Hi ho towing community..

I need some advice from whomever has some..

I have towed about 1000 miles so far, very successfully, my vintage solid 1955 Roadliner,(13' cabin)with my 2003 Suburban 1500 - without sway bars. I do not have an uneven hitch to tongue hook up..It appears very level and easy to do. Clearly I am very careful and slow and will continue to be. 

I have never felt any sway on the road, and the trailer tows straight and true.

Perhaps I have been lucky as well...

Now I  have been made aware of the need for sway bars, and /or a weight distribution set up and am wondering what is necessary to be safe and not sorry on the open road. 

I have also just purchased a 1973 Roadrunner with a 19" cabin..so the vehicle to trailer weight ratio I am used to will be very different with the newer trailer as it's dual axle, and about twice as heavy @ 4000 lbs.+

This newer trailer is also really well built,and is in super condition..solid and sound.. and so far tows straight( locally)  but I'm getting nervous that I am missing something really important here. 

After hearing how sway bars and weight dist.bars can really make a difference in safety I must ask people who know more than I do. 

What kind of accidents do these things protect us from?

Do all informed towers have these? 

I really appreciate this forum and thank you before hand for your help. 

I have got to figure this out soon.

many thanks.

happy trails.

Tags: bars, bars/weight, distribution, sway

Views: 1910

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Well Pat..I'll do that and I know your absolutely right..nothing Im going through is unique or unusual and many newer readers can benefit from this ramble.

I was actually really warm today..had to put on a sun dress..sorry to rub it in, but SoCal was 81 today..it's unusually warm. 

So yes, I'll stay warm and you stay warm too.

Val, here is a link to a hitch called "Hensley" which a lot of people like. It may be overkill. I don't know. Also there are a LOT of very good used trailer hitches with load levelers and basic anti-saw bars for sale on craigs list and e-bay once you sell a bumper pull folks want them gone.   Here's the link to Hensley a very good outline of what and how this all works... again, it's all pretty basic and after you've set up and hooked up a few times becomes as second nature as emptying your grey water tank.. LOL


Also, I'm liking the posts on this topic from everyone. they are all spot on, including NOT towing at very high speeds.  if we had been towing at 70 or 75 mph, which is the speed limit on 170 out Colorado way I would not have survived to write this.  60 mph does it for us.

Thanks for this link. I will do some research about this device . As far as used, although I often buy pre-owned things...I am not confident enough in what I am buying here to know if a used WD hitch and sway bar set up is full functioning, or if something is missing, bent,etc. I would always be wondering if it was OK.

I appreciate, as you do these reminders to go slow. When I am driving it's sometimes other towers who rush past me in the slow lane, as if the scenery is better viewed at a faster pace!!

OH..and that grey/black water knowhow is another learning curve I will not be able to avoid now with the larger trailer!! Oh my!!!

LOL, grey and black water. Yup, that's part of the total experience.

-rubber gloves

-some sort of pad with rubber bottom to kneel on when disconnecting

-separate hose to wash out sewer drain hose when you move from camp to camp

-of course, special place to store the sewer drain hose

Watch Robbin Williams move RV; it's hilarious, has a lot of learning in it and party true.      

Also, one way to get quickly past this small learning curve is to just grab a friend or another good old rver, who's experienced with bumper pulls. Have them hook up the trailer or you do it while they guide you through it, then tow it to the closest state park, unhook it, connect water, electric and sewer hose. You camp in it overnight and have them come back in the morning for a cuppa coffee and help you undo campground hookups, roll things up, dump sewage and follow you home.

PS. Remind us to suggest you get a water pressure reducer which fits between the CITY water supply, your rv WHITE potable water hose into your trailer; travel trailers water systems are not meant to handle the pressure of some city water systems so a pressure reducer, about $8, is needed.   All this has become so second nature I sometimes forget about these small, but important points.

Hello Val, I tried reading the replys and saw no mention of installing sway bars. I have not installed yet on my rig, but, HELLWIG makes sway bars for many, many, applications, and from what I have seen, fairly easy to install. I installed my 5000 lb AIRLIFT suspension myself in about 2 and a half hours.

David, we were speaking of the friction sway bar that mounts between the tow vehicle and the trailer. One should note that when the vehicle mounted anti-sway bar is added, the front should always be done first, Then maybe a rear bar. A rear bar alone or one that is too heavy will add too much oversteer, great on a race car maybe but bad when towing.

Yeah, I totally forgot about tow behind trailer sways, I remember them being called equalizer hitches. As a kid we had one on a tow behind

Heres  a picture of weight distribution bars. also called torsion bars. And an anti sway bar,(friction type)


Looks like the second photo has both, is that correct?  These hitch situations are much more complicated than I've been using..but I guess it's like the safety comparison between installing a dead bolt on your front door, to just hooking a little hook and trusting that no one wants to test it. 

Many thanks again Lakota..I am starting to get this. 

excellent pics...do you see a problem with the combined unit? the main shank should be almost vertical. instead there is a lot of deflection. most combo bars come out within a degree of horizontal. a degree or two more on tension. this setup needs a better look for sure. i seen factory hitches do this before...like they never intended WD hitches.




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