Several Easy Ways to Put Off Trailer Sway
There are different types of trailers, which include general hauling utility, vehicle hauling car, camping and enclosed cargo trailers. There are times when they create this unwanted back and forth motion called sway, which can cause 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 ought to keep in mind that 10 to 12 percent of trailer weight must be on the tongue that is found at the front of the vehicle. The sway can occur when 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 to split-weight your trailer for you to know what weight your tongue is. You can rearrange the load to obtain correct tongue weight by eliminating some items if overloaded and weighing it gaining.
Make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to know the maximum load capacity. It will point out also 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 also important to have correct air pressure in your trailer and tow vehicle tires. The owner’s manual has a suggested exact 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.
Do not drive the trailer during extreme windy conditions in order to avoid being blown over. When there is a forecast of severe weather condition, delay your trip until it is calm. Your tow vehicle should only be driven during cool weather so it won’t get blown away.
You can ask your dealer to install a friction sway device in your vehicle while having a test drive taken to guarantee that everything is installed properly. Once sway is still there, you ought to 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. When you see that sway begins, stay away from highways, changing lanes frequently or passing tractor trailers. These situations will cause the trailer to sway and this can initiate a road accident.