Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Why do I need a W/D or sway control
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 > Why do I need a W/D or sway control

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justme

USA

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Posted: 07/03/22 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2012 F350 diesel pulling a 28ft Airstream trailer. The trailer tows very well and has not noticed any problem pulling that trailer. So why do I need to add a WD or sway control? Ford claims to have sway control that applies brakes in a way to control extreme swaying. Passing 18-wheelers and wind is not a problem. The trailer manufacturer does not provide any clear advice one way or another.

Microlite Mike

NW Washington State

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Posted: 07/03/22 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A Weight Distribution Hitch may be required in order to meet the load ratings of for the receiver attached to the tow vehicle's frame.

Look at the receiver and note the load ratings on the labels. Usually two ratings, one without WDH and one With. Without is often far lower than With.

As for sway control, proper loading and tire pressures (on both trailer AND Tow Vehicle are often the best methods of sway control. A Friction type sway control is all I use on my 6300# trailer and sometimes I even leave it off with no sway issues.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 07/03/22 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don’t. Unless you do. But you don’t. Lol.
WDHs have become the ultimate travel trailer owner security blanket. Plain and simple.
Yes some combinations NEED a wdh to reduce effective tongue weight. Like if I used my half ton to pull out toy hauler.
And some (likely few) need sway control to assist with poorly weight distributed trailers or marginally short tow vehicles for the length of the trailer.
Since you don’t fall into either of those categories, you don’t need the RVers binky.

Proof of above theory, count how many “other” bumper pull trailers you see with wdhs. All of them. Boats, cargo trailers, flat deck tag trailers. And compare trailer size to vehicles towing. The number will be zero or almost zero.
More proof. Pintle hitches. Why are the heaviest trailers towable by light duty trucks not even made with a hitch that can use a wdh?

Wdhs are the product of a good invention turned into a marketing scheme by RV dealers which has now, with the internet, propagated into some sort of brainwashing by RVers.

Btw, I have a wdh I’ll sell you. Came with my last camper. I’ll knock $50 off if I don’t have to clean the dust off of it!! Lol.


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Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 07/03/22 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

F-350 Dually? or
the amount of sway is controlled by the tires.
the dually should be good to go


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 07/03/22 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You probably don't. I wouldn't spring for one if the truck doesn't sag and you have no problems with sway.

Whoever told you you needed one was either trying to sell one or has too little TV for their rig. Just my humble opinion.

I do not have either TV or trailer like yours. I tow a 21 foot, 5000 GW TT behind a diesel SUV rated to tow 6,000 lbs without a WD or sway control. Works fine. No sway, tows straight as an arrow.





RCMAN46

NorthWest

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Posted: 07/03/22 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A good sway control system is good insurance.
You may not think you need sway control but someday you may have someone cut you off really bad or have to make a very radical maneuver to miss a deer, a moose or worse a pedestrian and then you may find out why you may need sway control.

justme

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Posted: 07/03/22 02:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

naturist wrote:

You probably don't. I wouldn't spring for one if the truck doesn't sag and you have no problems with sway.

Whoever told you you needed one was either trying to sell one or has too little TV for their rig. Just my humble opinion.

I do not have either TV or trailer like yours. I tow a 21 foot, 5000 GW TT behind a diesel SUV rated to tow 6,000 lbs without a WD or sway control. Works fine. No sway, tows straight as an arrow.


I agree with you. My truck and trailer combo tow just fine and I see no reason to spend a grand on something I don't need. Airstream trailers tow better than many trailers because they are low to the ground, well balanced and have low wind drag. I was hoping for more fact than opinion for my question.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 07/03/22 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Microlite Mike wrote:

A Weight Distribution Hitch may be required in order to meet the load ratings of for the receiver attached to the tow vehicle's frame.

Even if you have NOT exceeded the receiver weight rating you gave significantly changed the amount of weight on the front. Your steering will be "vague" and you will have less vehicle braking. A weight distribution hitch prevents both.

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 07/03/22 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why would any of our opinions (or facts) make any difference? [emoticon]

It sounds like you are satisfied with the way your rig tows right now, so why mess with it?

I wouldn't change anything.. If you have the 2.5" hitch receiver and not using the 2" spacer piece and your drop and ball are all within spec of the tongue/trailer weights, and the sag is not any major concern, I'd just go with it until it isn't.

The Ford's 'built in sway control' only kicks in when you are in a severe 'sway' situation. If it kicks in, you are not in a good place and maybe you need to adjust something.

I use a WD setup, but no mechanical 'sway' control with my setup.. I've had my share of emergency stops and wind and other situations that are not your ideal towing experience, but have never had Fords 'sway control' ever kick in.

In the end, do whatever lets you sleep at night.. If all you do is think you need a fancy sway hitch, get one... Nothing wrong with that.

I sleep just fine with my setup. Sounds like you do too.

Good luck! Mitch

* This post was edited 07/03/22 05:58pm by MitchF150 *


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/03/22 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

justme wrote:

I was hoping for more fact than opinion for my question.
Check the hitch rating. Some say weight distribution is needed above 5000 pounds or 500 tongue weight.
Check for a stamping right on the truck hitch.


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