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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Do you Sway??

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T_Bone

Arizona

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Posted: 08/16/02 03:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For Novice towers, it makes me wonder if the security feeling of swaybars is a good thing or not.

Sway is mostly caused by the trailer not leveled and or loaded correct. So if a novice tower enters with swaybars/WD hitch and still doesn't load his trailer correct or level a tandum axle, they will still experience sway even with swaybars attached although oveall sway would be less with having swaybars than not having swaybars.

Seams like all the info for trailers always talk about WD hitchs and swaybars long before they mention trailer loading or even if they even mention how to load a trailer.

Trailer loading to me is first on the list, then add the WD hitchs and swaybars for a complete set-up!



T_Bone
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BurbMan

Noblesville, IN

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Posted: 08/16/02 04:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OneLeg,

Sorry to hear about your accident, and thank God nobody was hurt.

That's exactly my point about sway....past performance is no indication of what the future holds. You can tow for 25 years with no incident, only because you haven't had the right combination of circumstances... In the case of OneLeg, it was the uneven pavement and semi bow waves....no doubt, OneLeg's truck was certainly substantial enough for the TT he was pulling.

People laugh when I say I paid $2500 for a hitch, but I don't care. It's a lot cheaper than a new truck and TT.


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dstephens

Littleton, Co.

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Posted: 08/16/02 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chuckb1
Read the thread started by me in this forum regarding sway.
Dale


ugcamper

Central Illinois

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Posted: 08/16/02 10:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let me get in here if no one minds.....
From what I am understanding from reading the posts, most of the sway comes from the hitch area right? Not level, or trailer not being loaded properly if I understand. When I first got my trailer it sat too low at the hitch. Almost looked pinched. I had some sway and having a friction sway bar, I did use it and it helped. With it being pinched it seemed like I had more trouble maintaining speed than sway. I finally got smart and turned the drawbar over to raise my tongue and had a piece welded on the other side of the hitch so I could use the sway bar. That seemed to really make a difference. It raised the tongue about 3-4 inches. I try to load everything fairly even thru out the trailer, so am I to assume that the trailer being out of level was my problem?? Oh and for what its worth, the guy that I bought my tt from had put automotive radial tires on the tt also. When I changed them to light truck bias ply tires that too made all the difference in the world.




*This Message was edited on 16-Aug-02 10:56 PM by ugcamper*




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T_Bone

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Posted: 08/17/02 02:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi ugcamper,

Sure that can cause sway. With the trailer nose heavy from level, the front axle carrys most of the weight and if that rear axle is high enough it will skip the tires on the pavement. This skip causes the trailer to jerk, thus causing the sway.

Another way it causes sway is it overloads the front tires thus the tire sidewall is over flexing causing sway.

As you pointed out, tires not designed for trailers will not have stiff enough sidewall or load carrying capicity.

With the trailer level, or upto 1" above level, the load gets evenly distributed over all four tires so the tires can bite the pavement equally.

Another post they were carrying less than full fresh water tanks. This can also cause sway. If the tanks were filled to 1/2 full would be the worst condition to cause sway if alot of water is being carried. What is alot of water? A long narrow tank half full, maybe 20gal up of a 40gal tank as thats 167lbs walking around. I carry 1200gal twice a week with a double baffled tank and if I leave out 50gal it will push my F350. Full no problems. 1/2 full and it'll jerk your neck at 20mph plus tare a hole in the tank if carried very far.

If the trailer is sitting level with proper tongue weight and load distributed correct, then it should pull great.

Do I use a WD or swaybars? Nope, not in 35yrs.

Do I recomend others use WD or swaybars, absloutely as it corrects "some" bad loading/hitching habbits and makes a good load better on most tow rigs.



Kamper

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Posted: 08/17/02 08:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Chuck,
Just got to give you my $0.02 on the sway issue. You are getting very honest and accurate info that would normally take a hair raising experience to make you do something. If your are using a WD hitch at least put some kind of friction sway contol to start, maybe two if your TT is fairly long. It is cheap insurance. A lot depends on your traveling expectations. Say if you are only driving two lane, 55mph you can get by with less, but if you plan on driving on freeways at freeway speeds with semi's on both sides of you at times you should prepare for the worst a head of time. I did a trip once with a 1990 Blazer and a 1991 25' Jayco TT to Ca. and learned alot about sway. I was using a WD hitch with NO friction sway control. I remember driving I-15 into Ca. around Barstow in a hard cross wind trying hard to maintain 55 mph. I had 3 semi's pass me one after another at about 75-80 mph. By the time the third semi got by me it had me in such a pickle that I had to almost do a panic stop on the interstate to control the trailer sway. It was SCAREY!!!! My wife was clutching to the grab bars and I learned truely what white knuckle driving was. It was an experience that we all could live without. The first thing I did was install one friction sway control which was worth its weight in gold...Two would have been better. It all sounds good about being able to manually hit your trailer brakes to control sway, but when it gets ugly you don't have time to look down or take your hands off the wheel. The only thing I could do was hit the brakes!!Luckily no-one was behind me. Learn from my own stupidity and others experience. A couple hundred bucks worth of insurance is cheap for the safety of yourself and others. Feel free to write directly. Just my $0.02 Ken

