Friction sway controllers:
Most people see the handle, and think that this is the adjustment tool. It's not. That is the on/off handle. There is an adjustment bolt 2-3 inches from the handle, which is for adjustments.
The reason for this is so you can adjust the thing for proper performance. Then whenever you put the thing on, you simply apply the handle all the way and you're done.
So the method is (which was provided on the Reese unit I used to use):
1. Fully tighten the handle, until you feel the handle bottom out on the housing. You should feel it stop cleanly. If you can't, loosen the BOLT a 1/2-turn, until you can clearly feel the handle bottom out on the housing.
2. Now take a test drive on the expressway, in light traffic. Try some maneuvers to see if things are stable. My way of doing this is a quick flick of the wheel 1 way and back to center. Enough to move the trailer to 1 side, but not enough to move the truck out of your lane.
3. Did the trailer move to 1 side, then a bit to the other side, then back on center?
-If no, pull over and tighten the adjuster BOLT 1/4-turn. Test drive again.
-If yes, that's good, but it may be too tight. Pull over and loosen the BOLT 1/4-turn.
You want to find the point just where it's clearly controlling the sway to only 1 oscillation, and no more. Too tight, and you get excessive noise, and (theoretically) a light trailer could skid sideways in the turn in the rain (like an oversteer). Never actually heard of that happening, but it could, given a good-ole-boy towing a light trailer too fast in a bend.
Once adjusted properly, remove it by loosening the handle. The next time you install it, all you have to do is close the handle all the way, and you know it's good to go!
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller