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Old 10-28-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
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How might an Air Safe Hitch reduce sway?

The Air Safe hitch site claims it can reduce or eliminate sway. It also claims to greatly reduce shock transfer between t.v. and trailer, reducing structural damage to both, and drive train damage to the T.V. If this is true I am reaching for my wallet, but is it?

I believe the reduction in shock transfer is true, but is that in itself a benefit to my relatively light truck and trailer combo? Maybe not, but also reduction in sway? How can this be?

To their credit, I see that the weight distribution/sway control assembly is mounted to the rear of the pivot at the air bag. That would seem to keep constant and relatively even tension on the w.d./sway control bars of my Equal-I-Zer hitch, so when driving over uneven road surface, the sway control would remain constant. Without the Air Safe, the sway control would vary significantly as tension (and therefore friction) on the bars increases and decreases with the pivoting at the hitch ball.

If the decrease in sway control (a bump in the road) happens at the moment a large truck passes, a loss of control may be initiated. Could this be the basis for their claim?
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:12 PM   #2
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covered in detail in other threads, here are 2...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...hes-44641.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...tch-36522.html

friction sway control via cams or brackets on the w/d bar ends, is the same regardless of air bagged or not...

and there are several threads on how sway control works or doesn't work.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:34 AM   #3
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Manufacturers and marketing people "claim" a lot of things for their products, but the fact is, the air suspension hitches will improve the ride, and that is all.

And, if you figure the hitch ball is about a foot farther from the tow vehicle in the case of a conventional hitch trailer, and figuring no other sway reducing equipment, the sway in theory, will increase.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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Well Steve, that's kind of what I have been thinking too. The anti-sway aspect of this hitch has not been fully discussed here. It appears they are a good product being marketed by other than the manufacturer, who greatly exaggerates the benefits.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:12 AM   #5
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And, if you figure the hitch ball is about a foot farther from the tow vehicle in the case of a conventional hitch trailer, and figuring no other sway reducing equipment, the sway in theory, will increase.
I'm not sure what theory this is based on. In practice at best I find less sway and at worst about the same. It seems to me the extra foot the ball is set back ( I think it is a few inches less) amounts to the same as moving the trailer axles farther away from the tow vehicle axle. When you increase this distance I always thought sway decreases. Could be wrong.

It is a moot point though because mentioned above you can and should use a sway control device with a Air Ride or Air Safe hitch which I can with my Air Safe class 5.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:23 AM   #6
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Hello ... We have the Air Safe hitch and love it for the softened ride with the trailer. Still use Reese Dual Cam... it is needed...
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what theory this is based on. In practice at best I find less sway and at worst about the same. It seems to me the extra foot the ball is set back ( I think it is a few inches less) amounts to the same as moving the trailer axles farther away from the tow vehicle axle. When you increase this distance I always thought sway decreases. Could be wrong............................................. ....
Hi,
To me, it does not seem to be the same, because you are moving the trailer back with the axles. Where the hitch attaches to the ball is the end of the lever that the trailer has available to apply sideways force to the rear of the truck. If you move this point further back, the lever is longer and more sideways force is exerted on the truck by trailer initiated left right movement.
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Ken
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:39 AM   #8
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Hi,
To me, it does not seem to be the same, because you are moving the trailer back with the axles. Where the hitch attaches to the ball is the end of the lever that the trailer has available to apply sideways force to the rear of the truck. If you move this point further back, the lever is longer and more sideways force is exerted on the truck by trailer initiated left right movement.
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Ken
Bingo!
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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I always get confused by the term 'sway' - never sure whether it means pitch, roll, yaw, or all of the above.

I use an Air Safe with an Equal I Zer brand hitch and it works really well. I got the Air Safe mostly to help isolate my small 16' CCD from my 2500 Dodge Cummins - to avoid problems that folks report with stress damage, popped rivets, etc (tho' I never noticed problems like that before I had the Air Safe either - so it's a preventative measure).

So for sway - if it means pitch I think the Air Safe provides some 'extra' degrees of freedom with the air bag, so things feel more steady, but pitch is still controlled by the hitch. Yaw is controlled by the Equal I Zer, same as if I didn't have the Air Safe. Seems like roll movement is also dampened by the hitch, but it doesn't seem to me like the hitch ball provides much in the way of roll control - like the plate on a 5th wheel hitch might provide.

