I've seen a few people talk about this, and I'm sure there are some parties that are interested in my findings, so I'll go ahead and open this thread so you can track this information if you tow travel trailers.
I've had my trailer a few months now, and tow it just about every weekend in some form or another. I've towed it about 800 miles so far, and about to put another 600 in the next couple weeks.
The truck has done superbly, I've had some issues with the trailer.
Here's what I have going for and against me.
Truck is strong enough to handle the Salem 22RBX-Lite no problemo.
4th Gear offers good power, and 3rd offers alot more.
Trailer is loaded pretty evenly side to side, and more to the front than the back.
Trailer has performed well when in use.
Getting a good bit of sway while driving. There are several factors and I'll go into them later.
I have the DC Short Bed, and the shorter wheelbase is less optimal for towing (can't really change that, just pointing it out).
The trailer sits about 6" higher on the frame than my father-in-laws, and therefore is riding a little higher than his, creating more drag.
There is no one shot cure for sway, and people mis-interpret sway sometimes quite a bit. For this post, sway is the squirli-ness while driving down the road on a rather non-windy day at a reasonable (60 - 65MPH) speed.
Sway, in this context, is NOT an 18-wheeler passing you, or a strong headwind or crosswind slamming you.
All things being equal, if your rig is setup right, swaybars aren't needed, and shouldn't be used as a substitute for proper weight loading, distribution, and driving habits.
In other words, if I have my rig setup how it should be, and I'm driving down a road @ 60 MPH on a non-windy day on flat ground, I should not be experiencing sway.
However, I am. It's enough to need to tap the brake controller.
A note about sway bars
Most people will tell you to not use friction based sway bars, and the instructions say you can't back up with them on or use them in the rain. The explanation of why goes beyond the scope of this first post, but their logic is sound.
It's not really important anyways, because until you solve your fundamental issue causing sway, all the gadgets in the world will only provide a minimal improvement in driving, and may not help in the safety department at all.
Solving the sway Problem (steps taken)
It's taken several trips and several weeks to finally get it under control, so I'll share in hopes of helping you guys if you run across this as well.
Here is a list of what steps I took in the order I took them.
1. Tongue weight of trailer was 310 lbs dry, and the Taco is rated at 640 so I was fine. I used my Air-Lift airbags to level the trailer. Drove it home in a windy day from the dealer. Terrible experience. Nothing but a drop hitch. Couldn't go past 55MPH without getting really nervous and tapping trailer brakes.
2. Added Friction Sway control to a normal Class 4 drop hitch. They just welded the tab on it. I installed the swaybar, tightened it up, drove it around. Seemed much better at 50MPH than before, could easily hit 65MPH now. Started to get a good bit of sway in the wind, but this is expected.
3. Upgraded to WD hitch (Reese RB2 600 lbs / 6000 lbs Round bars). Moved Friction sway bar to it from the other hitch. This helped alot, much more stable. However, I might have put too much weight on the front axle because the trailer was slightly bowed up and not dead level. An upward angle like this shape (trailer) ^ (truck) will give more sway.
4. Tire pressure of trailer and truck tires was way too low, giving too much flex in the sidewalls. I sent the trailer tires to 45PSI all around (50 PSI is max), and bumped the truck from 32 PSI to 36PSI. This helped a good bit, and even got me up to about 11.5 MPG from 10MPG. Also, lower PSI contributes to additional friction on the road and tire, making sidewalls heat up and potentially increases the chance of blowouts. You'd think alot of air would make it more likely to pop, but it's quite the other way around. That is, unless you overinflate the tires, which should make sense not to do such a thing.
5. Moved the shank height down a 1/2" and removed a link from my WD chains, and took some air out of the bags to lower truck. Trailer is now level and truck squats about 3/4" in rear. Front is back to factory unloaded height. This step helped, but we are not quite there.
6. WEIGHED THE TONGUE AND THE TRAILER. This is important, I'll say VERY important. I think what was happening so far is that my WD hitch was cranked up too hard, and taking too much tongue weight off the truck and trailer, which was making my tongue too light. Too light of a tongue = more sway.
I backed off to the very last link in my chains, which didn't drop the truck hardly any more, just put a touch more weight back on the tongue.
Went to the local CAT Scales on the way to a camping trip, full tank of gas and 2 others in the truck with me. Trailer was loaded for camping, and so it was how it will be when I go in the future. Pulled the truck over 1 scale and the trailer of the next. Unhooked and weighed it.
Truck = 4800 lbs (Curb unloaded is around 4100)
Trailer = 3990 lbs (Dry weight listed as 3615) All tanks empty. We pack light.
Given the consensus that your TT tongue should be between 10% - 15% of complete weight, my tongue should have been between ~400# - ~600#. Some people say 12%-15%, so 480# - 600#. I like 480 - 600 best.
I used a bathroom scale to measure the weight of the tongue. There's alot of places on the net to explain how to do so.
Tongue weighed in at about 390# or so, which is actually under the 10% mark. Guess what happens when your tongue is too light? SWAY.
Fortunately, I have a 33 Gallon fresh water tank in the front of my trailer. Perfect, so I filled it up.
Water is around 8.33 lbs / gallon, so 33 gallons is ~275#. Not all of that contributes to tongue weight, but it also means the weight of the trailer moves up too.
Loaded weight is now 3990 + 275 = 4265#
12% of 4265# = 512#
15% of 4265# = 640#
After re-weighting my tongue I came up to something like 575#, so I'm closer to my 15% than my 12% at this point.
My spring bars are rated for 600#, but the next step is either 800# or 1000# and I didn't want to apply too much torsion to the trailer as to not render the bars ineffective, or even to overload the A-Frame of the trailer itself.
I'm not worried about the tongue weight being close to my max tongue on the truck because the WD bars are pulling weight back off the tongue and on the axel. In addition, they are lightening the tongue weight itself some too, so the actual tongue weight when hooked up is less than 575#.
I got the chance to drive my rig yesterday afternoon on a rather windless day. It pulled much better with the water in it. In fact, at 65MPH it tracked very well. You still know it's back there, but that's just cause the engine was working and my CAI and exhaust were rumbling.
Now that I have the fundamental issue to sway addressed, I'm going to go all out and address the next part as best I can.
Crosswinds and 18-wheelers passing you.
There really is not fix for this, just ways to mitigate it. The reese Dual cam WD hitch setup seems to be very proficient at it. I just ordered it before this post, and I'll keep adding to this thread with my findings when I get to install it this weekend (if it comes in in time).