Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-15-2024, 04:06 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2018 27' International
Dunlap , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 14
Tight maneuvers with weight distribution and sway system

I have a RAM 2500 TV with rear air bags that have preset heights. Normal setting is slightly higher than Trailer setting. I also use a Reese Strait-Line WD/sway system. I understand that it might be best to remove WD system before tight backing maneuvers. Wondering if I could simply raise TV backend via air bags to relieve WD pressure when backing instead of removing system. Has anyone tried doing this or know if it might be sufficient to help during tight maneuvers?
Bright67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2024, 05:05 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Wayne&Sam's Avatar
 
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Cuddebackville , New York
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,364
Images: 21
I've been using that Reese system for 13 years and never had an issue backing up with tight turns.
__________________
2014 25' Flying Cloud Rear Twin
2019 Ford Expedition Platinum
Wayne&Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2024, 06:19 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Oak Park , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
I've been using that Reese system for 13 years and never had an issue backing up with tight turns.

+1, only I've been using it for over 20.
sfranklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2024, 07:47 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,131
Blog Entries: 1
I also use the Reese straight line and have almost never removed the hitch for backing. I think twice in 17 years I have removed the chains and bars because of a sharp dip before the campsite. I do not know anything about airbags but it sounds as if your idea would be good. Going onto a ferry for instance. The problem with the WD is with dips, not going backwards per se.
Bill M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2024, 09:09 AM   #5
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 15,788
Hi

There's really multiple questions here:

1) Can you do things with the WD hooked up? Simple answer is that with just about all the systems out there, yes you can indeed do this or that.

2) Is it a good idea to do this with WD? Simple answer there is "that depends". Sharp turns and big bumps put extra force on the system. That force is applied to the trailer tongue and to the hitch / receiver. You aren't going to snap something off, however you will accumulate wear and tear at a faster rate. Eventually things will fail if you do enough crazy stuff.

3) Do the air bags help with this issue? Not really. It's more related to bending back and forth than anything else. You want to get the "springs" out of the picture to take care of the problem.

Fun

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2024, 09:26 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,741
Images: 194
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
RE: Tight maneuvers with weight distribution and sway system

Greetings Bright67!

You can count me among those towing with the Reese Strait Line hitch that have never experienced any problems backing up with the weight distribution bars in place. I have been using my Reese Strait Line Hitch since 1980. I can't say the same thing in regards to the hitch that I used prior to the Strait Line that relied on the sliding lever arm that mounted on the A-Frame for sway control -- it had to be removed when backing into even a fairly standard campsite as that sway arm would bend very easily -- after the second instance, I switched to the Strait Line.

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC #7864
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2024, 04:00 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
1999 28' Excella
Lake Mary , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 261
If I am backing up in a paved area, or gas station, no need to disconnect. But I will remove the WD system before entering winding or unpaved roads, or I will need to back into an RV site. Seems to relieve stress on the system, along with keeping the WD removal easy peasy when done on a firm, dry and level area. Dont wanna wait until you are stuck in mud
suncoasteng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2024, 07:42 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Mollysdad's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 7,692
Blog Entries: 1
I watched a YouTube video where the 'expert' recommended disconnecting the WD when driving through a highway construction zone.
My reaction was, "He's nuts, or never actually did this."

I currently use an Equalizer Brand hitch, and never disconnect. I do pay attention to transitions and try to minimize them by angling my approach, taking it slow, and avoiding crazy maneuvers. "I don't like that gas station, I'll get back on the highway and try again." (shortcuts, especially out west, are rarely a good idea. I once ended up in a box canyon because I was avoiding a stoplight.)
Mollysdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2024, 09:17 AM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
1972 25' Tradewind
St Clair County , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 109
When I first got this trailer I had a difficult time making that 90 degree turn from a narrow residential street into a narrow driveway. Then I read somewhere that removing the WD bars and the sway control would make maneuvering more responsive. Once it was just on the ball it seemed to turn immediately instead of gradually over four feet, which was then almost into the yard!
Was it really more responsive or was I just getting better at backing up? I don't know, but I always take everything off and I back it in like a pro!
TR Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2024, 12:50 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
2019 22' Sport
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,214
It seem to me that the opinion that things need to be disconnected to back up arises from a lack of understanding.

There are a lot of people that refer to weight distributing torsion bars as "sway bars". They are not. Yes, a properly set up weight distributing system helps with stable towing, but a sway bar is correctly a traditional friction sway control.

I use a single friction sway control with our 22FB. With a longer trailer (over 25') I would use a second (left side) bar as well. A friction sway control is a brake that resists turning. When I'm backing and turning, I might unwind the handle to remove the friction - yes, the trailer does respond more quickly to steering inputs this way. In a tight spot (like parking it at home) I will remove it completely so that it doesn't get damaged when the car is 90 degrees to the trailer. I've never moved the trailer with the car without the weight distributing bars in place.

