What’s Caravan Sway and What Cause It?
Caravan swaying is something that scares all caravan owners, as caravan swaying is one of the most common causes of caravan accidents. And this is a situation that almost all drivers have seen or experienced. Usually due to some uncontrollable causes such as wind, load distribution, speed or tire pressure, but sometimes it can occur from events within our control.
For sure there are some methods both to avoid and cease these main reasons. These methods are clarified for you in detail below, let’s find them out:
How Can You Avoid It?
We will clarify how to avoid trailer sway step by step. The first step in preventing sway is to understand the cause of caravan sway. Overhanging hitches create fundamental instability that causes swaying. Swaying is annoying and uncomfortable. A locking cam can help to cope with pent-up energy and avoid jack-knifing. Electronic sway control systems are also available for caravans and can be helpful in situations of swaying.
However, Trailer sway can happen even if the towed vehicle is equipped with electronic stability control system. It can also occur when the tow vehicle is driven too fast. Electronic stability control (ESC) systems are the best way to prevent swaying. A manual caravan sway control system is another way to prevent swaying. If you cannot get an electronic sway control system, it is worth looking into.
To avoid swaying, ensure that the tow vehicle is equipped with suitable brakes. You ought to make sure that the tyres are inflated to the correct pressures recommended by the manufacturer. When you are selecting a caravan to tow, you are supposed to check the maximum towing weight of the tow vehicle, the trailer and the caravan. In that case, exceeding these limits can cause your caravan to sway.
The other cause of caravan sway is usually incorrect weight distribution. When packing a caravan, you should avoid packing too much to the rear by placing heavy items next to the axle. A poorly packaged camper will shake more and this can even cause accidents. If you can’t avoid swaying, you need to make sure your vehicle is fitted with equalizer hitches and you should legally connect the safety chains.
Another situation is in the case that, the car that tows the caravan has more mass than the caravan, this gives it more energy. As the car uses brakes to slow down, the caravan will push against the tow vehicle like an accordion. This unbalanced motion will trip a mechanical override braking system. However, you can still try and apply a manual brake if you feel that the caravan is starting to sway.
In addition to these methods, we want to explain briefly the types of caravan anti-sway bars. There are two types of anti-sway bars. There are those that are attached to the hitch and those that are built into the weight distribution system. The former prevents swaying by applying resistance to the trailer. A dependent sway control system relies on the downward force of spring bars attached to the trailer. They work by applying friction to brackets to slow down the sway.