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preventing sway from big rigs

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preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cougarlover on Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:06 pm

I remember reading a discussion about preventing sway when big rigs pass on the freeway on here or the "other" forum. We had a few incendents last camping trip when a big rig passed that shook me up a bit. Nothing major but scary. Doeanyone have any tips for us. We were cruising at around 60mph in the slow lane and big rigs were passing us doing 65+. gotta love California speedways I mean freeways. :D
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cwit on Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:17 pm

when I had my tt I used the friction slide control on both sides . This worked all right but they say the cam slide actions on the torsion bars work better. :) :)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby catmom on Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:10 pm

We have friction slide (Equal-i-zer) and, as cwit mentioned, it does ok. We do feel it when semis pass, especially when their speed exceeds ours by 15-20 mph, and also more so on windy days. Only a couple times on our recent 26-day trip did I feel a little shaky, but we never had any real sway going on. Most of the problem was from side winds, though, and not semis. We haven't ever had any other type of sway control, so can't compare. If the budget allowed, we'd probably have sprung for a Hensley, but...
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby Limey on Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:53 am

By far the best way I found to eliminate this was to trade the TT for a 5er. Doesn't happen any more! :mrgreen:
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cwit on Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:46 am

Limey that is just what I did. I don't think I would ever go back to a TT after towing my 5er. :D :D
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:58 am

We traveled for over 40,000 miles using a friction bar anti sway system and though it was NEVER a problem you could FEEL trucks passing. When we went to the larger Rockwood we upgraded to Reese DC with (getting close to 40,000 on it now) and I honestly almost never even notice them. There are some OCCASIONS with extreme conditions I feel a slight tug but most truck drivers will tell you that they feel them when THEY'RE being passed by other rigs under some conditions also. I've never experienced any trailer SWAY from either type of anti sway system but bow wave (what you're more than likely experiencing) can come and go depending on lots of circumstances.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby fla-gypsy on Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:12 pm

skipnchar wrote:We traveled for over 40,000 miles using a friction bar anti sway system and though it was NEVER a problem you could FEEL trucks passing. When we went to the larger Rockwood we upgraded to Reese DC with (getting close to 40,000 on it now) and I honestly almost never even notice them. There are some OCCASIONS with extreme conditions I feel a slight tug but most truck drivers will tell you that they feel them when THEY'RE being passed by other rigs under some conditions also. I've never experienced any trailer SWAY from either type of anti sway system but bow wave (what you're more than likely experiencing) can come and go depending on lots of circumstances.


I have to agree here, after switching to the HP Dual Cam even the bow effect is pretty much gone. Makes towing very comfortable
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby BAJA X on Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:45 pm

I have noticed a big difference towing with my new truck, sway is gone (didnt have much sway with other truck also) and when semis pass me there is very little sway or nothing at all. It all depends on which way the wind is blowing also, plus my w/d hitch and dual cams seem to be dialed in much better on this truck. You can try slowly speeding up when the semi starts to pass you its worked for me in the past.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:49 pm

Limey wrote:By far the best way I found to eliminate this was to trade the TT for a 5er. Doesn't happen any more! :mrgreen:


Agreed. ;-)

Either that, or get a 21' long truck like mine, and then tow a 21' long trailer with it...like I did. Heh. Never felt a thing with this combination! :mrgreen:
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby MCBOWERS on Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:36 pm

cougarlover wrote: .
We were cruising at around 60mph in the slow lane and big rigs were passing us doing 65+.



We don't know your w/b,length of TT or if u even have sway control but based on the pic of your combo the TT looks long for the truck[my opinion].With a 5 or 6 MPH speed differential sway should not be such a problem when being passed unless sway control is not being used ,tire pressure is incorrect[TT&TV],or the TT or TV is loaded incorrectly.

