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Author Topic: When do you need an anti-sway bar?  (Read 5421 times)

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jswalls110

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« on: May 24, 2007, 03:03:43 PM »
I'm waiting on a call to pick up my new2u PU, and have been wondering about anti-sway bars.

Is there a set of guidelines on when to consider one, or is it try to tow first then see?

I'm getting a 1984 Starcraft Constellation, 24' open 12' closed.

I've not towed anything before, so I have no experience in these things.

Any and all comments and opinions (and I know about opinions....) are welcome!


Jeff - '56
Anne - '64
Tara - '87
Scott - '90
Buddy (German Shepherd 1) - '05
Dakota (German Shepherd 2)- '06

Edited by - jswalls110 on May 24 2007  15:04:58

Offline jchivalier

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 03:20:05 PM »
as soon as you hook up the pup you need a swaybar.

nights camped 2007= 6
http://community.webshots.com/user/jchivalier

Offline jhower

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 01:34:28 PM »
A lot depends on your tow vehicle and how it works with the size of your PUP. I'd suggest trying it out and if you have trouble with sway, then install it. If you have a mini-van you'll probably need it.

We've never had a need for a sway bar on any of our 4 PUPs or the utility trailer. We've always towed with a full- or mid-size truck, though.

Check the recommendations of your TV owner's manual, too. Some mandate a sway bar and/or WDH over a certain weight.


John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
2007 Flagstaff 620ST purchased 05/07
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'89 Coleman Sun Valley, sold 05/07 and headed for Louisiana
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'95 Dodge Dakota 4x2 3.9L
His & Hers Pelican kayaks
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John & Cindy
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Offline denverd0n

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2007, 05:33:15 PM »
A swaybar is something that you should not normally need.  You need one when something is wrong and all of the "usual" stuff doesn't fix it.  What is the "usual" stuff?

First and foremost, make sure you are not overweight.  That means several things.  You need to be within the limitations for the trailer gross weight, trailer tongue weight, tow vehicle towing capacity, tow vehicle gross combined vehicle weight rating, tow vehicle tongue weight.

Then, within the weight limits, make sure you are balanced.  Between 10% and 15% of the trailer total weight should be on the tongue.  Too much or too little can cause sway.

Next, make sure that you have your trailer level.  That means getting a ball mount that raises or lowers the ball to the correct height for the trailer.  Then, is your tow vehicle (TV) level?  If it is sagging severely then you either need some sort of helper springs or a weight distributing hitch.

Finally, check the tow vehicle and trailer tire pressures.  If your trailer manufacturer does not specify a pressure rating for the tires then pump them up to the maximum listed on the sidewall of the tires.

Nineteen times out of twenty, get all these things right and you will not have any problems with sway.  If all of this is done and you are still having sway problems then it's time to consider a swaybar.

 

Offline penguinluvr

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2007, 05:47:38 PM »
here is my two cents.  

As a woman buying my first pup by myself I was petrified. I had never pulled a trailer or anything before.  

I am pulling a shenandoah.  It is 2500lbs dry and is 17 feet with the tongue and bumper.  I pulled it from Manitoba to Saskatoon (9 hours) in the pouring rain with no problem.  I am pulling it with a Ford Windstar.  

Once home I mentioned to my Dad how I would know if I need sway bars.  He said "Oh you would know" not the answer I wanted but I can comfortably say you probably won't need them.  

If it was a travel trailer than the answer would of course be different.



Tracy
Taylor
Logan
One Chihuahua named Shayna
1996 Coleman Shenandoah
Pulled by 1999 Ford Windstar

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Offline jhower

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2007, 06:07:58 PM »
You deserve a lot of credit, penguinluvr! Towing in those conditions for the first time would challenge most drivers.


John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
2007 Flagstaff 620ST purchased 05/07
--------------------
'89 Coleman Sun Valley, sold 05/07 and headed for Louisiana
--------------------
'95 Dodge Dakota 4x2 3.9L
His & Hers Pelican kayaks
http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
John & Cindy
'04 F150 Lariat, '08 Fleetwood Niagara

Offline CracklePop

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2007, 08:34:25 PM »
I tow my Cheyenne (10 foot box) with a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan and haven't had any trouble with either towing or swaying. (Haven't tried going up any mountain passes yet, though. :-))

I had the dealership install the hitch b/c Honda says you need extra transmission coolers or something or other (I'm not a car person :-). It cost a fortune but at least I felt I'd done all I could to ensure it would tow well without compromising the engine.

But get this - the hitch installation from Honda doesn't come with lights/power plug. They provide the wiring but no standard plug. "Depends on what you intend to tow," they say. Yeah, but could you put a standard plug on there, just out of courtesy? Uh...nope. Anyway, I took it to a local hitch place to get the plug installed, and they told me with great foreboding and warning that I would HAVE to get a sway bar, no doubt about it. That I wouldn't be able to tow without it. I said I'd need to consult my expert and would get back to them. That would be my dad (sounds like you have a similar expert in your family, penguinluvr :-), and he said, "You don't need a swaybar unless the popup sways when you pull it." Made sense to me, and I haven't had any problems.

Me - Mom '61
DS - K '90
DS - T '94
DS - N '00
DS - C '04

jswalls110

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2007, 04:40:23 PM »
Thanks to you all for your expertise.

I brought the Constellation home behind the Wrangler 6 cyl, and had no problems at all, other then first time jitters.

I can't see the Commander having any problems at all!

Jeff - '56
Anne - '64
Tara - '87
Scott - '90
Buddy (German Shepherd 1) - '05
Dakota (German Shepherd 2)- '06
2006 Jeep Commander
1984 Starcraft Constellation

Offline penguinluvr

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When do you need an anti-sway bar?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2007, 05:43:47 PM »
Glad that I don't need one. The class II hitch I bought does not have a way to attach sway bars so I would have to buy a different hitch again.

You will be fine.  I had lots of jitters all the way to Wpg then once it was hooked up and the service guy that did our walk through said we were good to go the excitement took over and I was not jittery anymore.

Tracy
Taylor
Logan
One Chihuahua named Shayna
1996 Coleman Shenandoah
Pulled by 1999 Ford Windstar

http://community.webshots.com/user/penguinluvrme2

 


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