine at Harbor Freight, looks to be identical to the curt system. Trailer Sway Control Kit They only run $32 currently, you can also usually find a 20% off coupon. It is nice if you have a harbor freight close by.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:52 PM   #17
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Name: Josh
Trailer: Scamp
New York
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I installed a Curt sway bar on our Scamp 16 before a 6 week cross country jaunt. No prior issues prompted the purchase. I guess it was just part of the "just in case" planning. (I'd read about the sudden big winds in the vast open areas mid-west and beyond.) Well we finally did hit those winds. On one of our longest days of driving we hit a seemingly never ending open section where the wind was relentless. The trailer tracked perfectly the entire time. When we finally arrived at our campsite, I hopped out to take the sway bar off. (I always pop it off before backing in. Once I forgot in a tight spot and slightly bent the welded mount for the small ball. Luckily, it still works fine.) The sway bar was gone! In the early hours I had forgotten to put it on and missed the oversight on all the quick checks throughout the day! Like the above said, balance your gear in the trailer and you'll be fine but for me, I like the affordable piece of mind.
That said, while driving through Washington after exiting the West entrance of Glacier National, headed toward Crater Lake we hit a monster deer. (Apparently this was increasingly common at the time as the deer were fleeing the forest fires.) When I slammed on my brakes the trailer swayed like a drunken sailor. Scary stuff. I'm convinced the sway bar (I didn't forget this time) saved our trailer, our trip, and possibly much worse!
Unless I'm taking it to be inspected locally, I don't hitch up without it.


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Old 03-24-2016, 07:33 AM   #18
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Name: David
Trailer: 2014 13' Scamp -standard w/ front bunk
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Interesting thread - typical of why this forum is so beneficial.

I have only about 5k miles experience (ie, still low on the learning curve) towing a 13' and have had no problems with sway so assumed I need not consider sway control. I haven't however yet experienced serious mountain driving or windy plains or panic stops. This thread is causing me to rethink the sway bar question - it appears that many of you experienced with towing believe they offer a definite margin of safety. Any advice on brand? My on-line investigations have me leaning to the Curt. Curt and Camco are priced about the same - below $50. Reese is more than double and I can't find evidence of substantially better quality or function to justify the price differential. Any experience with the Curt sway tab ball mount? It will probably cost me as much to have a welder weld a tab on my current mount (stinger?).
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:57 AM   #19
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Name: Gordon
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Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
...Any experience with the Curt sway tab ball mount? It will probably cost me as much to have a welder weld a tab on my current mount (stinger?).
The $40 I paid was to have the tab for the first small ball welded on the hitch ball mount AND the second ball plate welded on the trailer's frame. The latter was welded instead of bolted on because the frame member is the same width as the mounting plate and therefore the screws / bolts would have cut into the edges of the frame tubing and probably weakened it. Welding it on prevents any weakening of the frame but does make it about impossible to replace the ball if needed.

I will admit it took me a while to find a welder. I eventual found two, but one had his equipment in for service. And I do not live in the boondocks.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:01 AM   #20
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Name: David
Trailer: 2014 13' Scamp -standard w/ front bunk
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Good point Gordon. I haven't measured but suspect I'll have the same dimensional problem with the trailer tongue and in any event welding will avoid the potential of weakening the tongue (I think the illustration shows eight bolt holes required). Once I do that, I'd just as well have both plates welded and skip the cost of the pre-welded ball mount.

When I grew up it seemed there was a welding shop, or two, in every small town. As you note, they are hard to find these days.
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