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Old 05-31-2004, 07:16 PM   #1
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Sway bars in the rain ?

I remember hearing that you are not supposed to use anti sway bars
in the rain. Is that to avoid tow vehicle steering problems , or trailer slippage?
What is your method of operation?
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:34 PM   #2
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Why?

I would like to hear why not.

The worst thing rain could ever do is to cut cut down on the friction to dual-cam antisway bars in particular need to operate effectively. In actuality, I cannot see it being any sort of real problem seeing as how some people grease their anti-sway contact points. If nothing else, the amount of traction your trailer wheels lose to wet roads/hydroplaning would far outweigh any lack of anti sway problems caused by rain.

Just my opinion,
Tom
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:43 PM   #3
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I use anti-sway in all weather conditions (except snow-- don't use the coach in the winter).
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:44 PM   #4
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What they are worried about is the sway control being more of a force than the steering force. I heard one story of a guy on a gravel road who blamed his loss of control accident on not being able to bend his rig at the hitch to go around a corner. (that's how he rationalized his Hensley Arrow!)

But I just don't see it. The sway control damping forces are so small that any road slick enough not to allow steering traction to significantly overpower them is really too slick a road to be on with your RV.
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper
... I heard one story of a guy on a gravel road who blamed his loss of control accident on not being able to bend his rig at the hitch to go around a corner. (that's how he rationalized his Hensley Arrow!)...
I recommend keeping one hand poised to hit the electic brake lever anytime you are on gravel roads. Downhill in the rain has the same pucker factor.

Tom
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Old 05-31-2004, 09:00 PM   #6
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We've towed on almost any road out there over the years. I suppose anything is possible. Including our childhood years camping with family, thousands upon thousands of miles, we have yet to have one issue that has been caused by sway control.
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Old 05-31-2004, 09:50 PM   #7
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dual cam verse brake style

i have always heard this is the biggest down fall to the brake fashion sway control. other then having to loosen and tighten it for parking and such
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:38 PM   #8
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Sway bars in the rain ?

Greetings mandolindave!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave
I remember hearing that you are not supposed to use anti sway bars
in the rain. Is that to avoid tow vehicle steering problems , or trailer slippage?
What is your method of operation?
One of the reasons that I never cared much for the friction type sway controls was that they presented a constant need for adjustmenr. My experience with such devices was primarily with my '80 Nomad 19' Lightweight Special - it was purchased new, and it was an inherently unstable coach- -
the sway control need to be loosened when it rained to avoid inducing sway when negoitiating standing water in wheel ruts on blacktop highways and to reduce the tendency to wobble due to the decreased traction (this was before radial trailer tires, and I was running Good Year bias-ply-belted Special Trailer tires).
the sway control then would need to be tightened for windy towing conditions or when a significant number of semis were encountered while traveling.
A typical trip of 200 miles with the Nomad resulted in at lest three stops for adjustment of the friction sway controls. After ruining one friction bar when backing into a tight parking spot, I learned to always remove the friction device before parking.

When I purchased the Overlander (1995), there was no question in my mind what hitch system would be added - - the Reese Straight-Line with Dual Cam Sway control. Once properly installed, it has required absolutely no further adjustment - - once hooked-up, it is a pleasant drive from start to finish. When I purchased the Minuet (2002), I returned to the friction sway control simply because my records from the days of the Nomad indicated that the Daul Cam shouldn't be used with coaches under 4,000 pounds - - after one 250 mile trip and five adjustments, I e-mailed Reese about the Dual Cam and their engineering department responded that the hitch weight being at least 400 pounds was more critical than gross coach weight - - since the Minuet qualified based on tongue weight (550 pounds when loaded for an extended trip) it was also added to the Minuet - - it has been an absolute success there just as it has been with the Overlander - - once initial setup is properly adjusted all has performed superbly. In fact, I towed the Minuet 250 miles today through gusty winds (25 to 50 MPH) and sporadic heavy rain and the Dual Cam needed absolutely no attention and the rig handled beautifully.

Kevin
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:44 AM   #9
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A different perspective

When I used friction bars, I set them when hitching up and forgot them till I unhitched. If properly installed, there is no need to loosten them when backing since you will jacknife the trailer before you bend the bar.

The only failure I ever had was pulling forward on a tight turn out of a filling station when the friction material came loose from the metal and jammed.
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Old 08-04-2004, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave
I remember hearing that you are not supposed to use anti sway bars in the rain.
Maybe you heard this in a context other than towing a trailer? Race car drivers will disconnect the anti-sway bars in the rain, but this is completely different from towing. On a car the anti-sway bar limits body roll, on a tow vehicle an anti-sway bar limits, well, sway.

John
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Old 08-04-2004, 08:04 PM   #11
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We remove the sway bar when it's raining. The water acts like a lubricant on the bar and reduces it' effectiveness. We always remove the bar when backing up around sharp curves. So far we have had no problems.
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Old 08-04-2004, 08:25 PM   #12
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I bought my safari in Florida, towed it to Tennessee, not having a clue that the two, bars standing upright at the toung of the trailer,were not fastened.(yes she rides smooth).When i got home to TN, they were still there.
I am looking for a Reese hitch ball to complete my anti-sway bar system.
Does any one out there have one, that they can part with? Thanks Will
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