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Old 03-28-2010, 11:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
2labs
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Friction Sway Controller

I am looking at getting a friction sway controller to put on my 4-wheeler trailer that I pull behind my travel trailer. Is there any particular brand I should get or any I should stay away from?

Also, does it matter what kind of tongue the trailer has on it? The tongue on my trailer is 1 straight piece of square tubing; the tongue is not V-shaped like alot of trailers.

Thanks.

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Old 03-29-2010, 02:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
JonDaytona
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I can't really see it to matter much, in my opinion. The ones I am use to are ball and socket type that my dad has used for MANY years without issues. Of course, now I have one that is built in to the load distributing bars from BluOx that I like a lot, but that would not be feasible in this application obviously. The ball and socket type with the friction pad in between should work fine, although I'm not sure which brand my Dad uses. I'm guessing you have one of those "just big enuf" trailers for your Quad? I'm sure the big problem with that would be the tailwinds from the travel trailer, but be sure your quad trailer is level and has adequate tongue load to prevent sway as well. Utah allows towing trailers behind trailers? It's only allowed behind 5'ers here....which is why I made my own contraption behind my travel trailer, and it works out great!

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I may be wrong but I do not think that a friction type sway controller will work on a trailer with a straight single channel tongue. I think that for the sway controller to work properly that there has to be an angle between the hitch and the trailer tongue. With a straight tongue on the trailer I think that the slop in the ball and socket alone will still allow for trailer sway.

I think that you will be able to get rid of more sway by making sure that the front of the trailer is slightly lower than level and that you make sure that the tongue weight is at least 10% to 15% of the trailer weight. If the tongue of the trailer is higher than level the trailer will tend to dance around and if the trailer is heavy enough it could throw your towing vehicle out of control.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
wynot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armylifer View Post
I may be wrong but I do not think that a friction type sway controller will work on a trailer with a straight single channel tongue. I think that for the sway controller to work properly that there has to be an angle between the hitch and the trailer tongue. With a straight tongue on the trailer I think that the slop in the ball and socket alone will still allow for trailer sway.

I think that you will be able to get rid of more sway by making sure that the front of the trailer is slightly lower than level and that you make sure that the tongue weight is at least 10% to 15% of the trailer weight. If the tongue of the trailer is higher than level the trailer will tend to dance around and if the trailer is heavy enough it could throw your towing vehicle out of control.
I was thinking the same thing regarding the angle. Good advice regarding the tongue weight, and I would be looking at between 15-20% on the tongue if possible. Tow the quad trailer before you pull it with a camper, so that you get a feel for its behavior.
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Last edited by wynot; 04-12-2010 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
2labs
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Well guys, I went ahead and installed the friction sway controller on my straight tongue and it worked just fine. I even got into some major cross winds and I thought it did a good job. I did attach the trailer so that it was pointed down on the front a little and that might have helped it also. Attached is the picture of the rig.
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File Type: jpg Easter Weekend 2010 051.jpg (59.9 KB, 79 views)
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
6.5silverado
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looks good! how long is that set up?
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
2labs
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That setup is right around 66' long. I forgot to mention that I had to back up about 100' and the sway control really helped the ATV trailer back in a straight line.
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
armylifer
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I am glad that everything worked out okay for you. The way you have the rear trailer loaded is 90% of the reason you did not have any problems.

Now, I'd like to see you back it up! That would be fun!

Seriously though, I wish that we could tow tandem in Washington State.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
wynot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armylifer View Post
I am glad that everything worked out okay for you. The way you have the rear trailer loaded is 90% of the reason you did not have any problems.
Sway or no sway is almost always dependent on tongue load (10-15%). That friction sway is there to keep stuff from getting out of hand, not fix a sway problem from incorrect loading. I can tell you that no friction sway is going to keep a sway-prone trailer from swaying somewhat. For example -Certain models of popup campers are sway-prone from the factory and it isn't until you load almost 20% of the camper's weight on the tongue that they behave themselves with the friction sway cranked tight.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
2labs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wynot View Post
Sway or no sway is almost always dependent on tongue load (10-15%). That friction sway is there to keep stuff from getting out of hand, not fix a sway problem from incorrect loading. I can tell you that no friction sway is going to keep a sway-prone trailer from swaying somewhat. For example -Certain models of popup campers are sway-prone from the factory and it isn't until you load almost 20% of the camper's weight on the tongue that they behave themselves with the friction sway cranked tight.
The main reason I wanted the friction sway control on there is for a little assurance that if the trailer starts to sway it will not get to crazy. I don't need to be the first one at the top of the hill or the first one at the bottom either. I know 9 out of 10 people will not pull doubles with bumper pulls because of the fish tailing of the last trailer, but I think those are the ones that want to do 80mph down the highway to be the first one there. Keep it tame, take the time to load everything correctly, and don't do anything stupid like quick lane changes and it should stay between the lines.

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