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Old 07-10-2010, 10:08 AM   #1
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Is sway control bar necessary? 3/4 ton Diesel pulling a 19' Bambi?

Just purchased my 1st AS a couple of weeks ago. I was pulling a 5th wheel and the "new to me" AS came with Reese W/D setup, along with a sway bar. I hardly notice this thing behind the truck and don't enjoy removing the sway bar every time I want to back up...is it necessary? If the pros outweigh the cons, then I will deal with the hassle, just thought I would ask those with more expertise in this area? Thanks in advance...great forum and love my "new to me" AS! --Mitch--
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:30 AM   #2
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With that combination I see no need for the sway control bar. I am assuming it is a friction device.
It should not be necessary to remove it backing up however unless you are practically jacknifed.
All new trailers are towed to dealers without sway control regardless of size, usually with 3/4 or one ton trucks, sway control is an aftermarket product..
If you go to a larger trailer you might want to reconsider
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
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You will get several responses to this question. One will be that your large truck may be too much for the Bambi. The truck's suspension may be too stiff and will 'beat' up the trailer. By sway bar do you mean the Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH)? This may help ease that punishment your truck is creating. As for backing up I don't believe the Reese will need to be removed. I don't have a Reese but know a number of Reese users and at the number AS rallies I've attended I 've never seen anyone remove their WDH to back up. I haven't removed my actual 'sway' bar to back up. It is sometimes noisy tho.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
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I see no need for the sway control on that combo. Your TV is plenty in regards to weight and power.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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I pull our Tradewind with our 3/4 ton diesel 4x4 Crewcab sans both WD or anti-sway. You won't need either with a Bambi.

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Old 07-10-2010, 11:25 AM   #6
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...is it necessary? If the pros outweigh the cons, then I will deal with the hassle...
hi qwstn' and wLcm 2 d 4um...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...rol-17986.html

cheers
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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Try it on the interstate with no sway control bar when there is a crosswind. If you get passed by a semi and there is no buffeting, there is no need for a sway control bar.
My guess is that you will not need a sway control bar.
I have owned four different travel trailers and needed a sway control with only one rig--a big boxy trailer and an SUV with soft suspension.
My Airstreams and a HiLo towed just fine without a sway control bar.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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Thank you very much for the replies. 2air, I read through that very "long" thread and appreciate the link (yes, I read the all 6 pages)! ;-) I'm a bit out of whack at present with my setup b/c the Reese W/D hitch provided, does not give me the proper "drop" to level things out. Previous owner was pulling with a Sportrac and I, obviously, am pulling with something significantly taller and heavier (2005 Dodge 2500 Diesel). For the maiden voyage home, I pulled it with the weight distribution bars and the sway bar. Trailer is currently sitting tongue high/up, but Reese shank cannot be adjusted downwards any further...just had 1.5 inches of drop. I've got a 5.75 inch shank on order (should be in on Monday) and that should level trailer with TV.

I pulled the AS to a local campsite this weekend with the weight distribution bars and w/o the sway bar on Interstates (approx. 45-50 miles). No issues, but will definitely throw it on for longer trips and maybe even shorter ones, considering the "backing up" knowledge I received from the replies. It's a friction setup that I can gather. It has a ball on the hitch and a ball on the A frame, the sway bar is attached to both balls, then a small arm is turned to increase the friction tension...? Anyway, I'm not a speedster and am rarely in a hurry to get anywhere, so the added time of attaching the sway bar is not an issue, nor is removal upon arrival at my destination.

Just want to say thanks to all. If it was a 100% reply that a sway bar wasn't needed, I would throw it in the garage, but will error on the safe side and spend a few extra minutes at departure and arrival.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:21 AM   #9
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Little trailer, large truck.

Hi, you might want to consider something like an Air-Safe hitch so your large truck doesn't beat the little trailer to death. [just a thought]
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #10
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Hi, for my 2 cents, having towed a 19' Bambi for 30K+ miles with an F350 diesel you do not need any sway controls or even weight distribution. Your truck is really overkill, but that is fine. My experience says to disregard all those who tell you that you have too much truck and it will beat your trailer to pieces. My trailer rides much smoother behind my big diesel than it did behind my Ford Ranger. Just make sure you are towing level and you will be just fine.

best regards...
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QwstnEvrythg View Post
Just purchased my 1st AS a couple of weeks ago. I was pulling a 5th wheel and the "new to me" AS came with Reese W/D setup, along with a sway bar. I hardly notice this thing behind the truck and don't enjoy removing the sway bar every time I want to back up...is it necessary? If the pros outweigh the cons, then I will deal with the hassle, just thought I would ask those with more expertise in this area? Thanks in advance...great forum and love my "new to me" AS! --Mitch--
Your quote of "hardly notice" spells out the answer to your question.

