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Old 03-25-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
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Friction sway - loosen when raining?

Someone else mentioned getting this advice, too. Anyone know why that is? I can't come up with a good reason.

Seems like you want sway control in rain even more...

(Please, no hitch brand arguments in this thread. Thanks!)
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
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Hi, I have driven/towed in all kinds of weather, rain, wind, snow, ice, zero degrees, and over 100 degrees. I have never changed anything related to my hitch for any of these, but I did reduce my brake controller while towing on icy roads.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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I assume this advice has to do with the Andersen hitch?
I would begin by asking the manufacturer "Why?" and see what they say...
Bruce
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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Doesn't apply to Anderson any more than any other friction sway control.
The effect of friction sway control is to stiffen the joint between the trailer and the tow vehicle. On slippery roads, and especially if weight control isn't set up well, it can cause understeer condition when going around curves.
I don't have proof, just a theory.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
I assume this advice has to do with the Andersen hitch?
I would begin by asking the manufacturer "Why?" and see what they say...
Bruce
Why would you "assume" this? As an Andersen owner and user your assumption makes no sense to me at all based on its engineering design.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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Why would you "assume" this? As an Andersen owner and user your assumption makes no sense to me at all based on its engineering design.
The Andersen hitch was the only hitch that uses a brake type friction control and It seems to be the only hitch where sway control might be impacted by tension adjustment.
After watching the video on the Andersen site and I wondered if the change in coefficient of friction that most sway systems use might be more tuneable with the Andersen (therefore hey recommend a change for different conditions????). You can't change the tension on an Equalizer and I am not sure how the Reese dual cam is adjusted but it doesn't appear that a change in tension would affect that designs friction by much as it appears to be more a function of shape of the bars there ????

I am not slighting the Andersen, just wondering....

Are you sensitive about this subject? No disrespect intended!

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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
Doesn't apply to Anderson any more than any other friction sway control.
The effect of friction sway control is to stiffen the joint between the trailer and the tow vehicle. On slippery roads, and especially if weight control isn't set up well, it can cause understeer condition when going around curves.
I don't have proof, just a theory.
I am trying to get my head around this thought and perhaps you are correct but wouldn't the impact of lowering the tension in most hitches also lighten weight distribution thus also creating a lighter front axel that would be more likely to push or understeer?

Just wondering.....
Bruce
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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I wasn't thinking about the Andersen, but about the traditional friction sway bars such as Reese.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I have driven/towed in all kinds of weather, rain, wind, snow, ice, zero degrees, and over 100 degrees. I have never changed anything related to my hitch for any of these, but I did reduce my brake controller while towing on icy roads.
Totally agree with the controller adjustment advice, but I also add rain - we don't want the trailer's brakes to lock up.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
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This applies to the old school friction anti- sway assemblies. Essentially a sliding armature encased in brake material. The instructions that came with mine required that the tension (and therefore the rigidity) of the apparatus be backed off in rain or snow.

No explanation offered but a reasonable assumption is that too rigid a connection along with a low coefficient of tire/ road friction would lead to under steer.

I always did it but never noticed any difference.

Mike
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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I am trying to get my head around this thought and perhaps you are correct but wouldn't the impact of lowering the tension in most hitches also lighten weight distribution thus also creating a lighter front axel that would be more likely to push or understeer?

Just wondering.....
Bruce
No, you're not lightening the tension on the spring bars. What "loosen" means in this context is to loosen the clamping force on the anti-sway bar.
Two different adjustments.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:49 PM   #10
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Just found this in the Reese manual:

Quote:
When towing during slippery conditions such as wet, icy, or snow-covered roads or on loose gravel, turn on/off handle (5) counterclockwise until all tension is removed from unit. Failure to do so could prevent tow vehicle and trailer from turning properly.
Interesting...
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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So,
It sounds like they are concerned with understeer as a result of the friction force of anti sway.....Hard to imagine that these hitches could generate enough force to impact the steering of the tow vehicle but then again the noise my Equalizer made when turning at slow speed was pretty amazing!
Interesting indeed!
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
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So,
It sounds like they are concerned with understeer as a result of the friction force of anti sway.....Hard to imagine that these hitches could generate enough force to impact the steering of the tow vehicle but then again the noise my Equalizer made when turning at slow speed was pretty amazing!
Interesting indeed!
Bruce
Yeah. Frankly I'd rather deal with a risk of understeer instead of an increased risk of sway. But the way it's worded made me think they are thinking of low speed situations in parking lots, rather than highway driving.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Bruce, no offense or whatever taken. All "opinions" are always welcome.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Yeah. Frankly I'd rather deal with a risk of understeer instead of an increased risk of sway. But the way it's worded made me think they are thinking of low speed situations in parking lots, rather than highway driving.
You're reading more into it than what was written.
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