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Old 07-02-2020, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Help with friction sway bar setup.

I have a 2006 T139FK, towed with a 2008 Jeep JK.

Hitch weight is good, Jeep is retrofitted with official MOPAR towing kit. Brake controller installed. Jeep set to tow. Hitch and trailer tongue are correctly aligned. Safety chains and breakaway are there.

While driving home from the dealership I noticed a little wobble, so I added a friction type sway bar. I haven't towed since as I've been working on tweaking it, getting it ready to camp later this month.

I've never used this type of sway bar, I understand how it works, how to hook it up, taking it off when backing up... but there's a tention rod to increase or decrease the amount of tention and I'm not exactly sure how tight it needs to be.

I obviously do not want to start towing on the freeway without being 100% sure I'm in working order.

I've researched a few places and the jist I am reading is "play around with it in an open space." but they never really say what I need to look for, what I need to set the tention to, how much, etc.

How tight is too tight, how loose is too loose, for example? Should I start off tight or not tight?
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:12 AM   #2
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What brand of sway bar do you have? Someone here may have experience with it.

Absent that, I would start off with the loosest setting. As in just a bit more than no sway control at all. Then adjust it tighter until the wobble you describe goes away.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:25 AM   #3
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There were instructions that came with my sway bar -- I just followed them, and it works fine. There is often a little adjusting nut that controls the tension. You set it once and that's it. Then there is a handle that you rotate to engage the friction bar itself. And I just push on the handle till it's tight.

When properly set, the sway bar should make some groaning noises when you are making sharp turns at low speed (like in a campground). I usually disengage the sway bar when we are parking the trailer -- no more noise!
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:26 AM   #4
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The label is missing (came with the trailer) but it's basically these... pretty much what all these look like. If I had to guess, it's the EAZ by Camco (due to the on-off less-more decal)

I wouldn't be surprised if they're all made in the same place with just a different sticker. on the side, haha.


https://www.amazon.com/Pro-83660-Val...3699648&sr=8-2

https://www.amazon.com/Eaz-Lift-4838...699687&sr=8-19

I'm willing to bet it will solve my issues, I just don't know about the functionalty on how tight... all the instructions online just show how to install, and I've got that part down.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profdant139 View Post
And I just push on the handle till it's tight.
That's what I'm looking for. Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:36 AM   #6
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The instructions mention this... "Turn the On/Off handle all the way clockwise. The
threads should bottom out."

Forgive me, but what does that even mean? Turn until you can't turn it anymore?
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:42 AM   #7
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Okay... sorry for the post after post after post.... but reading other brand's instructions, I see the lever needs to be tightened all the way until it can't go further and if tention is still needed beyond factory setting, turn the lower bolt 1/4 until you get the results you need.

Sometimes I just need a sounding board. Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:03 AM   #8
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After a while, based on experience, you'll be able to tell by the low speed groans if it's about right/tight enough.

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Old 07-02-2020, 09:06 AM   #9
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Cool. Thanks for listening to my ramblings...

The trailer supply store nearby wanted me to buy a $1000 (before installation fees) 10,000 lb sway/equalization system that I felt was way overkill.

I think this one bar will be all I need.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:17 AM   #10
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Do they even make an equalizer system light enough for the 139's? I believe they are all oversized. Some one may make a 2000# model. IDK.


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Old 07-02-2020, 09:52 AM   #11
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Jeff, I think you've got it -- crank it closed and call it good! And yes, a little sway bar is entirely adequate for a 139 -- we have traveled more than 100,000 miles with a sway bar and a 139, through some fierce gusty side-winds, with no hint of sway.

They say to release the sway bar in wet or snowy conditions. I'm not sure why. But if it is really snowy, I am not going much more than 30 mph, so sway is not a problem at that speed.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:07 PM   #12
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From my 30+ yrs experience, if you are having any tendency to wobble then tighter is better. A trailer is more or less susceptible to wobble/oscillations depending upon weight distribution, tongue weight and relative distance of the axle(s) from the hitch (and the tow vehicle's rear wheels). I learned last summer that my normally stabile trailer would sway if my holding grey/black tanks were full (in my case because the campground had closed their dump station) and the fresh water tank was empty from having used it. I was forced to drive a couple of hours until I was able to dump the tanks. Tightening the sway bar a bit more helped out.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:28 PM   #13
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Jim, I have a friction type anti-sway as well, and like you, I don't know what brand it is, but I know it "doesn't bottom out" like others have stated. My set-up is from back in 2013 and what I do is , set it up from completely loose and turn the handle on the friction pad till it hits snug on the bar then turn it one full turn tighter. This has always been my initial setup and it has worked well for me. If there's alot of big trucks passing me or there's alot of wind and I notice some sway, I crank it down a half turn at a time till is settles down. Usually, the initial setting is all I need. My trailer is a 21 footer with dual axles so it's a bit heavier than your's so you shouldn't have to crank on yours so much. Good luck Jim, let us know.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:45 PM   #14
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Agreed! My SOP is to drain the 3 holding tanks (2 gray and 1 black) and fill the fresh water tank located between the hitch and the axles before towing. However, this is not always possible and last year I questioned the wisdom of the FF engineer who designed a system that results in the transfer of weight from in front of the axles to behind. Stability was adversely effected.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:14 PM   #15
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Jimbo. yeah, probably 90% of the time I tow with my tanks empty and only occasionally the freshwater tank has much in it. But that would definitely affect stability.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboFunFinder View Post
I questioned the wisdom of the FF engineer who designed a system that results in the transfer of weight from in front of the axles to behind.
Our little 139FK had the opposite engineer. With the front kitchen model the waste tanks are forward of the axle and the fresh water tank is to the rear of the axle. With empty waste tanks and a full fresh tank it tended to "unload" the hitch.
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