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Sway Bars

fwed
Explorer
Explorer
I’ve had sway bars on a 28’, 6,000# camper, but we’re downsizing to a 3,000# A-frame. Should I have them on this as well? Salesman recommends them, but he’s in the selling business. Opinions?
19 REPLIES 19

opnspaces
Navigator II
Navigator II
It's a small popup trailer behind an F150. You definitely do not need to add weight distribution (spring bars) to the hitch.

As far as a sway bar. If you load the Aliner properly with the majority of the added weight at or in front of the axle then probably not.

If you get too much wiggle when towing, or you have to put too much weight behind the axle the yes I would get a standard inexpensive sway bar. Barney posted a picture of one above called a Friction Sway Control. But I would just tow it first and see how it performs before adding anything to it.
.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

deltabravo
Nomad
Nomad
fwed wrote:
I'm thinking sway bars.


A sway bar is something that goes on the tow vehicle - generally bolt to the rear axle and the truck frame.

The device you are referring to as part of the trailer hitch is a sway control device of some sort.
2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
Also keep in mind that some trailers and or compact SUV’s don’t allow or recommend weight distribution hitches because of their design. Both our SUV and trailer are like this. We don’t need then anyway but just saying. Read the manual.

mkirsch
Nomad II
Nomad II
BIG assumption that he doesn't need a sway bar. Some might say dangerous.

The trailer never decides to get squirrelly 5 miles from home. It's always the farthest from home, the farthest from help. Buddy of mine towed for years same truck and trailer, all of a sudden he's driving like a bat outta hades down I-81 and the trailer starts trying to pass him. Of course clueless macho man he taps the brakes, thinks nothing of it, and continues on his way. Imagine if it had scared the tar outta him like it should have, and he immediately pulled over and refused to drive any farther. Now what? Out in the middle of nowhere, far from home, far from help, nothing to fix the problem (there was nothing heavy to put in the front of the trailer). Cheap sway bar already installed would have prevented the problem in the first place.

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

StirCrazy
Navigator
Navigator
Grit dog wrote:
BarneyS wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
Snip...
However your trailer is SO small compared to your TV that you may actually get others to tell you you don’t need it…..if they can stay on topic.
(Like the post above mine explaining hitch types….lol)
Snip...

Why don't you read the post before you shoot off your mouth. I was responding to his last comment in the post above mine. Here is what he said.
"Maybe a discussion of the difference between sway bars and weight distribution systems."
Barney


No shooting off…I don’t and he don’t need either or with a dinky trailer behind a big truck.
But rather than get bogged down in being “right” about the OPs terminology and showing him how (y’all know the difference…good for you), I cut to the chase.
Next caller please…..
PS I wasn’t trying to single you out. But only to cut the BS out.


but it's always those small trailers that go snaky the fastest as they are easier to load improperly. I used to have one of those little chalet "a frame" trailers when I first started RVing when I was 16. took a while to figure out how to lad it properly so it wouldn't act like a snake tail behind the Camaro :B when you don't have a lot of space it's hard to get that proper weight up front.
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Now, OP, you left out the most important part. You have a new trailer. You have a truck.
How did the trailer get home? Did you tow it? How did it tow?

That’s where you should be going first…. Not the salesman recommendations. If you got 5 bucks in your pocket, the butcher is still gonna recommend getting a filet, even if you only need to make a couple cheeseburgers. It’s his job to sell you chit whether you need it or not.
Dont be a sucker for salesmen.
And especially don’t be a sucker for hitch accessories. Half the time they’re like the “interior protection package” you get offered with a new car. Largely useless except for extracting money out of your wallet.
Now go take the trailer for a rip down the freeway and come back and tell us if it was scary, bumpy, swervy, or just fine.
Betting the latter….good luck!
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
BarneyS wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
Snip...
However your trailer is SO small compared to your TV that you may actually get others to tell you you don’t need it…..if they can stay on topic.
(Like the post above mine explaining hitch types….lol)
Snip...

