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Tips on how not to die in a fiery ball of twisted metal on the highway

Anyone know anything about trailer tow hardware like sway bars and weight distributing whohaws and whatnots?

The shantyboat we’re planning will be trailer-able.  So if I’m gonna be towing a
heavy-ass boat on a trailer down the road with a 20
foot double axle trailer with electric brakes, I want not to experience
the sheer shit-in-your-pants life-flashes-before-your-eyes terror of a swaying
trailer that I remember from my years hauling my theme camp out to the Black Rock Playa back
in the day.

The weight of
the boat, will be maybe 5000 lbs and change (but maybe as high as 7000 lbs). I’ll be towing it with a 1970 Ford 3/4 ton F250. My old work truck.  God, I love that thing.  500 bucks ten years ago.  This is the only vehicle I’ve shown the commitment of purchasing a stereo for.

Chicken John who’s towed big stupid heavy things around for years says:

So that truck probably weighs
about 5,000 pounds. If it’s a 3/4 ton, it’ll have a heavy duty front
end, more springs in the back, bigger drums/calipers, beefier suspension
all around and should not sway. If it does, I would look to a repair in
the truck or changing the weight of the trailer around… maybe move
the boat up or back a foot or two. you want like 400 pounds of tongue
weight or so.

Swaying is death on
wheels. Back in the day, with my smaller ’64 F150, if we kept is slow,
like 50 and under, all was okay, but if we went faster than that,
terror.

I hear there are nifty things called sway bars and other
fancy hardware that can allow my life to feel more secure. What do I
need to look at if I want to maybe go 55 without dying?

Some helpful webpage about truck and trailer towing says:

1. Chronal circuitry.  2. Mr. Fusion.  3. Flux capacitor.  4. Geissler tubes.  5. Plutonium-powered nuclear reactor

The Weight Distribution Hitch

The weight distribution hitch allows the Ford 250 to tow double the weight of the simple hitch. This hitch uses the same ball attached to the back of the truck. It adds two bars or tubes, stretching two feet back, under the frame of the trailer. Each tube connects with a chain to the trailer frame above it. When the truck slows down and the trailer wants to dip down, the tubes and chains prevent it from doing so. With this type of hitch, the trailer and the truck stay in the same plane. The trailer can’t tilt forward and press the back of the truck down.

I’m down with that.  There are all sorts of variations apparently, sway controls, and weight distribution styles.  I read about this until my head spun.

But again from Chicken:

Weight disribution or anti-sway bar… same same. I don’t recommend them, but they are useful in over 8,000 pound applications. For you, with your 3/4 ton truck, it would be best to only tow inside your “towing capacity”. Which I think you can do. However, if you find that your rig is not right after you hitch up and go on a trial run, you could try something like that. But as I said, if you are towing 5,000 pounds and you start to sway, it’s probably the truck needing a repair.

So I like to hear those soothing words, like “You’ll be okay,” and “You can do it,” and “You probably will not die on the highway in the wreckage of your shantyboat.”  They warm my chilled little heart.

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