Have u ever weighed your TT, TV combo when starting a trip?Good imput would help us zero in on your problem.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby thetwoofus on Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:38 pm

We noticed last winter on our trip from MI. to CA. and back to TX and onto SC and back to MI we felt the push and pull as trucks passed us, being a retired semi driver it didn't bother me to much although I didn't care for it. My biggest concern with our Reese hitch and sway control bar was I was told it was better to remove the sway control bar when the roads were wet or on loose gravel because the sway bar could keep the truck and trailer from straightening out in a curve or turn. I don't know how much truth there is to that but I did remove it in inclement weather and then would feel a bit uneasy and could feel the trailer sway a little as we were being passed.
Knowing I would be getting a larger trailer before we made the trip again this year, I was looking around and asking a lot of questions during our travels last year.
After much thought I ordered the Hensley Arrow. I knew it would brake the bank because they are not cheep. but as the saying goes, ya get what ya pay for. I'll tell ya, it's the best money I've ever spent. That new Rockwood does exactly as the truck does. I turn the wheel right and left going down the hwy, and that trailer does the same with no sway and no rock and roll. It's hard to explain.
I did notice on a one lane road, trucks going by cause no sway on the trailer, and on the freeway absolutely no problem when passed by a fast moving semi. We love the Hensley and if you ever get the chance, it's well worth the money.
We eat a lot of crackers and drink a lot of water now, :lol: but we go down the road in a comfortable manner.
Last edited by thetwoofus on Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby catmom on Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:09 pm

We love the Hensley and if you ever get the chance, it's well worth the money.
We eat a lot of crackers and drink a lot of water now, but we go down the road in a comfortable manner.

:lol: :lol:
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby The Wood Tinker on Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:56 am

Equal-i-zer.....nuff said. I have never had a problem with it and will tow without. Unless I get a 5er....which isn't going to happen. 8-)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cwit on Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:08 am

Wood Tinker if you camped in a 5er and saw the high ceilings it just makes the camper look so much bigger. I wanted to stay with the tt's but no my wife had to go look at just one 5er. oh oh. I now have a 600 dollar wdh in the shed and a 5er hitch in the truck bed. Keep wife out of 5er and stay in tt. :D
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby Limey on Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:59 pm

cwit wrote:Wood Tinker if you camped in a 5er and saw the high ceilings it just makes the camper look so much bigger.


I sure agree with this. We switched from a TT to a 5er and love the extra height. I had forgotten how much I appreciated it until last Friday - I took the 5er in to have the Dometic recall done on the fridge. As I was waiting I wandered into some TTs on display, and the first thing that struck me was how low the ceilings were - actually felt claustrophobic after a while! :lol:
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby Frank Henn on Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:39 pm

I have to agree that the Friction bars make a lot of difference. The other thing I found while towing our Travel Trailer with the Durango, and it could be true with your Suburban, is the tires were passenger tire, and the side walls, had a lot of flex. They do this for the ride in SUV's I put truck tires on the Durango, and it made all of the difference in the world. Tho now we have the 5th wheel and have none of that problem :) :)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby Fire Instructor on Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:05 pm

This season we upgraded from a 21' Jayco 21J HTT (less than 4,800 lbs loaded) to a Rockwood 2607 (27'-9" and 6,500 GVWR). Same tow vehicle, 1500 Dodge Ram 4d, 4wd w/ hemi. With the "old" trailer we felt pull or drag every time a big rig, or worse yet a tour bus, went by. With the new TT, we feel it only slightly. So what did we change? We went from a round bar draw-tite WD hitch with a single friction sway control to a Reese dual-cam WD hitch. What a difference!
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby The Wood Tinker on Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:12 am

cwit wrote:Wood Tinker if you camped in a 5er and saw the high ceilings it just makes the camper look so much bigger. I wanted to stay with the tt's but no my wife had to go look at just one 5er. oh oh. I now have a 600 dollar wdh in the shed and a 5er hitch in the truck bed. Keep wife out of 5er and stay in tt. :D


No 5er for us anytime soon. We love our TT and I don't see a change coming. 8-)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby thetwoofus on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:07 am

No 5er for us anytime soon. We love our TT and I don't see a change coming. 8-)


I think we got off topic here, but since we've come this far I'll add my 5th wheel feelings. We've looked at probably just about every make made in the past year and a half. They are nice, no doubt about it. We feel our Rockwood 8319 SS will serve us just fine and we find there is enough room and storage space to meet our needs. This is our 2nd year of snow birding and if we decide to be full timers down the road, then a 5 er would be given more thought. For now the Hensley will keep us out of trouble and make towing more comfortable.
There are probably others who feel about the same. ;)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cwit on Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:12 am

