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Old 04-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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19' sway bars??

Pulling the 19' escape trailer, does it need sway bars??
What about torsion bars??
Thanks
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Freebird View Post
Pulling the 19' escape trailer, does it need sway bars??
What about torsion bars??
Thanks
Depends very much on how you load your trailer and what you are towing with. The 19' is an inherently stable trailer and if you have a capable tow vehicle, you may not require anti sway or weight distribution devices. For my tow vehicle (which is an FJ cruiser) I use a weight distribution hitch but no sway control devices. Trailer is super stable and I have never had any indications of sway, even in very strong windy conditions or passing/being passed by large trucks.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
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I can't speak for the 19 as we have a 17, but we too use a WDH and have never experienced even a hint of sway. Reace does a very good job with weight distribution in the layout of all Escapes in my opinion. As long as you keep your tongue weight in the safe zone, I would expect a sway free tow.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:46 AM   #4
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What Dave and Eric said. I've towed (Silverado) my 19 20 thousand-plus miles over hill and dale, mountain tunnels and long windy desert wastelands, nothing assisting the basic factory hitch connection, and never felt a hint of concern.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:57 AM   #5
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We tow our 21' with nothing except the stock tow package on our Tundra. Never had a bit of sway, sag, or any other problem.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:30 AM   #6
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What others have said. I'd never towed my 19 without the WDH until last week when I was only moving it a short distance. Much more level with the WDH. Sway, never.

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Old 04-08-2016, 12:19 PM   #7
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An Interesting Overseas Perspective

"From a caravan and tow vehicle dynamics perspective, a WDH addresses a condition that would better not be there in the first place. It’s a bit like using a truss to support a hernia. It is preferable to design caravans such that they need less download (as is being done in Europe). Australian (and US) reality however is that the tow ball loading is too high for most tow vehicles to cope with unless a WDH is used – as the otherwise loss of weight on the steering wheels is not acceptable." From Caravan and Tow Vehicle Dynamics
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
"From a caravan and tow vehicle dynamics perspective, a WDH addresses a condition that would better not be there in the first place. It’s a bit like using a truss to support a hernia. It is preferable to design caravans such that they need less download (as is being done in Europe). Australian (and US) reality however is that the tow ball loading is too high for most tow vehicles to cope with unless a WDH is used – as the otherwise loss of weight on the steering wheels is not acceptable." From Caravan and Tow Vehicle Dynamics
That makes good sense. If they were to work on effectively reducing tongue weight, without increasing the possibility of sway, they certainly would solve a lot of weight distribution issues.

Much better to eliminate a problem, that have to correct for it.
(BTW, I am not referring to myself on this forum )
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:12 PM   #9
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If they were to work on effectively reducing tongue weight, without increasing the possibility of sway, they certainly would solve a lot of weight distribution issues.
Therein lies the problem. But I also wonder about that somewhat intangible aspect that various folks, including myself, have mentioned. That, with the WDH, the trailer and tug feel much more "as one". I'd be curious if that feeling still existed with a different balance system without the WDH.

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Old 04-08-2016, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Freebird View Post
Pulling the 19' escape trailer, does it need sway bars??
What about torsion bars??
By "sway bars" I assume that you mean a friction-based sway control device.

By "torsion bars", I assume that you mean the spring bars of a weight-distributing hitch (WDH). There is nothing "torsion" about those bars (the spring bars are bent, not twisted), so it's a lot more clear to refer to weight distribution or "WD" hitches or systems.

The other responses have already addressed the actual questions, about what is needed.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Therein lies the problem. But I also wonder about that somewhat intangible aspect that various folks, including myself, have mentioned. That, with the WDH, the trailer and tug feel much more "as one". I'd be curious if that feeling still existed with a different balance system without the WDH.

Ron
Definitely not an easy solution, that's for sure, or someone would have figured it out by now. I know I certainly don't have the answer. Not sure that feeling of the two unit being one could still exist, or not. Certainly with less hitch weight there would be less forces downward on the hitch, even when hitting bumps and dips.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:36 PM   #12
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Someone on the forum said that trailers in Europe are designed differently to allow for lower tongue weights - anyone know more about that? That document has this summary section that is very interesting:


Optimising towing stability (summary)
Tow vehicle behaviour is now well understood, both in theory and practice. A long-wheelbase tow vehicle with short rear overhang, and one that weighs more than the trailer, is more stable than one that lacks such attributes.
Reducing caravan perimeter mass and particularly end-weight mass is vital.
It makes sense to house the spare wheel(s) below the chassis and in front of or just behind the axle. Batteries should be located centrally between the axles. Ideally water tanks should be wide but not long, and located as centrally as possible.
Friction devices smooth minor snaking and reduce settling time. Trials show that such (Coulomb friction) devices have no effect on forces beyond that however. Elastic energy held within such devices may suddenly be released when such devices are overwhelmed and ‘fed into the system’.
Lateral sidewall stiffness of all tyres assists.
The major factor of all however is speed.


