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Excessive Trailer Sway Using Dual-Cam Sway Control with a Keystone Passport Travel Trailer

Question:

I have a reese dual cam 12000/1200 system set up for my TT. The tow ability has been nightmarish since the beginning. It doesnt handle any wind at all and this summer ended a trip to Yellowstone by driving no more than 45mph the entire way back to Texas. It does handle a bit better with more weight in the back of the car. I raise the trailer and TV end up and put it under 5 links of chain, although after raising i dont need to use the cheat bar to do so. I have heard and read so much about how great this system is, but not my experience at all. I have measured and had it looked at by the dealer with no luck. I try to straighten the TV to TT before hooking up the bars. I load to the front of the trailer gear as I can. It seems to have to be centered perfectly to the ball and hitch before catching or releasing. My hubby thinks the whole thing is way too finicky. We have been spoiled by our previous set up for sure. Do I just need to start over? TV = 2008 Ford Expedition EL TT = Passport 2650BH

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Expert Reply:

When properly set up there is nothing better than the dual-cam sway control systems. The big thing about them is they need to be fine tuned which is going to require setting up the system, taking a test drive, making adjustments, and repeating until it is rock solid.

Another issue might be that the system you have is rated too low or high for the trailer tongue weight. based on the trailer you have the tongue weight is around 11.2 percent of the gross trailer weight. So at most the tongue weight of the trailer itself is at most a little over 800 pounds if the trailer is loaded to the maximum. You mentioned that it seems to be better with more weight at the back of the vehicle. To me this says that your tongue weight is too low and the spring bars are likely lifting up to much on the vehicle end and down too much on the trailer end.

If you can use less than 5 links and not have to use the lift bar that tells me that something is off. The fewer chain links you use the more tension should be on the spring bars. So if the tongue weight is too low then using fewer chain links will actually make things worse.

You also may need to angle the head differently. I assume that the trailer is level once the system is set up and ready to tow. If it is high at the front then that puts more weight towards the rear. More weight at the rear is going to increase the chance of sway. If the shank does not have enough drop to tow the trailer level then there are other shanks that offer more drop.

I have included some links on setting up a dual-cam system for you. If you continue to have issues then you could sell that system and go to a friction style system instead. If that's the route you want to go I can make some recommendations but I would need to know what the tongue weight ends up being with the trailer and vehicle loaded and ready to tow. See link on determining tongue weight.

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