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Old 11-13-2020, 12:18 PM   #1
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Electronic Sway Controllers

There was a similar thread back from 2017 that seems to have died and it would be good to have more current information. (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...ol-164816.html)

Looking for an anti sway solution for towing a Basecamp 20X with a tow vehicle that recommends against a weight distribution hitch. Setting aside all of the discussions on the tow vehicle and proper trailer loading and tongue weight ratios, looking for feedback and experience with electronic sway controllers like the Hayes Sway Master or the Tuson Electronic Sway Control System.

Anyone used them? Anyone have first hand experience with both and prefer one over the other?

The Hayes seems to have ease of installation going for it, while the Tuson has some claims of better control.

[We currently have a 27FB Globetrotter towed by a 2019 RAM 1500 with a Equalizer WD system.]
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:50 AM   #2
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For the basecamp consider a passive friction sway bar alone. Active electronic controllers do work but they are after the fact, which is not to say that is bad. I will comment further on active controls including the ones you mentioned when I have a chance.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:33 AM   #3
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Here is a test of the Tuson system

https://www.canamrv.ca/blog/post/hit...-sway-control/

Note that it suggests the electronic system be used as a belt and braces, eg a supplement to the mechanical sway control.
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Old 11-16-2020, 12:53 PM   #4
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a proper internal weight distribution would do most of the sway control solution. I do not use any form of WDH or sway Control bars. My Explorer has Trailer Sway Control system which helps but actually it is how we put stuff inside the AS. see the video below

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...%26FORM%3DVDRE

I have no sway control bars at all. just put heavier stuff up front inside the AS and light ones in rear.

Keep in mind, this only works with small Airstreams (Bambi and Carvelle)
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Old 11-16-2020, 01:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
For the basecamp consider a passive friction sway bar alone. Active electronic controllers do work but they are after the fact, which is not to say that is bad. I will comment further on active controls including the ones you mentioned when I have a chance.
^
X2

We used 2 of these on our 23' single axle Safari with very good results.

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Old 11-18-2020, 08:10 AM   #6
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Hartford much of sway tendency is dependent on trailer loading but there are limits depending on vehicle and speed so loading alone may not be enough for many situations and configurations. If tongue weight is below 15% or vehicle is lighter than the trailer sway control supplements are strongly encouraged.
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:42 AM   #7
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The review and test linked by jcl is pretty informative. The other test that would have been helpful would have been to create inherent instability through loading so they could comment on arresting the accurate definition of sway. The tests they performed tested its ability to moderate trailer yaw but not amplified sway.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
^
X2

We used 2 of these on our 23' single axle Safari with very good results.

Bob
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Can you back up with that attached? I also assume it has to be disconnected when traveling over uneven terrain?
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
Here is a test of the Tuson system

https://www.canamrv.ca/blog/post/hit...-sway-control/

Note that it suggests the electronic system be used as a belt and braces, eg a supplement to the mechanical sway control.
Thanks, I'd do a WD system if I could as it is what I run now, but it is advised against by the tow vehicle manufacturer, so I need a "belt without braces" solution. The straight up friction sway bars have indicated issues with backing up and uneven terrain, which I do not want to constantly be hooking and unhooking as I travel.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halford1 View Post
a proper internal weight distribution would do most of the sway control solution. I do not use any form of WDH or sway Control bars. My Explorer has Trailer Sway Control system which helps but actually it is how we put stuff inside the AS. see the video below

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...%26FORM%3DVDRE

I have no sway control bars at all. just put heavier stuff up front inside the AS and light ones in rear.

Keep in mind, this only works with small Airstreams (Bambi and Carvelle)
Thanks, but I wanted to set aside loading as a discussion in this thread and look for feedback on the electronic solutions under the assumption I was already properly loaded.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:21 PM   #11
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Can you back up with that attached? I also assume it has to be disconnected when traveling over uneven terrain?
Yes...up to about 30 degrees. The angle will vary with the length of the unit.
I disconnected when it reached the maximum length of travel.

In 18 Seasons I never disconnected over any road conditions.👍

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Old 11-18-2020, 01:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by KelDarBerg View Post
Thanks, I'd do a WD system if I could as it is what I run now, but it is advised against by the tow vehicle manufacturer, so I need a "belt without braces" solution. The straight up friction sway bars have indicated issues with backing up and uneven terrain, which I do not want to constantly be hooking and unhooking as I travel.
What is the tow vehicle? Some manufacturers donít recommend WD because the receivers they offer arenít designed for WD loads, or they arenít familiar with the use of WD equipment. In many cases there are aftermarket receivers available that resolve that issue.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
^
X2

We used 2 of these on our 23' single axle Safari with very good results.

