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Old 10-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Sway bar - do you really need it???

We're picking up our 2012 Shamrock 21SS tomorrow & the sales rep said that we didn't need the sway bar for towing - what's your experience??? Were towing with a 2005 Ford F150, V8 - 5.4L

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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We are towing a Salem 30kqbss with just the weight distribution hitch and no sway bar.The only time we get any sway is if there is a strong cross wind or once in a while if we are following a transport truck,any other time it follows quite nicely.You'll know if you need sway bar or not,wouldn't hurt to have it,but probably not necessary IOP.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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I tow with just a WDH, however my Ram has an integrated Anti-Sway Control built in it.
When I went to the hitch place, they suggested I try it out with just the WDH first to see how well the Rams Sway Control worked.
It tows great so-far and we have never experienced any sway, including driving sandwiched between 2 semitrucks and very windy conditions. We also have a small trailer, load it properly, keep the tires to proper inflation etc.

That being said, next year I will invest in the Reece Straitline WDH with Sway control.
I just want that extra sense of protection in case we have some type of weird driving incident where we need to swerve out of the way of something etc....
The Rams Sway Control seems fine for 99% of the situations we will encounter, but it is that 1% that I am worried about.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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you don't say if you're using a WDH or not.

IMHO and the majority opinion is that unless you have a 1 ton TV or integral sway control, sway control is necessary for safety reasons.
a cheap friction anti-sway bar kit only costs $40. is that too much for safety?

i tow a 23SS with a Chevy Avalanche. it weighs about the same as the 21SS. i first learned never to trust a RV salesperson's opinion, since very few of them have ever owned one.
second, the vast majority of opinions recommended that i get a quality WDH with built-in sway control.

if you want to do some research, find the many posts about those who didn't get a quality WDH and sway control and then were amazed at how much better their towing experience was with a WDH and built-in sway control.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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Bikendan, we are not using anything other then just the standard towing package for an 05' F150 4x4 v8, 5.4L super cab. Thanks! I will check out fleet farm and northern tool in the next couple days. I'm sure they will have what i need at a decent price.
Better safe then sorry.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #6
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are you saying that you aren't going to use a WDH?
i think your owner's manual will tell you that you'll need to, over a certain tongue weight which i think the 21SS will be.

my 1/2 Avy's manual did. i think you need to do some reading about WDHs and anti-sway control before you tow without one.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:23 AM   #7
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NBhokeydad,
Looks like you're picking up your trailer today.

I'm late to the party regarding sway control, but let me stress a couple of points made here:
  1. Some people talk about sway as being the suck-pull-push from a passing truck or the push from a light wind. This is normal, but is not the sway you need to be concerned with. Real sway is unpredictable and can be best described as a "rapid side-to-side oscillation of the trailer which increases with each swing". It happens for a variety of reasons, but excessive speed and poor match-up between trailer and TV are two of the more common ones. A good WDH with sway control helps minimize it. Driving smart does, too.
  2. Don't trust your salesman. Or trust but verify, as Ronny used to say.
  3. WDH is required by Ford if the trailer is > 5,000lbs or the hitch is > 500lbs. Even if you are lighter than these values, a WDH will help and sway control is cheap so why not? Don't go cheap on safety.
Anyway, you are probably ready to leave soon for your trailer. Have a great PDI and enjoy. Let us know what you decided to do about the hitch.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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Hey everybody,
Well we tried the camper out last weekend for the first time at the St.croix state park, Mn. (about an hour from home) and everything went great! We left it winterized of course and just used electric and gas. Had a great time! Everything was easy to do, no problems yet. A Very comfortable and roomy camper! My wife is very happy! especially with the heated matresses!! Those came in handy with the night temps dropping in the high 30's!

The camper seemed to tow ok with just a standard hitch doing speeds around 65-75 mph. Before spring, i will for sure get a WDH for added strength and security.

We are taking it out one last time before the snow flies this weekend.

On a side note...The state park was totally damaged from the forth of July
storm this year. All i can say is OMG! There were trees broken all over the entire campground! I think it was only a miracle that the Minnesota gov. was shut down because that weekend was completely booked and nobody was allowed to camp! I'm talking huge trees were blown over into campsites! There would have been many people killed that weekend if not for the shut down. We'll, That's all for now folks, And thanks for the advice on towing issues.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBhockeydad View Post
Hey everybody,
Well we tried the camper out last weekend for the first time at the St.croix state park, Mn. (about an hour from home) and everything went great! We left it winterized of course and just used electric and gas. Had a great time! Everything was easy to do, no problems yet. A Very comfortable and roomy camper! My wife is very happy! especially with the heated matresses!! Those came in handy with the night temps dropping in the high 30's!

The camper seemed to tow ok with just a standard hitch doing speeds around 65-75 mph. Before spring, i will for sure get a WDH for added strength and security.

We are taking it out one last time before the snow flies this weekend.

On a side note...The state park was totally damaged from the forth of July
storm this year. All i can say is OMG! There were trees broken all over the entire campground! I think it was only a miracle that the Minnesota gov. was shut down because that weekend was completely booked and nobody was allowed to camp! I'm talking huge trees were blown over into campsites! There would have been many people killed that weekend if not for the shut down. We'll, That's all for now folks, And thanks for the advice on towing issues.
Do you do 75 mph towing? Since we are limited to 55 mph here in California 75 mph really seems so fast to me.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:01 PM   #10
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I only drive that fast on 35w north bound. It's a free way.
Mainly kept it at 65-70. Hit 75 for a few minutes.
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