WD Sway Bars - what would you do

Fredc

Tremor Buff
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Location
Michigan
Current Ride
F150 sport
I am headed from Michigan to West Virginia to go ATV riding. I have a 350 6.7 w/6ft bed. Hauling a 23 ft enclosed stealth aluminum trailer - it has the v shape front, built for snowmobile hauling. It weights about 2500lbs. I am carrying 2-3 ATVs totaling 1400-2100 lbs. not concerned obviously about the weight. But wondering if I should get a WD hitch with sway bars just to be safe? What would you all do? If you believe this makes sense, any suggestions on model? Seems like the Anderson sway bar hitches are rated high.
 
You do not need sway control unless your trailer is unstable. That is not a function related to the truck, as the truck is not unstable. If your trailer is, fix it with correct loading inside and put more of the weight forward such that the tongue weight is about 10% of the trailer weight. Try to place the weight near the center fore and aft, and not at the ends.

2100 lbs is not a lot of weight and you don't need a WDH for that. I recently towed my 7500 lb travel trailer, with 800 lbs of tongue weight, with 2,500 lbs of gear in the truck. It was just fine. The rear upper overload leaves were just touching their pads and the truck drove very well.

If you need to adjust your headlights down a bit, the adjusters are above the headlights just under the hood. Look for the galvanized philips screw heads sticking straight up, right at the front, next to the fender, under the hood.
 
I've pulled my 26' toy hauler with and without a wdh w/ sway control and I much prefer it with. Very stable in crosswinds and when passing other vehicles.

*Blue Ox sway pro
 
I don’t believe you need a WD set up, but it could have its advantages. Short drives you’d never

1. WD setups reduce hitch jounce/bounce on lousy roads, on a long trip this can take a toll on your leafs and your back.

2. it will help shift the rear weight to the front, depending on how heavy the tongue is, this may make your truck ride rougher. For this reason (and laziness) I personally don’t use my bars for an hour or less drive.

3. If you’re still on the duratracs, they’re squirrelly. My v nose made my 21 sway and squirm like crazy, in ways my 17 never did. With that being said, the additional pressure of the WD will reduce that pivot point, giving you stability at highway speed.

Typically I’m towing my camper, which has a tongue weight of around 900lbs. On my 17 f350 with the camper package, I would go back and forth with using the WD.. until the last trip where I decided to leave it at home. Over 2 weeks and roughly 4,000 miles, I noticed the truck sitting lower and lower, before it never touched the overloads, by the end they were fully engaged. That trip was the worst for driving, I had to keep adjusting the hitch to compensate for the squat, all it did was bounce (my back had it), and sway on the freeway when passing trucks got worse and worse, where normally I’m towing 80-85, I was reduced to 70. I’d buy the set up and try it, the Anderson kit looks great, I have a basic Reese with 700 bars, it works, it was cheap, and when I drag it across rocks I don’t feel bad.
 
Would be nice but not needed with that set up. I have a similar weight trailer for Atvs or motorcycles. We drove to the Rocky Mountains and had no issues. In fact at times could not even feel the trailer.
IMG_5693.jpeg
 
The 10% tongue weight rule works ok for general trailers. But .. a Cargo or Travel trailer is a big ass Box. It doesn't matter what it weighs, it catches every bit of wind. Sudden cross winds in bad weather, and from passing trucks and Buses will make for white knuckle driving. Weight distribution/Sway bars are used on every Travel Trailer for a reason. It's not so much about the vehicle as it is the Trailer. Even dually's use them. Granted, a low height, low weight cargo trailers can tow fine behind a vehicle that weighs 8000 plus lbs. But, get it in the wind .. you'll have whatever it weighs pushing the back of your truck around.
 
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If you live near an interstate hook it up and go pass a few tractor trailers and see what it does, you will find out real quick if its unstable.
 
The Anderson WDH, in my opinion, is not a good match with the Tremor. It may be OK for highway use, but not on rougher roads, deeper dips and more articulation, that the Tremor was designed to be in. This is because it is a different design that does not bend bars, but squashes urethane bushings. It applies its force by simply pushing forward on the ball, and pulling back on the bat wing. Some of them have caused the Ford stability system to give a warning on the dash. The "fix" for this, recommended by Anderson, was to turn off the truck's stability control! They have had a lot of problems with the cone clutch anti-sway part of them too, but may have that ironed out by now. The sway control amount is not adjustable. The only real advantage to the Anderson is that it fits Oliver trailers without cutting any fiberglass.
 
The Anderson WDH, in my opinion, is not a good match with the Tremor. It may be OK for highway use, but not on rougher roads, deeper dips and more articulation, that the Tremor was designed to be in. This is because it is a different design that does not bend bars, but squashes urethane bushings. It applies its force by simply pushing forward on the ball, and pulling back on the bat wing. Some of them have caused the Ford stability system to give a warning on the dash. The "fix" for this, recommended by Anderson, was to turn off the truck's stability control! They have had a lot of problems with the cone clutch anti-sway part of them too, but may have that ironed out by now. The sway control amount is not adjustable. The only real advantage to the Anderson is that it fits Oliver trailers without cutting any fiberglass.
What model do you suggest? I called the local General RV and they offer E2 and Equalizer brands. I haven’t heard of them before.
 
Thanks for all the responses. I see this step as an insurance policy so to speak. I saw a trailer like mine turned over on the highway a few weeks back. So it got me thinking perhaps I should make the investment. My f150 would encounter some sway with this trailer, haven’t hauled much with the Tremor yet..
 
