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Old 07-23-2016, 04:37 PM   #1
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Sway Bar Ball Failure

So... Last trip out, I may or may not have started backing into a site without removing the sway bar... When DH realized it, he had me stop and took it off, seemingly undamaged... Or so we thought??

This trip out we were about 3.5 hours (halfway) from eastern MA to Lancaster county, PA, and we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for 'breakfast'. They had the pull through RV parking spots, so that was easy peasy. Pulling out of the parking lot, I was making a regular 90 degree left turn into the road (a small road thank goodness), we hear "SNAP!" I stopped in the middle of the road and DH got out to check... The sway bar ball had SNAPPED OFF at it's shank. DH picked up the sway bar and the top of the snapped off ball from the ground, hopped back in the truck and told me to keep going. He didn't retrieve the bottom half of the shank and its nut.

Is this crazy? I know it's a small ball, but shouldn't the sway bar itself have failed before the actual ball??

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Old 07-23-2016, 05:48 PM   #2
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If the dealer set the hitch up i'd take it back to them. If the travel of the sway control reaches it's end either direction and you continue to turn sharper something has to break.
Any time your taking 90 degree turns or close, take it off. Put it on for the road. Swing a bit wide with it on.

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Old 07-23-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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That's why I chose a WDH with built-in sway control.
No old school friction sway bar to have to unhook.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:24 PM   #4
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It's not uncommon to hear reports of the sway bar ball snapping off. As you said, it's a pretty small ball and shank so it doesn't take a lot of force to snap it off.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:29 PM   #5
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Gotta say, I never unhooked min and been using it now for 6 years on 2 different TT. So far (knock on wood), I never had any issues with it not being unhooked while backing
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:37 PM   #6
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I don't have a comment on the sway ball seeing that i don't use that kind but i was curious where about's were you going in Lancaster Pa?
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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If the trailer mounted ball is mounted incorrectly , it will bottom out on the slide bar. Check to be sure the ball on the trailer is mounted with the ball to the rear of the bracket, and that it is 24" back from the center of your hitch ball. 40 years of RV service work and I have yet to see a sheared off ball when it is installed per directions.
But it is real common to see the trailer mounted ball in the wrong position.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:33 PM   #8
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9 times out of 10 the reason for the sway control ball breaking off on the hitch head is because the trailer was backed up with pressure on the sway ball. I've had it happen to me. I always loosen up the pressure before backing up. I don't know what makes the difference, but it does.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:28 PM   #9
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Sorry, to clarify, the ball that snapped off was the small sway bar ball on the WDH hitch, not the one on the trailer frame...
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:32 PM   #10
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I've never had a sway bar ball pop off, but my first trip out I forgot to remove the seat bar and it actually bent the hitch up a little where the ball mounts, now I just remove the bar everytime I check in just to be safe

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