Travel Trailer newbies and enthusiasts alike have wondered, “How does a trailer sway bar work?”. We will discuss the role of the trailer sway bar; if you need a sway bar, how tight they should be, can you back up a trailer with sway bars, and its importance in preventingchallenges and hazards along your route?
How Does a Trailer Sway Bar Work?
The trailer sway bar works by stabilizing the trailer, the sway bars prevent swaying by transferring the travel trailer’s weight to the rear of the trailer and its rear axle. The hitch’s anti-sway bars have a spring system that helps to distribute the weight and alleviate the swaying.
For instance, those who have encountered towing challenges have attributed it to the tendency of the trailer to sway away. This can be dangerous and life-threatening, especially when you are towing your trailer on a busy highway.
RVers usually recommend the tow vehicle to be at least 4 feet behind the axle. This creates some form of leverage and protection in instances where the trailer may sway away from the towing vehicle.
If your trailer is well balanced and comes with a perfectly installed hitch, the trailer will easily control itself and manage to sway back to its normal position.
In some circumstances, the trailer may be unable to control the sway. This is where a trailer sway bar comes into play.
The presence of a sway bar will improve the overall ability of a trailer to resume its normal towing alignment, thus protecting you, your trailer, and other drivers.
Trailer sway bars are usually installed by default by trailer dealers. These bars are in pairs and primarily rely on your vehicle’s brake pads to supply the prerequisite friction that controls the swaying effect.
Additionally, these trailer sway bars have tension control systems that can be tightened manually and adjusted based on the road conditions. It is highly advisable to ensure that your towing truck is not overloaded, as this may make it hard for you to control your towing vehicle.
Related: What’s The Best RV Generator?
Do I Need a Sway Bar for My Trailer?
Yes, you need a sway bar for your trailer. You may not want to be in a position where you are risking your life and those of other road users by failing to install trailer sway bars on your truck.
If your trailer doesn’t have sway bars, you can order them online. It may be challenging to handpick the best trailer sway bars so we listed our top 3 picks:
1. CURT 17200 Trailer Anti-Sway Bar Control Kit
2. Camco EAZ LIFT Elite Weight Distribution Hitch (1200lb, 800lb, 600lb Kit options)
3. Pro Series 83660 Value Friction Sway Control
How Tight Should a Trailer Sway Bar Be?
Feel it out, make it about as tight as you think it needs to be, and then drive around to determine if it needs to be tighter or looser.
Over-tightening your trailer sway bars will make it hard for you to maneuver through different turns. On the other hand, if your trailer sway bars are under-tightened, it will be challenging for the sway bar to function efficiently.
Therefore, the overall attachment of your trailer sway bar should be moderate. So, it should not be too tight or too loose.
Can You Backup a Trailer with Sway Bars?
No, trailer sway bars are not designed to turn when backing up but backing up straight is fine. Sway bars are primarily meant to go through the brake pads, with the primary purpose being to provide sufficient resistance between the trailer and the tow vehicle.
Some people may ask “How Does a Trailer Sway Bar Work?” Well, as your towing vehicle moves, the sway bar moves back and forth based on the motion of your vehicle. This means that the sway bars are meant to work fine going forward and when turning.
As a result, these sway bars are not designed in a manner that supports backing up. On the contrary, this will damage the sway bars since the force applied is different when reversing.
That’s All Folks
Now you know “how does a trailer sway bar work?”, the installation process of the sway bar, how tight it should be, and why a sway bar is integral to anyone with a travel trailer. If you need a sway bar, take a look at the 3 sway bars we recommended above.