sway bar control? (newbie alert!)

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Dingit, Jul 9, 2018 at 8:34 PM.

  1. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    We bought a popup, towed it home about 75 miles at low highway speeds, and put it in the garage so we don't have real road experience with it yet. It seemed okay at 55 mph and lower. Not bad in stop and go traffic, even without brakes. :eek:

    It came with a sway control bar, but not the ball thingie that goes on the drawbar. Do I need to get a drawbar with the little ear to hold the ball and then buy a little ball to go on it? Or should I just get a whole new sway bar that has all the parts?

    And, do I need it at all or is it something you always have anyway just because? The TV is quite a bit larger than the popup. The previous owner towed with a smaller truck and seemed to feel that it didn't make a difference. I'm just not sure he actually went anywhere.

    Trailer: 2008 Fleetwood highwall, GVWR 4000lbs, 14' box
    TV: 2012 Ford F350, ~21' long (156" wheelbase).

    (Yes, we will get the brakes working.)
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    When the trailer starts to sway it will scare the daylights out of you. You just need to buy a plate that goes under the ball on your hitch and has a place for mounting the small ball.
     
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I did the same as you lol , but at 70 -75 on the highway! Eek! I did buy the ball for the hitch. I figured it was worth a few bucks if it helped a bit. I was also told not needed with a full size truck and a 3200 lb pup. It was still with the peace of mind even if I haven't towed it yet!
     
  4. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    A sway bar won't hurt, but a F350 pulling a popup with the tongue level or lower in the front and plenty of tongue weight should not need one.

    You can get the "ear" and have it welded on your current hitch....I recently gave one away.

    I never used a sway bar on my Apache or other two smaller trailers and I tow them with less substantial vehicles than a F350. My 6k TT was close to 20 years old when I got it. The previous owners did not use a sway bar. I pulled it about 1k miles before putting one in just for peace of mind.
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    The 350 is big! Part of my mistake was having the wrong tow hitch, so it was way high in the front! Oops. It still towed at 70 really well, given the tires were 11 years old. Oh, what I learned!
     
  6. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Change those tires! They are waiting to blow...
     
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  7. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I dont think you really need the sway bar when you are Towing with a F350 & a 4000# pup. Just make sure of your tow height & tongue weight.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018 at 3:44 PM
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  8. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Eek! The tires on my new acquisition aren't too old (I checked before we left) but they aren't the correct load rating which I did not check.

    Thanks all. I guess I will try it and see how it goes. I'll still try to find the plate for the little ball and throw it in, just in case it gets scary.


    (I pulled a '74 Apache with a Ford Edge--no sway bar. It wasn't bad! I think it was only 6 ft. wide though.)
     
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  9. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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  10. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    A weld on Curt brand is about 10 bucks.
     
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  11. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    I uh don't weld.

    [:I]
     
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  12. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    A six pack to the right guy would get welded on.
     
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  13. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    And properly loaded (10-15%) of total weight on the tongue, you won't need a sway bar
     
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  14. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Is it that easy to adjust tongue weight? Seems like you're at the mercy of tank and cabinet locations.
     
  15. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Is it that easy to adjust tongue weight? Seems like you're at the mercy of tank and cabinet locations.
     
  16. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

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    You can adjust with the height of the hitch. Nose down, you're heavy on the hitch, nosed up and you're light and either way it will sway. If you have a drop hitch that will keep the pup level while going down the road, you'll be just fine IMO.
     
  17. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    You can check the tongue weight with a decent bathroom scale or spend a hundred bucks for a tongue scale if you really want to move stuff around to play with the weight. I just load the front heavy while remembering to put some weight over the axle & towards the rear.
     
  18. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Thanks guys. We actually removed the sway bar attachment thing from the tongue today. It was in the way of a mod and once we saw how rusty and not-quite-solid it was we decided we'd start with a fresh system if we feel we need one.
     

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