When traveling with your family down the open road, the last thing you want is for a strong gust of wind to hit the side of your RV travel trailer and tip the trailer and possibly your truck over onto the side of the road. Here’s some information about “trailer sway” and how to prevent it from our team at DuraFlap RV Mud Flaps:
What causes sway?
The force of wind on the high walls of your RV or travel trailer creates intense pressure. When the front of your travel trailer is pushed towards the left, the trailer’s wheels start pointing to the left, and this in turn puts enormous pressure at the hinge between the trailer and your truck. As the back end of the truck is being pressured, the force of the truck moving forward counteracts the pressure and pulls it back. This in turn pulls the travel trailer from the left to the right and will naturally overcompensate this “fix.” As a result, the travel trailer is now going a little too much towards the right, and you end up with a fishtail effect.
What can you do to limit sway?
- Have the wheel alignment checked. If the wheels don’t start off perfectly aligned, they are already leading your trailer a little too much to the left or the right without even having any wind. As the force of your truck moving forward naturally pulls it back straight, you’ll get overcompensating, and then the fishtailing…and well, you know the rest of the story.
- Pack your travel trailer with stabilization in mind. If the right side is heavier than the left side of your trailer, the trailer is going to want to lean to the right and start steering to the left. Additionally, if too much weight is towards the front of the trailer, the excessive weight will be placed on the rear of the pickup truck, and cause the front of the truck to lift slightly and lose traction with the road. A good balance is to load 60% of your weight in the front and 40% towards the rear of the trailer.
- Install an anti-sway bar stabilization system. Because sway is caused at the pivot position between the travel trailer and the truck (imagine a hinge joint), an anti-sway bar stabilization system holds that joint firm so the front of the trailer can not be shoved to one side or the other by wind. They must be installed perfectly in order to work effectively, so read the directions well and be sure to double-check the angles for absolute precision.