fixruprbob

Raleigh, NC USA

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Posted: 08/18/02 07:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found out that the stability of the tow vehicle is of paramount importance. My rig had virtually no sway until a mounting bracked for my rear axle stabilizer loosened and eventually fell off. I noticed more and more sway as it loosened. I actually heard it fall off but had no idea of what it was at the time. At the end of my trip I noticed it was gone; replaced it; and now I am back to virtually no sway.

I'll bet you if I had added a sway bar would it would also have fixed my sway.

FixruprBob

hard2hitch

clermont, fl

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Posted: 08/19/02 03:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deleted - Advertising


*This Message was edited on 19-Aug-02 10:14 PM by admin*


Dave19

Tri-Cities, WA

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Posted: 08/18/02 08:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My thoughts and setup..

1996 LT 2500 Suburban Vortec 454/3.73 (7.1 mpg last trip...ouch)

1997 26H Terry with Slide
Prodigy
Pullrite

1995 Dodge SLT 2500 with Turbo Cummings (and I don't pull with it...I'll explain why)

I first pulled with a Reese wt. dist. system and one friction sway control. I did have occassional sway. The type that I feel most people have and just contribute it to.. "that is normal sway while pulling a trailer." After reading several post about the Pullrite and Hensley I started searching and found a used Pullrite ($350) and put it on the Suburban. I can let you all know that with this hitch, I never feel that "oh, it's just normal sway" I've pulled it over 2000 miles this summer in 30-40mph wind gust through the Hood River/Dalles area without a hint of sway. Also, if you read my post of about 2 weeks ago "Pullrite and Prodigy save our a@@" you'll understand why I don't pull with my new 3/4 ton Diesel Dodge. The Pullrite is just that good. I might consider pulling with the Dodge if I had at least a Dual Cam or Equalizer hitch set up. I doubt that I'll find a used Pullrite for the Dodge for around $350. For now the 7.1mpg isn't enough to stop me from pulling with the Suburban. I also wouldn't want to be pulling with a 1/2 ton Suburban. Pulling hills like Cabbage (outside of Pendleton) at 55-60mph is a lot of work for my 3/4 ton Suburban... 2nd gear at just about 2900-3000 RPM... starts to redline at 4300rpm. I couldn't imagine what the 1/2 ton would be like.

Anyways, NO SWAY here...and loving it..


Dave

blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 08/19/02 12:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pull ball/pintle hitched trailer on a daily basis in my landscape company. I proably have over 100K mile pulling trailers of all sort, shapes and sizes.
I like T-Bone, believe the MOST important aspect of a safe trailer pulling experience will be having the trailer/tow rig as level as posible, the correct amount of tongue wt, AND the proper tow rig for the job at hand.
I used a W/D system only for the first ten years of owning my TT. then lost a W/D bar last April. I did not realize it was gone for upwards of 100 miles or so. I fifnished that trip with no sway, incuding a few miles with 30-40 mph gust's driving along the Columbia River at speeds up to 60 mph. THe main reason I feel I did not have problems, is my choice of two rig, and the fact I like a few others have mentiond, make sure my load is set up correctly as to I prefer 12-15% tongue wt to the "GROSS" trailer wt.
I have since purchased a Reese dual cam/WD system. Unfortunetly due to some family circumstances have not got the whole thing set up until today, and have not tried out, nor have I had the trailer out since April. But hopefull dpending upon how this Wednesday goes, Ican see how it works diving to Salem this saterday. I may have a changed opinion on how these anti-sway devices work.
But when either I or my employee's have had sway issues with a setup, It has almost always come down to improper loading!
THere are a few other issues that can couse sway, like Tow rig WB to trailer length a some have mentioned, improperly inflated tires, incorrect tires, too soft a suspension on the tow rig... could go on and on.
I personally, if I can not pull a trailer at 60MPH with out sway in non stressfull environment, I do not want to pull it, even with a premium hitch ie a Pullrite or Hensly, as I feel if the set up is not safe with out the sway system, it is not any better with.
Just my .02
Marty


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