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Old 11-12-2013, 08:43 AM   #1
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Afraid of sway

Years ago I bought a 27 ft Kodiak TT knowing nothing about towing. I never felt comfortable with it and traded it for a 20ft expandable thinking shorter would be better. I did seem more comfortable with it but it just doesn't have enough room. After thinking about it, I realize that it is the potential for sway (like when a big truck goes by on the highway) that is making me nervous.
I'm looking at getting a 24ft Skyline Skycat (wt. under 4000lbs). I have a 2007 Chevy Silverado extended cab with the 6 liter V8. I believe I have an equalizer hitch. I keep reading about other hitches (pullrite, etc) that eliminate sway. Will what I have take care of it, or is it worth investing in a more expensive set up? I'm not sure how much sway I've actually experienced. It may be I'm just paranoid.


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Old 11-12-2013, 09:01 AM   #2
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What is the condition of your TV ?
if it is up to task, then 4k lbs is nothing to it...

'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk, 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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I had a 26H wilderness that I towed with a flat top conversion van. never had an issue. I bought a high top van and when I towed the same trailer I was all over the road, which so surprised (and SCARED) me. I thought the aerodynamics of the high top would be better. In any event, I added a sway bar, and that did indeed stop my sway.
maybe that will help?
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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Some will say if you have a properly set up weight distributing hitch (WDH) you won't have sway. I'm not so sure about that.
Our old travel trailer was 20' and 5,000 lbs loaded and pulled by an F150. No sway control and the sway was awful, as in white knuckle awful. Now have a 29' TT pulled by an F250 using a Reese dual cam WDH. No sway at all now and it feels sooo comfortable to drive.

First important thing is to correctly set up your WDH. You need to measure your before and after fender heights to ensure weight is being transferred properly. Even better, go to a scale and get actual weights to see how much weight is actually transferred. Each WDH brand has slightly different instructions for setup so you should refer to their manual. Never let a dealer set it up.

If your hitch head has provisions, you can install the add-on friction bar sway control. This is the cheapest and easiest way to go. Many swear by it. Next would be something like the Reese dual cam WDH which has integral sway control for around $500 or so if you search the internet. Works very well and is what we use. For a ton of money there is the Hensley and a couple of others. I'm not sure under what circumstances you'd want to consider one of these - maybe on long units? Overkill in most cases. I have not read about many using the Pullrite hitch so don't know how well it works and have never seen it at a campground. Some "fancy" hitches like the Husky Centerline can only be hooked up with the truck and trailer in a straight line.

Also, if you have an older truck like a 2007, I'd install new shocks. I installed HD Bilsteins on our F250 and it made a huge difference in handling while towing. If you have an extended cab, that will help towards sway/handling because of the longer wheelbase.

That 4,000 lb trailer you are looking at is probably dry weight. It will likely have an actual wt. over 5,000 lbs loaded and ready for camping. Sway issues have less to do with weight and more to do with the area of the sides of a trailer.

The only thing I would caution is to keep an eye on your actual payload capacity so you don't overload your truck. You need to consider the weight of all the passengers, pets, groceries and camping stuff in the truck bed (maybe around 400-500 lbs) plus the actual tongue weight. You don't want to have sway problems and be overloaded as well.

I saw a factory delivery guy stopped somewhere recently with a 28' or so TT behind his 3/4 ton. He was on the west coast and over 2,000 miles from Indiana. He had no WDH at all.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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Trailer sway is a big concern of lots of folks. You can minimize sway if you load the trailer so you have about 12 to 13 percent hitch weight, then use a good sway control system such as the Reese Straight-Line Dual Cam weight-distributing hitch.

But to positively eliminate trailer sway, you need a more expensive hitch, such as the ProPride 3P
Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P

or the PullRite hitch.
PullRite - Worry-free Travel Trailer Towing | PullRite Hitches

The ProPride is the newest design from Jim Hennesy, the inventor of the Hennesy Arrow hitch that's still sold.

I still "get by" with a Reese Straight-Line dual cam WD hitch, but I have my eye out for a used ProPride at a good price.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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Get a Hensley Arrow or Propride hitch or pullrite, and eliminate inherent sway from even starting. The projected pivot point is nearly above the rear axle which will make your truck handle like you're pulling a fifth wheel. It's inherently stable, and has minimal sway to begin with.

Whereas other hitches have inherent sway because the pivot point is far away from the rear axle. So they use friction or leveraging devices to try and dampen or control the sway. As more forces of sway push on the hitch, it reacts back with more leverage or friction depending on the acceleration of acting forces. This works, but once sway overcomes the abilities of the control devices, then you can have out of control sway. Also while these devices are working, you can still feel the forces which are merely dampened and not necessarily eliminated.

The hensley, pullrite and propride hitches are far more expensive at about $3000. But you can factor that into the price of your TT. It will also be much smoother if you plan on doing long distance hauls. Every owner of them as far as i can tell are always satisfied and won't tow another TT without it, unless it's a 5th wheel.

I like the idea of the pullrite, but would like to see an application chart. It's nice to not have to have any special add on's for the TT, hooking and unhooking should be a breeze. But finding one for you truck may be a problem. Also, i don't see any way of doing weight distribution with the pullrite hitch. So that may be a problem, but since it's a light travel trailer, it may not be so bad.

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