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Old 09-03-2014, 08:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bjlakatos View Post
From a practical perspective, the 3500 stance/level is not measurably impacted when hitched/no bars. The spec on the hitch head is 600# and 6k# max tow capacity without springbars. (800#tongue wt, 8k# tow capacity max)

Trailer is 650# tongue wt (measured), 5800 dry/7600 gvwr (dataplate)

This spec is commensurate with other 2in drawbars that I have seen.

That said, I see no ball-only hitch solutions. What did I miss here?
You haven't missed a thing from where I'm sitting. There's a question of will it do it, and a second question regarding doing it right.

Added to the capacity issues you mention, without the bars, and the tongue weight of the trailer supported by the hitch/frame only, the distance from the trailer ball to the trucks rear axle is acting like a big lever trying to lift the truck's front end off the ground. If that's of no concern, especially with a side wind, then proceed any way you like.

Otherwise, I think it's safe to say the bars and a decent sway control are going to be part of a reasonable plan to get the rig to handle as well as it can, in as safe a manner as possible.

Mentioned earlier is the ball height. It'll be impossible to get the truck and trailer both leveled if it's not set correctly. That's already been covered here, so no point getting back into that.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
...you still need excellent sway control. Ordinary friction-based sway bars do not provide excellent sway control. For excellent sway control you need a Reese Strait-Line with dual cam sway control, or Husky CenterLine, or Equalizer or similar relatively expensive WD hitch that retails for around $1,000 and costs more than $500 from discount online sources. Even better sway control is provided by the the ProPride or Hensley Arrow that costs over $2,000. I drag my cargo trailer with a Reese Strait-line, and I drag my TT with a ProPride. But I'm experienced enough that I have had uncontrollable trailer sway, as well as hundreds of thousands of miles of safe towing. So I insist on excellent sway control on any trailer I can tow with a pickup.
Sorry, but this is simply no longer the case with MANY modern trucks (and SUVs) equipped with electronic trailer sway control (check your owner's manual, if applicable). My 2012 2500 tows my 27' TT like a dream with no extra hitch equipment at all. The springs are more than enough to hold up my 650lbs of hitch weight plus a bunch of stuff in the bed. We went 5,200 miles around the country this Spring with many instances of severe crosswinds and hundreds of trucks passed with no hint of sway whatsoever.

Anyone with a truck that is not similarly equipped will still need to buy this extra equipment. My point is just that that you can't always make these all-encompassing statements as they are simply not correct anymore.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:34 PM   #17
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That's something I hadn't thought about actually (electronic trailer sway control). No clue how they have that set up to work as effectively as you say it does, but if so, then more power to them (and trucks so equipped!).

Still doesn't put my mind at ease regarding the lack of bars though. The idea of that much weight being placed on the back of the truck, behind the rear bumper, without torsion bars doesn't sit well. Could be I'm old school, but speaking for myself, I'll need more convincing bars are not still a necessity there.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post
Sorry, but this is simply no longer the case with MANY modern trucks (and SUVs) equipped with electronic trailer sway control (check your owner's manual, if applicable). My 2012 2500 tows my 27' TT like a dream with no extra hitch equipment at all. The springs are more than enough to hold up my 650lbs of hitch weight plus a bunch of stuff in the bed. We went 5,200 miles around the country this Spring with many instances of severe crosswinds and hundreds of trucks passed with no hint of sway whatsoever.

Anyone with a truck that is not similarly equipped will still need to buy this extra equipment. My point is just that that you can't always make these all-encompassing statements as they are simply not correct anymore.
Well now, I firmly disagree with you. That modern built in sway control in your truck is a help but it is definitely not the total solution that you state. I have a 2014 F250 with similar sway control and you still need a wdh with sway bars.

I believe you have a fairly light trailer if you only have 650# tongue wt. so yes maybe in your specific instance you can "get by" without the sway bars. Most people are going to need sway bars and are going to be far safer for themselves and everyone they meet on the highway by using them.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post
Sorry, but this is simply no longer the case with MANY modern trucks (and SUVs) equipped with electronic trailer sway control (check your owner's manual, if applicable).
Disagree. As schrod indicated, the built-in electronic sway control in my 2012 is an assistant, but it certainly does not replace a good weight-distributing hitch with sway control.

Today I made it home from a 2,900 mile towing trip, dragging my 7x14 cargo trailer with the Reese Strait-Line WD hitch with dual-cam sway control. No problems at all (if you don't consider 9 to 10 MPG on premium gas a problem)on that trip from west Texas to Fort Irwin CA and return to Austin, then home to Midland County. We cruised most of the way at 68 MPH across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Because of the ridiculous 55 MPH speed limit in California, we cruised with the big boys at around 62 MPH while in CA. We had severe winds and lots of 18-wheeler traffic on I-10. The combo of the F-150 electronic sway control and the dual cam mechanical sway control worked great.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:52 AM   #20
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I believe you have a fairly light trailer if you only have 650# tongue wt. so yes maybe in your specific instance you can "get by" without the sway bars. Most people are going to need sway bars and are going to be far safer for themselves and everyone they meet on the highway by using them.
I was mainly talking to the original post who has a 26' TT and a 3500 DRW setup.
Everyone has to figure out what will work safely for them. Certainly, a smaller truck and a bigger trailer can be a different story.

My trip across NM and TX going 65-70mph with 45-55mph perpendicular wind was all the proof I need.

I am not suggesting everyone that has e-sway control should dump their mechanical equipment, but I do think that all the hype and dealer's sales pushing this stuff is over the top. If you have e-sway, you've already paid for it... find out how well it works before you buy more equipment.

As far as running both the mechanical and e-sway, read your owner's manual because in some instances, the hitch equipment undermines the electronics. I had this with our Touareg which has self-leveling air suspension. You cannot run a WD setup with those, and don't need to, and the manual specifically says not to.

Just find whatever works for you and your setup. I did and could not be happier.

Not to mention that hooking up my TT is as quick and easy as hooking up a 6' utility trailer.
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