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rideandfly

Sway Control Tow Vehicle Question

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We have two Toyota tow vehicles. A 2003 2.4L Toyota Tacoma with Class III hitch and Firestone rear differential air bags, we tow a trailer with motorcycle weighing in under 1500 pounds loaded. We also have a 2016 5.7L 4x4  Toyota Tundra with factory tow package for towing the Ollie.

 

Found this information in both vehicle's operators manuals. The manuals say when towing a trailer of 2000 pounds or more a sway device of adequate capacity must be used. In the case of the Tundra, it came equipped with a Toyota sway control system that uses the Tundra's brakes to reduce sway, but the manual also said the sway system may not be adequate to control all trailer sway situations.

 

Assume many modern WDH systems also have sway control devices. Our Ollie comes in at 4950 pounds ready to camp with empty water tanks, full LP tanks, and full water heater tank. Our Ollie tows fine behind the Tundra without WDH and sway device. The Tundra requires WDH when towing a trailer over 5000 pounds.

 

Purchased an Electronic Sway Control device for the Ollie that uses trailer braking when sway is detected when towing with the Tundra. Will post installation in another thread.

 

Are there other vehicles approved for towing that have a sway control device requirement?

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Bill,

 

I have yet to pull an Ollie, but plan the experience this weekend.  I want to suggest you read the Sage-Anderson posts on this site regarding their hitch, it's sway control, and the conflict it experiences with the factory truck sway systems.  They suggest turning off the truck sway control when using their hitch (At least that is my understanding of their posts).  They feel the two systems work against each other and actually cause sway in the trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Mike and Elizabeth Smith


Snow Lake Shores, MS


2016 Ford F150 3.5 EB, max tow (20,900  miles pulling Ollie since Sept 2016)


 


 

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Mike,

 

The Ollie has great towing manners and believe you will have a fine towing experience this weekend.

 

It surprised me when reading the 2016 Tundra operators manual and it stated a sway control device was required when towing a trailer over 2000 pounds.  Looked at the 2003 Tacoma operators manual and it said the same, have not towed over 2000 pounds with the Tacoma. Already purchased an electronic sway control that mounts on the Ollie hitch, so will read Sage-Anderson posts, too. Will post about the electronic sway control installation on the Ollie in another thread.

 

Thanks!


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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For what it worth - I've got both the Andersen and anti-sway control on my 2011 F-150.  I have never turned off the anti-sway in the truck and have never had ANY sway with the Oliver.  Note that I had not read Andersen's message on the Forum about turning off the truck's anti-sway until after I had returned from my Western trip.  During the long boring interstate travels this summer when there was no other traffic around, I even tried to see what would happen when trying to induce sway by moving the steering wheel quickly back and forth.  The answer is - NOTHING.  This action didn't upset either the truck of the Oliver and I never "felt" anything that seemed "strange".  Given that this Western trip included over 5,000 miles and two months of travel with cross winds, passing semi's, rain, gloom of night, etc. I'm thinking that most "normal" situations were covered.  However, (thank goodness) I never did have what I'd call an emergency situation where I had to take evasive action which might induce serious sway.

 

This really doesn't answer Bill's question but ....

 

Bill

  • Thanks 2

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill,

 

Thanks!!!!

 

I just got back from buying nuts & bolts for the electronic trailer sway control installation for the Ollie. The only reason I bought the electronic sway control is because the Tundra operators manual required a sway control device for any trailer over 2000 pounds. My experience towing the Elite II for about 5000 miles so far has been a stable rig overall with a 4.0L Nissan Frontier and 5.7L Toyota Tundra. Have not towed in wind over 30 to 40MPH so far with the Ollie rig. Installed the Dexter EZ Flex system on the Ollie and only towed with the Tundra since that installation, which is very stable and smooth. I had Timbren rear suspension modification on the Frontier and the ride was very firm when towing the Ollie with the Fronty, but has always been stable with both tow vehicles.

 

It's possible only Toyota has the sway control device requirement before reaching the weight requirement for WDH use.  I don't think (not 100% sure) the Frontier had the sway control requirement under the WDH required weight, but it had WDH requirement when towing over 5000 pounds. The Fronty was rated at 6300 pound tow capacity with my Tundra rated at 9800 pound tow capacity in it's configuration from the OEM.

 

I'm sure Toyota is protecting against the worse case towing situation to prevent trailer sway accidents.


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Ollie's are very stable trailers. Like topgun, I have tried to induce sway in mine and it won't do it.  I've also been in crosswinds and been passed by semi trailers.  No problem beyond a little response to the draft.

 

Stability is not an absolute number.  As the tow vehicle gets narrower, higher and shorter.  While it's tires get softer and it's weight gets closer to the trailer weight, stability suffers.  Not because of the trailers inherent design stability, but the ability to overpower the tow vehicle and the tow vehicle's stability issues.   Heavy duty full size pickups are more stable than smaller, narrower and lighter mid size trucks.  I think the biggest threat is not the Ollie design, but an emergency stop, especially on a curve in the road, or with limited traction.  This is where the brake controller better be set up right.  Otherwise the trailer can either push you into a jackknife or it will lockup and slide sideways pulling you around with it.

 

But to anyone concerned about it, remember, if your trailer becomes unstable on a straight section of road, all you have to do it reach down and apply the trailer brakes manually on the controller.  Everyone who tows should be familiar with this procedure.  When a swaying trailer gets it brakes applied it immediately straitens itself out.  Then you can slow down and get to the bottom of the problem.  You can pull the tow vehicle down to a safe speed where the trailer is again stable.

  • Thanks 2

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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John,

 

Good points and Thanks!

 

The 5.7L Tundra double cab Ollie rig is rock solid while towing. Purchased an electronic sway control since Toyota requires a sway control device for trailers over 2000 pounds and not using a WDH since our Ollie comes in under 5000 pounds ready to camp with empty tanks.  When the 7 pin plug is connected to the TV the sway control will be operating using a gyroscope to sense sway movement using the trailer brakes to stop the sway, it also uses a GPS. I will mount the unit on the tongue without drilling any holes in the Ollie hitch using existing bolts, will post another thread with installation. This youtube video has additional information about the unit. Purchased our unit on Amazon.

 


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Bill,

 

That's an interesting unit.

 

It applies all of the trailer brakes if it detects sway, just as I suggested the driver do manually.   I believe my Ram does the same thing with the truck brakes, but it applies them individually as needed.

 

I tried to drive my way out of a severe sway problem once while towing with a Chevy S10 Blazer (not Ollie) and it had no affect.  I had no trailer brakes on that unit and had to go to full throttle to get it to settle down, which is sort of the same dynamics as applying trailer brakes.  Scary!  Once it got it stabilized I was able to get on the brakes hard to get slowed down below the swaying speed.  By that time everyone around me on the freeway had backed of to give me room.

 

John

  • Thanks 1

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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