Sway bar type and brand recommendations?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by davekro, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    I’d like to add a sway bar. Any recommendations for particular brands or types?

    Most the time I don’t feel the 2000 pound trailer behind our midsize SUV. I do notice visually it swing back-and-forth sometimes. I think a sway bar would be additional security for swaying, gusts of wind and on corners when the trailer decides it wants to wiggle. Brands, models, links, I’ll take what you got.

    One I see on Amazon.
    Curt w/ weld on tab for receiver. Has anyone had this welded and liked it?
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what that is curt makes lots of stuff. The one i posted before is what most pop ups use. https://www.homedepot.com/p/CURT-Sw...VeQekdG5zX9NIfIL2Sl2I6DPEsiGDpvRoCRT4QAvD_BwE

    There all pretty much the same that look like this. So any brand or model. It attaches to your hitch with a second ball. And a ball goes on the toung of the camper. You can weld the tab on or get a hitch with it allready on or get a bolt on type.
     
  3. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Curt works for me
     
  4. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Before going down the swaybar path, have you tried moving some weight forward of the axle? It's a delicate balance of getting no more than 10% of the total weight on the tongue, and if you're already there, then a sway bar might help, sure. My trailer ball mount was bolted on the frame, not welded, so I can't comment on the weld portion.

    But, I can say I personally found the friction sway bar to be a PITA. So, I went a different path, which really worked well for me and my rig.
     
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  5. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    You can get a sway ball mount that goes under your hitch ball and doesn’t need to be welded. I use a sway bar on all my trailers.

    https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Reese/RP26003.html

    to be honest, I think all the friction sway bars are the same. Get one that comes with all the parts you need and you are set.
     
  6. alabasterjar

    alabasterjar Member

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    Purchased the Fastway Weight Distribution 2-Point Sway Control Trunnion from E-Trailer and couldn't be happier. That said, if you have real camper sway, it won't be a "I've noticed it in my mirror a couple times"; it will be a "omg, I'm about to die" event, at least from my experience.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  7. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    The description of your item is not a link. Searching Etrailer for that text got many different devices. Since I also have a Kia Sorento ('17), I'm very curious which WD hitch you found to fit our already low Sorento. For mine, I Hitch, Sorento.jpg had to turn the drop hitch upside down to make it a raise hitch. ;o) Without the trailer, the bottom of the nut is 11" from ground. coming out of my 7º sloped driveway, I have only 3" maybe of distance from the hitch bottom at it's lowest point. Where I mounted the 4 pin plug, the 7-way was 'supposed to' mount on the bottom of that bracket (That's how Etrailer's Sorento installation video did it). It took some work and modification, but I was able to mount my 7-way to the bumper (and above the hitch bar). Mounted lower, it would have scraped off on my first trip out the driveway. No way I was going to have the electrical connector be the low point for grounding out! How in the heck do you have clearance with a WDH on our low mid sized SUV Sorento?
    Can you post a picture by chance? Do you bottom out sometimes? Do you need to detach your sway bar to back up with your WDH setup too? Do you have a friction or other type sway bar?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  8. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    Was your 'different path' just adjusting the weight distribution? Can you elaborate on what exactly the PIA is about the sway bar? I was thinking a sway bar would be good to add as another level of safety where I have only experienced medium sway 'fear' once on our 1st two trips. It was on a curve, I was holding the wheel w/ my knee while grabbing something (I know, Bad, Bad) and the trailer wobbled until I grasped the wheel firmly w/ both hands as I let my foot off the gas. It was not getting worse, it came right back into line with what I did.

    I just read that you need to remove the sway bar to back up (turning). Besides being a PIA, I can see myself forgetting many times! Maybe the marginal safety added in my situation (2,000lb trailer behind 5,000lb cap TV) is not worth the PIA factor??
     
  9. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Speaking from experience, I never do this. The only time my sway bar ever caused a problem is when I made too tight a turn, going forward, to the sway bar side. Bent the bar really badly and had to replace it. I could see removing it if you have to practically jack-knife to get into a camping spot.

    In my experience over 20yrs with a sway bar, the only “pain” about them is the noise they make when you turn sharp corners. It’s a nuisance, nothing more. Personally, I like not feeling the trailer as semis blast past me.
     
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  10. David Blackwell

    David Blackwell Member

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    I'll add another perspective on the PIA. I love my Blue Ox SwayPro also from eTrailer. High quality and does exactly what I needed it do - prevent sway. No squeaks or other sounds at all which is nice. That said, it is heavy and adds another 10 minutes to hooking up or unhooking, as well as sometimes having to lie down to get the chains over the rotating-latch lift brackets. I've measured my tongue weight and it is almost exactly 10%. Since I have my generator mounted on a reinforced rear bumper I needed to counter-act that force from the rear. Using a sway bar changed my max safe speed from 55 to 65 mph. I've run it faster but that was by accident or exigent circumstances. I'm much happier between 60-65 as traffic or terrain will allow.
     