Why don't you read the post before you shoot off your mouth. I was responding to his last comment in the post above mine. Here is what he said.
"Maybe a discussion of the difference between sway bars and weight distribution systems."
Barney


No shooting off…I don’t and he don’t need either or with a dinky trailer behind a big truck.
But rather than get bogged down in being “right” about the OPs terminology and showing him how (y’all know the difference…good for you), I cut to the chase.
Next caller please…..
PS I wasn’t trying to single you out. But only to cut the BS out.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
I still don’t see where the OP has distinguished between sway bar and WD bars.

N his opening post he said he had sway bars on his bigger trailer. We would have to assume he is talking about WD bars. That said, he probably doesn’t need a WD hitch, but a sway bar would be recommended!
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
Try it without and see how it goes. We don’t use a weight distribution hitch (what I think you are calling sway bars). Our trailer is 3400 fully loaded. No issues. Tows solid and no squat on the car. Give it a shot and make a decision from there. It’s nice to not have to deal with a WDH. Takes 60 seconds to hook or unhook.

BarneyS
Explorer III
Explorer III
Grit dog wrote:
Snip...
However your trailer is SO small compared to your TV that you may actually get others to tell you you don’t need it…..if they can stay on topic.
(Like the post above mine explaining hitch types….lol)
Snip...

Why don't you read the post before you shoot off your mouth. I was responding to his last comment in the post above mine. Here is what he said.
"Maybe a discussion of the difference between sway bars and weight distribution systems."
Barney
2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD, 1997 Ram 2500 5.9 gas engine

mkirsch
Nomad II
Nomad II
Most likely your new camper is NOT designed for a weight-distributing hitch, and will say so right on the tongue frame work.

One sway bar is likely all you will need for belt-and-suspenders protection. Having a truck that outweighs the trailer and can easily handle the weight goes a long way toward preventing sway. I've also noticed that these lightweight single-axle trailers tend to have the axle closer to the rear, which also helps. Loading all the heavy stuff ahead of the axle is the final step you can take.

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

fwed
Explorer
Explorer
Well, thank you for that! That's why I wanted the sales guy to send me information on his recommendation (a request he ignored, BTW). I'll just have to wait until I can get him within grabbing distance to find out what he's proposing. Thanks again for the help.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
fwed wrote:
Okay, I'm back. Sorry for the lapse. It's been a horrid week.

I've got a Nissan Titan rated to tow 9500 pounds and the new camper is only about 3000 pounds. I'm thinking sway bars. I just don't want some 18-wheeler or Greyhound bus blowing this little guy sideways while I'm trying to pull it in a straight line. The salemen make their living by convincing me I need something I don't know alot about. I trust you guys more than them. Maybe a discussion of the difference between sway bars and weight distribution systems.

Thanks. I appreciate the help.


Unfortunately, it seems most of the members here are either not much more knowledgeable than the salesman and/or have been brainwashed into thinking that travel trailer = wdh/sway required.
However your trailer is SO small compared to your TV that you may actually get others to tell you you don’t need it…..if they can stay on topic.
(Like the post above mine explaining hitch types….lol)

Oh and maybe just be a “rebel” and go see how it goes without all that c rap….It’s not magic or scary no matter how many make it out to be.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

BarneyS
Explorer III
Explorer III
Here is what a friction sway control looks like. It is used in conjunction with the Weight Distribution (WD) spring bars.
If you have one of these on your trailer tongue then you most likely have an older style WD hitch that uses chains to put pressure on the spring bars. Those spring bars do nothing to control sway other than adding some weight to the front axle of your truck. When the trailer swings they swing right along with it.
Note: Some of the later hitches do use the spring bars to control sway as used in the Equil-i-zer brand hitch. There are others also. Those do not use the sway control pictured above.

Barney
Friction sway control


Equal-i-zer Hitch
2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD, 1997 Ram 2500 5.9 gas engine