Why Does My Travel Trailer Sway

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Douglas

The swaying of a trailer is caused by the wind. When a trailer is empty, it has more tendency to sway because there is nothing to weigh it down.

The weight of the contents in the trailer can also affect how much sway it will have. For example, if you are transporting a large load in your trailer, its center of gravity will be higher and it will be more likely to sway.

The position of the hitch ball and tow vehicle also play an important role in how much sway a trailer has. If the hitch ball is too low, this can cause instability which will result in excessive swaying.

How do you stop a travel trailer from swaying?

Load your trailer with 60% of the cargo weight in the front half of the trailer box. Don’t overload your tow vehicle. Don’t exceed your trailer’s maximum gross weight. Only load cargo on the inside of the trailer. Maintain a speed of 55 miles per hour or less.[1]

How do you respond to a trailer sway?

Immediately let off the gas pedal and avoid stepping on the brake pedal! Keep the steering wheel straight. Let your vehicle slow down on its own. If you have trailer brakes, you can manually apply them very gently once the speed has decreased.[2]

What causes fishtailing when towing a trailer?

Loading too much weight towards the front of your caravan can cause your towing vehicle to sag, and your front tires may lose traction. This problem will diminish your steering control, and make you lose control over your vehicle.[3]

What should you do if your towing a trailer and it starts to swing from side to side?

What should you do if a trailer starts to swing from side to side while you’re towing it? Explanation: Strong winds or buffeting from large vehicles can cause a trailer or caravan to swing from side to side (‘snake’). If this happens, ease off the accelerator. Don’t brake harshly, steer sharply or increase your speed.[4]

Is it better to have the trailer tongue higher or lower?

If a trailer is nose up too much, the tongue weight is low enough that the trailer may begin to sway. So in short, level is best. If level is not possible, then try to go slightly nose down. Slightly nose up can be fine, but keep an eye out for trailer sway.[5]

Should trailers level when towing?

Inspect the trailer to be sure it is level. If it is not level, the hitch ball height should be raised or lowered, as necessary. You may need spring bars rated for more weight if you cannot keep the tow vehicle from sagging in the rear.[6]

Does hitch height affect trailer sway?

If the hitch is too high for the travel trailer, it will tip backward, creating a slanted profile and an unbalanced weight distribution. You’ll be less aerodynamic this way and your trailer is more likely to catch the wind and begin to sway.[7]

Why does my trailer sway at high speeds?

Trailer sway can be a result of crosswinds, drafts from passing semi-trucks or descending hills using incorrect braking technique, according to Mark Polk in his RV Tech Tips series on RVTravel.com. The front of trailers are aerodynamic to improve towing gas mileage, but the sides aren’t.[8]

Do longer travel trailers sway more?

Expert Reply: A longer trailer can lead to the increase chance and severity of trailer sway. If you experience sway then the best thing to do in the short term is slow the vehicle down until the swaying stops.[9]

How do you fix a fishtail trailer?

When it’s more than a quick gust or pressure from a passing truck, control your fishtailing trailer with skilled, calm driving. Resist the temptation to hit the brakes; instead lift your foot from the accelerator and hold the wheel steady as the speed decreases.[10]

Should you cross the chains on a trailer?

When attaching chains to a vehicle, always cross the chains. Crossing the trailer chains aids in turning the trailer by reducing the probability of stress. It also acts as a cradle in the event of separation from the tow vehicle.[11]

Can too much tongue weight cause trailer sway?

If you don’t have enough weight on the trailer tongue, the trailer may be prone to swaying from side to side, making it difficult to control. Conversely, if you have too much weight exerted on the hitch ball, the force could overload the rear tires of the tow vehicle and push the rear end of the vehicle around.[12]

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