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Old 04-01-2014, 11:58 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ridensmile View Post
Thanks for all the comments and wisdom so far.

I called up the towing shop that installed our brake controller and they had the following to say. They felt that WD and anti sway is mainly for larger/heavier setups. A 3500 lb camper and 6000 lb SUV set up right could be just the ticket. They said that they'd recommend just 'putting it on the ball" and going after proper packing/loading.

Called up Can Am and they said that though the Bambi 16 is the easiest airstream to tow....they liked the idea of anti-sway for emergency situations.

What do you guys think?
Well - you ask what folks think so this is not from personal towing experience. But I think when it comes to safety - better to have and not need than the other way around.

I also think the advice of using WD and SC only on larger rigs isn't sound. First - they are 2 separate issues.

WD - for a light trailer and a heavy tow vehicle - it is possible that WD is not needed as much since a lot of weight isn't pulled off the front axle (so there may not be a need to put much back). Having said that, if you lift a few hundred pounds off the front and don't restore it according to manufacturer's recommendations, you might have trouble negotiating emergency maneuvers and/or wet pavement with your steering wheel. You can "get away with it" 95% of the time - but the 5% of the time you need it, you should have it.

Sway control is different in that WD is 100% in your control - you do or don't use it (consequences are yours). Sway can be driver error AND can be a myriad of things outside of your control. Can a 3500# trailer (moving at 60 mph) affect a 6000# tow vehicle? I'm no physicist but my money's on "holy crap yes!"

Large trucks passing you, winds crossing you, emergency maneuvers, etc. - too many things out of your control to risk going without in my opinion.

So second - refer to have/need equation above. And that's what I think. :-)

Safe camping everyone!
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:23 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridensmile View Post
Thanks for all the comments and wisdom so far.

I called up the towing shop that installed our brake controller and they had the following to say. They felt that WD and anti sway is mainly for larger/heavier setups. A 3500 lb camper and 6000 lb SUV set up right could be just the ticket. They said that they'd recommend just 'putting it on the ball" and going after proper packing/loading.

Called up Can Am and they said that though the Bambi 16 is the easiest airstream to tow....they liked the idea of anti-sway for emergency situations.

What do you guys think?
You have several options for anti-sway if you choose to want it for peace of mind. The Anderson hitch has it built into the hitch ball, so it's really nothing to tinker with. You can also just get an anti-sway bar installed, but that will require a hitch head with the ball for it, as well as one on the trailer frame.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #59
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The key for comfort is to keep the ball as close to the rear axle as possible...
- Bart
Small hijack here, but it seems like a good spot to ask.

We just towed home an SOB behind our Flex. Seemed to perform well, and I'll report on that in the "Small Tow Vehicle" thread.

Here is how its set up:



Specifically, it looks like I could just have another hole drilled in the hitch and move it about 3" closer to the receiver:



I've checked and the rear gate would still clear.

Do you think this is worthwhile? The fellow at the dealer said it would make backing more difficult, but I'm not quite following that logic.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:49 PM   #60
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The further the hitch head is from the back of the car the tighter you can turn before the corner of the trailer meets the car.
It wouldn't necessarily be any more difficult, you just couldn't turn as tight.
The difference would really be miniscule.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:50 PM   #61
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You would have to be more aware of jack knifing the closer the ball is to the tv. Bumping the trailer against the tv. Might not be a problem. Jim
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:09 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by FastEddieB View Post
Do you think this is worthwhile? The fellow at the dealer said it would make backing more difficult, but I'm not quite following that logic.
The closer you can get that pivot point, the ball, to the rear axle of the TV the better. Think Hensley and Propride, systems that mechanically project the pivot point right onto the rear axle to totally eliminate sway, then you you'll get the idea. Fifth Wheeler hitches also get the pivot point over the axle, with similar results.

There are compromises, as always. There is a slight issue with backing up, but as M.Hony says, it's neglible. You said that you'd like the tailgate to clear the head when the hitch in in place, which is also going to be compromise, but again probably not a huge one.

For what it's worth, my hitch head (not the ball) sits about half an inch from my bumper when the WD is loaded. I can't use my tailgate when hitched, but in order to get the best towing, that's my compromise.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:22 PM   #63
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We tow a 30 Safari Bunkhouse on the bumper. Steel flat bed (one ton chassis cab truck 9200 empty) and trailer about 7800 loaded. We can not even tell when it is hitched up. Going to be buying a smaller 3/4 ton truck with a topper later this year and going to be using a propride or hensley with that setup.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:58 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by ridensmile View Post
Thanks for all the comments and wisdom so far.

I called up the towing shop that installed our brake controller and they had the following to say. They felt that WD and anti sway is mainly for larger/heavier setups. A 3500 lb camper and 6000 lb SUV set up right could be just the ticket. They said that they'd recommend just 'putting it on the ball" and going after proper packing/loading.

Called up Can Am and they said that though the Bambi 16 is the easiest airstream to tow....they liked the idea of anti-sway for emergency situations.

What do you guys think?
I was told exatly the same thing by the dealer when we bought ours seven years and 35,000 miles ago. He also said, "drive it around a bit and if you feel it's unsafe bring it back and we'll be happy to sell you a Hensley". Never had to go back. Oh yes, I've done full stomp emergency stops without a problem and I have no idea what sway is.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:04 PM   #65
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Thoughts from Andersen

Well folks, I had the pleasure of talking to the Andersen people and they gave me a lesson in anti-sway and WD. Their verdict was that if the trailer tows great as is and the TV has its nose on the ground and does not squat....then go with it. Thanks to all who replied and we'll let you know how the next outing with greater HWY miles goes.
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