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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > cross winds?

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RICK-ards Red

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Posted: 07/19/22 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Husky Friction Sway Control and while driving in a cross wind (not strong enough to stop) is it better to tighten the friction bar or loosen it to try to reduce the effect of the wind on the driving vehicle?

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nickthehunter

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Posted: 07/19/22 12:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t change mine for wind.

Samsonsworld

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Posted: 07/19/22 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tighten

valhalla360

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Posted: 07/19/22 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In theory tighter would be better as it will provide more resistance from sway but that assumes it's within the ability of the device. Locking it down super tight may cause other issues.

Far better is to have a rig that doesn't sway and that's mostly about getting a decent amount of hitch weight (ideally around 15%) on a truck that can handle it.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 07/19/22 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tongue weight is the key IMO. What percent of TW do you have?


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Microlite Mike

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Posted: 07/19/22 07:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just adjust my friction sway control for regular driving and dealing with passing trucks, etc.

When side/crossing wind becomes an issue the best measure is to slow down. This gives you more time to react and adjust when hit with a gust than at higher speeds.


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mkirsch

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Posted: 07/20/22 05:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought friction sway controls were not to be "adjusted." They are either on or off. Crank them down or release them, no in between


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BarneyS

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Posted: 07/20/22 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch wrote:

I thought friction sway controls were not to be "adjusted." They are either on or off. Crank them down or release them, no in between

You are partially correct. The friction controls handle is supposed to be used as an On/off device and not to control how much fricion is generated by the control. You are supposed to tighten it as far as it goes every time so you can be consistent in your settings.

The adjustment for the control is done with the small bolt located below the long handle. This should be turned in 1/4 turn adjustments until the desired control is achieved. Of course, this is usually a one time event and you do not change it for different conditions.
About the only time you would want to change the friction setting with this bolt is when you tow a different trailer that may be lighter or heavier than the one you initially adjusted it for.

About the only time you would change the handle location is during slippery conditions in which case you may want to loosen it all the way (snow,ice,rain,sand,etc). This is done so the truck will turn as intended and not just try to stay straight in a turn. I say "may" because in the many years that I used one, I never loosened it at all even when towing in snow. Never had a problem doing that but admit it is contrary to the printed instructions.
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BarneyS

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Posted: 07/21/22 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Tongue weight is the key IMO. What percent of TW do you have?

His question was about towing in a crosswind. That would affect every trailer - even those with perfect tongue weight percentage.
Barney

* This post was edited 07/21/22 06:46am by BarneyS *

valhalla360

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Posted: 07/21/22 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarneyS wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

Tongue weight is the key IMO. What percent of TW do you have?

His question was about towing in a crosswind. That would affect every trailer - even those with perfect tongue weight percentage.
Barney


No, if the trailer behaves well, a crosswind may push the whole rig to the side but will not induce sway in most conditions (yes, in extremes all bets are off).

If the hitch weight is low, a cross wind may induce sway (or the driver jerking the wheel in surprise may cause it).

A couple years back we got caught in Wyoming in 40mph crosswind with 60mph gusts (at least that's what the signs said). A couple times we found ourselves 6ft onto the shoulder with a gust only doing 40-45mph but no sway (semis were having similar issues). Of course, we called it a day and got out fresh undies at the next exit.

If the setup is marginal, a sway control bar helps compensate for a light hitch weight but much better is to have a rig that handles it well because if things actually get bad, the sway bar will reach a point where it won't be able to compensate.

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