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Old 09-22-2014, 07:48 PM   #1
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Do I need sway control?

I am new at towing a full size trailer. Previously I towed a high wall popup. I recently purchased a 19RD. I tow it with 2011 Silverado 1500, standard cab, short bed, 5.3 with tow package. I use a round bar WDH. Since picking up the trailer I have towed it about 250 miles. Most of these miles have been on the highway, multiple and two lane. I have been passed by semi trucks in both directions and have towed in a steady 10 mph crosswind. So far the trailer has remained solid behind my truck with no noticable sway. I am not using any sway control device and I am wondering if I need it. I read stories about white knuckle towing but haven't faced that issue yet. I am open to advice and suggestions. Have others felt comfortable towing long term without sway control?
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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I towed my old camper & my 19H without sway control and had no issues. However, after reading a lot on here, and planning some longer trips, I decided to add a sway control to my hitch. The Reese sway bar cost less than $40 shipped to my door. I figured it was cheap insurance.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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Welcome to JOF

Sounds like you have your WDH adjusted properly, but having a sway control device is for those less then ideal road conditions that can contribute to a sway event....., like a good insurance policy.

I highly recommend a sway control device.

Bob
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:52 PM   #4
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Sounds like you don't need it. I tow a 39' 11,000lb TT without as well with no problems. I have one but don't use it as it doesn't seem to be needed and didn't make that much difference in my situation. If you do decide to get a sway control bar don't forget to remove it when making tight turns and maneuvering. If you don't it could ruin your whole day, or trip for that matter.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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You don't need it until you need it. Sway control is like an auto insurance policy. You may go 20 years and never really "need" it. It's to assist in controlling the trailer in unanticipated circumstances.

Some years ago we were returning from a short trip and it was pouring rain. I hit a slick spot and the rear wheels of my TV slid the left. The trailer went bananas, I thought for sure it was going to dump. And I was only doing about 45. It took me a few seconds to register what was going on and I grabbed the lever of my brake controller and slowly pumped it, got it under control and pulled over so I could stop panicking.

Now I know that its not recommended to tow with friction sway control in the rain, but it was sunny when we packed up. I can't imagine what would have happened without the sway control. $100 bucks for the bar, 60 seconds to install or remove on each trip. Cheap insurance.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are fine without it. I towed my 25' JayFeather and my 25' JayFlight behind my '96 Suburban for four years and never felt the need for a sway control. If your weight distribution is properly set up, you should be in good shape. However, it can't hurt anything to throw one on if you don't mind spending the money.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #7
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Yea, it's funny. I needed sway control with my 30' Springdale but don't seem to need it with my 39' Eagle. The Eagle is much bigger but is much more stable on the road and handles much better without sway control than the Springdale did with sway control.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Personally I think its worth the relatively small investment.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micron View Post
Personally I think its worth the relatively small investment.
I agree.
$41.62 to your door.
sway control
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:02 PM   #10
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I towed that same trailer for 2 seasons using a Draw Tite trunion bar WDH with 600lb bars and no sway control. My tow vehicle last year was a '03 F-150 and this year a '13 F-150 EcoBoost with the long wheelbase.

First of all, this trailer tows great as it is. There are other similar length trailers out there that are single axle, which I wouldn't dare touch without a really good hitch. I towed the 198RD across Canada with the EcoBoost, encountering numerous semi's and gusty prarie winds. I never once had a scary, white knuckle experience. That being said, I did feel the trailer getting "sucked" towards transport trucks when they were passing which caused the steering wheel of the truck to go crooked for a second until it passed, then crooked the other way for a second as the pressure wave passed, then back to normal. It was by no means a wild experience but I feel that a hitch with sway control would have helped in this situation.

My overall opinion on hitches (based on experience and research) is similar to that of trucks; you can never have too much. The next trailer I buy, I will opt for a good quality hitch with integrated sway control, no matter what the length.
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