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Old 09-18-2009, 08:29 AM   #1
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Anti-sway Bars and Backing

While camping recently, we watched a guy remove his anti-sway bars before backing his TT into the site. He said removing the bars before backing really made it easier, especially if the curve was fairly sharp. Have not had the opportunity to try this yet. Has anyone out there done this? Do you think it would help make the back-up easier, especially if the site is narrow?
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by VAlover View Post
While camping recently, we watched a guy remove his anti-sway bars before backing his TT into the site. He said removing the bars before backing really made it easier, especially if the curve was fairly sharp. Have not had the opportunity to try this yet. Has anyone out there done this? Do you think it would help make the back-up easier, especially if the site is narrow?
Don & Laura,

Some friction sway systems have really close clearances, so maybe that is what he is doing??

By what I read with most intrigated WDH and sway systems, it is probably not neccessry.

The problem for me is that so many sites my TV and trailer are at such an angle, that it makes it hard to clear the bumper with the helper bar in the inside of the turn, and the outside bar is really under a lot of pressure that I have to lift the trailer a little more than usual to get the outside bar off. Also, I don't have good clearance between the outside trunnion bar and the yoke on the Reese system that I use, further complicating sharp turns.

But.....on my SV 263 the tongue weight is around 800 lbs., and the maximum weight carrying tongue capacity of my hitch is 500 lbs. I know that that short of time shouldn't hurt the hitch, but I am a little reluctant to unhook before I back in to a site. So, for the time being at least, I leave the WDH bars hooked up until I am ready to unhook the trailer.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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I always pull over after check-in at the nearest out of the way spot and disconnect the bars, #1 because they are noisy, clicking and popping on turns that they were not designed for, and #2, there's no need for them anyway in the park at those slow speeds, and besides, you're getting ready to remove 'em anyway!! Randy
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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Can't say I ever needed to remove them till trailer was parked in the 2 yrs of use.(Reese dual cam)
Extra stop never required and easier to pop them off when using jack post to raise hitch
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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VAlover may be talking about the friction anti-sway bar used on a WD set up. If so, the instructions with the friction anti-sway bar will tell you to remove the bar when backing and also when making tight turns.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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I remove mine as well it is a friction antisway bar by reese and i was told by the guys at camping world to remove it before backing in the site
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
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Yes, I got the friction bar with mine, as well. I had 2 pop up's that I used those type sway controls on, and always removed them. However, I think the bars VAlover is referring to are the dual weight distributing bars that many of us with the longer, heavier units use. I know with my set up, the bars will hit the tongue, and they may come off of their position if I turn too sharply. My V lite allows me to turn sharper than most campers, so that may be why the bars hit the tongue. So that is why I remove them. Thanks, Randy
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:26 AM   #8
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I'm not sure what type of anti-sway bars we have - we have the Blue Ox set-up. We did have one pop off on a sharp back-up turn one time. I think we will try taking them off next time before backing into a site. Of course, that will depend on the site. Thanks for all the feed-back.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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One bar on each side that attach to the sides of the hitch on the tow vehicle, and have chains on the other endthat connect to the sides of the tongue, and when tightened up, they reduce the sagging effect between the camper and truck... those are weight distributing bars that also reduce swaying. The other bars referred to are a lighter duty friction disc brake type of bar, that also connects from the side of the hitch, with a small trailer ball socket, and the tongue. You manually tighten down the friction brake before towing, which holds the weight of the towed vehicle back from swaying. Generally only one of these are used, For lighter towing applications. Hope this helps you!! Randy
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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Thanks, Randy. From what you described, we do have the weight distribution/anti-sway bars.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:39 PM   #11
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On one of my my older set ups (Friction sway with Equilizer bars) I was told by the dealer that all friction should be released from the sway bars before backing up. Of course, One time I forgot and the inside friction pads broke off the assembly making the sway bars useless. IMHO...always release the friction sway bars or at least, back off the pressure BEFORE backing up.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:45 AM   #12
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It cant hurt anything taking it off only takes a few seconds and for what they want for a new one $100 and up i say it is worth it
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:21 PM   #13
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Hi folks,

Speaking from experience, I once bent a friction brake sway controller when backing in to my site. The brake was set, I needed to swing the nose of my tow vehicle from hard left to hard right and in the process of doing so, I bent 'er up pretty good! So, my recommendation is to remove the brake completely, not just loosen it up. And for those of you that have Reese towing equipment, I highly recommend upgrading to the dual cam system. This thing is GREAT! You don't need to remove it when backing up and it is by far a more superior sway control. The price difference is double that of a friction brake but well worth $200. http://www.etrailer.com/p-26002.htm Be sure to watch the videos to see how the system works and how easy it is to install.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:50 PM   #14
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I had the reese sway on my old camper and was told always to remove before backing. When I got the new camper alot of members on here recommended the equalizer which works great and you don't need to remove either. It was split among those with Equalizer and the dual cam and they said you couldn't go wrong with either one.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #15
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I have the Reese WD&S control on mine. I have not had any problems with backing into a site and never noticed any damage to the hitch system. Now I don't know how important this is but correct me if I am wrong, once one unhooks the WD&S system say on a class 3 receiver dosen't this change the weight rating to the minimum of the receiver capacity? Now granted when the camper is being hooked up for travel the last thing that go's on is the WD&S control bars and the camper is already hooked to the hitch and receiver but the tow vehicle and camper is just setting there, by removing them before backing up into a site and changing the weight rating on the receiver will this effect the integrety or damage the receiver by pushing and pulling the weight of the camper into a site over time?
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:50 PM   #16
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WDH Problem

Hi, I too have a Blue Ox WDH. It has the bars connected with chains to brackets on my TT. One of the first times I had to back into my drive, besides a lot of creaking, I ended up snapping the bolt holding the bracket to the tongue on one side. Blue Ox web site says no need to remove the bars but I'm thinking I need to to keep that from happening again on such a tight turn backing.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by kcalvin57 View Post
Hi, I too have a Blue Ox WDH. It has the bars connected with chains to brackets on my TT. One of the first times I had to back into my drive, besides a lot of creaking, I ended up snapping the bolt holding the bracket to the tongue on one side. Blue Ox web site says no need to remove the bars but I'm thinking I need to to keep that from happening again on such a tight turn backing.
We backed the TT into the drive yesteday after removing the bars - way easier! We will remove them from now on! Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:02 PM   #18
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I never had a friction sway bar, just the weight distributing bars. I never removed them, and the worst site I had to park in just happened to be at my house. It was an adventure everytime because of the relatively narrow driveway going over a 5' deep, 5' wide drainage ditch. I got pretty good at it though...and never removed my bars while doing so.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:27 PM   #19
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have the real Equal-i-zer and have never had to unhook my bars. that's one of the reasons i bought it. read too many horror stories from those with cheap WDHs that had friction sway bars.

i get the 4-way sway control without having to unhook to back up.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:05 AM   #20
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We leave the LD bars on but remove the friction ant-sway bar.

I mangled my first friction anti-sway when I forgot to take it off while backing in. You can also mangle them on a really tight corner if you get close to a jackknife position/orientation while maneuvering someplace tight (if your facing forward in the tow vehicle the trailer is between 3 and 5 o-clock <pinch> or past 8, in the opposite direction <overextend> ).

Your not supposed to let the TT/vehicle get at those types of angles ....but life happens sometimes and it's easy to forget.

After the first $135.00 .... we now just make a habit of taking it off when we are "manuevering" or when backing up. However, if your just doing a mild or straight back-in, it really shouldn't matter.

I'll have to dig & see if I can find a pic of the old Reese friction bar looked like after we "pinched" it.
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