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Originally Posted by billr
I am a new member with a 19' Bambi. Not much experience towing a trailer. Previous RV was a "C" class. I have been on back roads with this unit several times, but have stayed off the interstates. Would like an opinion on how necessary a sway bar would be. I am towing this with a Dodge Durango. I don't think I need an equalizer hitch since the dealer I bought it from provided a receiver that appears to make the unit and the truck level.
Thanks for any advice.
I am not certain, but if your hitch doesn't include weight distribution, you may be above the maximum tongue weight permitted by Dodge for your Durango without weight distribution. The empty hitch weights for recent model 19' Bambis have been listed from 425 to 500 pounds -- once loaded for a vacation I would suspect that the loaded hitch weight could increase by as much as 200 pounds (based upon my Minuet 6.0 Metre that has an empty hitch weight of 350 pounds and a loaded hitch weight of 525 pounds).
With the smaller coaches, sway control is something of a personal preference issue. Personally, I wouldn't consider towing even my 6.0 Metre Minuet without my Reese Dual Cam Sway Control. Based upon past experience with both Reese and Draw-Tite friction sway controls, I wouldn't consider either unless my loaded hitch weight were less than 400 pounds -- I had initially thought that I would be limited to friction sway control on my Minuet 6.0 Metre (gross weight 3,100 pounds) due to its gross weight being under 4,000 pounds, but when I contacted Reese, their representative advised that the loaded hitch weight being over 400 pounds was more important than the coach's gross weight being over 4,000 pounds (my dealer, who didn't usually sell the Dual Cam setup had advised me of the minimum 4,000 pound GVW recommendation).
Prior to purchasing my Airsteam, the only sway control that I had utilized was the Friction type, and it was FRUSTRATING and less than ideally effective -- if the weather changed it needed to be adjusted; loosen for wet or slippery road conditions, tighten when road surface dried out, or tighten if the wind speed picked up -- if traffic conditions changed, it was often necessary to adjust -- tighten for areas with heavy truck traffic, and loosen in light traffic areas. With the Reese Dual Cam system, on the other hand; once the hitch is properly adjusted (ball height, and ball angle) and the appropriate weight distribution bars have been installed and properly adjusted; there are no further in-trip adjustments needed on the Dual Cam system -- in fact, the only time that I have needed to make adjustments to my Dual Cam setup is when I have changed tow vehicles or have made significant changes in the loading of my coach.
I towed from 1979 through 1995 utilzing either the Reese or Draw-Tite friction sway controls and was never satisfied with either, but the Nomad coach that I towed most often at the time had neither the Gross Weight or Hitch Weight to make the Reese Dual Cam an option. When I purchased my '64 Airstream in 1995, my first addition to the hitch package was the Dual Cam Swan control, and I would never go back to the friction type sway control unless my loaded hitch weight was under 400 pounds for the coach.
Good luck with your investigation!
PS: The photo below, is of the Reese Striaight-Line Hitch with Dual Cam Sway control as setup for towing with my '75 Cadillac Eldorado: