How can I stop Caravan Sway is a great question. Learn why we recommend tow ball weights should be 5% to 7% on a tandem trailer and 7% to 10% on a single axle trailer.
The key to significantly reducing caravan sway is knowing the weight on your tow ball.
Once you have adjusted the weight in your caravan or boat trailer, then it is a simple matter to re-weigh your trailer coupling.
How do I test tow ball weight?
To start testing your caravan coupling weight, you need to purchase a Tow Ball Scale. These can be obtained by clicking this link.
Without a set, if tow ball scales, you have little information to balance your rig.
Another popular device to reduce caravan sway is a weight-distribution hitch, maybe a thing of the past.
Watch the video, and you will get an understanding of the dynamic forces called Yawl in a caravan.
The University of Bath UK has produced this video on caravan Yawl.
A yawl is a boat term used to describe the effect on weight and steerage.
A yawl describes the relationship between the location of weight and sway.
Weight distribution in the test model above dramatically affects the towing ability of the tow vehicle.
Your caravan has been perfectly balanced during manufacture and perfect driving stability.
So the question is, why is my caravan now so unstable above 80 kilometres per hours?
After you watch this next video, I will let you in on some towing secrets.
You have now witnessed how weight can affect your rig. You must have homes for your food, beer, camping equipment, generator, etc.
Can I reduce Caravan Sway?
You may need to move it but do not yet know where it should go. Here is the calculation.
You know your ATM from your caravan nameplate. ATM = Chassis Weight + Payload (food,etc) + Tow Ball Weight.
Your tow bar will have a label for max downward pressure or S value or V value. Possibly not necessary but you should know what it is. Your car logbook has this value.
Your equation is Tow Ball weight should be between 5% to a max 10% where 5% is better than 10%. (5% of your ATM)
Example, tow ball weight of 110kg from a 2000kg caravan = 5.5% (tow ball weight / ATM) x 100%
Is weight too low or too high?
If your weight is too low, move the weight forward of your axles in your caravan.
If your weight is too high, move the weight back of your axles in your caravan.
When you have moved your weight, re-measure the head weight of your Coupling,
Understanding sway control may eliminate the need for weight distribution bars and sway control bars. Yes, I know
Yes, I know the industry loves its weight distribution bars; however, I am not a fan.
I fail to see any reason for transferring weight from and overloaded ‘A-frame’ onto the car rear suspension. I have many big question marks here.
The very best solution is weight redistribution over your caravan axles. As a result, this may require an axle upgrade from 10″ brakes to 12″ brakes.
Finally, tandem 50mm axles give you 4.5t capacity or 3.5t capacity with room for emergencies in rough terrain.
Here is another excellent article on caravan away.
Finally, electronic sway control is now available to purchase here.
The Sway control can eliminate the need for sway control arms and perhaps friction anti-sway couplings.