Various Easy Ways to Avoid Trailer Sway
There are various kinds of trailers, which include 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 prevent this from happening when you know how to properly 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 have to keep 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 help out to split-weight your trailer in order to know what weight your tongue is. You can reorganize the load to get correct tongue weight by taking out some items if overloaded and weighing it gaining.
Make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to know 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 need not go over the vehicle’s weight capacity.
It is important as well to have exact 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. When you have just been driving the vehicle, you must allow the tires to cool down prior to checking the pressure.
You should not drive the trailer during extreme windy conditions to avoid being blown over. If severe weather condition is predicted, postpone your trip until it is calm. Your tow vehicle ought to just be driven during cool weather so it won’t get blown away.
You can request your dealer to have a friction sway device installed in your vehicle while having a test drive taken to make sure that everything is correctly installed. If sway is still there, you should 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 should be changed as the extra heavy weight does not tolerate 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.
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