Sway Bar Necessary?

lynnmarie0123

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
371
Hi

thanks to all who answered my newbie questions so far.

My next one is : dealer is recommending i get a Sway Bar. That means a whole new hitch AND BALL too. Im towing with a hyundai santa fe SUV. pup WEIGHS 1450 dry - my SUV RATED for 2000 pounds.
Im new to this - have never towed a camper.
Should i pay the extra $300 for this sway bar?
Im scared about braking while going downhill and pup going faster than the SUV.

LOGICALLY my brain says it shouldnt swing or jackknife. But in my mind i can see it happening.

thanks for any input.

lynn
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,873
Northern Virginia
It doesn't hurt to have one, but no you shouldn't have too many problems assuming you pack appropriately and keep weight on your tongue. I will say, not to scare you, but I had it happen to me, where
I had tunnel effect wind hit my popup just right and caused it to sway. Going any speed with an out of control camper can sure wake you up. Thankfully with the help of a big rig driver who used his rig to stop the wind and me EVER so slightly applying breaks got everything in control. It did make me wish I had a sway bar to help. It may not have stopped it from happening but it could have helped getting things under control quicker.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,456
Nj
I think there needed. And cheap insurance. You can add it yourself for a bit less. You need the small ball, and the bar. And a plate to put the ball on the old hitch. I had trucks pass me and suck in the camper. Not fun. This was with the pup on a highway. Lots of traffic and bridges to get to where i need to go. Hell, my tv by itself gets pushed by the wind sometimes on a bridge by my house.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,558
I have never used a sway bar on lighter trailers, but it can't hurt. I wouldn't pay $300 for one, though. $50 or 60 bucks will get you one. Welding in the tab shouldn't be more than $20.
 
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A-Ranger12

Active Member
Feb 25, 2020
264
Western NY
Have you towed it yet to feel how the rig handles? I'd try towing it a bit and see how it goes before plunking down money on something that fixes a problem your rig might not have.

For the braking, does your camper have brakes? And, does your tow vehicle have a brake controller? Proportionally controlled trailer brakes will do much more to keep the camper in line going downhill than a sway bar. If it feels squirrelly, good controllers have the ability to apply the trailer brakes without applying tow vehicle brakes. That should bring the trailer back in line.

I'd spend money on making sure the trailer has working brakes and the tow vehicle can power them before spending money on a sway bar that might not be needed.
 

netslacker

Member
Jun 19, 2020
54
Personally, I don’t think it’s needed. A 1450 lb trailer sounds rather small so, I’d say put the money into something else as once you start going camping your list of needs starts growing endlessly. Also, like someone else has mentioned, If you load the trailer correctly and keep the weight on the tongue you should be fine.
 

lynnmarie0123

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
371
It doesn't hurt to have one, but no you shouldn't have too many problems assuming you pack appropriately and keep weight on your tongue. I will say, not to scare you, but I had it happen to me, where
I had tunnel effect wind hit my popup just right and caused it to sway. Going any speed with an out of control camper can sure wake you up. Thankfully with the help of a big rig driver who used his rig to stop the wind and me EVER so slightly applying breaks got everything in control. It did make me wish I had a sway bar to help. It may not have stopped it from happening but it could have helped getting things under control quicker.
Wow!! Scary!!!! Thank you that reinforces my decision a little more.
 

lynnmarie0123

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
371
Personally, I don’t think it’s needed. A 1450 lb trailer sounds rather small so, I’d say put the money into something else as once you start going camping your list of needs starts growing endlessly. Also, like someone else has mentioned, If you load the trailer correctly and keep the weight on the tongue you should be fine.

thank you! I wasnt even aware all weight goes tongue side either i really am a baby in this group!
 

lynnmarie0123

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
371
Have you towed it yet to feel how the rig handles? I'd try towing it a bit and see how it goes before plunking down money on something that fixes a problem your rig might not have.

For the braking, does your camper have brakes? And, does your tow vehicle have a brake controller? Proportionally controlled trailer brakes will do much more to keep the camper in line going downhill than a sway bar. If it feels squirrelly, good controllers have the ability to apply the trailer brakes without applying tow vehicle brakes. That should bring the trailer back in line.

I'd spend money on making sure the trailer has working brakes and the tow vehicle can power them before spending money on a sway bar that might not be needed.
Yes the camper has brakes. As far as tow vehicle im not sure about a brake “controller” ...or what that even means. Pup brakes only and not SUV? I dont know the answer to that... But yes your advice is sound and makes sense. Safety is #1 priority though. No i havent towed yet because its not mine yet. I just put a down pay on it only. Before i leave dealer with it next week they want to install this. Thats why im asking.
 

Tronicus

Member
Jun 3, 2018
27
I am running a 3500lb popup on a 5000lb rated tow vehicle. I have electric brakes on the camper and a brake controller. I run a load distribution hitch with anti sway bars on it. Why? For an extra 10 minutes of setup and a couple hundred dollars I have another layer of safety. I very rarely feel my camper behind me, except for the extra weight being pulled. Being passed by semis, high wind situations, etc. give me no problems.
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,410
I don't have one. I was previously unaware of the sway control adapter (https://www.amazon.com/Reese-26003-...ket&qid=1593389468&sr=8-18&tag=popupportal-20). Now that I know about it, and knowing that my total cost to add a sway bar and adapter is under $100, I will most definitely do it.

I tow a 3200 pound trailer with a TV rated for 5000 pounds. And the trailer is well balanced. So why would I do this? Because it's safer. And because ONE time a few years ago I felt the trailer wag as I was going around a curve in the highway at 70 MPH in an area where the highway was in terrible condition with ruts and bumps. It was no big deal, but it made me realize that it is possible to get some sway even in a well balanced trailer. If the roads were slick for some reason, it may have been a little more scary, though we also would have been travelling slower.

For $100, it's cheap insurance. And the hook-up time after doing it once or twice couldn't be more than two minutes. I'm good with that.

But if the trailer has electronic brakes and the tow vehicle doesn't have a controller, I'd do that first.
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
May 21, 2015
2,649
Unless you added it yourself I'm guessing that your Santa Fe has a Class II, 1" square receiver with a 1 7/8" ball. If they're talking about upgrading you to a Class III 2" receiver, 2" ball and mount, and throwing in a sway bar, I'd call that a helluva deal. If that's not what they're talking about that is still what you need.

That's almost as important as getting a decent proportional brake controller added to the SUV.
 




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