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Old 01-08-2016, 05:09 PM   #463
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Every six months or so I come back to this thread and see if there are any new perspectives. What I've learned is how we dig our heels in and stick to our opinion whether we are talking about sway control, politics, religion, or the new hot topic, gun control.
I bought my AS in 2010 with a new 2010 F-150 for a tow vehicle. Interesting was that whether or not I drove into dealers looking for a new trailer with my old GMC 1/2 ton 6 cyl, or my wife's BMW, the sales people told me that vehicle would make a fine tow vehicle (OK, I'm exaggerating about her BMW) Point is, they don't give a rats ass if you want to pull it with a VW, they want the sale. I once met a 747 pilot pulling an AS just like mine with a Dodge Caravan. He said the salesman assured him it was a good tow vehicle for the AS. Needless to say, he was a white knuckle driver, telling me on wet roads the front wheel drive spun out going up hill. He also asked me if my brand new 2013 F-250 6.7 diesel wasn't overkill. No it's not. I did not feel safe in the F-150, WDH or not.
OK, so here's my point. When I bought my AS I also bought the new F-150 5.7, and also the WDH the salesman told me I had to have. I didn't ask him if it would make towing with the BMW safe too. I didn't feel comfortable so I bought the F-250 in 2012, and Christmas Eve a 2016 F-350 diesel. I have not used sway control on either of my diesels, both of which have built in sway control. What I do have is big, big brake pads, an engine brake, and POWER. Travel is a pleasure with the right equipment. So you can tell me I've done extreme overkill, but don't tell me I need a WDH. I've put at least 150,000 miles on my AS and the ONLY time I felt like the tail was wagging the dog was pulling it with the F-150 AND sway control. I also think you are wrong to tell me I'm throwing safety out the window by not having a WDH.
As a man who drove semi trucks for ten years, I'm here to tell you that distributing your load properly, and having an adequate tow vehicle, properly maintained is most important. Also, don't tell me how unsafe I am, and then brag about your record time on your last trip.
Newbies; buy as much tow vehicle as you can afford, keep your equipment in good shape, obey speed limits, lay off the texting and cell phone use while driving, and just pay attention, and you'll be fine. I'm gonna duck the incoming now.......but before you attack, accept that I've pulled that trailer way over 100, 000 miles with an F-250 and have never experienced ANY sway or tail wagging the dog. When semis pass me I feel that well known little pull and that's all. I have not had an accident since 1968, and that wasn't entirely my fault.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:11 PM   #464
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Sway

I have never told you or anybody else that driving a stout truck needs sway control or weight distribution for that matter. Some of us understand that distributing the load correctly and having some tongue weight works.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:33 PM   #465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Kline View Post
I once met a 747 pilot pulling an AS just like mine with a Dodge Caravan. He said the salesman assured him it was a good tow vehicle for the AS. Needless to say, he was a white knuckle driver, telling me on wet roads the front wheel drive spun out going up hill.
If that was indeed the case, it had everything to do with his hitch setup and nothing with his tow vehicle. We towed a 34' International with a Honda Odyssey for three years, up hills, up grassy hills, up gravelly hills, in wind, in rain, in snow. Not ONCE did we lose traction on the wheels, not once did we have a white knuckle drive.

What we did have was a vehicle that out-braked, out-maneuvered and out-performed any large truck out there for fuel economy.
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:47 AM   #466
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The set up is everything, although. Disagree with part if your last sentence.
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:57 AM   #467
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Hi Matt

I have towed Airstreams with just about everything possible hundreds of thousands of miles in all kinds of conditions including handling tests on race tracks. The closest I ever came to writing off a trailer was a 22' Argosy sitting on the ball with no weight distribution or sway control I was 5 miles from the store, just a short trip.

That little 22' Argosy was tossing that 3/4 ton truck around like it was pull toy. For what little it costs you really should have a proper weight distribution and sway controls. You likely spent 3 times the cost of the hitch set up on leather seats. The hitch will help keep them clean.

Just put on a simple 1400 pound Eaz-Lift with 2 friction controls and that little push you feel from transports will go away.

