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Old 06-04-2014, 05:24 PM   #1
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Location: Waynesville Georgia
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Sway Bar Use ?

On our first TT ,25 ft, and towed it a half a dozen times or so without a sway bar with no issues ( once a little sway on a windy day ) and yes, with a WDH. Dodge 1500 Ram, well within tow limits.

I decided to add a sway bar for added saftey, now here's the question, it seems like i " feel " the trailer moving around more with the sway bar, then without, is it me ???? Something wrong ???

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Old 06-05-2014, 06:23 AM   #2
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We had a very similar setup and never had an issue with just the WDH. Didn't even notice the trailer was back there half the time. We had the 4 point equilizer WDH, 24 footer Coachman, with a Ram Hemi for TV.

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Old 06-05-2014, 06:48 AM   #3
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There may have been some sway without the bar but you didn't feel it because the trailer just moved on the ball. The sway bar transmits that energy to the truck so now it moves the truck a bit.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:02 AM   #4
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Think about what sway really is. An outside force: wind, dips, bumps, etc. act on the suspension and the coach (TT) body reacts by moving one of three directions or a combination of the three.

1. Side to side or the top of the unit tips left & right as viewed from the front or rear.
2. Coach moves up & down front to rear as viewed from the side.
3. Coach body twists left and right as viewed from the front or rear.

On a MH here's what is used to control those unwanted motions:
1. Anti-sway bars front & rear
2. Anti-sway bars front & rear
3. Track rods both front & rear.

As you can tell the anti-sway bars control both 1 & 2. If you were to hit a dip that went all the way across the front of the MH the ASB's would stiffen as the dip is hit and reduce the amount of front end spring compression. The same would happen as you hit the dip with the rear axle. If you hit a dip with one wheel the motion becomes sway and again it's controlled by the ASB (s).

Track rods because they connect the front and rear axles to the coach frame controls #3.

Now add to the equation the purpose of the shock absorbers and you complete the system. Shocks will absorb/dampen the compression and rebound of the suspension which results from encountering/hitting: wind, bumps & dips.

Everything that I have listed happens in combination. Hitting any bump is a combination of all three axis of movement and everything used to control things will act as needed to do just that. The variables that we can control will be how good are the shocks and how stiff are the ASB's, are the bushings good and of course how heavy duty are the leaf springs.

When using just a WDH which has anti-sway control you are still missing the most important part of the system which are the shock absorbers. The energy created when driving is absorbed by the suspension system but it MUST be dampened for complete control. If it is not dampened it will continue to move until all the absorbed energy is dissipated. The shock absorbs that energy and turns it in to heat energy.

I have never seen an anti-sway bar installed on a TT. It should work if it is attached to the axle and then to the frame. If that's the case since all you are doing is adding another spring (torsion bar) to the system it should stiffen the TT but unless you dampen the movement you will still have sway.

I'd like to see a picture of the sway bar attached to the unit to know exactly how it's hooked in.

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Old 06-05-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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Towing with just a WDH "versus" towing with a WDH and a sway bar should feel slightly different. As wind forces are applied to one side of the trailer pushing the truck into a slight turn (or) during a normal turn the truck will slightly twist or roll. This roll would cause the truck to loose traction on the lifted wheels (or inside wheels) and reduce corrective steering capability. The truck sway bar should take the truck rolling motion and turn it into a vertical motion thus keeping similar weight on both rear tires or both front tires. The sway bar is designed to reduce or eliminate the tuck roll and thus provides a more controllable vehicle. So yes, I would expect there to be slightly more up and down motion (while towing) after adding a sway bar to the tow vehicle. Side roll motion should be much less with the sway bar. However, I would expect there to be no up and down difference when driving just the truck.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #6
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My mistake!!!! When you said you added a sway bar I thought you added it to the TT. I guess I presumed that all trucks set up for towing had sway bars both front and rear.

I still believe that a lot of TT sway/rock & roll would be greatly minimized if a TT had shock absorbers. Our last TT had the Dexter Tor-Flex axles which use a rubber compound and a torsion bar axle so you do have independent suspension. You'd be amazed how a straight axle increases the TT movement. When one tire is lifted up it forces the other side to tilt out. With independent suspension that does not happen.

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Old 06-06-2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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I just went from an "EAZ-Lift" WDH with the friction sway controller, to a Blue Ox "Swaypro" hitch. It doesn't use a friction device, only the geometry of the hitch and bars to control sway. I never saw that the Eaz-Lift helped much with sway control. In fact the mount broke on the Sway controller when I was on vacation last year so I drove about 600 miles without it and could tell very little difference without it. I will say I don't think our TT is very prone to swaying in the first place. The "Swaypro" definitely helped with the overall ride, and the trailer has seemed in perfect control at all times. I wouldn't have switched except that I got tired of messing with those bars that had grease on them and got all over me whenever I unhitched. The swaypro is all self contained and no external grease on anything, except a dab on the hitch ball from time to time.

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