  11. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Nah, my different path was using an Andersen hitch. The WDH and anti-sway are one in the same, and it is much easier for me to hitch and unhitch. It ain't cheap, and it ain't everyone's cup of tea. But I, for one, will never tow another travel trailer with anything but an Andersen now.

    What I found to be a PITA on the sway bar was having to hook it up, and then tighten it down to do the job. In all honesty, my rig really should have had dual friction sway bars, but it had only one, and I found that a pain to do. My rig was much more responsive and QUIET if I took the friction off (I never took the bar off, just let off the friction) to back up, which was another step to remember to do.

    Look, if you need sway control, and it sounds like you might, get something. It will add piece of mind and it will settle towing nerves. If a friction sway system is where you're leaning, the hours of towing more confidently far outweigh the minutes of extra work. But, if you are able to spend a little more, there are non-friction sway options out there, that may make things easier if you want to. I do not miss prying bars and popping them off any more, and finding a place to store them. But, get something to help your tow.

    Best of luck.
     
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  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    The side arm sway bar isn't hard to put on or adjust. You hitch up, then put on the sway bar, it adjusts, so its light and just gets 2 hooks in it to keep it in place. Then you turn the nob lever thing to tighten it. Not , heavy or hard to do. I never found it effected backing up. It sounds as if you needed weight distribution also, that could have added to the little sway bar becomeing a pita. On a 3500 pop up it was fine. Only problem i had was forgeting to disconect it from the toung, and lowering the pup. The sway bar had all the weight, never effected it , but not what you want for stabillity!
     
  13. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    Your trailer and TV are bigger than mine, but what model of Anderson hitch do you use? A link to see specifically what you are talking about would help me understand this option. I've read for my mid size SUV, WDH's are either not allowed or recommended. I'm hoping to hear back from alabasterjar who has the same TV as I do, w/ some kind of WDH. My bumper and hitch are low, so w/ even a minimal drop from the ball height, I might need a skid plate welded to the bottom for 'when' I bottom out. ;o) Looking at the Fastway E2 WDH's, their smallest one is 4500 lbs/ 450 lb tongue, which is way too much for my ≈2,000 lb/ ≈280 tongue wt. set up.
     
  14. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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  15. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Neat design, but do the trailer brackets just "pinch" the frame rails or are they bolted though it? Seems like a lot of twisting force from the chains to only pinch the rails.
    upload_2019-11-24_9-14-17.png
    I'll be welding a Curt anti-sway bar on my Flagstaff 228d tomorrow, will post pics. Didn't have any sway issues on her short maiden voyage last weekend (2011 Town and Country TV) but for $45 cheap insurance. Plus, an excuse to use the new welder :)
    I'm at a little over 10% tongue weight to loaded trailer weight BTW. 325# to ~3000#.
     
  16. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    A WDH may be way overkill for a pup.. not all pups can handle a WDH nor is it recommended by many vehicle manufacturers to use on a unibody vehicle.. As for the friction away bars.. they are easy and simple to use.. once the brackets are installed it's 2 pins and a lever handle to crank for amount of friction.. easier to use then a bal leveler...

    Real simple to remove as well.. I do it when I arrive at the campground, when I get out to register at the office..

    Oh and yes .. they can break/bend if left engaged when backing up and turning.. Seen it happen once, know a guy it happened to and heard it more then once ..they make a real nice "bang" sound if they brake..
     
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  17. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Today welded the mounts for the Curt anti-sway kit ($44 Amazon) on the hitch and trailer, then painted with POR-15. Really liking this little Harbor Freight flux core welder. Does a great job esp for $150.
    All of the snotty looking portions of weld are purely operator error.
    20191125_123249.jpg 20191125_132058.jpg 20191125_132033.jpg 20191125_140523.jpg 20191125_140529.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  18. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    Great looking welds and paint job. Well done, sir! I wondered about how the 'weld on tab' would hold up in the wild, so to speak. Keep us posted if it bends much or at all.
     
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  19. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    My experience is just like sjm9911 I use a sway bar very similar to his and have zero problems and don’t find it a pain at all to use. Getting used to the new sounds it makes took time. I even back up with it on at most campsites. Except for one I was required to make an insanely sharp turn to get it in the site. For Then I did take it off. Now if I was to camp out In the boonies and not in a developed campground then maybe would have to take it off more often.
     
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  20. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    Thanks Dave. Was a fun little project!
    I spent some time grinding the parts before welding to get better penetration. Then cranked the welder to max power with full wire speed. That 3/8" tab welded onto the 3/4" thick hitch ain't going anywhere!
    Would bet a lot that the ball on the trailer will shear off before the tab bends.
    Suppose it'll take a little experimenting to get the "brake pads" tension right. Videos I've found just say to "tighten the lever", but how tight? If I try to turn the TV and the camper goes drifting/skidding to the side I guess that's too tight :p
    Image4474693523112761560.jpg
     

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