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DangerHorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:13 PM
Borrowing a trailer for the weekend that has attachments for sway bars but the bars are no where to be found. How important are sway bars and should I consider getting some before my trip? Going to be hauling about 250 miles round trip.

Thanks!!

airhorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:17 PM
Need way more information. How big is trailer, how heavy, how many horses, what are you pulling it with.

If you are pulling a 2 horse with a semi, no.

DangerHorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:20 PM
Trailer is a 2-horse walk-thru and will have 2 horses in it. Looking online at simular trailers (it's a Jackson, simular to the Omega Remington) I'd say it's about 2300#. Pulling it with my Silverado 1500.

airhorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:53 PM
I'd say find them...

goodhors
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:56 PM
I have always found the bars to be extremely helpful in towing. They move the tongue weight forward, so you have much better steering, a more stable trailer (even loaded) during crosswinds, semi trucks passing or you passing them.

Anyone you know that has a bumper pull camper trailer? Perhaps you could borrow a set instead of purchasing them. Does your hitch unit on truck have the holes for sway bars? If you don't have the correct receiver for bars, purchasing them would be a waste of money. And hitch unit should be rated to pull a loaded horse trailer. Some camper trailer hitches, even with sway bars, are not heavy enough for horse trailers.

I have been told that all sway bars start the same for length. The dealer selling to you may shorten them if trailer has a real short tongue, and you then may need to use a longer link in chain to get the "lift" needed for bars to work correctly. Longer bars have more flex, leverage,, so chain link for hooking them into bracket may be different, tighter than the shorter bars use.

I guess I would purchase a set of sway bars for a 500 mile trip, especially if driving in the mountains, windy roads that will be slapping my truck and trailer while driving. Doing only moderately hilly roads, sometimes the wind around here is severe, so bars helped control the whole outfit a lot when I drove a BP 2-horse and big Ford pickup with a long box. Length helps too, shorter body trucks seem to have a few more issues in the wind. My friend drove one with her trailer and no bars, we got slapped about a lot in cross winds and rainstorms.

deltawave
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:57 PM
Do you mean a weight-stabilizing hitch? If I were pulling more than one horse with a half-ton pickup, I'd want a weight-stabilizing apparatus on the rig, for sure.

Heart's Journey
Aug. 11, 2011, 01:58 PM
Is your truck a crew cab or extended cab? long or short bed?

since the trailer is a walk thru, it sounds like no dressing room.

If your truck has a back seat, you should have enough wheelbase and be fine.

A 150 can easily tow a 2H provided their is enough power and wheelbase. I hauled a 2H BP DR with a F150, short bed, single cab and it needed the sway bars or it would sway as the truck was lacking wheelbase. Once I got my 3/4 ton diesel, it solved that issue and I later moved up to my current 2H GN.

DangerHorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 02:08 PM
Do you mean a weight-stabilizing hitch? If I were pulling more than one horse with a half-ton pickup, I'd want a weight-stabilizing apparatus on the rig, for sure.

This is where I am not sure. The trailer has attachments simular to these: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/equipment/hitches/towing-weight-distribution-systems.htm Where the chains attach. I have always called these sway bars...





Is your truck a crew cab or extended cab? long or short bed?

since the trailer is a walk thru, it sounds like no dressing room.

If your truck has a back seat, you should have enough wheelbase and be fine.

A 150 can easily tow a 2H provided their is enough power and wheelbase. I hauled a 2H BP DR with a F150, short bed, single cab and it needed the sway bars or it would sway as the truck was lacking wheelbase. Once I got my 3/4 ton diesel, it solved that issue and I later moved up to my current 2H GN.

I do have a back seat and a 7' bed (I believe).

I have pulled the trailer before but for much shorter distances. When the trailer is empty I do notice it will sometimes sway but I have not noticed it when I have horses in it. The drive will be relativly flat once we're on the highway and very low wind.

DangerHorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 02:10 PM
I have always found the bars to be extremely helpful in towing. They move the tongue weight forward, so you have much better steering, a more stable trailer (even loaded) during crosswinds, semi trucks passing or you passing them.

Anyone you know that has a bumper pull camper trailer? Perhaps you could borrow a set instead of purchasing them. Does your hitch unit on truck have the holes for sway bars? If you don't have the correct receiver for bars, purchasing them would be a waste of money. And hitch unit should be rated to pull a loaded horse trailer. Some camper trailer hitches, even with sway bars, are not heavy enough for horse trailers.