A tight friction sway control can prevent a trailer from tracking straight after a turn. That's why it's suggested you should reduce the friction on a wet, snowy, or gravel road. You will know if you need to - the steering wheel won't return to centre after a turn. Also, at lower speeds on a winding road you might prefer to reduce friction because the steering wheel won't unwind normally as you accelerate out of the turns - you will need to actively turn it back.
AlbertF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2024, 03:35 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar
 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Georgetown (winter)Thayne (summer) , Texas & Wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,779
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF View Post
It seem to me that the opinion that things need to be disconnected to back up arises from a lack of understanding.

There are a lot of people that refer to weight distributing torsion bars as "sway bars". They are not. Yes, a properly set up weight distributing system helps with stable towing, but a sway bar is correctly a traditional friction sway control.

I use a single friction sway control with our 22FB. With a longer trailer (over 25') I would use a second (left side) bar as well. A friction sway control is a brake that resists turning. When I'm backing and turning, I might unwind the handle to remove the friction - yes, the trailer does respond more quickly to steering inputs this way. In a tight spot (like parking it at home) I will remove it completely so that it doesn't get damaged when the car is 90 degrees to the trailer. I've never moved the trailer with the car without the weight distributing bars in place.

A tight friction sway control can prevent a trailer from tracking straight after a turn. That's why it's suggested you should reduce the friction on a wet, snowy, or gravel road. You will know if you need to - the steering wheel won't return to centre after a turn. Also, at lower speeds on a winding road you might prefer to reduce friction because the steering wheel won't unwind normally as you accelerate out of the turns - you will need to actively turn it back.
Your opinion/analysis is a bit flawed. The friction bar you use, does just that; adds "friction" when the trailer starts to move left or right, depending how much you have tightened it...a guessing game. Does not prevent sway; it does little more than adding a bit of resistance from tightening the bolt with the lever onto the sliding steel shaft, creating the friction, and actually wears down the surfaces over time.. It is little more than a screw/bolt against the shaft of the device. Fine for smaller trailers, perhaps.

A sway control bar set up, like with the Blue Ox Sway Pro, uses tapered bars, which add "steal spring tension" as they are "pushed" from side to side thru trailer movement, creating the "tension" from the tapered bars, to bring the trailer back to center. Totally different than friction sway bars. With a small trailer, the friction type bar may be fine for your liking. Just not anywhere near the same as one of the WDH with Anti Sway bars. There are other WDH assemblies that operate similarly with tapered bars also, like Equalizer uses now also.

As for removing while maneuvering or backing up, not needed with many WDH. Using good judgment depending how much your going to be maneuvering in a tight area, may be good to disconnect. I have done this maybe twice over 15 years of towing my AS's.
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, 6.7L, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer-Star Valley Ranch RV Resort (Thayne, WY); Winter-Sun City (Georgetown,TX)
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2024, 09:55 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
2019 22' Sport
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,214
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Your opinion/analysis is a bit flawed. The friction bar you use, does just that; adds "friction" when the trailer starts to move left or right, depending how much you have tightened it...a guessing game. Does not prevent sway; it does little more than adding a bit of resistance from tightening the bolt with the lever onto the sliding steel shaft, creating the friction, and actually wears down the surfaces over time.. It is little more than a screw/bolt against the shaft of the device. Fine for smaller trailers, perhaps.

A sway control bar set up, like with the Blue Ox Sway Pro, uses tapered bars, which add "steal spring tension" as they are "pushed" from side to side thru trailer movement, creating the "tension" from the tapered bars, to bring the trailer back to center. Totally different than friction sway bars. With a small trailer, the friction type bar may be fine for your liking. Just not anywhere near the same as one of the WDH with Anti Sway bars. There are other WDH assemblies that operate similarly with tapered bars also, like Equalizer uses now also.

As for removing while maneuvering or backing up, not needed with many WDH. Using good judgment depending how much your going to be maneuvering in a tight area, may be good to disconnect. I have done this maybe twice over 15 years of towing my AS's.
Thanks for weighing in.

You are correct; a friction sway control essentially uses pressure on a pair of small brake pads. There is wear, but in over 30,000 miles it has not been significant. Does it prevent sway? All I can say is that it firms things up at highway speeds, and I've only ever experienced sway once in the past 18 years - a brief event with 3 oscillations triggered by a 40-50 mph crosswind gust.

