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Old 02-13-2020, 11:23 PM   #1
JWR
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Do I need an anti sway hitch?

I just bought a 2018 FC 19. It weighs about 4,000 lbs. (Which is currently getting a 3" Dexter lift kit to get a little space under it.) I'm towing it with a 2020 Chevy 2500 that weighs 6,980. So I don't think so.

The dealer suggested but I thought it was an upsell attempt. The previous 4 trailers were pop ups and tow vehicle was a 2005 Titan.

I tow a 12,000 lb boat with this truck without one and that's no problem. Just don't get in a hurry and give yourself plenty of space like towing any other large load.

Just thought I would check with the experts since I'm new to the AS world.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:02 AM   #2
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Try it without....if ever in the wind or being passed ...you may want it
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:42 AM   #3
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I tried with our first AS, '63 single axle Safari...👎
Light weight+single axle= a lot of potential for unwanted movement.

Bob
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At least try...
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:45 AM   #4
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Everyone’s thought process is unique. You have a brand new truck and a near new trailer. Combined a healthy 6 figure purchase. For anywhere from $500 to $2500 you can add safety equipment to help with the things that are out of your control. Basically the equivalent of spending perhaps upward of 1.5 pennies for the dollar to protect the dollar.

You likely won’t need much if any weight distribution for that rig (scales will tell you for sure) but that’s not the same as sway control. Do you need it? No. Until you do.

I have a 2500 diesel to tow a 27FB and the first decision that was most important to me was the WD/sway control hitch.

Your mileage can vary but since you’re asking for advice - mine is to splurge on the best hitch you can buy, set up your rig correctly, give yourself every advantage against things out of your control, drive slow and defensively, and enjoy the experience.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:01 AM   #5
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No. You don't need a sway control device. Pulling a 4000 lb Airstream with a 7000 lb truck, you won't experience any sway at all.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:14 AM   #6
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As the others have implied, the trade off may not justify a hitch. You get very slight handling and stability improvements but you're adding extra sheer forces to the light trailer frame which can increase damage in a front end collision. A WD hitch is not generally advised in this situation.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
No. You don't need a sway control device. Pulling a 4000 lb Airstream with a 7000 lb truck, you won't experience any sway at all.

BS...you may not notice it, but it will sway, exactly what happened with our 7000lb TV.

Bob
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:41 AM   #8
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Many years back I had a single axle Airstream. I didn't need weight distribution because like you I had a 3/4 ton truck at the time, however, almost all trailers can sway. Smaller, lighter single axle ones tend to "bounce" sway.

As Bob pointed out in post 3, a friction sway bar is a good thing to have. When I upgraded to larger Airstreams, I obviously went with weight distribution and dual cam sway control, which is mega overkill for what you have.

So my suggestion mirrors Bobs, get a friction sway control. The weight of the truck/tow vehicle is irrelevant in terms of sway.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:02 AM   #9
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In order to achieve uncontrollable sway in a trailer you have to back end load the trailer and travel at a high speed. You can't back end load an Airstream enough to cause a problem unless you use it as a cargo trailer. Its difficult to get the tongue weight below 10%. You would have to get it below 5%. Concerning speed, an Airstream with Goodyear Endurance tires is limited to 87 MPH. That would be well below the critical speed necessary for uncontrollable sway. Note that a friction control device will not change the critical speed. It will just hide a potential problem until it's too late.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:08 AM   #10
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There is another problem with these friction sway control devices. They can cause loss of control on slippery surfaces. Their manufacturers tell you to disable them when it rains.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
In order to achieve uncontrollable sway in a trailer you have to back end load the trailer and travel at a high speed. You can't back end load an Airstream enough to cause a problem unless you use it as a cargo trailer. Its difficult to get the tongue weight below 10%. You would have to get it below 5%. Concerning speed, an Airstream with Goodyear Endurance tires is limited to 87 MPH. That would be well below the critical speed necessary for uncontrollable sway. Note that a friction control device will not change the critical speed. It will just hide a potential problem until it's too late.
Sway is OK as long as the BIG truck makes it that way....Just go a sway.