I have been told that all sway bars start the same for length. The dealer selling to you may shorten them if trailer has a real short tongue, and you then may need to use a longer link in chain to get the "lift" needed for bars to work correctly. Longer bars have more flex, leverage,, so chain link for hooking them into bracket may be different, tighter than the shorter bars use.

I guess I would purchase a set of sway bars for a 500 mile trip, especially if driving in the mountains, windy roads that will be slapping my truck and trailer while driving. Doing only moderately hilly roads, sometimes the wind around here is severe, so bars helped control the whole outfit a lot when I drove a BP 2-horse and big Ford pickup with a long box. Length helps too, shorter body trucks seem to have a few more issues in the wind. My friend drove one with her trailer and no bars, we got slapped about a lot in cross winds and rainstorms.


I do not know anyone that has a set of these, so I would be looking at just buying the hitch/bar combo. Thanks for all the great info!!

deltawave
Aug. 11, 2011, 02:23 PM
That is a weight distribution hitch. Sway bars are part of a car's steering/suspension that keeps the car from doing the Macarena when you go over bumps or through turns. :)

goodhors
Aug. 11, 2011, 02:38 PM
That is a weight distribution hitch. Sway bars are part of a car's steering/suspension that keeps the car from doing the Macarena when you go over bumps or through turns. :)

You are correct, but talking to any person hauling a small trailer and "sway bars" is the term you hear. Also used at the trailer hitch dealers, probably because sway bars makes a better mind picture for person who is new to the hauling game. Every driver knows how the wind can hit you in a storm or with a passing semi, so bars that help prevent "sway" that are a good idea for truck/trailer combinations.

Weight distributing hitch name just doesn't do anything in a conversation to enlighten a person! Ha-Ha They all "get it" when you explain weight distribution out, the part equalizing bars play. But sway bars seems to be in common usage, faster understood in conversations. Just a better mind picture connection. I know, I tried to stay technical back when I was using bars, but it took to long to explain things when people didn't "get it" with technically correct terms.

deltawave
Aug. 11, 2011, 03:33 PM
Not "any" person. Ill-informed ones. No point in perpetuating radically incorrect nomenclature, IMO. :)

Actually when I went to get them put on my old half-ton pickup I got the big :rolleyes: from the hitch expert when I asked for "those sway bar things", and an education. :) I actually knew what actual sway bars were, and that this product wasn't even close to the same thing, but I literally didn't KNOW what the proper term was for what I needed.

Worth at least a mention, no? :)

Bogie
Aug. 11, 2011, 03:39 PM
I have an Equalizer hitch -- weight distributing AND anti-sway.

Personally, I use the sway bars for all rides longer than 5 miles. It makes the trailer rock steady behind my truck.

We bought the hitch after I watched my husband drive the truck and trailer a bit too fast down a hill on the way to Vermont (two horse trailer being pulled by 1/2 ton pick up). The trailer started to sway and I was having a panic attack driving behind them. My husband got the truck under control but we went out and bought the new hitch immediately.

DangerHorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 04:34 PM
Thanks for all the great information and fast! Talked to a rep. at TorkLift and they have a weight distribution kit for around $300....which is well worth my peace of mind, so I'm going to pick it up tomorrow. Thanks for teaching me the correct lingo so I knew what to ask for :)

DangerHorse
Aug. 11, 2011, 04:35 PM
We bought the hitch after I watched my husband drive the truck and trailer a bit too fast down a hill on the way to Vermont (two horse trailer being pulled by 1/2 ton pick up). The trailer started to sway and I was having a panic attack driving behind them. My husband got the truck under control but we went out and bought the new hitch immediately.

This sealed the deal for me :D

Tom King
Aug. 11, 2011, 05:15 PM
Weight-distribution bars don't do anything to prevent sway. That's why they should never be called "sway bars". If the load being towed puts such a strain on the rear suspension of the truck that the front wheels get light, then something is wrong with the balance of the trailer.

Drive smoothly and sway should not be a problem. If the trailer should start to sway, stay steady on your speed-don't hit the truck brakes-and apply a light touch to the manual brake button on your brake controller to smooth it back out.

Personally, I don't like WD bars for anything. I'd rather put air bags on the tow vehicle if tongue weight is a problem.

Two of the most dangerous trailer rigs I have ever pulled-everyone always wants me to drive-had WD hitches.