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Old 08-11-2015, 04:47 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Tucson , Arizona
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Posts: 6
Question Which is better? A sway control hitch or a vehicle with sway-control?

After many hours of research I finally decided to purchase the Blue Ox SwayPro !
I called Blue Ox today with a few basic questions. During the conversation the Blue Ox rep asked if my vehicle has any built in sway control (it's a new Ford F150, so yes, it does). The rep told me that I cannot simultaneously use both the Blue Ox sway control hitch AND the vehicle's sway control. He stated that above 40 MPH the 2 sway controls will fight each other and actually make the handling worse.
I have read many reviews and forums and never saw this issue definitively addressed. If it is worse to use the Blue Ox and Ford's sway control together, then it must be true of most other makes of sway control hitches. I've never seen any warnings from Ford or elsewhere. Even Blue Ox doesn't tell you this in any of their literature that I saw. How many thousands of Ford owners are driving with this potentially dangerous configuration?
Am I throwing my money away by buying a sway control hitch when my vehicle already has sway control ?
The biggest question is which is better? A vehicle with built in sway-control and a standard WD hitch, or a vehicle with no sway control with a sway control hitch?

Please help! I'm sick of researching hitches. First person with a good answer wins a new Airstream!

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Old 08-11-2015, 05:01 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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All I can say is that my 2012 Grand Cherokee Jeep has built in sway control and my Andersen hitch has a sway control system built in also and they work together just fine. That is to my knowledge I have never had any sway transmitted to the Jeep by the hitch which required any action on the part of the Jeep to do anything. Maybe 12,000 miles of towing.

I think it is a bogus issue. My opinion, of course.

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Old 08-11-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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Chelsea , Michigan
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I use a Reese weight distributing/sway control hitch along with the "built in" sway control on my Ford F-250 and it all works fine.

The hitch does it's best to prevent sway and the electronics in the tow vehicle would take over in case the hitch was not completely effective (which has never occurred in my case as far as I know.)

Cue the "Hensley and Pro-pride" aficionados!
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
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Built in sway control is nothing more than traction control. It is NOT a replacement for friction sway control.

Read up on the systems in place. Traction control can let up on your throttle, sway control applies the brakes. Literally.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:26 PM   #5
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2013 31' Classic
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I will agree with that BoldAdventure, my friend in Arroyo Grande, Calif. Just called me, on his way home in his big truck he seen an almost new Tahoe pulling an almost new airstream rolled over, the 2 air conditioners were flattened , one side was caved in 2-3 inches, ouch!
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:26 PM   #6
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Oswego , Illinois
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Automotive sway control takes over after a hitch system has exceeded it's ability to prevent sway. I had the opportunity to experience it a few weeks ago when an elderly person pulled out on the highway in front of me. Very close call. It picks up and helps after things go very wrong. Not sure how much of saving it was the hitch or the vehicle sway control, but it all worked together pretty well. Doesn't clean underwear though.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:32 PM   #7
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Portland , Oregon
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The Ford Trailer Sway Control system uses a combination of applying the brakes and reducing engine power, thus slowing the TV/Trailer combination. It does this once it detects sway.

My Tundra also has Sway Control:

"Big trucks tow big toys, so Tundra comes standard with Trailer-Sway Control (TSC). TSC works in two ways: by detecting trailer sway and applying brake pressure at individual wheels, and by controlling engine torque to help stabilize the trailer, and your precious boat."

They also put in this note:

"17. Trailer-Sway Control (TSC) is an electronic system designed to help the driver maintain vehicle control under adverse conditions. It is not a substitute for safe driving practices. Factors including speed, road conditions and driver steering input can all affect whether TSC will be effective in preventing a loss of control. Please see your Owner’s Manual for further details."

According to Blue Ox:

"Prevent Sway Before It Starts Most hitches on the market use 50 year old technology with clunky steel cams or friction sway controls that correct sway after it begins. SwayPro’s built-in optimized sway prevention uses the geometry and tension of a 4 point system to hold the trailer in line. Intelligent pitch angle of the head’s design works with the spring steel bars and latch attachments to prevent sway from starting."

I have a Blue Ox SwayPro and a Tundra and zero issues over several thousand miles of towing.

No sway, no problem. Hitch up and enjoy.
2015 Nash 24M
2014 Tundra DC Limited TRD (Sold)
2016 Ram 3500 CTD SRW CC
Blue Ox SwayPro
Still looking at Airstreams....
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:36 PM   #8
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Lucky Strike - that sounds weird! Why would the manufacturer of that device imagine there is conflict with what in essence is an automated version of what a driver should do manually if there were sway?
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:00 PM   #9
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1973 31' Sovereign
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I am not a fan of the friction bar sway control for travel trailers. Have seen to many people not know how to properly set them up and maintain them. Thus putting faith in them and then causing an accident. Their are electronic sway control options on the market that regulate your trailers brakes to eliminate your sway. These are more responsive and better protection then a break shoe style bar. I believe Dexter Axles are selling one now also. Once I tried an electronic trailer breaking sway control system I was sold.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:48 PM   #10
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
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I have some issues with my 2 month old blue Ox Sway Pro. It is loosing pieces and sway is occurring. Removing it tomorrow and going back to my beloved, time tested Reese Straight Line (before I die in a fiery crash!)
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:07 PM   #11
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I love love love my Reese straight line system
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:12 PM   #12
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lanark , Ontario
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Good Grief! Get a hensley and "put it behind you"! Sorry I just can't take any more. Let switch over to 16" wheels and Freightliner tow vehicles...........
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:20 PM   #13
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
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I have towed with Reese but recently had something break... I couldn't wait for parts. A camping world swapped a Blue Ox. At first I thought I might like it but there was a lot of sway that even the factory reps couldn't get rid of. The little keeper pins fall out allowing the spring bars to fall out! Not dealing with that!

Strait Line goes back on tomorrow!

No thanks to the Hensley, too heavy, too many broken welds, too tricky to hitch if the ground changes, no offense to the fans!
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:25 PM   #14
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I went over to a Ford forum and read some of the comments. Apparently there seems to be agreement that there is a fuel penalty with many reporting that when the system is disengaged, there is a noticeable feeling like your rear brakes were dragging, and suddenly they aren't. Some also reported that wind seems to activate the system. Many are disengaging the system feeling that it is engaging at times, yet is not informing the driver that it in activation. Others have reported it activating as trucks pass by.

It would seem to me that having a sway system installed on the tow vehicle and trailer, the activation of the Ford system would be minimal. I don't really see an external system fighting with the inbuilt Ford system. An external system should reduce the amount of sway which should minimize the activation of the Ford system.


Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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