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Old 01-09-2016, 06:35 AM   #468
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Or even an EazLift with one sway control...


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Old 01-09-2016, 09:26 AM   #469
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Instead of a big truck with a small trailer, if you use a weight distribution hitch with sway elimination you can tow a larger trailer with a smaller truck, and the semi's won't push you around.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:35 AM   #470
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Or a little bigger trailer with a little bigger truck:
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:01 AM   #471
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That little 22' Argosy was tossing that 3/4 ton truck around like it was pull toy.---
Andrew,

Did you try to determine why that 22' Argosy was able to toss the 3/4 ton truck around?

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Old 01-09-2016, 10:22 AM   #472
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I seriously doubt a 22' Argosy that weighs under 3500# can toss a 3/4 ton truck (which weighs over ~6500# empty) around like a pull toy, but again this is not the first unbelievable thing I've read on this forum.
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:06 PM   #473
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OK Rivet Masters, I'll tuck my tail between my two rivet legs and accept that the Odyssey is a far better tow vehicle than my F-350 diesel. I'll accept that although my truck was built to tow, has sway control built in, I need to go buy more sway control. I'll accept that although my truck has beefed up brakes, transmission, suspension etc, etc, the Odyssey, "out-breaks, out-maneuvers, and out-performs my truck.
Now is that really the message you experts want to give newbies?
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:12 PM   #474
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Yea, no.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:51 PM   #475
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Sway occurs when the trailer is going faster than the tow vehicle, or in another way it has more energy than the tow vehicle. Distributing weight correctly stops the tow vehicle from imparting energy into the trailer, it creates a bond between them and makes them act more like one vehicle. A sway control helps to absorb the extra energy.

I was taking the Argosy to the paint shop 15 miles away. The LP tanks were removed the front mounted water tank was empty so the hitch weight was lighter than it should be. I was on a two lane road at 55 MPH and met a transport going the other way just as I was exiting a turn. As soon as the transport passed away it went, to make matters worse I had no trailer brakes so all I could do is hold the wheel straight and hope it straightened out. It did after a few swings from one side of the road to the other. Trailer weighed about 3800 pounds the truck 6000. However the trailer has a lever a few behind the axle to control the vehicle from. That is why a fifth wheel can sway wildly and not steer the tow vehicle, it might roll it over but it won't steer it.

It is not that unusual, in the 60's and 70's it was quite common to speak with people who had spun around on the highway towing hardtops with the full size cars of the day. It is why U Haul labels their little utility trailers with a 45 MPH speed.

What is the downside to hooking up properly? A few hundred dollars on a combination costing close to $100,000. 3 minutes of extra time to hook up or disconnect. Cheapest insurance you can ever buy and a smoother ride to boot.

As far as the Odyssey goes I know it easy to feel the more sheet metal a vehicle has the better tow vehicle it has to be and the F250 has a lot of sheet metal compared to an Odyssey. However the Odyssey's center of gravity is around 16" lower than the F250, it's rear suspension stance is two feet wider and it's tires are much stickier giving it more traction on the highway. The rack and pinion steering on the Honda has about 1 tenth of the play that the vague 250 steering has. On the race track I can run my Jaguar and an Airstream through the slalom course a little faster than an F250 4x4 solo.

Every new vehicle has the equivalent of trailer sway control, it is the result of the ASC, Automatic Stability Control. On vehicles they want to market for towing they call it Automatic Sway Control. Lots of people with it have rolled over trailers.

Any time you are around London stop in for a test drive, it is hard to believe until you have your hands on the wheel.

I hope this helps.

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Old 01-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #476
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I was taking the Argosy to the paint shop 15 miles away. The LP tanks were removed the front mounted water tank was empty so the hitch weight was lighter than it should be.---
Would it be correct to say that too low a tongue weight percentage, rather than lack of sway control, was the root cause of the 22' Argosy tossing the 3/4 ton truck around?

And, would it be correct to say that having sway control wouldn't necessarily have prevented the truck from being tossed around?

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