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Old 08-19-2015, 07:18 PM   #1
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How to Adjust Friction Sway Control

Hey,

I'm just about to install a Pro Series friction sway control bar (item 83660) and it looks pretty straight forward. My question is how do you know if you have it adjusted properly? The instructions are a little vague by saying "turn the adjusting bolt in 1/4 turn increments in the direction on the label until the desired control is achieved". Does this mean to take it out on a road test and tighten the bolt if you notice swaying? How do you know if it is adjusted either too tight or too loose?

I have a Toyota 4 Runner and am towing a Chalet Arrowhead highside popup trailer.

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:09 PM   #2
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Sounds like that is what you'll have to do. Test drive it.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:07 AM   #3
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I battled that same question, and the only answer is trail and error. I crank in down fairly Firm, and if it groaning too much while towing, i back it off a little. Is that correct ??????????????.
The best answer ( as we are doing ) is looking at new hitches with built in sway control.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:55 AM   #4
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"Does this mean to take it out on a road test and tighten the bolt if you notice swaying?"

DYA THINK?
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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Always tighten the handle firmly to the same position. The adjustment is the bolt, not the handle.

While driving on a wide, vacant road, test the sway control by watching the trailer in the mirror while doing a small and quick turn of the steering wheel. Of course do this in a safe manner. Adjust the bolt till the trailer follows without excess movement from the expected path. Don't get carried away because there will always be some "sway" from all the tire and suspension play.

The manufacturers can't give these instructions because the lawyers would have a field day if someone had an accident.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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Tow the trailer to a big empty parking lot. Stop with the trailer and tow vehicle in a straight line. Tighten the bolt that squeezes the sway bar frame to the bar to achieve maximum friction but still allows the bar to slide within the frame of the assembly. Get it tight, using a wrench or cheater bar. Then have someone else slowly drive around the parking lot doing tight turns and figure eights, while you walk along observing the sway bar. If the trailer coupler is not pivoting on the ball, and the bar is not sliding in the frame of the sway bar assembly, then you have it too tight, so back off a quarter turn. If the bar is sliding easily within the frame of the assembly, then tighten the bolt another quarter turn.

In other words, you want it tight enough that the coupler can barely pivot on the ball.

But the best solution, as rideandslide suggested, to get rid of that cheap hitch and install one that has built-in sway prevention, such as the Reese Strait-Line with dual-cam sway control instead of the cheap Pro Series with friction sway bars.
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Tow the trailer to a big empty parking lot. Stop with the trailer and tow vehicle in a straight line. Tighten the bolt that squeezes the sway bar frame to the bar to achieve maximum friction but still allows the bar to slide within the frame of the assembly. Get it tight, using a wrench or cheater bar. Then have someone else slowly drive around the parking lot doing tight turns and figure eights, while you walk along observing the sway bar. If the trailer coupler is not pivoting on the ball, and the bar is not sliding in the frame of the sway bar assembly, then you have it too tight, so back off a quarter turn. If the bar is sliding easily within the frame of the assembly, then tighten the bolt another quarter turn.

In other words, you want it tight enough that the coupler can barely pivot on the ball.

But the best solution, as rideandslide suggested, to get rid of that cheap hitch and install one that has built-in sway prevention, such as the Reese Strait-Line with dual-cam sway control instead of the cheap Pro Series with friction sway bars.
Whatever you do, don't take this advice! You might break the balls off, bend the sway control or lose control on a wet road with an adjustment that is way too tight. Most applications don't need an expensive setup, just learn to adjust the simple things properly.
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:48 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I had no idea it was going to be so involved. I've had some people tell me I don't even need sway control with this size pop-up. The guy who I bought it from didn't use one.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:51 PM   #9
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Maybe you don't need it. The trailer might be light enough and/or loaded well enough that with your tow vehicle the anti-sway is only a little insurance to keep Murphy a little further away.
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