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Old 11-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #1
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Sway Control Hitch on 16ft Trailer needed?

Do I need a Sway Control Hitch pulling a 16ft trailer?
Do I need a Sway Control Hitch and WD pulling a 19ft trailer?
I have a new 4x4 Ram 2500 Diesel truck.
My thinking is that it is easier to travel with a small 16ft trailer, specially if I don't need the WD Sway Control Hitch. I am aware of the obvious space differences between a 16 and 19ft trailer. Being 73, I want it simple. My plan is to travel around the US and having our bed with us instead of going Hotels.
Thank you, Gerhard
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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I'd opt for sway control only if the rear doesn't sag too much on the truck. But WD is always good, too.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:03 AM   #3
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I used to pull > 1 ton pop ups back in the day and had enormous sway problems frequently. I have NEVER had the problem after getting our 16' Bambi and using a Fastway E2 on either our FJ Cruiser or our 1/2 GMC. Even in high cross winds on mountain passes. Solid as a rock. I would not pull without one. Others here seem to hate them though...

I put on a very good ($110) electric jack. With that it takes about 2 minutes to put it on or take it off on a bad day. The Fastway is so simple it is worth the extra minute or two.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:31 AM   #4
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:34 AM   #5
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I "upgraded" from an Equalizer to a ProPride on our 16' Bambi. I have never towed without sway control but there is a fairly remarkable difference in the way the trailer behaves when towed between the two hitch technologies.
I have this sneaky feeling that the smaller the trailer the less stable the trailer. My guess is that the smallest trailers probablyly need sway control more than the longer multi axel units.
I have a used Equalizer I would sell you...
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:44 AM   #6
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I will get flamed for this but we bought our 22' new 7 years ago and have about 40k miles on it. We do not use a WD or sway control. Have never experienced sway from passing big rigs or heavy winds. Our TV was designed to tow and we make sure the TT is properly weight balanced.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:40 AM   #7
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GET THE SWAY CONTROL. (I mean, really. It costs less than $100.00) We have a 22' Sport. For one reason and another that I don't want to admit publicly, our last trip, last weekend, was sans sway control. I am very happy to say that it was only about 45 miles, because I am unhappy to say that that trailer felt on the verge of chaos the whole way. We narrowly missed 25+ mph winds, thank Thor, because that would have been ugly. I would not think of towing without one again, unless ... well, I don't want to talk about it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:29 PM   #8
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For our setup, we do not use WD or Sway Control either. Tried two different systems....one overgunned, one light duty....and the tail always wagged the dog and felt unsafe. TV has upgraded shocks and we've taken our time testing and dialing in the system. Crosswinds, semi's (both passing us and passing them), debris in the road, even tested on a desolate road with brake controller turned off - all better than with our other setups from before. Talked to CanAm and Andersen (who are both excellent by the way) and they both said "if you have no chief complaint about your current setup after 5000 miles, we think you shouldn't change a thing".
Hope that helps. And if nothing else, enjoy the pic.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #9
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I mentioned this on another thread, but here goes...
People who own 17' Casita trailers use sway control, but no weight distribution.
Tongue weight is probably realistically 350-450#. A 17' Casita and 16' Airstream are the same approximate size/weight.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:43 PM   #10
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On my Casita 17' (3500lbs) I used no WD but had a friction bar that connected from the frame of the trailer to the TV hitch. No sway issues.

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Old 11-04-2014, 03:38 PM   #11
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At the risk of getting flamed as well (and as my signature line states, I have a 3/4 ton using a equalizer hitch with 1400# load bars pulling a 2005 28' CCD International) as a scientist and engineer, I feel I should bring up the following discrepancy. Make no doubt, I am part of the herd.

If you have been to Europe, you would find that trailers are not towed using WD gear or sway control, and this goes for Airstreams as well. Check the Airstream Europe link for the brochure:

http://www.airstream-europe.com/Down...AM-2014-en.pdf

Do they know something we don't? Wouldn't we all like to be towing those weights, without regard for the extra complexity of a WD and sway reducing hitch?

There is probably something inherent in the way Airstreams are designed for the US market that drives us to heavier tow weights, tongue weights, WD hitches and sway controls. Maybe it IS possible to set up your small rig to avoid sway, but not until the design differences are highlighted that make this possible.

Until then, since my TT is designed for the US market, I'll continue to use my Equalizer WD and sway reducing hitch (but I envy the Europeans somewhat).
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:13 PM   #12
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Any dealer will tell you yes. I never have and will tell you, based on the heavy tow vehicle that you have, no. If your TV was lightweight, or had a short wheelbase, I might advise differently
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
I will get flamed for this but we bought our 22' new 7 years ago and have about 40k miles on it. We do not use a WD or sway control. Have never experienced sway from passing big rigs or heavy winds. Our TV was designed to tow and we make sure the TT is properly weight balanced.
I won't flame you, but I bet you drive conservatively. (Which is a good thing)

My opinion is that whether or not one "needs" sway control depends on their driving style.