I don't believe the Air Safe 'removes' the need for your favorite brand of weight-distributing hitch, with whatever 'sway' control it provides

Anyway, things tow smooth and steady with my set up and I've never experienced (knock on wood) any of the 'sway' or rough ride problems that people sometimes report.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:46 PM   #10
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I always get confused by the term 'sway' - never sure whether it means pitch, roll, yaw, or all of the above.

.
It means that the trailer is wagging like the tail on a dog. If it gets wagging hard enough, it wags the dog, and the next thing you know the tail is in front of the dog, until they both go off the dog path (road).
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #11
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It means that the trailer is wagging like the tail on a dog. If it gets wagging hard enough, it wags the dog, and the next thing you know the tail is in front of the dog, until they both go off the dog path (road).
regards,
Ken
So if sway means the back n forth you describe, I don't think my Air Safe makes any difference in that movement.

I've read other places where sway means 'pitch' as well - the rocking motion as the front of the trailer tongue moves up and down, causing the back of the truck to do the same. For this movement I think the Air Safe provides a buffer (the air bag) before I 'feel' that movement in the truck - but I don't think the Air Safe does anything to lessen that movement.

Tho' it doesn't get mentioned much, the other movement to control is the roll, or side to side (perhaps called 'rocking'?). I don't think the Air Safe does much for this either - I think the spring bars on the Equal I Zer help control roll.

Bottom line for me - I think the Air Safe is more for a smooth ride (and saving my rivets.....) than for sway control - my Equal I Zer really provides the sway control, not the Air Safe.

I got the feeling at the Air Safe site that they are suggesting their 'hitch' removes the need for a proper weight distributing hitch - even with my big truck and small trailer I think a hitch (like my Equal I Zer) makes a huge difference. I haven't tried towing with just the Air Safe and a plain hitch ball - that would be an interesting test!
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:31 PM   #12
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Sway is scary. Very hard to stop, once it starts. I experienced plenty of it trailering lumber home to build our house.

I have been wondering if the Air Safe prevents sway by allowing constant and consistent tension on the sway control/w.d. bars as you move over uneven road surface, as opposed to the same sway control/w.d. setup without the Air Safe, which seems to vary tension as the hitch point moves up and down over bumps. Hard to describe.

Say Bob, we have an Equal-I-Zer as well. Did yours bolt right up to the Air Safe with their optional bracket?
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:30 PM   #13
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Sway is scary. Very hard to stop, once it starts. I experienced plenty of it trailering lumber home to build our house.

I have been wondering if the Air Safe prevents sway by allowing constant and consistent tension on the sway control/w.d. bars as you move over uneven road surface, as opposed to the same sway control/w.d. setup without the Air Safe, which seems to vary tension as the hitch point moves up and down over bumps. Hard to describe.

Say Bob, we have an Equal-I-Zer as well. Did yours bolt right up to the Air Safe with their optional bracket?
Yes - fits great! I upgraded the trailer wheels & tire to 15"-ers at the same time - that together with where the hole line up on the optional bracket meant I had to readjust the Equal I Zer - and I had to play around with how much air to put in the bag since that also changes the height. Wasn't a problem - but took several iterations before I got all the variables just right.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:24 PM   #14
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Thanks Bob, I think I'm going for the Air Safe for our Safari 20, and here's why.

1) Less damage to trailer from stiff connection, and easier on drive train of truck. They are almost isolated from each others shock on rough roadway. Virtually all users support this as its best feature.

2) Better operation of weight distribution/sway control hitch when vehicles are moving. There is very little up and down movement at the ball connection allowing the bars to keep more constant, even pressure. That means better sway control and more even weight distribution over rough roads (therefore avoiding low to high w.d. stresses on trailer and truck). I have nothing to back this theory up. (Am also aware of the hitch ball mounted further back amplifying sway idea, but no user has claimed this a problem.)

3) There are better options for sway control with HaHa and PP hitches. No doubt. But the shock protection is not there, and shock could be worse because the added weight requires higher tension on the w.d. bars. (If I had a much larger trailer, I would choose a HaHa/PP for safety reasons, select or modify the truck suspension for a gentler ride, and select w.d bars only large enough to do the job.) Nothing to back this up either.

Hoping for discussion, with flack jacket on, just in case.
Doug
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