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Old 09-29-2009, 12:20 PM   #1
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2009 F150 and Stabilizer bars

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I just purchased a new 2009 F150 and plan to use it as my tow vehicle. Has anyone had any experience towing with the active anti-sway technology built into the truck? Is an anti-sway hitch still effective or does it become redundant?

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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Ford did not install sway bars on the rear of there trucks for several years. Looks like they have started in 2009 after many owner, myself included had to install after market bars to keep the truck on the road.

The sway bar in the rear of a car or truck will not address trailer sway. They are designed to keep the rear from lifting as you go around a curve.

Yes you will need sway control for the trailer. What ever system you get make sure you do some serious reading on how to set the system up. Do not rely on a dealer to do it they will not spend the time to do it right.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
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I think I should have been more specific in my initial post. The system on the 2009 goes beyond sway bars. The sales info states:

NEW TRAILER SWAY CONTROL is advanced technology that’s standard on all ’09 F-150s. A yaw motion
sensor in the AdvanceTracŪ with RSCŪ (Roll Stability ControlTM) system can detect trailer sway through the
motions of the truck. AdvanceTrac can then automatically take countermeasures, such as selective wheel
braking and reducing engine torque, to help maintain control of both the truck and trailer.

I also have the factory integrated Trailer Brake Control.

Will the above built in items negate the need for an aftermarket sway contro hitch?

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:15 PM   #4
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I have read about this system, but do not have any first hand experience with it. I am a little skeptical that this system can control sway while pulling a 7000# plus trailer without having control over the individual brakes on each of the trailer wheels.

Even if this system can satisfactorily control trailer sway, The set up would still require a quality weight distribution hitch system.

If you are planning to pull your 34 foot Airstream with any half to truck, you are, indeed, a braver man than I.

Brian
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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A good sway control hitch will help prevent the sway event from happening in the first place. The F-150 sway control system will only try to help recover from a sway event that has already begun. I'd definitely have a good sway control hitch.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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I agree, I would also have a sway control hitch but this is really an impressive video of the new Ford F150 sway control.

YouTube - 2009 F-150: Towing

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Old 09-29-2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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After watching the video, one would think it should be pretty solid. Should anyone with experience with the system be lurking, I would really appreciate hearing what your real life experience has been.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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A very interesting video.

The first problem I see is sway is almost never induced by a truck passing you in the opposite direction. Most sway induced by trucks are from Straight 6 wheelers passing you from behind. Yes a tractor trailer from behind will effect you but the that force is broken up by the space between the tractor and the trailer and thus not as disturbing as a 6 wheeler.

The second problem I see is do I want the truck arbitrarily reducing power and applying the brakes.

The third problem is you Airstream should never end up loaded so improperly as to induce swaying. Utility trailers yes.

As mentioned above this is a reactive system where as a mechanical sway control is a preventive system.

Often these creative systems sound good but if you remember the old GM Suburbans that had a braking system effected by weight on the rear axle you would know that that system was a complete determent while towing. The system was supposed to increase the rear brakes when weight was placed on the rear axle. If one installed a WD hitch that effectively reduced the tongue weight on the rear and thus while you were towing additional weight the brakes did not adjust for it. Most owner cut the adjusting arm on the system to get rid of it.

I suspect a lot of these systems will be so modified.

Another so called great leap forward was the proportional braking system that is standard on all cars now. That system is supposed to give you 2 opposing brakes front and rear if you loose a brake line. First hand experience they do not work. I lost a brake line at the top of a 9% 3 1/2 mile hill. I had No Brakes, the peddle went right to the floor.

Plan on a good sway control system and have it set up right.

Just to give you an idea of where I am coming from look at my web site and see the systems I changed on my Suburban. I have not yet posted the changes I have made to my FORD Excursion but the biggest single one was redesigning the suspension to deduce sway. Ford truck are notorious for wandering down the road and have significant sway problems while towing. Maybe they are addressing this issue.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviator View Post
...Will the above built in items negate the need for an aftermarket sway contro hitch?...
this question is IMPOSSIBLE to answer without side by side testing in adverse conditions, with various trailers and towing combos...

the yaw motion sensor is a GREAT IDEA.

but think of it in comparison to ABS or advanced traction control systems now in use on many passenger vehicles...

most of the abs and traction control systems went through SEVERAL upgrades before becoming very good.

so selective wheel braking, selective power reductions are very useful on modern vehicles.

BUT without SNOW TIRES (or studs) the systems DON'T solve all driving/traction issues...

similarly the yaw sensor/selective braking will NOT solve all towing control events.
______________

given you appear to be towing a 34, w/d gear will still be needed and friction sway control is simple/easy to incorporate into the hitch apparatus...

think of it as a belt and suspenders or nasa redundant set of paired systems...

and will the auto makers accept responsibility IF/when a towing accident that include SWAY happens ???

cheers
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your responses. Anti-Sway it is...

Hopefully it will just be extra solid with the combination of the two!
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:29 PM   #11
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Good choice, the abilities of the truck will enhance what you need to start with....

Good luck.

Al
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