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Old 11-13-2006, 05:23 PM   #1
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Exclamation Reese cam sways

I towed my new '31 home with new tires etc two months ago from CT to NY.

I drove down RT 95 not the best of roads, had plenty of tractor trailers passing us at high speed.

I have a new hitch with the equalizer bars.

I felt no swaying when being passed by any truck.

Today I called tech support to ask their opinion on the necessity of adding the sway cams.

He said that the trip I decribed was a good test, he added that in my case it appears not to be needed.

Do you agree?

Anyone have a actual scale weight for the '31.
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:28 PM   #2
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Hi, Bob,

The PO of my '79 told me he had the trailer weighed by itself with full propane, empty holding tanks, and no personals inside, and it came to 5,550 lbs.

I have a CAT scale nearby, so the next time I take it out in travel guise, I'll swing by the scales and get all the weights.

I pulled my Argosy 28 home on the ball recently, and on I-20 going 70 (new LT tires), I did notice a slow drift of the trailer from side to side in the mirrors. I've never seen that on the Excella with the dual cam, but I was impressed at how nicely the old girl pulled, and passing semis did not upset it very much. (When I had a Dakota, passing semis upset ME very much.)

Lamar
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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According to the owners book that is exacty what is should weight.

My guess is that with the mods I've made, mine should hit the scale at less than that.

Smaller fridge, no carpet, rear twin beds with the heavy tambor doors and overhead caninets, deleted heavy wardrobe & pantry doors and stove. I am keeping the folding table be rebuilding it much lighter in weight.

My guess is a saving of 250-300Lbs-----Time will tell
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:43 PM   #4
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Bob,
May I bluntly, however in a friendly caring manner, say to you that safety equipment is not used for the normal, everyday situations, but rather emergency situations. I have had several friends/ and/or acquaintances that have relayed harrowing tales of fishtale situations, wind gusts creating white knuckle activities and the like. My 2500 Duramax can easily tow my 29' Excella, no sway, etc. I will not, however, leave without hooking up the equalizers, the anti-sway bar, and the emergency break away cable. I highly recommend using the full range of available safety equipment, and hope and pray that it is never needed..........but it will be there if you do.
Safe travels.........
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:49 PM   #5
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I don't know about your size rig having sway problems

I have a twenty footer single axle. I worry about sway. I have traveled a few times without anti sway, and had no problems. BUT, my feeling is that although you might not ever need anti sway, it's better to be safe than sorry. Sway can turn into oscilating sway. The force of the trailer righting itself, pushes the trailer to sway too far in the other direction. ( back and forth and back and forth etc. ) I read that the only way out of the sway is to hit the gas ( you can't hit the gas if there is a vehicle in front of you )or hit the trailer brakes( then you are driving in a hairy situation with one hand).

Somebody help me explain it more better.........Dave
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:01 PM   #6
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The Reese dual cams also significantly add to the handling while negotiating curves by putting pressure towards the inside of both TV and trailer . When you like the winding back roads of NE , as I do , this is important.
I believe you will find that you are closer to GVW on the trailer when ready for travel rather than the 5500 which is the dry weight .
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:15 PM   #7
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Someone on the Burnstream list (which I've been reading but not posting) rolled their recent-looking Airstream in the last couple of days. No photos on the web, but the pictures they posted to the list were pretty scary. Another person on the list (and I think they have an account here, so I hope they don't mind me saying this) posted this photo of their Airstream rolled over on the way to Burning Man in 2004:



In both cases it was apparently sway that overwhelmed their control. Very sad. I have hardly any experience towing, but those pictures seem like a pretty strong argument for sway control (and they may have had sway control - things happen - but anything that would reduce the likelihood seems worth it). Certainly makes me think I'll be getting the rest of the parts for the Reese dual-cam hitch that's on my trailer before going on any trips with it.
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:45 PM   #8
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Wow that looks like a pretty new rig too!

Is it possible that the sway cams were on there and it was beyond help?
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:50 PM   #9
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Who's technical support?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
...He said that the trip I decribed was a good test, he added that in my case it appears not to be needed.

Do you agree?...
No.

I got into trouble once dodging a retread kicked up by someone else on the interstate. If I had not had my dual cams, the situation would have definitely turned out badly.

I live by "learn by doing"; but this particular experience is one time I am happy I started out well prepared.

Tom
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
Is it possible that the sway cams were on there and it was beyond help?
Expanding that picture I cannot see any WD or antisway gear anywhere in sight. I can't quite figure out what that red line is in front of the spare tire. But I don't see U-bolts for latching up the ends of WD arms and I definitely don't see any Reese cam arms on a second bracket nor any Equal-I-Zer gear on that A frame.

I agree with TomW -- This fall I did a quick avoidance maneuver unlike anything else done in thousands of miles of peaceful towing. My Reese Dual Cam brought the trailer sideways with the truck and moved like a single long vehicle, demonstrating no trailer sway whatsoever. I was impressed!
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:38 PM   #11
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Canoe Stream and TomW , been there too , that's when the dual cam really shines. Your heart stops pounding at least 5 min. sooner that without it .
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:42 PM   #12
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I went through the photos in the album. According to the album, this was the '04 Burning Man. The Airstream is a mid-70's Overlander. It's not an atypical situation where a short wheelbase, lightweight, high COG tow vehicle was pushed around by the weight of the trailer. Whether it was wind, a passing semi, or some other cause can't be determined from the photos, of course. I didn't see any sway control on what I could see either. Basically this setup is an invitation for a rollover. FWIW, had an SOB stickie being towed under similar circumstances rolled, there wouldn't have been anything left of the interior to salvage. It looks like most of their "stuff" was fine, and they rented a truck and continued on to Black Rock. The Airstream did it's job. Your GMC would be much tougher to roll, but I agree that anti-sway equipment isn't needed at all... right up until it's needed RIGHT NOW. That's when it's worth it's weight in gold, and if you don't have it you may never get the chance again to buy it.

Buy the equipment, install it, and we'll all hope and pray it's money wasted for you.

Roger
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:44 PM   #13
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That red bar is the sway control bar - looks like a reese setup. The chain is still attached to the frame and stirup.

Yikes - that's scary.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
That red bar is the sway control bar - looks like a reese setup. The chain is still attached to the frame and stirup.
Okay ... guess that makes sense. Single bar -- maybe, or else 2nd thrown away by separation forces. This would be weight distribution only though. There is no evidence of any cam apparatus. I don't think this photo would show the location of friction antisway.
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