Anyone have experience to compare both Anderson and standard sway control systems? I am especially interested in the "anti bounce" promises of the Anderson, but am especially not interested in paying $300 more for the system unless is really is as good as promised. Tim Heintz recommends them for all his trailers.
First of all, I know nothing about Anderson vs. standard systems but have a few questions...
Are you talking for a little vintage camper? Like yours? I don't think you need either unless you're towing with a lighter vehicle?
Also, the sway control bar is your main "sway" control. The twin bars are part a load weight distribution system which sometimes includes the sway bar. And they are HEAVY, way overkill for a little trailer.
If this is a personal choice for a particular vehicle and light weight trailer, I would try the sway bar first.
My Tacoma has very soft rear springs which makes the trailer bounce up and down a lot. I have heard from other Tacoma owners that the Anderson helps with up and down bounce but wondered if other systems also helped
So I looked up Anderson hitches...uh no. I personally don't see how they can work well if at all.
Can we clarify a couple terms here? To me sway control, weight distributing, and load leveling are 3 different things.
Sway control is a mechanism that connects the trailer tongue with the tow vehicle and dampens side to side movements. I'd recommend these for any trailer especially small bouncy ones.
Weight distributing hitches use springs and levers to force some of the trailer tongue weight through the hitch and tow vehicle frame to help force some of the load to the front axle of the tow vehicle. This counteracts the leverage of the hitch ball being aft of the rear axle. Usually not needed on small trailers.
Load levelers are devices added to the rear suspension of the tow vehicle to allow it to support more weight. These work with or without a trailer. Things like BWs air bags, Timberen springs, add a leafs fall into this category.
One thing to remember is that load levelers DO NOT transfer weight to the front of the tow vehicle like weight distributing hitches do. And just because your hitch ball doesn't hit the ground doesn't mean you're balanced.
All that said, it start to sound like Dan could use load levelers rather than weight distributing. How important is a smooth ride when empty?
Oh and BWs pic of his slide in is a good example of how load levelers don't balance a vehicle. Yes it's level but it's apparent that the front suspension is unloading judging by the space between the tires and fenders.
Last Edit: Feb 18, 2018 3:29:39 GMT -8 by ruderunner
Post by charliemyers on Feb 18, 2018 4:37:28 GMT -8
Keep in mind that I have absolutely no experience with load levelers, but I do know that in addition to a vehicle’s gross vehicular weight limit, each axle also has a weight limit that should not be exceeded. I would imagine that using load levelers, one would tend to more often push the limits of the rear axle weight limit, whereas weight distributing hitches remove some of the weight from the rear axle and place it on the front axle.
Having said that, I recognize that many people that haul heavy loads use air bags to lift the rear back up. I just don’t know if they’re taking the axle weight rating into consideration. And maybe none of this is pertinent to this discussion.
Here's a few comments to clarify what I have going on with my 2000 Silverado and associated air bags:
The Gross Axle Weigh Rating of my rear axle is 4000 pounds. So I'm in good shape even with that huge camper sitting on the bed of the truck.
In the photo above, I inflated my air bags to 90 psi. This is infinitely variable and I can adjust the pressure to achieve any level I desire. I'm on a slight incline above, and only towed this camper 45 miles to my home, so I wasn't real concerned about getting it perfectly level.
My everyday Real-Lite soft sided camper weighs around 1500 pounds and I inflate the bags to around 70 psi to get the truck perfectly level.
Without anything on the back of the truck, I inflate the bags to around 30 psi. This actually raises the rear end just slightly from level.
I installed my bags at the suggestion of the RV dealer when I bought my Real-Lite camper back in 2012. Best decision I ever made. They are really versatile for anything you plan to haul. Most of my friends have since installed them on their trucks as well.
The Air Lift brand bags have a lifetime warranty. One side developed a minor leak early this winter and they sent (2) replacement bags no questions asked. Takes about 15 minutes to swap out.
The top of the bag is secured by a bracket that is installed to the truck frame member. The bottom of the bag sits on top of the leaf spring. You can see the air line attached to the bag with a quick disconnect fitting.
I installed my air fill valves on the rear bumper. Each side is inflated independently.
I use a simple "jump start" to adjust air pressure. There's such little volume of air in these bags, it only take a few seconds to increase or decrease as necessary.
Post by ruderunner on Feb 18, 2018 17:55:53 GMT -8
BW, I'm not saying air bags are bad, just that they need to be used properly.
I'm betting you were at or above 4000# on the rear end. Educated guess is that the rear end of the truck weighs about 1800# unloaded, the camper is close to 2200. Add in the weight transfer from the overhang unloading the front suspension and...
Scales would tell the tale.
Extreme example: my old wrecker weighed 7000# had a rear axle rated for 10000# and a front axle at 4000#. Total gvw was 10000#. Depending on what was towed, it would have close to 8000 on the rear axle. The design of the wheel lift gave the towed vehicle a lot of leverage and would noticably pick up the front of the wrecker, as in going from the 4000# pounds normally carried probably down to 2000 or less. Alas for tow trucks of that design there's no such thing as weight distributing hitches. A roll back would have been much nicer. Heck even my really old sling truck was better.