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Old 06-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #1
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Sway Bar, Brake Ctlr questions from novice tower

I am new to towing. Just bought a GMC Acadia with factory installed tow pkg and will be pulling the 2010 Jay Feather Sport, model 119. I had a brake controller added to Acadia. With the trailer, the pervious owner included his towing gear consisting of adjustable hitch, leveling bars and sway bar. While on a practice drive all seemed to work well but I do have a few questions:
1. Sway bar is noisy when not traveling in straight line. I believe there will always be some noise but are there any tricks to minimize it and how do I know for sure when I have sway bar adjusted for best performance?
2. I adjusted brake controller until I felt it was set correctly. Again though, how can I know for sure it is set correctly keeping in mind safety and both sets of brakes effectiveness?
3. I understand purpose of sway bar and feel it is a necessary piece of equipment. But I read about not using it in rainy, snowing or slippery conditions which seems like when it would be most useful. So am I correct in believing it is a necessary piece of equipment or with the rig I have and being a careful driver, can it be considered optional?

thank you for your advice,
Bob Peters

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Old 06-25-2014, 12:05 PM   #2
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Welcome to JOF

In response to your questions:

1) Check out the following link for proper adjustment and maintenance of a standard friction control sway bar: http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=RP26660

2) Knowing the brand/model of bake controller would be helpful, but basically you want the trailer brakes to engage just prior to the TV's brakes. Also, in an open parking lot test the "manual" operation of the brake controller....., moving at about 10mph apply the trailer brakes "manually" from the controller (don't apply TV brakes) and the trailer brakes should lock up.

3) IMO every TV/TT combination should have a sway control device, with or without a WDH. There are to many less then ideal towing conditions that can arise that could contribute to a sway event.

Hope this helps



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Old 06-25-2014, 10:33 PM   #3
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Bob, some of the noise could be coming from the hitch ball. A light coat of oil or grease can help there. The bars on the weight distribution hitch can and should also be lubed where it fits into the hitch. The sway control needs to stay oil free and dry as it works on friction.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
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Never but oil or grease to quite the bar. Perhaps a good cleaning of the slide with steel wool would help. Loosen the handle, and the slide will pull out. The nut below the handle adds or lessens tenson on slide. Factory setting is the starting place. Only way to adjust, is to pull unit, Got sway, tighten down 1/4 turn, then pull again. etc etc until you are happy.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
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My receiver/ wdh connection is loose, and it bangs and rattles somewhat, more on rough roads. Just the way it is.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
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I've towed with my sway control bar in the rain. It saved my neck once. When they get wet they groan like crazy. Because of the tightness, they don't dry out fast so they can continue to make noise long after it stops raining. Make sure its tight enough. If its too loose it can make noise also. The link applies to all sway control bars, not just the Curt they have in the picture.

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Old 06-27-2014, 06:25 PM   #7
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First time I towed with my WDH & Sway-control Bar, the set-up made so much noise I thought it was going to break. Asked for help, here, and folks said to get the hitch ball and the WDH bar ends greased up to get the noise under control. My bars have grease zerks, so pumped them up w/grease and was amazed how much that quieted things down. (you guys have been so much help to me. Thanks!) The friction sway control bar still screams when I turn a corner, but that's just the way they are. Lube up your hitch ball too. That will also help quiet things down. Just beware not to get it all over your pants when you unhitch!
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:45 PM   #8
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X2 on Brownie's comments....especially the grease on the pants - hands too!

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brake controller, sway bar

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