Various Easy Ways to Avoid Trailer Sway
There are several types of trailers, which consist of 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 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 need to bear 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 assist to split-weight your trailer so you will know what weight your tongue is. You can rearrange the load to obtain correct tongue weight by eliminating some items if overloaded and weighing it gaining.
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to make out the maximum load capacity. It will specify as well 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 also to have appropriate air pressure in your trailer and tow vehicle tires. The owner’s manual has an indicated correct 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. Once you have just been driving the vehicle, you should let the tires to cool down ahead of 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 must be driven only 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 already be installed on each side of the hitch if you have a large trailer.
When towing, your driving speed must be altered since the extra heavy weight does not permit fast driving. If you notice that sway begins, avoid highways, changing lanes frequently or passing tractor trailers. These situations will cause the trailer to sway and this can initiate a road accident.