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Old 07-12-2010, 01:29 PM   #1
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That darn sway issue

I realize there are many posts about this subject, but my question isn't answered in any that i can find. We are new at towing a travel trailer, and I appreciate your help.

We have a 2010 Surveyor 295 (GVWR 7400, dry weight 5000, length 33 ft.) We tow with a 2010 Ford 150 4x4 supercrew, 5.4 L, V8. It has the trailer towing package, built-in trailer sway control, fail-safe cooling system, and electric brakes. We have a weight distrbution system and a sway bar.

We just returned to Alabama from a trip to Washington D.C. We had a lot of sway, although it was much better on the way back after we tightened down the sway bar even more and put the weight distribution in more chain links. The sway seemed worse when the road surface changed.

We are new at this and are learning. The sway was never horrible, just enough to make us nervous and make us want to FIX it.
We talked to people in the campgrounds where we stayed and several recommended the Reese Dual Cam sway system. So we studied up on sway remedies.

When we got back home, I called two trailer/hitch places; both said the sway bar should be enough and didn't seem to know about any other options like the Equalizer or the Reese system.

The third told us we, more or less, are not very smart to tow this trailer with our truck. He said the truck simply isn't built to tow a trailer this long. He had me go outside and count the lugnuts on the wheels and told me that Forest River is cutting corners by putting 3500 lb axles on the trailer. So I am shaking and thinking we bought the WRONG trailer or the WRONG truck. We called ourselves checking out everything pretty carefully.

I did do the formula for length, and we are 4 inches too long for the truck. If we put an Equalizer or Reese Dual Cam on, should we be ok?
We are well below the weight limit for the truck to pull, and we made sure we had the cooling system, etc.
I appreciate your information; I am ready to never travel again, but my husband asked me to ask ya'll.

Also, the truck has a 145 inch WB and a 3.55 ratio limited slip axle.

THANK YOU.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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I have a 2001 SuperCrew, 139 in WB, 3.73 gears, towing 7000 pounds with a Reese Dual Cam. I'm only 24 foot total camper length. and have little if any sway. The Reese Dual Cam does require some "dialing" in. I am limited somewhat, but know my limitations and am happy with my setup. Don't know if a Reese Dual cam would work for you, but I highly recommend it over any friction type sway control.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #3
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Thank you. I don't know if we should just try the Reese or start looking to trade a new tt in on another one. What a mess!
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #4
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The Reese is cheaper than a new camper, and if you do trade campers, could be used with the new unit, so it won't be money thrown away.
Also, you mentioned you checked with "Trailer Hitch" places. Might ask a few camper places, that do hitch work. Most trailer hitch places are for utility trailers and not campers, which have a high profile and a lot of wind resistance. One other thing I learned years ago. when towing a camper, open all the windows behind the axle. This cuts down on sway also. Just have to stop and close them if it rains.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Not sure how anyone could make the determination that just because you have 5 lugs your axle is rated at 3500lbs. Our old TT had 5k axles that were 5 lug and our new one has I believe 4500lb 5 lug axles. But that is another story. First for a TT that long you should have 2 friction sway controllers on it if you go with the friction units. We used to use the Dual Cam Reese setup on our old 33 ft TT but have gone with the Blue Ox Sway Pro with our new 34' V-Lite. Yes your truck may be at the low end of what should be a TV for a trailer that size but the TT does not have an excessive GVWR so I would first get a good hitch setup and make sure you have the trailer set level or very slightly nose down. Proper loading of the TT and setup of the hitch will go a long way to a happy TV. You need to make sure you have at least 10% of the TT's loaded weight on the hitch.

Good luck and don't get rid of your TT just yet.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:27 PM   #6
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Your truck is plenty enough for your trailer. If you're using the Friction type sway control, you'll need two(one on each side of the hitch) for the length of trailer you have. The friction sway control is inexpencive. You could try installing another; and see how much difference it'll make. If not, I'd suggest the REESE Dual-Cam.


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Old 07-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #7
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Ya'll are making me feel better. I just got off the phone with a gentleman in the area who has done some warranty work and some other things we wanted done with the tt. I never realized he would know about hitches and such too. Like I said, we are learning. He wants us to bring it in tomorrow and he's going to drive it. He also said we are stretching the limit with the truck but would probably be fine if we add another sway bar. Again, thank you all for the advice. So maybe we won't need a whole new setup..just an additional sway bar.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
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That may stop your sway issues, but I firmly believe that a Reese Dual cam or equalizer would give you a much better feeling towing a camper of that length. And, as previously stated, be sure you have 10% of the total camper's weight on the tongue, and pretty level across. I started with the friction brake sway controls, and it took me towing about 10 miles to change to the Reese. Randy
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08flagvlite View Post
That may stop your sway issues, but I firmly believe that a Reese Dual cam or equalizer would give you a much better feeling towing a camper of that length. And, as previously stated, be sure you have 10% of the total camper's weight on the tongue, and pretty level across. I started with the friction brake sway controls, and it took me towing about 10 miles to change to the Reese. Randy
X2

I've towed with the friction sway control and now I have the Equal-i-zer. I wont ever use the friction sway again.

Your wheelbase may be a little short for your TT length, but I bet either the Reese or Equal-i-zer will work for you.

Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:37 PM   #10
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Again, thanks! I am hoping we can resolve the problem with equipment; we really love the surveyor. It would be hard to give it up, but not if Mr. Cobb says it's going to be dangerous. I'd sell it in a second. But it seems that everyone (except the guy this morning) thinks the sway equipment will correct the problem. I'm going to remember the idea about opening the windows too. Should have thought about that from popup camping in the wind.
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