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Old 02-06-2017, 06:49 AM   #1
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Securing a hitch with sway/load leveling setup

Hey guys, we're new to RV'ing, and are looking to pick up our travel trailer this weekend. The dealer uses Reese brand anti-sway kits with load leveling, and from what I can tell it looks like that kit has it's own ball that attaches to the trailer, then has an attachment that fits into the class IV receiver on the TV. My question is - when storing and camping, how do you secure the trailer? Do you just put a pin lock in the receiver shaft of the anti-sway rig? Do you drop the anti-sway rig and put a ball lock in the hitch? And if you have to drop the anti-sway setup, how hard is it to drop and re-attach?
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:03 PM   #2
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Lots of questions so I'll answer them individually as best I can. I'm sure others will chime in soon.

For the TT, you can buy any number of locks that will work. You can put a padlock on the locking lever. For additional security, you can install a lockable device that fits into the hitch coupler.

For the hitch/receiver combination, there are locking pins that can be installed where the pin & cotter key would be located. Or, for more security, remove the hitch and store that separately.

For the anti-sway mechanism, most are removable by pulling one or more cotter keys (pins) and that is likely the best way to safeguard it.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:40 PM   #3
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Lots of questions so I'll answer them individually as best I can. I'm sure others will chime in soon.

For the TT, you can buy any number of locks that will work. You can put a padlock on the locking lever. For additional security, you can install a lockable device that fits into the hitch coupler.

For the hitch/receiver combination, there are locking pins that can be installed where the pin & cotter key would be located. Or, for more security, remove the hitch and store that separately.

For the anti-sway mechanism, most are removable by pulling one or more cotter keys (pins) and that is likely the best way to safeguard it.

Hope this helps.
Thanks! We have a hitch pin lock for our 2" ball hitch, so I'm sure we can re-use that for the TV side...the big thing was I just wasn't sure how difficult it would be to remove the sway bar setup to lock the tongue, then hook it back up to tow. Our dealer was talking about needing to loosen friction tension on the bars if you're backing into a tight area, which got me thinking -- I'm just not familiar enough to know how involved it is to take it off and put it back on, if it'd require re-calibration or not.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:14 PM   #4
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about the friction sway bars ,first off ...don't lube them ..second ,you do not have to but ,you only have to loosen them when you are driving slowly ,like a campground,if you want . they are for highway sway control and not needed slowly. If they are installed correctly ,you can turn sharp either way and not have a problem, so just 1 turn from tight and you are good.
Torsion bars (2)that hold the weight stay where they are ,dont let someone talk you into taking them off when backing up. I have been known to hit 5 campgrounds in 5 days and never unhooked .
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:27 AM   #5
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about the friction sway bars ,first off ...don't lube them ..second ,you do not have to but ,you only have to loosen them when you are driving slowly ,like a campground,if you want . they are for highway sway control and not needed slowly. If they are installed correctly ,you can turn sharp either way and not have a problem, so just 1 turn from tight and you are good.
Torsion bars (2)that hold the weight stay where they are ,dont let someone talk you into taking them off when backing up. I have been known to hit 5 campgrounds in 5 days and never unhooked .
Thanks! We should get a written offer from the dealer at some point today, and we can start the negotiations. Here's hoping it works out.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:05 AM   #6
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What I did with our last TT, was to buy an second hitch receiver square tube from the local hardware store. I then had it welded to the frame in a open area near the propane tanks. When camping, I simply unhitched normally and removed the hitch from the truck and installed it in the newly added receiver tube welded to the TT and secured it with a keyed pin. I also added small hooks along both sides of the A-frame of the TT and hung the spring bars on those. It was fairly easy and was secure if I left the campsite.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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Be sure to check if the ball and drawbar you have are properly rated and sized for the trailer you are buying. If not, have them throw that in.

The bar in question has a handle that adjusts tension. I always took mine off when backing, though it might have been OK to leave on.

With a little practice you will learn the sweet spot you need for tension for your rig. If you need to adjust later when on the road, simply pull over and tighten. It will take longer to pull off the road and then back on.

Good luck!

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Originally Posted by lp722 View Post
Thanks! We have a hitch pin lock for our 2" ball hitch, so I'm sure we can re-use that for the TV side...the big thing was I just wasn't sure how difficult it would be to remove the sway bar setup to lock the tongue, then hook it back up to tow. Our dealer was talking about needing to loosen friction tension on the bars if you're backing into a tight area, which got me thinking -- I'm just not familiar enough to know how involved it is to take it off and put it back on, if it'd require re-calibration or not.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:29 PM   #8
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Wow, this discussion is all over the board! Talking about so many things!
1. A weight-distribution hitch has two big WD torsion bars. Often connected to the TT by chains, their job is to "jack up" the trailer on the hitch, to redistribute the load, and level both the trailer and the towing truck. They should NOT be disconnected when backing.
2. There is often an anti-sway "bar" connected to both the hitch and the frame of the TT, usually on one side, with a friction device. It is designed to prevent fishtailing at higher speeds. It does NOTHING in the slow forward and backward movements of parking, except make noise, and possibly create an obstruction in a very tight turn. It should be disconnected when parking, if any extreme maneuvers are needed, or if the campground is quiet and you don't want to make noise.
3. As for locks, I use three, sold by Master Lock as a set. a. is a locking pin instead of a cotter pin to secure the hitch mount and ball to the truck. b. A pin lock to prevent the hitch release toggle on top from moving either up or down, and c. a lockable "plug" which fits inside the 2 5/16" ball receiver to prevent other people from lowering this hitch onto their ball.
Just FYI: If we're just overnighting, and leaving in the morning, I leave the hitch hooked up. Anti-sway may or may not be connected depending on the maneuvering I needed to get parked. Tongue jack lowered and TT leveled. 7-pin electrical unplugged. If I expect to be there 2 days or more, it's a full disconnect, so we can take the truck and see the sites. If my tanks are empty, and it's just an overnighter, I don't hook up the sewer hose. Maybe not even the water, if my fresh water tank has 1/3 or more. But I don't like being on the road with more than 1/3 in either black or gray tanks.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, guys! We agreed on a price with the dealer on Friday, and should be picking it up within the next two weeks as schedules allow.
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