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Old 07-28-2009, 02:52 PM   #1
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Not using anti sway bars

Hello all,
My first trip in our 1973 23' Safari was a 1000 mile round trip. I was amazed at how well it towed. I have new axles and tires which were all used for the first time. The Safari tracked perfectly. I had 750 lb weight distribution bars that I really thought I could do with out. The anti sway bar was loose on my way to Arkansas. On the way home I did not use it at all. I felt no difference.
How many Streamers out there are using anti sway bars and distribution hitches if they are not needed?
Oh, I tow with a 2000 GMC Ext.cab.
Aaron
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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Not using anti sway bars

Greetings Aaron!

In my estimation, weight distribution and sway control are necessary safety investments. You never know when evasive maneuvers will be necessary and these features work together to insure the stability of the rig as a whole -- this is also the reason that I switched to the Reese Dual Cam Sway control for both of my coaches -- it does not require adjustment for changing road conditions as do the friction sway control devices. Regardless of which tow vehicle is combined with which trailer, the Reese Straight Line hitch must be connected before I pull out of the driveway.

Kevin
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
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I keep our antisway pretty loose on state highways at lower speeds and only tighten it up when we have to get on an interstate (ugh!), where the likelihood of being passed by a very large vehicle is pretty high.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:25 PM   #4
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I know what you mean about feeling the WD hitch or sway control bars are not necessary. They both make towing safer. To be honest with you I don't know that the WD hitch makes towing a light trailer any easier, but it is one more link in the chain between the TV and TT which is a good thing. More important, I suspect, is sway control even if your trailer does not sway. You will be glad you have it in the event of a blowout, panic stop, or other catastrophic failure especially in a single axle, which can cause your trailer to go into increasing uncontrolled sway. Worst case scenario you roll.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:34 PM   #5
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I am a believer in load equalizing hitches however all new trailers that are delivered by towing to dealers are delivered with out any sway control devices since this is an aftermarket product. I am not knocking the use of these, it is whatever makes you comfortable. After I started delivering trailers commercially I stopped using sway control on my own trailer. I have used both friction and straight line on different trailers in the past

I have several hundred thousand miles towing larger trailers than ours and have only had one or 2 that did not tow well. My tow vehicle is a typical 3/4 ton truck, nothing special. Common sense on the road is the most important thing
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
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No sway, no way ...

there are a number of factors that go into trailer / tow vehicle stability. A couple of those are ratio of tongue weight to overall trailer weight and location of trailer center of gravity vs. axle location and vs. center of pressure (there are a LOT of other factors) - and IF you get these things right, the rig is more stable. Airstreams tend to have these things pretty right. They've been doing it for a long time. You've also got a tow vehicle with pretty good yaw stability characteristics, even if it's the short bed version half ton. So you PROBABLY won't have major problems unless "something bad" happens ... in which case you'll want a lot of anti-sway control just at the time you don't have it.

So: if you have a set up such as a Reese dual cam, or other such rig where the weight disribution system bars also do the anti-sway duty, I would always use them. I think Lynn has a point, too: the more sway conditions you are likely to encounter, the tighter you want to run the rig.

The one caveat that there seems to be some consensus about is that the tighter the weight distribution bars, the more your trailer is coupled to your tow vehicle's rear suspension ... so the more pounding it dishes out, the more pounding the trailer takes. And in general terms, that is not good for any trailer, Airstreams included.

Good luck figuring out what is best and safest for you (and for the rest of us) as you go on down the highway!
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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I don't use either the anti-sway bar or the load levelers. Tows great with no problems at all. I've got the 16' 8'' Safari.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:09 PM   #8
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If your sway control was lose then it wasn't doing anything from the beginning.

Try running with it tight. You should tighten it tight then back of 1/2 turn..

I have ran with and without on mine and it does make a difference. In my opinion if you have it and don't use it on a trailer over 20 ft your just asking for trouble at some point....
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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Sway Control

Every accident picture (rollovers) that I have seen here on the forums shows the absence of sway control of any sort. No litttle balls on the side of the tongue(friction type), no dual cam saddles, no fixtures for the load levelers and no Hensley or Propride fixtures.
To pull a trailer with as much square foot surface on the sides for the wind blast from a semi or highway bus or other large vehicle to push on is waiting for an accident to happen as the folks mentioned above found out.
If you don't care for your own safety imagine how you will feel when you lose control and a child riding in another vehicle is injured or worse either by being hit by you or trying to avoid you.
Think of how angry you would be if was your child or one of your grand children.
Beginner
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:46 PM   #10
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My AS does not have a sway control bar, but I have towed it over 5000 miles with never the least bit of sway. With my old 18' SOB, I used a sway control bar and it really made a difference until I got the F250SD CC which made towing smooth and no sign of sway.

Dennis
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #11
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re: "weight distribution and sway control are necessary safety investments. You never know when evasive maneuvers" and "Every accident picture (rollovers) that I have seen here on the forums shows the absence of sway control of any sort." - These sorts of comments illustrate the pervasive misunderstanding about sway control and load leveling that some hold quite dear.

If you engage in evasive maneuvers, sway control is not going to help you one whit.

The sample of crashes with TT's is so small as to make any inference from anecdotal postings very misleading (e.g. in NV in 2006, only 2 of 111,000 crashes involved TT's).

Sway control is on a par with steering dampers and shock absorbers as far as what they do for your rig. If you have tires with stiff sidewalls, a good suspension that inhibits wallow, short rear overhang, and good loading patterns, you won't have much hassle with sway.

but, yeah, fud mongering and "imagine how you will feel" guilt tripping fantasies seem so common despite reality, measure, and actual experience. not good, IMHO.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstalzer View Post
My AS does not have a sway control bar, but I have towed it over 5000 miles with never the least bit of sway. With my old 18' SOB, I used a sway control bar and it really made a difference until I got the F250SD CC which made towing smooth and no sign of sway.

Dennis

Thats because your suspension is stiff and you don't feel it. It doesn't mean it isn't swaying. If you had to make a quick lane change you would notice the difference in a heart beat...

Just because you don't feel you need it, doesn't mean it won't make it safer...

And thats the point here. The sway control whether you notice the difference or not MAKES IT SAFER TO TOW>>>>>
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:27 PM   #13
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I was always under the impression that the weight distribution was as important as the anti-sway. Without it, all the tongue weight sits on the back axle. In those bouncy situations with no weight distribution it can get amplified and the back tire acts as a fulcrum. I suppose for most trucks the added wear of no weight distribution is pretty limited?
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:31 PM   #14
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Mom and Dad delivered trailers for one of the northern Indiana contractors for a couple years. I think they did about 250,000 or 300,000 miles worth before they re-retired. They used a 2wd Dodge 2500 w/ a Cummins & manual trans.

They only used load bars if the thing was a real monster, and I think they used anti-sway like twice or never (I seem to recall a phone call regarding a toy-hauler on a windy day). They did this March-Jan, taking Feb off for a couple years. All kinds of weather, many I-way miles. They got rear-ended once in the snow in MN, but other than that had no events.

That said, I like our dual cam, and use it except for pulling out of or backing into the drive.
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