In our Recreational Towing 101 blog series, our towing experts are going over everything you need to know to set up your camper or trailer for towing. Start by learning about trailer hitches and weight distribution systems, then check out the second installment to learn more about trailer wiring, smart braking systems, and batteries. All caught up? Great! Today, we’re talking about how to give your trailer the smoothest ride possible by minimizing sway and maximizing stability.
Read on to find out more, and please contact the Trademasters team if you have any questions about how to set up your own towing system. We are Chilliwack’s leading providers of high-end towing, truck, and trailer accessories, and we’ve helped many people get their towing setup just right. Browse our site for more information about our products, or give us a call today!
Sway Control is Essential for Successful Towing
Have you ever heard of the “tail wagging the dog” phenomenon? This happens when a trailer that is being towed starts to swing from side to side behind the vehicle, usually due to poor weight distribution across the system. At best, this creates an unsettling moment until the problem corrects itself. At worst, it’s an incredibly dangerous situation that can turn into a wreck.
Most travel trailers will tow well as long as they are hooked up correctly, leveled properly with a weight distribution system (WDS), and the weight of the trailer itself is well-balanced.
One aspect of towing that can be unnerving is when an 18-wheeler passes you on the freeway. The wind vortexes will pull you toward the semi as it approaches from behind, then push you away as it passes by. Weight distribution systems and anti-sway systems will minimize this, but not eliminate it. It is not dangerous — it just takes some getting used to.
There are two basic types of anti-sway systems on the market. They are designed to be used in combination with weight distribution systems.
- Friction sway control: A friction sway control system consists of a stiff arm bolted between the trailer reach and the weight distribution system. Friction sway control bars are tightened manually and work well as an addition to an existing WDS.
- Built-in sway control: Another option is a WDS with built-in sway control. This eliminates the need for an independent anti-sway system. While they are pricier than the base WDS, they are generally quieter and smoother when driving.
Suspension Helpers Can Add Stability
Suspension helpers can be installed to help carry the load with greater stability.
Some of our favorite types of suspension helpers include:
- Air bags
- Timbren load boosters
- Add-a-Leaf suspension kits
It is important to note that suspension helpers do not increase the axle weight rating or the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). Those numbers are engineered from the factory and cannot be changed, period. Suspension helpers will not bear additional weight — they will only help carry the load with more stability.
You can talk to a hitch-installing dealer to determine which one is best for you and fits your budget.
Contact Trademasters to Build Your Perfect Towing Setup
As always, if you have any questions about towing, or would like to browse industry-leading truck and towing accessories, you can contact the Trademasters team in Chilliwack for expert assistance today. Contact us online, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at 604.792.3132. We’re ready to assist!