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Old 03-04-2013, 08:24 AM   #1
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towing without a weight distribution /sway control

I am thinking of buying a Airstream 19 and was wondering if I could safely tow it home without a weight control/sway hitch. It would be 150 miles mostly freeway. This would give me time to set it up when I got it home.

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
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I wouldn't do it. Pull some weight off the front axles and you have altered the steering geometry. Might get right exciting.

My 2 cents.

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:07 AM   #3
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That is the tow rating of your truck, and what is the year and weight of the Air Stream?
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #4
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Can you tow it home without WD and Sway Control? Sure. Doing it safely is another matter to which I would answer. No. Safely implies absence of risk, and WD/Sway control are integral components to safe towing.

Why not have the dealer, or seller assist you with the WD/Sway setup process before you leave the point of sale? If they are not willing or able then I would take it upon myself to do it there prior to departing.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
Can you tow it home without WD and Sway Control? Sure. Doing it safely is another matter to which I would answer. No. Safely implies absence of risk, and WD/Sway control are integral components to safe towing.

Why not have the dealer, or seller assist you with the WD/Sway setup process before you leave the point of sale? If they are not willing or able then I would take it upon myself to do it there prior to departing.
X2!!!

The word "safely" being the operative expression.


Bob
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:51 AM   #6
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towing w/o sway control

We tow a 17' caravel w/o sway control with a F250. Most folks tow heavy boats without sway control. You will know after five or ten miles on a highway, when a few semis pass you, if you need more control. Try to get more weight on the front of the trailer. If you see any sway take the back roads and enjoy the view. Just my two sents.

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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I wouldn't worry about doing that for one minute because I've done it several times myself when I needed to move my 25' trailer a hundred miles to a long term parking spot and didn't want to mess with the bars. At the same time, I think it is prudent to drive about 52-53 miles per hour to minimize any adverse effects if you do get a little sway. When I've done this I literally couldn't even tell that the Equalizer wasn't hooked up.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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2012 airstream 19 probably weight around 3800 empty, hitch is around 500 I'm guessing.

Seller took off the sway control for his next trailer

If I can get the sway control set up installed before purchase I will and if not I can take back roads
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
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towing without sway bars

Thats what I would do.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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I won't advise but tell you what I do. I have 2009 19' International CCD that I tow with a 2006 F150. I do not have weight distribution or sway control, just the Reese ball, and I have towed in all conditional and roads and have never had an issue. Passing semis don't faze it and evasive maneuvers are uneventful. Trailer and truck are the same length and the TV outweighs the AS by a ton. I have driven Interstates and the length of CA, OR, and WA on the coastal road CA 1 and US 101 in OR and WA, probably some of the most challenging paved roads in the country, IMHO. Unless you have a smaller TV, I don't see the need. Anything trailer longer and with two axles I might consider WD. But with single trailer axle any weight taken off the TV rear axle goes to the trailer axle and front TV suspension. I don't need any more weight on my Goodyear Marathons. Comments?
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Trolling for comments.....are you kidding.

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Old 03-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #12
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The current owner said it would tow fine without WD and SC, he only had it foe a couple months, trying to see if I need it just to get it home, not for extended vacation.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #13
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I've got a 17' Airstream (3500 lb, 300lb tounge weight) and tow it with an F-150. I've never needed anything other than just the hitch ball.
We had a 22' Airstream and we needed both load level and sway control.
150 miles would be a good test run to check it out. Try it with what you have. If you get home with your hair sticking straight up, you'll need the sway control.
Remember that the max rated safe tow speed for your trailer is 55 MPH. This rule is commonly ignored. The minimum speed for most interstates is 45 mph. If it gets a bit loose at higher speeds just back off until you feel safe.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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I tow my 19 locally with an Ford Expedition on arterial roads without any sway/weight control @ speeds up to 55 mph. Never felt out of control.

Longer Highway trips I use the weight distribution hitch.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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thanks all, I don't want to hurry up and rush to get a WD SW system that I don't like just to get the trailer home

Years ago I saw a motorhome towing a lightweight trailer behind, trailer started swaying wildly and came off the hitch and safety chains and cartwheeled into the median.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:36 PM   #16
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Folks are free to tow how they wish but I've always been a bit surprised at anyone who voluntarily turns down weight distribution and sway control.

The tongue weight may only be 300 lbs but surely it's better to get it spread across two axles than one? As for sway control, I don't see what influence the size or weight of the TV has, it's the trailer that sways isn't it? If nothing else, sway control is cheap insurance , no? To me it's a bit like wearing a seatbelt; hopefully we never need it but you might be grateful for it one day...

Just sayin'
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:45 PM   #17
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At one point in the past I purchased a WD setup that I used once for a 15 mile tow.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:06 PM   #18
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You can get a easy lift WD hitch and anti sway bar at Adventure Rv for about $200. It took me about 45 min to set up with hand tools and a cordless drill. Don't tighten down the main bolts until your sure of the hight.

Now with that being said I towed my 29 ' Ambassador with no WD hitch for many of camping trips. It did have some wiggle when semi goes by, and that was with the bad axles.. Otherwise pulled great. After new axles and WD hitch even better!

If you don't do the WD hitch try to use a hitch and ball that make the trailer level as possible when hooked up.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #19
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I towed my 72 Tradewind back to Houston from Orlando without sway control. (1000 miles on I10). My thinking was that nobody needed sway control for 40 years so I would be fine. Well I made it, but every 18 wheeler that passed me, and they all did, almost blew me off the road. First thing I did when I got back was get a decent system. After that driving 70 was like nothing.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #20
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Gosh I must be over equipped, I tow a 16 Bambi Sport 2011 and I have the WD and antisway bar ... The feel is so good that my wife tows with confidence and often travels on her own .... However, I would tow the 19' without to bring it home ...but carefully on every mile of the way. It really is a personal decision and one I would contemplate only if the weather was dry, calm, and mild......good luck on your decision.
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