Ken
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhard View Post
Do I need a Sway Control Hitch pulling a 16ft trailer?
Do I need a Sway Control Hitch and WD pulling a 19ft trailer?
I have a new 4x4 Ram 2500 Diesel truck.
My thinking is that it is easier to travel with a small 16ft trailer, specially if I don't need the WD Sway Control Hitch. I am aware of the obvious space differences between a 16 and 19ft trailer. Being 73, I want it simple. My plan is to travel around the US and having our bed with us instead of going Hotels.
Thank you, Gerhard
Hi. With that truck, you might not need weight distribution. For any setup, even that truck, I would recommend sway control. Very cheap insurance.

If you're concerned about cranking up chains and bars and such - you might want to check out the Andersen for its friction sway control device. Folks who use it seem happy with it and there aren't heavy bars to crank up. You can leave it engaged while backing up and in the rain. It might be a good option for you.

Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:22 PM   #15
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[QUOTE
If you're concerned about cranking up chains and bars and such - you might want to check out the Andersen for its friction sway control device. Folks who use it seem happy with it and there aren't heavy bars to crank up. You can leave it engaged while backing up and in the rain. It might be a good option for you.

[/QUOTE]

This post seems to suggest that sway and WD units have heavy bars to crank up.

I am reasonably new at this, but I found very quickly that the tongue jack (mine is even a crank version as opposed to a fancy electric) is key. The position of the tongue with respect to the hitch makes a world of difference putting WD bars in place. If I put the full weight of the trailer on the truck, no amount of levering will let me lift the bar... but when it is in the right position, it is effortless. So it seems to me that the truck will probably do just fine without it, but why not use at least and EQUILIZER. There are 7 plus years of data in the towing section on the EQUILIZER Brand Equilizer hitch, and I read it all. The most telling statement in the entire thread is that the only time the thread originator had his AS moving out of control was when it was in an earthquake in the driveway and it wasn't connected to the tow vehicle.

I am pulling a 2004 22' Safari with a 1/2 ton 2014 Toyota Tundra in New Mexico where the mountain grades can be significant, and have yet to feel any side sway from wind or 18 wheelers (me passing them or vice-versa) with a 600 lb tongue weight EQ brand unit. Initially I was worried that maybe I should have the 1000 lb tongue weight unit, but the bars are not interchangeable, so I would guess the 1000 lb would be a lot stiffer. At any rate, I am ecstatic about the handling, and wouldn't change a thing... but I also wouldn't tow without it, and by putting the equalizer bars in place with the tongue jack in the right spot, it is effortless to hook up.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:01 AM   #16
'15 Flying Loud 20' Bambi
 
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I thought I would mention that the bars are interchangeable on the Fastway E2. I put on the 600# round bars after reading much here. The Fastway is essentially the older version of the Equalizer and is cheaper. We love it.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Rossbach View Post
[QUOTE
If you're concerned about cranking up chains and bars and such - you might want to check out the Andersen for its friction sway control device. Folks who use it seem happy with it and there aren't heavy bars to crank up. You can leave it engaged while backing up and in the rain. It might be a good option for you.
This post seems to suggest that sway and WD units have heavy bars to crank up.

I am reasonably new at this, but I found very quickly that the tongue jack (mine is even a crank version as opposed to a fancy electric) is key. The position of the tongue with respect to the hitch makes a world of difference putting WD bars in place. If I put the full weight of the trailer on the truck, no amount of levering will let me lift the bar... but when it is in the right position, it is effortless. So it seems to me that the truck will probably do just fine without it, but why not use at least and EQUILIZER. There are 7 plus years of data in the towing section on the EQUILIZER Brand Equilizer hitch, and I read it all. The most telling statement in the entire thread is that the only time the thread originator had his AS moving out of control was when it was in an earthquake in the driveway and it wasn't connected to the tow vehicle.

I am pulling a 2004 22' Safari with a 1/2 ton 2014 Toyota Tundra in New Mexico where the mountain grades can be significant, and have yet to feel any side sway from wind or 18 wheelers (me passing them or vice-versa) with a 600 lb tongue weight EQ brand unit. Initially I was worried that maybe I should have the 1000 lb tongue weight unit, but the bars are not interchangeable, so I would guess the 1000 lb would be a lot stiffer. At any rate, I am ecstatic about the handling, and wouldn't change a thing... but I also wouldn't tow without it, and by putting the equalizer bars in place with the tongue jack in the right spot, it is effortless to hook up.[/QUOTE]

Hi Dan, thanks for good write up. Can you post a link to your Setup as I'm interested in this as a possible purchase?

