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Post Info TOPIC: Sway or not to sway


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Sway or not to sway


I'm a first time caravaner, and was seeking advise on the use of some old school Sway Bars .. should I set them up or not ? Using a Ford territory to tow a Windsor windcheater maybe 30 years old

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Chief one feather

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Welcome to the gang harry74, enjoy here and out in the playground.

If you mean 'weight distribution bars' I tow a 20' aluminium teepee around on the back of a twin cab Colorado Ute without them. I have no sway bars either.

I tow 2.72t with weight distributed evenly around inside with heaviest over twin axles where possible. My tow ball weight is 250kg and everything is nice and level from front of collie to rear of teepee.

I am a full time GN and have never had a problem in 7 years, nearly 8. I keep to around 93kmh max.




Keep Safe on the roads and out there.

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harry74 wrote:

I'm a first time caravaner, and was seeking advise on the use of some old school Sway Bars .. should I set them up or not ? Using a Ford territory to tow a Windsor windcheater maybe 30 years old


Seems the van you have has very low tare,and ATM of around 1500kg? Territory should handle that no worries without WDH.Just keep towball weight at around 10% of loaded van weight. Territory can tow up to 2300kg in 2wd configuration,or 2700kg as 4wd (AWD if you're pedantic!). I believe that some people use a WDH on a Territory when towing over 2000kg to reduce wear on inside of rear tyres.A last bit of advice is that I understand that Windcheaters have very soft suspension and weak chassis,so they tend to wander all over the road,caused by the resulting axle-steer.(PM me if you want that explained.) Good luck with your travels,but always remember that a WDH instantly adds around 35kg to your car's rear axle weight.Cheers



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Thankyou for your advise.. it does seam to wonder a fair bit when travelling over 80 kph.. its part of the reason I was think of putting the Sway or wdh on. Well I think that's what they are pic included.  



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Senior Member

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I would consult the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer.
Some recommend using a WDH and others dont.
This is important as the use of this equipment if not recommended may damage your vehicle or render towing unsafe.
Having said that, then if their use is recommended, it would be wise to do so.
If it is decided that you do need a WDH then the type you pictured is good as it is lighter in weight than some other brands as there is no massive structure needed to mount the bars to the vehicle.

If you believe that the sway you experience is in some way a machanical fault of the van then I would strongly recommend consulting a qualified engineer or repairer rather than general advice offered on a forum.



-- Edited by Iva Biggen on Thursday 9th of January 2020 07:49:25 AM

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Ivan



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harry74 wrote:

Thankyou for your advise.. it does seam to wonder a fair bit when travelling over 80 kph.. its part of the reason I was think of putting the Sway or wdh on. Well I think that's what they are pic included.  


 Those bars are similar to the bars known as "Shepherds Crook",for obvious  reasons, are very light,and will have zero effect on your van wandering.All they do is level the car up a bit. If my memory serves me correctly,the van suspension is coils with a shock absorber in the middle? If so,it is from a lightweight 1960s English "Sports car",and not up to the job.Many people have replaced that suspension with a beam axle and leaf springs,but you must ensure that the leaf springs are heavy enough to minimise axle steer. Or you could leave things as they are,and travel below 80km/hr all day? I do,of course, jest! Cheers

P.S Seem to now recall that Ford recommends a WDH if Territory is towing more than 1800kg,but not sure.Either way,I doubt that those bars you have will be of much use,and they certainly wont stop the sway! Good luck.



-- Edited by yobarr on Thursday 9th of January 2020 11:22:22 AM

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PM sent...



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Hi Harry, you will see a lot of comments about swat bars and WDH and most people think they are the same thing. Firstly when you apply brakes 70-80% of the braking is preformed by the front brakes and you will also notice that the nose of your vehicle dips down. This places more weight on the front tyres which cause the tyre to increase in width giving more grip on the road which improves both your steering and braking performance.

When you connect your van to the car if the front of the car lifts by as little as 5mm you have a problem. The weight on your tow ball is some distance from the rear axle so for when you break not only do you have to get the nose down by more than the 5 mill you also have to lift the front of the van up by at least a further 10-15mm to get the much needed weight onto the front tyres for the car to break as it should.

WDH are there for when you need to stop in a emergency, as many people will tell you, they have been towing for years with out a WDH, the rig is level and have never had a problem. I don't disagree. BUT in an emergency they will have a problem.

Grab your garden rake with one outstreched  hand and lift it. No problem, now put a small weight on the end, say 1kg and lift it, it takes a lot more strength to do it. Your shoulder is the swing point the same as the rear axle of your vehicle and when breaking you are trying to get more weight off the back axle on to the front tyres. Remember if your van is 2500kg you are looking at 250kg on the towbar (rake) which you are trying to lift to get the weight onto the front tyres.

Suggest you have a look at the Hayman Reese sight which will also show you anti sway bars. I have both on my rig and when truck passes you quite often don't feel them, they also help when going into a bend at speed.

