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Old 11-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
fon
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Does sway control depend on tongue weight?

We're purchasing our first TT, a Flagstaff 21FBRS, and I'm trying to better understand sway control before we pick up the trailer. From what I understand a Reese Dual cam or Equilizer will provide much better sway control than just a friction sway bar.

For either of these does the amount of sway control force depend on the weight of the hitch and/or amount of weight distribution that is applied? In my case, this for a relatively light TT compared to many of your TTs. Pulling it with a 2012 Grand Cherokee V8 (and factory tow package), it seem like the amount of weight distribution needed will be relatively small. But I think the potential for sway is larger (right?) due to a shorter TT and SUV even assuming I make sure the loaded tongue weight is 10-15% or the trailer weight.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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This is good info on how it works. Hope it helps?

HowStuffWorks "How Towing Weight Distribution Systems Work"
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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Thank you for the link. It's a good article but doesn't really address sizing for sway control. It does address the issue of sizing the weight distribution, but I'm assuming, hopefully correctly, that a hitch that is rated 600 lbs max is not too far off for a ~400 lb tongue weight. The only other hitch that I know of with a lesser max tongue weight is rated at 400 lbs which would be too close or not enough for my TT.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fon View Post
For either of these does the amount of sway control force depend on the weight of the hitch and/or amount of weight distribution that is applied?
I'm familiar with the Equal-i-zer hitch and yes, the sway control force is dependent on the amount of weight distribution applied...the load on the spring bars. Just make sure that you get the right size bars for the loaded tongue weight that you expect.

Here's a link from their site in regards to sway control.

4-point Sway Control

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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When I had my 2006 8314ss Rockwood it was 34' long the tongue weight withtwo 30 lbs propane tanks was 660 lbs and I had 1200 lbs spring bars.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fon View Post
We're purchasing our first TT, a Flagstaff 21FBRS, and I'm trying to better understand sway control before we pick up the trailer. From what I understand a Reese Dual cam or Equilizer will provide much better sway control than just a friction sway bar.

For either of these does the amount of sway control force depend on the weight of the hitch and/or amount of weight distribution that is applied? In my case, this for a relatively light TT compared to many of your TTs. Pulling it with a 2012 Grand Cherokee V8 (and factory tow package), it seem like the amount of weight distribution needed will be relatively small. But I think the potential for sway is larger (right?) due to a shorter TT and SUV even assuming I make sure the loaded tongue weight is 10-15% or the trailer weight.


Yes, that is exactly correct for both the Equalizer and the Reese Dual Cam. The amount of force, tongue weight, at the hitch activates the friction that damps trailer sway.

You will hear a lot about hitches that have "Integrated" weight distribution and sway control. Well, what happens when the weight distribution changes or really isn't needed? It will diminish the sway control offered by the hitch.


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Old 11-19-2012, 11:57 PM   #7
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I see 377 lbs tongue weight on one dealer site.
That is probably dry weight.
Add the weight of a battery on the tongue, 2 full propane tanks, plus items that you put in the storage area. Also add some weight for anything that you stow in the trailer that is in front of the axles and that would include water in the tank(s).
You could easily get to 500 lbs or more on the tongue. You will need to get an accurate tongue weight - loaded, ready for travel.
600 or 700 lb spring bars would have quite a bit of force on them when loaded and if you were to use the Reese Dual Cam setup (like I do ) you should find that the setup handles very well on the road.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:27 AM   #8
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If you go overboard on bar preload for sway control you can lose traction on the rear wheels of the tow vehicle. Youroo!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:27 AM   #9
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I have the self leveling rear suspension on my Expedition. I use the Reese Dual Cam HP hitch. I went from a pickup to the SUV. When I first got the TV I made the mistake of letting the suspensions level then putting the spring bars on. I didn't have enough weight on the bars and the first big truck I passed let me know it. I stopped and went up one link and it made a big difference.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DF5.4 View Post
I have the self leveling rear suspension on my Expedition. I use the Reese Dual Cam HP hitch. I went from a pickup to the SUV. When I first got the TV I made the mistake of letting the suspensions level then putting the spring bars on. I didn't have enough weight on the bars and the first big truck I passed let me know it. I stopped and went up one link and it made a big difference.
Good point. Any self-leveling system should be used to "fine tune" the weight distribution AFTER you have used your hitch to transfer the load to the front axle of the tow vehicle.

In other words, set up the weight distribution with the leveling OFF and then turn it on. Get the front of the tow vehicle back to near it's unloaded weight.

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