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Old 11-08-2015, 09:02 AM   #1
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Sway bar or No sway bar?

We tow a 23' TT with tandem axles that loaded for a trip probably hits around 5,000 lbs. We were towing it with a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the 5.7 L Hemi. It pulled the trailer fine, but the mileage was getting up there. We always used he friction sway bar that Camping World set our rig up for. We recently traded the Jeep for a 2013 F150 Screw Platinum 4x4 with the 3.5L Ecoboost and Max Towing package. I did some hitch adjustments then pulled the trailer up to Camping World (about a 30 miles trip up I95 in FL) to have them check the setup (by the way they did not charge me anything). I did NOT use the sway bar and had absolutely no sway problems running 60-65 mph, even when the semis bladed by me. I mentioned not using the sway bar to the service guy at CW and they didn't tell me I should use it. What are your thoughts? Should I use it?

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Old 11-08-2015, 09:10 AM   #2
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It's at times of emergency maneuvering, that you want all of the handling available to you. So I'd suggest using the sway bar.

Your Camping World could have competent staff that knew what they were doing. Or, they could also have bodies wearing the Camping World sign tags - you just never know.

You might post on the TT forum, a request for recommendations of shops in your area with good reputations for setting up a trailer and tow vehicle.

Again, one of those things where every bit of safety you can add, well, why not!?

Best to you, hope the Eco Boost takes good care of you!

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Old 11-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #3
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The fact that you have a "sway bar" means that you have a cheap hitch that is not much better than a WD hitch with no sway control. I would throw it away and install one of the high-end but affordable sway control hitches. They list for about $1,000 and are available complete with adjustable shank from discount sources for a bit over $600.

1: Reese Strait-Line Trunnion-bar with dual-cam sway control. Reese makes cheap hithes as well as the Strait-Line, so if you buy a Reese be sure it is a Strait-Line.

2: Equal-I-Zer. They make only one hitch with various tongue weight capacities, and they don't make cheap hitches. So any Equal-I-Zer with the proper spring bars will be an excellent hitch for your rig.

3. Blue Ox SwayPro = similar to the Equal-I-Zer but newer design.

As Smitty77 mentioned, you don't need a sway control or sway elimination hitch as long as everything is working right. But when things go wrong you can have uncontrollable sway in a heartbeat. The result is a trailer upside down in the median or on the side of the road, and if you're really unlucky the tow vehicle is turned over too.

What can make things go wrong? 18-wheelers zipping by at highway speeds, combined with cross winds and maybe a bump in a curve on the wet or icy highway. If you have ever had uncontrollable sway, then you'll pay the big bucks to be certain it never happens again. I have used a Strait-line for years, and last year invested in a much-more-expensive ProPride to reduce my chances of experiencing uncontrollable sway.

So I would definitely hook up your sway bar, and get it tighter than a fiddle string, then order a good anti-sway hitch to replace that cheap hitch ASAP.
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 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
It's at times of emergency maneuvering, that you want all of the handling available to you. So I'd suggest using the sway bar.
Speaking as someone who has towed trailers several thousand miles... I will second Smitty's suggestion that you want the sway bar.

What's more.. You already have it, so just add the mini-ball to the tow vehicle (A 10 minute job if it's sealed to the card, Less if it's loose) and have fun.. Rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:49 PM   #5
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A Blue Ox Sway Pro works for me. My trailer has a GVWR of 10K.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:36 PM   #6
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**** gets real...real fast

Better to have and not need than need and not have
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:03 AM   #7
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Thank you for all your replies. Much appreciated! Much to consider. I will use the sway bar and consider upgrading the hitch and definitely will upgrade it if we get a bigger trailer at some point.

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