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Old 02-28-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
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Sway Bar or No Sway Bar

We recently bought a 2021 Flagstaff Epro 19FD, with a weight of about 3100 lbs. and we tow with our 2015 BMW X5 35D. Should we have a sway bar? Any suggestions?
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:24 PM   #2
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Probably not. But why not tow it first and then if you think you need sway control, add it.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:29 PM   #3
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Probably not. But why not tow it first and then if you think you need sway control, add it.
I've towed it now 3 times, with just a tiny bit of sway; just wasn't sure how much more safer it would be with a sway bar.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PaulTRodneyG View Post
We recently bought a 2021 Flagstaff Epro 19FD, with a weight of about 3100 lbs. and we tow with our 2015 BMW X5 35D. Should we have a sway bar? Any suggestions?
What's your car's max hitch capacity?
Please don't use fictional "dry" numbers. Virtually no trailer weighs that amount when it leaves the factory.
With a fictional dry tongue weight, one you add the weights of batteries, factory options, water and trailer cargo, the actual loaded tongue weight will easily be over 500lbs.
https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/trave...pro/E19FD/3557
You need to think about a WDH with sway control.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:54 PM   #5
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The actual GVWR of that camper is over 4300 pounds. The hitch weight could be as much as 600 pounds, loaded to go camping.
You need a WDH. if it is single axle, you need sway control. A camper that short with tandem axles usually has no issues with sway unless loaded too heavy in the rear.
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:24 PM   #6
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The actual GVWR of that camper is over 4300 pounds. The hitch weight could be as much as 600 pounds, loaded to go camping.
You need a WDH. if it is single axle, you need sway control. A camper that short with tandem axles usually has no issues with sway unless loaded too heavy in the rear.
Here are the specs on the EPro:
SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight:418 lb.UVW3167 lb.CCC1151 lb.

My towing capacity is 5952.
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by PaulTRodneyG View Post
Here are the specs on the EPro:
SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight:418 lb.UVW3167 lb.CCC1151 lb.

My towing capacity is 5952.
I'll echo what the crew is saying, your real world tongue weight is going to be well north of 500#. You need a WDH just to help ease the stress off of your rear axle and hitch receiver.

What Forest River posts as "Hitch Weight" and UVW are numbers that are unfortunately rarely seen in real life.
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PaulTRodneyG View Post
Here are the specs on the EPro:
SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight:418 lb.UVW3167 lb.CCC1151 lb.

My towing capacity is 5952.
According to this:
https://www.caranddriver.com/bmw/x5/...x5_bmw-x5_2015

Your maximum tongue weight is 595. So, you take the posted hitch weight of 418 lb and you add propane + battery + cargo inside the trailer and, just like my Geo Pro G17RK, I'll bet you are pushing 700 lbs tongue weight. The "towing capacity" of a vehicle is the least important, and normally last weight limit you will hit. You need to look at GVARs (Axle limits), payload capacity (and don't forget any human occupants are considered to be payload), and tongue weight hitch limits.

I used to tow the Geo Pro G17RK with a Dodge Grand Caravan. I have a Harbor Freight weight distribution hitch with no sway control and had no issues towing. I agree you absolutely 100% need a weight distribution hitch. However, my setup was with a trailer similar in weight but 2' shorter and the wheelbase on a Dodge Grand Caravan is about 6" longer than your BMW. Taking that into account as well, I would agree that sway control is highly recommended.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:56 PM   #9
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Yes sway bars I was running I 470 in WV in a work zone a tractor trailer flew by me pushing me into a Jersey Barriar left me with minor damage less then a 100.00 dollars worth. Without them it probaly took the whole side out
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:58 PM   #10
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I've towed it now 3 times, with just a tiny bit of sway; just wasn't sure how much more safer it would be with a sway bar.
If you run into a lot of wind it will push you
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:12 PM   #11
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Sway bar

OK, first off lets acknowledge that there will sooner or later be somone who posts that he has umpteen million miles, dragging a huge RV with a small truck, and has never had a single problem. At least one. Maybe more. they always know better.
Basic rule of towing: You can never have too much truck.
I always use a weight distributing hitch and anti-sway bar when towing a bumper pull.
Having stated that you towed with "just a little sway" means you are already swaying from just towing. Load distribution, and tongue weight play into that. It also tells you that you are hovering around "unstable" . The REAL issue with sway is when a big rig, truck blasts past you, pushing air, and turbulence and dragging suction, that will take a already marginal rig and throw it completely out of control. Unrecoverable.
So, why take the chance, because rule number 2: You can NEVER be too safe.
Towed RV's since the 60's, and when anti-sway came out it was demonstrable, that the numbers of sway induced roll-overs dropped precipitously.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:47 PM   #12
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I have to agree with the "pro" repliers. Why take the chance? If you are towing quite often just the peace-of-mind is worth the cost. When I see a car/ trailer off the road or in the center section of a freeway I don't even think of the little cost or the peace of mind that my sway-bars give me. Add to that the safety of those passengers in the tow vehicle and the cost of sway bars they are definitely worth it. Now I know the "macho man" will not agree with me but who do you need to give peace of mind to those in your rig or someone driving with no regard to those riding with them. Just my thoughts, it works for me.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulTRodneyG View Post
We recently bought a 2021 Flagstaff Epro 19FD, with a weight of about 3100 lbs. and we tow with our 2015 BMW X5 35D. Should we have a sway bar? Any suggestions?
Having just had a severe and potentially life threatening sway experience - invest in a sway bar (under $50)
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:25 PM   #14
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Having just had a severe and potentially life threatening sway experience - invest in a sway bar (under $50)
X2
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:42 PM   #15
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Even if you feel you don't need a WDH with sway bars, remember, that trailer is riding on a ball and you could find it whipping around when you don't expect it to. If you have to make a sudden stop or take action to avoid an accident, you may not keep control. You will notice more wind push when semis pass you or driving in windy conditions. I learned my lesson with my first TT and would never be again without the proper hitch setup with sway bars. An out of control trailer can kill you and your family, not to mention others around you.
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:35 PM   #16
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Here are the specs on the EPro:
SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight:418 lb.UVW3167 lb.CCC1151 lb.

My towing capacity is 5952.
Echoing the echo. Lots of good advice posted, cannot disagree with any.
Those trailer specs are as delivered to the dealer. Empty propane tanks (so add the fill pounds), battery, any dealers packs added by the dealer (hoses, cables, etc.), any dealer installed options. Add that to the 3167# for your take home weight. Bulk of the gas weight and battery goes on the tongue weight.
Your trailer has a 4318# GVWR (UVW + CCC). Figure you will load up 1/2-2/3 of the CCC (remember that battery & gas are cargo weight), so letís just round it to 4000# near actual tow weight. With just gas/battery youíll be about 490# tongue weight, all the rest loaded will push it near 600#.
Thatís 600# out of your SUVís load capacity, likely causing some very noticeable rear squat.
Bottom line, get a weight distributing hitch (WDH), one with built in sway control. Much safer and when set up correctly, will make the towing experience feel like suv and TT seem like one unit except on turns. However, note the WDH actual weight will eat up more of your SUVís load capacity. A consideration when choosing one.
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Old 03-03-2021, 03:13 PM   #17
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I'll pass on wdh comments and recommend a sway bar.
I forgot to tighten ours once some years back, swerved to avoid a crash, and nearly lost it from the resulting sway. It only has to save your bacon once to be worthwhile. That setup was fine without sway control right up until it was not.
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