With proper rigging, the "hardly notice" changes to "never noticed".

Insurance company stats say the more and better you can rig, the safer your towing will be.

As with anything involving safety, when can anyone, ever, say, I don't need anymore, or any of it?

Trucks, contrary to opinions, are not, in any form, a magical tow vehicle, that allows simple safety issues to be discarded.

Backing up with a sway bar, if properly installed, never becomes an issue, and does not have to be removed until you disconnect.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #12
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I tow a Globetrotter with a 3/4 ton Dodge and use an Equalizer hitch. Overkill for towing? May be , but I don't want to find out the hard way.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:25 AM   #13
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An update...

I received the extended drop shank for the Weight Distribution setup and am finally level. I pulled from the STL area to the Hoosier Nat'l Forest area immediately following that and watched everything closely. Shortly after that, I pulled to the DC area and back...again, outstanding results. I love the way this thing tows and am very pleased to be an AS owner. I do not use the "friction" sway device, but do utilize the weight distribution bars and have adjusted the chains to reduce the distribution across the truck. The trailer seems happier in this setup, but still watching closely. On a side note, I was recently in Germany/France for two weeks and snapped the attached pic. I was amazed at the number of small trailers on the Autobahn...never saw a truck pulling one. --<Mitch>--
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:33 AM   #14
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I would still think about adding a anti-sway bar. They are inexpensive, and to be honest, how big of a deal is it, really, to take it on and off when parking or hooking up. On the other hand, having one in place might very well provide you with the margin that prevents a catastrophic event.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:09 AM   #15
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Rodney - You are correct. It doesn't take that much effort, plus I already have one. I'm heading to Wisconsin in a week and will throw it on...it might add 30 seconds to my setup time! :-) I've definitely got 30 seconds...
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:32 AM   #16
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Big Trucks, Little Trailers and Sway Control

One fact is overlooked by the proponents of the "I don't need sway control, because my truck is big and my trailer is small" argument.

A trailer doesn't need the TV to participate in order to beat the heck out of itself by swaying. Yes, it is much less likely to cause a large TV to loose control, but wind, road conditions, driver actions, and many other things can induce sway in the trailer without lose of control of the TV.

The swaying of a smaller trailer can be set off by totally unpredictable factors and quickly become violent enough to cause unhitching in a very short time. I have seen it happen to an unloaded utility trailer towed by a large pickup. I don't think the driver even knew it happened until the trailer banged the rear of his truck.

Just a thought to ponder. Is it likely?, probably not. Is it possible?, most certainly.

Regards,

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:41 AM   #17
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Just my 2 cents .
Do ya need sway control wiff a 3/4 ton truck or Do ya gotta Use it. NOPE!
IS IT A GOOD IDEA ? YUP Definitely!
Even though thats a big truck, that Bambi can get really violent back there and upset the truck enough to cause the loss of control.
I agree wiff KEN
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:09 AM   #18
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Check the owners manual. It's pretty much standard that the vehicle manufacturer's REQUIRE WDH and RECOMMEND anti-sway at 350lbs TW and 5000-lbs of trailer.

That I CAN pull my trailer without WDH is beside the point. That I want to REDUCE or ELIMINATE "sway" is the point.

I'll never understand this as a question, as hitch rigging information -- in this instant Internet age -- is not hard to acquire. One only needs access to a certified scale, a camera and then report back to a thread where scale readings can be compared to photos of the hitch rigging to get best advice on the final adjustments.

There is no comparison that shows the lack of either WDH or anti-sway to be comparable to hitch rigging using both. The latter is superior, period. And moving up to a REESE Dual Cam, or, eliminating sway with a PP, HA or PR is cheap and easy. A no brainer considering the expense of the TT and TV.

The size of the trailer is irrelevant. The tail wags the dog. And a good hitch set-up goes well with any future trailer OR in selling the current one.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:22 AM   #19
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When big 'gubmint decides to start regulating (and taxing) the snot out of this yet untapped RV market, the first thing they're going to do is mandate "pivot point projection" style hitches for TT's (which isn't a bad thing, except for we shouldn't need a nanny state protecting us from ourselves)

But, I digress..

I've experienced two types of nasty fishtailing. One was a slow, gradually increasing oscillation that was easy to tamp-out with the brake controller. The other was instantaneous- like cracking a whip. There is no chance of reacting in time.

Do the right thing.
Get a Hensley, ProPride, or Pullrite.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:32 AM   #20
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A blow out on a smaller trailer can cause instant severe fishtailing. That remote possiblity in itself is enough for me to have a sway bar.
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