How useful or necessary is a sway control arm?

morey000morey000 Posts: 107Member
this would be pretty simple to install and cheap.  Met another TAB owner that says he loves his and wouldn't to without it.  I'm new at this- haven't picked up my new TAB yet, but will next week.  

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distribution/Curt/17200.html


Silver on Silver, 320S '19 Outback Lite

Comments

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,828Moderator
    @morey000, If I recall, you are planning to purchase a 320.  I think a general consensus regarding using a sway control device while towing a 320 is that it is not necessary if you have an appropriate tow vehicle to start - a minimum of 6 cylinder, tow capacity 3500 # with at least an allowable 350# tongue weight.  Also, keeping your speed in check will help.  Yes, there are those who successfully tow on the flat with a 4 cylinder, but, I suspect they are in the minority.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • rkj__rkj__ Posts: 611Member
    I've felt no need for a sway control device on my [email protected] 320 CS-S.  I've towed thousands of miles, fast, slow, uphill, downhill, paved roads, gravel roads, straight roads, curvy roads. 

    Just make sure your trailer is loaded in a way to maintain sufficient tongue weight. 
    2016 [email protected] 320 CS-S - 2018 GMC Sierra - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 107Member
    You have a good memory - I pick up my 320S Outback Lite next week.  My TV is a small SUV (Range Rover Evoque) that has a 4,000lb tow capacity (2.0L Turbo engine with 250hp and 270ft-lb of torque).  I've towed much heavier, but with a sway control hitch.  

    Expect to see a few dozen questions from me in the near future.  I'll do a search first.  
    Silver on Silver, 320S '19 Outback Lite
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 560Member
    @morey000 ; The answer is there is no answer.    You do what YOU need to do to tow confidently.    Towing is an area one should never comprise on as it impact more than just the guy towing the trailer.

    A suggestion might be,  if the trip from the dealer to home or parking spot is short, pull it and see what you think after
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • rcuomorcuomo Posts: 218Member
    Ditto what Cbusguy says. But that being said I have installed the inexpensive Harbor Freight sway bar on my setup, specifically for trips over bridges. And I have around 15-18% tongue weight if I bring my bikes. I have noticed a difference especially when big rigs pass me doing 70+ mph. (the trucks not me). For $30 I consider it cheap insurance. 
    2018 Tab 320S- mfg’d 4/17, purchased 9/17
    Mods- spare & bike rack on tongue, Renogy suitcase connection, cargo & door nets, sway bar, wired rear camera, Norcold aux fan
    TV 2017- Honda Ridgeline RTL-E- 5000# tow capacity, 600# tongue capacity
    Home Base- Huntington LI
  • klengerklenger Posts: 292Member
    I ordered one and never used it and sent it back.  I've never had any issues with sway and like the simplicity of not having it, especially when backing up.
  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 1,008Member
    edited April 26
    We are starting our third season using our [email protected], with about a dozen trips under our belt, and I've never experienced a problem with sway.  On a recent trip we experienced some side winds on a windy day that I felt mainly affecting our 2005 Sienna., but nothing that worried me or caused sway.
    However, I found this on page 408 of our manual..

    It says to use a sway control device for over 2000 lbs.
    So, I'm not really sure what to make of it.
    Our tongue weight is 10%, and the manual says it should be in the range of 9-11%.
    Our tongue weight is about 225 and total trailer weight is about 2265.

    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Posts: 325Member
    My 4Runner manual says the same, need sway over 2000 pounds. The 4Runner is a 4.0L v6, 5000/500 tow capacity. Lucky for me, I was going to get it anyway! I do appreciate it on the highway and in windy conditions.
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 1,008Member
    Having to remove it every time you want to back up though, sounds like a real pain.


    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 107Member
    BrianZ said:
    Having to remove it every time you want to back up though, sounds like a real pain.


    it has a little lever to turn the friction on and off.  My guess is that's all you'd need to do.  
    Silver on Silver, 320S '19 Outback Lite
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Posts: 325Member
    @BrianZ sometimes I've removed and sometimes not. I think the key is not jack-knifing while backing up.
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • kybobkybob Posts: 233Member
    I towed three years without one, and one year with. I had a instance where I was merging onto a busy interstate, and the jerk on the ramp behind me passed me up as I was getting onto the interstate, cutting me off. Reflex caused me to jerk the steering wheel, causing the trailer to start to sway. Scared the heck out of me. I promptly installed the sway bar and feel much more confident. You'll get about a 50-50 response on the need for one. Yes, it's cheap insurance in my opinion. It comes off easy enough, so taking it off to back up, again in my opinion, is no big deal. How often does one back up, anyway? Good luck with your decision. Often times on the forum, you're more confused after you ask a question! Good luck!

