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

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I've had mine start swaying but I believe it was because of improper weight distribution as well as the angle. I recently purchased a adjustable rise for my receiving hitch but have yet to try it out. If you are planning on higher speeds than 55 it might be a great investment. I do not know for sure as I am new to all this but I am interested to see what other answers you get.

  Thanks Fred..

Ill have to google that "adjustable rise" I have no idea what that even is! Can you explain a bit?

I guess we're both waiting for some important info to come around. I know many towing ladies who do not have sway bars, but one lost her fantastic vintage KenCraft trailer in an accident recently and it started to make me think more seriously about safety instead of just fun fun fun!!

Ok community, Fred and I are eager to hear what you all have to say....

thanks again!

Hi Val, this is what I mean by rise. I am not sure if that's even the proper nomenclature but it works for me. I have yet to use it because of the remodel but I am interested in seeing what kind of feedback I get from this if any. Has anyone else use this type? One concern is that the pin holding the ball assembly may act as a pivot point for stop and go traffic.
While reading the rest of this I happened upon the pics of the overturned rig. I think that made your mind up for you and I know it made mine. I'm going to research and see about away bars for my setup. Even if I never go over 50, hitting a road hazard such as a four inch drop will definitely shake things up. Here in NM, some of the highway roads are horrid. I 25 for example, around hatch, nm seems like all they did was throw asphalt over the desert and call it a road. Shook me like crazy! I 10 gets shut down often during the spring due to very high winds. So yes, sway bars are in store for me as well.
Good luck!

I have logged a couple few miles down the ole road ways with a trailer or two or ten. I highly recommend *sway bars. Some say they are a pain, added expense, to hard to hook up, etc.etc. But with a bumper pull, you want as much stability as possible between the tow vehicle and trailer. Remember,, the ONLY thing holding the trailer behind you is that hitch ball,, the trailer is pretty much at the mercy of the winds and such. Its only job is to follow you. Sway bars, are in fact a safety issue that *Controls the sway the trailer might experience while toodling down the highway. If I pull a small 10 footer or even a 30 plus footer, I will always use sway bars,(weight distribution bars on heavier models), when I have to go highway speeds.

They are actually reasonable on price if you factor in the safety of them. They will help you avoid *losing your trailer, or even worse, taking out another motorist.

Weight distribution bars, take the tongue weight and even it out over the tow vehicle frame. (tongue heavy trailers).

When towing, always make sure your interior load is evenly distributed, as to not be nose or tail heavy.

Taking the addition ten minutes to double check everything will save you hours of frustrations.

Happy trails and be safe out there.

Thank you Lakota..for both your posts..This is just the kind of info I need to make sense of this issue.

 So I understand I need both with the heavier ,longer trailer but do I need both with the smaller trailer or just the sway bars with that one ?

And if both are needed for both, can I use the same sway bars/weight distribution bars for both trailers or do each need their own custom sized sets?

Thanks again..

They make quick connects for sway bars and W/D's      the W/D's arent always needed for lightweight smaller trailers. At least not in MY case.

Lakota, what do you mean "Not in my case"? Do you have other more sure safety systems for small trailers? 

and what does"aren't always needed" mean? 

Under what conditions would they be needed? 

Does "quick connects" mean it's easy using one set for both trailers? 

And one last question please..do you recommend a particular brand?  

and.. thank you for your answers. I really am asking this many questions because I don't quite understand it all yet.

What I meant ,not in my case, Ive pulled smaller 10 and 12 footers and the weight distribution bars (W/D bars), didnt really make a difference,, It wasnt a heavy load to have to distribute.

What I had mentioned about quick connects,, is you can aquire the hook up hardware for both trailers and use the sway bars on either without having to have 2 sets on hand.. I carry sway bars with several pieces of hardware to hook up to pretty much any trailer I have to pull.

I wrote a WD hitch blog. You might read that and continue with questions...the 19' is large enough to benefit from a WD hitch, especially with a 1500.

David is right on the mark, especially with a 1500 series truck. I have a 1500 series dodge ram I pull my 9,000 lb 5th wheel with. BUT.. I have heavy duty air suspension bags under the back with criss cross stabilizer bars on rear axle and upgraded bearing hubs. When I do pull a bumper pull I adjust my adjustable hitch and use sway bars and W/D hitch. If its a real heavy bumper pull, I use my Red Dodge 1500 with 2500 rear end,, with sway and W/D. I tend to be a little OVER cautious.

Excellent blog BTW  David,,, very well written and informative.

Geez..Lakota..talk about throwing around some 100$ mechanics terms.I'm a middle aged suburban mom who's having a heck of a learning curve about now and enjoying it immensely, but I have never heard of these things before. I will look them up online .I have great respect for what your saying about being over cautious, but have no idea how or if those additions apply to my situation or not.

Heavy duty air suspension bags?..bearing hubs?..2500 rear end.?..what's an adjustable hitch? Yet, I am very thankful that your out there willing to give me info that could save me from a real disaster. Thank you for elongating my learning curve this evening. I will try to keep up. Where is Davids WD blog? 


Hi David..I've looked all over this website and cannot find your blog..where is it?? 

thanks too. 




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