Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

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Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby Cikan Vuz » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:04 pm

Reese Friction Sway Control Kit by Draw-Tite, Reese and Hidden Hitch from etrailers

Given my trailer will weigh-in at no more than 600lbs, I am considering installing on of these sway control kits. The trailer is a harbor Freight HD 4 x 8 and the tow vehicle is a 98 Toyota Rav4 4 dr. (I am not building the trailer, it was built by RoyalTcampers in Fullerton, CA.)

Has anyone installed one on their tiny trailer and if so, was it worth it? Thanks kindly in advance :D
Last edited by Cikan Vuz on Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby working on it » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:43 pm

* Will your trailer have the axle set back at the normal 60/40 (body length in front of axle/behind axle) ratio, will your trailer be loaded heavier in front of the axle, or behind it, will you have it set level to the ground or nose-up (possibly due to tall tires on tow vehicle vs. short tires on the trailer?), and will your trailer have an A-frame tongue or will it be a single-beam? All of these questions will help you determine if you really need help in controlling sway on any trailer, especially such a light weight one.

* I've used sway controls on my tandem axle trailers, but not on my single axle squareback TTT. I do have a weight distribution hitch set-up on the truck, and always use it and a sway control when towing the much heavier (and sometimes not perfectly loaded) tandem trailers (a standard travel trailer, and an open bed car-hauler), but after I adapted the weight distribution to work on my single-beam TTT, it eliminated any sway or erratic travel without having to use a sway control.

* The single-beam tongue doesn't readily accept a WD hitch or sway control because the straight-back placement of the tongue doesn't furnish enough triangulation for a sway control to work properly...the friction surface usually needs several inches of movement, fore-and-aft, to effectively inhibit sway (maybe not so much with a 600 lb trailer, though). I would've had to space the tongue-mounted end of the sway control out a few inches to the side to make it work on my much heavier 2200 lb 4x8 trailer, to get the desired effect. As my trailer is now, after finally leveling the ride height (from 5 inches too high at the hitch, previously), I don't even need to use the adapted WD hitch spring-bar, unless I need to (but I will, anyhow, because it eliminates any problems with bad roads and windy travel situations, and makes the 4x8 trailer travel as if it wasn't there, behind my 12000 lb tow capacity truck).

* If you are still considering using a sway control anyway, then you might need a kit, and a ball adapter (if not using a Weight Distribution hitch shank).
sway control and offset tongue adapter vs my wd set-up.jpg
sway control and offset tongue adapter vs my wd set-up.jpg (156.28 KiB) Viewed 293 times
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", rugged, 4x8 TTT, 2150+ lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's & GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/CD/Aux. *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" diameter rod & reel carrier tube on roof
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Re: Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby tony.latham » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:24 pm

I am considering installing on of these sway control kits.


Why not just mount the axle at the 40/60 point and forget about sway? Wouldn't that just entail drilling new holes?

:thinking:

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Re: Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby Vtec44 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:42 pm

I have the Harbor Freight friction kit on my Harbor Freight trailer. The kit isn't meant for trailers this small, so I had to cut the mounting ball for it to fit the trailer frame and welded it to the frame. The trailer frame is just about 1/2" smaller than the plate for the mounting ball. On the receiver hitch side, I decided to go with the Reece adapter instead of welding it to the receiver hitch. That way I can use the kit on different towing vehicles.

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Re: Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby Cikan Vuz » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:00 pm

Hey, thanks for all the input... but Um.... I have no idea re the axle setback... all I know is it is a Harbor Freight HD trailer with an A frame tongue.

I will just be building the interior and I worry about trucks passing and throwing that lightweight trailer around on my trip from CA to ND to get my DL and vehicle registration and insurance and then traveling around the countryside hopefully on the backroads. when I can't go backroads and have to be on the highways/freeways well that is when I get nervous towing, especially when everyone, including big rigs are flying by me at 75 mph+ It will be level and most of the interior weight will be towards the front. I attached a mockup of my plan for where to put what.. and do not freak cos it says "fireplace"... that is a metal moveable item that can burn gel fuel, denatured alcohol, etc.. and is a candle holder too. It will mostly be for me to use outside to set my stove on. Where it was Grey and Drinking are two 5 gallon water tanks I will be putting in and in the front center inside will be my Goal Zero Yeti 400 energy storage unit. Without the interior, the trailer has a tongue weight of 70 ln and weighs 500 lbs right now, since it is an older Rav4 towing it, and that the trailer has no brakes, cannot go over 600 lbs trailer weight or so Toyota says in the manual.

Yes, it is my first trailer.... and while I do plan to be doing a lot of practice driving around with it before I make my big move, Until I get new, bigger wheels and tires, well I won't be going over 55 ever, and only 45 when I can help it. I still would like to install one to help with wind issues for sure. I will be using the reese adaptor, yes. And to me, drilling a few holes to keep from fishtailing/swaying and flipping, I think I will make the effort to drill some holes. Given the tow hitch is a class on, 1 1/4" hitch, I cannot use weight distributions hitches and such. Trust me, I searched and all I can find are for 2" and up..
This was before window and door install Image

Plan for interior Image There will be items stored under bed, like clothes and such, nothing while towing will be to rear of wheels though other than builtin bed and storage
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Re: Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby tony.latham » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:26 pm

but Um.... I have no idea re the axle setback...


Sorry about that. It sounded to me that you were in the planning stages of your build.

It sounds to me that you are chasing a problem you might not have. Load your trailer with plenty of weight on the tongue and enjoy the view as you travel along. I have not felt our teardrops get jostled by truck side winds.

Happy camping,

Image

:beer:

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Re: Reese Friction Sway Control Kit?

Postby Cikan Vuz » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 am

Will do Tony. Thank you
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