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Old 12-27-2005, 07:10 PM   #1
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Sway Control

I have a WD hitch, but no sway control. The hitch has the mount for the sway ball, so installing will be fairly simple. What brands are good and which are so not good? I have seen Brady, Reese, Trail Pac and Husky. I am leaning towards the Reese. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:21 PM   #2
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Are you just talking about a friction bar? If so, they're pretty much all the same.

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Old 12-27-2005, 07:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
I have a WD hitch, but no sway control. The hitch has the mount for the sway ball, so installing will be fairly simple. What brands are good and which are so not good? I have seen Brady, Reese, Trail Pac and Husky. I am leaning towards the Reese. Any suggestions?
I think they are a waste of money. I bought a Reese for about $100.00 or so, and hated it. It does nothing more than slow down the movement of the tongue from left to right. Problem is, it slows down the return as well, if you need to go straight.
Mine always felt much worse with it than without it. Also, it is supposed to be re-adjusted for road and wind conditions. No way.
Roger is right, they are about all the same.
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:40 PM   #4
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azflycaster,
Take a look at the new TC 1000 from Blue Ox. All of the others listed depend on a friction pad of some sort which can become contaminated from road grit, water, etc. The TC 1000 appears to eliminate these issues.

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Old 12-27-2005, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
Are you just talking about a friction bar? If so, they're pretty much all the same.
My trailer came with an Eaz Lift hitch and a Reese friction sway control. I replaced the Reese sway control with an Eaz Lift friction sway control. The Eaz Lift in a bit stouter (heavier metal) than the Reese. Function seems the same. A new Eaz Lift in more expensive than a new Reese, I bought mine on eBay for about $45.00 and it was almost new.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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I have two of them, one a Reese, and one a Husky, which is a generic Reese. Both work about the same, which is to say not the greatest. Eventually I want to convert to a dual-cam setup, but right now my cash is better spent on other things, especially since what I have is functional.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:35 PM   #7
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I have one on my 34' and it comes in handy. Most of the time you don't need it but when you do its there. One small note, don't over tighten it, I did and pulled it (fasteners) out of the frame on a tight turn getting out of a park.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:40 PM   #8
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I have gotten much better results by precision-adjusting my hitch setup. Hitch ball angle made the most difference!
I used the procedure from Andy Thompson, the Canadian Airstream dealer. Many don't agree with is tow vehicle philosophy, but his hitch setup procedure worked A1 for me!
If you angle the ball mount backwards enough, then the WD bars act as automatic sway control, without the binding of the friction slider.
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:46 AM   #9
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Backwards enough....?

Uwe -

What does 'backwards enough' in your last post on this thread mean??? Inquiring minds want to know!

BTW - LOVE the name! It is my fathers name. Does ANYONE pronounce it right?? I have heard them all - U.e., Ewe, E. we, etc... Of course, mine isn't much better - Axel.

Of course, living in Austria was very cool. No one mispronounced my name, no one said "Huh?", no one stared blankly, no one asked "how do you spell that?", no one gave it a second thought. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for all of your help this past year and, 'Einen guten rutsch ins Neue Jahr!'

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Old 12-28-2005, 05:00 AM   #10
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Sway control

Sway control is meant to dampen out the energy caused by lateral movement. Frictional dampeners act like linear shock absorbers. All work the same. Word of caution: Many restrict extreme movement and can be fairly easily bent during necessary parking movements and must be disconnected before backing up. Twin cams (without lubricant on the cams) act as steel on steel brakes (uneven gawl friction and noise) but do generate a self centering force to reduce sway. They can also be effected by the amount of weight shifting you are trying to accomplish and weight distribution in the trailer. Laterial stability of the tow rig is a major factor. Sidewall side to side stiffness and any accessory shocks on the steering, overhang length from rear wheels to hitch ball all have major effects as well as wheel base and TV weight.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
Uwe -

What does 'backwards enough' in your last post on this thread mean??? Inquiring minds want to know!

BTW - LOVE the name! It is my fathers name. Does ANYONE pronounce it right?? I have heard them all - U.e., Ewe, E. we, etc... Of course, mine isn't much better - Axel.

Of course, living in Austria was very cool. No one mispronounced my name, no one said "Huh?", no one stared blankly, no one asked "how do you spell that?", no one gave it a second thought. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for all of your help this past year and, 'Einen guten rutsch ins Neue Jahr!'

Axel
Axel,

I guess "backwards enough" is very poor english. Thanks for pointing that out to me. What I meant was adjusting the angle of the hitch ball, so it does not go straight up and down, but rather give it a few degrees of back angle. this angle should be enough so that the WD bars are parallel to the tongue when viewed horizontally, and when tightened properly for travel.
If the WD bars are pointing up, and the ends are getting close to the tongue, then you needmore hitch ball angle. If they are too far from the tongue, then you have too much hitch ball angle. In any case, a well adjusted system with properly dimensioned weight bars should have a hitch ball angle that shows a slight backwards angle.
One the trailer is hitched, with the hitch adjusted properly, there is a self centering tendency by means of the backwards angle of the hitch ball, and the associated forces on the WD bars and chains. This is minimized if the hitch ball is straight up and down.

My name has it's challenges at times, as you can imagine. I, too, have heard all variations of it. I have even be called GŁnter before.

Happy New Year, "Einen Guten Rutsch", to you, too!
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:48 AM   #12
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Uwe,
Thank you for explaining enough your response. When you say back angle, do you mean tilt the ball a few degrees away from the TV?
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Uwe,
Thank you for explaining enough your response. When you say back angle, do you mean tilt the ball a few degrees away from the TV?
Yes, exactly.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:11 AM   #14
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Caveat: "generate a self centering force to reduce sway" isn't quite right.

Sway control methods are either damping or configuration. None are generating a self centering force of any significance. (that is what causes oscillation and in sway scenarios usually comes only from the driver)

The friction bar, Dual Cam, and Equal-i-zer are examples of damping. The Pullrite and Hensley Arrow are examples of configuration by moving the hitch pivot closer to the rear axle.

Talking about lateral force can be a bit misleading as well. The issue is really the trailer rotating about its axle and putting latteral forces on the hitch point to swing the rear end of the tow vehicle back and forth. If there is a lot of slop in the stability of the tow vehicle or if the trailer has a lot of leverage by a long axle to pivot point distance compared to wheelbase or if the loading adds to intertial torque you can get a lot of tail wagging of the tow vehicle by the trailer.

There are at several major regimes that are often confused but require different considerations in finding solutions. One is handling down the road under normal circumstances. Another is handling during evasive maneauver or hard braking. A third is response to unusual perturbation such as wind gusts or significant bow waves.

Sway control also seems to often be confused with load leveling, especially by the novice. Where load leveling can be important, though, is in its impact on steering. You have to have good weight on the steering axle else the tow vehicle gets squirrely.

I'd like to see decent statistics on the use of sway control methods. From casual observation, I see maybe a third with none, a third with friction bar and of the rest, half with DC, a quarter (and growing) with the Eq, and that followed by the HA with a smattering of pullrite and other.
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