Various Easy Ways to Avoid 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 have this unwanted back and forth motion called sway, which can lead to an accident if it gets severe. You can stop this from happening once you know how to appropriately set up your trailer and tow vehicle. It also depends on various factors, such as tire pressure, the hitch, the coupling, weight and tongue weight so you need 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 happen once 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 assist to split-weight your trailer so you will know what weight your tongue is. You can rearrange the load to get correct tongue weight by removing some items if overloaded and weighing it gaining.
Make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to know the maximum load capacity. It will also indicate 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 should not exceed the vehicle’s weight capacity.
It is important as well to have exact 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 ought to be cold already during checking. If you have just been driving the vehicle, you should allow the tires to cool down before checking the pressure.
Never drive the trailer during extreme windy conditions so as r to avoid being blown over. If severe weather condition is predicted, postpone your trip until it is calm. Your tow vehicle should only 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. Once sway is still there, you ought to rotate clockwise the adjustment handle until it is gone and the trailer is stabilized. The sway control device can be installed already on each side of the hitch when you have a large trailer.
When towing, your driving speed should be changed as the extra heavy weight does not tolerate fast driving. Once you notice that sway starts, steer clear of highways, changing lanes frequently or passing tractor trailers. These situations will cause the trailer to sway and this can initiate a road accident.