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Old 01-29-2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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Sway or NO Sway, City or Highway

Pardon the very basic Question.

When is it best to use the sway control bar. The reason I ask is that it appears on a tight turn it could slide apart. We have the Curt sway control 17200 and getting ready to do a trip involving freeway travel more than local city driving. (Yes it is not the favored Anderson set up) Not looking to start a moderator needed debate just looking for experienced education versus install instructions Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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I used one on my old SOB for 17 years. If it is installed correctly...ie. positioning of the ball on the A frame, it won't pull out or bottom out on turns. Even with tight backing, I never removed nor released mine. However, if the installer mounts the ball too far rearward on the A frame, it could pull out. Conversely, if the installer mounts too far forward, it could bottom out and bent the bar. So, it depends on your A frame ball placement.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:27 AM   #3
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Thx dzn, the ball was correctly installed. Just looking for input like yours to keep us on track.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:43 AM   #4
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Rich is right on with his explanation, and when installed correctly, I found it was never a problem and used it always. You will find when towing in rainy weather the pads will get wet like brake shoes, and start making noise when you do turn, but it doesn't cause any other problems.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:59 AM   #5
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The only times we've noticed sway problems was on an interstate when being passed by large trucks. For this reason, I now keep ours fairly tight for that kind of travel. Thankfully, though, we avoid interstates like the plague that they are, so little need to keep the sway control cranked that tight.

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Old 01-29-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
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Do you guys from the southwest (and perhaps even IL) ever disconnect when off-pavement, on rough gravel roads? Is there any substance to the thought that a little more "flexibility" might be useful on such roads?
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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I never adjusted nor loosened mine except when unhitching...but I never ran in snow either. I kept the adjustment just tight enough to rid the truck bow wakes for my particular setup. At that setting, wet roads were never an issue.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:09 AM   #8
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The problem I have to look out for is making a U turn, such when maneuvering at a filling station. The socket that attaches to the hitch head can bang into the side of the coupler. This bends and jams the socket.

We leave ours connected all the time except for right turns like that.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:20 AM   #9
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Thanks everybody, good comments, questions and answers. Those tight turns brought up the initial question.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
The problem I have to look out for is making a U turn, such when maneuvering at a filling station. The socket that attaches to the hitch head can bang into the side of the coupler. This bends and jams the socket.

We leave ours connected all the time except for right turns like that.
While I don't doubt this in the least, it may vary by hitch head mfr as well as what coupler you have. My old setup was a 22' Prowler (don't remember which model of coupler, but it was an Atwood) and a drawTite hitch head. I think there is no uniform standard for the distance between the coupler ball and the friction bar ball. I tested mine by backing into as tight a turn as I would ever dare (both left and right turn) and looking out at the distance between the bar and the coupler. IT was not an issue for my setup. I would suggest you do the same, so you are comfortable with your setup. Just get out often and check the distance as you back up.

Also test a forward left and right full steering lock turn for the proper A frame location. An empty parking lot is good for this.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:39 PM   #11
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We use ours all the time. Even when I know we won't be at highway speeds anywhere.

It's better to keep the rig feeling consistent so that when something does go wrong, we'll know. We were on a trip a couple months back and noticed that the rig felt a little strange. I noticed it within the first few minutes but tried to explain it away, then later I felt some weird bumps a couple more times, and my wife felt them, too. We pulled over and checked, and it turned out I had tightened the sway control a bit more than usual...it wasn't even an extra quarter turn, and it was enough to make a difference in how the rig felt to both of us (it was probably binding, and that's what we felt). A quick readjustment and it felt great again.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:38 PM   #12
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Even with the best sway bar setup, you will need a slight steering correction when semis pass. This is not sway! It is simply a change in the airflow your tow vehicle is experiencing. Even with my former Reese Dual Cam and, to a lesser extent, with my ProPride, some correction is necessary.

True sway is when the angle of the trailer to the tow vehicle (tow angle) oscillates, and in doing so applies substantial steering inputs to the tow vehicle through the leverage provided by the distance between the hitch ball and the rear axle of the tow vehicle. This is quite different from the simple push you feel when a semi passes.

I used a sway bar on my former 22 International with success. I never removed it except when unhooking.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
Even with the best sway bar setup, you will need a slight steering correction when semis pass. This is not sway! It is simply a change in the airflow your tow vehicle is experiencing. Even with my former Reese Dual Cam and, to a lesser extent, with my ProPride, some correction is necessary.

True sway is when the angle of the trailer to the tow vehicle (tow angle) oscillates, and in doing so applies substantial steering inputs to the tow vehicle through the leverage provided by the distance between the hitch ball and the rear axle of the tow vehicle. This is quite different from the simple push you feel when a semi passes.

I used a sway bar on my former 22 International with success. I never removed it except when unhooking.
I agree with John 100%. It is felt with all hitch setups, even the pivot point projection hitches, and it is not sway.

I believe it is caused by increased air pressure, or wind, off the front of the truck, first applied to the rear of your trailer, and pushing that part of the trailer away from the truck. This causes the front of the trailer and the tow vehicle to be pulled toward the truck's lane.

Then as the truck moves past, the increased air pressure is then applied to the front of the trailer, pushing it and the rear of the TV away from the truck.

Then as the truck moves past the TV, it starts all over again, but to a lesser degree because the TV has much less side area and wind resistance than the trailer.

This happens worse sometimes when the wind is in certain directions relative to your direction of travel than others. If the wind is from your curb side toward the truck, it is felt much less. Conversely, if the wind if coming from the direction of the truck, it is felt more.

One thing that I have found that helps when a truck is passing me, irrespective of the wind direction, is to move as far to the Right as possible away from the truck, and this lessens the effect of the bow wave wind from the truck.
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