There is nothing worse than being behind or seeing a caravan swaying when out on the road. You automatically feel for the poor driver trying to control their vehicle and caravan and you feel for the other drivers that are on the road around them. It does begin to make you think about the causes of why a caravan and vehicle begin to wobble and how you can stop this from occurring.
Caravan towing swaying is caused by the tow hitch that is found behind the tow vehicles rear axle. When the tow vehicle moves in one direction that overhangs the hitch, it causes the tow vehicle to move or sway in the opposite direction. And likewise, the caravan sways and causes the tow vehicle to sway also. This is frightening for the driver, their passengers and other drivers on the road.
When your caravan is hitched up, an amount if the weight is transferred onto the back of the vehicle via the tow ball. The tow ball weight is commonly referred to as the tow ball download and if this is too light it will cause the caravan to sway.
Best practice is you should ensure that your caravan tow ball weight is about 10% of its total weight (ATM or Aggregate Trailer Mass). You should always refer to the caravan’s compliance plate as this will correctly give you the tow ball weight.
You should tow your caravan with your water tanks full.
You do not always need to tow with your water tanks fully filled however, it does help, especially if you need to off-set caravans high centre of gravity.
Full tanks of water can assist in stopping the caravan from swaying for two main reasons.
1. The weight of the water increases the proportion of weight over your axles.
2. It allows the larger proportion of weight to be down low and this lowers the centre of gravity.
Ensure the majority of the weight is over the axels, instead of the front and rear of the caravan.
Some people begin towing with a tow ball weight that is way too heavy. This can be due to:
• A caravan that is not suitable for the tow vehicle. If in doubt you should seek advice on the best towing vehicle that you will need for the caravan you are purchasing. We can assist you here at Bars N Racks or alternatively ask the dealer for assistance from where you are buying the van.
• Attempting to pack way too much weight on the A Frame.
One of the biggest no’s you can do is to try and lighten the load of your tow ball weight to the rear of the van, as this can lead to severe swaying and shaking/wobbling of the caravan all over the road.
Make sure that you have the right tyre pressure based on how you have loaded the caravan and the vehicle.
Tyre pressure is extremely important along with the weight you are carrying, and additionally how you have loaded both the caravan and the tow vehicle. If you have the type pressure too high you will incur a bumpy ride and the centre of the tyres will wear out very fast. Additionally you will incur more swaying on the caravan and risk losing traction on the road. This is something you need to avoid at all costs.
Take it slow and reduce your speed on the road. This is the best way to make sure you will stop the caravan from swaying.
Your speed that you travel on the roads is the main cause of a caravan swaying.
If you have the swaying or wobbles badly then, this is an indication that you need to loosen the grip you have on the steering wheel and hold it firm but in a more relaxed way. Being tense will just cause you to lock the steering wheel into a fixed position. This is one of many of the best caravan towing solutions you can do to assist in keeping the caravan firmly on the road.
Think about investing in an electronic stability control (ESC)
An ESC has been proven to be effective in reducing the occurrence of single vehicle and roll overs of caravan and vehicles in accidents. It is a braking system that automatically controls the way the caravan behaves on the road. The electronic stability controller monitors dangerous lateral movements, ensuring action is taken where required via the electric brake system. This in turn maintains the position you old on the road and provides you with peace of mind.
How do sway bars work and do I really need them?
Sway bars work by helping to control or limit swaying from happening between the tow vehicle and the caravan. They are mostly recommended for towing long or heavy caravans. The chances are if you have a small or light caravan you will not need caravan sway bars. A weight distribution system can help to evenly distribute the caravan load’s weight. However, it won’t be able to prevent swaying which happens because of crosswinds.
If you are unsure of whether you need sway bars for your caravan you can ask us for advice here at Bars N Racks, we have fitters that can offer you solutions for your towing needs and discuss your options. Call in today for a chat or alternatively give us a call.
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Stockton
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Stockton
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