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Old 03-12-2018, 03:10 PM   #1
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Sway bar friction

I'm pulling a Salem Cruise-Lite 241 QBXL using a Husk round bar WDH. I have been wondering if there is any way to know how tight to make the friction on the sway bar? Do I crank it down till I can't anymore or what? Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:14 PM   #2
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I usually go hand tight. If it feels like I have to heave on it, then I figure that it's too tight.

But I'll also see how the trailer behaves. I've been caught in a few crosswinds where I've pulled over and given it that extra heave after all to make myself feel better.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:24 PM   #3
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I used a Reese friction sway controller for 7 seasons when pulling a popup with a Chrysler minivan. According to the instructions, you are supposed to tighten the on/off handle ALL THE WAY, until you bottom out the threads. It should be factory set to be near the proper setting when new.


If you find that the system is too tight, you can/should back off the adjuster bolt, which is just a few inches from the on/off handle.


If you aren't sure how to tell if the system is set properly, let me know and I can walk you thru that. It involves several test drives.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moshe1436 View Post
I'm pulling a Salem Cruise-Lite 241 QBXL using a Husk round bar WDH. I have been wondering if there is any way to know how tight to make the friction on the sway bar? Do I crank it down till I can't anymore or what? Thanks!
I have the same WDH. If its a windy day and I'm going to be traveling at highway speeds I crank that thing down. If I'm driving around town with lots of turns I let up on it.

Good luck,
Rich J.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
I used a Reese friction sway controller for 7 seasons when pulling a popup with a Chrysler minivan. According to the instructions, you are supposed to tighten the on/off handle ALL THE WAY, until you bottom out the threads. It should be factory set to be near the proper setting when new.


If you find that the system is too tight, you can/should back off the adjuster bolt, which is just a few inches from the on/off handle.


If you aren't sure how to tell if the system is set properly, let me know and I can walk you thru that. It involves several test drives.
Thanks for some interesting advice! I will have to give that a try. That seems a little extreme but if the instructions say to do that it is worth a try. I have never heard of that approach and I wonder how many people take it that far! I appreciate your response-thanks!
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:44 PM   #6
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Tighten it down as far as you can,By Hand! It is hard to adjust this when you "NEED IT" going down the highway! Youroo!! PS Remove when you get to your Campground,the speed limits and wind currents will not effect you there,also removing it a gate will save you from "Screwing it up,when backing into your Site!
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:54 PM   #7
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Tighten it down as far as you can,By Hand! It is hard to adjust this when you "NEED IT" going down the highway! Youroo!! PS Remove when you get to your Campground,the speed limits and wind currents will not effect you there,also removing it a gate will save you from "Screwing it up,when backing into your Site!
Thanks good advice. Glad I asked the question-lots of good advice!
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:44 AM   #8
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Remember:
The clamp force is provided by a plate, which has the on/off handle on 1 side of the bar, and the adjuster bolt on the other side (a few inches from each other). Both of these get tightened, but only 1 of them has a long bar that you can move by hand. So the trick is to have the adjuster bolt set, so that when the handle is tightened all the way, it's ready to go.


And yes, I'd rather have it set too tight (maybe more noisy than some would prefer) than too loose (quiet, but not as effective during an emergency lane change, passing semi-truck, or wind-gust).


Tighten the handle all the way, then test-drive on the highway when traffic is light, and there is little wind. Flick the steering wheel lightly, then a bit more, depending on the result. If the trailer oscillates more than 1 time each way, pull over and tighten the adjuster bolt by 1/4-turn. Test again. Repeat until a pretty good yank on the wheel produces a pull to that side, then only the smallest rebound the other way, then back in line.


If your first test drive provides good results, you are either good, or it's too tight. Most would just leave it as is, unless they get strange behavior in the rain, indicating it's too tight. If you think it may be too tight, back off until the wheel-flick test is unacceptable. Then retighten 1/4 turn and confirm all is well.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #9
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We tow our fifth wheel and have had one for 5-6 seasons. My niece purchased a TT back in the fall and needed it hauled to the NC coast. DH went with her to pick it up and the service department told him that they had the WDH and sway ready to go. He checked it and gave it another tighten since they were heading to I-75 and would be traveling with lots of truck, etc.

They made it about 45 miles and the thing broke. When he got home, he took it to a hitch store and they said that it had been too tight and did not have enough "play" to properly operate. Huh, who knew?

Anyway, you CAN get them too tight to operate appropriately. That was a $300 lesson.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:33 PM   #10
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This is one of the reasons I don't like old tech chains and friction bars WDHs.
That's one big reason newer tech WDHs with integrated sway control are so much better and easier.
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