Hi thewoofus where ndo you snowbird we like Myrtle beach find Flordia to warm and busy. :D
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby thetwoofus on Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:55 am

cwit wrote:Hi thewoofus where ndo you snowbird we like Myrtle beach find Flordia to warm and busy. :D


We really liked Mission Texas and Rockport Texas. People call us Northerner's the "Winter Texans" because us being there helps their economy. It's rather inexpensive to live there. We had gone to AZ first last year because we have a Son who lives there and the cost of living in AZ is very high, and I think that's because of what my son calls the white heads (hair) coming there for the winter and it's awfully crowded.
Texas is much better and we of the older persuasion are appreciated down there. So that's where we are headed this year.
Last year in Mission I washed my pick-up and trailer with a hose, bucket and long handled soft brush and it was 92 degrees and I never broke a sweat. I can sweat walking across my lawn here in Mi. We just love the winter weather down there. ;)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cwit on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:43 pm

You sure make it sound good, I would love to do it but wife says way to far. :(
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby thetwoofus on Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:54 pm

cwit wrote:You sure make it sound good, I would love to do it but wife says way to far. :(


Ahh tell her the cost of living down there for a couple of months is cheaper then Myrtle beach. They have a grocery chain called H-E-B--(meaning Here Everything's Better) and by gosh it is. The FRESH frute is out of this world and prices great.
Where we stayed in Mission is actually called McAllen, TX but every one calls it Mission due to how close they are.
It might be worth the trip just to check it out.
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Where ever you go this winter, it'll be warmer then where you are now. Right? :)
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby cwit on Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:39 pm

When we left last Feb it was 2 below. This year it may be Georgia Instead of Myrtle beach. We just started our summer a week ago and it will be over next week, this has been a bad summer for us. :roll:
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby dalenoel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:09 pm

We just completed 2,300 miles around Lake Superior and with the Hensley had no problems. This is with an Eagle 322FKS and Dodge Crew Quad Cab. The hills, curves and trans-Canada highway did not affect us at all. On the way up to the Mackinac bridge there was a 15-20 mile crosswind and that did not even cause a problem.

It was costly but now I'm very glad I got it. There is enough out there to worry about without having to worry about sway. Now I just worry about the other nuts on the road.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby thetwoofus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:04 pm

Hi dalenoel,
Nice to read your post and see you had a good trip with the Hensley. We've pulled our Rockwood from Grand Rapids to Home (Grand Ledge) and then to a Lake Mi campground about two weeks ago and will be heading out again in a week for about a two week run around the state. We really like what the H A does to the ride and also the safety aspect of it. Like you, we probably could have bought something else with that wad of money, but heck some things are important, right? :) That's an interesting sounding trip around Lake Superior, we'll have to give it a try sometime.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby tvman44 on Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:33 am

Don't notice it with the 5er.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby fla-gypsy on Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:29 pm

When I went to the 32' TT I switched to the Reese HP Dual Cam and it was money well spent. I get no sway but some Bow Wave effect butit is totally manageable. I have found that even the Bow Wave can be lessened by moving over in your lane as far away from the passing vehicle as possible.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby Terry on Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:48 pm

After having driven simis, and busses. I can say that. Yes you feel the bow wave even in a 80,000lb 5th wheel trailertruck, and feel it as well with a 40' bus. So I pay little attention to it with the TT. Yes I can feel them, But not to the point of scaring me, Even when I forgot to install the swaybar.

You may want to redo the WDH if they are pushing, and pulling you to the point of fright. It is a normal thing and will never go away, But it should not be so bad as to bother you.
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Re: preventing sway from big rigs

Unread postby SCCamper on Mon May 24, 2010 12:11 am

Can a do-it-yourselfer install one of these anti-sway hitches pretty easily? I noticed CampingWorld charges about $90 to install one.

When I brought home my 29' Dutchman, pulled by my Suburban, I noticed the big rig sway coming down the interstate.
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