When you’re towing, trailer sway is uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. In severe cases, it can even make your trailer and your vehicle tip. It’s not always possible to completely prevent trailer sway, but there are many things you can do to reduce the risk of it occurring and minimize its effects. Follow these steps to cut the chances of trailer sway impacting your tow.
Stay Out of Windy Conditions
Windy conditions are to blame for many cases of trailer sway. Crosswinds are particularly damaging. When you know that high winds are forecast, avoid them if you can. If you can’t stay off the road, make an effort to avoid driving where winds will be intensified, such as in the mountains or on bridges. It’s not always possible to avoid strong winds, so when you experience them, reduce swaying by slowing down and keeping your steering wheel as steady as possible. Avoid trying to steer out of a sway, and never slam on your brakes. Try applying the trailer brakes only—not your vehicle brakes—to slow the trailer and stabilize it.
Check the Weight Distribution
The tongue, where the hitch attaches to your vehicle, should carry about 10% of the total weight of the trailer, but often weight is not distributed that way when trailers are loaded. To solve this problem, ensure that you put heavy items near the front, and center the cargo. Use tie downs to make sure things don’t shift and change the weight distribution while you’re driving.
Avoid Overloading the Trailer
Overloading your trailer will destabilize it and make it more likely to sway. Check the weight capacity of the trailer and stick to it. Keep in mind that the weight of your vehicle, passengers, hitch, and trailer itself have to be accounted for in your capacity calculations.
APC Trailers and Equipment can help you select the right trailer for your needs, so that you can reduce the risk of dangerous sway while towing. To learn more about trailers in Tucson, call (520) 574-1968.