An Overview of Trailer Hitch Sway Control
Are you looking into electronic trailer sway control? Your electronic trailer sway control is an important factor for creating the ideal weight distribution between your vehicle and your trailer, to create a ride that is smooth and stable.
Electronic trailer sway control isn’t terribly complicated, but you need to understand how it works and how to properly install it, so that your vehicle and trailer operate as they should, and to maintain safety on the roadways. To help you with this, we’ve put together a quick guide for electronic trailer sway controls, below.
An Overview of Trailer Hitch Sway Control
- The Place of a Trailer Hitch Sway Control for Weight Distribution.
When your trailer weighs more than half of the weight of your vehicle, it creates an unbalanced distribution of weight that makes your vehicle drive roughly, deminishes the level of control that your steering has on the trailer, and creates a hazard on the road. When you steer slightly while towing a vehicle with uneven distribution of weight, the trailer over compensates for the change in direction. Your trailer hitch sway control prevents the trailer from fishtailing as you drive.
- The signs of uneven weight distribution and needed trailer hitch sway control.
When your trailer is attached by a rear-mounted hitch (as most are), the tongue weight of the trailer is carried by the rear axle of the vehicle towing it. Just like a see-saw that we all played on at recess as a child, the added weight to the rear axle makes the back of your tow vehicle lower to the ground, which lifts the front axle higher.
As this happens, the rear axle takes on the weight of the trailer, and (through the power of gravity) most of the weight of the front vehicle as well. Since there is less weight being carried by the front axle, you have less control over the steering and braking power your vehicle has. The uneven weight being carried between axles increases the sway of the trailer (unless you use a trailer hitch sway control), which makes you a greater danger on the road.
In addition to the reduced control while operating your vehicle, and increased sway of the trailer, this also reduces your ability to see structures around you, due to the angle that your vehicle drives at.
- The value of a weight distribution system.
When your trailer is greater than half of the weight of your vehicle, using a weight distribution system helps even out the weight of both the vehicle and the trailer between both axles. The weight distribution system accomplishes this by using spring bars to apply leverage to both sides of the trailer hitch. Since the point of weight isn’t resting on the hitch (and thereby the rear axle), the weight of the trailer sits on both axles equally, so that neither are pushed down further than the other. Using a weight distribution system (with a trailer hitch sway control) helps your vehicle drive smoothly and gives you maximum control of both the vehicle and the trailer while on the road.
- The value of a trailer hitch sway control.
Without a trailer hitch sway control, when your vehicle pulls a trailer in the middle of crosswinds, or when there is too much weight loaded to the back of the trailer, or when the spring bar tension is inadequate, it causes the trailer to sway back and forth as you drive. When you use sway control hitch, it keeps the trailer aligned with the vehicle as you drive. Sway control hitches function by both preventing the trailer from swaying altogether, or reducing the sway if any results from the aforementioned circumstances. The sway control hitch is such an important part of trailer safety that many hitch kits come with it included in the system. If your hitch doesn’t have it, you should consider obtaining one.
Having a trailer that your vehicle can tow gives you a lot of opportunities to transport objects and equipment larger than your truck bed, it gives you the chance to reduce the number of trips you make while moving, it gives you the ability to travel in style. When you use a trailer with your truck, it is important to understand weight distribution and sway control.