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Broken anti-sway hitches


hillrider

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While pulling out of a gas station, I have broken the ball off a friction style anti-sway hitch and bent the frame with a dual cam set-up. Is there a anti-sway hitch that will allow getting gas without disconnention the sway bars? Can't really afford the Hensley rig. (Don't know that it would work either).

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I'm guessing here, but

 

As far as the friction brake ball is concerned, it would seem the only way it could break off is if 1) the brake itself were tightened too much or 2) making the turn into or out of the gas station was too tight.

 

For case #1 - There should be very little load going through the ball while driving, since it can only take whatever load is applied via the friction, due to how tightly the brake is adjusted. Usually that is maybe one turn past contact, since it shouldn't take much friction to control sway unless your trailer length to tow vehicle length is significant.

 

For case #2 - If the friction was not too tight, the only other way I can imagine putting enough load into the friction brake ball is by turning so tight that the brake hits the stops during a turn and snaps the ball off.

 

Don

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You really had to bottom out quite heavily. To bend the sway bar holders and break things like that. I would use a different gas station.

 

Our hitches have only bottomed once or twice and that angle was close to 30 degrees. Steep hill, wash at the bottom, and the road rising on the other side. And we knew that we would bottom with the trailer and went slow. The angle was enough that the truck would bottom bottomed without the trailer. This was a private sandy driveway after some sever rains in Albuqurque Mountains.

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I ran a Dual Cam for a number of years and never a problem. I had seen a few that had problems and it was generally a hitch that was not set up properly. They usually did not have the hitch set with the bars low wnough and they contacted the frame. Similar problems are seen with a friction sway control not being installed correctly.

 

Get the instructions for you hitch and learn to set it up correctly. RV dealers seldom do a good job on a hitch set up.

 

Ken

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The camper is a 30' keystone TT and the truck is a 1/2 ton Chevy short bed 4 door. The problem occurs at gas stations usually getting out of the pumps. Truck stops seems to be no better than Mom and Pop stations about turning radius either going in or coming out. Usually it's better with the outside pumps, but not always. Oh, and the ball and chains are set so that the truck and camper both run level.

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With a short truck, long trailer, YOU can turn at a harder (shorter) radius than the geometry of the hitch will allow. We have a small trailer that we pull with the p'up, F150 short box, cab and 1/2, 4 door, and we can jackknife it also in turns. With your longer trailer, very easy to do.The only real cure is to watch for longer stations with better access. Not a great solution but the geometry just isn't there.

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While pulling out of a gas station, I have broken the ball off a friction style anti-sway hitch and bent the frame with a dual cam set-up. Is there a anti-sway hitch that will allow getting gas without disconnention the sway bars? Can't really afford the Hensley rig. (Don't know that it would work either).

Exactly which hitch(s) have given you a problem? I've towed with a Equal-i-zer for many years and not had that problem and I've often turned as tight as possible. Perhaps, like others have said, it is a geometry problem. When turning as tight as possible does your truck bumper contact the trailer's A-frame?

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With a short truck, long trailer, YOU can turn at a harder (shorter) radius than the geometry of the hitch will allow.

 

X2. That would be my guess. It's probably likely that his sway was over-tightened as well (or bent in the turn an caused a lock-up) to get enough torque to sheer the sway bar ball off before the bar itself separated.

 

When turning as tight as possible does your truck bumper contact the trailer's A-frame?

 

His WD and sway bar's would more than likely prevent him from being able to do that... unless the bars/mounts themselves were bent or broken off.

 

Oh.. wait.. :lol: :lol:.

 

So, yeah. Did your bumper make contact with the A-frame at all? ;)

 

I would drop my receiver and have it, the TV frame and trailer A-frame, thoroughly inspected before attempting to haul with it again. With enough torque to do all "that" it's possible that a bolt may have been compromised... could have been torqued out of center and/or square... caused welding fractures... frame distortion, etc.

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