Bob
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You only need sway control, when you need it. If you don't and you need it, it's too late to wish you had it unless your time machine can go back and install it in time.
Trailer loading is fine when it works. I've found situations where all the holding tanks get full on a boondocking trip, and I had swaying on a grooved road before I got to a dump. Or you could have some other situation happen that you have too much weight on the back of the trailer that you didn't know about. The engineers are super good at loading their weight properly, but sometimes there might be a non engineer that loads for you that you don't know and oops si daisy in the ditch.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:13 PM   #14
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What is the tow vehicle? Some manufacturers donít recommend WD because the receivers they offer arenít designed for WD loads, or they arenít familiar with the use of WD equipment. In many cases there are aftermarket receivers available that resolve that issue.
It is common for the manufacturer to install a weak receiver when they donít intend and donít recommend the owner tow a trailer that requires more strength. It would be odd for the manufacturer to be unaware of typical practices in a particular market segment. Clearly the manufacturer is aware of WD or they wouldnít have mentioned it. A far more plausible explanation is the vehicle has issues with oversteer stability which is made worse with WD. Would be interesting to hear of the make and model and then get a technical bulletin or letter explaining the rationale. Speculation can only get you so far.
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:25 PM   #15
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It is common for the manufacturer to install a weak receiver when they don’t intend and don’t recommend the owner tow a trailer that requires more strength. It would be odd for the manufacturer to be unaware of typical practices in a particular market segment. Clearly the manufacturer is aware of WD or they wouldn’t have mentioned it. A far more plausible explanation is the vehicle has issues with oversteer stability which is made worse with WD. Would be interesting to hear of the make and model and then get a technical bulletin or letter explaining the rationale. Speculation can only get you so far.
Agree that a weak (or untested) receiver is common. That can be rectified with an aftermarket receiver in many cases. Euro vehicles with quick release detachable towing arms are in this category.

The reason for the question was that we have seen situations where a manufacturer has not engineered a receiver for WD equipment, then the regional marketing organization has issued instructions and later reversed them. VW comes to mind. BMW said no WD, then later said fine, use WD, but no change in tow rating (which is their prerogative). Some have said don't use WD because we supply self levelling suspension, which can be either a lack of appreciation of the different purposes, or the manufacturer's representative not being clear on how to turn off the self levelling feature in order to set the WD. Sometimes it is simply that the manufacturer hasn't considered WD equipment, and so advises not to use it because they don't have validation of how to use it.

My favourite is when a regional marketing group publishes that a vehicle isn't designed to tow at all, so no tow ratings, when the vehicle includes trailer stability control features included by the engineers. The problem is that a manufacturer and their representatives aren't a monolithic organization with a single voice.
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:36 PM   #16
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I’ve thus far been unable to view any of that written guidance where rowing limits were raised. Seen many where limits remained unchanged. Would be interesting to see the VW document as I rather doubt it.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:22 PM   #17
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I’ve thus far been unable to view any of that written guidance where rowing limits were raised. Seen many where limits remained unchanged. Would be interesting to see the VW document as I rather doubt it.
Referring to VW, I am not aware of them increasing their tow ratings, simply softening their WD advice, from no, to not necessary, etc. They can’t provide a revised rating if they haven’t tested with WD, they simply don’t have a basis for doing so. It’s the difference between “no”, and “no comment”.

Fortunately, there are others who have tested it.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:39 PM   #18
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As I suspected
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Old 01-05-2021, 02:10 PM   #19
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Went with the Tuson

With limited feedback from the community on the actual first hand use of electronic sway control, I went ahead with the Tuson system (https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...5TSC-1000.html) and had it installed by the Airstream dealer in Scottsdale. Given the basecamp is not set up well for traditional weight distribution systems and my tow vehicle manufacturer recommends against it, it seemed like the best option to add a layer of safety if I encounter a sway situation.

Used it over 4 days towing from Arizona to Wisconsin and experienced no sway situations, but I don't know how much was due to just a good setup and proper weight vs. how much the electronic system kicked in. It does have a LED indicator for when it activates, but the dealer mounted it in a place I can't see it from the tow vehicle. We did have a solid wind through Texas and passed plenty of semis in both directions so encountered "normal" towing disturbances over the 4 days.

Slam dunk recommendation? Don't know, but seems like the best option I could come up with given my parameters.
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Old 01-05-2021, 03:05 PM   #20
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Had it activated you would have gotten some seat of the pants indication. I think you have a good safe setup and the anti-sway controller adds a nice margin. If you were of a mind to test it you can do so if you are very careful and do it cautiously and slowly. PM me and I can describe how one could safely test it.
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