Lessons Learned from Years with Hitches

Different Easy Ways to Prevent Trailer Sway

There are different types of trailers, which include general hauling utility, vehicle hauling car, camping and enclosed cargo trailers. There are times when they make this unwanted back and forth motion called sway, which can result in an accident if it gets severe. You can avoid this from happening if you know how to correctly set up your trailer and tow vehicle. It depends as well on various factors, like tire pressure, the hitch, the coupling, weight and tongue weight so you ought to have a friction sway device and an air pressure gauge.

You have to keep in mind that 10 to 12 percent of trailer weight should be on the tongue that is found at the front of the vehicle. The sway can take place if there is too much weight at the back of the vehicle so it is important to weight your trailer at a truck shop before loading it. The shop attendant can help out to split-weight your trailer in order to know what weight your tongue is. You can reorganize the load to get correct tongue weight by taking out some items if overloaded and weighing it gaining.

Make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to know the maximum load capacity. It will point out also the appropriate class hitch for the vehicle so that your tow vehicle won’t get overloaded. The total weight of the cargo, trailer tongue and passengers must not go beyond the vehicle’s weight capacity.

It is important also to have appropriate air pressure in your trailer and tow vehicle tires. The owner’s manual has a suggested exact tire pressure both for the vehicle and the trailer. You can check the tire pressure using the air pressure gauge but the tire must be already cold during checking. If you have just been driving the vehicle, you should allow the tires to cool down before checking the pressure.

Do not drive the trailer during extreme windy conditions in order to avoid being blown over. When there is a forecast of severe weather condition, delay your trip until it is calm. Your tow vehicle ought to just be driven during cool weather so it won’t get blown away.

You can ask your dealer to have a friction sway device installed in your vehicle while having a test drive taken to ensure that everything is installed correctly. If sway is still present, you must rotate clockwise the adjustment handle until it is gone and the trailer is stabilized. The sway control device can be already installed on each side of the hitch once you have a large trailer.

When towing, your driving speed should be altered because the extra heavy weight does not allow fast driving. When you see that sway begins, stay away from highways, changing lanes frequently or passing tractor trailers. These instances will cause the trailer to sway and this can lead to a road accident.