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Old 01-11-2010, 11:47 PM   #1
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sway control?

I'm pulling a 25' 1971 Tradewind w/ our F250 4x4 crewcab pickup, which is nearly as long as the trailer (20') and weighs 7100 lbs empty, as compared to the 4400 GVW for the trailer. I read a lot of comments here about sway control being necessary. I pulled the trailer home w/o the Reese hitch I got w/ it because it was set up too high for my truck - I wanted the trailer level. There were no sway issues - is using the Reese worthwhile? I've pulled all sorts of gear up to 8500 lbs or so w/ this truck out to Burning Man, and never had any sway issues (the wheel base matches the "Land Yacht" title on the trailer, as does the turning circle!).

I don't have any strong feelings about this, but simpler is usually better in my book, so if this isn't needed, I'll happily leave it at home. On the other hand, if this is a big win for safety I'll run w/ this in the future. I'm also considering putting the batteries up there, and not using the anti-sway hitch will make things fit more easily....

Thanks -

- Bart
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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The deal is, you usually won't need it, but when you do, it'll be too late to stop and put it on.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:07 AM   #3
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bart...

here are the visuals (and debates) to support the need regardless of mule...

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

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:51 AM   #4
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I have a long bed dually with a crew cab and have pulled my 63 Overlander for about 5 years without the Reese. It is a big truck and I have pulled a lot of miles. I do not feel it is necessary with this combination. I have both a Equalizer and a dual cam Reese available. I use the Reese when I pull the 31 foot 77 trailer. My wife finds the feel of stability more reassuring when in heavy truck traffic on narrow Interstates going through Chicago.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:54 AM   #5
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The deal is, you usually won't need it, but when you do, it'll be too late to stop and put it on.
DITTO
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:07 AM   #6
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The deal is, you usually won't need it, but when you do, it'll be too late to stop and put it on.
Hi, or as a mechanic might tell you: That tool would be worth a thousand dollars when you need it, and you don't have it.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:42 AM   #7
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DITTO
Ditto Ditto

I have a 71 TW and sway is not as noticable as longer AS I have towed. The way I look at it it's safety equipment to stop a dangerous fishtailing situation any trailer can get into.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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1) Do you believe that you will ever end up with a light tongue weight situation because the trailer was inadvertently loaded tail-heavy

2) Do you have the kind of driving experience and steady nerves that would allow you to pull over to the side of the road without hitting the brakes if you blew a front tire

3) Will someone besides you be driving and if so will they have those same steady nerves

4) Are you just taking this rig to and from your favorite seasonal site at a nearby campground or are you going places

5) Do you like to drive fast on the freeways are are you content to putt along

6) Are you going to be driving in parts of the country where high winds are common

7) Are you going to be driving in mountainous regions where long or steep downgrades must be traversed

8) Are you 100% confident that your electric brakes are going to be there every time you need them
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:10 AM   #9
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All trailers will exhibit sway at speed; the idea is to get the threshold at which that sway onset occurs higher than what you'd normally ever drive. Only towing 50% of your tow vehicle's weight will be plenty enough to throw you into an uncontrollable situation if your trailer starts pushing on the rear of your tow vehicle (sway). If you're careful about loading your trailer (proper tongue weight) you'll probably never have an issue... the key word being "probably". But, even the best balanced trailer behind a 4 door, long wheelbase, dually pickup can exhibit sway at speed under the right (wrong?) set of circumstances; e.g. down hill on a reduced-traction surface, in a side wind when passed by a truck.

If you have an opportunity to deal with the potential sway onset or at least minimize it to the extent possible before it occurs (like by using sway control) then to me, it makes sense to use it.

Roger
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:36 AM   #10
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The deal is, you usually won't need it, but when you do, it'll be too late to stop and put it on.
Couldn't say it better. Will add, though, that when you get sued it is waaaay to late to put it on. Accidents happen and it is prudent to be prepared.

Short trailers with single axles can get squirrelly real quick...especially if the rear is loaded too heavy. I know from experience.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:04 AM   #11
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This will bring a lot of flack but......I tow with a F350( way to much truck) and don't feel or see the need for W/D or sway hitches. On my trailer I mean. But I drive slow 60-65 mph. I downshift on down grades. If you want to be safe then by all means install disc brakes on your trailer etc. I saw on this forum a picture somebody took of their speedo while driving 85 mph or so while towing the Airstream. If you drive like that then use sway control and get LOTS of insurance. With your truck if you drive a prudent speed and load your trailer properly(10-15% tongue weight) I feel you will be fine. Adios, John
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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This will bring a lot of flack but......I tow with a F350( way to much truck) and don't feel or see the need for W/D or sway hitches. On my trailer I mean. But I drive slow 60-65 mph. I downshift on down grades. If you want to be safe then by all means install disc brakes on your trailer etc. I saw on this forum a picture somebody took of their speedo while driving 85 mph or so while towing the Airstream. If you drive like that then use sway control and get LOTS of insurance. With your truck if you drive a prudent speed and load your trailer properly(10-15% tongue weight) I feel you will be fine. Adios, John
John,

It's not what you do, but what others may do in front of you, or an obstacle on the road, that forces you to quickly change lanes.

In spite of your self assurance, I can only suggest that you carry tons of liability insurance, as well as inform all your passengers, that you are towing a travel trailer, out of well known industry standards.

Sooner or later, your opinion will quickly change.

Having investigated many loss of control accidents, involving towing an Airstream, I assure you, that you working on being a statistic.

Not what you want to hear, but for the sake of innocent people, something you should digest.

Andy

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:24 AM   #13
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Andy,

Do you have any statistics on sway-related accidents? I've tried to find some and most of what I find are accidents involving hitch separation, which appear to be much more common (perhaps because there are so many small utility and boat trailers on the road, 16 feet or less, where sway is really not a factor).
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:57 AM   #14
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oh dear lord here we go AGAIN...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ire-47613.html

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