Sway bar - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2007, 06:29 PM   #1
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I'm ordering a sway bar for my 2000 Casita and would like to know which one is recommended.
any info is appreciated
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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I assume by "sway bar" Phil means a friction-type sway control device. While this may seem like a picky distinction, there are several devices in automotive suspension and towing equipment with similar names - and misused names - which has caused significant confusion in the past.

Friction-type sway control devices all look the same to me... interchangeable in design, operation, and function. I would not likely use one, but if I did I'd just buy the cheapest one with a reasonable mounting pivot and bracket I could find. There's not much to them.

Examples (with manufacturer part/model numbers)... and your local discount auto parts store probably has more obscure brands.

If the intention is to refer to a weight-distribution system (the spring bars are often incorrectly called "sway bars"), then it's an entirely different matter.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:24 PM   #3
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Right on Brian. . i was just wondering if there was popular brand that most people were using..

this is the style sway bar i was asking about..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Trailer-SWA...sspagenameZWDVW



I've also notice how the term is misused from time to time..


I'm a Senior Master Tech at the Ford Dealership, and i hear all kinds of misused names of parts when customers come in.. LOL
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:26 PM   #4
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the Reese "Friction Sway Control" unit you posted looks like a nice on as well..

i was gettin some flack on one of the other message boards for not having one.. so i figured they were cheap enough, ill just buy one and install it...

I figure it couldn't hurt..
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:43 PM   #5
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I call the friction devices "Anti-Sway" bars.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
I'm ordering a sway bar for my 2000 Casita and would like to know which one is recommended.
any info is appreciated
Hi Phil,

I am going to open a can of worms again and ask if you are having a problem with sway. If you are then you have a problem with your trailer that needs to be corrected.
In my opnion a sway bar is a band aid used to cover up a serious problem.
I have been towing RVs for 40 years and have had only one trailer that swayed, It was a Trillium 4500 that I bought earlier this year and it swayed at 50 MPH. The previous owner had the battery on the rear bumper and had cheap 2 ply automotive tires with on it. I moved the battery forward and replaced the tires and the sway stoped and eliminated the need for a sway bar.
If you have a sway problem correct it before you install the sway bar.

Merry Christmas,
John
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:05 AM   #7
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No problems with sway, im towing a 2000 17ft casita .. with a crew cab 2002 F-250 diesel ..

We also haul our race cars all over Texas and Oklahoma with two different type of trailers open and enclosed , neither of them have a sway bar..

Its just that others on another message board are swearing by having to need one... Im not new to towing, probably tow the the race cars 6k miles a year going to races... But we are new to towing a single axle fiberglass camper.. Like i said it doesn't sway or wonder, tows nice and smooth

Im open minded let me know what ya think...
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Im open minded let me know what ya think...
I have towed most everything in 40 years from 10000 lb. 6 horse trailers down to my little 13' Scamp that I have now and have never had the need for a sway bar.
I do not think they are needed if you balance your rig correctly and it is in good mechnical condition.
Sway bars are a band aid!

John
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:26 AM   #9
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It has been my experience that as long as you keep the tongue with 12% to 15% of the trailer weight on the 17' Casita, you won't have a problem. If you overload the tail end of a 17', that could be a different story. Some people that have added a cargo box on the back bumper have reported problems.

As I've been reading these forums for years, the 16' seems to be more prone to a sway problem. Once they get a sway bar, they become sway bar evangelist.

Don't get me wrong, it is cheep insurance. I have not needed one on either one of my 17' Casitas. I think you are suppose to disconnect it when you back. Also, if you drive in the snow, you are suppose to disconnect. Others may have more details on this.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:26 AM   #10
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thanks John, i appreciate your post...
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Once they get a sway bar, they become sway bar evangelist.
lol,

Keep the post coming.. this is good info
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:28 AM   #12
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Phil,

Here are some older threads you may find enlightening!

What is "sway"?

Towing a 17'... swaying and rocking

Excessive trailer movement

Reese Dual Cam sway control

Sway Bar: Opinions please!

I'm sure there are more, but these are some of the more recent that have some interesting information in them.

