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Old 11-26-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
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to sway or not to sway...

I have a 70 Overlander towing with an 05 Toyota Sequioa. I towed it back for the first time from AR just fine. Used a load leveling hitch the PO gave me and although I didn't really need the load leveling feature the unit towed easily for the most part. i did notice a little sway depending on wind direct and speeding rigs. I'm wondering what others have used on similar sized Airstreams? Any suggestions on a good sway control system without breaking the bank snce my AS isn't too big. Thanks!

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Old 11-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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Before replacing the hitch, I would first check the wheel/tire balance and axle alignment. On a 40 year old Airstream, there may be problems other than the hitch.


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Old 11-26-2010, 07:14 PM   #3
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Check the tire pressure on both the TV and the trailer. If you have soft side walls on either or both it can contribute to the swaying. Make sure your trailer is setting level when hitched, if you have an out of level unit it increases the possiblity of sway. One mistake a lot of people make is to oversteer. What ever you do, don't be constantly looking in the rear view mirror; you will just make the situation worse. Just check every so often to make sure the trailer is still behind you. What is the weight ratio of the TV verses the trailer? I have a 26' Argosy that weighs in at 5500# loaded; my '98 Dodge 3/4 ton weighs 5900#. It's a good match. I don't have any equalizer hitch but I do have air bags on the rear suspension of the truck. I am considering getting an anti sway device, but so far in my 3000+ miles of towing it, I am not sure how much difference it will make. An anti sway device without and equalizer hitch is not all that expensive.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:57 PM   #4
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We tow ours with an 06 Tundra, using a relatively inexpensive Equal-I-Zer brand hitch. Works well when properly set up. Don't be without it. In perfect conditions you may not notice much, but with a sudden wind gust or maneuver, you could lose control.

The ratio of truck weight and trailer weight have nothing to do with sway, nor controlling it. It is, for the most part, in weight distribution in the trailer, stability of the tow vehicle, tires, and properly adjusted sway control hitch.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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I just came back from a hunting trip and noticed a little more sway than I was used to. Normally my little baby tracks really well. At first I thought the wind was really strong but that was not the case. When I got home I checked my truck tires and found that one rear tire was down 7 lbs. I added air and took the whole rig for another drive and discovered the problem was resolved. Moral - check your tires before you tow....Tim

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Old 11-29-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
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At a minimum I would encourage a friction type anti-sway (think Reese)
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:49 PM   #7
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When I contacted Airstream tech support about setting up you TV for towing, they told me that the reason for haveing sway control was to help control the trailer in emergency situations such as, panic stops, black ice, etc. Under normal circumstances, I was told that I would not notice much difference since Airstreams tow so well.

There are a lot of people that tow without sway control and most of them have never had a problem, so, it is almost impossible to convince them that there is a need for sway control. On the other hand, all the TV with trailers I have seen that have lost control have not had sway control.

Personally, I think the price of adding sway control is a small price to pay if it helps prevent loss of control!
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:47 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. My GVW is almost identical to the Tundra since the Sequioa is built on the Tundra frame-about 6500 pounds so the match with my Overlander (4300) is pretty good. I did make sure to check all my tires on the TV and AS before, during and once I got home and they held consistently which was a surprise given the tires on the AS were older and do need to be replaced. (My tV had new E-rated Michelins installed right before our trip) Like I mentioned, the sway was really only an issue when a tractor trailer would run past me-it was also pretty windy at some points-I could definately feel it. Didn't make me nervous-takes a lot to really shake me up but I could feel it. I'll look into some sort of Reese or friction type sway control. I've read some threads about making sure to adjust properly and also not to use too heavy of bars relating to load leveling. I don't really need much on the load leveling though-when I hook this up my Sequioa barely moves-it's awesome-rides higher than an F-250 and has hydraulic leveling for the rear by +/-3" so it's pretty easy to hook up and go. I wish I had the newer 5.7L though! Those are some pretty sweet engines! Happy Towing everyone
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:13 AM   #9
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You're moving in the right direction with a weight distribution hitch and sway control. Weight distribution isn't about load leveling though, it is restoring the weight taken off the front (steering) axle of your Sequoia when the trailer is lowered on the hitch.

If is not taking weight off the front axle, one would suspect the trailer tongue weight is too light for some reason. This is a dangerous sway-causing condition. Their should be at least 10-12 percent of trailer weight on the tongue of the trailer when ready to tow. You can weigh it to be sure.

There are different ideas about using hydraulic leveling when towing. I have no experience and therefore no opinion on it. Perhaps others have . . . ?

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:52 AM   #10
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I didn't really need the load leveling feature . . . .

Proof of this would be before/after readings from a certified scale. Dirt cheap and minimal trouble. Plenty of reading on this site in re same. Vehicle manufacturer guidelines sometimes state measuring front wheelwell height, but a scale is exact.

Yes, having about the best trailer in regards road performance is well worth it. But the trailer may be better than the TV. So dial in the truck . . which means hitch rigging per instructions and a scale to verify.

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