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Various Easy Ways to Avoid Trailer Sway

There are several types of trailers, which consist of 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 avoid this from happening if you know how to correctly set up your trailer and tow vehicle. It depends also on various factors, including tire pressure, the hitch, the coupling, weight and tongue weight so you have to have a friction sway device and an air pressure gauge.

You need to bear 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 happen once 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 reorganize the load to get correct tongue weight by taking out some items if overloaded and weighing it gaining.

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to make out the maximum load capacity. It will also indicate 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 ought to be cold already during checking. If you have just been driving the vehicle, you should allow the tires to cool down before 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 must be driven only during cool weather so it won’t get blown away.

You can ask your dealer to have a friction sway device installed in your vehicle while having a test drive taken to ensure that everything is installed correctly. 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 be already installed on each side of the hitch once you have a large trailer.

When towing, your driving speed must be altered since the extra heavy weight does not permit fast driving. Once you notice that sway starts, steer clear of highways, changing lanes frequently or passing tractor trailers. These instances will trigger the trailer to sway and this can result in a road accident.

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