Your description of the Blue Ox Sway Pro was interesting. I checked out their website again. The only thing that I see with Blue Ox is that they build their ball mounts with the required rearward cant (to provide caster angle), while other manufacturers leave the adjustment up to the installer. The Eaz-Lift set up I have includes a distinct rearward cant. It appears that my old Eaz-Lift, set up the way it is, provides similar inherent sway control to the Blue Ox. That is unless I'm missing something and Blue Ox has some technical innovation that I've overlooked.

The Equal-i-zer hitch also provides sway control using friction - at the hitch head and at the bar ends. It may be more effective than a pair of friction sway controls, but the downsides seem to be stiffness and noise.
AlbertF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2024, 06:36 AM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
2018 27' International
Dunlap , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 14
Increase height of TV backend

Thanks for all of the responses, and it looks like there are some that do and donít remove WD system in certain situations. The second half of my question; however, was more specific to air bag use as a way to relieve WD tension during these situations as an alternative to fully removing WD. Also, the Strait-Line uses a cam system that increases tension the more your TV and trailer are at an angle to each other. So, if I thought I needed to remove WD when backing, I can simply raise TV (reducing some tension) and then do the maneuver. It would be equivalent to lowering the chains on the WD bars by maybe one to two links.
Bright67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2024, 06:32 AM   #14
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 15,788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright67 View Post
Thanks for all of the responses, and it looks like there are some that do and don’t remove WD system in certain situations. The second half of my question; however, was more specific to air bag use as a way to relieve WD tension during these situations as an alternative to fully removing WD. Also, the Strait-Line uses a cam system that increases tension the more your TV and trailer are at an angle to each other. So, if I thought I needed to remove WD when backing, I can simply raise TV (reducing some tension) and then do the maneuver. It would be equivalent to lowering the chains on the WD bars by maybe one to two links.
Hi

As mentioned above, no, that isn't the same thing. You really need to undo the WD to get it out of the picture. Raising the back end of the TV puts different (but still bothersome) stresses on the system. It also lowers the back end of the trailer, making it more likely to scrape when going over things.

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 07:33 AM   #15
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar
 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Georgetown (winter)Thayne (summer) , Texas & Wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright67 View Post
Thanks for all of the responses, and it looks like there are some that do and donít remove WD system in certain situations. The second half of my question; however, was more specific to air bag use as a way to relieve WD tension during these situations as an alternative to fully removing WD. Also, the Strait-Line uses a cam system that increases tension the more your TV and trailer are at an angle to each other. So, if I thought I needed to remove WD when backing, I can simply raise TV (reducing some tension) and then do the maneuver. It would be equivalent to lowering the chains on the WD bars by maybe one to two links.
It really depends on the situation and "which" WDH you are using. What does the Mfg. say?? Important to get the experts advise. As for my earlier comment, the WDH from BO does not have issues when backing up. I took off couple times, due to the "angle" I had to use to get my AS in a camping spot. This also had to do with a particular site terrain. Required tight maneuvering and a bit of an uphill entry, so I removed the WDH to make it easier to both park, and unhook. Same example when hooking up; I hook up, then pull on to level ground, drop the front jack, and re-hook up the WDH and the Sway Bars. "some" WDH bars are square and do not "flex" nor slide easily on their mounts, so as I say, check with your WDH Mfg recommendation. As for Airbags, many posts on this topic...as Uncle Bob and others have said, including Airstream, the Airbags do nothing for the suspension while towing. If your using them to "level" your vehicle, your likely not hooked up properly.
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, 6.7L, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer-Star Valley Ranch RV Resort (Thayne, WY); Winter-Sun City (Georgetown,TX)
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 09:57 AM   #16
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 10,427
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
I used to own a Reese Dual Cam sway control hitch and system. Biggest problem sometimes was backing into a site where you have little room to get the tow vehicle straightened out as you slip the trailer into its spot. That causes a bar to be back in the saddle too far to allow the hoop bracket that the bar slips into to be lowered back so you can get the bar out. I've been to many a campground where the sites are short and the folks have to park their tow vehicle parallel to the road across from your site thus giving you little room to straighten out your tow vehicle as you back your trailer in.

I loved my Equal-i-zer brand hitch since the tow vehicle can be in at any angle when you unhitch or hitch up.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56 S/OS#15
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
tjdonahoe's Avatar
 
2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,581
I sure like my Reese duel cam hitch
tjdonahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« ProPride Question | Top | - »

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Have to back up a very tight 150' driveway into a tight space... front hitch? starkruzr Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 57 07-01-2020 10:38 PM
Brakes, How tight is too tight? rhutson Brakes & Brake Controllers 5 03-15-2012 12:48 PM
How tight is too tight? Alden Miller Awnings 16 06-01-2006 09:09 PM
I need sway control AND weight distribution? TBKP's Overlander Hitches, Couplers & Balls 19 07-03-2003 08:54 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.