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Old 10-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
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2011 Ford trailer anti-sway video

Hello,

I was on the Ford F150 website today and was looking at the new features of the 2011 F150.

They have a video showing an Airstream in a sway situation and the system corrects the sway using the truck brakes and reduced engine output.

If the unit has a proper hitch setup ,there would not be the sway as shown in the video.

Will this actually work??

Info from website:

Tow the big loads with added confidence.
  • Builds on standard AdvanceTrac® with RSC® system
  • Measures yaw motion when trailer sways
  • Applies precise braking, reduces torque
  • Helps bring truck and trailer under control*
  • *Remember, even advanced technology cannot overcome the laws of physics. It’s always possible to lose control of a vehicle due to inappropriate driver input for the conditions.

2011 Ford F-150 Truck | See the All-New Ford F-150 Pickup Built Ford Tough | FordVehicles.com

Confussed in NC
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:09 PM   #2
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Whoa! I'd hate to be riding in that.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:42 PM   #3
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Seems to me that if it was REALLY smart it would apply the trailer brakes.
Something about having the brakes applied automatically and the throttle removed from the drivers control just makes me uneasy. My automatic reaction to sway is to hit the trailer brake and give the TV a little gas or hold steady. I would guess that a lot of people here would have the same reaction. The last thing I would do in a sway situation is to hit the brakes on the TV, but of course I don't have the reaction time or the ability to hit the brakes on only one or two wheels at a time, like these computers do.
What happens if you are in a sway situation that the truck is compensating for, and you have the need to accelerate? You no longer would have the option of accelerating.
And what happens in those situations where you have exceeded the ability of the vehicle to compensate for the sway? does the off-set braking and lack of throttle control help or hurt you as you hurtle along with nothing to do but steer and scream?
I'm not sold on it yet, but I am looking at trucks and the F-150 has a lot going for it. This just doesn't seem to be a feature to me, as I would still use a good anti-sway device anyway.
Does anyone know how long this system has been around for trailers? This is the first vehicle I've heard of with it.

Rich the Viking


"Remember, even advanced technology cannot overcome the laws of physics. It’s always possible to lose control of a vehicle due to inappropriate driver input for the conditions".
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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My 2010 F-150 has this anti-sway feature. It's fabulous. I use the Equal-i-zer 4-Point Anti-Sway, WD system when I tow. The anti-sway feature of the Ford provides extra peace of mind when towing.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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I'm sure that it works and I'm doubly sure it's no substitute for a good hitch. It seems like the best choice is a good hitch system to keep you out of a sway condition 99.9% of the time, and a truck that has this kind of magic braking system for that minuscule worst-case 0.1%.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
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I don't know what my automatic reaction to sway would be, because we've never felt the slightest bit of it - though in the back of my mind I know what I'm supposed to do. So I suppose a built in anti-sway would be a bit of comfort, even if it never activated.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:27 AM   #7
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kicked in for me

I've this feature on my 2011 F250 and figure never having to use it is a good thing. I cannot say how it acts in a situation like the video but have had one minor experience with it.

It was on an interstate being repaved, doing about 50mph. The right lane was closing and we had to merge left up onto uneven pavement - about a 3" high ridge. The truck moved up onto the new asphalt just fine but the trailer did not want to so I turned a bit harder to the left, fully expecting to have to correct the shimmy once the trailer popped up over the ridge.

When the trailer popped over I just steered back expecting to sort things out, but the truck just did its thing first. I was not expecting it but it happened fast and was barely noticeable.

I have a Reese Dual Cam WD/anti-sway on the Airstream and would never consider towing it without that, even with this sway control system on the truck. The electronics are a great safety and backup feature.

I used to haul boats and never saw a WD or sway bar setup. In construction, delivery, marinas, etc you don't always have much say in what gets hooked up to your truck. This feature will make a lot of drivers smile.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKING View Post
Seems to me that if it was REALLY smart it would apply the trailer brakes.
If you have the integrated trailer brake controller, it does.

The 2009-2010 F-150 has trailer sway control as well.

Tom
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:56 AM   #9
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Several manufacturers have this feature. It is an aid...not a cure. It will help with that natural human reation to over react to the start of sway and even compensate for over reaction...BUT, just like hitches, it will not eliminate the ability for human error to roll a rig. Lower speed, proper rig/hitchup/weight distribution as well as understanding what to do if sway develops are still the best insurance against an accident.

Viking, you can still accellerate, as you would if you manually hit the controller. The system will just regulate the brake application and, in some circumstances, regulate throttle input....but you are still the driver and have control of the vehicle.

I think the reason that they don't apply the trailer brakes, is the variations of trailer brake systems and shoe adjustment variations. A "dumb" input into a smart system would not be good. No feedback circuit is what I'm trying to say. I'm not sure it's necessary with the truck's ability to apply brakes at different pressures, corner by corner.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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Hmmmm...I see that, Mutch. I wonder what would happen with some of thos rigs coming into the campground with their trailer brakes so badly adjusted that they're either locking up one wheel or have one or more brakes ineffective.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:12 AM   #11
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I used to haul boats and never saw a WD or sway bar setup. In construction, delivery, marinas, etc you don't always have much say in what gets hooked up to your truck. This feature will make a lot of drivers smile.

Looked into that recently. An EQUAL-I-ZER brand hitch can be set up to work with surge brakes. (Boat trailers are often -- but not always -- set up for 5-7% TW). Pole tongue adaptors are available for certain other WDH's.

EQUAL-I-ZER

I keep leaning towards a PULL-RITE for the next hitch for the reasons cited above; (the idea that I have a sway-eliminating hitch no matter which trailer is hitched).

The electronics, as someone posted above, make for a more secure feeling once a proper hitch is selected, and all the hitch rigging details have been worked out.

But, I don't get the impression that this set of "fine print details" is being explained. The low bar of the J2807 SAE standard and the miracle of electronics to achieve .3G "capability" once hitched is a form of deception, IMO, and a way of avoiding liability by truck/trailer manufacturers. Hitch rigging shouldn't be complicated, but the trend is to force the issue even more onto "driver error" when an accident occurs. The black box will record what the truck went through, but it will furnish no proof of how well hitch rigging was achieved . . looks like a scale ticket may become a CYA must-have for any trip.

.
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