The system gives me comfort when I am traveling knowing that if I have to brake in an emergency I have a very high success rate of stopping saftely

Wassa



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Its about weight distribution in Van also . Simply putting the weight of (say ?) batteries forward can make all the difference. The blade type suspension on Terri is not as bad as swing arm suspensions on some other vehicles . Firmer rear springs help big time or air bag assist inside the existing coils ? Can make load - ride height adjustable! Tyre pressures, condition also . Type of tow bar fitted ? Theres various types of stability, weight control devices out there . Need to specify which one ? Some transfer weight to front wheels also .

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Whats out there


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I have not owned a Territory, but have owned a string of Falcons of which I am still the owner of one. Ford recommends the use of a WDH for the Falcon when towing more than 1200kgs and as the Territory shares the same suspension with the Falcon, I would be surprised if they didn't have the same recommendation for the Territory.

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Greg O'Brien



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One other thing. Falcons and Territory's are renowned for doing in the control blade and diff carrier bushes. This can cause changes in rear wheel camber and toe that make the vehicle feel mushy and unstable particularly with load on the rear. I have not long replaced mine on the Falcon which made an enormous difference. I used Pedders urethane bushes throughout that are purported to be longer lifed than the OEM ones. I would have your vehicle checked as the OEM ones are usually done in by the 100,000k mark.

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Greg O'Brien



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Hi, l tow a1800kg euro van with out territory and no worries ,,,, its even better now had all the rear end bushs done and hd kings springs and hd kyb shocks , rides really well and no more sagging Remember to load your van right and bump up your tyre pressures to suit ( rears more than the fronts , both tug and van ) Cheers

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Greg 1 wrote:

I have not owned a Territory, but have owned a string of Falcons of which I am still the owner of one. Ford recommends the use of a WDH for the Falcon when towing more than 1200kgs and as the Territory shares the same suspension with the Falcon, I would be surprised if they didn't have the same recommendation for the Territory.


 Hi Greg....Ford recommends the use of a WDH if towing over 1800kg with a Territory.Assuming that the  OP has a 2wd model,his tow capacity,with a heavy duty towbar,is 2300kg,but with a tare around 2000kg,and a rear axle rated at only 1530kg,he would not be able to carry much in the rear of the car. GVM is only 2590kg? A WDH could help him,but the lightweight bars he now has would be of little use,and will do next to nothing to prevent sway.Graeme has got it right with his comments about weight distribution being critical in the van,but keeping the subject van in a straight line behind the car will be "challenging",given its suspension design.Cheers.



-- Edited by yobarr on Friday 10th of January 2020 09:14:49 PM

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Hi There,
There is rarely a simple answer to what can be a complex problem. Before resorting to Sway Bars/LDH's it is worth going through all the "101" fixes first. By way of edification I have owned a Territory and did lots, and lots, of towing with it.

The Tug

* Greg mentioned the diff bush, definitely a problem with Territory's, anything over 60,000 ks and it is probably stuffed, as Greg advised, replace it with a Urethane bush and follow it up with a wheel alignment for both the front and rear - yes the Territorys have wheel alignment adjustment for the rear wheels.
* Tyre pressures, this can make a big difference to the handling characteristics.
* Suspension, even from new my Territory was always a bit 'saggy' in the rear end, I replaced the whole suspension set up with Lovells upgraded springs and Peddars shocks - 'chalk and cheese' difference.
* Actually measure how much the rear end drops, and the front end rises, when you hook the van up, Sway Bars/LDH's will not compensate for sloppy suspension.

The Van
* Tyres, in my humble opinion, if at all possible, get "C" rated tyres on it. The "C" designates that it is for commercial use, generally they have much stiffer side walls and less tendency to suffer from 'tyre roll". Pat Callian's RV Daily magazine produced an excellent article on tyres back in December 2019 magazine.rvdaily.com.au/en_US/17173/242621/essential_guide_to_tyres_for_4x4s%2c_caravans_and_camper_trailers_.html
* Tyre pressures - goes without saying.
* Loading of the van, you should have about 10% of the the ATM (Total weight of the van) over the towball. Left to right loading is also important, loads need to be distributed evenly within the van. Remember that trying to reduce the towball weight by simply putting more stuff in the back can be a recipe for disaster. This is an interesting video on weight distribution www.youtube.com/watch
* Do a 'backyard' wheel alignment test. using a piece of string measure the distance from the most outer edge of the axle that you can access to the centre of the the tow hitch, this is a bit primitive but can give a hint to worn bushes or an axle that has moved fractionally on the springs. Out of alignment trailers/caravans tow like 'dogs'.
* What is the suspension on the van like, we had a 'Dove' that towed probably 40% better just by putting new, slightly heavier, springs on it.

I hope this helps and that you manage to get a set up that gives you many safe and enjoyable trips.

Dave




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Guru

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I had a 2004 Territory Ghia and towing anything it sagged and used to sway all over the place, even the 1100kg '78 Millard 18x8 we had.
Weight adjustment in the load made no difference.

The Terry is probably the nicest car to drive out of the 20 odd I've ever owned, but it was just too bl00dy soft in the rear end for towing.

Definitely improved with the addition of a set of Hayman Reese Level Rides.

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