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Old 01-24-2005, 09:12 PM   #1
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Post Sway related question

I have a 19' Bambi CCD. I tow with a Ford F 150 5.4 V8. I use an Eaz Lift WD hitch with a sway contrl bar. The truck weighs about 1,000 pounds more that the trailer when the trailer is fully loaded and the wheelbase of the truck is 145". Question is I have never felt any sway with big rigs flying past me, gusty winds, rain etc. Is it because of the truck being heavier than the Bambi the long wheel base or what. I keep wanting to buy a Reece dual cam but can't see the need for it.
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:40 PM   #2
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Airstreams historically track well. Low center of gravity, relatively smooth underbelly, torsion axles that give independent suspension, and a aerodynamic shape. There have been (and apparently still are) some exceptions, but in general you should not be surprised to find that you have an easy towing coach.

Then there is your choice of tow vehicle. You are well within its capacity, not overloading the suspension, and you have a long wheelbase which gives your truck more leverage to fight sway.

I am no expert, but I believe I am correct that Reese does not recomend the Dual Cam for a trailer as small as yours. You should check with the manufacturer to make certain.

Mark
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardenrj
I have a 19' Bambi CCD. I tow with a Ford F 150 5.4 V8. I use an Eaz Lift WD hitch with a sway contrl bar. The truck weighs about 1,000 pounds more that the trailer when the trailer is fully loaded and the wheelbase of the truck is 145". Question is I have never felt any sway with big rigs flying past me, gusty winds, rain etc. Is it because of the truck being heavier than the Bambi the long wheel base or what. I keep wanting to buy a Reece dual cam but can't see the need for it.
We mechanics have a saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:46 PM   #4
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I spoke with 3 different Reese dealerships before I bought the Bambi. They all told me that the Bambi really only needs friction. It's when you get to 25', maybe 22' where the dual cam might be of benefit. The hitch weight of the Bambi (460lbs) is just so low the cams from what I understand might not be fully effective. It when you get to 750lbs where you can get the cams to engage better...at least that's my take. Having had a 19' Bambi w/friction and now a 25' Safari w/ dual cam, both worked well for us and seem to support the comments posted.
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:54 PM   #5
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Sway related question

Greetings ardenrj!

After towing my Brand X coach with Reese Friction sway control beginning in 1980 through my acquisition of the Overlander in '95 with Dual Cams, I wouldn't go back to the friction system unless the coach was under the 400 pound hitch weight requirement for the Dual Cam System. Back in 1980 when my first trailer was equipped with the Reese hitch system, the recommendation was not to use the system with coaches under 4,000 pounds (my coach was under 3,500 pounds loaded) - - after acuqiring the Minuet a few years ago, I assumed that the under 4,000 pound trailer weight was still the recommendation - - that is, until I contacted Reese and received a reply from a gentleman in their engineering department with the information that the recommendation is now that the Dual Cam system needs at least 400 pounds of hitch weight to be effective. With that information, I added the Reese Dual Cam to my Minuet (3,100 pounds gross weight with 525 to 550 pounds hitch weight depending upon how full the water tank happens to be). The Dual Cam isn't absolutely necessary with either of my tow vehicles for the Minuet, but I certainly enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that I am not going to have to adjust the tension as was the case with my friction sawy control on the earlier coach.

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Old 01-24-2005, 11:46 PM   #6
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I didn't need any sway control with a 75 Ambassador (29') and Suburban towing. Also know of one rig with an F250 towing a 78 Sovereign (31') that doesn't even need load leveling. Done a lot of towing of a Bambi and a Safari (1992 22') with a IH travelall and a Chevy Malibu and no sway control neeed there either.

I do need some sway control with a B190 (E350 van conversion) towing the Ambassador, though. Using an Equal-i-zer for that.

If you need sway control you will notice it right quick if you are at all sensitive to your rig's handling.

But do keep in mind that sway control is mainly a comfort and handling thing. To be safe you have to drive appropriately to how your rig handles. No sway control is going to prevent catastrophe in evasive maneuvers or other severe disturbance. It takes good driving to do that and even that's not a guarantee.
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:57 AM   #7
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:41 PM   #8
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No sway controls?????

