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Old 04-09-2017, 11:50 AM   #1
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Sway Control Issue - Slack in hitch receiver

We are having a little more sway with our rig than we would like with the sway bar attached and adjusted. The hitch receiver seems to have to much slack allowing the ball mount to move from side to side to much about 1/2" in one direction. I suspect the weight distribution bars take care of the up and down slack but I'm not sure the sway bar would have any affect on the side to side movement. What are your thoughts and have you or do you experience this? This is a 2017 Ford 150 with the Max trailer tow package.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Okiestreamer View Post
We are having a little more sway with our rig than we would like with the sway bar attached and adjusted. The hitch receiver seems to have to much slack allowing the ball mount to move from side to side to much about 1/2" in one direction. I suspect the weight distribution bars take care of the up and down slack but I'm not sure the sway bar would have any affect on the side to side movement. What are your thoughts and have you or do you experience this? This is a 2017 Ford 150 with the Max trailer tow package.
It sounds like you are talking about 2 separate concerns. Do you have a problem with trailer sway or excessive lateral play between the receiver hitch and stinger?
Have you used this hitch combination before? Has this happened before? Do you have a friction sway bar?
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:53 PM   #3
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The receiver to stinger should have only minimal movement, maybe 1/16 at most. Lets see a picture of what you are saying with something to reference the displacement with.

What type of WD hitch are you using? Who set it up?
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:54 PM   #4
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"To much slack allowing the ball mount to move from side to side to much about 1/2" in one direction"

Side movement of 1/2" in ball mount side to side? Wow!

Sounds like you have a real problem with the ball mount - it's either in the mount on the car that is loose or? It should not be over 1/8" or less.

The sway bar is a separate matter - not related.

Distribution hitch is not meant to make up for a loose ball mount! Have it looked at and fixed/repaired if its loose or a weld is broken, it could become much more loose and be a disaster! Have it looked at! Don't drive with trailer till you have!
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:02 PM   #5
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Are you sure you don't have a 2 1/2" receiver on the truck? A half inch of slack is way too much.
What class hitch receiver is on the truck?
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:32 AM   #6
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Could also be too small shank on the ball
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:05 PM   #7
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A hitch tightener or anti-rattle device will keep the shank from moving in the receiver.
$20 on Amazon.
Also available at trailer supply stores.
It is basically a u-bolt and a flat piece of steel you tighten around the shank and receiver.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:24 PM   #8
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Sorry a hitch tightener will not correct this situation.
He has to first define what shank and receiver he has and we can go from there.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:32 PM   #9
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I concur on the ball size. Double check you have the correct one.

Your sway, from experience is not enough tongue weight. Check your weight distribution. Keep heavy items on axle, distributed the weight evenly, but for me, more forward biased.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:38 PM   #10
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Ball size? Most likely normal slop deterred by a hitch tightener, unless he has a two and a half receiver with a two inch hitch head shaft.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okiestreamer View Post
We are having a little more sway with our rig than we would like with the sway bar attached and adjusted. The hitch receiver seems to have to much slack allowing the ball mount to move from side to side to much about 1/2" in one direction. I suspect the weight distribution bars take care of the up and down slack but I'm not sure the sway bar would have any affect on the side to side movement. What are your thoughts and have you or do you experience this? This is a 2017 Ford 150 with the Max trailer tow package.
My new ram with a new hitch is also loose, ago was my old one., tighten it down and go... if it was tight something would break..
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:05 PM   #12
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Needs a sleeve in the receiver.

Are you talking about the hitch receiver mounted on the truck? They come in sizes and there are sleeves which fit inside the larger tube to prevent slack. It came with my 2500 model Ram while the 1500 Ram comes with a smaller tow receiver and does not need the sleeve for our hitch.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:25 PM   #13
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There are several threads on this subject. Several brands of trucks have *very* sloppy tolerances in their receivers - especially the 2.5". I had the same issue with the 2.5" receiver and factory equipment 2" sleeve adapter on my 2015 Ram 3500. Almost 1/2" play between the receiver and the adapter, and the adapter and the 2" shank. The play was exacerbated by the fact that I have a Class IV AirSafe/Equilizer WD/AS hitch combo. This puts the ball around 2 feet behind the receiver, which greatly amplified the 1/2" play to several inches. Initially fixed it with steel shivs placed in top and side of receiver, augmented by the above mentioned "u-bolt" device; but as most of the slack seemed to be between the adapter and solid 2" shank on the hitch, I had the adapter welded on. Still a little slack, but nowhere near what I had before.

Different folks had different solutions, and I'd recommend googling the threads here on the Forums. It really does seem to be a common problem, especially on Fords and Rams. Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:05 PM   #14
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Hitch receiver & stinger slack

I obviously did a poor job of describing my concerns and for that I apologize. I attached a video to my original post but it apparently did not go through. I'll try again with this post. We don't have a major problem I just wanted to minimize any sway in these 35 and 40 MPH winds. The space or slack between the receiver and the stinger shaft was my concern. The receiver opening measures exactly 2 1/16" and the stinger measures exactly 2". That 1/16 of an inch produces at least 1/2" side to side movement of the hitch ball when the ball is about 10" from the receiver.
We filled a little of this 1/16 space by building up the metal by welding on the side of the stinger and smoothing is off so it fits into the receiver. We left just a little play so we can get the stinger in and out easily so we'll see if it helps any. There should be a video attached. Thanks for all the comments and input.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:46 AM   #15
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Got this when I tried to open video:

The video could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported:

Not that I know it can't happen but I have not heard of play at the receiver causing sway. But, sway is due to a combination of factors.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:00 AM   #16
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In the past I had problems with poor fit between the hitch shank and the hitch receiver, and it did contribute to poor handling of the trailer, as ALL of the anti-sway capabilities are ultimately handled at that joint.

What I did was weld a "bead" on the front and rear side of the shank, and then hand grind down the bead until the shank fit in the receiver snugly. It did improve the handling of the trailer.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #17
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The weld bead method works well, but not many folks can do that at home! I have also drilled holes in the side and bottom of the receiver, taped threads and inserted bolts as set screws to snug up the hitch. That can also slow down a hitch thief as well.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:53 PM   #18
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You are right, not everyone has welding capabilities at home. However, I was reluctant to do any drilling on the hitch receiver because I believe it would weaken it, and at a minimum, introduce a location for stress cracks to form.

Before I did the weld beads, I built a shim, and it worked OK also, but because of the strength of the metal, it soon was beat out and loosened, which in my mind confirms the amount of movement and load applied in that plane.

I've also seen people use a grade 8 bolt and nut instead of the hitch pin torqueing it tight, but that also is an inconvenience when installing and removing the hitch head.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:48 PM   #19
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I posted this on another thread, a few days ago; but I'll do it here also for your information:Click image for larger version

Name:	Shimming the Shank and Head.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	494.9 KB
ID:	283288

Click image for larger version

Name:	HARDWARE AND .060 SHIMS.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	70.7 KB
ID:	283289

I measured .064" clearance between the shank and the 'stinger'; a lot of slop, but maybe not as much as yours. So.............

I made a couple of .060" shims, one with a hole for the pin, and use them when installing the hitch. I also lube the shank and shims with formerly grease, and now WD-40 spray Lithium when installing it.
This prevents any little movement from 'beating up' the assembly.

I also put a .040" shim between the shank and the head 'clevis' to prevent collapsing of the two arms when the bolts are tightened; thus preventing possible 'fatigue failure' of the bolts.

You can see it if you open up the photo a lot.
Been using this set up for over 12 years now. No rattles, no Problems! Just a nice snug hitch.
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