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Old 08-06-2019, 07:32 AM   #1
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Backing up with Sway Hitches

Just sharing this because it is something I figured out and have seen others struggle with. We have an Equalize-It hitch and it works great. When we bought the trailer, we got minimal direction on using it. One thing I struggled with was backing into sites with the hitch in place. I realized that if I remove the sway bars when we arrive at the campsite, and then back up, the trailer is a lot more responsive and much easier to back in. Maybe that should be obvious, since the purpose of the bars is to limit movement, but it took me a few trips to figure it out and I thought it might help some other folks.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:54 AM   #2
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Equalize-It hitch ???

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Old 08-06-2019, 09:40 AM   #3
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I am not sure your thinking that more responsive is better, but it may work for you. My old single axle popup was very responsive, I had alot of learning to do to back that up well, the hard thing there was the tendancy to oversteer and the camper was off track before i realized it. Comparatively, my current two axle camper is a breeze to back as it is less responsive.

My biggest issue is backing in from the blind/passenger/curb side. Have to depend on the spotter a bit more.

BTW, I have the equalizer E4 hitch and I went with it due to not having to disconnect the bars to back. (Have not heard of an Equalize-it hitch).
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:52 AM   #4
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Equalize-It hitch ???

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Old 08-06-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
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I'm assuming you mean Equal-i-zer hitch. Here's the manual.

You should be able to back up with it as-is, but removing the bars wouldn't hurt.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Equal-i-zer Owners Manual June 2016.pdf (3.65 MB, 153 views)
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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If you notice a difference in the trailer's response to backing maneuvers, simply by removing the bars, you may be transferring too much weight. When backing on grass/dirt with the bars in place, do you see evidence of the truck's rear tires skidding sideways?
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:20 AM   #7
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Over the years I've learned that the hitch isn't a big part of the backing up equation. It's more a matter of learning how to anticipate where your trailer wheels will end up and making adjustments for the long rear overhang.

Responsiveness has never been an issue when I back up trailers. Sometimes they are TOO responsive and I feel like I'm trying to push a rope uphill
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:02 AM   #8
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If you have the 4 point Equal-i-zer WDH, I have not seen any performance issues when backing up with mine.
I have to back mine up a 14į grade driveway that's only 10 ft wide, for about 100ft to park it.
I have never felt it necessary to take off the weight bars, to back up.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
I'm assuming you mean Equal-i-zer hitch. Here's the manual.

You should be able to back up with it as-is, but removing the bars wouldn't hurt.
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Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
If you notice a difference in the trailer's response to backing maneuvers, simply by removing the bars, you may be transferring too much weight. When backing on grass/dirt with the bars in place, do you see evidence of the truck's rear tires skidding sideways?
Well, maybe it will. Good point.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
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i have to remove sway bars
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:24 PM   #11
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I remove my anti-sway bar but leave the weight distribution bars on.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
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Eaz-Lift Recurve R6 has an 8mm On/Off selector on each side that you can put in off position so it freely and easily moves, but you can still back with it On without harm, Just a little stiffer when trailer initially starts to turn from straight then when it disengages it moves well until you come back to center then it will relock. I forget it's even on when backing in most times. But it does control sway, even when a truck sucks your drawers off.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:45 PM   #13
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Equalize-It hitch ???

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Equal-i-zer, sorry.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:41 AM   #14
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We have a Husky hitch and we take the bars off on the level drive before backing in. We do that because if the trailer pad isn't level front to back, or the truck ends up at an angle to the trailer when in position, it can be almost impossible to take the bars off hitch. That's our one complaint with this hitch is getting those bars on/off when you're not straight and level.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by tim_spaulding View Post
I remove my anti-sway bar but leave the weight distribution bars on.
I do as well, remove the anti-sway bar. I leave the weight distribution bars on though. I was told from the camper dealer, to remove the anti-sway bar when making any tight turns. They told me to basically remove it once off the highway, in town, or in the campsite. Only use it during highway travel. Now I don't go that extreme, but if I know I'll need to have it removed to back in somewhere, I just get out when we get off the highway, and put it in the truck.

The distribution bars I've never had to remove, and don't find them hard to remove once I un-hook either. I do, however, use the tongue jack to take a LOT of weight off of the rear end of my truck, to give the bars a better, more slack angle, before removing them.

side note, my former neighbor could never get his camper up his driveway (sloped like mine, maybe 2-3%) due to his WDH, unless he put his truck in 2 wheel drive. I think he had too much weight removed from the rear axle of the truck, and too much put on the front axle.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:08 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by GXPWeasel1 View Post
I do as well, remove the anti-sway bar. I leave the weight distribution bars on though. I was told from the camper dealer, to remove the anti-sway bar when making any tight turns. They told me to basically remove it once off the highway, in town, or in the campsite. Only use it during highway travel. Now I don't go that extreme, but if I know I'll need to have it removed to back in somewhere, I just get out when we get off the highway, and put it in the truck.

.

Your system, yes, the bar needs to be removed to prevent damage. On the systems that have integrated sway/WDH they do not need to be removed, These systems, like the Equalizer, or reese strait line dual cam.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tim_spaulding View Post
I remove my anti-sway bar but leave the weight distribution bars on.
X2 !!!
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim_spaulding View Post
I remove my anti-sway bar but leave the weight distribution bars on.
The OP has a 4pt Equal-i-zer, which doesn't have a separate old school friction antisway bar. It has Integrated sway control. The hitch head does most of the antisway with the weight bars helping.
I've never needed to remove my Equal-i-zer bars to back up, in any situation. And I've seen some tough ones.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:09 AM   #19
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If the hitch setup is correct it shouldn't make any difference going backwards or forward.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #20
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When we arrive a cg dw checks us in and I pull the bars. Campgrounds are a__es and elbows tight with trucks parked on the narrow road at the sites. I like the extra tight turn ability I get without the bars. JMTC
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