Contrary to some opinions, Caravanner Insurance more than adequately proved that a load equalizing hitch "AND" a sway control is mandatory, unless your tow vehicle is in the order of a Peterbuilt.

The liability that confronts us when towing, in itself, dictates equipping our rigs correctly.

Any guard house lawyer can very easily prove, way way beyond reason, that towing a trailer without a load equalizing hitch or a sway control, is an accident looking for a place to happen.

It will happen, just make sure you have millions in liability coverage.

Not to say, what a persons family may suffer, just to save a few dollars.

Suburbans do not have any magic that eliminates a load equalizing hitch or sway control.

To those that doubt it, ride in the back of your Airstream for 10 or 20 miles, at 60 or 70 miles per hour. But before you do that, make sure your have some strong booze on board, as you will need it, when that trailer stops.

Guaranteed.

Andy
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:10 PM   #9
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To those that doubt it, ride in the back of your Airstream for 10 or 20 miles, at 60 or 70 miles per hour. But before you do that, make sure your have some strong booze on board, as you will need it, when that trailer stops.

Guaranteed.

Andy
Andy ,

I tried this, and while riding in my trailer I lost my footing and took a nasty spill. I believe your advice was the cause of my accident. May I have the name of your attorney?

I will be represented by Delores Blasingale of Riverside. http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/philhendrie/atty.html
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:40 PM   #10
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markdoane.

If your sincere, I told you so.

If your just kidding, I told you so anyway.

Seriously, riding in the very back of an Airstream trailer at 60 to 70 miles per hour, when improperly equipped, is at least an "E" ticket ride.

One time, will last a life time.

It's not so much the safety of the person who made the decision to be improperly equipped, as it is the safety of those that don't know the dangerous position they have been place in. The same is true for the innocent person that could be involved, because of loss of control, by someone they never met.

Loss of life or injury a person may suffer, because of someone's foolishness, is not acceptable to many of us.

Many of us, most certainly, do not want to be placed in the position of having to make an apology to someone's family that we injured, because of
being a non believer in "SAFETY."

But there are also those that wouldn't mind doing it, but certainly would raise pure hell, if the tables were turned on them.

Life, is way too short. Taking unnecessary risks, especially with todays towing technology, gets a person a "GOLD" star, if they live that long, for
ignoring what the vast majority of travel trailer owners dearly abide by.

My hat is off to all those that have done the best.

For those that haven't, good luck and pray you don't hurt anyone but yourself.

Andy
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:57 PM   #11
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Andy: "Contrary to some opinions, Caravanner Insurance more than adequately proved that a load equalizing hitch "AND" a sway control is mandatory, unless your tow vehicle is in the order of a Peterbuilt."

Where is this proof? I would very much like to see it as it refutes common practice, accident cause statistics, and other material I have seen. If it was indeed mandantory, I'd expect to see it in statute like safety chains and brakes. I don't know of any state that addresses this issue in either statute or in DOT guidelines, but then there are so many I might have missed one. Let me know which state. I'd like to know the insurance company that provides differing rates for sway control and load leveling mechanisms, too. The measures that are used to determine how much of each is needed would also be good to know.

For those who want to try your experiment, I suggest something a bit more in line with accepted practice. Set a bowl of water on the floor or on the counter and see if it moves and if water spills. My experience has been that a bowl of water left on a fairly slick surface (rear bathroom counter, water for cat) will survive a ride down the freeway without spilling or even moving very much (without sway control on a 28' Airstream, anyway)

I do agree that taking unnecessary risks is a rather dumb idea, though. I just want to know what those dumb ideas are and why they are dumb.
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Leipper
Andy: "Contrary to some opinions, Caravanner Insurance more than adequately proved that a load equalizing hitch "AND" a sway control is mandatory, unless your tow vehicle is in the order of a Peterbuilt."

