WD hitch

Tom72

Member
Oct 16, 2021
36
Vallejo, CA
What do you have thats bigger? A highwall? Bayside is big and the problem was the slide out, I think that messed up the weight distribution and the swayside name. But yea, the bar has to be set right, and the hitch has to be set right. I dont think they will be towing it at 80 plus unless its downhill and icy.
What I haven't been able to find out is if I should tighten it as much as possible, or if I have it too tight. And yeah, I don't tow anything over 60. Here in CA the towing speed limit is 55, and I really don't want the hassle of a ticket.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,730
Nj
First thing I would do is make sure the weight is properly distributed in the pup. If your 3,300lbs is accurate, you need 330lbs to 495lbs of weight on your tongue. The heavier the better for sway. Watch THIS video.

Another issue that may be causing sway is that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Latitude weighs only 3,700lbs. Not much more than your camper. A combination of a light tow vehicle and a light tongue could be disastrous.
Click on his link. Thats why
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,377
This is the first time I have used a sway bar. I was told to keep it coated in silicone spray.

Maybe I am wrong, but that seems like bad advice. The sway control works based on friction. The friction pads are made of similar material to the brake pads on a car. They use clamping force to work. I don't think spraying silicone on the pads and bar will make it work better. I think less friction will make it work less efficiently.
 

rslaback

Active Member
Jul 21, 2012
157
I would put a WDH on there if I could figure out any way to make it work. We pulled our Jayco 12SO with a 2006 Highlander Hybrid on 1 and only 1 trip without it. It made a world of difference.

One other thing to consider is that you might be feeling the sway in your SUV tires. A lot of passenger rated tires have nice soft sidewalls to improve ride quality but they make it squirrely when towing.
 

mike Behrend

New Member
Aug 1, 2018
3
I towed my popup for quite a while with a 2009 wrangler unlimited and never ran into sway issues but I also replaced the tires on my trailer with the heaviest ones I could buy and the tires on my tow vehicle were lrE ...so they were quite stiff....and since we've added our t.t. and a crew cab ram to our fleet I made one 5.5 hr each way trip with the truck and t.t. with the standard tires before replacing with lrE and also the w.d hitch..(a fastway e2) strait bar setup and it's night and day different. I'd definitely look into making sure you correctly inflate the tires on your Cherokee and trailer...max them out...and look into nice bar style hitch in the correct weight range for your trailer.
 

tlhdoc

Active Member
Oct 2, 2004
178
Hey everyone.

I have a 2002 Coleman Bayside, weighs 2600 empty, with what I have in there I am guestimating currently 3300. I tow with a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Latitude with the upgraded tow package, tops out at 4500. I have an antisway bar, one of the flat friction bar types.

So here is my situation. Friday was my first time pulling this camper a long distance, about 120 miles (just got it a month ago, only pulled it 20 miles home, if that, and no freeway) and I found that even with the anti sway bar it started to move on me right around 58-60 mph. Not horrible, but I could feel it and it's not a comfortable feeling. I tried dogging the bar down tighter yesterday on my way home, but that didn't seem to help, still would get movement around 58-60 mph. I have no problem keeping it at 55-56, as the speed limit for towing here in CA is 55, but I don't like the idea that it will start swaying just a couple mph more.

So my questions are:

Should I spend the 600-700 dollars and get an Anderson WD hitch with built in sway control?

Should I get a cheaper WD setup with the steel bars and use the anti sway bar I have with it?

Should I add another anti sway bar to the other side and not do a WD hitch?

Should I just leave it alone, drive 55, and get used to the feel of this trailer?

Is there an option I am missing?
The Bayside has the nickname "swayside". It is light on tongue weight. Pack heavy stuff toward the front of the trailer and it should improve.
 

Kdague

Member
Sep 15, 2020
44
Take the sway bar apart and clean all the silicone off. The metal bar and friction pads should be clean. If u can’t get them clean enough buy a new sway bar. Make sure all your packed stuff in the camper is in the front storage or at least closer to the tongue. Make sure the camper tires are at least a schedule D tire. Might even need a schedule E I can’t remember right off hand. Crawl under the camper and look for inside wear on the tires. If it’s bad then they need replaced. Excessive wear on the inside of tires means it has or had too much weight in the camper while towing and will cause some sway. I had that problem on one of our long trips across the US. Had to get new tires half way into trip and redistributed the weight better. Mine has some sway on windy days but I can still go 75 to 80 on days without wind. I even hall a boat behind mine sometimes. When I’m hauling the boat I can’t go much over 55. A9B92E47-9E17-4DBC-A3DC-B78C4C01C504.jpeg
 

G.P.

Member
Jun 5, 2021
44
"Should I add another anti sway bar to the other side and not do a WD hitch?"
Am I understanding this correctly ... a single sway bar on one side is proper ? I always thought you should have a sway bar on each side of the tongue ?
 

Wes Fujii

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
1
Everett, WA
All the other advice is very good. I agree totally about not lubricating the anti-sway bar, but I believe your issue is not enough tongue weight. You should have in the range of 650 lbs of tongue weight (absolute minimum of 500 lbs). That's the equivalent of 3 or 4 people standing on your tow ball. I would imagine that if you had that many people on the back of your rig (without the trailer), then it would sag a lot more than what the photo shows. Hence, just eyeballing from the photo, you need more weight on the tongue. Make sure all the tires on your tow vehicle are the same brand/model and I would inflate them on the higher end of the recommended pressure. Radials need to all be the same for best dynamics. Check all the storage cabinets in the rear of the trailer for canned goods, metal, liquids, etc. I only put pillows, clothes, sleeping bags, and lightweight things rearward of the axle in ours. If you have a porta-potti, make sure it is empty if you store it in the back while towing. All the kitchen items go forward of the axle. Do all the previous advice and your problems will go away. Happy camping!
 

pearsonz

"Back from the Dark Side"
Aug 12, 2013
9
100% add some tongue weight… Go to Home Depot buy three or four concrete 8” x 2” x 4” blocks and slap them in the front
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,345
If the tow vehicle can support the tongue weight without squatting in back too much, and lifting in front (and the unibody frame and hitch can handle it), then you probably don't need a WD hitch. However, before you can assess that you have to know how much the tongue weights.

