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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Hi Val,

Click on David's picture and you will see all of his posts, he doesn't have blogs, they are discussion posts.

Thanks..for that. Sign me "Always learning"!!!!

Everyone on this site is so generous.  

actually it is under a blog post.  pat also put a link on the front page as well..near the bottom

This is my rig 3 years ago in Colorado and a very nice 28 foot trailer we were testing for a company. We did have a very heavy weight distribution hitch... but no sway bar.  We almost died just outside of Lymon, Colorado. Faulty highway repair left a 4 inch lip on the interstate, suv went up an over, trailer went up and landed slightly off-center, could not get a grip on the grooved pavement and we are instantly uncontrollable at 65 mph. And you can forget about reaching for the little brake controller... kind of hard to do when you are upside down.  Note that, as most readers know, we are Very thorough about checking our rigs. In fact, tires were checked that morning, even torqued to proper specs and the trailer towed like a dream. Have 3,000 miles on the test... until "the end"   Get one.

Pat,

many thanks for your reply. I will be getting the sway bars for sure and probably the WD bars too. I cannot imagine how scary that accident was. Pictures tell a thousand words and all.

When looking at sway bars online they look so insignificant and not at all big enough to do anything. What kind do you recommend? Lakota mentioned having an adjustable hitch..do you have one of those too? 

thank you. 

Getting a WDH with sway bars is a great choice.  I personally like the Equal-I-Zer brand, it has the sway bars built right in with the WDH.  I have pulled several trailers and used this WDH even when it was not needed just to get the sway control.  One word of caution, be careful at the speeds you pull the trailer.  Just because you can go 65 or even 75, doesn't mean you should.  I pulled trailers ranging from 16 feet to 35 feet and I ran them at 55-60 MPH.  and in construction areas I go at least 5 MPH slower than the posted limit and if the shoulder is missing, I go even slower.  I will put up with irate people behind me just to avoid having a wreck.

Hi R and B..

Thanks for your reply. That combo sounds like a smart idea.

I am reading all these posts and am beginning to think I am way out of my league here. 

Can I have the WDH/away bars installed by someone else? I don't even understand what everyone is talking about yet, and I think I am many steps away from doing this install myself like all of you have done. 

Are they a permanent part of the tongue once installed( welded) or removable to install on another trailer? 

I drive slowly and carefully for sure, I am in no hurry. I just smile and wave at honkers...like I have no idea why they would be upset! 

Val, yes we did.   the "adjustable" just lets you align or make the trailer tongue level with your ball hitch on the back of the vehicle so it's level... which is critical.  When I got started doing this years ago like you I took it to a well recommended company that did a LOt of trailer hitches. they even put sand bags inside the trailer to simulate normal load of my "stuff" so everything is level. What I decided to NOT do was also install an anti[say bar. I felt that the load leveling bars/hitch should have been enough.... which was stupid and almost killed us.

Here's a photo of a standard adjustablel trailer hitch. it fits inside your standard trailer hitch mount on your truck... just slid it in...

Pictures tell me so much..now I get how these work. Thank you for this visual. 

Being that both of my trailers have different heights,weights,widths,and my Suburban is not heavy duty but does have factory towing pkg.., this kind of adjustable hitch makes a ton of sense. 

I read the humility of your lesson here..the fact that you both survived such a devastating accident , and are now able to warn others, is not lost on me. I am one who learns from the experiences of others and grateful for such intelligent, possibly life saving advice that I am gaining on this website from all of you. 

This forum is true community at work. Thanks to all of you.

Val, that's so nice. thanks so much for you comment.  that's what we want good old rvs to be all about.

Well Pat, I mean it. When I first started being interested in getting a trailer I found your website and joined just to start getting familiar with this world. Shortly after I bought my first trailer..the 1955 Roadliner..I still knew almost nothing, was excited but had tons of questions about smells, the water tank, etc and frankly no one around me to ask..and so I asked those questions here and members answered like a big family would. It's like having a hot line on the Million Dollar Question..

I love that there is a community of people who live all over this country, who become connected like this, share, and help one another. To me thats the finest of human nature at work..right here at my little desk I am communicating and feeling listened to, and everyone is helping me learn and we don't know one another at all but it feels as if we might! This advice might save my life or someone elses who might be reading these threads..so right there is the value of this effort. 

This is cool..very cool..and you have clearly done what you set out to do, so Thank you again. I will continue to ask..so don't think I'm done clogging up your webpages!!! :-)

And this website works great, is really easy to figure out and post on and thats a huge plus. Bravo to you on many counts!!!

Welcome to the family girl. And, do keep clogging up those pages with good words and questions.

We all have gone through, or are going through all the same "stuff.

Stay warm if it's snowing where you are. pat, linda & lady dog

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