    2018 Outback S, Silver/Black - 2015 Silver Honda Pilot 4WD - Florence, KY

  • ArwenArwen Posts: 64Member
    edited April 28
    When we first purchased our 320, I was concerned that we might need a sway control, but my dealer told us that we really didn't need one - as long as we loading the camper properly.  I'm still really new to pulling the [email protected], as I only pulled it on 3 trips so far, but so far, I have only experienced sway at highway speeds when the the tongue weight was too light, and even then just tapping the [email protected]'s brakes instantly stopped it.
    But I've been following this thread, and wondered it perhaps I should consider a sway control, just to be safe.  So I followed the link in the first post. 
    But then I saw this on the site: "It is recommended that you remove this sway control unit before backing up/reversing and before towing in slippery conditions such as on wet, icy, gravel, or snow-covered roads."
    Since roads here are often wet and we often travel on gravel roads, I think I would be better off just being very cautious in how our [email protected] is loaded, and on keeping my highway speed down a bit.

    Arwen: Northern NH; 2018 [email protected] 320S Boondock, silver/blue; TV: blue 2018 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
  • klengerklenger Posts: 292Member
    Just another thought, many late model tow vehicles include an automatic anti-sway feature that may be sufficient for many users.  That may be why so many have not expressed any concerns about additional sway control.  
  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 1,008Member
    Interesting observation, @Arwen.  I can see how it could present a problem driving in snow, since it tends to keep trailer more aligned with TV as one unit - that might make it more difficult to steer into a skid if the trailer is pulling the TV rear around with it.
    Lots to consider.

    I'm also wonder what the limitations are, in regards to ability to make sharp turns when moving forward.  If jack-knifing is the problem when backing up, does that mean the sway bar could also prevent making sharp turns when moving forward as well?

    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Posts: 162Member
    I've towed for many years personal and career wise. Never used any type of sway control on anything.  But I feel my 320 Boondock could use it in some situations.  And definitely with inexperienced drivers.  Yes, weight balance in a trailer is the main factor in sway.  I do encounter sway periodically when towing our [email protected]  We're planning crossing the county a few times soon and like rcuomo stated, for $30-$50 I may pick up one.  Just a note... if you begin to notice sway, don't hit your TV brakes.  Just reach down and touch the manual activator switch on your brake controller.    
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,828Moderator
    @GatorEgg, for those that use the Tekonsha Prodigy RF controller, it is recommended to avoid using the manual “boost” function for trailers the weight of our TaBs.  Aside from properly balancing the TaB cargo to gain adequate tongue weight, the first thing I would suggest is to take your foot off the gas and slow down.  

    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Posts: 162Member
      Aside from properly balancing the TaB cargo to gain adequate tongue weight, the first thing I would suggest is to take your foot off the gas and slow down.  
     
    Yes, that should be obvious to all.

    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • db_cooperdb_cooper Posts: 514Member
    Boost setting and manual control on the prodigy 2 are different things.  Using the manual lever to stop sway, after letting off the gas is good technique, if necessary.  I've used it going downhill in gusty winds a few times.

    I tow with a short wheelbase vehicle, and after having a few uncomfortable sway incidents, installed the friction bar.  Every trip is different as tongue weights go, even during a trip. Bikes, no bikes, spare on front, spare on rear, full tanks, empty, etc.  The sway bar helps, and I don't have to think about it. I've put new shocks and springs on recently, so who knows, maybe I don't need it at all now.

    As for backing up, I don't disconnect unless I see that I need to make a sharp turn.  

    Most times the sway is my fault for driving too fast, I'll admit. But bad roads, ruts in particular,  have caused some weird, unexpected movement.  Like everything, it depends on your TV and your conditions, not to mention the current condition of your vehicle.
    2015 Max S Outback | 2010 Xterra



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