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Old 06-11-2016, 07:49 AM   #1
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Sway Bars attached when backing up?

What is your take on leaving the sway/spring bars attached when backing into your RV site?

Its our daughter's 24 foot trailer. She has the old style spring bars with the chain links you hook in place.


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Old 06-11-2016, 07:59 AM   #2
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depends on which hitch you have. Some you can, some you can't.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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I used to have one of those WDH hitches and a friction sway bar. I was told by the dealer I should take the sway bar off when backing up, but while I would loosen the sway bar friction I would only take it off when backing up if I had to back up at sharp angles. I never took the WDH bars off when backing, but would have if I encountered backing at sharp angles up or down steep slopes. This past February, while at the City of Rocks in New Mexico I watched a guy back a TT up a fairly steep slope into a 90 degree turn to put the TT into a campsite. I was very impressed that he could do it. I noted that before he started he did take his WDH chain bars off.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:41 AM   #4
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I leave the wd bars attached until I get the trailer parked. If you have the sliding type sway bar that attaches to two little balls, then you should remove it. Stuff will break if you don't.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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I generally remove the friction sway controls, but if you're talking about the WD spring bars I never take them off, even when backing into my driveway which is a pretty tight turn where I sort of have to twist it around a lamppost and then squeeze it up against the wall at the side of my driveway.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:19 PM   #6
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Since it is not yours, play it safe, take it off !!!!!
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:39 PM   #7
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I always leave mine attached.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:59 PM   #8
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I snapped a bolt off trying to turn too short please take them off
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:36 AM   #9
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I have the Andersen Hitch. You can leave them on to back up. That was one of the biggest reasons I chose them. Really happy with it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcguire48 View Post
I snapped a bolt off trying to turn too short please take them off
Here's the thing- backing is almost never done in a straight line and often includes some kind of irregular terrain. This is when torsional forces on your hitch are at their greatest. By removing the bars you are removing weight from the steering axle at a time when you need steering control the most. You are increasing the dead weight on the hitch to the full amount of the tongue (while twisting it around) which changes the geometry of the rig by introducing a low point and exceeding the rating of the hitch.
Personally, I would avoid any WDH that the manufacturer recommends removal in order to back up.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:55 AM   #11
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We may be mixing up terms and equipment here.


Usually, the weight-transfer bars, which some designs have them hanging down from chains, can be left in place while backing. Except perhaps when the elevation changes a lot, in which case they may be best removed to prevent overstressing the hitch and attached vehicles.


Also, some rigs have the friction-type sliding anti-sway bars. Most folks recommend taking this type of anti-sway device off the little balls they are installed on when backing, because very tight backing maneuvers can exceed the movement allowed by the design. IE, if the backing angle becomes too acute resulting in jackknifing, the bars will overcompress and perhaps damage the mounting balls or the bars themselves.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamer6 View Post
We may be mixing up terms and equipment here.


Usually, the weight-transfer bars, which some designs have them hanging down from chains, can be left in place while backing. Except perhaps when the elevation changes a lot, in which case they may be best removed to prevent overstressing the hitch and attached vehicles.


Also, some rigs have the friction-type sliding anti-sway bars. Most folks recommend taking this type of anti-sway device off the little balls they are installed on when backing, because very tight backing maneuvers can exceed the movement allowed by the design. IE, if the backing angle becomes too acute resulting in jackknifing, the bars will overcompress and perhaps damage the mounting balls or the bars themselves.
You are absolutely correct. The anti-sway friction bars were not part of the OP.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:13 AM   #13
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The equal-i-zer hitch with the bars do not require the bars to be removed to back up.
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