PLEASE

Bob
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:20 AM   #12
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Bigger is better when it comes to sway. If your truck weighs more than your trailer there is nothing to worry about.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
In order to achieve uncontrollable sway in a trailer you have to back end load the trailer and travel at a high speed. You can't back end load an Airstream enough to cause a problem unless you use it as a cargo trailer. Its difficult to get the tongue weight below 10%. You would have to get it below 5%. Concerning speed, an Airstream with Goodyear Endurance tires is limited to 87 MPH. That would be well below the critical speed necessary for uncontrollable sway. Note that a friction control device will not change the critical speed. It will just hide a potential problem until it's too late.

There is another problem with these friction sway control devices. They can cause loss of control on slippery surfaces. Their manufacturers tell you to disable them when it rains.



This issue is not uncontrollable sway, it's minimizing sway at the get go, before you get to a situation where loss of control is reached. Friction sway has been around for well over 40 years. It's a proven tool in reduction of sway so that you minimize the possibility of getting to an uncontrolled sway situation which can happen without loading the RV as you suggest.

I have used friction sway control for 10s of thousand of miles in nearly all type of road conditions in a similar manner as the OP. The tail wagging the dog situation you elude to where folks talk about removing the friction sway in rain or snow is a non-issue for a 19' Airstream being towed by a 3/4 ton truck. If you have a similar weight TV, yea, it makes sense to pull the friction sway bar, but as the OP is towing with a 3/4 ton truck, I myself see no issue with it.

I towed with and without and I can tell you with does have a benefit, it also helped a good deal in high cross wind, nowhere near as good as my dual cam does now, but sufficient enough for a 19' foot trailer or shorter with trailer weights north of 3000lbs.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:30 AM   #14
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BS...you may not notice it, but it will sway, exactly what happened with our 7000lb TV.

Bob
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You are correct Bob, any weight trailer with significant cross sectional area will noticeably sway in variable cross winds and localized pressure flux (passing truck, etc.). Tow vehicles with significantly more inertia than the trailer will not react much to the sway and it will quickly damp out on its own. So if you're the type of driver that does not react to transient handling impulses that self correct, the risk of trailer damage in a crash or while negotiating uneven terrain may outweigh the increase stability of a WD hitch. If you're the white knuckle driver who jumps at every step change or large impulse, the peace of mind of a WD hitch is just the ticket.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:30 AM   #15
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Nowadays trucks are certified for towing in accordance with SAE standards. This includes being able to pass a sway test with a trailer at the rated load. For the truck in question that's probably 4 times the weight of the OP's trailer.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
In order to achieve uncontrollable sway in a trailer you have to back end load the trailer and travel at a high speed. You can't back end load an Airstream enough to cause a problem unless you use it as a cargo trailer. Its difficult to get the tongue weight below 10%. You would have to get it below 5%. Concerning speed, an Airstream with Goodyear Endurance tires is limited to 87 MPH. That would be well below the critical speed necessary for uncontrollable sway. Note that a friction control device will not change the critical speed. It will just hide a potential problem until it's too late.
out of sight, clearly you are unqualified to discuss kinematic physics, control system theory, and stability of feedback systems. The stability critical plane is very much altered as a function of lateral damping. Your advice is often misleading at best, please stick to topics you understand.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:43 AM   #17
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Bigger is [often] better when it comes to sway. If your truck weighs more than your trailer [and your trailer is sufficiently weight biased forward] there is [little] to worry about [with respect to uncontrollable sway amplification].
There fixed that for you, you're welcome.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:44 AM   #18
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The SAE sway test measures the damping ratio when a sway disturbance is induced. You have to achieve a damping ratio of at least 0.3. What this means is that the sway is gone in about 2 or 3 oscillations. Its possible to still be safe with 10 diminishing oscillations, but what happens is many drivers would become nervous and try to correct it. That could actually make the problem worse and lead to a jackknifing accident.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:47 AM   #19
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I love these ad hominem attacks. Next it will degrade to name calling.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:55 AM   #20
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There is [risk] with these [weight redistribution] devices. They can [contribute to] loss of [steering] control on slippery surfaces [when the driver fails to adjust speed downward to adjust for weather conditions]. [this is because they tend to shift steering response close to neutral (a good thing) at safe vehicle speeds, but in dynamic situations requiring excessive speed combined with panic breaking and sudden steering response, there is a risk of unrecoverable over steer leading to a jackknife.] Their manufacturers tell you to disable them when it rains [to limit liability because they know many drivers unwisely maintain speed in heavy rain].
There, fixed that for you.
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