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Old 03-19-2014, 11:13 PM   #15
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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In the pacific northwest I see a lot of white box trailers sizes from 20 to 30 feet being pulled by whatever truck the owner can get hold of. No WD hitch, just a cheap stinger and a ball. Very commonly the ball is way too high or low. Usually there are 2 adults, at least 4 kids, 2 dogs and an ATV in the bed of the truck. I am always amazed that they get there and home after their trip.

I am not advocating what I see, but there are an amazing number of them out on any given weekend. Hunting season is worse, they never seem to use a WD hitch. The funny thing is that I also virtually never see any wrecks. Flat tires, yes, but wrecks are rare.

I sure as hell know I would never tow without a WD hitch.

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Old 03-20-2014, 05:34 AM   #16
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I would not advocate not using WD unless one has a very light tongue weight and a three quarter ton truck. Sway control is always advisable. My one ton ,which has an additional set of springs over a three quarter ton, can go even higher on tongue weight without WD, but I still use sway control. Six hundred pounds of tongue weight dies not even compress the overload springs on my truck. I previously towed a 25ft FB with the same setup and the results were the same except the normal three quarter ton springs were in effect all with sway control. I am well within all weight limits. The main reason I use sway is I have a short bed srw and the sway control helps. Just my experience here. Jim

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Old 03-20-2014, 05:54 AM   #17
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Bowie , Maryland
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When we picked up our trailer, the PO suggested setting the lifter bars and sway control so loose that they might as well have not been there. I knew better but let it go - in part because we were hitching at a very awkward angle (trailer was basically level, but the front of the truck was facing up a slope) so it was hard to tell whether it was set up right or not.

As soon as we pulled on to an interstate, a truck passed us at a pretty good speed, and got the trailer swaying. A friend that helped us find and buy the trailer was following us for a few miles and commented on it (later) - she saw it clearly and remembered it. I tightened the sway control at our first stop.

We also had issues with porpoising. That was solved by tightening the lifter bars. Now the trailer tows like a dream. I definitely won't tow any distance without W/D. If I were just moving it a short distance (around town or something like that), where highway speeds wouldn't be involved, I wouldn't worry about the W/D or sway, but that's the only exception.

Now, a light trailer with a well-matched (or overmatched) tow vehicle, with the trailer loaded correctly, probably can get away without any W/D. After all, that's basically what U-Haul trailers are, and as long as they're loaded correctly they tow fine.
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

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Old 03-20-2014, 06:43 AM   #18
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My car hauler trailer is a big box, but it sits very low to the ground - much lower CG than a TT, and it's 25' long. It's also something I haul without a WD hitch and it's very well behaved on the highway.

I wonder if it's more a function of the truck than anything. Most of the Fords seems to have very compliant rear suspensions - guys report getting airbags and such because the squat so much with a load. I suppose that makes them have a much smoother ride than the GM trucks.

Although it may sound like it on here, I'm not opposed to using WD, as I have on many trailers in the past. I just don't want to if I don't need to. In fact, there's an equalizer setup sitting on the floor in my shop if I need it. I was just wanting to guage the users out there who have big trucks and may be getting by just fine without it on a 25 or 27 foot trailer.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:59 AM   #19
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If youalready have the hitch with sway control. I would install it. Jim
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:00 AM   #20
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Chatham , Ontario
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I'm always surprised when this question comes up.

There are simply no disadvantages to using weight distribution and sway control/elimination, regardless of your tow vehicle. Spread the load over all the axles and mitigate the chances for terminal sway - what could be simpler and safer?

It's cheap, too, compared with the cost of your beloved Airstream.
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:02 AM   #21
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Hensley and ProPride are CHEAP hitches!

I towed for seven years without any problems - fulltiming.

Then I had a wreck.

I always used weight distributing hitch with Sway control.

The wreck had almost nothing to do with sway... it had a lot to do with a cocky driver who at (age) 64 should never have tried to drive at 64 (mph) on I-64. With depreciation and cost of new truck/trailer the wreck cost around 64K. Even the bill for the E/R was $5K for 5 hours... most of which was a waste of my time as they didn't do an MRI on my head or spine for 2 hours (any damage would have been permanent without treatment within the "golden hour").

Do what you want. Everything will be JUST FINE... until one day it isn't.

Extra safety features? Hopefully they WILL be a waste of your money because you'll be such a competent, safe driver that you'll never need them, and no one stupid will do something stupid that comes close enough to hurt you. Prior to the big wreck? Dinged a guy's door 40 years ago & 2 months after that someone rear ended me after I'd stopped in time to avoid a wreck ahead of me on the freeway. Less than $1000 damage in my LIFETIME until... the fertilizer impacted the ventilator.

Something bad happened to me 1/10th of a second faster than I could react. The safety gear I had may be the difference between me sitting here typing and owning a new Eddie Bauer trailer versus being in a nursing home blowing an air tube to activate a wheelchair.