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Old 12-12-2007, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
...this is the style sway bar i was asking about..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Trailer-SWA...sspagenameZWDVW
Yep, same as all the other ones...

This one does have an interesting feature: the on-off handle is in the hole which is labeled LESS --> MORE, and the clamping force adjustment is in the hole which is labeled ON <-- OFF. Looks to me like the label (or the hardware) is backwards. Not great, but as I said they all look like the same design and probably function (you may notice that I didn't say "work") the same way.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:25 PM   #14
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thanks for the help and replys ...
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:33 PM   #15
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I am of the opinion that the various friction "sway" bars (actually sway dampeners) all seem to be made in the same place, or close enough to it that it makes little difference, so my advice is to get the least expensive one.

Read the operating instructions carefully about loosening or disconnecting the bar under slippery road conditions. Simply put, the bar resists slipping under the effects of sway, but once the bar HAS slipped, it resists returning to its former position with equal force. This means that if you enter a steep enough curve that the bar slips, when you exit the curve the bar resists letting the trailer track straight behind the TV. In this example, if the entrance or exit from the curve is slippery enough and the bar is adjusted too tightly, the trailer will either not enter or exit with wheels tracking and may slide sideways
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:14 AM   #16
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First, this is not meant to discourage anyone from installing a anti-sway bar

I agree with those who say that a properly designed and loaded trailer with a MINIMUM of 10% tongue weight should not need a anti-sway bar.

If a trailer DOES sway - then a smaller, lighter tow vehicle will be more affected than will a larger, heaver one. Perhaps this is one reason this is a hot topic among us owners of fiberglass trailers. Striving for increased fuel mileage, many are towing with small, light vehicles. At the same time the trailers being towed have gotten larger and heaver over the years. When I bought my first Casita 17' SD in 1998, the factory did not recommend or offer anti-sway bars - now they do.

Pete made some excellent points about the affect of wet/slick roadways on rigs that use/misuse anti-sway bars. I think you will be well served to heed his advice to read the manufacturers operating instructions and warnings to owners.

Personally I do not use a anti-sway bar. A recent trip that involved many continuous hours of speeds that were well above ST tire limits with not a twitch from the Egg Motel re-confirmed, to me, that my rig is not in need of a anti-sway bar.



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Old 12-17-2007, 09:43 AM   #17
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ddayton

"... not a twitch from Egg Motel re-confirmed, to me, that my rig is not in need of a anti-sway bar."

It confirmed to me that you feel safe without a sway bar. Not the you don't need one.

I use a sway bar and its use was confirmed to me on our return from Matagorda Madness when a commercial passenger bus passed us on route 6 north of College Station, TX.

Us - 60 MPH, it - 75 MPH or faster, wind - from the north 25 MPH and gusting.

The bus had a frontal pressure wave that would have blown you off the road. Even my TV/RV combination (heavier than yours) ended up in the emergency lane and I easily recovered control.

P.S. I also use a WDH for reasons not associated with sway problems.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
The bus had a frontal pressure wave that would have blown you off the road. Even my TV/RV combination (heavier than yours) ended up in the emergency lane and I easily recovered control.
CD, I am truly glad that you survived the incident without injury or damage.

Your comment that I would have been blown off the road is just that, a supposition. Without your having knowledge of the conditions I have encountered in the past and their affect upon and reaction of my rig suggests the supposition is without merit. If you wish to discuss this further let's take it off line and I'll be pleased to 'speak' with you (jnkit64[at]email.com).

Again - I do not intend to discourage anyone from using an anti-sway bar or any other equipment they feel their equipment will benefit from.
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:37 PM   #19
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Anti-sway friction bars have their place, but it's important that they are the last piece of equipment added, for a margin of safety (used properly), not the first bandaid added to fix a fundamental underlying problem like improper loading or balance. Improperly applied, they can mask a problem and allow one to get into uncontrollable sway.

Please everybody understand that the sway induced by passing vehicles is only one of two major types of sway, with the other being instability at speed of the entire towing rig. The bar is good for the former but can mask the latter.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:31 AM   #20
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update...

added a sway bar.. and lovin it...

It was a cheap add-on and works wonderful
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