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Old 07-27-2006, 06:26 PM   #1
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Torsion Bar vs Sway Bar

Husband's brother says we need to use a torsion bar when pulling our Excella, I thought it should be a sway bar.

Which is best?

Alice
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:50 PM   #2
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It's not an either or. You can use both and/or some "torsion bars" are also sway control. You definitely will want a weight distribution hitch and the proper term for the bars that are part of all of these systems is "torsion bar" and not "sway bar". However, I grew up calling them sway bars and that's still in common useage. They do help prevent sway via restoring proper weight distribution on the tow vehicle. Some also have the additional benefit of helping to control or prevent sway from happening by stiffening the pivot around the axis of the trailer ball.

Sorry, probably more confusing than ever. What type of hitch are you using or looking at getting? The answers are some what different depending on the approach taken by different manufacturers.

-Bernie
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:54 PM   #3
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Hi, Alice,

Well, torsion implies circular motion to me, and that's the principle our axles use to dampen out the ride. Weight-distributing bars are held in tension, and I think that's what he meant. Simple WD setups use a pair of them and you might use a friction anti-sway device with them. More elaborate setups, and I'm guessing that's what your Excella has, have two CAMS on the lift bars and a hanging "cup" with a forward hinge that they ride in. Simple WD hitches have the lift-bar and the chains, but not the forward hinged extra part that makes it an anti-sway hitch.

If you have a good picture of your front end in your gallery, someone here will tell you what hitch it previously used.

Lamar
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acrane
Husband's brother says we need to use a torsion bar when pulling our Excella, I thought it should be a sway bar.Which is best?Alice
hi alice and welcome to the forums...

in the interest of family tranquility...why not use one of each?

the terms confuse
with so many names for the same thing
and so little understanding of either, them, it and so on

*weight distribution bars, load distributing bars, spring bars, load bars...
are a few of the common names for bars (w/d) or hardware,
that improve weight distribution on the tow vehicle and trailer axles...

when tongue weights are 500lbs or greater...yes use them
when tongue weights are <500lbs...maybe use them

*sway bars, antisway bars, friction bars and so on...
are common terms for bars (a/s) or hardware intended to reduce sway...

many folks use devices like this too...
some feel that if the tv is big enough,
or the trailer small enough,
sway control isn't needed
i don't know whats best,
but i use sway control too...

on some hitches the 'bars' do both (w/d and a/s)
some hitches have both features built in...
some hitches can have either feature added...
some hitches don't have either...

search the forums for these terms...
and read all the posts, views, facts and expressions on w/d and a/s...

or provide more info here,
like what brand hitch and other bits

or take a look at websites related to this issue...
i don't use an equal i zer but the reece websit has some basic info with pictures!
http://www.equalizerhitch.com/

and since when do you listen to your brother in law?
what's your hubby think?
does your brother in law listen to you?
does his wife listen to him?
is anyone listening anymore?

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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What brands do both? Sway and Torsion

Can you guys give me a name of brands that do best, he does not do a lot of online work and has put me to looking for one to buy.


Thanks,

Alice
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:48 PM   #6
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I can post picture

I can post picture of tongue of trailer if needed.

alice
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:08 PM   #7
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Hi, Alice,

Please do. Then we can have a little "Name that hitch!" fun.

Lamar
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:52 PM   #8
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Sway Bars

Hi Alice
All this is very confusing and overwhelming. I just recently dove into this world again after a 20some year break.
I have a 31 foot 84 Excella. I have received excellent information and advise from the long time airstreameres.
I have the Reese Dual Cam Weight Distributing hitch on my unit. You can see it on the Reese Web site.

http://www.reese-hitches.com/sway_controls.htm

Just scroll down to the section labeled Dual Cam. There is a "High Performance Dual Cam" also sold by Reese. I do not have the High performance one, just the older one.

Once I got it set up in accordance with the Reese Instruction and the advise of Andy of Inland RV it worked a lot better. If you like I think I can still find the Reese email and sent it to you if you purchase the Dual Cam unit.

Both the Dual Cam and the High Performance perform the same function. That is to distribute the tongue weight equally to all the axles of both the tow vehicle and the trailer. The "Cam" part of both units stops "Fish Tail" oscillation that occurs when a bus or tractor trailer blows by you. Also the Reese units give(allow a certain amount of rock, up and down of course, which provides a softer ride to the trailer) while some weight distribution hitches are quite rigid.
Good luck on your journey. Good honest advise is available here, not to mention a support group.
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:27 PM   #9
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Hi, I agree with Lamar. Torsion bars are twisting springs. I also agree with 2air in with the different names for the same thing; I personally call mine spring bars. Hince, long square bars that keep spring tension between the tow vehicle and trailer.
Alice you did the right thing. Listen to your brother-in-law, then ask the experienced Airstreamers on this forum for the correct answers.

Bob
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:11 AM   #10
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Torsion Bar VS Sway Bar

Torsion bars have been used as the suspension springs in auto several times over the years.
Volkswagon beetles (both front and rear)
Chrysler automobiles through the 60s and 70s.
Some manufacturers refer to the sway bars used in the front and rear suspensions whick dampen lean in turns.
Reese refers to the square Trunion Bars on their web site

http://www.reeseprod.com/

as Spring Bar Assemblies, item 3.
I had been calling them Trunion Bars.
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