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Old 06-03-2011, 08:02 PM   #1
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Question Sway control on a 1977 overlander

When we picked up our 77 overlander the sway bar we brought with us would not work,still had the original hitch.We just took our time getting home but to our amazement we did not have no sway.After we read up on the trailer we read it had built in sway control,now is this good or bad?
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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Some 70s had a built in sway control. It operated by applying the brakes when it sensed a sway condition. They were not very effective and I doubt it still exists on your trailer. Since they applied voltage to the magnets from the trailer battery, I doubt they would be comparable with today's brake controller and could possibly damage the unit.

Your trailer towed well because it is an Airstream.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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sway control on a 1977 overlander

Greetings stream lady!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stream lady View Post
When we picked up our 77 overlander the sway bar we brought with us would not work,still had the original hitch.We just took our time getting home but to our amazement we did not have no sway.After we read up on the trailer we read it had built in sway control,now is this good or bad?
If the "original" hitch on your 1977 Overlander had sway control, it was likely one of the following:

Reese Strait-Line with Dual Cam Sway Control



1978 Argosy Minuet with Reese Strait-Line with Dual Cam Sway Control

Equal-I-Zer hitch with built-in Sway Control.


It is also possible that the "original" hitch may have had a friction-type sway control that requires much more frequent adjustment to maintain proper operation.


EazyLift Friction Sway Control


Reese Strait-Line with Dual Cam Sway Control would be the most likely to be found on a 1977 coach of the possible contemporary hitches with built-in sway control.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:03 AM   #4
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1977 hitch

Thanks for the information it is like the one in the first picture. Guess your also right its an AIRSTREAM. Thanks Sarah
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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Sarah

Looks like we are talking about 2 different things here.

The electronic sway control mentioned above was a built in system Airstream installed on some trailers. It used the trailer brakes to counter act sway by alternating application of the brakes side to side to reduce sway. An interesting idea but it grossly overused the brakes and would cause them to ware out early. If it turns out your trailer has this system I would disconnect it and install a mechanical system like the the first one noted above.

The mechanical sway control systems use friction to reduce sway. There are straight friction systems like the second and third pictures above. These are not very effective. The first system, the Reese Dual Cam system uses friction but the cam has the effect of greatly increasing the load on the friction points as the bars ride up off the cams. The Reese Dual Cam or newer Straight Line system are the better choices.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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I've been towing with the bars like in picture 3 for the past 25 years with no sway events with my 1967 International and other trailers as well.

So I would say they are very effective.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Sarah
The mechanical sway control systems use friction to reduce sway. There are straight friction systems like the second and third pictures above. These are not very effective. The first system, the Reese Dual Cam system uses friction but the cam has the effect of greatly increasing the load on the friction points as the bars ride up off the cams. The Reese Dual Cam or newer Straight Line system are the better choices.
Just want to throw out there for those not familiar with the different sway control systems: Friction sway control bars do work, are cheap and can be installed with any hitch. Dual cam and straight line systems do work better, are expensive and part of a whole hitch system. This subject has been debated ad nauseum in other threads.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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Stream Lady
If your hitch is like the first one pictured then thats really all you need. I bought mine(just like that one) REESE DUAL CAM STRAIGHT LINE. I have intentionally dropped off the edge of two lane roads( wife hates INTERSTATES) and back onto the highway without as much as a wiggle. We have a 1 ton F350 ,I use the 550 lbs bars and 6 links under tention. My axles weights are within a few hundered lbs of each other, sorry I dont have the figures in front of me. We do get a really nice OCEAN WAVE ride both for us up front and the trailer. There are way more expensive systems on the market,but as a former over the road driver of 45 yrs,I see no real reason to spend that kind of money,when the DUAL CAM will do the job.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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sway control

Thanks for all the tips.I just through it was interresting that in 77 they had built in sway control and never heard two much about it.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:42 PM   #10
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Another consideration in choosing a sway control system is the trailer length and weight and also the size and weight of the tow vehicle. I think the longer and heavier the trailer and the lighter and smaller the tow vehicle the more a system like a dual cam is indicated. I believe my Reese friction bar set up is adequate for my 4500# 25 footer towed by my F250. I would seriously consider a dual cam or even a Hensley to tow a longer heavier trailer.
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