Where is this proof? I would very much like to see it as it refutes common practice, accident cause statistics, and other material I have seen. If it was indeed mandantory, I'd expect to see it in statute like safety chains and brakes..
Well I think Andy meant it wasn't a law but it should be. Andy knows his stuff and was involved in writing the book for Airstream.

As for statistics....you can make a statistics say anything you want. Here is a proven example.

Your driving down the road you have the right away. the road is clear. You are driving over the speed limit by 5mph.

Jo shmo blows a stop sign and T bones you.

The investigate and figure out you were 5 over the speed limit. The other guy is clearly at fault and charged as so.

The 5mph becomes a check mark on a report that says somebody and not who is over the speed limit. When they do an statistical search that wreck now becomes speed related.

Remember all that Speed kills BS? Thats where it came from.


Your bowl of water trick is flawed. There is less movement the closer to the centerline of the axles then there is at the tail of the trailer. Sway is the twisting back and forth with the fulcrum point being the axle.

My feeling is a single axle trailer with high walls and high GC is more prone to sway then a long multi axle trailer. The second axle helps control sway. My 22ft 1959 Caravaner probably weights less then a Bambi. Its miserable without sway controls.

Bottom line is you can never be too safe. Error heavily on the side of safety and it in most cases over the long haul will be cheaper then going by the statistics.
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:18 AM   #13
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Leipper.

Non belivers usually wind up as a statistic. The choice is yours.

Certainly, hundreds of thousands of trailer towers, want to do the best they can.

If your choice is to do otherwise, then that is still your choice.

With lawsuits today, lose control and hurt someone, either a passenger in your vehicle, or some innocent person. Then you had better hope you have millions of dollars of liability coverage, because you will need it, hands down.

When the masses play by the book, it's becomes string-em-up time for those that don't.

I sincerely hope you would chose to be in the larger group. Your personal thoughts don't matter, if someone takes you to court for being negligent in a towing accident. You "WILL" lose.

59toaster

Well put and said.

Thanks for being a promoter of safety.

Fortunately, most owners abide by the rules of the road.

Andy
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:21 AM   #14
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59toaster: "As for statistics....you can make a statistice say anything you want. Here is a proven example."

This is a bit backwords. Yes, those who do not understand the basis or method can read into statistics what they do not say. It is why a bit of education and less ignorance is important.

The "Speed Kills" fanatics can indeed provide a good example of the misuse of statistics because those who spout such conclusions do not examine what they cite very carefully. The tragedy is that such ignorance clouds the distinction between causation and aggravation which results in misdirected problem solving. Like any other measure, statistics do not lie but reading them can be subject to error. Such is why I did not depend entirely upon statistics but also on those who have money on the line (insurance companies) or a mission of public safety (DOT).

The bowl of water idea is no more flawed than the original ride idea. And I do suggest you read a bit more carefully. I referred to a rear bath counter! The reason is specifically that which you stated - sway in the trailer is usually considered a whipsaw around the axles with around the hitch another option sometimes offered. The common idea is that the rear will suffer most movement. But if the experimenter was really serious, they'd use multiple instruments in front rear and center and really go to town to find out what's what.

59toaster: "Bottom line is you can never be too safe. Error heavily on the side of safety and it in most cases over the long haul will be cheaper then going by the statistics."

Every time you get out of bed you refute this assertion. Life is full of risks no matter what you do. The issue is finding an acceptable level of risk (and degree of confidence is a statistical measure no matter how it is stated), not avoiding it completely.

There were a number of assertions in the 59toaster message I find interesting, but going into them could get into lengthy discussions. One regards the definition of sway. Another centers on the dual versus single axle impact on handling. These are not simple behaviors and there are many influences and factors that can be explored.

I am not sure what I said to prompt such a refutation as the 59toaster message. I mean no offense. But do please read carefully. I re-read the thread and I still don't read Andy the way 59toaster does. As noted by Bob&Rita and others, there are many factors that influence the handling of your rig. Any single solution should be suspect. Any mandate for a magic bullet should be suspect. IMHO any such effort towards improving safety starts between the ears of the driver - and this means careful thinking, not blind obedience to some formula.
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