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Old 05-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
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anti sway question

Ok, I got a simple question but have been different answers from a lot of people.
Basically I am new to towing and camping in anything other than a tent. My wife and I bought a 3500Lbs hybrid for us, two toddlers and a dog. We also bought a 2011 F150 FX4 Eco boost with max tow package which included upgraded bumper, coolers and the 3:73 gears.
I currently have a WD hitch with the friction control bar, that came standard with the trailer, for anti-sway. Now I do not want any sway and I know that I need to load heavy upfront, drive normal, keep angle at hitch lower, etc. and all of that but what I am wondering is, is it worth buying the Reese dual cam and using it for anti-sway or is it overkill in that I should be fine with the newer truck or is it that if it buys piece of mind then it is worth it.
I plan on camping most weekend with the family as with the children so young, it is a great time to expose them to camping and we can do it for many years. We also wanted a lighter trailer and "larger" tow vehicle so that we could go campground to campground, knowing the 10Mpg we are going to get. Actually the Eco boost is quite good on gas but I do slightly under speed limit to begin with.
So basically to sum this up, would you recommend keeping the friction or go with say the dual cam with 600Lbs bars for the better anti-sway.
Most of my friends say I don't need it and it is overkill and that I do not even need WD with the tongue weight of my trailer. Personally, I disagree but would like to hear from seasoned veterans who have much more experience than me. If dual cams will not negatively affect my towing then piece of mind is worth the extra $500+ to me.
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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First...

Second... Prior to our coach, I towed a triple bunk, 21-foot, tandem-axle, Hybrid travel trailer that weighed in the neighborhood of 5000-lbs with a 2002 Ford Expedition 4x4 5.4L with a WD hitch and friction sway. Never once, did I feel uncomfortable with driving anywhere with that rig. We went on a trip through the mountains into upstate NY and made hundreds of weekend trips around Ohio, Indiana & Kentucky. You do have to get used to the creaks & groans that the WD system will make. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but it does take a little while to get used to.

The dual cam system is great, if you were pulling a 7000-lbs 35-foot bunkhouse travel trailer, but I think for the weight you're planning on pulling with your truck, a friction sway control is more than sufficient.

........but don't go cheap on the brake controller.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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Don't the new Fords have a sway-control technology built in? Whether or not it does, you should be fine with the current hitch as long as the hitch is adjusted correctly for the proper weight distribution.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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You will be fine with what you have. I towed a similar weighted travel trailer with an old Bronco with the same set up and it did fine. However, we just bought a new travel trailer and decided to go with a WDH with built in sway control. IMO, they are a little better and don't make the racket the other ones do.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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my first rig weighed about 6000 and I towed with a pretty standard Husky rig with friction bar. I eventually moved to much bigger 33 ft trailer with about 11000 pounds. I went to a Equilizer hitch and love it.

As you gain experience towing, start studying the different rigs and ask a questions at campgrounds and you will get an idea of what you want to do. Essentially, you should feel very confident while towing and not have too much sway.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:48 PM   #6
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The Reese Dual Cam HP or Straitline hitches work very well and for the money are hard to beat. They take a bit more time to install and set up and a lot of Rv dealers do not want to take the time to read the instructions. I would certainly ditch the friction type sway control.

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Old 05-29-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosoku View Post
My wife and I bought a 3500Lbs hybrid for us, two toddlers and a dog. We also bought a 2011 F150 FX4 Eco boost with max tow package which included upgraded bumper, coolers and the 3:73 gears.

I currently have a WD hitch with the friction control bar, that came standard with the trailer, for anti-sway. Now I do not want any sway and I know that I need to load heavy upfront, drive normal, keep angle at hitch lower, etc. and all of that but what I am wondering is, is it worth buying the Reese dual cam and using it for anti-sway or is it overkill in that I should be fine with the newer truck or is it that if it buys piece of mind then it is worth it.
I'm biased, perhaps. I don't want any sway either. Been there, done that. Those primitive friction-type sway bars are the bottom of the line. I won't risk my rig with those cheap attempts at sway control. So right now I have two Reese Strait-Line dual cam WD hitches for two different trailers. They're great, but I could still get some sway under severe conditions. So I'm constantly on the lookout to dodge severe conditions that could result in uncontrolled sway. But sometimes stuff happens. So I'm saving my sheckles to replace one of my Strait-Line dual cam setups with a ProPride.

Quote:
So basically to sum this up, would you recommend keeping the friction or go with say the dual cam with 600Lbs bars for the better anti-sway.
15% of the GVWR of your trailer is probably more than 600 pounds. So you probably need the 800-pound spring bars. And pay the little extra for the trunion bar hitch instead of the round bar. You'll have more ground clearance under the hitch with the trunion bars, and you'll need that clearance for crossing dips and ditches without dragging high center.

Reese - Strait-Line Trunnion Bar

Part No. Description

66082 Strait-Line™ 600 lbs. Trunnion Bar w/Shank (includes #66540, #54970 & #26002)
66083 Strait-Line™ 800 lbs. Trunnion Bar w/Shank (includes #66541, #54970 & #26002)
66084 Strait-Line™ 1200 lbs. Trunnion Bar w/Shank (includes #66542, #54970 & #26002)
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:36 AM   #8
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I was so glad that I never wasted the money on my WD hitch. I bought a Fleetwood Scorpion S1 several years ago. It was suggested that I purchase a WD hitch, I negotiated it with the deal and got it for free. I was a Reese hitch with the dual sway friction bars too. I used it several times,...and this one particular weekend, I decided not to use the friction bars to see if I really needed it them. The trailer towed the same with or without the friction bars. I guess it just all depends on the how the trailer is set up.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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Talking sway control

I use to have a 3500 lbs pop up and used a friction sway control with no problem when my wife was on the road by herself she got a blowout and did not know or feel until she saw sparks friction control did it's job and kept trailer from swaying. good luck on your on whatever type of sway control you get.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:15 PM   #10
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I prefer the friction-type sway control for several reasons, some related to physics. They should be superior to a self-centering hitch, which are un-damped and can accentuate sway.
And they are adjustable, so you can back off tension in slippery conditions, which is a distinct advantage if you are trying to get home over a 10,000 ft pass in a snow squall in August!
My experience with the simple direct-acting friction sway controllers is phenomenal.
For me, it's friction or Hensley or Pro-Pride. I can't afford the latter two.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:59 PM   #11
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If your TT is balanced right you shouldn't need any sway control. All those guys hauling TT's for a living never use any WD. Our 1st TT was 22', 4050lbs. Towed it with an 08 F150 Scab. I was using a WD hitch with the friction bar. On one trip somewhere along the way the friction bar broke and was hanging by one ball. I never noticed when it broke. Never used it again. You have plenty of truck for that TT. Sway comes from an improperly built or loaded TT.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:26 AM   #12
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I definitely agree about proper loading. I could cite a couple of stories about improper loading and sway.
So, as far as "sway" goes, which is that horrible oscillating action, load it right and you shouldn't need sway controls.
But I have been forced off the road and had to do a double swerve to avoid an abutment, and I have had to make another emergency move or two , and I was VERY GLAD that the friction damping kept the rig going where it needed to go. No tail-wagging.
It wasn't "sway," but emergency stability was enhanced. Maybe my M-B's onboard trailer stability control did its job and I didn't really need the friction, but I think the bars helped us through those situations.
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