Cost of safety gear vs cost of wreck? My arithmetic says the cheaper route is to get the best effen hitch in the world. BTW the most important safety item is one you can't buy: avoid acute cranial-rectal inversion. In my case that's to realize I AM a "geezer" and need to drive like one.

Cause of wreck? Still undetermined, but leaning strongly toward an axle or shock problem. (metal fatigue on axle - hit a rock months before that bent the rim on the rear axle and my steps. I never though about the possibility of axle damage and never inspected it. No weird tire wear either. Another poster here had same thing happen and they found a bent axle.)

I STILL think if I'd been going 50-55 and gone off the pavement onto the berm I might have been able to slow to a safe stop. My hand was on the way to the brake controller to .... then there was grass and cowflop all over my windshield. The first police officer on the scene thanked me for wearing my seatbelt - he'd just come from a wreck where the driver was removed from the car with a wet-dry vac!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:16 AM   #22
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1978 31' Sovereign
Paris , Ontario
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I pull my 31' with W/D only if I am using my F150. When pulling with my dually F450 I do not. The 450 doesn't seem to realize there is even a trailer there.
I do like it on the 150 - especially while passing trucks
I don't think it would be a necessity on a 250/2500 series truck, but if you have a W/D Hitch, I would use it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:28 AM   #23
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Salt Lake City , Utah
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I pull a 25' with an F250 V10 (my apologies to the diesel folks) with manual transmission, no less. When loaded the trailer drops the TV rear end about an inch, but the AS still tows like a dream. I'm still going to get a WD hitch, however.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I'm always surprised when this question comes up.

There are simply no disadvantages to using weight distribution and sway control/elimination, regardless of your tow vehicle. Spread the load over all the axles and mitigate the chances for terminal sway - what could be simpler and safer?

It's cheap, too, compared with the cost of your beloved Airstream.
Wouldn't disadvantages be cost, extra combo length, weight and hitch up inconvenience? I'm using a Reese WD anti sway and it works a treat but if I didn't need it I wouldn't bother (kind of obvious). I'm almost certain I'll get at least a 2500 for my next TV and like the option of heavy duty parts, more wheelbase options and possibly better brakes but I do struggle to see how just some extra weight and wheelbase would mitigate needing anti sway kit. The WD just doesn't seem that big a deal if it's only 600 lbs or so but there doesn't seem to be tip top anti sway without it. I'm pencilling in the Anderson set up to go with the 3/4 ton for my 33 footer hopefully that'll be a good package.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:01 PM   #25
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26 overlander with dually

When I pull my 63 Overlander with my 350 dually I do not use the W/D hitch. It works perfectly because of the relative weights and wheel base of the units. When I put the 31 W/D does help. The 34 pulls as good as the 31 but a sway bar in addition to the Reese Dual cam makes it better in marginal weather or with trucks passing. If you have a full size bed truck with crew cab (long wheel base), I think you could get away without bars for most travel.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:49 PM   #26
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At risk of being flamed, well at least mildly scorched, I was always an advocate of both WD and sway control.

I do feel the use of WD makes for a smoother ride even though you can probably do with out in some instances.

On the other hand I spent several 100,000 miles delivering new trailers to dealers using a 3/4 ton long box Dodge. New trailers do not have any sway control as it is an aftermarket item. Typically we would drop the snap up brackets on, set the bars at XX links and go. Often not to level and certainly not refining the hookup in 1/2 link increments.. Certainly no sway control..
I can honestly say I don't recall ever having an unstable trailer sway wise except for a couple 38 foot park models. Wiggle from passing trucks and tire grooves worn in the road yes, but no real sway.
I do not use sway control anymore but do use WD. Not suggesting any one else give it up and quite likely when you are towing every day you develop a sense for how much to twitch the wheel as that truck blasts by, where the 2 week vacation person is more likely to over react.
I personally put a higher priority on weight distribution than on sway control but am not suggesting any one else take this route. My TV is somewhat overkill and we don't ever intentionally exceed 60 MPH because of how fast things can unravel at high speeds.
Of course I could end up parked in the median like Paula did and I too have been doing this for 40 years.
At least I am not the guy I saw with the 34 ft Avion dropped on the ball on the bumper of his 1/2 ton truck
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:13 PM   #27
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Route 66 , Arizona
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Have WD/sway on the Bambi and love it. However, with a 3500 lb rating, putting very much tension on the WD could result in too much weight transferred to the trailer axle/tires. Loaded up it's pretty close to 3500 already.

Point is, it's not just about the weight you take off the TV's rear axle...that weight is absolutely transferred somewhere with some level of consequence.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:12 PM   #28
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2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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Hitch weight on my trailer is 950 lbs. Even though a have a Ram 2500 with lots of capacity, the thought of dropping almost HALF A TON gives me the heebie jeebies. Moving some of that weight onto the front of my TV ....well, I can tell you that I can't imagine NOT having a PP....and I've had 18 wheelers blast by me when they are hitting 70-75 MPH and I feel zero movement in my truck or my steering wheel. I can't imagine towing without WD.

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