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Old 09-22-2013, 06:43 AM   #1
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Sway Bar and Rain

I just picked up a used Husky sway bar for my TT. It is the friction bar type with the adjustment lever on top. Installation was fairly straight forward but the instructions state that the unit should be removed if travelling in the rain or icy conditions.

My question is......why is it necessary to remove the bar in the rain. I certainly understand that the effectiveness of the device will be reduced due to a reduction in friction but surely wet plates are better than no plates at all.

Can anyone enlighten me on this?
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
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It's really nothing to do with the sway control itself. The whole point of sway control is to keep the trailer in line with the tow vehicle by providing extra resistance. With the friction sway active, more force is required to actually turn the tow vehicle. On slick roadways, it's possible for you to turn the wheels and have the sway control essentially lock the two together and you could end up plowing on straight ahead as the front wheels slip.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:03 AM   #3
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Thx for your comments. I didn't think that the bars would lock up when wet. Just the opposite - I figured they would slide easier due to reduced friction. Obviously, that condition would be a real disaster in the making.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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No problem. It's not so much the bars locking as the wheels slipping due to the extra force needed to bend the rig at the hitch. I'd never thought of it either until I started researching a while back.

How does the Honda pull that trailer, by the way? I just traded in a 2008 Ridgeline for a Trailblazer when I ordered my Mini Lite. Couldn't stand the mileage, but loved the truck. I haven't had a chance to really try the Trailblazer on this trailer, but it did get 2mpg better than the Honda pulling my popup. Just curious.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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The RL pulls it fine. I did a fair amount of research on other forums (including the Honda Users Forum) and there are others that have a similar TT and have no problems. I was concerned about axle loading, etc but I put the fully loaded trailer and truck on the scales........all numbers are within allowable limits. I did however pick up a WD hitch and sway bar since the rear of the truck was sitting too low for my liking. I ended using the very last link on the WD to get it level and being careful not to overload the front axle. Obviously, it did not need much help.

I tend to limit my speed to 90 (55 mph) in an effort to mitigate the fuel consumption. The only sway issues I've experienced was on the freeway when the big rigs pass me. And of course going up hill is a bit of a chore. Haven't hit any 'real' mountain grades yet.

We will be heading out this weekend and it will be the first time I've actually used the WD. A 9000 km trip is planned next month.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #6
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I can tell you the WD helps IMMENSELY with that truck. My popup was pushing around 450 lbs. TW, so I ran one after the first year. Running through rain and standing water was where I really noticed it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #7
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Who in their right mind goes camping in the rain anyway?



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Old 09-24-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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Right. It's not that the sway controller will be significantly less effective. Its that the strong forces from the sway controller could cause the front wheels (or trailer wheels) to lose traction when turning.

I think the main point is that if you find yourself in the rain, use extra caution when turning. Keep things slow so that your turning wheels maintain traction (no understeering into oncoming traffic!), and the camper wheels don't skid sideways.
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