Belly Up to the Value Bar

Posted In: Blog, Camping Gear, Product Review, RV Products, Safety, Towing

Last year our old antisway bar got bent (and I don’t mean it developed a drinking problem). So we went shopping for a new antisway bar and discovered the “Value Friction Sway Control” (http://goo.gl/1fiSvP) which is a lower priced antisway bar than the Reese bar we previously owned. We decided to give the “value” option a try on our rig.

The "value" antisway bar weights over 13 pounds and costs less than half the price of a standard bar. (Click the pic for more info.)

The “value” antisway bar weights over 13 pounds and costs less than half the price of a standard bar. (Click the pic for more info.)

Why bother with an antisway bar? These bars reduce trailer sway and improve handling in adverse towing conditions. For example, when you’re hauling your rig across a wide open stretch of West Texas on a windy day. Or when an 18-wheeler blasts past you at 85 MPH. Or when you’re hauling a ton of gold bricks in the rear of your trailer (you should always load gold bricks in a fashion that evenly distributes weight throughout your rig).

The antisway bar improves the stability of your rig and therefore increases towing safety. If you are towing a trailer any substantial distance, you really need one of these antisway bars working for you. It’s a cheap form of insurance. In some scenarios, a humble antisway bar may help you avoid a disastrous accident.

Not that you need to know the engineering, but this type of bar delivers friction-style sway control. It tamps down sway once it begins. The bar attaches at each end to the weight-distribution system and the trailer frame itself. There’s a smaller bar inside the external bar that slides in and out as the trailer moves. As it moves, friction pads help reduce the sway.

Now on to the value bar itself. From the word “value,” I was expecting compromises from this bar. So far, after a full season of camping and literally thousands of miles of towing, I have found none. As Buzz Lightyear might say, the value bar has performed to my expectations – and beyond!

The "value" antisway bar appears to be a great, well, VALUE. (Click the pic for more info.)

The “value” antisway bar appears to be a great, well, VALUE. (Click the pic for more info.)

This is a solid, heavy, well constructed piece of gear. It looks and feels exactly like our old, more expensive name brand bar. I suspect the two products could be manufactured in the same facility (one boasting Kung Pao Chicken on the employee cafeteria lunch menu). The value bar weighs a whopping 13.2 pounds. The kit comes complete with mounting hardware (should you need it – we did not).

I have found no significant differences between the “value” bar and the standard Reese antisway bar that we owned previously. This new bar has been a perfect fit, which made it easy to mount and use on our trailer’s existing mounting points. We’ve used it towing across windy places like Kansas, Arizona, and Texas without complaint.

The “value” antisway bar costs about a third the price of the standard Reese bar (http://goo.gl/X4Cu0X). Quite frankly, I can’t see any reason to purchase the more expensive gear. The value bar is a sturdy piece of equipment and it has served us well on the road.


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