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Old 09-18-2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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Towing Sway Bars - necessary or overkill

When I bought a 2015 27FB Flying Cloud, the dealer sold me on a rather dramatic sway bar set up (1200 lb. weight diet w/ Dual Arm Sway $800). A few years later, after the bolts holding the bar to the A frame broke off, I stopped using the sway bars altogether. Today my Tow Vehicle is a 2018 Lincoln Navigator XL 4WD w/ Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package listing 8,100 Max Towing capacity. The question is, under normal conditions, are anti-sway bars necessary or overkill.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:03 PM   #2
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yes

WD and sway bars are a must

i would not tow my AS without both

they are both for your safety
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:05 PM   #3
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Not real sure what you are asking. Do you have a Reese Dual Cam hitch? With 1200 lb bars? Do you use the weight distribution bars? Are the WD bars what you are referring to as sway bars?
You need the WD setup to be complete and adjusted correctly. If, specifically, you have the Dual Cam setup that takes care of the sway and you probably do not need additional friction sway bars. If you do not have the Dual Cam then you probably need sway bars too. You definitely need some type of sway control.
Maybe you could post a picture of what you have?
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:26 AM   #4
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[ATTACH]352507 Thank you for the reply and for the questions. I'm really a novice at all this. Attached is a photo of what I have, which I believe is a dual cam hitch with 12000 # WD bars. But, it seems that the consensus is that I need sway control to tow my AS.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:38 AM   #5
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:45 AM   #6
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I read a posting on Airforums several years ago by Andy Thomson of Can-Am RV that anti-sway bars were not necessarily - until they were necessary. Much like seat belts on automobiles I suppose. That said, I have no experience with your particular set-up.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:46 AM   #7
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I have the same WD hitch. The bars are used for both weight distribution and sway control. Without you have neither.

It's possible if you are not using the bars that you are overloading your rear axle's GAWR. Do you know your GAWRs and have you taken a trip to the CAT scales yet?
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:40 AM   #8
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Why don't you just buy a new hitch and get it set up properly?
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:22 AM   #9
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Consider this. You say a "bolt broke off and you quit using the sway bars since".
Now if you have one broken bolt how many other pieces of this hitch system may be nearly broken/damaged as well?
That said, a properly adjusted tow system transfers weight and prevents sway.
If you ever get in a accident because of your busted or improperly set up towing system be prepared for a mega lawsuit. I speak from experience.
There is no shame in changing tow systems. As waniane39 posted - it's for your safety and those of us on the road with you.
Be safe!
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
yes

wd and sway bars are a must

i would not tow my as without both

they are both for your safety

x2 !!

AND for the safety of others you might affect in an accident.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:20 AM   #11
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I bought the sway bar kit that was available at the dealer. It was cheap and easy for them to install.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:25 AM   #12
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Bill M and O Bob - where do I find hitch specialists who can check out my system and improve it as necessary? Where do these guys live?
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:29 AM   #13
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Answer - yes...

We run the Reese Daul Cam - love it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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Necessary.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:28 PM   #15
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My Uncle thought he didn't need sway control. An 18 wheeler passed him and my Uncle DIED! Yes, you must use sway control bars!!!!!!
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:37 PM   #16
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Yes, sway and WD are really a must with nearly any trailer that is required to have brakes.

Given your setup, I would wholeheartedly recommend if at all possible downgrading the bars on your setup. 2 1200lb bars is simply not going to give enough flex for a dual cam type system to function at peak performance with your setup IMHO and exp.

I read a term here once called being over hitched and the discussions seemed squarely to talk about the size of the bars and at first I thought it way off base, but I had a set of lower rated bars and gave it a shot. I found that the road manners changed for the better immediately.

With my rigs I have used as low a 600lb bars for the smaller and 800lb bars for the larger trailer, all being towed with a robust 3/4 ton truck. With a robust truck to tow, it's hard to justify the larger bars.

Think about it for a second. Your hitch weight, not being a slide out is going to be 1000lbs or south of that, making 1200lb bars overkill. If you said I have a 30-34' slide out, which is notorious for having a 1000+lb hitch weight, I'd say for sure, go for the 1200lb bars.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:46 PM   #17
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I have or have had three Airstreams, a 17', 27' and 25'. I've always used load leveler and anti-sway on all three. Even though I had it, I did lose the 27' with swaying that resulted in the rollover and totaling of that Airstream. There were bad road conditions, but that being said, if you value your Airstream I believe you are irresponsible to not have anti-sway protection.


Not only do I use anti-sway and load levelers when towing (with my 1/2 ton Chevy pickup) I went to the high pressure tires for the pickup like those used on the 3/4 and 1-ton pickups. The resulting more rigid sidewalls definitely increased anti-sway characteristics even more.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:51 PM   #18
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Ask the members of your local Airstream club.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:49 PM   #19
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Nodding my head as I read through this, some good advice here.
Interesting to see Andys name pop up as he was kind enough to assist me early on with working out a hitch for my the 2006 Land Cruiser and 23ft. He suggested the EAZ Lift and 2 anti sway bars. I oddly felt like I had to spend more money (for more safety...) but took Andys advice and glad I did. The one I bought only had one sway bar and I planned to add another, but ran out of time before my first trip. It has done a great job and yes on the Land Cruiser, did much better with the sway bar and probably would have been perfect with 2. As someone here said, you really dont need them... until you need them. I hit some high winds in October on that first trip and wished I had the second one. Since then I added a 2017 Tundra, and was much easier towing than the LC. Originally had p metrics tires and I could feel the sway when a truck passed or I passed one. Upgraded this past spring to Nokian Rokiva AT plus tires that are E rated with 10 ply. As noted by another member here, that was a big improvement in stability and little to no extra rough ride. I doubt I need the second sway bar now, but always connect the one.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:14 PM   #20
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So the answer is yes! I almost lost it going through a mountain pass, with out sway control. A scary lesson protect your family and your investment.
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