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Old 04-01-2017, 10:33 AM   #1
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Sway Control Hitch Not Needed

At the risk of starting a war, I start this thread to collect information about Airstream trailer sway so I can best decide whether or not to spend money on an expensive hitch. I have never experienced trailer sway so I would like to hear from those who have, what was the cause, and what were the circumstances and data (loading, speed, weights, etc).
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:45 AM   #2
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Oh my. you did just start a war!
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mergatroyd View Post
At the risk of starting a war, I start this thread to collect information about Airstream trailer sway so I can best decide whether or not to spend money on an expensive hitch. I have never experienced trailer sway so I would like to hear from those who have, what was the cause, and what were the circumstances and data (loading, speed, weights, etc).
April fools!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:05 AM   #4
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:23 AM   #5
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They are working on a solution and this is how far they have gotten.
https://biggeekdad.com/2017/03/self-driving-bicycle/
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:38 AM   #6
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Sway control is that thing you don't need until you need it and then it's too late to get it.

The best comment ever gets repeated over and over - "I'm not going to slalom my rig around traffic cones so I don't need that stuff" - as they swing the rig around an accident in progress, a deer, a tire gator, a chuck hole or a rock slide.

April 1st - going to be a great day. Thanks for kicking it off with a really good one.

Tomorrow we should talk about the development of an integrated electronic brake and suspension stability and sway control system for TV and TT. It's coming soon, well someday, or at least as soon as they make disk brakes standard on coaches. Pat
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:03 PM   #7
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They are working on a solution and this is how far they have gotten.
https://biggeekdad.com/2017/03/self-driving-bicycle/
Does the bike have 'sway control'?
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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While we're at it... here's a photo of my new silver, camping shelter. It DEFINITELY doesn't need sway control.

Who needs an Airstream?






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Old 04-01-2017, 12:07 PM   #9
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HENSLEY, I coast a lot and this seems to put the system in Unlock as the below. It feels like the trailer is Pushing the TV. Not wanting it to happen on Wet roads. May be going back to a Friction sway control. "be forwarned, the hensley hitch when in the pulling mode is as they say is in a locked position however with exhaust braking or tranny down shifting, the locking mechanics will unlock, therefore the hitch is now able to swing 6 inches either side of the tow ball center line, that means you have a posible 10,000# of trailer fliping from side to side.

hensles answer to this is the trailer brakes must always come on before the truck brakes do the trailer has to always be pulling back to prevent unlatching of the hitch, meaning that you are not to use your tranny braking system period.

first hand experience,

I was test driving a rig set up by the hensley people, it started to rain drove to the next cloverleaf the tranny downshifted on a curve at 30mph felt the back end slip sideways (caused by the unlatching of the hitch), you do not want this happening at 55mph.

when towing with the Duramax the hensley is not for me.

good luck in your choice."
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjansen View Post
HENSLEY, I coast a lot and this seems to put the system in Unlock as the below. It feels like the trailer is Pushing the TV. Not wanting it to happen on Wet roads. May be going back to a Friction sway control. "be forwarned, the hensley hitch when in the pulling mode is as they say is in a locked position however with exhaust braking or tranny down shifting, the locking mechanics will unlock, therefore the hitch is now able to swing 6 inches either side of the tow ball center line, that means you have a posible 10,000# of trailer fliping from side to side.

hensles answer to this is the trailer brakes must always come on before the truck brakes do the trailer has to always be pulling back to prevent unlatching of the hitch, meaning that you are not to use your tranny braking system period.

first hand experience,

I was test driving a rig set up by the hensley people, it started to rain drove to the next cloverleaf the tranny downshifted on a curve at 30mph felt the back end slip sideways (caused by the unlatching of the hitch), you do not want this happening at 55mph.

when towing with the Duramax the hensley is not for me.

good luck in your choice."



Best April Fools I've read today...

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Old 04-01-2017, 12:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tjansen View Post
HENSLEY, I coast a lot and this seems to put the system in Unlock as the below. It feels like the trailer is Pushing the TV. Not wanting it to happen on Wet roads. May be going back to a Friction sway control. "be forwarned, the hensley hitch when in the pulling mode is as they say is in a locked position however with exhaust braking or tranny down shifting, the locking mechanics will unlock, therefore the hitch is now able to swing 6 inches either side of the tow ball center line, that means you have a posible 10,000# of trailer fliping from side to side.

hensles answer to this is the trailer brakes must always come on before the truck brakes do the trailer has to always be pulling back to prevent unlatching of the hitch, meaning that you are not to use your tranny braking system period.

first hand experience,

I was test driving a rig set up by the hensley people, it started to rain drove to the next cloverleaf the tranny downshifted on a curve at 30mph felt the back end slip sideways (caused by the unlatching of the hitch), you do not want this happening at 55mph.

when towing with the Duramax the hensley is not for me.

good luck in your choice."
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Since I tow with a crewcab Duramax/Allison and use engine braking your comments are very appreciated. My friction sway control works fine...I may not even need it but I already had it, but the issue you mention with the Hensley with engine braking and downshifting is very helpful. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:17 PM   #12
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OK, its April 1! Is the Hensley Duramax a put on or serious. You may have got me.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:24 PM   #13
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How many times does this hitch stuff needed to be argued? Seems like that's all Airstream people have to talk about.
Getting to be sort of boring.
For whatever it's worth

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Old 04-01-2017, 12:29 PM   #14
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I realize this is an April FOOLS thread but...