What model do you suggest? I called the local General RV and they offer E2 and Equalizer brands. I haven’t heard of them before.
I don't have any specific recommendation at this point, but we are working with Eaz Lift and a kit to work with the McHitch couplers, called the Quick Lift. We specialize in McHitch articulating couplers that are excellent for off road use, or for ease in connecting. McHitch.com.au. The Tremors use the 6 tonne automatic model and we sell a lot of them.

Equalizer is a brand I see a lot, but i'm not totally sold on them because the bars sit in a bracket that makes a lot of noise as it adds sway control. The sway control is not adjustable either. Blue Ox is another brand that a lot of people really like.

Go to etrailer and look for sway control devices. The telescoping units work well and are adjustable.

It's important to separate sway control from weight distribution. Two entirely separate functions. I don't like the idea of buying a WDH in order to get sway control and then not having it be adjustable. It just doesn't make sense.

I've been involved indirectly with Anderson hitches for about 5 years, as that is the brand used on Oliver trailers. They are used because they fit without cutting fiberglass, but there doesn't seem to be any other advantage. I have never liked them or the company. And they are especially bad for off-road, or rough road use.

Sorry I can't be more specific with a model at this point.
 
Thanks for all the responses. I see this step as an insurance policy so to speak. I saw a trailer like mine turned over on the highway a few weeks back. So it got me thinking perhaps I should make the investment. My f150 would encounter some sway with this trailer, haven’t hauled much with the Tremor yet..

I run this husky one, there may be better ones out there but I can roll 80mph past a semi towing my 32ft travel trailer with very little sway.

https://www.amazon.com/Husky-32218-Center-Line-Spring/dp/B00W919FL8
 
Thanks for all the responses. I see this step as an insurance policy so to speak. I saw a trailer like mine turned over on the highway a few weeks back. So it got me thinking perhaps I should make the investment. My f150 would encounter some sway with this trailer, haven’t hauled much with the Tremor yet..

As others have said, the Anderson is not very good choice for moving weight off of the drive axle due to their chain and bushing design. It is fine for small loads, but not for anything over 4-500 lb of TW. The physics of lifting the weight off your drive axle with spring bars is far superior to trying to do it with horizontal chains and plastic bushings. I called Anderson before making my decision and they admitted their weight distribution was limited to lower weight trailers. The sway control is from their custom tapered ball and a brake pad which is an item that wears out. (also not a good design...)

I looked at Equalizer, E2 and Blue Ox. For me, the Blue Ox SwayPro won out because it is virtually silent when turning and backing up with your trailer. It uses vertical chains and spring bars, but there is no greasy mess and no grinding noises. The CAT Scales by my house proved it was able to move 640 lbs (almost 2/3 of my 1000 lb TW) off of my drive axle and onto my steer axle and the trailer. This gives you much better steering and braking capabilities during normal driving and especially with emergency maneuvers.

Blue Ox Sway Pro

I have the 1000 lb spring bars, 1500 lb spring bars and their 2 1/2" shank with a 7" drop.
 
What model do you suggest? I called the local General RV and they offer E2 and Equalizer brands. I haven’t heard of them before.
I have a 10000 lb 26' Travel Trailer. It's so Tongue heavy it demands a Weight Distribution and Sway bar Setup. I chose Blue Ox. This picture shows it sagging my 16' 350 dually. Bitch is Heavy. But it's Solid. Built like no other ..
IMG_2635.JPG
 
I'm about to take delivery on a Grand Design Reflection 312BHTS. The gross weight is like 11.4 kips or something. After reading and researching, I've decided I'm getting the Blue Ox. I sold our other trailer today, and am letting the hitch that I used with it go with it. (So in the last month, I have a new truck and a new trailer. It's an expensive time in the Rigger household.)

Sidebar: I keep noticing negative comments about the Duratracs that come on the Tremor. I will have to start thinking about offing those things. I have to say that they do have a bit of squirreliness to them, as was mentioned above.
 
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I had an E2 that I used on with our F150 when pulling our TT. It uses the round bars and caused me issues getting in and out of my driveway by catching. In the F150 I would just raise the pressure in the bags to pull out and then hit the button to drop back to tow level after. I am not putting bags on the F350, so switched to a Recurve R6. Same basic concept, but the bars go up instead of down and I don't have any issues pulling out of my place. First use was a 1000 mile rt from Spokane, WA to Olympia, WA in wind, rain and mountain pass - worked great.

Erik
 
Pull this thing on long hauls with no wdh. Truck pulls like a beast. 0.0 need for WDH. Got the truck in mid March already have 3,000 miles on it and almost 1/2 is towing this.
 

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Pull this thing on long hauls with no wdh. Truck pulls like a beast. 0.0 need for WDH. Got the truck in mid March already have 3,000 miles on it and almost 1/2 is towing this.
Exactly. I think a lot of guys don't really understand the difference between a WDH and sway control, or simply think a heavy trailer needs sway control because it's heavy. Stable trailers do not need sway control. Too much sway control can interfere with the truck's stability system. Anderson has even told people to turn off the stability control in their trucks when the hitch caused instability. The trailer moving around some in cross winds is fine, too rigid is not fine. We just don't want an uncontrolled oscillation that gets worse and worse on it's own. That is instability.

Sway control is important on unstable trailers. A WDH is important with extremely heavy tongue weight.

There is no way I want to use a WDH on my 7500-8,000 lb HQ19, and it does not need one. Further, they must be removed for off-road use.
 

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I’ve heard great things about pro pride WDH, it is expensive though!
 
The only reason I like and use a Anderson is I have a short tongue v nose enclosed trailer and all the other WDH have to long of bars to fit, but it is not a heavy trailer.
 
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