Larry
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:07 PM   #18
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We have a restored vintage 1960 Avion T20 20' with single axle, which I've towed with a variety of TVs with & without WD+Anti-Sway. The T20 factory dry weight was stated as 2850# with 285# TW, & it's probably 3000-3200 wet & loaded with another 100-150# tongue wt. due to 2x 30# LP tanks & the Hensley Cub.

A single axle is inherently less stable or straight tracking than a tandem axle found in longer trailers

The 2013 F-150 (V6/AT) had built in sway control on the truck & I experienced little to no sway that wasn't "killed" or damped by the truck's opposite braking sway control in 800 miles ABQ to OC/Orange, CA.

Then we had Nissan Pathfinders (4.0 V6/AT) - 1st time without WD or anti-sway, which was a white knuckle ride for 400+ miles RT up to Pismo & back - when the T20 would wag it's tail as soon as I got over 55-60 mph.

The next few trips WITH a Hensley Cub in the Pathfinders & Dodge 2500 3/4 ton V8/AT were effortless, but I found myself easily up to 70-75 with no drama (tow max is 55 mph in CA & many states).

So I guess sway could serve as an over-speed limit indicator if one wanted!?

Although only 62, I chose the Hensley Cub (smaller, lighter & cheaper than the Arrow for trailers up to 6000#) for similar reasons as you state - ease of use, thinking that we'd be more likely to keep using our trailer if it were easier to use & not have to remove spring bars, hitch heads, & use the easier tensioner jacks - rather than cranking up chains on spring bars by brute force!

Also, the Hensley eliminates the sway by its geometry of operation, rather than resisting it with friction blocks or pneumatically, etc. I looked at ProPride too, but the installation & some other things were easier/better on the Hensley IMHO, & the Cub was cheaper than a one-size PP.

It can be a bit more of a challenge hitting the "stinger" tow bar into the Hensley box when at odd angles/slopes &/or where a rolled curb/ramp/driveway apron puts the TV itself at an odd angle, but using the jacks to adjust the Hensley head to the angle & height of the stinger is easy enough, and a rear view/back-up camera or the balls on the magnetic extenders helps getting it lined up.

However, I'm an extremely low timer at towing being about 7-8x in the past 2.5 years since we got our T20, & I can still manage to hit the hole 1st or 2nd try by myself!

The back-up camera is best, so I'd suggest getting one of those magnetic wireless cameras to use if your TV doesn't have one.

That said, I was told by more than one trailer pro & long timers alike that a cheaper Equalizer & similar brands WD+Anti-Sway would be adequate for our smaller trailer.

I went for the ease of use & full sway control over the long haul, cuz I doubt we'll be switching trailers much, and settling on a TV will help the consistency of my hitching up performance.

Good Luck!
Tom (Janabanana's hitcher/driver)
///////

PS - The spring bars are for the weight distribution function on these, generally not for anti-sway, although I think that there may be some torsion bar sway resisting types out there.

WD is to equalize the trailer's weight between to front & rear axles of the TV, thereby reducing or eliminating the rear squatting &/or front end lifting of the TV when the weight of the trailer is on the hitch of the TV. WD hitches also tend to have more secure coupling of the hitch ball than just a straight coupler to ball.

The steering & most braking power is at the TV's (or any vehicle's) front wheels, & FWD front wheel drive is on some too - so you don't want to lift & unload that front axle/wheels!

Therefore, a big enough truck/TV relative to a smaller/lighter trailer may only need anti-sway. and some newer trucks with towing packages have built-in anti-sway, as did the 1st F150 we rented.

In our case we're still renting & never know what we'll get, & in the long term will probably settle on a mid-size SUV with V8 to buy as a TV/3rd car due to space constraints in our driveway/garage & older narrow streets in our 1920's Model T or A era neighborhood. So the Hensley Cub made sense to us as a long term investment.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:26 PM   #19
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Easy Hook Ups

[QUOTE= So it seems to me that the truck will probably do just fine without it, but why not use at least and EQUILIZER. There are 7 plus years of data in the towing section on the EQUILIZER Brand Equilizer hitch, and I read it all. The most telling statement in the entire thread is that the only time the thread originator had his AS moving out of control was when it was in an earthquake in the driveway and it wasn't connected to the tow vehicle. QUOTE]


Sorry about that. EQUAL-I-ZER. And I did it twice!
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:19 PM   #20
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We tow a 16 foot Bambi with Toyota 4 runner and Toyota Land Cruiser . No sway bar, no problem.
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