Just to be clear, a Hensley hitch DOES NOT latch or unlatch. Maybe that was part of the April Fools joke but I have to answer this question way too often to let it even be a hint of serious.

It is a free swiveling mechanism. Nothing latches or locks. There are no latches or locks involved while towing with one.



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Old 04-01-2017, 12:36 PM   #15
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:39 PM   #16
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How many times does this hitch stuff needed to be argued? Seems like that's all Airstream people have to talk about.
Getting to be sort of boring.
For whatever it's worth

Larry
You are right Larry, but it would be nice in Airforums had a search engine that actually works so people new to the forums could find these threads.

As for me, after reading this thread I decided to try towing my 34 footer with my 3/4 ton without my sway bar. When the winds picked up I really wished I had it.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:24 PM   #17
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How many times does this hitch stuff needed to be argued? Seems like that's all Airstream people have to talk about.
Getting to be sort of boring.
For whatever it's worth

Larry
This is nothing compared to the opinionated tire arguments
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:29 PM   #18
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Michelin is making a new trailer tire with sway control built in.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by tjansen View Post
HENSLEY, I coast a lot and this seems to put the system in Unlock as the below. It feels like the trailer is Pushing the TV. Not wanting it to happen on Wet roads. May be going back to a Friction sway control. "be forwarned, the hensley hitch when in the pulling mode is as they say is in a locked position however with exhaust braking or tranny down shifting, the locking mechanics will unlock, therefore the hitch is now able to swing 6 inches either side of the tow ball center line, that means you have a posible 10,000# of trailer fliping from side to side.

hensles answer to this is the trailer brakes must always come on before the truck brakes do the trailer has to always be pulling back to prevent unlatching of the hitch, meaning that you are not to use your tranny braking system period.

first hand experience,

I was test driving a rig set up by the hensley people, it started to rain drove to the next cloverleaf the tranny downshifted on a curve at 30mph felt the back end slip sideways (caused by the unlatching of the hitch), you do not want this happening at 55mph.

when towing with the Duramax the hensley is not for me.

good luck in your choice."
So far the only real trailer sway incident in the replies was actually caused by the sway control hitch itself. Amazing.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mergatroyd View Post
At the risk of starting a war, I start this thread to collect information about Airstream trailer sway so I can best decide whether or not to spend money on an expensive hitch. I have never experienced trailer sway so I would like to hear from those who have, what was the cause, and what were the circumstances and data (loading, speed, weights, etc).
I don't want to be in a war, but I did experience trailer sway so severe it ended with my Toyota FJ Cruiser in the trees off the side of the road facing the opposite direction and the iPod trailer reduced to a pile of twisted junk. I had driven that vehicle and trailer many thousands of miles with no problem before the event. I was using a Reese leveling-bar hitch at the time of the crash but did not have the optional shock-absorber, anti-sway attachment.

For the record, I was headed downhill, decelerating by coasting, in a significant crosswind in the right lane of an undivided, narrow, four-lane highway at about 50 MPH. I was passed very close on the left by an 18 wheeler going much faster. The trailer began to sway as the wake from the front of the truck struck it and it became uncontrollable as the rear of the trailer passed. I had properly adjusted trailer brakes and was applying the vehicle brakes gently at the time of the accident. Perhaps I would have been able to bring it under control if I had been able to accelerate, but there was slowing traffic directly in front of me.

The iPod trailer went around the tow vehicle to the left then preceded the tow vehicle off the road to the right. Had that been reversed and gone to the left, I would have been thrown into oncoming traffic at a meeting speed of about 100 MPH.

A few months later, I bought a barely used Airstream that came with an Equal-i-zer hitch and carefully adjusted it to bring my new 3/4 ton pickup to a level stance when towing with a full load. Several times I have had to suddenly maneuver on wet roads where the truck's anti-skid/stability system engaged. Never have I experienced even a hint of trailer sway using that hitch.

Let me add that I have seen one damaged Airstream on the side of the road with it and the Suburban that was towing it pointed in the wrong direction just as I was with the iPod. I noted that there was no anti-sway hitch used in that event.

The truck-trailer combination I now use is much more stable than what I had before and the truck has computer-controlled independent rear braking so it is entirely possible that the anti-sway feature is an error on the side of excessive safety.

Whether on not my truck and Airstream would sway in a demanding situation without the anti-sway hitch is an open question. What I do know is that the handling characteristics with the Equal-i-zer properly adjusted are significantly different from the handling with the bars removed. My initial trip back from the private purchase was without the bars as the hitch was not set up correctly for me to engage them and I could not find the tools anywhere needed to adjust the nut-size. During that drive, I felt the trailer was moving independently of the truck. After adjusting and applying the anti-sway bars the trailer now feels like it is an extension of the truck.

These are my experiences. Other folks may have different ones, but these are mine.
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