Swaying back and forth is great when you’re cheek to cheek with your sweetie on the dance floor, but it has no place on the highway when you’re traveling upwards of 60 mph and towing an RV! Thankfully there are sway control devices that help keep you safe and in your own lane when winds are whipping. Let’s take a look at what a sway control system does and how important it is when towing an RV.
What Is Sway Control?
Whether you’re passing through the heartland of America where winds blow relentlessly across flat farmland or you’re being pushed around by the gusts of wind from passing semi trucks, sway can be an issue that’s both annoying and potentially dangerous. You might also feel swaying of your RV if it’s too heavily loaded near the rear, causing it to have an uneven weight distribution. Anti-sway bars help stabilize your RV so that you won’t have that swaying motion back and forth. The ingenious design of these bars uses the weight of the RV itself to help make it safer to tow. But sway bars are only one part of the equation. While a sway control system works ok on its own, its effectiveness is off the charts when paired with a weight distribution system.
A weight distribution system is exactly what it sounds like—a component that helps even out the weight of both your tow vehicle and your RV so that you tow safely and comfortably all the way to your destination. It also helps eliminate the awkward sag you’ll often see at the vehicle hitch when the RV is hitched up to it. If you’re towing a small, ultra-lightweight trailer, you probably don’t need a weight distribution system or sway control. But if your RV’s weight is 50% or more of your vehicle’s, it’s recommended that you add on a weight distribution system and sway control so all of that weight isn’t pulling directly on your vehicle’s hitch and your RV isn’t swaying all over the highway.
Shopping for a Sway Control System
If you’re in the market for a sway control device for your RVing adventures, you have many choices that range from simple and inexpensive to fully loaded and pricey. Let’s take a look at a few.
Equal-i-zer Sway Control Hitch, 1,000/10,000 lbs.
This all-in-one device provides both weight distribution and sway control, so it carries a hefty price tag of around $600. It claims to work on all types of travel trailers and is easy to install. Its four positive friction areas work to combat sway. Customer reviews say it does what it’s supposed to and it’s well worth the money.
Sway-Master Electronic Sway Control
For tech-loving RVers, this electronic sway control system might be intriguing! Its high-tech design uses GPS to detect your trailer speed and then activates at a specified speed to control sway. It applies all the trailer’s brakes when it detects swaying. This system works on trailers from 1 to 4 axles and works whether you have a weight distribution hitch or not. At around $300, it’s easy to install and hardly noticeable when mounted on the front frame.
Eaz-Lift Sway Control
If you like doing things the old-school way, then take a look at this sway control bar that attaches to a weight distribution hitch. It employs a double friction disc brake principle to constantly keep swaying at bay. It attaches easily according to customer reviews, but installation may require some welding, which should be done by a professional. This set-up can be easily released when roads are wet or icy. It can also be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of trailers, making it a good choice no matter the size of your RV. However, if your RV is over 25 feet long, you may need two sway controls. But at just $60, even if you need a second one it’s an affordable option.
The saying that the journey is just as important as the destination is so true, especially when traveling the highways of our country en route to beautiful national parks or monuments. Keep it safe and comfortable by adding a sway control system to your set-up so you can enjoy every minute of your much-anticipated getaways. If you're in the market for a new RV, come see us at Lakeshore RV in Muskegon where we'll help you find the perfect RV for your adventures--at the perfect price!