This seems to argue for the use of ST tires as sidewall stiffness is supposed to be one of their strong points. Also in terms of water tanks Reace seems to be trying to do the same thing this suggests. At least it is that way on our 17. It definitely seems to recommend against putting any extra weight on the read bumper, and keeping speeds lower.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:47 PM   #13
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Someone on the forum said that trailers in Europe are designed differently to allow for lower tongue weights - anyone know more about that?
They are designed for lower polar moment of inertia, which just means that the mass is kept closer to the middle of the trailer, so if you imagine the trailer on a turntable, it takes less force to start it spinning or to stop it. This is done largely by not piling propane tanks, batteries, and boxes of equipment on the tongue, and by not piling spare tires, racks full of bikes, and boxes full of more gear on the rear bumper. Propane (or butane) tanks are routinely up front, but they're typically tucked up against or right into the body, rather than nearly on the coupler.

Euro trailers also have the axle located closer to the middle of the trailer. For an illustration, the Escape 15' has an axle position more typical of European practice, while the Escape 17' has a more rear-set axle resulting in higher tongue weight (if the heavy components were are all placed the same way, which they're not in these two models).

Quote:
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This seems to argue for the use of ST tires as sidewall stiffness is supposed to be one of their strong points. Also in terms of water tanks Reace seems to be trying to do the same thing this suggests. At least it is that way on our 17.
And yet there are no ST tires in Europe. They use Euro-metric tires, the same as a small van.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:54 PM   #14
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Euro trailers also have the axle located closer to the middle of the trailer..
Thanks. This part is interesting, as in the paper itself it lists an axle further to the rear contributing to helping prevent sway, unless I read that part wrong?
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:58 PM   #15
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I believe the writer is Australian, and is referencing European designs as well in his overall analysis of best safety practices, both in engineering and driver behavior.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:59 PM   #16
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Thanks. This part is interesting, as in the paper itself it lists an axle further to the rear contributing to helping prevent sway, unless I read that part wrong?
No, you read that correctly. It's better for stability to have the centre of mass (balance point) further forward of the axle, but that increases the tongue weight. Life is a series of compromises, and in the case of European travel trailers the tongue weight must be kept relatively low to match the hitch capacity of the tow vehicles. The other aspects of the design (such as keeping heavy stuff away from the ends) must be sufficient to make the trailer stable with this axle position.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:08 PM   #17
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I believe the writer is Australian, and is referencing European designs as well in his overall analysis of best safety practices, both in engineering and driver behavior.
Yes, the Australian situation is interesting. They recognize and use a mix of European and North American designs and equipment. It's almost the ideal situation, with well-designed trailers and without the restriction to the highly regulated choice of equipment; for instance, they routinely use North American brakes (not limited to the surge systems), but get properly structured Euro hitches. A lot of them take trailers off-road, so they have worked out how to do that effectively... which includes towing relatively large trailers with moderate sizes of SUVs safely and without resorting to WD systems (which are unworkable off-road).
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:33 PM   #18
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... but get properly structured Euro hitches.
.
Brian what is different about European hitches?
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:12 PM   #19
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Brian what is different about European hitches?
Typical European hitches (receivers) replace the rear bumper bar, and are very solidly attached into the vehicle structure at the bumper attachment points, as well as often extending into the frame rails. Many SUVs and pickup trucks are now done this way from the factory, even here in North America, but other vehicles here often have the hitch attached to various points which may or may not be suitable for this purpose. In between are those (such as my van) which have properly planned mounting points for the hitch, but packaging of the receiver into the available space can be awkward because the hitch is competing with the bumper.

I have looked at the hitches available here for my Mazda3 (for a utility trailer, not a travel trailer), and although I may go ahead and put one on, I would certainly rather have the Euro style. From Australia, I could even get one that mounts in the bumper replacement method, but has a square receiver that works with the ball mounts we use here.
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