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Old 11-10-2011, 03:58 AM   #1
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Location: Deerfield, VA
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Sway bars

New to this big trailer towing thing. Former owner of our Jayco 27 RBS provided a like new hitch with load leveling sway bars for our truck. Are these needed? I hear with them installed, they can cause binding and reduced turning radius. I towed the trailer home without issue, without sway bars, due to the tight driveway where we purchased the trailer. In fact, my truck didn't seem to "notice" the trailer was there!

We tow with a 2004 4X4 Ford F-250 Superduty Diesel, ext cab, 8 ft bed, factory tow package. I installed a Tekonsha Prodigy 2 brake controller.


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Old 11-10-2011, 05:39 AM   #2
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I am wondering the same thing. We are in the same situation as you. I drive a chevy c3500. I towed the camper home with the hitch installed but had some issues backing it in between the trees in my back yard.

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:32 AM   #3
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Welcome to the fourm. I think it mostly depends on the setup you have. There are several setups. I only have had the round bar version with the friction bar sway control so will only talk to that type setup and my experience.

There's two things going on with your hitch. First the bars are for weight distribution providing you more control over your entire rig. Keep in mind that you brought home an unloaded trailer which you will now begin the process of setting up and rigging to go out on your trips. Each one will be different depending on gear and needs so each trip could have a different result. The bars or cams are designed to distribute the weight to the front axel of the TV and keep you level. This also keeps the load on the trailer tires equal as well.

You want your setup as level as possible and not dipping front or back to avoid overloading one set of the trailer tires. If you search this forum there are some youtube video links that show you how to set up your hitch. With these engaged you will loose some turning radius and a little binding may occur but it would mostly happen after sever angles between your TV and trailer.

The second part of the setup is sway control. Depending on the setup you should either entirely removed it before backing up or take all the tension off because this is where the binding will occur. It helps when you get out on the highways and have trucks passing or cross winds by slowing the "wagging" effect.

While your TV has a heavy duty suspension it will give you that much more control and handling with all the components attached and setup correctly.

There are some real experienced members here who will chime in and share as well.

Good luck and enjoy.

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Old 11-10-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
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We need more information. Maybe you could post a picture(s) of what you have? There are many brands and types of hitches available. Some do not have to be disconnected to back up in any direction other than straight. Others do have to be disconnected. Some use separate friction devices to reduce sway (those usually have to be disconnected to back) and others utilize the load distributing spring bars to accomplish the same thing (those usually do not have to be disconnect). Some really high end units (aka expensive) that either move the pivot point closer to the axle or replace the hitch ball pivot point with pivoting linkage can also be backed without disconnecting anything.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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It all depends on your towing experiences. With only a 3/4 ton truck I would use the torsion bars with the trailer loaded. You may or may not want a sway controll.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
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I will post some pictures of my hitch assembly. The GVW of my trailer loaded is 8000 lbs, my truck is rated to tow 13,700 lbs or a combined weight rating of 20Klbs.

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Old 11-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DELTAJOHN View Post
snip......Are these needed?......snip

Welcome to the Jayco forums.

As mentioned, confirming what type and rating of WDH you have will help with the discussion. Also, confirm the weight ratings of your TV's receiver, because in some cases the "weight carrying mode" limit can be an issue in a discussion about not using a WDH.

For reference, here are the spec's for your 2008 Jay Flight 27RBS:

Unloaded Vehicle Weight (lbs.) 6,075
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs.) 760
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs.) 8,000
Cargo Carrying Capacity (lbs.) 1,925
Exterior Length 31' 2"
Exterior Height with A/C 134"
Interior Height (living area) 81"
Tank Capacities:
Fresh Water Capacity (gal.) 46 (includes water heater)
Gray Water Capacity (gal.) 32.5
Toilet/Black Wastewater Capacity (gal.) 32.5

Look forward to seeing your photo's and added information.


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Old 11-10-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
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Just to put my 2 cents worth in - with a friction type anti-sway bar, in most cases it is advisable to release the tension when backing up, as they are not needed then. HOWEVER, with a fully loaded trailer going down the highway, you can lose control when the trailer gets to trying to "wag" and force the TV to go from side to side. I speak from experience. I once had a Chevy Suburban towing a fully loaded 29 foot TT, and pulled out onto the road after forgetting to tighten my friction sway bars. Didn't have a problem until I had to swerve just a little to miss a piece of debris on the highway. At that point, the wag started, which necessitated a correction. And apparently the correction was a little too much, as the wag got worse, and we started to whip from side to side. In this situation, the last thing you want to do is hit the brakes, BTW. Instead, I gunned the engine to straighten out the rig, and the wag stopped. Had I properly tightened the anti sway bars, the wag would have been dampened, and the problem would have been minimal at worst. So I would highly recommend some type of anti-sway bars, especially if you travel the interstates a lot.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
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I can really appreciate what you are saying. I am new to TTs and WD and dual cam, BUT!!! I was pulling a bumper hitch horse trailer with 6 horses down a gravel road. The horses pulled loose and moved toward the back of the trailer. The trailer started to wag back and forth. This was a friends trailer. I accelerated and touched the trailer brakes. No trailer brakes. I continually accelerated until the wag stopped. A very good learning experience about trailer brakes, and checking everything out before towing.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:08 PM   #10
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We were going around Cleveland going to NY when the rear wheel of the 96 Ram came off.
We Had our 230SL in tow. Actually my wife was driving, I had a bum knee, she got to the berm, my buddy said she even used the turn signal. We felt the wd and sway set up kept everything straight or we would have ended up in the weeds. We finished the trip with my brother in laws F350 dually with nothing, I was a bit nervous about it but it worked. By the way it was a funny sight the crew cab was as long as the trailer Take from the story what you want as for me I will stick with a good WD set up

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