No Sway! Why we installed an RV Sway Bar.

We may have all seen the images of travel trailers or just trailers being towed on the highway, losing control into a roll over crash. Some can be attributed to weight distribution or poor loading of the trailer. Some others can be attributed to driving way too fast for conditions.  A few can be attributed to side winds or the pushing and pulling from larger trucks passing on the highway.  Since we are not experts on the subject, the information we have provided here and in our attached YouTube Video is based on our own research and is not advice in any way.

Since a sway bar for our T@B travel trailer is new to us and we have never towed a trailer before, we decided for the $30 or so that it costs to purchase a sway bar would be a good idea.  If we never have to use it, that would be great! If we really needed it at some point, it would be the best $30 ever spent to prevent a potential loss of control or a roll over crash.

We have never heard that a T@B needs one.  They are low to the ground, light weight, and you really can’t over pack it.  Our tow vehicle has plenty of available weight to pull the trailer.

Here are some of the resources we used to make that decision:

U-haul trailer sway of death

Caravan Sway Crash

How To Control Trailer Sway by RV Education 101®

how to avoid trailer sway

towing tips for preventing trailer sway

rig sway

Here is where we found the one that we purchased:

pro series sway bar link

-Mara

 

 

We Didn’t Start the Fire or did we?

OK, bad Billy Joel reference!

In this case, we did start the fire with these homemade fire starters! How did we accomplish this magnificent project?

Finished homemade fire starters
Finished homemade fire starters

We gathered a bunch of cardboard egg cartons, cedar saw dust (from a gate project), recycled left over smoker pellets, and a few blocks of paraffin (purchased at amazon.com).

start - egg cartons
start – egg cartons
cedar saw dust and left over smoker pellets
cedar saw dust and left over smoker pellets
blocks of parafin
blocks of paraffin

This process is super simple and really effective!  We packed the sawdust mixture (mixed the saw dust and smoker pellets together in a box) into the egg cartons then

Filling egg carton with sawdust
Filling egg carton with sawdust

Melted the paraffin wax on the stove in an old pot we found for a dollar at an estate sale.

Meltin Parafin wax on stove
Melting Paraffin wax on stove

Then poured the wax into the sawdust mixture and let harden.  (We used about a 1lb block of wax  for every 3 egg carton bottoms).

Filled egg carton with saw dust and parafin wax
Filled egg carton with saw dust and paraffin wax

After hardened, we cut out each egg cup into an individual fire starter! This batch made 144 starters!

Underside of packed egg carton
Underside of packed egg carton
Cutting egg carton from underneath
Cutting egg carton from underneath

Here is the very best part of these project!  The whole project cost was from the paraffin wax! Not bad and a great way to recycle. The starters lasted about 17 minutes each…more than enough time to get a great fire started! Just keep them dry! We store ours in a plastic container with a waterproof lid. You just take a match to the paper/cardboard outside of the starter.

Homemade fire starters...ready for their fire!
Homemade fire starters…ready for their fire!

Check out the time lapse video test we did in our chiminea- Perfection!

-Mara