If the trailer weighs 3300 pounds, loaded, then the coupler or tongue should be at minimum 330 pounds, and up to almost 500 pounds. If your tongue is approaching 500, you are almost certainly approaching or surpassing the limits of your hitch and tow vehicle's tongue capacity.

Things that increase sway potential:
* Too low tongue weight.
* Weight sitting too far aft in the trailer, especially weight near the tail end of the trailer.

Things that decrease sway potential:
* Putting more weight on the tongue, less weight in back.
* Adding sway control - either a friction bar or something incorporated into a WDH.

Things that decrease vehicle safety and handling:
* Too much sway (obviously)
* Too much lift in front of tow vehicle due to a heavy tongue; this impacts steering and general handling.
* Over-inflated or under-inflated tires
* Soft suspension or shocks that are worn out.

It would be ideal, from a sway standpoint, for almost all of the weight to sit right on the hitch. But that's totally impractical. That's why people rule-of-thumb suggest a maximum tongue weight of 15% of trailer weight, if the tow vehicle can handle it. A weight distribution hitch can offset a heavy tongue by spreading the apparent load over all axles. So you could put that full 15% (nearly 500 pounds) on the tongue, and then use the weight distribution hitch to reduce the apparent tongue weight such that the front of the vehicle doesn't want to lift off the ground as much. You still have some limits: If you put 50% of the weight on the tongue, you're asking the WD hitch to offset weight to such a degree that you could bend the trailer frame or the hitch where it mounts. That would suck. So you can't just use a WD hitch to completely eliminate the need to think about proper balance. But it does give you a wider margin to work with, and allows you to get that nice 15% weight on the tongue. Doing that with a WD hitch will maintain good steering characteristics, and at the same time reduce sway.

So, if your tongue is right at 330 pounds, consider adding a little more weight there. If it's below 330, you must add weight there. If the weight you add puts the tow vehicle into a squat/lift situation, you need a WD hitch. And you can only use a WD hitch if the trailer's frame and vehicle are strong enough to allow it. There, clear as mud.

What else can you do? You could add a second friction sway bar. I have a WD hitch, and I use two friction sway bars. That may sound ridiculous for a popup trailer, but it allows me to run both sway bars at tensions that don't make me feel like I'm going to bend something on the frame. And it does give me a little better sway control. I found that a single bar was ok, but two are a more stable experience.

Here's how my math works out:

Trailer weight: 3200 pounds. Tongue weight: 490 pounds (loaded, including water). Hitch capacity, 600 pounds. However, my tow vehicle tends to squat and lift at that tongue weight because it has a rather short wheel base. So I have a WD hitch designed for 600-800 pounds. Overkill? No, because:

* Tongue weight: 490.
* Rear area cargo: 100.
* Passengers in the back seat: 180.
* Tongue capacity: 600
* Math: 600 - 490 - 100 - 180 = -170. I'm 170 over the limit once I get everyone loaded up for camping. This is about the same as no cargo, no passengers, with a trailer tongue of 670. So the WD hitch in the 600-800 range is actually just right. In other words, 490 tongue, plus rear cargo of 100, plus passengers in back of 180 gives the tow vehicle the impression it's got 670 sitting on the tongue, so a 600 pound WD hitch gets me back to where I want to be.

Without WD hitch, my tow vehicle squats about 1.25" in back, and lifts about 5/8" in front.
With the WD hitch, my tow vehicle squats about 0.5" in back, and lifts about 1/8" in front.

But ultimately the reason I need the WD hitch is so that I can distribute weight toward the front of the trailer so that I can keep sway in check. If you can get there without a WD hitch, save your money. But it sounds like you possibly would benefit.

To measure your trailer tongue weight, load it up for camping including water you typically tow. Then take a bathroom scale, a 3' board, and two wood blocks. Set one block on the scale, one block on the ground, spaced 3' apart. Put the board on top of the blocks. Lower the trailer's tongue jack onto the board 1/3rd of the way from the block that sits on the ground. Observe the weight on the scale. It will be 1/3rd of your actual tongue weight. So if it shows 150, your actual tongue weight is 450. If it shows 90, your actual tongue weight is 270. If it shows 200, your actual tongue weight is 600.

Tongue Jack | | Board -----x-----x----- Blocks B B Scale B sssssss Flat Ground ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This isn't as perfect as putting the tongue directly on the scale, but who has a 600 pound bathroom scale?
 
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jeepster04

Active Member
Nov 23, 2010
276
This is the first time I have used a sway bar. I was told to keep it coated in silicone spray. I don't see any gouges or defects, but was thinking about getting a new one anyway. I know I need to check the tongue weight, and I may need to get a lower hitch, my tongue is level when hooked up, maybe I need to drop it a bit or load heavier in the front storage.

Thats the problem, you cannot coat the sway bar in any sort of lube. That would be like spraying lube on the vehicles brakes and trying to stop. You can lightly coat the little balls that the bar sits on, but its really not needed.

Im not sure if you can clean it well enough for it to work correctly again. The silicone spray has soaked into the friction material inside of the bar. You can remove the bar and clean the bar itself though. The bar needs to stay as clean as you can keep it. It will obviously get wet when towing in the rain, but you should clean it well from time to time.

That sway bar should make your whole setup feel like one unit. Its a night and day difference.
 




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