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Collier and Joan

Ford F-150 - Should I disconnect anti-sway while using Andersen WDH

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<p style="text-align: left;">Will be picking up Elite II at the end of Aug, should I disconnect my anti-sway on 2019 F-150 while towing using andersen  wdh</p>

 


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Delivery Date Aug 29, 2019


Ford F150 XL Supercab - 3.5 EcoBoost


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From what I have read the answer is yes. Now let me tell you what I tried to find out about our new 2019 Ram 1500, where do I turn it off. If it can be done I have yet to find out where, I've been on the Ram Website, as well as other places, no I have not called the dealer service and asked them, but I plan to do so when I get our first oil change. I have also been told that when I put the vehicle in Tow Mode it will automatically turn the anti-sway system off, but that is not confirmed as of yet. All I really know is the two systems don't work well together and one fights the other, so OFF I would think is correct.

 

 

 

trainman


Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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I cannot speak to the F150.  With my Ram 1500 I always use Tow/Haul mode when towing. I do not believe that disables the anti-sway capability of my truck. With well over 40K miles towing my Ollie in many conditions there has never been a situation where I thought safety systems were in conflict. I would think that the “brains” written into the truck anti-sway system would detect the reduced sway caused by the Andersen and figure that into its calculations.


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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I think if you go by the book, the answer is yes. However, I’ve always questioned the effectiveness of friction-type sway control; and, especially given the difficulty that people have with the friction sleeve on the Anderson, I think that were I ever to use the hitch, I might just be tempted to grease the cone and be done with the sway control aspect.  But someone who knows more about the hitch would probably want to chime in on the advisability of that.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Andersen says disconnect,  which you can manually each time you restart your engine, f-150 forums some do and some don't. It seems like there is no clear answer, Andersen says the anti-sway on f 150 interferes with Andersen anti- sway, I'm just concerned turning off anti-sway on f-150 could compromise safety, maybe somebody with a ford truck pulling a elite II can chime in with their experience


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Delivery Date Aug 29, 2019


Ford F150 XL Supercab - 3.5 EcoBoost


ALAZARCOFLGAIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMSMOMTNENHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKPASCSDTNTXVAWVWYmed.jpg


 

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Check your truck owners manual. I know the F250 lists only a couple of towing circumstance when it might be advisable to turn it off. When using a WDH isn't one of them. Andersen’s advice seems a bit dubious, like not greasing the ball.

 

 

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Years ago not to long ago. Trucks didn’t have all this hi tech junk. If your trailer swayed you applied the brakes the trailer corrected and you continued on your way.  Tow haul mode  engine braking  are great but some of these system are useless good selling points at  the most.

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I have no problems with technology, but I do think that having two systems acting independently to solve the same problem has at least the potential to cause problems. Vehicle anti-sway systems are designed to detect abnormal forces acting on the truck, and trailer anti-sway devices by their very nature provide forces that the truck’s system would see as abnormal.  Particularly in situations where traction is low, such as rain, an unadjustable system like the Anderson would tend to induce understeer in turns and a reluctance to self straighten coming out of turns. Apart from the inherent danger in both situations, either could be misinterpreted by the truck and potentially cause the truck’s traction control to make the wrong inputs.

 

So for me, it’s one or the other, and I know which one I’d want to disable.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Anderson has said to shut off the Ford stability system when it conflicts with the Anderson hitch.

 

There are a few serious problems with this that must be considered.

 

First, what makes anyone think that Anderson knows more about stability control in Ford trucks, than Ford?

 

Second, if you get out of control because of a swaying trailer, or a skid on a slick surface, and have an accident, after you turned off the system, are you going to try and blame Anderson?  I think Anderson just came up with a knee-jerk response to the problem and is being extremely irresponsible in just telling people to turn off their stability control system.

 

Third, having a hitch system that tries to do both weight distribution and sway control in one unit, has a particular problem here.   Weight distribution is a real need and the need for it is easily measured.  That type of hitch is even recommended by Ford when the tongue weight is over 500 lbs, as I understand it.  Fine.  Use a WDH.

 

But what about sway control?  Nobody knows if they need it until they experience uncontrolled sway.  Nobody that I know of has ever had a stability problem with an Oliver.  So why do people want to buy an Anderson hitch?  It's only because the Anderson fits the Oliver without fiberglass cutting, and because Oliver offers them as an option. And since the sway control comes along for the ride, it seems like a good idea.  The devil is in the details.   Now, the sway control issue is driving the discussion and the problems are showing up.  If you need weight distribution, you get sway control whether you want it or not. And the sway control friction is not adjustable.  Who know if it is too much, or not enough?  Evidently, it is too much, because there is no stability problem anyway and the truck detects that something is going on that is causing instability, and throws a warning.  The hitch is causing the instability.  And the sway function is not adjustable.

 

Bottom line:  Modern tow vehicles have stability systems that re very good.  Olivers are very stable trailers that don't need sway control, as far as I know.  By trying to get weight distribution, you get anti-sway that interferes with the truck's system.  People think they need anti-sway, but have no evidence that they do.

 

My conclusion is that people are buying something they don't need, and then are being told to turn off an important safety system because of the problem it causes.    And the people telling them to turn it off have an interest in selling them the very thing that requires them to turn it off, while accepting no responsibility for that recommendation.  And there is no history of instability that would require it in the first place.  People are buying this for insurance or out of fear or because they think there is no alternative.

 

I bought my Oliver used and it came with an Anderson.  It was so obviously a suspect design, that I have never used it even once.  After towing in all kinds of conditions, high and low speeds, cross winds, passing trucks, severe weather, etc.  There has never been the slightest instability of the trailer.  In Texas one night, there were violent winds and tornado warnings as we went east.  Extremely hard rain and hail.  Semi trucks and other cars were pulling off the highway to park and to duck under overpasses, to get out of it.  We cruised along and I wondered if Ollie might get blown over on it's side, or how much it would sway from he cross winds.  It followed us along just fine.  We've covered many miles at higher speeds and have never seen any sign of a sway problem.

 

We have some good friends that tow with an F-150 and they do not use one either.  This, even though they are above the 500 lb tongue weight point where Ford says to use a WDH.  They have been all over the country and have never had the slightest problem either.   Nobody has that I know of.

 

Think twice before buying a sway control hitch.  Especially when there seems to be no evidence that one is needed, and that they can upset the truck's system.  Later, if you do decide you need it, you could always add a simple friction system that is adjustable and cheap, or you can add an electronic aftermarket system.

 

If you ever do happen to have a sway problem, with any trailer that has electric brakes, the immediate fix is to simply apply the trailer brakes at the controller on the dash.  This stops sway by making the trailer pull back while reducing speed.  Some brands of fiberglass trailers are less stable than others and weight distribution can affect their stability further.  But Olivers have proven themselves to be very stable.

 

Overland had a great suggestion.   If you need the weight distribution, but don't want the sway control, grease the cone clutch to make it ineffective.  Then you could leave the stability system turned on.

 

 

 

 

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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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