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Towing, Hitching and Tow Vehicles Discussions about tow vehicles, tow systems, hitching, leveling, jacks and more.
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Old 11-06-2022, 09:10 AM   #1
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Question Funlite Sway

Hi-we are towing a new to us 1989 Funlite 17Q with our 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan. My first voyage on the interstate resulted in a terrifying sway experience. In my defense - 50mph, windy day, curve in road, overpass and semi blowing by. An unlikely set of circumstances that quickly took the fun out of Funlite for me. From what I can tell, we are at about 70% of our towing capacity and adding another 10-15% with humans, canines and cargo. We spoke with a hitch dealer who said they would sell us a weight distribution/anti sway hitch but would not install due to liability issues with the unibody van. So…. Any experience with vans or are we seeking the impossible (sway free travel)? We are going from Ohio to Florida in January.
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Old 11-06-2022, 09:37 AM   #2
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Bev, hi and welcome. I suspect you DO need a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) and if it can't be installed on your van, the only solution would be to get a different tow vehicle. To prevent sway, a trailer's tongue weight should be between 10-15% of the total trailer's weight. (12'5% is the normal ideal). If it is too light, you can get sway, which can quickly make you go out of control, leading to a catastrophic crash.

The trouble is, 12.5% may put too much load on your van's rear axle, which lifts the front of your van, reducing steering control and greatly reducing your when in a panic stop. A WDH will correct this, and will give you sway control too.

You need to determine your trailer's tongue weight and see if it's enough to prevent sway, but not too much to overload your van's rear axle.

- Jack
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Old 11-07-2022, 01:17 AM   #3
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Hello Bev, I agree with Jack on possibly needing a different tow vehicle.
And the Hitch Dealer is correct on not installing a weight distribution system on that van because your vehicle has a unitized body which the bars would definitely put a tremendous amount of force/load on the your vehicle's flimsy/sensitive frame.

Vehicles with Unitized frames should never use weight distribution bars as they will eventually bend and kink the frame. Find yourself a vehicle that has a truck type of frame and you won't have any issues installing an anti sway system.

Meanwhile, you can try something like this Trailer Sway Control Kit from Harbor Freight Tools, (for about $30) and see if it helps. It helped control some swaying issue I was having. Here's a picture of the kit.
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Old 11-11-2022, 12:11 PM   #4
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We are towing a 26ft Hilo Voyager with a 2015 Chevy Traverse with a towing package from factory. We also had a sway factor and installed a sway bar. It really helps! If it's windy and some road surfaces and yes on a curve, we may feel a little. We just reduce our speed and that takes care of it.
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Old 11-13-2022, 11:32 PM   #5
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Does the harbor freight product require a weld?
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Old 11-14-2022, 01:33 AM   #6
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I will not hold back on my thoughts. Do not waste your $ on any gadgets from Harbor Freight. Your only option is to get another tow vehicle. Please be safe on the road.
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Old 11-19-2022, 02:40 AM   #7
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Default Anti-sway

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Originally Posted by BevRankin View Post
Does the harbor freight product require a weld?
Bev,

No there is no welding required with the Harbor Freight Anti-sway bar.
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