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Author Topic: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control  (Read 2774 times)

jwrenn

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Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« on: August 26, 2012, 02:15:34 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has used both friction sway control and the weight distribution bar sway control. Is the dist. bar sway control really that much better? I currently have a 2012 Jayco Jay Flight Swift(26') and tow it with a 2012 dodge ram 2wd. Im planning a trip to Yellowstone from SC next year and was wondering if the money up grade was worth it. Also is Equlizer really the best or is the reese just as good?Thanks
2011 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
2012 Jayco Jay Flight Swift 264bh
Wife, 2 daughters, son, me

Carl L

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 02:48:30 PM »
The Equal-i-zer and the Reese Dual Cam both have fans around here.  Myself, I am partial to the Reese based on long use of the system.  Others swear by the Equal-i-zer.   The Hensley Arrow and ProPride units are also popular.   All these units have integrated sway control into their WD operation so that when you hitch up the unit, your sway control is perfectly adjusted.   No need to continually fiddle with it as you need to do with a friction bar.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Joezeppy

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 07:53:06 PM »
I love my Equal-i-zer. I've used it on 2 different TT's since 2004. To echo Carl's comments, though, I love it since that's what I've used. I have friends with the Reese Dual Cam and they love it, too. Either one is an excellent WD & sway system all in one.
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L
2010 North Country 27BHS TT

Lou Schneider

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 08:30:47 PM »
The distribution bar sway controls need hitch weight to work - basically when the truck and trailer is in a straight ahead position the ends of the equalizing arms are centered in mating notches.   As the trailer moves left or right the arms ride out of the center position and apply pressure to the slanted sides of the notch, pushing the trailer back to a center position.

This makes the hitch self-centering - the hitch is always pushing the trailer back to center.  The only adjustment is the amount of tension you put on the equalizing arms, and it works equally well on dry or slick pavement.

A friction bar resists motion in both directions.  If they're adjusted too tight they can actually lock the truck and trailer into a turning position if the rear axle of the truck loses traction.  This is why their instructions say not to use them on gravel, dirt or in slippery conditions.

Hitches like the Hensley and ProPride fight sway in a third manner - they move the effective hitch rotation to a point closer to the rear axle so the trailer tracks more like a 5th wheel.  With the pivot closer to the rear axle, side forces on the hitch have less leverage to affect the direction of the tow vehicle.  They do this by locking the trailer's A frame to the hitch head, so they both move as a unit.  Levers inside the head act as a parallelogram, moving the hitch sideways as if the trailer was rotating around a pivot located further forward.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 08:37:18 PM by Lou Schneider »

jwrenn

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 07:27:17 AM »
Has anyone used or heard of the dual cam sway control? Does it work better than the friction bar. My concern comes from the horror stories ive heard reguarding the friction sway control bar in high winds. Im planning a trip out west next year and want to be prepared.


2011 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
2012 Jayco Jay Flight Swift 264bh
Wife, 2 daughters, son, me

Marc L

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 07:33:38 AM »
Has anyone used or heard of the dual cam sway control? Does it work better than the friction bar. My concern comes from the horror stories ive heard reguarding the friction sway control bar in high winds. Im planning a trip out west next year and want to be prepared.
That's exactly the system Carl said he was partial too.  I've used it as well and quite happy with it.  All WD with built-in sway control work better than friction bar.

In order from worse to best.
- no sway control
- friction sway control
- WD with built-in sway (Reese Dual Cam or Equalizer)
- Propride or Hensley (unique system described by Lou)

If you only want to invest a few hundred dollars, then Reese Dual Can or Equalizer are your choices to pick from.  If you are willing to spend in the thousands, then Propride or Hensley is the Cadillac of hitches from the anecdotes I've heard, but I have no experience with them.
Marc...

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 07:51:57 AM »
Sway control built into the WD mechanism, e.g. the Reese Dual Cam or the Equal-i-zer system, is far superior to the friction type. The primary reason for this is human - the friction device relies on the driver to apply it each time the trailer is hitched, and to set the correct amount of friction, neither too much nor too little. In my opinion few of the friction devices are set up correctly. Folks turn the friction knob enough to get some action and hope it is enough to do the job, but they don't know for sure until it is too late to do anything. And since too much friction often produces noticeable hitch noise at low speed, there is a tendency to go light.

With the WD type, the sway control is in place as soon as you hitch up, and the amount is in proportion to the weight on the hitch. It's automatic and essentially foolproof. And no extra device to store either.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

jwrenn

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Re: Friction sway control vs distribution bar sway control
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 06:20:33 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. Yeah i missed the dual cam line earlier in the thread. I think thats the route for me, especially since i showed my wife the propride and she saw the price tag and laughed at me. Also the dual cam can be added to my existing WD spring bars.
2011 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
2012 Jayco Jay Flight Swift 264bh
Wife, 2 daughters, son, me